OF ONE INFO
Come to The Unmutual Website - dedicated to the 1960s TV series "The
Prisoner", starring Patrick McGoohan, and the village of Portmeirion
in North Wales where the series was filmed.
PRESS: 14/11/14 - Latest "Village People Podcast"
More 4 18/11/14 Penelope Keith in Portmeirion... 1300-1455 Saturday
15th November ITV3: "Murder With Too Many Notes" Directed
by PMcG... 'Clough's Cafe' in the news HERE...Wanda
Ventham son announces engagement HERE....7/11/14
Danger Man HQ penthouse for sale HERE....Ty
Gobaith documentary series airing during November on S4C...Brian
Gorman's new play booking HERE....Prisoner
type globe chair auctioned HERE....Similar
chair appeared on BBC "Strictly Come Dancing" 4/11/11....Unmutual
"Catch my Soul" article mentioned
LINK UP FOR CHARITY FUND
Unmutual Website is proud to announce that it has signed an agreement
with eBay and as such is now an official eBay partner. Rather
like the association TUW has with Amazon (click HERE
for more details), this means that our charity event fund for
Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice can benefit from site readers shopping
on the site.
simply, if you'd like to buy something on ebay enter the eBay
site VIA THE LINK ON THIS PAGE and
TUW's charity fund will receive a percentage of your spend AT
NO COST TO YOU.
all TUW's 5000+ weekly visitors did this each time they used eBay
and Amazon much money for the hospice fund would be raised.
BAKER TEAMS UP
September 22nd 2014 photographers and designers, along with models
(left, and below) and a selection of outfits of course, could
be found in Portmeirion working on behalf of the World-renowned
fashion brand TED BAKER.
reason for this has now been revealed!
Pottery have teamed up with Ted Baker to produce the stunning
new "Ted Baker Portmeirion Dinnerware and Giftware Ranges".
The pottery range is due for official release in Spring 2015.
visit Portmeirion Pottery UK's Facebook page for images of the
new sets, and HERE to see more
photos from the shoot.
of "The Prisoner" and "Doctor Who" are in
for a double treat in January 2015.
has reached The Unmutual that there is to be a special screening
of the Tom Baker story "The Masque of Mandragora", which
was filmed in Portmeirion, followed by the "Prisoner"
episode "Checkmate" at Theatr Harlech in North Wales
on Saturday January 17th 2015.
screening is organised by BAFTA Cymru in association with Film
Hub Wales and forms part of a larger series of screenings "Doctor
Who Monsters - The Bretheren" (poster left).
can be purchased direct from the theatre HERE.
thanks to SR and Peter Preston for this news item.
of the Cult TV series "The Avengers" (which in many
episodes guest starred many actors and actresses who appeared
in "The Prisoner") will be pleased to hear that in addition
to Mike Richardson's recent book (see news item below), another
has been published.
Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes" by Richard McGinlay and
Alan Hayes is a fantastic follow up from Hidden Tiger Books to
their earlier "Avengers" book "The Strange Case
of the Missing Episodes", and looks again at the show’s
first series but this time from the perspective of its production,
transmission, personnel and reception. The book has been compiled
with reference to internal ABC production documentation and communications,
scripts, press archives and library collections, and in co-operation
with a number of people who worked on the series.
book can be ordered via Hidden Tiger Books HERE.
For a limited period, the book is reduced in price and a further
15% can be saved on print versions with the promo code FWD15.
This discount and code does not apply to sales via Amazon.
Lulu have also issued a free shipping code which runs until Tuesday
11th November at midnight. The code is HSQ2 and it can be used
in conjunction with the FWD15 code.
thanks to Alan Hayes for this news item.
Unmutual Website was delighted to recently connect again with
the Mini Moke Club - the membership club for owners and devotees
of the famous Mini Moke vehicles, seen in "The Prisoner"
as the Village Taxis!
vehicle celebrated it's 50th Anniversary this year, and as such
events have been occurring throughout the World regarding these
wonderful and fasinating vehicles, and some of these are outlined
in the club's membership magazine "Moking" (latest issue
magazine comes highly recommended and the club can be joined via
where details of events and other items of interest can be found.
brief history of the Mini Moke vehicle and associated news and
items can be found HERE.
thanks to Roy Scott and Chris Naish of the Mini Moke Club.
PLEA FOR COLISEUM
Coliseum Cinema in Porthmadog, North Wales, near to Portmeirion,
is an important landmark in "The Prisoner", as this
was the building in which cast and crew watched each day's filming
rushes back in 1966.
readers of TUW will know, a campaign has been running in recent
years to save the iconic art deco building (with 10% of this website's
income donated to the cause).
it sadly seems that all is nearly lost, as planning has been received
at Gwynedd County Council to demolish the building. However, TUW
is asking all its readers to contact GCC to object to the proposal.
you click on the link below it will take you to the planning page
- under Community - type Porthmadog - Dates between 1st - 17th
October, there you will find the latest application which is demolition
of the Coliseum, you can voice your objections with the following
text (or something similar):
I very strongly object to the proposed demolition of the Coliseum
cinema building in Porthmadog and believe that this iconic building
needs to be kept as part of the town's heritage and culture. The
building, which enhances the landscape on which it stands, could,
with the right mind-set and investment, play a pivotal role in
reinvigorating a town that so desperately needs it at the moment.
to planning page
thanks to Tegwen Haf Parry and Phil Caunt. Photo (c) Rick Davy.
Unmutual Website was recently delighted to chat with Sue McNaught,
who whilst not having any direct connection with "The Prisoner",
worked for MGM and was also the partner for some time of Ronnie
Liles, who was Production Manager on the last 4 episodes of "The
Prisoner" along with other Cult classics such as "Department
S" and "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)".
had some lovely memories to share, including regarding Patrick
McGoohan and his regular biscuit-related kindness!
memories, along with a lovely photo from the period (left) can
be read exclusively HERE.
thanks to Sue McNaught for the memories and photo.
Victoria and Albert Museum in London plays host to an exciting
new "exhibit" (left) which features the voice of none
other than Patrick McGoohan's daughter Catherine, which is running
until 27th October 2014.
