Words words words
Hard to say, really. I'm far from an expert on the show, but I had a buddy who loved it back in the day and was hip to all the theories about it. From what he would say, and what I've read about it, McGoohan and the other supposed creator (who McGoohan never really acknowledged as co-creator) had differing accounts about how they came up with the show, what the show was about, and pretty much everything. And McGoohan himself only gave a few interviews about the show and contradicted his own story a few times. Plus, he liked playing with expectations and misleading people, so sometimes he would flat-out lie about what was going on in the show or what he meant by this or that. As far as I can tell, for example, he absolutely refused to give a direct answer on just what the fuck was going on with the final episode, "Fall Out."Also wasn't at least one of the inspirations for The Prisoner someone asking him at a party jokingly so what does a secret agent do now that he's retired, and McGoohan thinking to himself that's a good question?
So in my 20s I first came across the show thanks to this gaming buddy, watched the whole thing in like a week, and was starting to obsess about it. My buddy and I would talk about it every day. I even tracked down the graphic novel that was supposed to be the sequel, Shattered Visage. And then I was reading some interview with McGoohan in which he more-or-less stated flat out that he had no interest in explaining anything about that show.
And I realized it was a mystery without a solution, a big exploration into surrealism that shouldn't be taken too seriously or literally because the creator of it wasn't interested in "what it all means," he was just trying to play around with ideas. Kept me from obsessing over it, although my buddy stuck with his fandom longer than we gamed together.