Beauty and cult TV history combined
The Prisoner TV series of 1967 has gone down in classic British Television history.
Way ahead of it's time, the series was both written and produced by Patrick McGoohan after his alleged fallout with ITV when his previous TV role in 'Danger Man' finished. It is said that McGoohan stated his intention to leave and Head of ITC Lew Grade gave him more or less carte blanche to come up with another idea.
The concept of the Prisoner has various stories attached to it, some say that it was created by George Markstein and others by McGoohan himself, so even the very birth of the idea is shrouded in mystery. It is now credited to both! Whatever, the ongoing story was jointly written by Patrick McGoohan, David Tomblin, Anthony Skene, Terrence Feely and Vincent Tilsley.
Although not understanding it, Lew Grade gave it the go ahead and the rest as they say is history.
The series was filmed on location at Portmerion with interior scenes produced at Borehamwood Sudio's.
Being of an age to have watched it first time round, I have spent years saying I will go and visit the mystical world of Portmerion and it was only in 2011 upon visiting friends in that area that I finally achieved this!
Who can forget 'I am not a number, I am a free man' in the titles, a phrase used in conversation to this day, who can forget the wonderful array of Italian style houses in the Village itself, the bouncing ball accross the sand and spending hours discussing with friends on what you think the whole thing is about - even Universities use it as case study!
You know how you get feelings sometimes about something you've always wanted to do but scared that whatever it is won't live up to it's expectations, well this was a day out which exceeded all expectations, it has to go down as one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.
The Village was built on a vision by the eccentric and flamboyant Sir Clough Williams Ellis who wanted to bring together a dream .
It took Sir Clough from 1925 - 1975 to complete it as he wanted it and more or less made him bankrupt. It was built to specification but much of it is made from demolished buildings from all around the World making it an even more fantasy land of architecture and design.
Visiting the Village are people of all ages, some visiting on the strength of the TV Series, many not even born when it was made and others for the beauty of the Village and surrounding landscape.
There are walks around the adjoining Woodland (you never know what's around the next corner), Shops and reasonably priced Cafes and Restaurant's
Portmerion is now owned by a Charitable Trust and although open to the Public as a Tourist Attraction is actually classed as a Hotel - a very special one!
If in Wales, do not miss out on a place I'm sure will inspire you and maybe give you a dream as well!