Beauty, Broken Beauty" is a 12k sculptural film installation
by Vanessa Jane Hall who "over 12 months travelled England
to create a film that captured the raw beauty of architectural
structures whether sparkling or faded."
provides the voice of the Broken Beauty in the film, Neil Dickson
(star of the movie "Biggles" and the Cult TV series
"She-Wolf of London") provides the voice of Breathless
Beauty. For more information visit http://www.breathlessbeauty.co.uk
thanks to Jo Davies for this news item and image.
is with sad news that TUW announces that the esteemed actor, Sir
Donald Sinden, has died at the age of 90 after suffering from
memorably portrayed the part of The Colonel in the episode "Many
Happy Returns", although could remember little about his
role when interviewed in later years.
made his name largely as a Shakesperean actor on stage, but will
also be fondly remembered for his film roles such as "The
Cruel Sea", and his TV comedy roles such as "Never the
Twain" and as the brother of Patrick Cargill (who of course
appeared alongside him in "The Prisoner" too) in "Father
Unmutual Website would like to express its sincerest condolences
to Sir Donald's many family and friends. Click HERE
for a news item in the Guardian newspaper, and HERE
for the New York Times.
With thanks to David Stimpson, Anthony Rooney,
and Tom Mayer for this news item.
ONE DVD BONANZA
of the work of Patrick McGoohan who are based in North America
will be delighted that not one but two DVD releases of 2014 wil
be of interest.
December 9th sees the release of a 17-disc set of the entire "Danger
Man" series ("Secret Agent" in North America).
Extras include an interview with Catherine McGoohan and 3 audio
commentaries with writers and directors which appeared on the
2004 Umbrella release of the series. Click HERE
for more details.
released, for the first time on DVD (although the quality of the
film transfer is poor) is the McGoohan film "The Moonshine
War". Details HERE.
Click HERE to read Tom Mayer's
exclusive in-depth review for The Unmutual Website.
thanks to Tom Mayer and Derek Joyce for this news item.
the second time in recent years, "The Prisoner" has
been chosen as a contestant's 'chosen specialist subject' on the
popular BBC TV quiz series "Mastermind".
on from David Wilson's attempt in 2007 (see news item and questions
September 2014 saw a Mr Mike Foden score 13 points on the subject,
which along with a successful general knowledge round saw Mike
win the heat and move into the next round. It will be interesting
to see what his chosen subject will be next time.
thanks to Jan Davis, SR, Andrew Frith, Steve Matt, and Geoff Dodd
for this news item.
Unmutual Website is delighted to see that "Prisoner"
and Portmeirion expert Catherine Frumerman's website, "Eye
on Wales", which covers "The Prisoner", Portmeirion,
and North Wales in general has had a revamp!
new stories and information, and excellent archive items (such
as "Antiques Roadshow" in Portmeirion, left), the new
website can be found at http://www.walestales.com/
thanks to Catherine Frumerman for this news item. Photo (c) Wales
debate which raged for many years in "Prisoner" circles,
including here at The Unmutual Website, was that of "what
is the location of the runway at the start of every episode?"
sites were put forward, each of them seeming convincing arguments
at the time, but several years ago, following research by Anthony
Mackay and others involved with the Avengerland locations organisation,
it was confirmed that Podington Raceway (AKA Santa Pod) was the
location used (which backs up Assistant Director Gino Marotta's
new footage and images have since been unearthed by Anthony, one
of which is below. The top portion of the screen is the opening
shot from "The Prisoner". The shot underneath is a still
from Pathe News footage of drag racing at Podington in 1967. As
you can see, the two locations are totally identical, proving
beyond any doubt that the location was indeed Podington.
information and images can be found at The Unmutual Website's
extensive locations guide HERE.
of the new things which the internet has added to "Prisoner"
fandom is that of the podcast. The "Waffle On" podcast
is on The Unmutual has always championed (click HERE
for more info), and now you can add "The Village People"
to that list.
Village People is a new podcast which sees old friends Roo, Nodge,
and Steve talk about "The Prisoner" in both a fun and
informative way. Anthony Rooney (AKA Roo) states; "You might
not learn anything you didn't already know about The Prisoner
from the podcast but we hope listeners will enjoy being in the
company of three mates chatting about the series".
to listen to episode one of the podcast, which comes highly recommended
by The Unmutual Website. It is hoped more will be recorded and
made available soon.
of "The Prisoner Calendar" are the location tours which
take place throughout the year, and 2014 again has played host,
and will play host, to several of these events.
20th September 2014 sees the members of the "MGM Borehamwood
Memories" Facebook group meet up in Elstree for their yearly
look around the former site of the MGM studios (where The Prisoner
was largely filmed).
the studios and sites have been demolished, it's a fascinating
look around what now stands on the "Hollywood of Britain"
and again the tour will be headed by MGM expert Kieran McAleer.
Meet time is 1.00pm at the Toby Carvery in Studio Way. An hour
earlier, Dave Lally will be leading a visit to the new Elstree
Museum and Heritage Trail, starting at the Northbound platform
of Elstree and Borehamwood station at 12.00pm (linking up with
the main tour at 1.00pm).
on Sunday 19th October 2014 Mr Lally will be conducting his long
running "Prisoner" (2.00pm meet under Marble Arch) and
"Danger Man" (10.30am meet at Victoria) location tours,
where over 20 locations from the series are visited including
Number Six's London home and exclusive access to the resignation
full details of these events, which are FREE to attend and require
no membership to any organisations, click HERE.
The Unmutual Website is mostly dedicated to all things "Prisoner",
Portmeirion, and Patrick McGoohan, the website also promotes the
Cult TV-related work of folk who, over the years, have contributed
much to "Prisoner" fandom.
such writer is Michael Richardson, who for many years edited the
popular Cult TV magazine "Action TV", and TUW is delighted
to announce that Michael has written a new book of interest to
fans of the genre.
Hats and Kinky Boots - The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to
The Avengers" (left) is a magnificent volume, utilising original
studio documents and eye-witness accounts of the day-to-day creation
of one of TV's greatest hits. With a foreword by writer Brian
Clemens (who of course wrote several episodes of "Danger
Man"), the book is the "fullest picture yet" regarding
the making of the series.
more information, visit Telos Publishing's website HERE,
and click HERE
to purchase the book via Amazon where it's now available.
published recently, by musician, writer, and "Prisoner"
fan Simon Wells (Simon wrote the Network DVD "Prisoner"
documentary "Don't Knock Yourself Out") is the highly
recommended "Quadrophenia - Inside the Making of Britain's
Greatest Youth Film". Click HERE
to order from Amazon.
new book "George Markstein and The Prisoner" is also
still available, with the book receiving rave reviews by several
"Prisoner" experts (see news item below).
thanks to Michael Richardson for this news item and cover image.
blog serialising of the memoirs of Ian Rakoff, screenwriter, film
editor and obsessive comic book collector, is now online, thanks
to the V&A museum in London.
