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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner

    When the human chess match is preparing to start, the chess pieces taking their squares on the board. I enjoy the incidental music, and the Butler, seen here wearing his cape inside out, with an administrative official carrying a chessboard, as well as shading the Butler from the sun by carrying the open umbrella. While the Butler carries the box of chess pieces. This makes the Butler look far more important than his job as manservant to Number 2 would suggest. What is it about the Butler, in this instance, that warrants such a privilege, the need for him to be escorted by an administrative official? It has been suggested, in the past, that it’s the Butler who controls the moves in the human chess match. That he makes the moves first, and the players then follow the moves the Butler dictates. Yet this cannot be right, as the Butler follows the moves being made by the two chess players. The Butler is a student of chess, and likes to follow the moves on his own chessboard. But that doesn’t explain the administration official. Mind you, the Butler is there at the beginning of ‘Checkmate,’ and he’s there at the end, placing the white Queen’s pawn back on the chessboard. Is there something symbolically significant in that, or is it pure coincidence? If anyone would have put that pawn back on the chessboard, it would have been Number 2. Unless the Butler is Number 1, and in that case, perhaps it’s the Butler controlling the moves on the metaphorical chessboard that is The Village!

Be seeing you

Citizen No.58

   Whatever happened to Number 58? That delightful woman who speaks in some incomprehensible tongue. I know we could not understand one syllable she uttered, but there was something appealing about her, you couldn’t help but like her. Yes she irritated Number 6 because she couldn’t speak English, but had she been anyone else Number 6 would have been prejudiced against them. And after all, all Number 58 wanted to do was help Number 6. And it made her feel important, instead of being a mere maid. She was Number 6’s driver, to be by his side at all times, well most of the time. Mind you it must have been very difficult for Number 58 being in The Village and unable to speak English. But at least Number 2 was able to speak her language, so perhaps that wasn’t so bad for her. She was at Number 6’s side when he took over the inner sanctum of the Green Dome, having fun with him as they found out what all the buttons on the control panel of Number 2’s desk do. As well as answering the telephone! But then there came a sudden and dramatic change in Number 58, she was no longer the convivial housemaid, cheerful and friendly, but a cold hearted, unfeeling woman. Who promised Number 6 that what had taken place in ‘Free For All’ was but the beginning! Was really playing the role of Number 56 nothing more than that, an act? Was there no part of Number 58 inside this hard faced Number 2? If there was it was gone. Which is a pity, as I rather like the character of Number 58, she was quite pleasing in a way.

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Prismatic Reflection

    It would appear that either The Village administration, or the powers that be which lie somewhere over there in the outside world beyond The Village, can call upon a good number of personnel from within British Intelligence. The Colonel and Fotheirngay came from the department from which the Prisoner-No.6 resigned. Whether or not the Colonel and Thorpe can be included I’ve never been able to make up my mind. I’m even less sure about Curtis, who was seconded to The Village in order to impersonate No.6, as so little is known about him, except that he and No.2 had worked together before, but outside The Village.
   The Colonel pictured left is the third Colonel we see, he had been sent to the Village by the highest authority. He should have felt very proud, he said he was gratified, but had been sent to The Village without being told why. Perhaps had he been told he would have refused to go, but perhaps would have been taken anyway! The highest authority, who might that be then? No.1, or those “masters” we hear about from Cobb, and of which No.2 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ was so afraid? The Colonel asked No.2 if he would be kind enough to explain what it is he was supposed to do…….perhaps had he known….I’ve often wondered why the Colonel was sent on this current mission and not a field agent. But I suppose had it not been the Colonel, there wouldn’t have been any need for Sir Charles Portland. After all its always been the Colonel No.6 has gone running back to, only this time he is the Colonel, in a manner of speaking, hence the need for Sir Charles Portland for No.6 to go running back to!
   No matter how gratified the Colonel might be, he does seem a little uncomfortable, perhaps being in The Village brings back unhappy memories for him. After all he wouldn’t be the first to have been brought to The Village as a prisoner, then having been turned as Cobb had been, released, later to be brought back to The Village as with No.2 during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ and again for ‘Once Upon A Time.’

