The Prisoner (1967–1968): Season 1, Episode 7 - The Prisoner - full transcript

Number Six comes across a body that has washed ashore with a radio. After sending the body back out to sea, he tries to use the radio to get rescued. A former colleague finds him, but the man is resigned to his own destruction. Later, Number Six calls his ex-colleague to be his character witness during a mock trial conducted by the villagers, who are in the middle of a carnival and wearing various costumes. The man comes out in a jester's outfit; but Number Two, dressed as Peter Pan, will have the last evil laugh.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -

(Six) Where am I?

(Two) In the village.

(Six) What do you want?

(Two) Information.

(Six) Whose side are you on?

(Two) That would be telling.

(Two) We want information...

(Two) Information...

(Six) You won't get it.

(Two) By hook or by crook...
...we will.

(Six) Who are you?

(Two) The new Number Two.

(Six) Who is Number One?

(Two) You are Number Six.

(Six) I am not a number.
I am a free man!

(Number Two laughs)

You should do this in the hospital.

- I know what I'm doing.
- What about Number Two?

If we wait for orders
we'll never get results.

I hope you DO know
what you're doing.

Don't worry, he'll be all right.

If Number Six is harmed...

He'll talk before that happens.

I knew it would work.

(Phone bleeps)

The Committee want a breakdown
on all we know -

you, me, Arthur,
the colonel, everybody.

Suspected security leak, apparently.

All the files you've seen,
the projects you know about.

Just headings, not details.

This phone is scrambled,
and I've got a recorder.

You can tell me now.


You must not... ask me... that...

It's the Committee that's asking.

Who's that?

Who... Who is that?


It's Dutton. Hello, are you there?

It's Dutton. Hello, are you there?

- Stop! You'll damage the brain...
- Stop. Get him back to the hospital.

Number Six was about to talk.

He'd have died first.

You can't force this man.
He's different.

I can make him talk.
Every man has his breaking point.

I don't want him broken -
he must be WON over.

It may seem a long process,
but this man has a future with us.

There are other ways...

(Light orchestral music)

(PA) Good morning! It's another
lovely day, so rise and shine!

Life's for living!

- How did I sleep?
- Sound as a bell. Have a nice day.

Feel free...



He'll be no trouble.
Give him time.

Tomorrow night - we're preparing
for it now.

I wish you could come.

- Good morning!
- What, time travel as well?

A woman always likes
to wear a new dress.

How do I look?

Different from the others.
The maids come and they go.

- We'll get along.
- I'm sure you get on with everybody.

- I should report you.
- I'm new here.

Special delivery.
Sign your number here, Number Six.

(Brass band plays)

I see you've made a friend.

You've got your invitation
to the carnival tomorrow.

Each year, there's a fancy dress,
and a ball in the evening.

We're promised a cabaret this year.
You'll come?

- I have a choice?
- You do as you want.

- If it's what you want.
- If it is what the majority wants.

We're democratic... In some ways.

Good morning, my dears.

Always play to win -
not very English, I know...

Are you - English?

Find a young lady for carnival -
you're too independent.

- They're pretty and unattached.
- What about her?

Quite unsuitable.

I'm independent, don't forget.

- Don't go.
- I must.

There's a reason.

- Reason?
- Number Two wants you to go.

Or does she?
Am I playing her game, or yours?

Not mine.

Don't mind me. Go if you like.

How long have you been here?

Questions are a burden,
answers a prison.

Why were you brought here?

- Questions are a burden...
- ...and answers a prison.

I must go.

(Elastic twang)

Are you all right?
You tried to go in! By mistake?

It's fussy about who it lets in -
this is the Town Hall.

- He tried to follow you.
- It's hardly my fault.

Funny, your being his observer.

Remember, keep a sharp watch.

(Cat meows)

You've turned up again,
have you, hmm?

(Woman) Have a good walk?

Where did you find it?

It found me.

You're not allowed animals -
it's a rule.

Rules to which I am not subject.

- I'll take it with me.
- You might get scratched...

Where does it come from?
How does it get here?

The milk? The ice cream?

The potatoes and the aspirins!
At night, when everyone's asleep?

I've never seen a night.
I just sleep.

(Crackle of electricity)

- Supposing I don't want flowers?
- Everybody has flowers for carnival.

Be seeing you!

Drink it while it's hot.
It's good for you.

- Good for someone.
- Be seeing you.

And you.

- You're late.
- There's a lot to do.

- Are you going in?
- To make my report.

- About me and Number Six?
- No.

We'll simply put that down
to enthusiasm.

Oh, could you get me a directive
about Dutton? He's being difficult.

(PA) Sleep...


That's it.

Sleep softly until tomorrow.

Lovely, gentle sleep.

And a lovely tomorrow.

(Phone bleeps)

Has he? Don't worry,
it'll test our efficiency.

He'll eventually go back to his room.

