The Zeitgeist Tapes: The Prisoner

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner - Free For All (ITV, 1967).

I’m on the latest edition of The Zeitgeist Tapes – a podcast hosted by Emma Burnell and Steve Fielding looking at where politics and pop culture collide – talking about Free For All, the election-themed episode of Patrick McGoohan’s hallucinogenic Cold War nightmare The Prisoner from 1967. It may take a look at electioneering, personal liberty and the role of the press from a more innocent time and perspective – well, relatively – but as we find out, it still has plenty of relevance for the modern world; especially right now. There’s also further discussion about what aspects of The Prisoner do and don’t make sense, why in some senses it was really just another television series, whether it actually has a definable political slant, and just how nightmarish those opening titles really are.

You can download The Zeitgeist Tapes: The Prisoner here or listen below.

About The Zeitgeist Tapes

The Zeitgeist Tapes is a podcast looking at where politics and pop culture collide. You can subscribe to The Zeitgeist Tapes here or follow the show on Twitter at @ZTPodcast.

Buy A Book!

You can find plenty more of my thoughts on sixties television and many of the sometimes almost equally weird contemporaries of The Prisoner in my book Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.

Further Listening

You can find further appearances I made on The Zeitgeist Tapes talking about politics and Doctor Who in the light of Jodie Whittaker’s casting here and the Clangers Election Special here.

Emma has also been a guest on my nostalgia podcast Looks Unfamiliar, talking about Whose Side Are You On?Sweet Valley High, Scoubidou, The Patchwork MonkeySplit Second and the Ever Ready ‘Power To The People’ advert) here; The Royal Potwasher, Melody Radio, Channel 4’s Accidental Death Of An AnarchistA Woman In Your Own RightThe Lords Of Midnight and Herman’s Head here; the stage version of When Harry Met Sally here and the Christmas Specials of The West Wing here.

Emma has also appeared on my Marvel Cinematic Universe podcast It’s Good, Except It Sucks talking about Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, which you can find here.

Further Reading

You can find my thoughts on Fall Out, the famously abstract final episode of The Prisoner in Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea…, a look at some of my favourite endings of all time, here.

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner - Free For All (ITV, 1967).

© Tim Worthington.
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