(pictured left in the 1970s) will be best known to "Prisoner"
fans as not only an assistant editor on several episodes of the
series back in 1967, but as the creator and writer of the episode
"Living in Harmony". He also wrote the book "Inside
The Prisoner", published by Boxtree in the 1990s.
read Ian's blog, "Confessions of a Collector – misdemeanours
of a comic book addiction" click HERE.
thanks to Ian Rakoff for this news item.
Unmutual Website is very sad to confirm that Martin Goldthorpe,
a long standing and much loved "Prisoner" fan, has passed
will be remembered by many fans as the man who each year single-handedly
organised all the Portmeirion accommodation in the 1980s and 1990s
for fan conventions, and throughout the 2000s as a great supporter
and contributor to The Unmutual Website and its events.
holiday companion and friend to many of us who visit Portmeirion
several times each year, he will be missed by all who knew him.
to read a tribute from Fulham FC (Martin never missed a game).
Our thoughts at this time are with his wife Catherine and son
James. RIP Martin.
MARKSTEIN BOOK PUBLISHED
new book (left) has just been published which will be of great
interest to fans of "The Prisoner" series.
Markstein and The Prisoner" is a new 100-page book, printed
in both hardback (limited to 500 numbered copies) and softback
editions. Edited by Roger Goodman, the book includes contributions
from "Prisoner" historians, writers, and those who knew
Markstein, correspondence from Markstein himself, and a transcript
of his only in-depth audience-participation interview.
several never-before-published photographs, the book "examines
the various claims and counterclaims" regarding who
created "The Prisoner", as well as an in-depth look
at Markstein's life and career, and "Prisoner" involvement
before, during, and after the series. The full press release can
be read HERE.
available from Portmeirion and Amazon,
you can click HERE to order both
the hardback and softback editions.
will no doubt recall the recent amazing news that Patrick McGoohan's
only directorial movie, "Catch My Soul" AKA "Santa
Fe Satan", for many years thought lost, had been researched
by Tom Mayer and a subsequent print of the film found in a dusty
to this print, the movie, as advertised on TUW (see below), was
screened at the recent Riverrun Film Festival in North Carolina.
Mayer of course attended the screening, as did several other TUW
readers, and as such TUW is delighted to announce that Tom has
kindly reviewed the event/screening, and also thanks to some updated
restoration news, added a third part to his wonderful series of
articles, "Total Immersion".
HERE to read part 1 of the trilogy,
HERE for part 2, or HERE
to go straight to part 3 and Tom's review of the screening.
work also gets mentioned at a comic blog HERE,
on Facebook HERE,
and again on Twitter HERE.
With thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item. Images (c) Tom Mayer.
WITH THE NEW
to the self-catering cottages in Portmeirion continue apace with
the refurbishment of the interiors of Gate House, Belvedere, Government
House (left), and White Horses (with more planned for the future).
cottage includes new kitchens and bathrooms and refurbished bedrooms,
with some cottages now with increased sleeping capacity with some
single rooms now doubles/twins.
updated in Portmeirion are the signs on the main drive, as well
as other improvements around the village. For
more information and images, click HERE
for the latest Unmutual Website Portmeirion update.
(c) Rick Davy
TO SEE YOU
Unmutual Website can now confirm, following news (see below from
a few months ago) that "Angel Ices Gelataria", Portmeirion's
new ice cream shop, is now open for business.
in what was the Golden Dragon Bookshop (the bookshop has been
relocated to what was Cadwallader's Ice Cream Parlour building,
Arches) Angel Ices offers home-made ice cream and other items,
sit in and out facilities, and drinks.
for the ice creams themselves, they are a vastly improved and
much creamier tastier offering than previously available in the
village, and come highly recommended by The Unmutual Website.
(c) Rick Davy.
OUT POPS UP
recent years, two superb "Prisoner" CD soundtrack sets
have become available. One from Network
Distributing, which includes all the music composed for the
series, and Derek Lawton's set (available HERE)
which includes all the music used from Chappell's library used
in the series.
3 tracks which were not included in either set were the "pop
songs" used in the episode "Fall Out". The Beatles
"All You Need is Love", Carmen Miranda's "I Yi
Yi Yi I like You Very Much" and The Four Lads' "Dry
latter two tracks are included as part of a new CD, along with
the song "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" from "Do
Not Forsake Me" entitled "Pop Goes the Easel - The Start
of the Swinging Sixties", and you can order your copy from
Amazon from the link below (with 5% donated to TUW's charity event
fund at no cost to you if you use this link).
Goes The Easel: The Start Of The Swinging Sixties
thanks to Andrew Frith for this news item.
WANT FREE INFORMATION
of the most interesting sequences and props in "The Prisoner"
is that of the "information board" seen in several episodes
(most notably in the episodes "Arrival" and "Free
the 1980s, "Prisoner" research trailblazer Steven Ricks
discovered that the prop was heavily based on a real life information
centre called a "Directomat", and now thanks to Unmutual
Website reader Al Samujh, film and photographic evidence of such
a device in situ has been located!
stills shown here are from the British Transport Films documentary,
"The Sixth Rail Report - The Good Way To Travel" (1966)
and shows a working machine in Waterloo Station, placed at the
location as part of a trial of the machines. Writes Al; "
It would have been seen by anyone travelling out of town to Shepperton
around the later Danger Man period - who knows, maybe even Patrick
McGoohan. As it looks like an expensive bit of kit I wonder if
it was placed in The Prisoner as a promo?"
thanks to Al Samujh for this news item.
the 1960s at the height of Danger Man's success, Patrick McGoohan
was reportedly offered the role of James Bond, and turned it down
due to the promiscuous and violent nature of the character.
to Paul Gosling (the man behind the "Magic Number Six"
stage play) we can now see what might have happened had McGoohan
accepted the role.
see Paul's wonderfully clever video, "Mr No Kiss Kiss Bang
Bang", click HERE.
thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item.
and March 2014 saw some of the worst weather on record, with much
of the UK battered by high winds and flooding in a series of storms.
