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Critics Chris Klimek and Glen Weldon both loved the late-60s British sci-fi series "The Prisoner" in their formative years, but they haven't seen it in a long time and they're not at all sure how it will play in a 21st century rife with with "alternative facts" and militant individualism at the expense of social responsibility. One thing is certain: Run-DMC were clearly influenced by the vocal patterns of Patrick McGoohan, and that malicious weather balloon is still eerie as hell. Wait, that ...
 
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An increasingly besotted Glen & unceasingly bemused Chris wax purple on THE PHANTOM, 1996’s two-fisted failed franchise starter with Billy Zane as the 30s comic strip hero who coulda been called WHITE PANTHER & Patty McG as the Ghost Who Walks™ ’s… Ghost Dad? The Phantom Written by Jeffrey Boam Directed by Simon Wincer Released June 7, 1996 Write t…
 
Democracy dies in dorkiness this week as the brilliant Washington Post columnist, essayist, playwright and retired (?) Emo Sith Lord Alexandra Petri joins us to autopsy David Cronenberg's 1981 explosive migrane of a cult classic Scanners, featuring 24 minutes of a possibly first-billed, maybe third-billed, but unequivocally box-named-on-the poster …
 
Chris freestyles and epic poem about getting his iPhone replaced and eventually he and Glen dig deep into the too-long-neglected mailbag. Casey sings a reader-penned jingle. Write to the Citizens Advice Bureau at adegreeabsolute dot gmail! Leave us a five-star review with your hottest Prisoner take on Apple Podcasts! Follow @NotaNumberPod! Our song…
 
Maximum Fun? More like maximum security! Maximum Fun podcast network founder and San Francisco native Jesse Thorn joins us this week to tunnel through the crumbling walls of Escape From Alcatraz, the 1979 Clint Eastwood-starring dramatization of the real 1962 prison break, featuring Patty McG as…The Warden. Stunt casting doesn’t get any stuntier, t…
 
DID YOU KNOW that Columbophiles are properly nomenclatured Columboheads or Trenchcoatheads? DID YOU KNOW that fans who divide their sympathies equally among Patrick McGoohan and Peter Falk are formally designated McGalks? Pal Linda Holmes joins Glen & Chris to investigate Patty McG’s historic run as a four-time Columbo killer / five-time Columbo di…
 
Vulture TV critic and noted Lindelofologist Jen Chaney joins us to examine the influence of THE PRISONER on subsequent stranded-by-the-seaside puzzle-box shows like LOST. Plus we once again pop The Hatch on the mailbag. Read Jen's definitive oral history of the LOST finale here! Follow her on Twitter here! Write to the Citizens Advice Bureau at ade…
 
Write to the Citizens Advice Bureau at adegreeabsolute dot gmail! Leave us a five-star review with your hottest Prisoner take on Apple Podcasts! Follow @NotaNumberPod! Our song: "A Degree Absolute!" Music and Lyrics by Chris Klimek Arranged by Casey Erin Clark and Jonathan Clark Vocals and Keyboards by Casey Erin Clark Guitar, Percussion, Mixing by…
 
I (Chris) have long suspected The Prisoner is a show with a particular appeal to creative people, and I love to be proven right. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling is a Prisoner-inspired punk duo comprised of filmmakers/musicians/writers/creators/etc. Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein. When we saw their video for "Arrival" — a meticulous, two-yea…
 
Shot in December 1966 under the title "Degree Absolute" and not broadcast until more than a year later when it became The Prisoner's penultimate — and, we agree, ultimate — episode, "Once Upon a Time" is the real thing. A bottle episode that locks GOAT Number Two Leo McKern and Number Six in the black-box "Embryo Room" and compels them to reenact t…
 
Chris and Glen respond to listener email and then take up a tactical position on the western emplacement of Glen's Remote Mountain Stronghold to discuss their IRL reunion and promised viewing of Rob Marshall's Best Picture-winning 2002 film version of John Kander & Fred Ebb's Chicago. Which has precisely nothing to do with The Prisoner but hey, we …
 
What If Jimmy Page played a session with Stillwater? Our podcastin' inspiration Matt Gourley joins us for a Cinerama epic of an episode that we didn't plan to release on Father's Day week, but the cookie happened to crumble serendipitously. Because our subject is a genuine, certified, no-foolin’ Dad Movie, Ice Station Zebra, based on The Guns of Na…
 
