Saturday, January 31, 2015
Summer of The Prisoner
It was the summer of 1977 when the local public broadcasting station played the British series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan. My father had seen the show previously, in the late 1960s, and introduced the show to me. I then told my friends Jeff and Roman about it. I remember Jeff and I walking to the neighborhood store, frenziedly debating the identify of Number One. Roman and I heavily tapped the show's audio component, recording, cutting-up, and re-mixing the music, sounds, and dialogue of the series, as part of homemade sonic experiments. We produced a number of mixes on cassette tapes, few, if any of which have survived the years. We discussed various character actors appearing in The Prisoner, such as Angelo Muscat and Leo McKern, and the elements of different episodes: Living in Harmony, The Schizoid Man, and so on. Roman and I even adopted the farewell phrase "Be seeing you" for a time. The embedded strangeness, excitement, and momentum of the broadcast had a great influence on me.