The order in which you view episodes of The Prisoner is one of much debate and it’s widely felt that it’s up to the viewer to really make their own mind up. About the only thing agreed upon is that the order in which the episodes were aired is not a very good order at all.
So here goes with yet another viewing order for The Prisoner as I currently feel it should be…
- Arrival (it’s definitely the beginning)
- Dance of the Dead (before Free For All because of the first time no.6 visits the town hall and no.6 says he’s new)
- Free For All
- Checkmate (has to come after Free For All because this is where he puts the “who are the prisoners and who are the warders” theory into practice, whereas he declares his intention in Free For All)
- Chimes of Big Ben (? – Seems a fairly early plan but no particular clues as to it’s position)
- The General (comes before A,B & C because Colin Gordon’s No. 2 is confident here and stated as the “new” no.2)
- A,B & C (after The General with Colin Gordon’s No.2 obviously weaker and on his second chance, and he’s not the “new” no.2)
- The Schizoid Man (often seems to go back to back with The General, so stuck it close to it).
- Many Happy Returns (Has to come before Hammer into Anvil as Thorp becomes a number 2… though arguably he’s not the same character. Other than that it could fit in anywhere mid to late series given that it has the feel of No.6 having been in the village for a while)
- It’s Your Funeral (not sure if this should be earlier given that No.6 hasn’t heard of jamming yet)
- A Change of Mind
- Hammer into Anvil
- Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (a bit of a break from The Village)
- Living in Harmony (quite where this goes I don’t know but it was made later so here it goes. Doesn’t really have any connection to the rest of the episodes though)
- The Girl Who Was Death (could go anywhere. Again a kind of break from The Village and again was shot later).
- Once Upon a Time (now we’re back on track)
- Fall Out (very obviously the end)
So there you go. There are probably hundreds more combinations that people have, this is just one of them. I may revise it next time I watch the series 😉