Number Six must elude the tender embrace of a lady who probably uses pseudonyms at least as often as he does in a late-in-the-run-but-lavish filler episode that sends up the spy genre circa ’67 & burns plenty of Sir Lew Grade’s money. (He refused to finance a floated 90-minute version.) Justine Lord and Kenneth Griffiths are your magnificent guest …
 
Prolific screenwriter, prosewriter, comic book writer, and podcaster Ben Blacker — co-creator of the magnificent monthly-live-show-turned-podcast The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and its delightful Western parody feature, Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, among his many other notable and impressive credentials — joins us this week to dissect "Living in …
 
It seems Patty McG had softened his "don't call it television because television cuts corners and we'll never ever do that" position by the time of The Prisoner's much-abbreviated second and final season, because for most of the production of this week's episode he decided his time would be better spent in Los Angeles co-starring in John Sturges' u…
 
Number Six's Public Enemy Number Six act is getting tired — and what is alternately referred to within a single scene as The Committee, The Council, and The Commission will tolerate it for only so long before they decree that their prize captive must undergo Instant Social Conversion. It's a procedure so chilling that Number Eighty-Six (the marvelo…
 
There's an assassination plot afoot in The Village, and Number Six must protect his oppressor to spare his fellow Villagers. Derren Nesbitt is our Number Two and Annette Andre is our Girl Friday. Neither one of them could stand their scene partner an (uncredited) director, Patty McG. Pink-blazered henchman Mark Eden didn't hate him, but he did rese…
 
Pride Goethe before a fall. To boldy Goethe where no one has gone before. Just how well do you know your Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? Patrick Cargill is back from "Many Happy Returns" and in Number Six's crosshairs after he drives a woman to suicide two minutes into the episode. And so begins Six's campaign of vengeance via psychological warfare. >F…
 
It's Carnival in The Village, and Dance of the Dead — an episode that was nearly scuttled on account of Patrick McGoohan's disdain for it (and refusal to shoot at least part of its climactic scene) — offers a fascinating glimpse into The Prisoner's conflicting aesthetic priorities. Marry Morris, our latest Number Two, is a memorable malefactor whom…
 
The first half of this episode is dialogue-free! This episode of The Prisoner, that is, not this episode of A Degree Absolute!, though that's the sort of formal experimentation we'd be game to try. Anywho, Number Six awakens in an inexplicably raptured Village and opts for the seaborne escape route, where starvation, pirates, and intrigue await. As…
 
SPOILERS AHOY for the entirety of the 54-year-old television series The Prisoner! You've been warned! Save this episode for later if you haven't yet seen the whole series! Lifelong Prisoner fan Alex Cox joins Chris to talk about his 2017 book I Am Not a Number: Decoding the Prisoner, and What It's All About. Write to the Citizens Advice Bureau at a…
 
Glen is under the influence of digital vermouth and under the spell of John Castle in our dissection of "The General." Wherein Number Six gets anger-cruised and Kirks a computer, and Colin Gordon "returns" as Number Two from "A.B. & C." — an episode obviously intended to follow this one, but which was broadcast before — apparently having survived h…
 
It's election time in The Village and Number Six is the frontrunner! Eric Portman, this episode's Number Two, greets him thus: "Good morning, good morning! Any complaints?" And of course Six has complaints. He's like Portnoy: famed for his complaints. Featuring the lovely Rachel Herbert as Number Fifty-Eight, his irrepressibly enthusiastic and enth…
 
Number Six attempts to escape The Village with the help of a newcomer named Nadia and a "basically primitive" abstract art project with a hard-to-overlook nautical vibe. He also finds out where The Village is. Unequivocally. Indisputably. Maybe. Featuring the first of the great Leo McKern's appearances as Number Two! Follow us @NotaNumberPod Write …
 
Chris & Glen embark upon their first look back at Patrick McGoohan's 1967-8 British sci-fi series The Prisoner in many years and hope that the show's ethos — "militant and individualistic," in the expression of one of The Village's ever-changing Number Twos — will turn out to be something more generous than it seems. Also, will Number Six ever be n…
 
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