    No.2 explained about Professor Selzman being a neurologist who became interested in mind transference. The Colonel said he’d actually seen it done when he was in India, but not in the way No.2 means! Transferring the mind of one man into another, that the Colonel could become No.2 and No.2 could become the Colonel, well not quite, but close enough.
   The Colonel was interested enough when No.2 took him along to the amnesia room where all unpleasant memories of The Village are wiped from a subject’s mind, ready for the person to be sent out into the outside world again, and gave him a dummy demonstration of the Seltzman machine. I have sometimes thought how it might have been for the Colonel. No.6 was taken kicking from his cottage by four security guards, then sedated as he was placed in the Red Cross trailer and taken to the hospital where he would have remained sedated. I would have thought it would have been easier had they taken No.6 from his cottage during the night, when he would have been already sedated after drinking his drugged nightcap. Something they had done before on no fewer than four occasions. As for the Colonel, was he taken kicking and screaming to the Seltzman machine when he realized what was about to happen to him, and because of that have to be sedated first?
    There’s a question mark over this Seltzman machine. How did it fall into the hands of The Village’s administration? After all there cannot be many of these machines about, you certainly couldn’t buy them by the pound! Was it Seltzman’s original machine, which he for whatever reason had to abandon? Or was it constructed from plans stolen, or photographed? If so why not then bring Professor Seltzman to The Village together with his original plans and the Seltzman machine? Perhaps they almost caught up with Selzman, he got away but had to leave his machine behind, wherever that was. But then comes the question of subjects, people Professor Selzman could use in his mind transference experiments. After all how would he prove his machine without actual experimentation? He might need several subjects in order to perfect his machine. So it might well be that Seltzman worked on his machine, carrying out his experiments where there would be an abundance of subjects. Some institution perhaps, or a Nazi Concentration Camp during the war where he was forced to work. He might have evaded the liberators of such a camp by putting his mind in another person’s body, another of the prisoners there. Such is the possibility for speculation.
   But what of this Colonel, he was just as much a traitor, or turncoat as his predecessors. Except he died on an operating table, his mind wrongly housed in Professor Seltzman’s body, and would no doubt be buried in The Village crematory in an unmarked grave seeing as he had no number. I’ve always felt sorry for this particular Colonel, having been seconded to The Village, but without knowing why, and perhaps after all he did face what there was to face with courage and dignity. His last words being “Tell Number One I did my duty,” and that is all anyone can do in The Village!                 

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Bureau of Visual Records

   Number 6, having apparently come to his senses, steals a Jet boat, and in having fought off the two motor mechanics attempts to escape, while being pursued by Number 2 in the helicopter. The person throwing himself overboard into the water boat is not Patrick McGoohan, but a local man to Porthmadog, who played the role of Number 6 at the wheel of the boat and eventually ended up in the water, because Patrick McGoohan couldn’t go into the water at that time as he had an ear infection.
   I like the character of Number 58, she is quite charming. As for her character of Number 2, I’d hate to think what she’d like to do to Number 6. I bet she could think of many ways and means to bring hurt and pain to him!
    I don’t think Number 6 was goaded into standing for election. I like to think it was a mixture of gentle persuasion and Number 6’s predictability. They knew that Number 6 wouldn’t be able to resist standing for office, because the vote for No.6 placard, and other placards had already been fabricated. Its interesting how Number 6 told the electorate that he intended to discover who the prisoners and who the warders, but it isn’t until ‘Checkmate’ that he discovers who some of them are!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts


