50 Greatest TV shows ever made

Spanning seven decades and every genre under the sun, this is TV’s best of the best.

37. The Prisoner

50 Greatest TV shows ever made 13

The Prisoner ran for just a solitary season, but had enough of an impact on sci-fi that it has comfortably ascended into the pantheon of all-time greats, complete with the requisite cult following.

An intelligence agent is abducted and placed in a mysterious village, leading to all sorts of surrealist and existential adventures for Patrick McGoohan’s Number Six, with the leading man also co-creating, co-writing and directing several episodes of the series.

Despite the controversially open-ended conclusion, The Prisoner’s mix of espionage, sci-fi, allegorical themes, drama, psychological tangents and counterculturalism have seen its influence reach far and wide over the decades.