Despite what you might think looking at the photographs in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series on Portmeirion, the skies weren’t just varying shades of gray. Occasionally the buildings of Portmeirion were framed in blue during our stay. You’ll also see how the topography changes during high tide—blue waters caressing the frontage of the main hotel and lapping at the base of White Horses.
Fans of The Prisoner will also note other points of interest—”Town Hall” and the statue of Hercules holding the world for Atlas; Battery Square with its shops connected by a pedestrian bridge (the shop on the left is The Prisoner Shop); a stunning shot of the Bell Tower; and, of course, the Village Green with its pool and the fountain from which “Rover” springs forth. Rover, for the uninitiated, was the sentry that made The Village escape proof—a gigantic, almost gelatinous ball that would chase down and suffocate those who made the attempt. Rover was in fact nothing more than a large weather balloon, but the beastly roar emanating from it made it appear far more ominous than its true identity would dictate.
If you plan a visit to the British Isles in general and Wales in particular, you need not be a fan of The Prisoner to enjoy a stay here. The accommodations are incredible, and the views even more so. But before you go, you owe it to yourself to find a copy of the series and prepare yourself for the experience.
Have you put The Prisoner into your Netflix queue, yet? Before it arrives, a word of warning: What you think the series is about is not what the series is about. The beginning leads you to believe this is, at its core, a spy drama. It’s nothing of the sort, and you don’t get a sense of that until at least two-thirds of the way into the series. There are hints throughout, even starting as early as Episode One, of the deeper meaning, but . . . well, that would be telling.
I will say this much: Listen for references to individuality, social conformity, and society. Then prepare for a shock at the final, psychedelic conclusion. Indeed, you may want to watch the series a second time to see what you missed in the lead-up to the finale. How shocking was it? Well, let’s just say that angry viewers who missed the clues, who were unaccustomed to having to think about what they watched on the proverbial “Idiot Box” known as television, were positively outraged. Because of the intense emotions the final episode evoked, Patrick McGoohan reportedly found it necessary to pack up his family and flee England—first to Switzerland, and then to the U.S. (the country of his birth).
Now for some closing images of this remarkable, enchanted place: