Patrick McGoohan: Son of a Bitch:
McGoohan was the driving creative force behind the series, as well as its star, so it's no wonder that it served as a perfect showcase for his talents. Finally, we have a man who hates the world stuck in a world that justifies that hate. In the anonymous Village, Number Six is prodded, tested, tricked, seduced, compelled, and tortured by a shadowy force whose ultimate purpose is never revealed, and all of it done for a simple piece of information that it wouldn't take more than a sentence or two to reveal. It's not even all that important—they only want to know why he quit his job. No state secrets, nothing involving missile plans or code words or anything technical like that; simply his motivation for leaving an exciting, well-paid (one assumes) position at British Intelligence. It almost seems rude of Six not to tell them. Sure, they drugged and kidnapped him, but they do give him room and board and a quite lovely seaside vacation. All very comforting, provided you don't swim too far.
We never find out why Six resigned, but those of us playing at home come closer to figuring it than any of the various Number Twos. For McGoohan, motivation is a personal thing, and regardless of how insignificant the questions may seem, the right not to answer them is of innumerable value. At its heart, The Prisoner is about the ways in which society seeks to crush and compromise the individual, to force people into blind acceptance so that the trains run on time, the clocks are always set, and faces are forever smiling. Out of all his movie and TV work, it's here that McGoohan's fury finds its true purpose. His is the passion of anyone who's ever been told to fit in, to quiet down, to agree more, to listen less, to know one's place, to never question it. For once, we aren't the target of his anger, we share it. For all the outcasts, here is someone who wouldn't compromise how nicely he was asked to.