Posts Tagged ‘show


TV Update: The Prisoner

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.” – Number Six, Patrick McGoohan, from “The Prisoner”


patrickWith these words Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) sets out to escape his confinement: The Village. Number Six was formerly a secret agent; now he was being housed in a village where people only had numbers, not names, and he was constantly being questioned as to why he retired. Each week Number Six matched wits against Number Two (a character that changed from actor to actress), who looked out for the interests of Number One. Whether it was brainwashing, an art competition, or being voted in as Mayor of the Village, Number Six could never truly escape. Adding to his problems was Rover, a giant white ball that would be released from the ocean to capture a captive, usually by suffocation.


Currently AMC is remaking the series. Jim Cavieziel plays Number Six, while Ian McKellen plays the head of the Village, Number Two. The filming is said to finish shortly, putting the series on the air sometime in 2009.


3dvd_Dangerman.epsThe original series came about because of its main benefactor, Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan was in a series called “Danger Man”/ “Secret Agent Man” from 1960-1962, then 1964-1966. In it he played John Drake, at first an agent for NATO assigned to cases in (and outside) NATO jurisdiction. During the second season he was retconned and became a British agent, working for MI9 (as opposed to MI6). Rumor has it that during a dinner party McGoohan said that he was quitting the series which prompted one guest to ask, “What does a ‘Secret Agent’ do after they retire?” In the case of “The Prisoner,” one puts in their resignation, packs up at their home, then is gassed. When they wake up their in a carbon-copy domicile, except they’re in a place called The Village, and everyone wants to know why they left.


I became a fan of “The Prisoner” while in college in the early 2000’s. The series had just been released on DVD, and from the time I watched the first episode (“Arrival”) to the last (“Fall Out”), I was impressed by the writing and acting in the series. McGoohan’s character was “Everyman”; a thinking person putting individuality over conformity. Without using guns he had to outwit his captors, who unfortunately saved their best card for last. Another interesting twist in the series was the revolving of “Number Two.” Number Two would report to the unseen Number One and if he was one-up’d by Number Six, he or she would be replaced. I count Leo McKern as my favorite of the Number Twos.


tv_prisoner1“The Prisoner” would go on to influence the spectrum of film, tv, and music. The TV show “MacGuyver,” with Richard Dean Anderson playing the titular role, was based on Number Six. Afraid of using guns, MacGuyver had to find his way out of situations, employing his pocketknife, bubble gum, duct tape, the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth, what-have-you. Heavy metal group Iron Maiden made two songs in homage to “The Prisoner”: “The Prisoner” and “Back in the Village.” There have also been numerous books, comics, and video games that directly, or indirectly, reference “The Prisoner.” An upcoming film is also slated to be directed by Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight,” “Memento”).


For more information on the “Prisoner” remake, check out AMC’s site at:


For more information on the original series, check out Six of One, the Official Prisoner Appreciation Society. They’re site is:




Be seeing you.


Scully, looks like an X-Phile: Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes (5-1)

Another fun day here at Chasfilm/ Film Guys Online Office of Television Research and Observance. In honor of the upcoming ‘X-Files’ movie, “I Want to Believe,” I present to you our


Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes


Part Three


5. “Agua Mala” (Air date: February 21, 1999 ) – X-Files “founder” Arthur Dales (Darren McGavin) calls the agents down to a trailer park in Florida where a family has disappeared. With an impending hurricane closing in, the agents become trapped in with residents and find out that something is in the water.

Trivia: Darren McGavin starred in a TV show called, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” which Chris Carter cited as an influence on “The X-Files.”


4. “Pilot” (Air date: September 10, 1993 ) – In the episode that started it all, Special Agent Dana Scully is sent to report on the findings of one Agent Fox ‘Spooky’ Mulder, a leading FBI psychologist who has taken on a “pet project” of going through the agencies “unknown cause” files, hence, the “X-Files.” They immediately fly up to Oregon to investigate the deaths of high school students, which Mulder believes is related to alien abuction.

Trivia: Scully had a boyfriend named Ethan Minette. His scenes were cut before broadcast.




3. “The Host” (Air date: September 23, 1994 ) – Assistant Director Skinner gives a “grunt work” assignment to Mulder as “punishment”: go down to Newark and investigate a body washed up in the New Jersey sewer. Mulder and Scully investigate, finding the “Flukeman.”

Trivia: The “Flukeman” was played by Darin Morgan, who would later become a writer on the show.








2. “Darkness Falls” (Air date: April 15, 1994 ) – A group of loggers disappearing in Washington State National Forest reminds Mulder of a similar case 50 years prior, and both agents go to investigate. They soon find themselves trapped in a cabin trying to ward off ancient flesh-eating insects that only come out at night.

Trivia: This episode was honored at the Environmental Media Awards.