Wales was no exception with Portmeirion suffering a battering
the like of which had not been seen for many years, with high
winds and flooding both threatening the buildings and woodland.
Unmutual Website is delighted to say that structurally the village
came through unharmed, but sadly the woodland saw nearly 100 trees
lost to the high winds (with several large trees on the drive
leading to the village also felled by hurrican force gales).
Horses cottage (below) also did not escape, and was flooded by
over a metre of water, leading to new flood defences being built
on the path which runs to the lighthouse and also a complete refurbishment
of the interior of the cottage.
in the news at Portmeirion is the news that the Golden Dragon
Bookshop (underneath Neptune Suite) has now moved across the way
to what was formerly the Cadwalladers Ice Cream parlour, with
the old bookshop becoming a "Angel Ices", Portmeirion's
own manufactured and dispensed ice cream store.
additions in the village in recent months also include a new plaque
on the Hercules statue celebrating the summer of 2013. Click HERE
for more photos and information.
thanks to Al Jones and Helen Weathers for this news item. Images
(c) Al Jones and Kiki Abgral.
RETURN OF TMA
Wiseman will be a name familiar to readers of The Unmutual Website.
Not only was Jaz a key person involved in the DVD release of the
alternative version of "Arrival" during his time at
Carlton (and subsequently a guest at the Prisoner
Day 2003 event) who also worked on Umbrella's "Prisoner"
and "Danger Man" DVD releases, but for many years produced
a hugely popular ITC and Persuaders fanzine entitled "The
is therefore delighted to announce that not only is TMA now up
and running again in the form of an online in blog, but the first
10 issues of the magazine have been compiled to form a beautiful
paperback book (pictured left).
Webnsite readers can get 15% off the cover price by using the
code FWD15. Click HERE
to purchase your copy of the book, and HERE
to read Jaz's excellent ITC blog!
thanks to Jaz Wiseman for this news item.
McGOOHAN FILM TO BE SCREENED
of TUW will no doubt recall the recent research (see news item
below) by Tom Mayer into "Catch My Soul", the only feature
film to have been directed by Patrick McGoohan. Tom's fascinating
articles about the movie can be read HERE.
many years thought 'lost', a print of the movie has now been found
and more exciting still is the news that, for the first time since
the 1970s, a screening of the movie is taking place as The Riverrun
Film Festival, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA will
show the film at the ACE Theatre (left) on April 12th 2014. For
more details and to order tickets click HERE,
and click HERE
to read local news coverage of the event.
thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item.
Coliseum cinema in Porthmadog, two miles from Portmeirion, played
an important part in the production of "The Prisoner",
as it was there that the nightly "rushes" of what had
been filmed that day were screened to Patrick McGoohan and the
other members of the production crew.
the sad news from 2013 that the Save the Coliseum group (website
had appeared to fail in their quest to keep the iconic building
operating, the building is now up for sale (as a growing concern
or, more worryingly, as a redevelopment site).
sale page at the estate agents can be seen HERE,
including photos of the projection room where The Prisoner episodes
were screened all those years ago.
read a report on the Coliseum and and interview with the projectionist
who screened those rushes, click HERE,
and a report from TUW's friends over at Secret Scotland can be
thanks to John and Helen Moran for this news item. Image (c) Rick
UPON A BIKE
is indebted to Des Gorra for news that the The Clyde Walkway,
that runs along the banks of the river Clyde in Scotland and is
now part of National Cycle Route 75, has recently seen at least
2 sets of metal "sculptures" added to the paths near
to Carmyle, which as you can see from the image (left) has the
familiar Penny Farthing bicycle as it's main motif.
thanks to Des Gorra for this news item and image.
TRIBUTE VIDEO COMPLETED
of The Unmutual Website will no doubt also be fans of American
rock band "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling", who have
used the series to influence not only their name but also their
music and videos.
2011 the band's amazing shot-for-shot recreation of the series
opening title sequence (news item and video HERE)
won countless plaudits.
their last video they have again recreated one of the series'
most unforgettable scenes - this time the poisoned pint scene
from "The Girl Who Was Death". Starring
Sophia Cacciola and Michael J Epstein (the band), the video is
a sequel to the previous "Living in Harmony" video (HERE)
and sees Michael reprise his role as Number Two. The new video
can be viewed below:
was kind enough to spare some time to share more details with
TUW regarding their latest video, click HERE
to read her thoughts and see some more behind the scenes photos
from the shoot.
Unmutual Website cannot thank and praise the band enough for their
amazing efforts and would encourage all readers to visit the band's
as well as the individual links above.
thanks to Sophia Cacciola for her time. Photos (c) Copyright Dave
Green at http://www.davegreenphoto.com/
1966, "Prisoner" Art Director Jack Shampan created an
unusual fold out Christmas Card which was sent to cast and crew
of the series and signed by Patrick McGoohan. Facsimile copies
were created in the 1980s by a fan group, but originals fetch
several hundred pounds on ebay (and one such item is displayed
in The Prisoner Shop in Portmeirion).
Unmutual Website is excited to announce that an even rarer version
is now available to auction - an original 1966 card (hand altered
to 1968) signed by Jack Shampan himself! Would YOU like to own
the item, pictured left and below?
sound recordist and "Prisoner" fan Kieran McAleer met
Shampan whilst organising "Prisoner" events in the late
1980s and was presented with this one-off item at the time and
has now decided to sell it.
you're interested in bidding for this item, please send your confidential
highest bid HERE and whoever bids the
highest will win the item (and will be required to pay for it
by Paypal once their winning bid is confirmed).
after 47 years since its production, media interest in "The
Prisoner" shows no signs of abating with the news that popular
magazine "Sci Fi Now" have covered the series in an
in-depth article in their January 2014 Issue.
part of the "Timewarp" section of the magazine, the
piece runs for no less than 8 pages and sits alongside articles
concerning "Doctor Who" and the forthcoming "Star
wars Episode VII" movie.
article, penned by Krystal Sim, is well written, and profusely
illustrated with photographs, and comes highly recommended by
The Unmutual Website.
of British" magazine's January 2014 issue also covered the
series, with a two-page Portmeirion feature.
thanks to Anthony Rooney, Roger Goodman, and Dave Lally for this
the years a number of travel programmes have featured Portmeirion,
and January 2014 saw another with a new series entitled "A
Great Welsh Adventure". Presented by Griff Rhys Jones, the
ITV series sees the popular presenter travelling through Wales.
