40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time

From serial killers to cylons, mobsters to murderous moms — counting down the TV characters you love to hate

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17. Number Two, 'The Prisoner'

When even the archvillains are interchangeable cogs in the machine, you know bad shit is afoot. This was the dilemma faced by Number Six, the stiff-upper-lip spy imprisoned in a bizarre open-air psychological experiment called the Village, in actor/writer/director/co-creator Patrick McGoohan's paranoid classic. The colony is run by a series of operatives called Number Two, each of whom devises their own ways of trying to break our mysterious hero down. Few last long in the position, though by appearing in three separate episodes, including the soul-crushing highlight "The Chimes of Big Ben," Leo McKern deserves special mention. If you've ever had to answer to the contradictory whims of uncaring bosses in a soulless corporate work environment, you know Number Two by heart already.

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