Dark fantasies: The Prisoner and the futures of imprisonment

Harmes, Marcus ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5104-1967 and Harmes, Meredith and Harmes, Barbara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5599-4204 (2020) Dark fantasies: The Prisoner and the futures of imprisonment. In: The Palgrave handbook of incarceration in popular culture. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Cham, Switzerland, pp. 499-510. ISBN 978-3-030-36058-0


ITC’s 1967 series The Prisoner is an enduring classic, yet surprisingly little attention has been given to the program as being about incarceration, and this chapter analyzes the program in penological terms, as a sustained meditation on incarceration beyond the conventional cell block and as an important forerunner of the atypical forms of imprisonment seen most recently in Black Mirror. Yet in its own time, The Prisoner was surrounded by a constellation of other surreal prisons. These prison oddities came at a watershed moment in criminal justice. In Britain, the death penalty had just been abolished leaving questions for the Home Office, prisons, and society about what to do with prisons and prisoners. The Prisoner would hardly provide information about actual prisons, but it did speak to anxieties then felt about the future directions of incarceration; its surrealism suggested alarmingly prescient ideas on surveillance, civil death, and confinement.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published chapter and Front Matter in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Open Access College (1 Jul 2013 - 7 Jun 2020)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Open Access College (1 Jul 2013 - 7 Jun 2020)
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 05:08
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 01:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Prisoner (tv series); television drama; science fiction; prisons; popular culture
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television
16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160203 Courts and Sentencing
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470101 Communication studies
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3605 Screen and digital media > 360505 Screen media
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440203 Courts and sentencing
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36059-7_30
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38457

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