The first few minutes of the first episode featured Griff in Portmeirion,
and "The Prisoner" TV series was mentioned.
sequences were actually shot in June 2013 and The Unmutual Website
has some exclusive behind the scenes photos HERE.
(c) www.matlockart.co.uk. With thanks to Alan Smith and Paul White.
interesting posting recently on the social networking site Facebook
has led to TUW receiving a fascinating email from Mr W Maher of
the United States, who is asking for YOUR help with regards to
a very exciting "Prisoner" project.
the 1990s and 2000s Mr Maher and Patrick McGoohan himself were
in discussion regarding an exciting computer game based on the
to several factors, the project was shelved. However, is the time
now right for the project to be revived? Click HERE
to read the fascinating story of how this project nearly got off
the ground and details of how YOU could help it come to fruition.
thanks to W Maher for this news item.
UPON A SPY
Hand Productions, the team behind the well-received Magic Number
Six (review HERE) play, have announced
their next project, "The Monochrome Spy" which will
of no doubt be of interest to Prisoner fans. Not only because
Patrick McGoohan gets a namecheck in the play, but also for the
theme of the play.
Paul Gosling explains; "Our comedy-thriller is set in 1964,
when TV was often performed and transmitted live. Our hero, Guy
Boulton, star of "My Favourite Spy" realises the Russians
are somehow sending secret messages via the transmission of his
TV show and is recruited by the CIA to stop them. However, keeping
his mission a secret from his wife and co-star proves problematic."
"We are delighted to announce that Rob Leeson is returning
to work with us once again in the role of Guy Boulton. Auditions
for other parts are being held in January 2014."
Unmutual Website will of course keep readers up to date with this
project as more details are announced. In the meantime, check
out the Facebook page for the production HERE.
thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item.
Mival, who was Music Editor on "The Prisoner" TV series,
is a name well recognised by readers of The Unmutual Website,
and it is with much interest that it is announced that another
project that he worked on early in his career has finally received
a DVD release.
the early 1970s Eric, along with associate Colin Hobson, filmed
the legendary Chilean poet Pablo Neruda reciting his poetry at
The Roundhouse in London. The footage from this unique occasion,
along with newly shot interview material, has been edited to form
the DVD "Neruda in the Round", available HERE,
and comes highly recommended by TUW (and eagle-eyed viewers may
spot another member of the Prisoner crew amongst the crowd that
thanks to Eric Mival and Colin Hobson for this news item and DVD.
is rare that unseen items from The Prisoner TV series appear after
46 years since transmission, but recently ebay has seen some exceptions
in the form of original behind the scenes photos taken by onlookers
and extras in Portmeirion during the filming of the series in
of these stills are now available from the owner, James Dunn,
who has agreed to pass on a proportion of each sale to Ty Gobaith
stills, which lay dormant in a dusty draw for many years in Gwynedd,
North Wales were taken by a local girl during filming and these
have been restored for printing. A set of four 8x6 still photos
is available, with a further limited edition larger print also
available. The 8 x 10 print (left) will be sent in a Richmond
Black 12 x 10 frame with cream matting, and numbered (limited
to 500). The item comes accompanied by the three other (unframed)
a limited period, the larger prints are available at an exclusive
price £49.99 plus shipping. Please contact
TUW if you are interested in either the £12 set or the
deluxe set and we will pass your details to Mr Dunn.
a slightly larger version of the image (left) click HERE.
NOTE: These images and the sale of them are not connected in any
way to The Unmutual Website or anyone involved with the website.
TUW is merely advertising their sale, as TUW does with all independent
items and projects. TUW is delighted that Mr Dunn has agreed to
donate a percentage to Ty Gobaith Hospice.**
thanks to James Dunn for this news item.
Unmutual Website has further embraced the cyberverse recently,
with the setting up of a Twitter account. Joining forces with
the existing Facebook page (HERE),
the page will send regular updates and news to "followers".
to visit and follow The Unmutual Website's Twitter page.
recent (October 20th 2013) "Prisoner" and "Danger
Man" tours organised by Dave Lally of the London Prisoner
Group were as always a great success, with fans travelling from
all over Europe to attend.
in rainy weather over two dozen people joined the afternoon "walkabout"
which visited over 20 of the series' locations from several episodes
and the opening titles.
photo report on the event can be seen HERE,
with a brief video clip HERE,
and good news from Dave is that the twice-yearly tours will continue
into 2014 and beyond, with Sunday 6th April 2014 confirmed as
the first of next years events.
thanks to Dave Lally. Photo (c) Rick Davy
Unmutual Website is indebted to singer and musician Jane Weaver
for information regarding her new album "The Fallen by Watch
Bird" (left), which will be of interest to "Prisoner"
album, which comes highly recommended by TUW, contains a track
called "Noctilumina", which uses the 'Electro Mind'
music from the Speedlearn sequence of "The General".
album can be purchased HERE,
and individual tracks HERE,
thanks to Jane Weaver for this news item.
news has reached The Unmutual Website that Vincent Tilsley, who
wrote the episodes "The Chimes of Big Ben" and "Do
Not Forsake Me", has passed away at the age of 82.
highly regarded writer he also worked on series such as "Z
Cars" and "Dr Finlay's Casebook" and the entire
series "The Death of Adolf Hitler" before retraining
as a psychotherapist. In 2009 he published the book "Holy
than Ian Rakoff ("Living in Harmony"), Vincent was the
last surviving "Prisoner" writer and he will be sorely
missed by all who knew him. Vincent's last appearance at a "Prisoner"
event was at the 2009 Mind Mash event in London (left), where
he was interviewed by Leslie Glen.
would like to extend its sincerest sympathies to Vincent's family
thanks to Simon Wells and David Stimpson for this news item.
news from the Far East has reached TUW this week with the announcement
that the Mini Moke, which of course featured as the Village Taxis
in the series, are being re-launched!
