The Prisoner Explained
I was given The Prisoner series on DVD for Christmas, and through watching this amazing series for the second time in my life, the first being when I was a teenager, I am finding that it suddenly makes complete sense to me.
When I was sixteen I didn't have a clue how the pieces all fitted, but now I am older/wiser?!? I can see a definite link in it to the human psyche and the ego, yes I know I bring everything back to that, but it does seem to be the ultimate goal of many weird stories (See the films Hero, V For Vendetta)
Anyway here's how I think it all fits:
The Prisoner in the opening credits is a person who has resigned from his job, i.e. he's stepped out of society because he doesn't like it, but then he wakes in the village as an egocentric stranger.
I believe the Village is a metaphor and represents the prisoner's mind; No.6 is the mans ego incarnate. No.6 is egocentric and arrogant, supposedly very important, and also knowledgeable. The act of No.6 constantly trying to escape the village is representative of him trying to break free of his mind, i.e. to become enlightened. He always fails because of a trick by No.2, because of the Rover, or because of his own self importance.
No.2 represents the ever changing and constantly twisting ego. On the path to enlightenment ones mind will consistently fight you on your quest for freedom, it will try every trick in the book to stop you achieving your aim. This is because the society in which you have grown up, and the thing it represents, has evolved to treat its members this way over thousands of years. It wants them to remain captive and submissive to its ways. No.2 is also desperate to find out why No.6 resigned and stepped out of society. This to is part of the journey to enlightenment, constantly questioning your decision and being tempted to return. No.2 however is also No.6's protector, never letting the worst happen to him and always treating him with kid gloves, continually stating that he is too important to risk damaging.
Whenever No.6 does get near to escape, the Rover always thwarts his attempts and brings him back to the village. Rover represents ultimate fear, and even is shown bubbling up from inside until it breaks the surface of the consciousness. On the verge of breaking free of the ego No.6 always has a great fear of the Rover, and he is more than likely to turn back to the safety and comfort of what is already known.
So throughout the series, No.6 never gives up, he tries and tries to escape and win over his ego to become enlightened. Finally in the last episode he meets the boss, No.1 and who does he find behind the mask of No.1? Himself, yes he was the judge, jury, and jailer all along. Ping! instant enlightenment, No.6 is free of the village, and free in his mind. He returns to London as a egoless free man that is in the world still, but no longer of the world.
Makes perfect sense :0)