The Unmutual Reviews: The October 2018 Prisoner weekend

Review by Leslie Glen. Photos: Rick Davy.

On Friday, 12th October, Dave Lally hosted a wonderful afternoon's activities touring the famous Forbidden Planet store in central London. It was a fascinating place to visit and an Aladdin's Cave of goodies on display and for sale. The shop contained all sorts of sci-fi merchandise and it was the first time I had been in their flagship store. It's well worth a visit and I guarantee you will spend some considerable time browsing - and buying - from Forbidden Planet.

Prior to the this visit, we had a very good lunch at Dave's London Group pub haunt.

After Forbidden Planet, it was off to the BFI (British Film Institute) on the banks of the Thames to browse at the merchandise they had on offer. As well as the paraphernalia of books, copious amount of movies were on sale too. Then it was time to depart, on the eve of Prisoner Mind Mash the following day.

Saturday 13th October: a lovely sunny and warm day. Leslie Glen kicked the day's festivities off with a warm WELL COME to all and sundry who had travelled near and far to attend the day's exciting events. To get the attendees in the mood, Leslie unleashed on everyone a collection of past papers on Prisoner Interrogation. The papers consisted of 17 questions in 17 minutes and happily everyone finished long before the allotted time. They know their Prisoner! Next up, a presentation by Leslie called IT ALL ADDS UP. What this was about was a brief summation of all the unique qualities of numbers from 1 to 17, the sequence having ended on 17 because of the 17 episodes of The Prisoner. Many characteristics of some of the numbers were explored and discussed - in particular the number 7 - and Leslie finished his talk with a startling revelation of a new theory of how the Prisoner got his number: a single-digit birthdate number. Patrick Joseph McGoohan was born on 19th March 1928: 1+9+3+1+9+2+8 = 33; 3+3 = 6. Discuss!


Next up was a splendid screening presentation by Rick Davy, appropriately entitled RICK'S MIX. This consisted of three videos of Fenella Fielding, Susan Hampshire and a stunning behind-the-scenes footage of filming of "Arrival". All three videos were unique in their own special ways but this writer found the "Arrival" shots by an amateur film-maker absolutely revelatory. Well done Rick on acquiring an astonishing piece of primary source material on The Prisoner. This footage was just one of the many highlights of the day.

THE THREE AMIGOS: What does this mean? Simply put, legendary magazine editors/contributors David Healey and Howard Foy and Rick Davy - respectfully and respectively Number Six and In The Village and The Unmutual - talked about their time working on each respective publication. Many behind-the-scenes anecdotes were divulged and often there were fits of laughter from everyone at some of the stories that were recounted. It was a pleasure to see and hear these three gentlemen talk about their time helming the major source of information for all members of a once-great-but-now-defunct appreciation society. Rick Davy continues the good work with his Unmutual website, the go-to website for all breaking news on The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan, Portmeirion and Danger Man. (Although not present at the Prisoner Mind Mash, thanks must also go to Lew Stringer for launching his six-edition newspaper and then his website, before Rick took over the running of it.)

After lunch, it was time for the launch of a new quiz and puzzles' book, The Prisoner Interrogations 2. Author Leslie was interviewed by Gary Murfin about the book, what lies in the future, psychometric testing, and more.



INFORMATION - WE WANT INFORMATION. Gary Murfin presented and discussed in-depth the ubiquitous and obsessive collection of human data by the big conglomerates in the computer industries. He made crystal clear to us the hard facts that all this hoovering up of data is not a healthy way for the individual in society to progress. In closing his exciting and engrossing presentation, Gary made clear that knowledge is power in the hands of the multi-nationals and that perhaps we should all take a step back from social media.

It was a pleasure to welcome our first of two guests today, Eric Mival, film editor and music editor on 13 of the 17 episodes of The Prisoner, including "Fall Out". Rick Davy gleaned some wonderful snippets from Eric's life through incisive interviewing techniques and Eric was a joy to listen to as he recounted his experiences within working on The Prisoner and Doctor Who and many other aspects of his interesting and varied life. This writer recommends that, for more information on Eric Mival's life and career, go to The Unmutual for details on how to purchase Eric's page-turning autobiography. You won't regret buying it.


Our next special guest on the day was the last-surviving script writer on the TV series, Ian Rakoff, who penned the Western episode "Living in Harmony". The presentation was entitled COMICS IN THE CLIMATE OF FEAR and, again, Rick was interviewing. His discussions with Ian were both revealing and astute as Ian related his experiences in his youth growing up in South Africa, to life in the film and television industry in the 60s and 70s.


Before we all knew it, we were coming to the end of an eventful and fun-packed day. Musical maestro Simon Wells - SIMON WELLS IN CONCERT - had us all singing and clapping to some new and old music. Simon played some of his own marvellous songs and he ended his gig with the forever-young Beatles' anthem "All You Need Is Love". Well done, Simon. It was all wonderful stuff.


YOUR NUMBERS'S UP! What could this mean? Why, it was raffle time. Rick and Darren Stokes and Leslie donated some wonderful prizes for the event in order to raise some more money for the children's hospice. There were a wide variety of books and DVDs up for grabs and I don't think anyone left empty-handed. Thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets and to the kind individuals who generously donated raffle items.

Leslie Glen sincerely thanks The Hoop And Toy pub for allowing him to host the event at their vibrant establishment, Eric Mival and Ian Rakoff for attending the event as our special guests, Rick Davy for participation and support beyond the call of duty, and to everyone who turned up on the day in support of The Prisoner and Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice in North Wales.

Finance: INCOME, £317.07 (Raffle tickets, admission, programmes.) EXPENDITURE, £107.10 (Travel expenses and photocopying.) BALANCE £209.97.

"You made me doubly pleased to have worked on “The Prisoner”." - Eric Mival

"A fantastic weekend of events, hats off to Leslie and Dave Lally for always coming up with the goods, Eric and Ian were fascinating to talk to - a real treat for all attendees. More please!" - Rick Davy

"Great mash! Great to see you!!" - Sandra Stokes

"A great event organized by an even greater person." - Darren Stokes

"Thanks again for the "Mind Mash", it was good to see you my friend and also to catch up with some of the "old guard"." - Gary Murfin

"Just a quick email to thank you for the invite to the Mind Mash. Was a most enjoyable day and it was nice to be reacquainted with a few people I hadn't seen for a long time. Thank you also for all of the hard work that you obviously put into the event and for making it such a success. If you speak to Rick, pass my regards to him too. He was a very good interviewer and showed his continuing knowledge of the series which was heartening. Mine is sadly lacking these days as I have been out of the loop for quite a long time now." - David Healey

Sunday 14th October saw the second of the years day of 'Danger Man' (in the morning) and 'The Prisoner' (in the afternoon) locations tours, a great time was had by all. Click HERE for details of future tours, which visit over 30 locations in total.

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