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The Prisoner

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Prisoner: I Met a Man Today The Prisoner
"I Met a Man Today"
Audio Drama
Written by Nicholas Briggs
Directed by Nicholas Briggs
August 2017


Number 6 struggles to believe whether he's actually escaped the Village when he manages to flee back to England on a homemade raft.


Notes from the Prisoner chronology


This episode suggests that Number 6 has been in the Village for a little over a year. It seems to take place in mid-March since Number 6's birthday of March 19 is part of the timeline (though it's hard to say for sure if the dates used here are true with all the manipulation and deception used by the Village's powers-that-be Number 6 is forced to deal with).


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Number 6

Kate Butterworth



Bob (owner of the Lord Buckingham, mentioned only, deceased)

Mrs. Grahley (fictitious character proposed by Kate Butterworth for a novel)

Mr. Butterworth (mentioned only, alleged deceased)





Didja Know?


The Big Finish version of The Prisoner is an audio drama reimagining of the classic 1967 TV series of the same name.


The series can occasionally be heard on the BBC Radio website.


This episode gets most of its story from original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns". 




Didja Notice?


The character of Kate Butterworth who now lives in the house in London formerly owned by Number 6 is based on the Mrs. Butterworth character who appeared in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns". In that episode, her first name was never revealed.


Butterworth's maid here is named Brenda; in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns", the maid's name was Martha.


Number 6 refers to his former automobile as KAR-120C. This was the license plate of his Lotus Seven in the original TV series.


Number 6 tells Brenda the engine number of KAR-120C is 461043TZ. This same number is used in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns".


There is a pub near Number 6's former house called the Lord Buckingham. As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious pub in London.


When Butterworth offers to buy him a drink at the Lord Buckingham, Number 6 orders a large whiskey. He also accepts a cigarette from her.


Kate Butterworth is a novelist. In the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns", there is no such identification of her occupation.


In one of her tape recordings, Butterworth describes the character of Mrs. Grahley in her new novel as feeling as if her allegedly dead husband has returned in the body of a robin. This harkens back to the Seltzman device which allows a mind-swap between bodies in the original TV series episode "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" and which was hinted at in our current audio series in "Departure and Arrival". The Seltzman process will be seen more fully in "The Seltzman Connection".


The estate agents who sold Number 6's house to Butterworth were Stumbell and Croydon. These are the same agents mentioned in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns".


Number 6 tells Butterworth his name is Peter Smith. She seems to realize immediately that it is likely a false name. He used the same name in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns".


The barmaid from the Lord Buckingham suggests that Butterworth may be falling for the stranger (Number 6) because he reminds her of her dead husband.


Number 6 pays a visit with Control and Danvers. They previously appeared in "Departure and Arrival" and, as holograms, in "The Chimes of Big Ben".


Danvers tells Control that Markstein has contacted him that ZM-73 is back and wants to see him. The name Markstein comes from George Markstein, script editor for most of the episodes of the original TV series; he played the bureaucrat ZM-73 handed his resignation to in the original episodes "Arrival" and "Many Happy Returns".


When Danvers tells Control about the return of ZM-73, he says, "...make a note that this is a code orange situation and set security accordingly." "Code orange" is also the term used when a prisoner tries to escape the Village and Rover is sent after them. This may suggest that Control is a collaborator in the workings of the Village.


The interrogator Number 6 faces, Thorpe, is named for the character who appeared in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns", less of an interrogator, more of a superior to ZM-73 at his former government organization.


The story of his journey on the raft and return to England that Number 6 tells to Thorpe is very to close to what was seen in the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns".


Mrs. Butterworth states that her "late" husband had a lowly position in Whitehall. Whitehall is a road in Westminster, central London, where the seat of the UK government is located.


Number 6 wonders if his current circumstances are another fake reality "like it was before". He is referring to the events of "The Chimes of Big Ben", where he had seemingly escaped to London just as he has here, but it turned out to be a holographic simulation.


When Control seems to start somewhat believing Number 6's tale of the Village and his escape from it, 6 demands to be taken to Westminster Bridge. Westminster Bridge is the bridge across the River Thames leading to the governmental House of Commons and Big Ben.


The music that plays after Number 6 demands to be taken to Westminster Bridge seems to be from "The House of the Rising Sun", a folk song most popularly known from the version recorded by the British rock group The Animals in 1964.


Number 6 sees the date on the calendar in Butterworth's study and remarks to her that tomorrow is his birthday. This would make the current date March 18, as his birthday was stated to be March 19 in "Departure and Arrival".


Thorpe acts as the pilot of the plane as he and Number 6 search for an island where the Village is located off the coast of Morocco. He uses call sign 55DT6 when radioing back to the tower. In the original TV series episode "Many Happy Returns", the pilot was not Thorpe, but another man entirely.


When Control and Danvers radio out to Thorpe and Number 6 in their plane, Danvers uses the call sign CHQ. Presumably, this stands for Control Headquarters.


After Number 6's abrupt return to the Village, the episode ends with the new Number 2 (seemingly Mrs. Butterworth) bringing Number 6 a birthday cake and saying, "Many happy returns," just as the original "Many Happy Returns" episode did.


The next episode, "Project Six", takes place immediately after this one.

Memorable Dialog

I met a man today.mp3
I could do with a drink.mp3
a long time.mp3
he reminds you of your dead husband.mp3
what is the Village?.mp3
somewhere called the Village.mp3
tell us about the Village.mp3
a woman in charge.mp3
many happy returns.mp3

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