Question: Patrick McGoohan once appeared in a black-and-white surrealist adventure series and I'm trying to remember the name. He basically acted alone. I think it was in the '60s and it was not The Avengers, although it might have appeared in the same decade. E-mail to me the name.

Televisionary: Whoa. With that kind of a demanding tone, are you sure you're not Number Two, pal?

						 						First off, as the boilerplate text above states, I don't do e-mail. I receive way too many questions to answer each one and this is, after all, a site that earns its keep by convincing readers to look at pages with ads on them. So I'm answering you here and hope beyond hope that you see this.

The show in question is The Prisoner, which is one of the more fascinating series in TV history, to my mind. Call The Prisoner the Twin Peaks of its time. Like that David Lynch classic, The Prisoner was off-kilter and odd enough to make one wonder how the heck it got on the air in the first place. No doubt the presence of dashing actor McGoohan, who earlier starred in the British Danger Man and its expanded American version, Secret Agent, helped it win a spot on the schedule.

McGoohan played Number Six, a former government agent many believed to be the same character he played in Secret Agent, though that was never stated. Number Six was imprisoned in a pleasant little Truman Show-like village by unseen beings who wanted something from him, but wouldn't say quite what. They also wouldn't volunteer who they were, who the others around him were, where he was or anything else that helps make the day go by a little more pleasantly. Strange and existential as it was, it was entertaining stuff for those who were willing to accept something a little different from the tube.

A show that ran for only two summers on CBS (1968 and 1969), it's viewed with reverence by the smart set and continues to maintain a loyal cult following here and in the UK, where it was produced. Admirable? Sure. Many shows ran for longer than that and scored higher ratings, yet are lost to the mists of small-screen history because there was nothing much to distinguish them.