20 years since production stopped on the original vehicle, Michael
Young has designed what is called the "Classic Moke"
for China-based Chery Motors. The new design has also been compared
to the Volteis car from France (details HERE).
for more details of the launch and HERE
for a brief history of the vehicle, with Jalopnik providing more
thanks to Des Gorra and Bob Gunton for this news item. Images
(c) Bob Gunton.
of the most highly-regarded films to have starred Patrick McGoohan
is "The Hard Way". Co-starring lee Van Cleef, McGoohan
stars as a hit man hired to do "one last job". A dark
and powerful thriller, the movie was shot at Dublin's Ardmore
Studios and on location in Ireland.
to TUW reader Carol Brady, an extensive locations guide to the
film is now online, along with a lovely review of the movie. The
guide, profusely illustrated with personal photographs, is a joy
to read and can be read HERE.
can also use the above link to order the DVD of the film, with
5% donated to TUW's charity fund at no cost to yourself.
thanks to Carol Brady for this news item.
Custom Clocks are an international business run by Nick Martin,
and the company have produced a wonderful "Prisoner"
at only £9.99 plus P&P the clocks come with warranty
and have a Portmeirion image on the reverse, which can be personalised.
has been very generous in offering 25% of all sales via The Unmutual
to be donated to our fund for Ty Gobaith Hospice (so do mention
the website when ordering).
more details, images, and ordering details click HERE.
thanks to Nick Martin for this news item.
artist Lew Stringer ("Viz", "The Dandy", "The
Beano" and others) has again referenced "The Prisoner"
on his online comics blog this month with a wonderful resume of
some of his "Prisoner" characters from years gone by
which he created for a range of publications (including the Birmingham-based
"Prisoner" fanzine "Camera Obscura").
such as Allister Sadgitt (left) and strips such as Rogue Rover
are included in the blog, which can be found HERE.
Some of Lew's other work is online HERE.
thanks to Lew Stringer for this news item.
BOOK SET FOR SPRING
Fairclough is a name synonymous with "Prisoner" and
"Danger Man" research following his several books and
magazine series on the programmes, and Robert is again delving
into the World of Espionage and themes of men in isolation with
the news that "The Callan File", his new book on the
Edward Woodward TV series, is set to hit the shelves in early
well as the underlying themes shared by both series, there are
also other similarities. Terence Feely and George Markstein worked
on both series, as did a many actors (such as Ronald Radd) and
the GEC Marconi Paternoster lifts were used as a location by both
too. As such, Fairclough's in-depth biography of George Markstein
from "The Prisoner: The Original Scripts Volume 1",
and a newly written biography of Feely, will be included in the
book. Watch this space for details of the book's launch!
thanks to Robert Fairclough for this news item.
UNMUTUAL WEBSITE serves as the world's largest online source of
information about the iconic 60’s T.V. series ‘The
Prisoner’ and ‘Danger Man’ providing information
about both series, Patrick McGoohan, the cast and crews, the village
of Portmeirion in which filming took place, and all official and
independent ‘Prisoner’ related activities, books,
events, and news. It supports Ty Gobaith, a children's hospice
in North Wales, by donating profits raised by the Unmutual Website's
online sales or events to them. http://www.hopehouse.org.uk/care/
The Unmutual Website is not a fan club, Society, or group. It
is a free online resource.
September 28th 2013 sees yet another event in conjunction with
The Unmutual Website when the members of the MGM
Borehamwood Memories Facebook Group take a walking tour of
the former site of MGM Borehamwood Studios, where The Prisoner
was filmed in 1966/67, including the former locations of the Backlot
seen in many episodes, and of course in other films and TV series.
the studio itself was demolished some time ago, several locations
seen in the series do remain and tour guides Kieran McAleer, Mike
Grant, Paul Welsh, and David Lally will be on hand to show you
where scenes were filmed. The tour starts at 1.00pm at the Toby
Carvery Travelodge, Studio Way, Borehamwood (site of the "Harmony"
town from "Living in Harmony"). The event is free to
JOY OF SIX
again played host to "Festival Number 6" in September
2013, and the event has been well received by both attendees and
reviewers (review HERE).
This year there was an increase in numbers to around 10,000 attendees,
with again the Village open only to ticket holders to view a mix
of big-name headline acts, local bands, and more intimate readings
bad weather led to some attendees leaving early, and some acts
cancelled (as several of Portmeirion's stages were temporarily
closed), but for most the weather did little to dampen a very
enjoyable and successful weekend.
of the festival included Manic Street Preachers playing their
only UK concert this year, closing with the iconic "Design
for Life" from their 4th album, and the Brythoniaid male
Voice choir (above left) who performed a mix of pop cover versions
and classics such as "Myfanwy" (video HERE).
and Video (c) Kieran McAleer, used with permission.
to The Unmutual Website will be aware (see below) that Eric Mival,
Music Editor for the original series back in 1966/67, is something
of a talented painter and that several of his paintings are for
sale at an exclusive price for Unmutual Website readers.
is delighted to announce that Eric has recently painted a very
Prisoner-related painting (left), which is called and based on
a script idea called "Ticket to Eternity".
to Eternity" was one of two storyline ideas submitted by
Eric (but not used) to producers Patrick McGoohan and David Tombin
in 1967 when crew members were asked to submit script ideas (with
Assistant Editor Ian Rakoff's Western idea accepted, later to
become "Living in Harmony"). The painting, which measures
60cm x 60cm, is a visual representation of a scene from the "episode".
painting has a reserve price of £299 (with 10% donated to
TUW's event fund in aid of Ty Gobaith Hospice). Contact
TUW with an offer!
thanks to Eric Mival for this news item and image.
recent developments have taken place in Portmeirion, the most
interesting and newsworthy of which is that the old reception
building (opposite Cliff House near to the toll booth (left))
is now home to a very useful visitor information centre.
with leaflets, books, and helpful staff the centre is open 7 days
a week during visiting hours.
(c) Rick Davy.
