Monday, June 1, 2015

6/1/1968 The Prisoner premieres

June 1, 1968.  Let's not argue over whether The Prisoner was a spy show, or science fiction, or something else entirely.  It was stunning TV for it's time, and had enough ties to our genre to fit on this page.  It made its U.S. premiere in CBS on this date.

Patrick McGoohan, sick of starring in Secret Agent, created a show in which a man quits his job (presumably something to do with British Intelligence, but never specified) and wakes up the next day in The Village, a weird place in which everyone is known only a s a number and you can have anything you want - except escape -- if you cooperate with the authorities.  An action show that was clearly an allegory on - and protest against -- modern society.

McGoohan: "I wanted to have controversy, arguments, fights, discussions, people in anger – waving fists in my face. How dare you? Why don’t you do more Secret Agents that we can understand."

He got it.  Some people hated it.  Some people thought it was the first great TV show.  But it was hard to be neutral.


  1. Always enjoy visiting this blog. Here are some June dates I ran across.

    June 13, 1966 – The Supreme Court issues their landmark decision Miranda vs. Arizona, codifying criminal suspects’ Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and providing countless tv crime show actors with the legendary line “You have the right to remain silent . . .”

    June 16, 1960 - Release date of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

    June 26, 1962 – The TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which Time Magazine named one of The 100 Best TV Shows of All Time, concluded its seventh and final season with an episode titled “Where Beauty Lies.” One additional episode, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” was filmed but didn’t air because it was considered too gruesome. Although this date saw the end of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, it was hardly the last of Hitchcock as a TV host. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour premiered just three months later.