It's the only place he can ever go.

(Radio hisses)

(Cries out)

A proclamation!

All citizens take note that
carnival is decreed for tonight.

Turn back the clock!

There will be music, dancing,
happiness. All at the carnival.

By order.


(Brass band plays carnival music)

- You didn't sleep here last night.
- Where's the fancy costume?

They've given me a new dress -
something special tonight.

- And the cat?
- Gone. I didn't make it.

Everyone's, er... having
a good time outside.

- Wait until tonight!
- We're allowed out late?

Anyone'd think you
were locked in!

- Oh, your costume came.
- Yes... Don't I get a choice?

Other people choose - it's a game!

- I expected something exotic.
- What is it?

My own suit - specially delivered
for the occasion.

- What does that mean?
- That I'm still... myself.

Lucky you!

- What shall we do with him?
- Don't be so eager, Doctor.

Your techniques can be harmful.

- Number Six will be of great value.
- He can't do as he likes!

He's an individual,
and they're always trying.

His observer will ring me as soon as
he puts a bomb in your hospital.

Oh, how's progress with Dutton?

He's given me information,
but he won't go any further.

I'll have to be more... extreme.

I'll win in the end - I always do.

Rather a small fish, you know.

But it's a chance to experiment.

After all, HE is expendable.

(Indistinct radio message)

(Radio) Nowhere has more
beauty than here.

Tonight, the whole world
will turn to silver.

Do you understand?
It is important that you do.

I have a message for you - listen.

The appointment cannot be made -
other things must be done tonight.

If our torment is to end,
if liberty is to be restored,

we must grasp the nettle,
even though it makes our hand bleed.

Only through pain
can tomorrow be assured.

You were right,
I'm too old for these stairs.

Where did you get it?
Does it work?

That practice dictation
was at sixty words a minute.

(Radio off)
Hardly useful.

The view's lovely from here.

- I thought you were beginning to...
- Give in?

- Be happy. All you want is here.
- It's elsewhere.

Don't force me to take steps.
We indulge anyone - for a time...

- I know, I've seen the hospital.
- You've seen only a fraction.

- And her?
- One of our best observers.

- We have one each?
- Only our more fractious children.

Shall we go down?

Suit yourself.

- You're not thinking of jumping?
- Never.


- I have my duty.
- To whom?

To everyone. It's the rules.

- Of the people, for the people.
- It takes on a new meaning.

- You're wicked.
- Wicked?

- You have no values.
- Different values.

- You won't be helped.
- Destroyed.

- You want to spoil things.
- I won't be a goldfish in a bowl.

I must go.

- I may see you later?
- Can you avoid it?

- I hope it's all right, the radio.
- What would you do?

- Ask for instructions.
- Number One?

- NO! ! !
- Tell me.

It's all I know.
That's all there is to know.

- In the place where you work?
- Don't keep asking me questions!

To whoever may find this...

Number Two,
I can't find Number Six.

- (Two) That's no way to report.
- I've tried.

Don't worry, he'll turn up.
It's only a matter of time.

He's very undisciplined.

- Shall I watch Number 34 instead?
- No, he's dead.

- Dead? When?
- It's none of our business.

- I got to know him quite well.
- He didn't know you.


You of all people.
I'd never have believed it.

Roland... Walter... Dutton.

Who was he?

His body was washed up
on the shore.

How long have you been here?

- You don't know?
- Would I ask?

It's difficult to say.

A couple of months...

- And you?
- Quite recently.

How is London?

- About the same.
- Yes.

Places don't change.

Only people.

Some people.

- I want to talk about it, anyway.
- Let's go inside.

I told them.

- What?
- Everything I know.

They don't believe me.

You know I never had
access to the vital stuff.


At the hospital, when they see I'm
telling the truth, it'll be too late.


They've released me for 72 hours.

So that I can "reconsider the
peaceful atmosphere of The Village".

- There's still hope.
- No, my friend. Not for me.

Such noble thoughts are long dead.

Soon, Roland Walter Dutton
will cease to exist.

You're waiting for someone,
Mr Tuxedo?

- Or expecting someone?
- Mr Peter Pan?

- So it seems.
- With his shadow.

You're being hostile again.
What were you looking at?

- A light.
- A star?

- A boat.
- An insect.

- A plane.
- A flying fish.

Somebody who belongs to my world.

This is your world.

I am your world.

If you live a dream,
you may be taken for mad.

- I like my dream.
- Then you are mad.

- Now go to the Town Hall.
- May I(?)

You may enter tonight -

it's carnival.

What, no dancing?

Tonight's for dancing!

Amongst other things...

(Quiet chatter)

Music! Come along,
you've practised long enough.

Dance, be happy - it's carnival!

- I rarely drink.
- Enjoy it.

Self-denial's a great sweetener
of pleasure.

Warmer than we think.