YOU NEED IS LAVA
of the most iconic images from "The Prisoner" TV series
is that of the Lava Lamps seen in the various cottages in The
Village, and of course enlarged on the screen in Number Two's
2013 sees the 50th anniversary of the invention of the lamps and
the installation of a gigantic 200-litre lamp at London's Royal
Festival Hall (and the launch of a limited edition model designed
by inventor Edward Craven Walker's widow, Christine Baehr.
news on the devices and their history ("The Prisoner"
is mentioned) can be found HERE.
thanks to SR, Howard Foy, Nigel Kitcher, and Catherine Frumerman
for this news item.
is delighted to report that the stage play "Magic
Number Six" completed its run at the Edinburgh Fringe
to much success and good reviews during August 2013.
and crew could be found promoting the show (left) during the run,
which writer Paul Gosling told us "went well and played to
a mixture of Prisoner fans and curious theatre-goers. It was well
was also interviewed on BBC Radio HERE
(at 1.51'.10") following his appearance at the BFI HERE.
play, which tells the story of Patrick McGoohan and Lew Grade's
relationship during the making of "The Prisoner" comes
highly regarded by TUW (review HERE)
and it is hoped that other performances in one form or another
will take place in the future.
thanks to Paul Gosling for this news item and photo.
central piazza in Portmeirion became home to an extraordinary
piece of art for a day on Wednesday 14th August 2013, when James
Napier's sculpture "The Abandoned Soldier" was placed
in the location. Created
highlight the plight of British soldiers, the metal structure
was placed in Trafalgar Square in 2012 and even became a discussion
point on BBC's "Newsnight"!
more details about James' work click HERE.
thanks to Paul White for this news item and photos.
of the best-remembered aspects of "The Prisoner" series
is the voice of the Village Announcer throughout the series, which
was provided by actress Fenella Fielding, and news has reached
The Unmutual that those wonderful vocal tones can be heard online
as part of the wonderful "'Fenella & Simon's Cult TV
Themes" radio show (left), in which many ITC TV Themes are
are also discussions and interviews throughout the show, including
coverage of course of "The Prisoner" and "Danger
Man", and the show comes highly recommended by The Unmutual
Website. You can listen to the show HERE,
and Fenella's official website can be found HERE.
thanks to Simon McKay and Leslie Glen for this news item.
announced below, August 2013 sees a season of Patrick McGoohan
films and TV episodes being screened at the NFT at BFI Southbank,
and so far the screenings have been a great success!
particular, the "Prisoner Oddities" evening was a great
success, which included never-before-screened footage of McGoohan
being interviewed in both 1984 and 1993 shown to a packed audience.
Guests were also in attendance with "Prisoner" crew
members Tony Sloman (who was interviewed on stage by Dave Lally)
and Ian L Rakoff, Paul Gosling of Magic
Number Six, Robert Fairclough, and many other notable "Prisoner"
experts and fans. In addition, Portmeirion and The Unmutual teamed
up to provide attendees with a selection of information leaflets
and flyers, and Leslie Glen was on hand at the BFI bookshop signing
copies of "The Prisoner
must go to Dick Fiddy and the BFI for providing these excellent
events and also Tim Beddows of our friends at Network
DVD for providing so much of the evening's content. The later
"Danger Man" evening was also a success.
full review will appear online after the BFI season has finished,
but in the meantime the season has been covered by Robert Fairclough's
online blog HERE,
and the programme notes from the Danger Man evening can be found
HERE. For more details of the
forthcoming screenings, and Location Tour events organised to
coincide with them, visit the event page HERE.
ALBERT, AND IAN
the production team in 1967 were asked to submit storyline ideas
for "The Prisoner", in response to a plea from Patrick
McGoohan and David Tomblin who were running short on ideas, several
thought up various ideas.
only crew member to have their idea accepted was Assistant Film
Editor Ian L Rakoff. The episode, which he found inspiration for
from old Western comics, became "Living in Harmony".
continued to work in the Film industry and also went on some years
later to write the book "Inside the Prisoner". However,
it is comics that have always remained his passion and much of
his collection is now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at 1.00pm-1.45pm Ian will be giving
a talk entitled "Comics and the American identity - A perspective
on the insidious portrayal of gender and race in comics"
at the Museum. It is free to attend.
thanks to Eric Mival and Ian Rakoff for this news item.
THREE ACTRESS DIES
is with much sadness to inform readers that Catherine Woodville
(left), who appeared in the most Prisoneresque "Danger Man"
episode "Colony Three", in which Drake is kidnapped
into a mysterious village, died of cancer on 5th June 2013 in
Portland, Oregon. She was 74.
also appeared in the first "Avengers" episode "Hot
Snow" as well as numerous other UK series such as "The
Saint", "No Hiding Place", "Z Cars" and
many more before going to America in the late 60s to even more
Unmutual would like to pass its sincere sympathies to Catherine's
friends and family.
thanks to Peter Greenhill for this news item.
MY SOUL CAUGHT
movie Rock-Opera version of William Shakespeare's "Othello"
from the early 1970s, which sank without trace shortly after it
was released with no video or DVD release at any point, may not
seem on the surface to be of interest to readers of The Unmutual
Website, until one realises that the movie, "Catch My Soul"
starring Richie Havens, was the only feature film ever to be Directed
by Patrick McGoohan.
is with great pride and pleasure that TUW announces that for the
very first time the film has been extensively researched (and,
astoundingly, located). Tom Mayer, who recently provided unrivalled
research into another McGoohan project, the TV series "Rafferty",
has produced a huge two-part article, including interviews with
those involved, and profusely illustrated with new and archive
images, is now online exclusively at TUW.
HERE to read part one of "Total
Immersion" (a link for part two is at the bottom of the piece),
a truly astounding and unique piece of work.
thanks to Tom Mayer for this news item.
13th 2013 saw another sad passing of a member of the "Prisoner
family" when Leslie Gilliat, one of the original co-producers
of the series production, died at the grand old age of 96.
(pictured left with great-niece Amanda
Eliasch) was a renowned producer, who began as a camera assistant,
and the brother of Sidney Gilliat.
for such greats as "The Blue Lagoon" and the "St
Trinians" series of films, Leslie famously did not see eye-to-eye
with Patrick McGoohan on the way "The Prisoner" was
heading when shooting began in Portmeirion in September 1966 and
did not continue his involvement after that time.
Unmutual Website offers its sincere sympathies to all who knew
thanks to Dave Lally and Leslie Glen for this news item. Photo
(c) Amanda Eliasch, used with permission.
on from a news item TUW covered several weeks ago (see below)
regarding "Prisoner" Music Editor Eric Mival selling
his paintings (his talents, as you have seen, extend beyond editing
and film-making), TUW is delighted to announce that a further
painting of Eric's is now for sale, with all serious offers considered.
original painting ("People in the Pipe" left which measures
70x48cm) has a reserve price of £299 (with 10% donated to
TUW's event fund for Ty Gobaith Hospice). Offers and enquiries
should be made by email HERE.
