The Prisoner : Checkmate (1967)

Genres - Adventure, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Sci-Fi  |   Run Time - 50 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Originally written as the second episode of The Prisoner, "Checkmate" was then slated to be shown as episode #11. Instead, it was telecast out of chronological order as the 10th episode on December 3, 1967. One of the series' most fondly remembered installments ---and the one that posted the highest ratings when first broadcast in England --- this exercise in surrealism takes place on a giant chess board, wherein all the "pieces" are people. One of the participants is Number Six, who cannot determine if the other players are making moves of their own free will, or if they are being manipulated by a unseen force. Crucial players in this bizarre game are an icy psychiatrist (Patricia Jessel) and the (apparently) independently minded Queen (Rosalie Crutchley). As originally written by Gerald Kelsey), the script for "Checkmate" came up seven minutes short, compelling series star Patrick McGoohan to hastily compose an extra scene. The episode was restored to its proper Prisoner chronology when it was first shown in America on August 17, 1968.




chess, espionage, game, imprisonment, island, trapped, village