- To carnival.
- Your rules allow no opposition.

An irritation we've dispensed with.
Democracy's so inefficient.

This a '53?

Yes. Then we degenerate
to the '55 and the '57,

and if people really misbehave,
to an extraordinary '58.

- Why haven't I a costume?
- Perhaps you don't exist.

Quite enchanting!

- Little Bo-Peep.
- Who knows where to find her sheep.

Cheer him up - it's a special night.

We hope so. Dance.

Wine, Doctor?

Drink is too levelling. How is he?

- Rebellious, but it will pass.
- Without treatment?

- We don't want to spoil him.
- Unless we must.

This is my first carnival...
and last.

Don't be silly!

- Who said that, you or the computer?
- Me!

- Don't stop, dance!
- Don't behave like a human being(!)

You are confused, but not for long.
There are treatments.

I'm terribly sorry.

She, er, she must get instructions.

Who do they come from?
Is he here tonight?

There's no need to know -
this place has been here for years.

Since the war? Before the war?


A long time.

(Music stops)

Have you seen Number Two?

- She's not at the party?
- I'll be seeing her.

She must see this termination order.

I'll give it to her?

I'm obliged.
Don't forget, it's urgent.

Oh, right away.

(Doors whirr)

You make the most of your chances -
we do the same.

Ah, she's taken to you - I'm jealous.

Oh, she's mine. She works here, too.
She's very efficient.

Almost ruthless.

Never trust a woman -
even the four-legged variety.

You can trust everyone.

And will, in time.

- Let's go back - the cabaret's on.
- In his pocket...

The wallet? Still there.

Amended slightly -
we'll amend him slightly.

It's you who's died
in an accident at sea.

- So, to the outside world...
- Which you only dream about.

I'll be dead.

A small confirmation of a known fact.

Don't blame me -
it's simply "waste not, want not".

- I thought there was a cabaret.
- There is... YOU are it.

In the matter of the people
versus this person,

the court is now in session.
- What is my crime?

We'll come to that.

I should explain
our legal system is unusual.

- No jury.
- Three judges decide.

- As in the French Revolution...?
- They got through the deadwood.

I'm appointed to defend you,
this lady to prosecute.

The judges have been chosen.

(Number Two) Proceed.

You are charged
with having on your person

and using unlawfully, against
the interest of the community,

an object, the possession
and use of which breaks our rules.

A radio set!

- Don't you ask how I plead?
- Proceed, prosecutor.

From somewhere -
he has not yet been interrogated -

the accused acquired a radio.

- How do you know he had it?
- I am his observer.

She's biased,
and shouldn't be here.

I saw him with it in his room
and on a bell tower.

- Did anyone else see it?
- The... defender was with me.

I saw him with it in his room.

Thank you, Your Majesty.

- He was listening to a programme.
- (Doctor) What programme?

I don't know - one shouldn't listen.

Quite right.

Did you listen, madam?

How can she be
a prosecution witness?

No, my lord, but it did work.

It is our duty to care for others
and to see that rules are obeyed.

Without them,
we should have anarchy.

- Hear, hear.
- You do yourself no good, prisoner.

There's no radio
he could have borrowed -

so he made a positive effort
against the community.

A malicious breaking of the rules.

The court's duty... is to pass
the severest possible sentence.

You wish to question the prosecutor?

We shall hear the defender.

I would beg the court to remember,

beneath its panoply of splendour,
the awful majesty of the rules,

beat human hearts.

This is a human being,

with weaknesses
and failings of his kind.

That he had a radio and
has broken rules cannot be denied.

Has anyone ever seen these rules?

I plead your lordships for clemency.

He is guilty of folly, no more.

We can treat folly with kindness,

then his wild spirit will quieten,

and he will become a model citizen.

That day you will never see.

You will be silent -
this is a serious matter.

Very serious.

Both officers have presented their
pleas with creditable simplicity.

We will now consider.

- I want to call a witness.
- Witness?

We are the only possible witnesses.

He has his rights.
What manner of witness?

A character witness.
I want the court to call

Roland Walter Dutton!

No names are used here.

He's a man I think I knew -
a man who is scheduled to die,

and therefore better fitted than I
to say what needs to be said.

A character witness?

(Number Two) The court
will resume its deliberations.

It is decided.

We find the prisoner guilty
of breach of the rules,

which his folly and inexperience
cannot excuse.

We pass sentence
in accordance with the rules.

No, stop it!

It's the rules, my dear.

The sentence... is death.

We sentence on behalf of the people.
The people carry it out.


(Man) Over there!

It's a one-way mirror.
They can't see you.

They never have seen in here,
and never will.

They lack your initiative.

Deal with them.

Why are they doing this?

They don't know you're dead,

locked up in the long box
in that little room.

She's no longer your observer -

we have no place for observers of life.

You'll never win.

Then how very uncomfortable
for you, old chap.