Fan homecoming: analyzing the role of place in long-term fandom of The Prisoner

Abby Waysdorf*, Stijn Reijnders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates the potential role and use of place in long-term fandom, via a case study of fans of The Prisoner and its main filming location of Portmeirion in North Wales. Much research on film tourism focuses on one-time encounters, but fans of The Prisoner have been visiting and revisiting Portmeirion regularly for over 50 years, potentially developing a different sort of relationship with it. Based on interviews with 16 long-term fans of The Prisoner and participatory observation on site, we develop the concept of the “fan homecoming,” a return visit to a familiar fandom-related place, and show how this relationship with place can shape long-term fandom. In facilitating repeated and ritualized practices, being able to regularly gather with other fans, and providing a “safe vault” for the fandom and its memories, place is shown to have an integral role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-65
Number of pages16
JournalPopular Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [GW, PR-11-77].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

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