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Monday, 18 September 2017

Caught On Camera!

    Poor old chap, he’s hurt himself! It’s all very well Number 6 having overpowered the projectionist and then to take his place. Number 12 must have explained to him what to do with the Professor’s micro reduced message, but did he say anything about the periscope? If not, how did Number 6 know the projectionist sits at the periscope, and what did he think he was looking for or at? When Number 6 broke into the projection room he attacked the projectionist, rendering him unconscious. A voice over a loudspeaker asked projection to check-in, in fact he was asked three times to do so. Then he went to the periscope, pulling it down and looking into it saying “All clear, standing by.” How did he know he had to do that?

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Village Life!

   “Who’s he?”
   “You, you’re Chambers.”
   “No, no I’m Cobb.”
   “Not Chambers?”
   “No, I told you.”
   “Couldn’t you be Chambers?”
   “It would make it better if you were.”
   “Because I was to have had a meeting with Chambers, to try and stop him.”
   “Stop him from doing what?”
   “Leaving the Foreign Office.”
   “He was defecting?”
   “Number Two mentioned Chambers, he knew I was going to meet Chambers but he never turned up. So I thought you were Chambers.”
    “Well I’m not, I’m Cobb!”
    “It would give continuity to the storyline……”
    “I’m Cobb, I was in
Germany, I went back to my hotel, I think I went to bed…I was here!”
    “You went to sleep in
Germany, and woke up here?”
    “Yes. Dutton’s here.”
    “Dutton, what’s he doing here?”
    “The same as you and me I should think, only it’s worse for him.”
    “Why, what are they doing to him?”
    “They sit him in….the comfy chair!”

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No.2 A Murderer?

    I think Number Two was greatly maligned by Number Six! He accused Number Two of killing Number Seventy-three, I don’t think Number Two was a murderer at all! And he left the office slamming the door behind him as he went. I sat back in my chair and began to consider, picturing the scene in my mind’s eye. There was Number 73 lying in bed in a hospital room, recovering from having slit both her wrists, because she had tried to kill herself. Obviously she wasn’t happy in The Village, and was having to endure another interview with Number 2. The question is where is 73’s husband? All she would say is that her husband had some work to finish, and he’s over there, somewhere over there. Did she perhaps mean behind the Iron Curtain? Number 2 attacked her husband’s devotion to 73 by taunting her with a photograph of her husband with the woman Mariah together in her hotel room. Suddenly Number 2 turns nasty, he thinks he’s wasted enough time, we are left wondering what he’s going to do next. Yes he slams down his leather document case in anger, and he does look menacing as he moves slowly and deliberately towards the bed and 73 quite naturally screams. Number 6 hears her screams, and runs to the hospital. He bursts into the room, two burly male orderlies try to restrain him, 73 screams again, leaps out of her bed and out through the open window to her death! Number 2 tells Number 6 that he shouldn’t have interfered, that he’ll pay for it. Number 6 replies “No, you will!” Later in Number 2’s office he has things to discuss with Number 6, who suggests it’s about the girl Number 2 murdered. But consider what happened. Yes Number 2 was using threatening behaviour towards 73, but he didn’t actually lay a hand upon her. Number 73 didn’t actually leap from her bed and out through the window until she saw Number 6 come bursting into the room! Number 2 simply stands there watching 73 jump to her death through the open window. It seems to me that 73 was determined to end her torment, to kill herself sooner or later. If Number 2 is guilty of anything, it’s of not looking after 73 better, and not trying to stop her. He knew of 73’s suicidal tendency, and should have taken due care. That hospital window should have remained firmly closed for a start. After all committing suicide by jumping out of a hospital window is not unheard of, there was Cobb, perhaps that’s why Number 6 went to look out of the window, perhaps just to make sure!
   But why Number 73 should take to committing suicide at the sight of Number 6 bursting into the room is quite beyond my comprehension. Is it that she recognized Number 6? If so where from, and why did his sudden appearance have such a dramatic effect on 73? Perhaps in his former life and employment Number 6 had dealings with 73’s husband, if he was in the same line of work. Did she fear Number 6 more than she did Number 2? One thing is certain, Number 2 may well have been a sadist, but he was no murderer. We shall never know what would have happened had Number 6 not come bursting into the room. However looking at it from a different angle, it maybe that 73 simply saw her chance for escape. That she used Number 6 as a diversion, that it distracted Number 2 long enough as to give her the few valuable seconds she required in order to jump to her death.
   Whereas Number 2 is a sadist who is going to hammer Number 6, Number 6 is a humanitarian, he cares about people. Number 73 was
a damsel in distress, and he vowed to avenge her death, he even laid a bunch of daffodils upon her grave. Didn’t you notice that? Well who else is there in The Village who would have laid flowers on 73’s grave?   
    As for Number 2, I was pondering the idea of how he managed to smuggle his own sword shooting stick into The Village? It’s an offensive weapon, and I should have thought the shooting stick would have been confiscated and replaced with the more usual umbrella shooting stick? And why should Number 2 think he would be in need of such a weapon, unless it was for self-protection, but against whom? And if Number 1 knew enough about Number 2 to ask if he required assistance, then perhaps he knew about Number 2 threatening Number 6 with that sword. Poor old chap, he simply wasn’t up to the job this Number 2. As for Number 6, he may have been an avenging angel, but perhaps Number 1 saw him in a different light, as Nemesis, an agent to be used in order to bring about Number 2’s downfall! 