1. “Home” (Air date: October 11, 1996 ) – A baby is found in shallow ground and the agents travel to Home, Pennsylvania to investigate and meet a sheriff named Andy Taylor (Tucker Smallwood), his deputy Barney Paster (Sebastian Spence), and a family that has been inbreeding for generations.

Trivia: This is the only episode of the “X-Files” to be banned from airplay. It would take another 5 years for FOX Network to show it again.



Scully, looks like an X-Phile: Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes (10-6)

Another fun day here at Chasfilm/ Film Guys Online Office of Television Research and Observance. In honor of the upcoming ‘X-Files’ movie, “I Want to Believe,” I present to you our


Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes


Part Two


10. “Hell Money” (Air date: March 29, 1996) – A string of Chinese immigrants are found dead, with various internal organs missing. Scully and Mulder team-up with Detective Paul Wong (Wiry Man) and find that the investigation leads to “hell money;” Chinese immigrants selling their organs for a chance at a jackpot of money.

Trivia: James Hong and Lucy Liu appear in this episode.







9. “Pusher” (Air date: February 23, 1996 ) – Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden) has the ability to manipulate minds. He finds a worthy adversary in Agent Mulder, taking him into a dangerous battle of mind over matter.

Trivia: Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters member David Grohl and his wife, Jennifer Youngblood-Grohl, can be seen in the background as Modell enters the foyer of the FBI building.







8. “Syzygy” (Air date: January 26, 1996 ) – Mulder and Scully investigate a series of deaths of high school kids, thought to be committed by a Satanic cult. When people begin changing and their internal personalities come to the forefront (Mulder drinks, Scully smokes) the agents find that the “changes” are brought about due to a rare astrological occurrence and two girls who were born at the exact same moment in time.

Trivia: The name of the episode, “Syzygy”, is an astronomical term for an alignment of three bodies of the solar system along a straight or nearly straight line.




7. “Clyde Buckman’s Final Repose” (Air date: October 13, 1995) – A killer is offing fortune tellers and it’s up to Mulder and Scully to stop him. His latest target is Clyde Bruckman (Peter Boyle) who can see how people are going to die.

Trivia: Peter Boyle won an Emmy for this episode.









6. “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” (Air date: April 12, 1996) – Author Jose Chung (Charles Nelson Reilly) is researching a book on alien abduction and enlists the help of Agent Scully, who admits to loving the author’s work. As the story progresses everyone has a different “take” on what really happened, even the “alien abductors” themselves.

Trivia: Wrestler Jesse Ventura and game show host Alex Trebek played “Men in Black.”


Tomorrow: 5-1!



Scully, looks like an X-Phile: Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes (15-11)

Another fun day here at Chasfilm/ Film Guys Online Office of Television Research and Observance. In honor of the upcoming ‘X-Files’ movie, “I Want to Believe,” I present to you our


Top Fifteen X-Files Episodes


In three parts, nonetheless. Here we go:


15. “Hollywood A.D.” (Air date: April 30, 2000) – Agents Mulder and Scully investigate a bombing at a Christ Church and Scully finds a bowl that, after being acoustically analyzed, has an unearthly sound to it. Is it the sound of Jesus’ voice or really an incantation to raise the dead? Meanwhile, Skinner is talking with a Hollywood friend. It seems that a movie is being based on the ‘X-Files’ and Scully will be played by Tea Leoni, Mulder will be played by Garry Shandling, and Skinner will be played by Richard Gere.

Trivia: David Duchovny wrote and directed this episode as a “thank you” to the cast and crew of the show.


14. “X-Cops” (Air date: February 20, 2000) – Agents Mulder and Scully are investigating a monster that feeds on fear while an episode of “COPS” is being filmed. Mulder eats up the spotlight while Scully cringes from it.

Trivia: This episode was shot by the same cameraman from the “COPS” TV series.





13. “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” (Air date: December 12, 1998 ) – Mulder convinces Scully to investigate a supposed “haunted house” on Christmas Eve where a couple (played by Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin) made a lovers suicide pact years previous. What follows is trickery by the ghosts themselves.

Trivia: The role played by Ed Asner was originally written for Bob Newhart, who turned it down.




12. “Gender Bender” (Air date: January 21, 1994) – Mulder and Scully investigate a series of murders which are identical and sexually-motivated. The killers appear to be male and female. They are led to the small town of Stevenston, Massachusetts where an Amish-like group called The Kindred whose members have the ability to change sex.

Trivia: Nicholas Lea plays a hospitalized victim in this episode. Producers and fans liked him so much that he would later return as Agent Alex Krycek.





11. “Beyond the Sea” (Air date: January 7, 1994) – Scully’s father (played by the late Don S. Davis) passes away. While Mulder interrogates prisoner Luther Boggs (Brad Dourif), Boggs displays a psychic connection to Scully’s father. Mulder is skeptical and believes Boggs is just buying time.

Trivia: This was the first episode in which Mulder was shot.


Tomorrow: 10-6!