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You read about “Number 6” appearing at ComicCon and you think “Oooh! Patrick McGoohan!” Not Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica (Oh yeah, that Number 6).

But seriously, The Prisoner (starring McGoohan) is without a doubt one of the more under appreciated TV series of all time. Especially for game developers, considering the series is a hallmark of episodic narrative. To this day, fans of the show debate the chronological order of the episodes.

The episodes have an uncanny method of delivering information that in the context of viewing next episode takes on a whole new light. If you think Lost has at any point had good writing, they are (along with a few other very serial TV shows of recent memory) quite clearly inspired by the The Prisoner (Buffy includes pretty direct references in season 4 for instance).

Ok, episodic narrative is kewl, sure. But the 17 episode series is also about something – the key theme is the conflict over the needs of the individual vs. the needs of society (most clear in the the season finale). One of the more philosophical TV series I’ve seen, to be sure.

Check it out.

(There was also a text adventure loosely based on the TV series – if anybody knows where I might be able to find a playbale version of it, let me know).