Originally Posted by Cinema Squid
There is this, but for me it is all about the character of McGoohan's No. 6. In a sense somewhat like Sherlock Holmes or the more modern take of Dr. House. A strong-willed and hard-nosed individualist who is brilliant but plays by his own book and who also happens to be a little bit of an anti-social a$$-hole. If you like the character then it works, otherwise not so much.
I was a boy when the series was first broadcast and it really zapped my brain. I've seen it many times since and have noticed a curious cultural beat phenomenon along the lines of "everything old is new again":
First: "This is outstanding..."
Five years later: "Oh, well, it was good at the time..."
Five more years: "Ouch, painfully dated..."
Still later: "Hmm, some nostalgia here, a certain mythic quality..."
Later: "This is outstanding..."
In some sense it is very 60s, with the big one-against-many fight scene in every show, but in another it is timeless. The Village has always been around, and always will be. As the finale shows, being an individual doesn't let you escape from that.
In another sense it is Patrick McGoohan's commentary on being the Secret Agent Man. I agree that without his #6 it would be an entirely different project.
Some of the episodes are weak, but my judgment of which ones changes!
I love the landscape shots of the Village, the rare scenes where you get to see it from a new angle.
I thought of a not-too-serious alternative interpretation of the story: that #6 is a mental patient at a resort asylum and the people really are trying to help him, although of course he doesn't see it that way.