The Tally Ho

Escape — It’s A Risky Business
  by our own reporter

    You can either go off the cuff and attempt to run away, drive away in a Mini-Moke, or place your trust in someone who hands you an Electro Pass and attempt to escape by helicopter. But really if you are to attempt an escape its always best to know where you are escaping from, so that you can calculate where it is you are escaping to! Lucky for No. 6 then that his ally, Nadia, had seen a file,  even if it was only for a few seconds, but enough to know the location of The Village. What’s more Nadia has a contact man from the Village of Braniewo. No.6 was in such a hurry to escape The Village, that he didn’t once consider how Nadia was able to make contact with the man at the cave when she was in The Village! It might have been that Karel was there at the cave just on the off-chance should Nadia manage to escape The Village But then how did he know she was there in the first place? It was supposed that No.6 and Nadia would eventually arrive in an office he knows very well in London. A 12 hour journey by sea Gdansk/Danzig then by air to Copenhagen , and by air again to London. Except that journey never actually took place. There was a short journey by sea, then back to The Village aboard the M. S. Polotska, not that No.6 was aware of that, sealed in that crate! The fact of the matter is No.6 had been betrayed on two occasions when he had tried to escape, by women!          No.6 is not one to stop trying, he again takes to the sea aboard a jet boat. Having boarded the boat and fought off the two motor mechanics, he heads for the open sea chased by No.2 piloting the helicopter. The result of this escape attempt is exactly the same as it was on land. Throwing himself out of a moving vehicle, and a confrontation with the Guardian! And if it hasn’t been risky enough for No.6 by this point, things get more risky when he attempts an escape  by impersonating Curtis! He tried to say as little as possible during that ride to the helicopter, because he had no idea what No.2 was talking about when he mentioned that proposition he had put to Curtis when he arrived in The Village. No.6 was on edge, he than made the mistake about the General, and then, well how was No.6 to have known Susan had died a year ago? Betrayed again if indirectly, by a woman!     No.6 then once more takes to the sea aboard an open raft. 25 days at sea, and finally he makes a “home run,” only to find someone, Mrs. Butterworth, living in his home in London! With the aid of the Colonel and Thorpe, his story of the road block, the gypsy encampment, and Mrs. Butterworth are checked out and found to be true. Then its just a matter of locating The Village, which means a search area of some 1,750 square miles! Its been a long journey, but once again No.6 ends up back where he started. It seems his cottage is the only place he can ever go!     Two thefts were reported by a painter working on the refit of the Stone Boat. That of a lifebelt and a length of rope! It was thought that No.6 had taken them, as he was seen loitering on the quayside at the time. However the body of No.34, tied to a lifebelt, was retrieved from the sea by the crew of M. S. Polotska. Despite the life preserver No.34 had seemingly died from cold and exposure! Another spate of thefts took place in the Village, the first of which were two Taxis, but this was let ride. Then a surveillance camera was removed from its mounting, a telephone from a kiosk, a screwdriver and electrical components from an electrics tuck. And an aerial was broken off one of the taxis! No.6 was accused by No.53 that he takes too many risks, well escape is worth a risk or two isn’t it? But it seems it was the Rook who took most of the risks in this case, especially when it is he who had to put to the open sea on such a flimsy raft in order to bring a rescue boat inshore. It can be no surprise that no women were involved in this attempted escape, and no wonder. However one element does appear to have been overlooked by No.6 as he planned another attempted escape by sea……………………..the time of the tides!

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Friday, 26 August 2016

Night of The General

   As Number 6 returns to his cottage, outside it’s rather like Mardi Gras, everyone is celebrating the fruits of Speedlearn, he switches on the main lights. Then when he switches on the overhead lamp all the lights fuse! Suddenly the telephone begins to bleep. Picking up the receiver Number 6 is instructed to remain where he is, and not to leave. Electrics and administration are on their way. For such an emergency as this, Number 6 will find candles in the upper kitchen cabinet. A few moments later electrics turns up on one of the garden tractors, so it couldn’t have been much of an emergency, otherwise Number 151 would have walked! Number 6 then shows the electrician where the fault is just as Number 12 of administration arrives on the scene. He wants to know what’s going on, apparently there’s be a deliberate short circuit across the contacts of a light bulb….sabotage, that’s punishable! The electrician informs Number 12 that they’ll need a 2 stroke d replacement {I’ve always thought they needed a new light bulb} but perhaps he means a new fuse in the fuse box, seeing as all the lights have blown! The electrician is then instructed by Number 12 to contact Electrics control and have them switch in temporary reserve, temporary reserve from what, batteries?
   Number 12 is the first conspirator Number 6 has had, and one inside the machine, even if he is a small cog! He’s had the Professor’s lecture heard on the tape recorder micro reduced, and placed in a ballpoint pen, which he gives to Number 6. So Number 12 had been able to gain access to the Professor’s tape recorder, after Number 6 had given it to Number 2. He also gave Number 6 two security pass discs.   
   Number 12 blames Number 6 for the act of sabotage, the punishment could be a fine, it could be imprisonment {what’s that a prison within a prison, or solitary confinement} Number 6 says he’ll take the fine. So the next day Number 6 has to go to Number 12’s office in Administration, where Number 12 gives him the uniform of a Top Hat’s official, that of black suit, tie, white shirt, top hat, overcoat, dark glasses, and a document case. How Number 6 actually got those items from the Town Hall to his cottage is anyone’s guess. Even if all the items had been parcelled up, that parcel would have attracted the attention of the Observers I should have thought. And yet it was Number 12 who carried out the act of sabotage, why was this not observed by an Observer?

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