How to Get Amazing Kicks from Something "Normal" People Will Never Understand

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Reader Comments (41)

OK, that was disturbing. I had just fired up an episode of The Prisoner, and flipped to my feed reader to while away the intro sequence. And the first thing I saw was this comic. O_O

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim McCormack

I just finished the original series this week... I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or ponder at the final episode.

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Yes! I've seen some of the original trippy. And I can't wait to see the remake :D

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

The Prisoner rules! I've seen all of them!

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Stella

Great strip - although it really did bother me that you refer to Six running for president of "the prison". I know that word would make more sense for people unfamiliar with the show, but no fan of the show would ever not refer to "the village". Plus, if anything, sudden references to a strange "village" would be even more confusing and irritating to a normal person.

But, again, I really enjoyed the strip.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Fall Out will remain the one weird episode of The Prisoner - but I love it. When that episode (essentially the finale) was broadcast for the first time in Britain,people were so incensed by its ambiguity, several hundred stormed Patrick McGoohan's house that weekend and demand he explain that episode. Gotta' luv the Brits.

Had never thought of The Prisoner for a long time. Yesterday (convoluted reasons) was calling my sister Number 6, but ended up emailing "She is not a NUMBER she is a free MAN err I mean WOMAN"

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Geordie Brown

Just had an idea. Sent a linked to this site to my brother and sisters. I told them I had persuaded Scott to develop and post the The Prisoner comic overnight following out conversations. They'll never think to read the comments :-)

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Geordie Brown

I've got the full DVD set of The Prisoner. It makes complete sense. Kinda. The one *stupid* episode was "The General", with its 1960s idea of a computer stumping question, but the whole thing was well done.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMP

Sadly, I don't think I have any interests that *aren't* like this!

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaotik4266

This reminds me of a joke a friend of mine use to play on unsuspecting members of a conversation. During the course of conversation, he would make efforts to relate the topic at hand back to made-up episodes of 'JAG'. Since no one in the history of time ever followed the show long term, people took his word for it. A few of us caught on to what he was doing and assisted in making up more ridiculous episodes to further the conversation. "Or did you see the one episode of JAG where he jumped from a helicopter to save the crying baby?" "Yea! or the one where he intercepted control of a missile from the terrorist with a TV remote?"

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I watched a good chunk of the first episode of "The Prisoner" and gave up. I just couldn't see how the show could be anything but monotonous. But that's the trouble with many first episodes, so maybe I should try again.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom Flapwell

Anyone concerned about The Prisoner (original one, not remake) being monotonous should watch the episode "The Girl Who Was Death". It's conveniently separate from the ongoing story so it won't really spoil anything, and it shows the non-monotony of the show rather well.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRavenBlack

man i love the Prisoner--and that theme song is so awesome

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergristle sauce

This to Scott I guess. Any plans for a calendar for Basic Instructions? I know you've already got October and Christmas covered + a generic holiday strip. I was asked so I'm asking, I suppose that shows there is a demand.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike Geordie Brown

Trivia: The prisoner was loosely based on a real person. One of Britain's top WWII spies went clinically insane after the war, so British intelligence set up a special asylum in an old castle, because they couldn't send him to an ordinary insane asylum, considering all the national secrets that were lurking in this guy's now dangerously unhinged mind.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMantar

The prisoner was amazing! It's like a narcotic; once you get hooked to it you just keep wanting to see more. I couldn't make any sense of Fall Out, though.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJorgen

My all-time favorite show. Anticipating the remake, but swear by the original. "Who are you?" "You are number six". My dream address is #6.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJay

I don't know what it is about this comic... but I really want to watch the Prisoner now.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertom

Best show ever - scared about the remake. The only episode I did not like was the last one.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCBS

there is a store in Seattle called "I am not a number!"

The owner's are HUGE prisoner fans!

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichael

Wow that sounded familiar.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Somewhat similar to trying to interest someone in this comic strip.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLumpy

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. Now hear the word of the Lord!

Be seeing you.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIAE


By the way, thanks for re-running "how to discuss popular music"...and of course, thanks for producing new comics so often.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJoel

I've been known to replace the "motorcycle rider's wave" with the tip of an imaginary hat.
Yes, I do call out "be seeing you" from within my helmet.

