Rover - White, spherical
guardian that roamed throughout the espionage adventure THE
Shaped like a large weather balloon, the Rover (with a
sound like a lion's roar and a gale force wind) hunted down
any person who attempted escape from the secret seaside resort
known as the Village.
When the Rover caught an escapee, it
enveloped their body, suffocating them temporarily or
The Rover traveled on both land and sea to catch
its prey especially Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) an unwilling
guest of this strange environment whose continual attempts at
escape were thwarted by the ubiquitous white patrolman.
episode No. 5 "Schizoid Man," a man looking like Number Six
tried to convince real Number Six that he was not whom he
thought he was. In the end, the double was killed by Rover.
This was the episode that first identified the guardian with a
name. When it killed the double (because he panicked and ran),
Number Six telephoned Number Two and said "Rover got him."
Originally, the script for the series envisioned a driverless
Volkswagen with a blue light as the Rover. Fortunately, this
idea was abandoned for the more mysterious, nebulous rolling
In an interview in Toronto in 1977 Patrick McGoohan told TV host Warner Troyer:
"We had this marvelous
piece of machinery that was being built which was gonna be
"Rover" and this thing was like a hovercraft and it would go
underwater, come up on the beach, climb walls; it could do
anything. The was our original Rover. By the first day of
shooting, unfortunately, the engineers, mechanics and
scientific geniuses hadn't quite completed it to perfection.
And the first day of shooting, Rover was supposed to go down
off the beach into the water, do a couple of signals and a
couple of wheel spins and come back up. But it went down into
the water and stayed down, permanently."
The show's Producer
Manger Bernard Williams and star Patrick McGoohan soon after
noticed a meteorological balloon floating overhead and thus
was born "Rover."
According to the book "The Official Prisoner Companion"
(Warner Books, 1988) the "Rover" symbolized "repression and
the guardianship of corrupt authority, which when corruption
is finally overcome, disintegrates."
The Rovers were the "sheep dogs of the allegory...when
people asked too many questions or assert their individuality,
the Rovers acted as a stifling force. If one began to stray
from the herd, Rovers were sent to bring them back."
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