Book Excerpt: The Introduction
In the many years since The Prisoner first aired in 1967 there has never been a practical walking guide to Prisoner sites in Portmeirion. So, when Roger Goodman, one of the founding grandparents of what is now Six Of One, The Prisoner Appreciation Society, asked if I wanted to do the text to his long-contemplated idea, a Prisoner trail in Portmeirion, I agreed in a heartbeat.
Listen to just about any conversation visitors are having around Portmeirion Village and you are likely to hear someone mention The Prisoner. Often the person is looking to confirm where a particular action took place: Is this where the Prisoner lived? Is this where they had the chess match? Or looking for a particular place: How do I get to the Stone Boat? Since it would be impractical to signpost Portmeirion with the answers to these questions, the best thing to do is have a portable guide and map dedicated to the locations in Portmeirion that are scenes of action in The Prisoner.
This Prisoner trail guide is informal. It is meant to accompany you around Portmeirion like a friend conversant with the Village, pointing out places of Prisoner interest, reminding you of a scene that took place in a spot, quoting a fragment of dialogue, or conjuring up an image to bring the series to life again in your mind and perhaps elicit a small "Oh, yeah!" of recognition from you. What it won't do is beat you to a pulp with trivia.
Ahead of its time in many ways, The Prisoner was a mini-series before there were mini-series, as Patrick McGoohan, creator of The Prisoner, has said. Yet, it is inarguably a mythological quest. A man is spirited away to a mysterious village where he must fight for his freedom and obtain the identity of the person, or persons, who have abducted him. His keepers, who want him to reveal a secret, subject him to many tests and challenges. In the end the Prisoner recognizes his adversary, breaks out of the village and returns home.
One of the qualities of The Prisoner that makes it such an exceptional television series is the caring way in which it was put together. This is one of the reasons it is so compelling to watch, and one of the reasons this guide was so challenging to write. If you watch almost any episode of the series you will find it becomes quite a game to distinguish for certain whether an outdoor scene was shot on location in Portmeirion, the Prisoner's Village, or on a lovingly conceived set at MGM in Borehamwood. This guide will help you make that distinction, whether you are using it to tour Prisoner sites in Portmeirion, or are watching The Prisoner at home.Book Excerpt: Call-Out Copy
[On The Trail Of The Prisoner introduces new official names for landmarks, paved walkways and a path in Portmeirion. These are indicated on the map and are a part of The Prisoner Trail.]
Given that the beach washed away over the years since the filming of The Prisoner the Near Beach was no longer a very accurate name. In late 2002 Robin Llywelyn, Portmeirion's managing director, gave it a new name: Lighthouse Cove. Mr. Llywelyn also named the North Piazza Gate in the Village and kindly accepted the author's suggestions for the designations the Sea Wall, Nelson's Walk, the Sea Front Walk and Lighthouse Path.Further Information
Robin Llywelyn (grandson of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the owner and architect of Portmeirion), Portmeirion's managing director, says, "On The Trail Of The Prisoner is an excellent piece of research and certainly fills a gap in the available information on Portmeirion and its Prisoner connections."
On The Trail Of The Prisoner: A Walking Guide To Portmeirion's Prisoner Sites features a comprehensive color map to all Portmeirion Prisoner locations and landmarks, with color photographic illustrations and information about each site. Fans of The Prisoner will be particularly fascinated by the book's inclusion of never-before published private behind-the-scenes photos taken in Portmeirion during the filming of The Prisoner as well as previously unpublished behind-the-scenes anecdotes.Book Specifics
Physical size is 176.5 X 250 millimeters. It numbers 40 glossy pages in a weight of 150 g/m2 (text stock) plus laminated cover in a weight of 280 g/m2 (cover stock). The book reads at nearly 9,000 words; includes over 40 new, high-quality color photos; five private, previously unpublished photos from the side-lines of the 1966 filming; and a two-page color map that clearly identifies all the locations and landmarks On The Trail Of The Prisoner.
World-wide mail order:
to purchase On The Trail Of The Prisoner, and other Prisoner items, visit www.priz.biz.
When in Portmeirion, you can purchase a copy of On The Trail Of The Prisoner at The Prisoner Shop, The Golden Dragon and the Portmeirion Pottery Seconds shop.
Author and Karen Jones
Louie Roberts in Golden Dragon bookshop
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