Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Bittersweet Fortnight in 1969

At PulpFest, I bought two TV tie-in novels of The Prisoner. I've read them both and liked No. 2 (the novel) better than No. 3. In reading about The Prisoner, I found an interesting coincidence:

On Tuesday, September 2, 1969, the original run of Star Trek came to an end with a repeat of the episode "Requiem for Methuselah." The last line of dialogue in that last episode was spoken by Mr. Spock to ease the heartbreak and pain of his friend, Captain Kirk. The line was a single word: "Forget."

Nine days later, on Thursday, September 11, the last episode of The Prisoner was broadcast. It, too, was a repeat, the last in a series that had been a summer replacement show in 1968 and 1969, despite the fact that there was only one season (17 episodes) made. Thus, in the space of less than a fortnight at the beginning of September 1969, two of the very best television shows ever made ended. The consolation was that Star Trek went into syndication immediately. The first syndicated episode was broadcast on Monday, September 8, 1969. Fans of The Prisoner would have to wait many more years before getting a chance to see their favorite show again. Thankfully, both are now available on video.

Copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley


  1. THE PRISONER has always been a favorite of mine. Also fan of SECRET AGENT, it was a lot weirder, but captivating. Along with STAR TREK, one of television's most imaginative shows of the time, to be sure. On a personal note, in the early 70's I went to work at a friend's Father's office equipment shop in Santa Monica, CA. My first sale was a portable typewriter (Royal, if I remember correctly) to ... Patrick McGoohan!

    1. John,

      I've never seen Secret Agent, but I would like to. I agree with you that The Prisoner and Star Trek were two of the most imaginative TV shows, maybe for a long time after they were on. Patrick McGoohan is an intriguing figure. I wonder how an actor who was so popular also stood so alone. I can hardly imagine how a show like The Prisoner would have been made by anyone else at any other time. And you had your brush with fame with him!