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Favourite Scene In The General

   When Number 6 attends one of Madam Professor’s art seminars, he is busy sketching when he attracts her attention.
    “Can I help you?”
    “I don’t know….can you?”
    “Finding things a bit strange?”
    “That is the trouble, I can’t find anything at all!”
    “What exactly are you looking for?”
    “What are we all looking for?”
    “Well let’s see now. That gentleman over there. What do you think he’s doing?”
    “Tearing up a book.”
    “He’s creating a fresh concept, construction arises out of the ashes of destruction. And that woman?”
    “Standing on her head.”
    “She’s developing a new perspective.”
    “Really. Him?”
    “He’s asleep, one learns only when the mind wants to, not at set times.”
    “Is that what your husband believes?”
    “It’s self evident surely. What’s your subject?”
    “What’s yours?”
    “Mine? Modern art.”
    Number 6 tears off the top sheet of his sketch pad and hands it to Madam Professor. The sketch is of herself but in a General’s uniform.
    “What do you think of this?” handing her his sketch.
    Madam Professor looks to be insulted.
    “Not altogether flattering. So art’s your subject too.”
    “No, no, military history, Generals and that kind of thing.”
    “I’m afraid you may be wasting your time.”
    “What a pity. I understood your husband is quite an authority on the subject.”
    “He may be. But I’m not.”
    Madam tears Number 6’s sketch in half.
    “Creation out of destruction?”

    It would seem the tearing up of Number 6’s sketch is symbolic for the destruction of the General! Number 6 asked Madam Professor what are we all looking for? Madam Professor and her husband must have come to The Village looking for something. But I bet they were not expecting it to be The Village!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                  “You ain’t seen me, right!”

The Prisoner In Isolation!

   He wasn’t so much in isolation, that would mean the Prisoner had been set apart from others, or to be placed alone. But the Prisoner wasn’t alone, simply placed in a place of isolation, The Village, a place isolated from the rest of the world. Patrick McGoohan had been thinking about how a man might react when placed in isolation, and eventually presented us with such a man in isolation, isolated from the environment of the outside world....the Prisoner-Number 6. He does at times attempt to reach out to the world he knows, to escape back to London, or to at least send a message, hopefully to be discovered. Personally speaking I’m of the opinion that Number 6 is never more isolated than in the episode 'A Change of Mind,' as the whole population of the Village is turned against him. The Prisoner posted as being disharmonious by the Committee. And yet it might seem that Number 6 had isolated himself from The Village, by having constructed himself a gymnasium somewhere in the woods. Whereas previously he had enjoyed the facilities of the gymnasium, shooting, fencing, his daily bout of Kosho practise, however they are one-on-one sports, whereas the high bar and punch bag can be simply for the individual. And we must not forget that Number 6 had built his private gymnasium in the woods before the advent of ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ and even then Number 6 maintained his daily Kosho practise in The Village gymnasium. By using his own gymnasium in the woods, he is merely keeping himself to himself. Because there are times when Number 6 prefers his own company to that of others, after all there are times when we all feel like that aren’t there?
   However isolation can come in many forms. In 'Many Happy Returns' Number 6 escapes The Village, returns to his own world, yet he is still a man in isolation because he has no money, and the only things he possesses are the clothes he wears. Basically Number 6 has become a vagabond, a tramp. Homeless and without friends, he no longer belongs to that situation from which he resigned, yet is desperate for both the Colonel and Thorpe to believe his story about The Village.  In 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,' Number 6 is deliberately returned to the outside world, the only trouble is it's in the guise of someone else, with all unpleasant memories of the Village wiped from his mind, and regressed back to the day the Prisoner was set to hand in his letter of resignation. Again he goes back to the only people who he thinks can help him, his previous colleagues, but with the added problem of convincing Sir Charles Portland that he is who he claims to be, but only gets as far as to intrigue Sir Charles. It is his failure to prove who he is that now isolates the Prisoner from his own people. He is a man left out in the cold by both sides. He cannot even sign a cheque for fear of a charge of forgery! His appearance may have been altered, but his handwriting is the same, and in the end, and as it turns out, it is his handwriting that proves his identity!
   At the final turn of 'the Prisoner' with 'Fall Out,' in a way, that caused Patrick McGoohan to became a man in isolation. Yes he may have had his family about him, but it was the British general public who turned on McGoohan at the time. Perhaps seeing him as an Unmutual {although I doubt it} yet the meaning is there. Why? Because the British general public felt that they had been cheated by 'Fall Out.' People expected answers, but 'Fall Out' only muddied the waters even more. People didn't understand it and were outraged enough so as to complain about it! Yet would we have respected Mcgoohan more if had he explained all about 'the Prisoner?’ Should we have expected him to do so? If he had dotted all the 'i's and crossed all the 't's he would have robbed us of all the fun we've had over the decades trying to figure out what 'the Prisoner' means to each and everyone of us, on an individual level.

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Number 66

    At one time I must have been a very popular Number in The Village, seeing as I appear no fewer than four times in the one episode. First I’m pinned to the frilly apron worn by a housemaid. You remember her, she tried to play on the sympathy of the Prisoner-Number 6, but he hasn’t any sympathy for anyone! She told him that if he gave her some sort of information they would let her go. But he soon saw through her, telling the housemaid that her services would not be required tomorrow! Then the next thing I know is, I’m pinned to a taxi driver outside the hospital, giving Number 6 a lift home. Then later I find myself pinned to a British navy ex-Admiral’s cap, he’s sat at a table on the lawn of the Old People’s Home waiting for a chess opponent to play. I wonder why he wanted to hide his cap badge? But if that’s not curious enough, a little later I was pinned to the self same British naval cap badge, but it’s worn by a different ex-Admiral, who is playing with a plastic boat in the pool in the Piazza. What’s more he’s got a woman with him, and she’s wearing a naval cap. Perhaps she’s his flag officer......just a minute she could be Number 1! Because in the navy the first officer of a ship is known as Number 1! Now what make you of that?

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