Among the cool gadgets and technology of 60s British Spy TV show “The Prisoner” was a neat film camera. Did Lomography turn the tide of the Cold War, at least on TV?
The Prisoner is a classic British Spy series from 1967. The title character, played by Patrick McGoohan, struggles with his imprisonment in an idyllic resort town that contains many dark secrets and motives. All 17 episodes of this brief but brilliant show are must-see. Even the opening credits are masterful.
In one episode, “Many Happy Returns,” the title character needs to quickly document the conditions of his imprisonment. He hopes to use the photos to bring his captors to justice. He heads down to his local camera store…
…and picks out the wonderful Canon Dial 35 as his weapon of choice.
The scene that follows has him snapping photos all over town, just like a good lomographer! I don’t think he shoots from the hip though. He chose his camera wisely too. The Canon Dial 35 takes half frames and advances the film automatically, so he can fit 72 exposures on a single roll and shoot in rapid sucession. That let him gather more evidence, yet still only need to smuggle out a single roll of film. Without spoiling any more of the plot, I’ll just say that his prints turned out really well!
Further cementing the analog camera theme, a later episode, “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,” revolves around a roll of slide film. He stops by another camera store to pick it up. That is, if a double-agent hasn’t picked up the roll already…
Anyway, just remember that every time you use a Russian Lomo camera, you have a lomographic counterpart in the British Mi6!