or Anthony Skene, to name just
the most frequent. At
least two scripts are known to have been completed waiting for
their transformation into PRISONER episodes. But this never happened.
These were "The Outsider" und "Don't
Get Yourself Killed". Two others were cancelled in an
early stage of develeopment.
author Moris Farhi had been a collaborator with feature movies
in the early 60s. He later went on to work and write on his own
for such ITC shows like MAN IN A SUITCASE and THE RETURN OF THE
SAINT (in Germany: "Simon Templar") featuring Roger Moore.
It is said he was very enthusiastic when
DIESER TEXT AUF DEUTSCH
THE PRISONER SCRIPT WRITERS
he heard about THE PRISONER ("the only show in town") that he asked his friend
Roger Parkes, author of the "A Change Of Mind" episode,
to get him in touch with McGoohans and Tomblins production company,
which at first was successful.
his story "The Outsider" a plane crash lands near
the Village. Number Six finds the surviving plane pilot. He then
keeps him in a hiding place to question him and retrieve information
about the geographical location of the Village - which turns out
to be in the Baltics. Soon the pilot wins Number Six' and also the
viewer's trust. After some time of severe interrogation conducted
by the Village Number Six and the pilot set up an escape plan. But
then, with things going as planned, the true identity of the pilot
is revealed: He is the new Number Two sent off by the Village and
targeted at Number Six.
was McGoohan who ultimately rejected this script. The reasons can
only be guessed.
The script, according to Robert Fairclough in his book "The
Prisoner: The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series",
is one of the earliest made which can be seen on mentioning the
original purely mechanic version of Rover. On the one hand it's
the plot's too many similarities with the two episodes "The
Chimes Of Big Ben" and "Free For All". On the other
hand - with different sources stating almost the same - it is said
that McGoohan wasn't pleased by the image of this rather uncool
Number Six, the fact that the notion of the story was "dirty"
and featured considerable brutality (Number Six sweating heavily
under torture). The horrific and the idyllic, favoured by George
Markstein, merged in this treatment.
regrettable that 'The Outsider' was never made", says Fairclough.
"The dialogue, always one of the delights of a Farhi script,
is witty and sharp ... and the relationships between the characters
are believable and tense."
GET YOURSELF KILLED
to the former information on another completed but unused script,
"Don't Get Yourself Killed", also called "Fool's
Gold", is scarce. Gerald Kelsey was the author.
Allegedly the story was commissioned by script editor George Markstein
himself (who soon left the production) and was written by Kelsey
after finishing his episode "Checkmate".
story - very much in the prisoner-of-war tradition - concerns a
group of inmates who almost succeed in fleeing the Village. Number
Six encounters the head of the "Environmental Adjustment Department"
who at first employs the usual brainwashing methods on him in order
to get valuable information. He later agrees to an escape plan -
for a price - developped by Number Six and a miner to escape by
means of a stolen helicopter from the Village's "Helicopter
Service Depot" (!). The price is gold which is found in the
tunnel dug by the miner. But, of course, the plan goes haywire in
the very last minute because the miner is overwhelmed by his greed
for gold, so he refuses to take off without it.
script, too, which echoes Houston's THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
(1948) was rejected by McGoohan. Kelsey assumed it was due to high
production costs, the great number of necessary extras and the role
of Number Six being relatively small here. Besides, he admits, the
characters were too exaggerated and also there must have been too
many unwanted parallels to Kelsey's "Checkmate" story.
Other sources, rather sarcastically, say that a story where it would
have been impossible for Rover to enforce his powers, in a narrow
tunnel, must have been "complete tripe" anyway. And the
idea of the Village operating a helicopter service lacking the necessary
security measures bears too little credibility.
George Markstein had left the production with the first bunch of
13 episodes not yet completed, desperation must have invaded the
team as to how to go ahead with the series. It seems curious that
not only known scriptwriters were employed to submit further stories
but also those working in the staff itself. Among them was assistant
editor Ian L. Rakoff whose script was eventually finished
as the "Living In Harmony" episode. Another contributer
was Eric Mival, then music editor with the team. "Ticket
To Eternity" und "Friend Or Foe" were his scripts.
Information on those two stories is scarce. At least some is given
shortly on the website with the nice name anorakzone.com.
TO ETERNITY & FRIEND OR FOE
writes on "Ticket To Eternity": "As for
the storyline, it's an interesting idea, certainly, involving religion
and No.6 being tricked into thinking he's travelled in time with
No.2, but ultimately too far fetched and I can see why it didn't
go any further as a serious consideration."
"Friend Or Foe" is said to be
politically incorrect storyline... featuring the adventures
of "a Negro called Mike X", a passionate militant",
a story of "astoundingly
poor taste considering that Malcolm X had been assassinated just
two years earlier. The storyline actually involves "Mike
X" faking his death, along with No.6. In the event it turns
out that Mike X really did die, and the man trying to get secrets
out of No.6 when they've both escaped is a Villager. No.6 realises
he's being tricked by noticing some white skin under "Mike's"
rubber mask. As bizarre as such escapades seem today, one notable
element is that the escapees were able to get on the main road to
London from the Village, which could indicate that the concept behind
Fall Out may have been planned earlier than expected...
the ultimate episode "Fallout" their escape from the Village
leads Number Six and his three fellows through an abandoned railway
tunnel on the other side of which they find themselves driving on
the A20 motorway straight to London, just around the corner...