BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 07:19 GMT 08:19 UK
Village plaque for Prisoner role
Fenella Fielding at Portmeirion
Fenella Fielding making her first visit to Portmeirion
A plaque has been unveiled in Portmeirion to honour the cult television series The Prisoner, which was filmed in the village.

It is almost 40 years since the first episode was broadcast.

Actress Fenella Fielding, who provided the unseen Village Voice, unveiled the plaque on her first visit to the location.

The Prisoner is not the only programme to have used Portmeirion - Cold Feet filmed a key episode there in 2003.

In the series, Patrick McGoohan played a secret agent trapped among a brainwashed population held captive by a mysterious regime.

The prisoners were known only by numbers and McGoohan's character was famously called Number Six.

Patrick McGoohan
Patrick McGoohan starred in the 17-episode series

There were no bars or barbed wire, and massive balloons would smother anyone attempting to escape.

The series was shown in more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Ms Fielding, whose uncredited role in the show only took her an hour to complete, said she still received lots of fan mail about it.

She said the programme remained "an enigma".

"There is something about the hero's predicament that really grabs you, you've got to follow it - and I think it was that that made it so popular," she said.

After her first look at Portmeirion, she said: "It's wonderful. At the time I didn't know it existed and thought it was an invented place for the series and came to realise it's not only real, but pretty substantial and very beautiful".

Fan Roger Langley, from Six of One, The Prisoner Appreciation Society, said the show was meant to be enjoyed, not understood.

Portmeirion in north west Wales
Portmeirion was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis

"It was a television revolution and created as many fans and admirers as it did critics and lots of people didn't understand it," he said.

"I have always argued that, without Portmeirion, The Prisoner wouldn't have been the series it was - it would not have had the visual appeal, it wouldn't have had that magical impact."

Every year, around 250,000 people visit the Italianate village, which was designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and opened in 1925.

The plaque, which forms part of the North Wales Film and Television Trail, has been organised by the Wales Screen Commission.

Spokesman Richard Coombs said: "The Prisoner is an important landmark series in the history of television, not just here but across the world."

Two years ago, a dedicated guidebook was launched highlighting locations where The Prisoner was filmed in Portmeirion.

Handrail row at Portmeirion
20 Jul 04 |  North West Wales
TV villain's Portmeirion wedding
02 Jun 03 |  North West Wales
Guide book for Prisoner fans
06 May 03 |  North West Wales
Weddings bliss for TV village
31 Mar 03 |  Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific