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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Bureau of Visual Records


    “You’re not thinking of jumping?”
    “Never.”
    Even if he was, neither Number 2 nor Number 240 would be able to stop him. But no, Number 6 is not a man to take what is laughingly called “the easy way out.” Besides Number 6’s suicide might well have been one too many, and what would The Village or the television series be without Number 6? Certainly had Number 6 jumped, it would have been Number 2 who would have been on trial, being found guilty by the three Judges, sentenced to death in the name of the people, and having the citizens set upon her heels in order to carry out the sentence in the name of justice. And with Number 6 dead, where would they have found another of his calibre? No, it has to be said that both The Village without Number 6, and ‘the Prisoner’ as a television series without Patrick McGoohan would have become a very different place!

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Feb 22nd


    What I don’t understand is this. How can so much in ‘the Prisoner’ be happening this month fifty years ago? After all so much action taking place after Feb 10th over laps, and during no less than three episodes all at the same time! Obviously it’s the fault of both the scriptwriters, producer, executive producer, oh yes, and the director! No-one seems to have given it much thought, or perhaps they didn’t expect ‘the Prisoner’ to be scrutinized so closely. But then it’s only a television programme, it’s not a religion or anything, its just that a cult has grown up all around it that’s all. And just think, if ‘the Prisoner’ had turned out perfectly, enthusiasts of the series wouldn’t have had anything to talk about, discuss, debate regarding ‘the Prisoner’ these past fifty years! Mind you if the date Feb 10th had not appeared in two episodes one third of the problem could be taken out of the equation. But even that wouldn’t have stopped the fact that it was fifty years ago today on Wednesday February 22nd, exactly to the day, that Number 6 set sail aboard his sea-going raft.
   It had to be on this day in order to take into account the 25 days he spent at sea, in order for him to arrive back home in London on March 18th.  Whilst at sea his diet consisted of cold baked beans, corned beef, and pears eaten straight out of tins. Mind you its possible that that diet began even before Number 6 set sail. It may be reasonable to suppose that it was on February 20th when he woke up to find The Village deserted. It is calculated that he would have needed at least a day or two in order to fell trees, empty oil drums, and build his raft. I say a couple of days, because it’s unlikely that Number 6 completed the construction of his raft in a day. But then like most things in ‘the Prisoner’ it’s all a question of time! And seeing there was no electricity it would mean Number 6 would have already have been eating cold food. Unless of course he made a campfire taking food and using utensils taken from his home to cook it!

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Citizen No.6?


    It doesn’t matter where No.6 goes, there are always fans ready to pursue him, even back in the early eighties when fans of ‘the Prisoner’ came together for the first time in The Village. No.6 didn’t know this was about to happen, and on one occasion when he attempted to escape, he found himself incommoded whichever way he turned! In the end he had to overpower two boatmen in order to escape the clutches of his adoring fans. And yet they loved every minute of it, chasing No.6 from pillar to post. In fact the longer No.6 was able to elude his pursuers they more they enjoyed it, seen here chasing No.6 while holding placards chanting “Six, six, six, six, six, six!” It wasn’t until it was time for those enthusiasts to leave The Village that No.6 could begin to relax again, The Village returning to normal life!

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Special Imports!

    Cuckoo clocks, cameras, long playing records, cordless telephones, Portmeirion pottery {Penny Plain design}, and blue and white Cornish ware pottery, are all sold at one time or another in the General Store.
     The Cuckoo clocks obviously originated from Switzerland, while there were a variety of cameras for sale in The General Store, one of which was a Canon Dial 35mm camera. However the maker’s name of the camera used in the episode ‘Many happy Returns,’ is obscured with a piece of black tape. As is the name of and maker’s name on the ‘L’ shaped telephones used in The Village. However when it comes to Long Playing records, once again on sale in the General Store, the name of, even the picture of the artiste on the record sleeves, are not so easy to hide. Not from the citizens of The Village, oh no, but from the camera, so that those who are watching, no not the observers
.........but the television viewers!

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Village Life!


