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Who's Who in The Prisoner

By Jeff Stone (with additional input from Jon Preddle)

In the tradition of the Who's Who in Blake's 7 articles in TSV 19-21, this article lists those people who've been in both Doctor Who and Patrick McGoohan's unique and surreal 1960s television series The Prisoner. Of the four major actors in The Prisoner only one, Angelo Muscat, who played Number 2's butler, appeared alongside our favourite Time Lord - as a Chumbley in the William Hartnell tale Galaxy 4. Neither Leo McKern (Number 2), Peter Stanwick (Supervisor), or Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner himself) have been in Doctor Who, but here is an list of the men and women who have. The stories are given in their 'official' chronological viewing order as proposed by Six Of One, the official Prisoner Fan Club.

1. Arrival

The perpetually depressed-looking George Baker (the new Number 2) played Decider Login in Full Circle, while the delightful Christopher Benjamin (Labour Exchange Manager) played two roles in Doctor Who - Sir Keith Gold (Inferno) and Henry Gordon Jago (The Talons of Weng-Chiang). David Garfield (Hospital Attendant) was Von Weich in The War Games, and Neeva in The Face of Evil. Finally, Patsy Smart, the old lady 'Ghoul' in the afore-mentioned Talons appeared as a waitress.

2. Free for All

Kenneth Benda (Supervisor) was the Minister in The Claws of Axos, and stunt man Alf Joint (Second Mechanic) has played several non-speaking roles in Doctor Who.

3. Dance of the Dead

Yet another Number 2, Mary Morris, was Panna in Kinda. Alan White (Dutton) played Shultz in The Tenth Planet, and Patsy Smart reprised her role as a servant and is credited as the Night Maid. (Of interest, the Day Maid is played by Denise Buckley, who was the first actress hired to play companion Victoria Waterfield, but who was replaced by Deborah Watling shortly before filming began on The Evil of the Daleks.)

4. Checkmate

Peter Wyngarde (Number 2) did his best to impersonate Peter O'Toole as Timanov in Planet of Fire; while George Coulouris (Man With the Stick) was Arbitan in The Keys of Marinus.

5. The Chimes of Big Ben

One of my favourite actors, Kevin Stoney (Colonel J) appeared in three Whos: Mavic Chen (The Daleks' Master Plan), Tobias Vaughan (The Invasion) and Tyrum (Revenge of the Cybermen). Christopher Benjamin makes his second of three appearances in The Prisoner, as Number 2's assistant, and John Maxim (Second Judge) appeared as Frankenstein's monster in The Chase.

6. A B & C

Colin Gordon (Number 2) played the long-suffering Airport Commandante in The Faceless Ones.

7. The General

Colin Gordon returned as Number 2. Peter Howell (the Professor) played the Investigator in The Mutants, while Keith Pyott (Waiter) was the majestic Autloc in The Aztecs. Norman Mitchell (Top Hat Mechanic!?) was a policeman in The Daleks' Master Plan. Michael Miller (Man in Buggy) was Wulnoth in The Time Meddler. The stock sound effect used for the main computer is also that used for WOTAN in The War Machines.

8. The Schizoid Man

Earl Cameron (Supervisor) played Williams in The Tenth Planet, and David Nettheim (Doctor) portrayed the harried Fedorin in The Enemy of the World.

9. Many Happy Returns

Dennis Chinnery (Gunther) made a hat trick of Who roles - as Richardson in The Chase, Gharman in Genesis of the Daleks, and Professor Sylvest in The Twin Dilemma. Jon Laurimore (Ernst) was excellent as Count Federico in The Masque of Mandragora.

10. It's Your Funeral

Three actors who were in Marco Polo appear in this Prisoner episode: Mark Eden (Number 100) was Polo, Martin Miller (Watchmaker) was Kublai Khan, and Derren Nesbitt (The New Number 2) was the Delgadoesque warlord Tegana. UFO action girl Wanda Ventham (Computer Assistant) played Jean Rock in The Faceless Ones, Thea Ransome in Image of the Fendahl, and Faroon in Time and the Rani. Michael Bilton (M C Councillor) was Toligny in The Massacre, Collins in Pyramids of Mars and a Time Lord in The Deadly Assassin.

11. A Change of Mind

Czechoslovakian actor George Pravda (Doctor) played three roles in Who: Denes in The Enemy of The World, Jaegar in The Mutants, and Spandrell in The Deadly Assassin. Bartlett Mullins, the Committee Chairman, was one of the Elders in The Sensorites. Michael Miller makes his second appearance as Number 93.

12. Hammer into Anvil

Victor Maddern (Band Master) was a wonderfully manic Robson in Fury from the Deep.

13. Do Not Foresake Me Oh My Darling

Nigel Stock (The Colonel) was Professor Hayter in Time-Flight. The wonderful James Bree (Villiers) appeared in a three-some of Whos: as the awful Security Chief in The War Games, Nefred in Full Circle, and as the Keeper of the Matrix in The Trial of a Time Lord Parts 13-14. Also appearing was Gertan Klauber (Cafe Waiter) who was the Galley Master in The Romans and Ola in The Macra Terror.

14. Living in Harmony

This rootin' tootin' Western adventure featured Gordon Sterne (Bystander) who played Professor Heldorf in The Ambassadors of Death, along with stunt man Max Faulkner (First Horseman) who has appeared in various Who stories including Gate Soldier (The Ambassadors of Death), a miner in The Monster of Peladon, Second Captain (Planet of the Spiders), a Thal guard in Genesis of the Daleks, Adams in The Android Invasion, and as Nesbin in The Invasion of Time. His non-speaking appearances include a Sevateem warrior (The Face of Evil), and one of the Others in The Sun Makers (Phew!).

15. The Girl who was Death

Christopher Benjamin pops up again, this time reprising his role as Potter from the fourth season of Patrick McGoohan's previous series, Danger Man. Max Faulkner returns, this time as the Scots Napoleon (?!). John Rees (Welsh Napoleon!) was Hardy in Frontier in Space.

16. Once Upon a Time

And although John Maxim (The Chase) is credited as Number 86, all his scenes ended up on the cutting room floor!

17. Fallout

The utterly bizarre final episode again features Michael Miller in his third appearance, as The Delegate.

Two other people associated with both series, but not as actors were Ron Grainer (who wrote the theme music for both series), and Lewis Griefer, who wrote The General under the penname Joshua Adams, drafted the original script for Pyramids of Mars.

And finally, the Italianesque village of Portmeirion in north Wales, where much of The Prisoner was filmed on location, also doubled for San Martino in the Doctor Who story The Masque of Mandragora.

Be Seeing You...

This item appeared in TSV 33 (April 1993).