There’s a new meme rounding Facebook, wherein people post one TV a show, for ten days, that influenced their life.
I like it, so I thought I’d post it here, as well. For each of the next ten days, I’ll post an image from an iconic television show, and talk about why it is so central to my life, and why it has influenced me.
Let’s start Day One with the obvious choice.
The Prisoner is The One. The show that encapsulates everything I want to achieve artistically, and everything I have railed against in my personal and professional lives. It is a refined mixture of everything I want my writing to be, to contain, and to inspire. It is, to my mind, the most groundbreaking, *brilliant* show ever produced. It is my literary Godhead. Using the backdrop of a secret agent show, and utilising an array of science fictional and technological tropes to deliver its narrative, The Prisoner delves into questions of psychology, humanity, individualism and identity in a way no show did before, or has attempted since.
There are no answers, no hero, no hope of redemption. Everybody is an antagonist. Everybody works to their own agenda. No character can be trusted. neither can any viewpoint, or narrative. Forget the concept of a flawed narrator: this is a show filtered through a flawed universal viewpoint: built not so much on sand as quicksand.
The Prisoner’s construction, themes, and outright determination to dive down its own rabbit hole with no thought for audience, commercial potential, or external influence in the pursuit of its own narrative purity, has affected every pursuit I’ve undertaken, often to my detriment. But at nearly 48 years of age, broken but unbowed, with Patrick McGoohan’s mantra tattooed on my skin as a reminder of the value of my own individuality, I remain a disciple.
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, de-briefed, or numbered. My life is my own.