Commentary: Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

September 18, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Source: Commentary: Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village

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One Response to “Commentary: Freedom Is a Myth: We Are All Prisoners of the Police State’s Panopticon Village”
  1. SARTRENo Gravatar says:

    The Prisoner has a number of clear antecedents in the realm of the dystopian fantasy. The Village corresponds to the worlds of Kafka’s The Castle, Huxley’s Brave New World or – perhaps most obviously – Orwell’s 1984. Yet in many ways, its overall vision is more universal and certainly more contemporary, than any of those works. Whilst the worlds of Kafka, Huxley, and Orwell are obviously brutalized in psychological, biological and political ways, The Prisoner – while containing all of these elements itself – sets its brutality behind a cheerful Village facade of pleasantry and superficiality which resembles closely the tone of modern advertising and TV culture. – Chris Gregory

    Patrick McGoohan plays a man who resigns from a top secret position and is abducted from his London home. He finds himself in a beautiful village where everything is bright and cheerful – the people, their clothes, the buildings, the flowers. But despite this rosy exterior, the village serves a sinister purpose. People are forcibly brought there in order to have their valuable knowledge protected or extracted. Everyone in the Village is assigned a number instead of a name – the Prisoner is Number Six. Chief interrogator and administrator are Number Two, but he isn’t the boss – an unseen Number One is the boss.

    Failure is not tolerated in the Village, and most episodes feature a new Number Two, though some are privileged to return for a second chance to break Number Six and discover why he resigned.

    The Prisoner struggles to keep this information from his captors and to find out which side runs the Village and where it is. He strives to discover the identity of Number One, and above all, he attempts to escape.

    http://batr.org/flicks.html

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