Patrick McGoohan's role prior to The Prisoner was as the spy John Drake in Danger Man which ran from 1960 to 1966. Some say they were one and the same character, a claim McGoohan refutes.
My name is...
During the run of Danger Man, McGoohan was offered the role of James Bond.
High (cost) drama
On average, episodes had a budget of around £75,000 - which was more than any other action adventure series being made at the time.
The Village exteriors were shot at Portmeirion in North Wales. Portmeirion was designed by architect Clough Williams-Ellis and built over the period 1925-1973. McGoohan first spotted its potential when it was used in an episode of Danger Man, View from the Villa. The location wasn't revealed until the end credits of the final episode.
Its Italian splendour also made Portmeirion the ideal location for the Doctor Who story The Masque of Mandragora. Brideshead Revisited and The Tripods also filmed there.
At the press conference to launch the series McGoohan answered questions from behind some prison bars.
Number 6's birthday is the same as Patrick McGoohan's - 4.31am on 19th March, 1928. The date was revealed in the episode The Arrival.
Who Ron Ron
Ron Grainer composed the theme tune after versions by Robert Farnon and Wilfred Josephs were rejected. Grainer is also known for his themes for Steptoe and Son and Doctor Who.
Free for All, Once Upon A Time and Fall Out were written and directed by McGoohan. He also directed Many Happy Returns and A Change of Mind, under the pen name Joseph Serf.
The huge floating white balloon that menaced Number 6 is commonly known as 'Rover', but it was only called that twice on screen, by Number 2 and Number 6 in the episode The Schizoid Man. Originally, a mechanical guard was planned, but it was too noisy and, like the Daleks, couldn't navigate stairs.
Who's the boss
Script editor George Markstein played 6's boss in the title sequence.
Fenella Fielding, probably best known for her role as Valeria the vamp in Carry on Screaming, provided the voice you can hear on the public address system.
To fund the final four episodes McGoohan accepted a role in Ice Station Zebra. To cover up his absence a clever plot where Number 6's mind was placed in a Colonel's body (Nigel Stock) was dreamt up. The episode in question was Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling.
Trip to the West
Living in Harmony, in which Number 6 is drugged and forced to play the part of a gunfighter in the Wild West, was omitted from the first run of the series in the States. Some say this was because of the level of violence, others because of the reference to hallucinogenic drugs.
6's and 7's
Patrick McGoohan originally felt that seven episodes were enough to do the idea justice, but Lew Grade wanted 26 episodes to make an attractive package to sell abroad. Eventually a compromise was reached.
Scriptwriter George Markstein walked off the project after thirteen episodes when he clashed with McGoohan over how the series should end. Markstein favoured a more conventional ending.
Before he left the series, Markstein pitched an idea to extend the series. His idea was that Number 6 would escape and each week would flee to a different part of the world.
It has been suggested that McGoohan was determined to break with the norm when he wrote the last episode of The Prisoner, as he was sick of how the public had become used to, and indeed expected, the predictable.
6 on 4
The Prisoner was repeated on Channel 4 over the period 1983-1984. When Jools Holland was in trouble for swearing on the channel's The Tube, a whole show was devoted to a skit with Jools based on The Prisoner.
Several attempts have been made to get a Prisoner movie made, but none have been successful. One such attempt had director Simon 'Con Air' West attached, with Patrick McGoohan as executive producer.
6 of One
6 of One - The Prisoner Appreciation Society was established in 1967. Patrick McGoohan is the Honorary President. For further information, contact 6 of One, PO BOX 66, Ipswich IP2 9TZ or visit the 6 of One website.