November 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Watch full episodes of Patrick Mcgoohan's awesome series "The Prisoner" @ AMC

"Who are you?"
"The new Number Two."
"Who is Number One?"
"You are Number Six."
"I am not a number — I am a free man!"

Now this:
Colourbox - Just Give 'em Whiskey:

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNotify Ground Crews

I'm not a prisoner, I'm a free man
And my blood is my own now
Don't care where the past was
I know where I'm going...out.

Liked the series too :-)

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPsihoKekec

Just finished my several month trawl through the back comics to get up-to-date. Funniest online comics available. Nothing to do with The Prisoner, I'm afraid - I've never even seen it! Does this mean I'm banned from reading these...?

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterarialblue

The last episode makes more sense if you get the original script online. Not the piece-o-crap they actually ended up making.

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

The last episode revealed that #6 really was #1; we are all "prisoners" of our own minds. This was reinforced when he finally got back to his apartment and the door closed automatically just like it did in the village. Then, in the closing shot, as PM's face zoomed toward the camera, the cell doors slammed shut across it and "PRISONER" was superimposed. Couldn't have been more obvious if they'd hit you over the head with it, IMHO. Great series! Looking forward to the remake. But...why did I have to hear about it in a comic strip??

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterI am Tubby, yes.

Ok here are the main problems with the series:
if he resigned why are they asking him why he did it, wouldn't he had to tell them in, oh I don't know, in the resignation letter?
It is hinted strongly that he is number 1.
Why does it seem much more likely that it is a nato project and not a soviet one?
Why does it seem like it was a moral issue that he quit over?

According to the original last episode script:
number 6, when he was a spy in the other series, wrote a proposal up once on a retirement home for people who know too much. It was supposed to be a nice place. However, he heard that it was becoming a prison. So, he wrote a resignation letter with an obvious fake reason for retiring. That way he would get sent to the island to see how his idea had been perverted and put a stop to it. This is the reason why he is number 1 since he did design the place.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

This was a great send-up of the series, Scott. Thanks. I remember seeing The Prisoner as a kid and then explaining it to my Dad, who kind of liked science fiction.

So, now... we need to see what you can do with other classics like The Avengers, Get Smart, The Man from UNCLE, Mission: Impossible... And then, some of the more campy shows like Lost in Space. And then there are all the detective shows...

Thanks for adding perspective to some really interesting shows.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCMatthews

Come and visit Portmerion in North Wales where the series was filmed. It's still pristine and enjoyable just for what it is. I love the insanity of the Prisoner.

November 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDizzley

I saw The Prisoner when I was a teenager, and *LOVED* it. I was glued to the set. One day my father came into the room, watched it for a couple of minutes, and said, "This is weird." "Yeah!" I replied with a wide, manic grin. He stared at me thoughtfully for a few moments, no doubt weighing the pros and cons of a military academy, then shook his head and left the room.

December 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNumber Six

The second panel applies equally to "Lost."

April 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLalee

"Or did you see the one episode of JAG where he jumped from a helicopter to save the crying baby?" "Yea! or the one where he intercepted control of a missile from the terrorist with a TV remote?"

What you neglect to say is that these things both happened in the *same* episode!

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterme

""With a bit of luck, it'll ruin his life - forever thinking that just behind some narrow door in all his favorite bars, men in red Pendleton shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he'll never know".

Please tell me that this was the quote that inspired this comic!!

Note from Scott: You are correct sir!

February 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVasu

The Prisoner is one of the greatest shows of all time.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe

The Prisoner was amazing. And by 'The Prisoner', I specifically refer to the original 196x show.

I saw that there was a remake being made, and thought, "Eh. What the heck — I'll watch 'em both, starting with the original."

…The remake of The Prisoner was to the 196x version as the 2009 'Star Trek' movie was to the original Star Trek TV series: utter. Rubbish. But some people probably liked it better than the original, I'm sure.

Needless to say, one of my personal favorite The Prisoner episodes was the one where Number 6 drove the new Number 2 to madness by deliberately acting extremely suspicious. :D "The Hammer and the Anvil", I think the episode was titled.

Also, this is my first time commenting on these comics — I think — and I just have to say that I think I've become a big fan of Basic Instructions. All the strips are awesome; I'm currently in the middle of doing an archive trawl, and loving every minute of it.

January 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKizul
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