14 Greatest Format-Breaking SF & Fantasy TV Episodes Ever 5

5 The Prisoner
“The Girl Who Was Death" (1968)

With a show as unrelentingly weird as The Prisoner you might think that finding a format-breaking episode would be as simple as sticking a pin in an episode guide. But even for this show, “The Girl Who Was Death” stands out as an episode that totally pulls the rug out from under the audience’s feet, refusing to explain what's going on until the very last scene. Instead of starting off with Number Six in the Village, for some reason, with no explanation, this episode starts with him seemingly back in his old life as a spy, on the trail of a mad scientist. His attempts are forever thwart by the scientists daughter, who call herself Death. It’s like there ultimate Avengers episode, with exploding cricket balls, groovy camerawork and super rockets. Only at the end are we shown that it's all just shaggy dog story Number Six is telling to the Village children. Bizarrely, the episode was chosen to represent The Prisoner as part of Channel 4’s TV Heaven nostalgia strand (in which they revisited the TV of the past) in 1992, which left viewers for who this was their first experience of The Prisoner utterly befuddled as to what the show was actually about…

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