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The Prisoner

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Prisoner: Anvil The Prisoner
TV Episode
Written by Bill Gallagher
Directed by Nick Hurran
Original U.S. air date: November 15, 2009


6 is given a new job spying on Village residents.


Read the summary of this episode at IMDB


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode







1634 (mentioned only)


554 (deceased, mentioned only)



66-16's parents (mentioned only)

315 (mentioned only)

M2 (2's wife)

59 (mentioned only) 


Didja Know?


This episode gets its title from the episode of the original series, "Hammer Into Anvil".


Didja Notice?


At 0:53 on the DVD, there appears to be a "9" painted on the water tower in the distance. Is this some connection to 6 since "9" is "6" upside-down?


909 drives a tow truck.


Apparently 6 was driving a green pick-up in the Village when he ventured into the "not wise" area.


6 asks Lucy, "Who are you? And what do you want?" Is this an intentional reference by the writers to the 1993-1998 science-fiction TV series Babylon 5? In that series the two fundamental questions of existence are expressed as "Who are you?" by the Vorlons and "What do you want?" by the Shadows.


At 7:15 on the DVD, the chalkboard on the side wall of the classroom has various pictures drawn on it in colored chalk of things that factor into the current Prisoner series in different episodes. Top row, left to right: the Village emblem, ice cream cones, a pig, the tour bus. Words written at the top of the board and partially obscured by the over-drawings may read, "Back to the Village". Bottom row, left to right: a couple of palm trees, something in the lower-left corner that might be stylized writing (Escape Resort or Escape Path?), Wonkers on a TV set, and 2's palace. A few other, harder to identify things are drawn here as well. In the bottom-right corner is what might be 909's red tow truck.


Apparently there was a past 2 now known as Lady Number 2 the Great. 


At 7:57 on the DVD, a drawing on the chalkboard is seen in a closer view and looks like a modified version of the Village emblem made to look like a hand flipping the bird (middle finger)!
Village emblem flipping the bird
Village emblem Flipping the bird


The student called 66-16 writes down that he has spied on his parents and on 315.


At 5:36 on the DVD, notice that, although he has many bottles of the red, green, and yellow pills for his wife, 2 has only one bottle of the blue pills he uses to awaken her for a short time.


At 23:03 on the DVD, the Village hospital is seen to have castle-like turrets, as the hospital on the original series did.


The night club 909 meets 11-12 at is called Go Inside.


While speaking to 6 on the putting green, 2 unloads a canvas bag and a box from his golf cart and then leaves them behind when he drives off. It must be equipment for 6's new assignment to spy on 909, but it's not stated and we don't see if 6 picks them up.


The trailer number next to 909's trailer is 59.


When the vision of people's faces passes through 6's mind at 41:11 on the DVD, each face is seen for only a split second, but one of them is the face of 909.


In 6's vision at 42:00 on the DVD, Lucy asks him why he resigned from Summakor. In the original series, Number 2 was always trying to find out why Number 6 resigned from his job at a British government agency.


What are the men looking at through the slots on the wall at the nightclub at 42:32 on the DVD? Dancers? A pornographic show? Rover?


At 42:35 on the DVD, there appears to be the lower portion of a penny-farthing visible at the top of the screen, hanging from the ceiling of the nightclub. The penny-farthing was an ubiquitous symbol of the Village in the original series.



The song that plays as 6 is being transported as a patient to the Facility is "Heroes and Villains" by the Beach Boys (1967).


Why do the people clad in orange coveralls in the tunnels have intense blue eyes? Is it the result of some kind of treatment or procedure they've undergone?


The tunnel scenes were shot at the Huguenot Tunnel, a toll road tunnel near Cape Town, South Africa.


Lucy tells 6/Michael that she used to hear the name Curtis whispered at Summakor all the time. In the original series episode "The Schizoid Man", a man named Curtis was a double of Number 6.


As Lucy writes her phone number on a glass tabletop in 6/Michael's apartment at 47:05 on the DVD, the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds can be seen on the table. Apparently 6/Michael is a fan of the group! Pet Sounds is a 1966 album by the boys.


Lucy's phone number is 555-0166. The 555 prefix is one commonly used in fiction written in the U.S. and Canada, as a block of numbers that have been reserved by the phone companies for that purpose.


When 2 confronts young 1100 about spying on him and tells her they're going to have to send her for treatment, he reassures her she can finish her ice cream cone first. But then in the next shot it seems he broke his promise, as we see the cone hit the ground and a van taking off for the Facility with the screaming girl inside.

Unanswered Questions

Why did 11-12 kill 909? Was it just an attempt to keep their relationship secret from his father, 2?

Why did 11-12 and 909 keep their relationship secret? The implication in the episode is that they had a gay romantic/sexual relationship. Is that illegal in the Village? Just frowned upon? Or just not considered proper by 2? Or was it an underage relationship? 909 was clearly middle-age, but 11-12's age is not revealed; he seems to still be in his upper teens. What is the age of consent in the Village? (At the end of the episode, 2 does say something to 11-12 about finding someone his own age.)

Memorable Dialog

who are you and what do you want?.wav
your disbelief of everything we stand for.wav
we already have our suspects.wav
it is a trap.wav
you have such a high opinion of yourself.wav
everything you say is a trap.wav
who is Number 1?.wav
there is no Number 1.wav
people who get close to you.wav
everything is suspicious if you look at it properly.wav
once you're a suspect you're guilty.wav
why did you resign?.wav
we're going to have to send you for treatment.wav
you can finish your ice cream first.wav

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