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Monday, 30 March 2015

8 Private

    8 private is a small apartment, one could say bijou, Of course Nadia Rakovsky is a plant in The Village, so that when she wakes up and says “Thank God I’m home” we have to take it on face value that the apartment in which she wakes up, is in fact a replica of her own home. Something which Number 2 does confirm to Number 6 as they watch Nadia on the wall screen. But then we again only have Number 2’s word for that. In reality the apartment and its fixtures, fittings, furniture, and d├ęcor could have nothing to do with Nadia at all! However for arguments sake, we shall assume Nadia Rakovsy, if that be her name, has just woken up in her own home.
  To my eye the apartment looks to be “countrified,” of rural origin, as suggested by the furniture made of chunky solid wood, the bed, the dresser, even the window shutters. The stove in the background suggests the country. There is only a small simple folding table in the background accompanied by three equally simple chairs. The two oil lamps suggest that there is no electricity laid on in the apartment. But there is a telephone line, and a continental-style telephone.
   Pictures hanging on the walls are limited to two needlework “samplers” hung above the bed. Nadia’s home is functional, there are few ornaments. There is a ceramic chicken, which could be for holding freshly laid eggs, a statuette of a chap on a horse, a small horse, an elephant, and two matching candlesticks. On the table next to the telephone, a box, a pin tray with two matching ceramic pots. And either a mirror or picture frame, it’s difficult to tell which, as it faces away from the camera. Curiously there looks to be no personal possessions belonging to Nadia in the apartment.
   There is one small anomaly connected to 8 Private however. Outside we see the regular sign post for the apartment, but it is accompanied by the number 8 in a white circle on the wall. Is this something to do with Portmeirion, or something put on the wall by the production crew, and if so why?

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Caught On Camera!

   The set of the Council Chamber is nicely done, adapted from the set of Number 2’s office. The colour of the wall has been changed, orange for purple, with the addition of the stairs. It’s just a pity that the effect is ruined because of the failure to disguise that pair of doors a bit better. It makes it look like a bodged up job!

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Wheels Within The Wheel!

    In the way that ‘the Prisoner’ series is cyclical, commencing and ending with a clash of thunder, a long deserted runway. A green and yellow nosed Lotus 7 looming large out of the distance towards the camera, together with the determined look on the face behind the wheel. So ‘Many Happy Returns’ is a cyclical episode within the series, in that having escaped, Number 6 ends up where he began, back in The Village. As with ‘A B and C,’ another cyclical episode, which both begins and ends with the bleeping of a large curved, over-sized red telephone. It could be said that ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ is also cyclical, not in a visionary way, but in the way that Number 2 is no more forward with Number 6 than he was at the outset……..back to the beginning!

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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Storm In A Teacup!

    The other day I was contacted by email by a fan of ‘the Prisoner’ who had been watching the series on blu-ray for the first time. The comment was made when the Prisoner slams his fist down hard on the bureaucrat's desk upsetting the cup in its saucer. They said that there are two saucers, the bottom saucer one is cracked apart by the force of the fist slammed down on the desk. This led to the question, why are there two saucers? I explained that there are not two saucers, only one, the other is a tea plate which would have held biscuits to go with the cup of tea. And pointed this correspondent to a recent article I wrote on this subject on my blog.
   It would appear that even watching ‘the Prisoner’ via the clarity of Blu-ray, does not help the viewer to a better understanding of ‘the Prisoner’ series.

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                       “The Maelstrom!”

Cue Thunder!

   The sound of thunder at the very outset of the majority of ‘the Prisoner’ episodes indicates that there’s a storm brewing with dark clouds over a long deserted runway. The thunder being a possible representation of the probable anger of the man sitting behind the wheel of the green, yellow nosed Lotus 7 looming large out of the distance. And when the double doors of an office are pulled open, by the man soon to become the Prisoner, the thunder is repeated and continues as he storms into the office ranting at the Bureaucrat sat behind the desk as he vents his anger. Finally to slam his letter of resignation down upon the desk with force, punctuated by the bringing down his clenched fist hard upon the desk………. like a hammer.
    The car being driven along a deserted runway is suggestive, after all why a runway when a long deserted road might have been better used? Probably because the opening thunder is blended in with the sound of a jet aircraft, and with the use of the runway it is suggestive that the man has recently arrived by jet aircraft from foreign climbs. And having collected his car from the airport, was then on his way to hand in his resignation.

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The Illusion of Escape! b

   ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ certainly contained the illusion of escape, but at that time it was the furthest the Prisoner had managed to get away from The Village, 30 miles along the coast! In ‘Many Happy Returns’ the Prisoner actually returned to London. There was no illusion in this case, only doubt and suspicion.
    And then the day came when Number 6 is returned to London for a second time, again supposedly free of The Village, and apparently on the day he was supposed to hand in his resignation, followed by his abduction, in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ In fact for a few moments everything appears to be normal {well as normal as ‘the Prisoner’ can be} as suddenly it appears that ‘the Prisoner’ has been “re-set,” and about to begin all over again when he goes off to hand in his resignation. But even that is an illusion, because ZM73 soon discovers he not the man he thought he was!
   There is no paranoia, no suspicion of his surroundings as ZM73 takes being back in London for granted. There is only confusion, and disorientation. ZM73 did not wake up in his London home having escaped The Village, because he had not been abducted as yet by a pair of undertakers. He had not yet handed in his letter of resignation, perhaps the reason why he wasn’t abducted to The Village at that time! And yet this is another illusion. The illusion is broken when ZM73 looks into the mirror in the hallway and remembrances of The Village return to his memory. But he must “play the game” if he is to have any chance of undoing the terrible trick that has been played upon him!
   After the “Fall Out” the former Number 6 manages to escape The Village once more. London is now a reality, there is no suspicion of place, the illusion finally broken. Even ZM73 is about to climb behind the wheel of his Lotus 7, and a hearse drives slowly passed, there is no paranoia. But then why should there be, he doesn’t know that he was abducted by a pair of undertakers! ZM73 does climb behind the wheel of his Lotus 7, he drives off through the streets of London on his way to an office which is so familiar to him. A single word appears on the screen “Prisoner,” as an unsuspecting Civil servant enters the Houses of Parliament through the Peers entrance, to a clash of thunder. The sight of a long deserted runway, a car, a green yellow nosed Lotus 7 comes looming towards the camera, and finally the man behind the wheel of his car, the look of determination on his face. It is as though all that has happened, all that was seen to happen, the illusion suffered by ZM73 in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ had been re-set back to the day of ZM73’s resignation!

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