Reflections on The Prisoner: “What’s it all about?”

Recently I’ve become quite reflective and introspective about many things, about who I am as a person, about what drives me. About who I am.

I think I’m a good person. I care, sometimes too much. I speak too much as well, sometimes to fill the empty spaces, more often than not to draw attention to myself. I’m still insecure, still trying to prove myself… I still struggle, at 42 years of age, to feel like I belong.

I’m less insecure than I was, though. I’m good at what I do, and I’m decisive. I’m witty, and when I write I play with words to make my point. I’m occasionally charming. One of my favorite sayings is from the Dalai Lama, a saying that rings true for me, in that “my religion is kindness”. I try to be a good loving husband, and I’m not nearly as good as a father as I want to be.

I’m, above all else, human… And I try to be humane.

I also obsessively love the classic TV show The Prisoner. I speak of it often, recommending it to friends and family. I have written hundreds and hundreds of words about it over the years.


What is it that draws me to the series? Of all the many hundred of hours of content that I have seen in my lifetime, The Prisoner is the show that I’m always brought back to. It strikes at some core part of me… hitting the right note, if I was the instrument. So, why?

What’s it all about?


That to me is the essence of The Prisoner. Escape from the trappings of the establishment, resigning from a job that goes too far… running away. The Prisoner resigns because he is no longer comfortable playing the game that he was a vital part of… A game he may have had an active hand in creating.

Is that why I like the show so much?

Again, my life is my own. I have much to be grateful for, but then… I’m not free. I have responsibilities, obligations to me and mine. And sometimes it’s really hard. So the idea of escaping the status quo, it has some appeal.

The Prisoner, as McGoohan played him, never looked comfortable. He fidgeted as if he was wearing an Ill-fitting suit. Obviously, he was a prisoner, not the most relaxed situation to be in. But he never belonged in The Village. And I never feel I belong, either. Hmm.

I’m currently working away from my family, in another country. It has a different culture, and I can’t help but feel like an outsider. Again, that I don’t belong. Yet…

While I miss my family… I am free. Free from that familial routine. Sometimes, it feels good. And that scares me.

So, are these reasons that I love The Prisoner? Maybe. At the very least, it’s part of it. But maybe I shouldn’t ask any more questions.

Because questions are a burden to others, and answers a prison for oneself.