41 episodes

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's two things.

Join them for this illuminating rewatch!

A Degree Absolute‪!‬ Chris Klimek & Glen Weldon

    • TV & Film
    • 4.9 • 57 Ratings

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's two things.

Join them for this illuminating rewatch!

    SILVER STREAK with Ronald Young Jr.

    SILVER STREAK with Ronald Young Jr.

    Pop some vitamin E before listening, because it's gonna be hug 'n' munch all the way to Chicago! Solvable host Ronald Young, Jr. joins Glen and Chris to examine Silver Streak, ostensibly a hybrid romantic thriller / buddy comedy that gave the world the long-running Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor screen partnership and was a huge hit upon its release in 1976. America's bicentennial anum was a great a year for movies, more despite Silver Streak than because of it, but hey, the movie features a loveably smarmy Columbo-era Patrick McGoohan as the despicable villain. Along with a lot of trite and, by contemporary standards, deeply offensive comedy. Choo choo!
    Silver Streak
    Written by Colin Higgins
    Directed by Arthur Hiller
    Released December 8, 1976
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
     

    • 1 hr 42 min
    THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH with Margaret H. Willison

    THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH with Margaret H. Willison

    On February 9, 1964, Ed Sullivan introduced a band from Liverpool, England formerly known as The Quarrymen to an estimated 73 million viewers of his primetime CBS variety show. And down the dial on NBC, the anthology series Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color drew an audience of something less than 73 million for the first installment of its three-part The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, an adaptation of Russell Thorndike and William Buchanan's novel Christopher Syn starring our man Patty McG as an 18th century man of the cloth* by day/masked-smuggler-by-night who helps the common people by... paying their taxes, we think? Using the funds he earns from smuggling brandy and tobacco. He also helps them elude the pressgangs who roam the marsh looking for reasonably able-bodied youngish men to abduct into King George III's Royal Navy.
    *Specifically, a "fuckable vicar" in the estimation of our generously oversharing special guest Margaret H. "Hula Hoop" Willison, whose effervescent personality really ties the room together. (Dang. That's the wrong Coen Bros. reference.) 
    The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh
    Teleplay by Robert Westerby, from the novel Christopher Syn by Russell Thorndike and William Buchanan
    Directed by James Neilson
    Original airdates February 9, 16, and 23, 1964
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
     

    • 1 hr 41 min
    THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA with Josh Spiegel

    THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA with Josh Spiegel

    Does Mister-not-Doctor Andrew MacDuhui (Paddy McG) hate pets? (He does not, no matter what his low-information neighbors in the fictional Scottish town of Inveronoch think.)
    Did Walt Disney hate cats? (Our very special guest Disney expert, Josh Spiegel, makes a compelling case.)
    Were animals harmed during the making of this motion picture? (Most certainly, regrettably.)
    Our principled stand against pandering to the Internet's insatiable appetite for cat content crumbles as we pad, paw, 'n' claw our merryish way through...
    The Three Lives of Thomasina
    Written by Robert Westerby, from Paul Gallico's novel Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Wa God
    Directed by Don Chaffey
    Released December 11, 1963
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
     

    • 2 hr
    THE MOONSHINE WAR

    THE MOONSHINE WAR

    Patty McG's first major project after The Prisoner wrapped up in early 1968 was The Moonshine War, for Sex and the Single Girl director (and title-song lyricist!) Richard Quine. Quine did not write this film's remarkably concise and descriptive title song, "The Ballad of Moonshine," leaving that to Hank Williams, Jr. The great crime writer Elmore Leonard adapted the screenplay of The Moonshine War from his own 1969 novel. No one will argue it's on the level of later, adapted-by-other-screenwriters Leonard translations like Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, or the TV series Justified, but the seeds are here. 
    Also here: Richard Widmark! A pre-M.A.S.H. Alan Alda! A pre-fame Teri Garr and a pre-billing Tom Skerritt! A pre-The Waltons Will Geer! Lee Hazlewood of Lee Hazlewood Industries as gun thug Dual Metters! Plus the Patty McG bedroom scene you've been dreading.
    Here's the condescending and phony behind-the-scenes featurette we discuss on the episode.
    The Moonshine War
    Screenplay by Elmore Leonard, from his novel
    Directed by Richard Quine
    Released July 1970
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
     

    • 1 hr 27 min
    KINGS AND DESPERATE MEN

    KINGS AND DESPERATE MEN

    A movie for McGoohan die-hards that creator Alexis Kanner the Once-Boxed sued the makers of Die Hard over! Paddy McG and Kanner! Squaring off, with a Montreal radio show as their Thunderdome. A film with all the makings of a taut thriller involving hostages, a building wired with explosives, and McG in fine form: Rolling them Rs! Slamming them consonants! Playing drunk! Almost evincing sexual-adjacent desire! Features more overlapping dialogue than if you played Nashville, A Wedding, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller all at once!
    Kings and Desperate Men
    Shot 1977; released (sort of) 1981
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
    "All-Time High"
    Music by John Barry; lyrics by Tim Rice
    Performed by Townland, from their fine new album Honey on the Hi-Fi
    Special thanks to Linda Holmes, Gene Demby, and Jessica Reedy

    • 1 hr 33 min
    ALL NIGHT LONG with Casey Erin Clark

    ALL NIGHT LONG with Casey Erin Clark

    MOOR COWBELL! Slip into your cardigan, roll yourself a jazz cigarette, and prepare to savor one of Patty McG's most sinister heel turns as our lovely theme-song singer Casey Erin Clark joins us to deconstruct All Night Long, director Basil Dearden's 1962 adaptation of Othello set in the London jazz scene. PLUS! Casey draws upon her expertise as a voice coach and musician to examine several of McGoohan's most distinctive vocal performances, and presents her findings to the court.
    All Night Long
    Screenplay by Neil King and Paul Jarraco
    Directed by Basil Dearden
    Released February 6, 1962
    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 Jonathan Clark
    Bass by Marcus Newstead
     

    • 2 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

AMagidin ,

It's Sir Humphrey behind it all

Crazy theory: the village is run by the U.K's Civil Service. The reason they need to know why Number Six resigned is because they've lost his file (we know what a haphazard method of filing they seem to have; just dumping a punchcard into a big filing cabinet in a huge room? No way they know where it is later on). They need to determine the reason for his resignation in order to figure out how much pension he is entitled to. It would also make sense that the National Bureaucracy would treat everyone like a number. And they certainly control the government (see "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister") so they could easily get the funds to run the Village.

Brother Kanyus Paradigm ,

Slipping away

It was fun to hear this dynamic duo tackle the inexplicable craziness of The Prisoner, but once they finished discussing the show and went on to other works by Patrick McGoohan… you would do well to skip those.

Doc Denoon ,

Orange Alert! Great Podcast!

This podcast brings inventive humor and fresh insight to one of the all time cultiest of cult tv shows. Worth tuning in just for the Patrick McGoohan.

The hosts have invited reviewers to include our favorite Prisoner fan theories, so here goes: Six is actually a phantasm summoned by Rover to cause disruption in the Village so that the poor weather balloon can finally be put out of its misery.

Top Podcasts In TV & Film

Apple TV+
Hannah Berner & Paige DeSorbo
Ben Mandelker & Ronnie Karam
The Ringer
NPR
The Ringer

You Might Also Like

NPR
NPR
NPR
WNYC Studios
NPR
WNYC Studios