See above for news that Eric has painted a Prisoner-related painting,
representing an unused storyline idea that he penned for Patrick
McGoohan and David Tomblin back in 1967!
thanks to Eric Mival for this news item.
known TV personality and gardener Diarmuid Gavin was to be found
in Portmeirion on Wednesday 17th July, complete with TV crew.
were filming an 8-minute segment of "This Morning" entitled
"TV plots" (due to air in the Autumn of 2013) with Gavin
dressed as Number Six and presenting throughout.
more on-location photos click HERE.
thanks to Lee Arnall and Paul White for this news item. Photo
(c) Lee Arnall.
not often that The Unmutual Website delves into the realms of
fashion, but a few things have caught TUW readers' eyes in the
last few weeks.
it appears, has a "Prisoner" fan among it's staff as
2 items in its range of TU clothing have a familiar feel to them,
with piped blazers HERE
and Penny Farthing scarves HERE
other news, it appears that the line judges at the recent Wimbledon
Tennis Championships (left) have spent some time in The Village!
thanks to Dennis and Gwyneth Buckingham and Gareth Bevan for this
news item. Image (c) BBC News.
is amazing that after more than 45 years there are still new things
to be discovered regarding "The Prisoner", and this
week is no exception as for the first time the original location
upon which "Harmony" and other "Prisoner"
landmarks was based has been located.
"Harmony" part of the backlot of MGM studios, where
much of "The Prisoner" was filmed, also included the
Recreation Hall area seen in many episodes.
set was actually built for the film "Eye of the Devil"
to double for Château de Hautefort in the Dordogne and for
the first time, thanks to Tony McKay and the guys at Avengerland,
comparison photos of the sets are now online.
HERE to visit the MGM section of TUW's
locations guide for more information on this fascinating discovery,
or visit the Avengerland
thanks to Tony McKay for this news item.
ON THE WEB
news for fans this week is that author and Historian Robert Fairclough,
who readers will recognise as the author of "The Official
Prisoner Companion", "The Prisoner The Original Scripts",
and "The Prisoner: The Official Fact Files", and special
guest at several events in recent years (including TUW's official
events such as PM2006, left), now has
his not only a new website but also his own online blog!
website which includes a resume of all his Prisoner-related work
can be found HERE.
With a mix of reviews, previews, humour, and his thoughts on Cult
TV, books, music, and sci-fi, Rob's Blog also comes highly recommended
by TUW! Click HERE
thanks to Rob Fairclough for this news item.
more event news has reached The Unmutual, with news that London's
Prince Charles Cinema (left) has secured the rights to show "The
Prisoner" on the big screen, and have chosen to do so in
the form of a weekender where all 17 episodes will be screened
in a 3 day period.
dates of the screenings are August 24th-26th 2013. Click HERE
for ticket ordering info.
announced is a "Film and TV Theme Extravaganza" on July
9th in Islington, London. Click HERE
for more details.
thanks to Darren Stokes, Lee Arnall, and David Stimpson for this
PRISONER BOOK PUBLISHED
But Similar - The Prisoner Compared" is a new book, published
by Indepenpress, of essays relating to "The Prisoner"
and its similarities with several other Cult TV series (including
"UFO", "Children of the Stones", "The
Omega Factor", "Blakes 7" and others).
Readers of The Unmutual may recall a series of excellent articles
hosted within "The Projection Room"
by Andrew K Shenton, and this book, attractively priced at £8.99,
is made up of no less than 11 of these articles (including the
4 originally hosted at TUW).
For a full review of the book, and details on how to purchase
it, click HERE.
thanks to Andrew Shenton and Samuel Bonner for this news item.
FROM THE VILLA WINCH
cottage interior development to report this month, with the finalisation
of the conversion of from self-catering to nightly accommodation,
of Villa Winch cottage (left).
book accommodation, you need to visit the Portmeirion website,
or click HERE
to keep an eye on the special offers which are constantly available
from the hotel/cottages.
thanks to Portmeirion for this news item. Photo (c) Rick Davy
at the October 2012 Mind Mash event
in London will no doubt recall special guest Dick Fiddy from the
BFI announcing that 2013 would bear witness to the BFI's first
ever season of Patrick McGoohan screenings at the NFT, and TUW
is delighted to announce that details of these screenings have
now been released.
run includes some of McGoohan's best regarded appearances including
the TV plays "Brand", "The Man Out There",
"Best of Friends", and "Rendezvous: The Executioner".
of his bigger budget films are also included, such as "Ice
Station Zebra" and "Hell Drivers", and of course
"The Prisoner" and "Danger Man" are also represented.
coincide with these screenings TUW is also delighted to announce
that Dave Lally's London Prisoner Group will also be holding some
tour and other events throughout August, making it a truly McGoohan-filled
more details of the screenings and also the tour events, keep
an eye on the event page HERE and on
page. Tickets are on sale on July 9th at the BFI website HERE.
thanks to Dick Fiddy, Dave Lally, Roger Goodman, Jill Mills, Geoff
Dodd, Gareth Hughes,and Shirley Jacobs for this news item. Photo
(c) Roger Goodman.
UNMUTUAL. An online non-profit cyber-magazine, intended to serve as
a free news service for fans of The Prisoner TV series, its star Patrick
McGoohan, and Portmeirion in aid of Ty Gobaith Hospice. Promotion of
Prisoner merchandise provided entirely free of charge for the benefit
of Prisoner fans. Neither this website nor events run under its banner
are connected with any society, group, or fan club whatsoever, or any
other website using the name "Unmutual". No responsibility
can be taken for individuals unconnected with this website claiming
to act on its behalf.
written, and hosted by Rick Davy. Words and Images may not be reproducedwithout
prior permission, and are © Rick Davy and The Unmutual Website
unless otherwise stated. "The Unmutual" logo design, "Unmutual
News Archive" logo design, and the character "Alistair Sadgitt"
are all Copyright © Lew Stringer 2004. Not to be used without written
or emailed permission.
to the various sources for supplying the news items and everyone for
their continued help and support (you know who you are) and to Lew Stringer,
who devised and originally ran The Unmutual Website.
The Prisoner is Copyright © Granada Ventures.
last updated: 14/11/2014. Site History: Click HERE.
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