    “Yes gentlemen?”
    “I’d like some lead for my propelling pencil, and my friend here would like some stick jaw.”
    “Stick jaw, what’s that when it’s at home?”
    “Homemade toffee.”
    “Well why didn’t you say toffee?”
    “Is it homemade?”
    “Well I don’t make it, I only sell it.”
    “So it’s not homemade?”
    “I could say that Number Thirty-eight makes it.”
    “What, you mean the old woman whom I bought that tapestry from, time at the Arts and Crafts exhibition?”
    The Rook “Did you?”
    “Yes.”
    “That was kind of you.”
    “Not really, it cost me two thousand work units. So Number Thirty-eight makes stick jaw now does she?”
    “No.”
    “But you said she did.”
    “No, what I said was, I could say that Number thirty-eight makes it.”
    The Rook “What about penny chews?”
    “Penny chews, don’t sell them.”
    “Black Jacks?”
    “No.”
    “Bubble gum?”
    “I used to sell bubble gum, but people would spit it out onto the roads and paths, and there were complaints about it. It’s the very devil to remove you know. So Number 2 put a stop to my selling bubble gum!”
    “What about sherbet dabs, lucky bags, oh and acid drops?”
    “No, I don’t sell any of those, I’ve got chocolate limes, liquorice allsorts, pineapple cubes, humbugs, and hundreds and thousands, gobstoppers, lemon sherbets, pear drops, and honeycomb……...”
    “Chewing nuts?”
    “Not since I’ve been using the talcum powder!”
    “Well I’ll take a quarter of a pound of dolly mixtures, a bar of fruit and nut, and a packet of love hearts!”
    “Never mind about all that, what about the lead for my pencil?”
    “Hb, H, or HB4?”
    “HB.”
    “Sorry sold out!”
    “Cigarettes?”
    “Yes, no, don’t tell me you want twenty Number Six!”
    “You trying to be funny?”
    “Obviously not. Well come inside gentlemen I’m sure I can sell you something. I do a nice line in gentleman’s magazines, village pin-ups that sort of thing. Strictly under the counter service you understand.....”

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The Therapy Zone

    You know what with all those restrictions that were imposed on Number 2, the fact that no extreme measures were to be used....yet. How Number 2 didn’t want Number 6 to end up damaged, not wanting him to end up a man of fragments. That they didn’t want to, nor must they damage Number 6 permanently say their masters, because there are other ways. More than that, time was also imposed on Number 2 when dealing with Number 6. Which is all very well, but it’s as though Number 1 didn’t want anyone extracting the reason behind Number 6’s resignation! Mind you, if Number 6 and Number 1 are one and the same, but separate, one might be forgiven for thinking that Number 1 knew the reason why his other self resigned in the first place! Perhaps extracting the reason why Number 6 resigned isn’t why he’s in The Village, but there for reasons of self torture, self persecution for having resigned in the first place!

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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Youth Rebels Against Nothing It Can Define!

   Number 48 is described by the President as youth, with its enthusiasm, which rebels against any accepted norm because it must. It may wear flowers in its hair, bells on its toes. As well as being uncoordinated youth, rebelling against nothing it can define. As for Number 48, I used to wonder if he wasn’t the former Number 8 who committed suicide at the end of ‘Living In Harmony.’ He could have been resuscitated like the “late” Number 2 in ‘Fall Out’ and given a new number. That would make it right what the President said about 48, that he was with us, but then he went and gone. Resuscitated he saw the light, rebelling against The Village and all it stood for, The Village being the accepted norm by many.
   I’ve always been of the opinion that like Number 6 Number 48 had successfully survived his own “ultimate test,” and like Number 6 had been given the opportunity of stating his own case, as well as being given his own clothes to wear. And yet……it might be that Number 48 had been born in The Village, if that is the case, then where did Number 48 get those clothes he wears, the military tunic, trousers, top hat and white boots? Because they could not be his own clothes, it could be that they belonged to someone else. That clothes belonging to people who are brought to The Village wearing their own clothes, that when they are given Village attire to wear, that their own clothes are put into storage. It has been said by one of ‘the Prisoner’s’ production crew that the Kid in ‘Living In Harmony’ wears the clothes of the men he has killed. So continuing to think outside the box, it could be that after Number 48 found his way into where The Village inmate’s former clothes are stored, put together the outfit he now wears from a selection of other people’s clothes!
   It may be that my first assumption about Number 48 that the clothes he wears are his own. And yet I find there is something appealing about my further assumption regarding Number 48.


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