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Friday, 22 May 2015

The Therapy Zone

   You know what Number 2 told the Prisoner when he was undergoing a de-briefing session on the day of his arrival in The Village. “There’s not much we don’t know about you. But one likes to know everything.” Depending on what emphasis is placed on the word “one” we get a completely different meaning. Instead of “One likes to know everything” meaning an indefinite person, if the emphasis is placed on one {in a similar way to the opening sequence when Number 6 asks who is Number One. He is told “You are Number 6” meaning Number 2 is telling the Prisoner that he is Number 1, and not just telling him he’s Number 6} “One likes to know everything,” becomes Number 1 who likes to know everything! And that would work, if it were not for the burden of ‘Fall Out,’ when we learn Number 1 is Number 6. So in regard to Number 1 being the later ego of Number 6, it could be assumed that Number 1 knew the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation anyway!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                               “What Was That?”
                                “Sounded Like Click!”


Bureau of Visual Records

What have they done, or about to do to this poor chap?
   Is it imagination, or is the Doctor here, we do not know his number because he doesn’t wear one, appear to be somewhat startled, even shocked by the sight of this patient?
   Perhaps this Doctor doesn't have anything to do with human medical experimentation at the hospital, or with the aversion therapy programme. Capable only of carrying out the basic medical examination, and even then he has to feed his diagnosis of the Prisoner’s medical examination into a computer in order to gain the result. Which is strange, because all the doctor did was check his heart. Not his blood pressure, or pulse etc, etc. The doctor waited a few moments, and machine said the patient is absolutely fit!
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Thought For The Day

    It’s all a game in The Village, and everyone has their part to play. Each number has its exit and entrance, and in its time every number plays many characters! That’s why a number in one episode can be a Prisoner, and a Guardian in the next. Number 14 started out as a doctor, but by the time of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ 14 has been a chess champion, and then assistant to Number 2. Number 8 is generally in touch with its feminine side, as mostly 8 is a woman, except when it’s a man who committed suicide because he didn’t want the Judge to hit him no more!
   Sometimes there can be more than one of the same number in the one episode. Like 66, first a maid, then a taxi driver, and finally ex-Admiral. That can make things confusing. Then again it might have made it work better if 66 had been sub-divided like 113, 113b, and 113c, then there wouldn’t have been any confusion. If you think it’s bad enough having the one number having three different characters in the same episode, think what it’s like having two number’s sharing the same character in the same scene! Yes that happened alright, that morning of the Prisoner’s arrival when he went to the General Stores to purchase a map of the area. One minute Number 19 is the shopkeeper, the next its Number 56 claiming to be the shopkeeper!    Then there was that time when there was a pair of 6’s in The Village, none knew which 6 was the real 6 and which the economy pack. Both claimed to be the Prisoner. And yet there it was, a discarded number in a wardrobe! Oh it suited the Prisoner well enough when he chose to wear his numbered badge, which he only did on a couple of occasions. On the first occasion, when Number 6 was discharged from hospital in ‘Arrival,’ the canopied Penny Farthing on the badge is facing to the left. On the second occasion in ‘The Schizoid Man’ the Penny Farthing is facing to the right.
    For official purposes everyone in The Village has a number, but they don’t always choose to wear it. Makes one wonder how they were allowed to get away with it!

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Village Life!

    The citizens are a bit frantic aboard the Stoneboat, all that jigging in the rigging! St, Vitas Dance  more than that, people are jumping about, playing with beach balls, rushing about pushing a person about in a wheelchair, almost as though they cannot help themselves. There must be another reason for the Stoneboat other than to provide entertainment for the senior citizens. Number 66, the ex-Admiral suggested to Number 6 to try the boat. He told him that she’s good in any weather. The ex-Admiral was having a laugh of course, enjoying a private joke, knowing full well that a Stoneboat don’t go nowhere!

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The Prisoner Under the Spotlight

    Originally being the final episode in a 7 episode mini-series, but which eventually became the penultimate episode in a 17 part series. For one week, one teeny weenie week, Number 2 and Number 6 would be locked in the Embryo Room in a psychological fight, the ultimate method known as 'Degree Absolute.' In which it has to be either one of them. Number 2 tells Number 1 that he was a good man, he is a good man. But if he gets Number 6 he will be better.
    It is a familiar, but somewhat irritated Number 2, who is brought back in another attempt to discover the secret of the Prisoner’s resignation. But even when Number 6 actually tells Number 2 the reason behind his resignation, Number 2 still isn't satisfied, he doesn't seem to understand that he has been told.
   Number 2 is in an irritable state of mind, he bellows at his ever faithful butler, and goes without sleep when he spends the night in Number 6's cottage reciting children’s nursery rhymes to him as part of Number 6's regression, back to his childhood. This irritated state of mind together with the lack of sleep must surely put the boy Prisoner in a 'one-up' situation in the enclosed confinement of the Embryo Room right from the start.
   With Shakespeare's seven ages of man, from the cradle to the grave, Number 2 takes Number 6 through his life. From childhood, to second childishness and possibly the grave, in Number 2's death. Well that is how many see the end to Number 2, as being dead. This because Number 2 is addressed by the President during his trial of ‘Fall Out,’ as being. "There have to be some security secrets that are kept from a......late Number 2." But 'late' need not mean that Number 2 had actually died. Although the President gave the order to resuscitate. By “late” he could have meant that Number 2 was late in arriving for the proceedings!
    It may be thought that Number 2 was looking for a quick result, locked away in that Embryo Room with Number 6 and the
Butler. After all Number 6, while still in his childhood state of mind, had only just graduated from school, when Number 2, as the boy’s Headmaster, jumped the gun by asking the pupil why he resigned. The pupil answered with "From what sir?" Of course the boy could not answer, he hadn't done anything as yet!
   But all this is known, previously documented in the synopsis of the episode in at least two Prisoner based books. What interests me, as it does between all the episodes of ‘the Prisoner,’ as it does here with ‘Once Upon A Time,’ is not so much what we see, as what we do not see. As in the photograph below taken during, either the episode itself or at least its production.

   We see that Patrick McGoohan/Number 6 is asleep in a chair. This could very well be a simple production photograph, but easily it could be actually an unused scene from the episode itself. After all, the Butler, who was in the Embryo Room simply to aid in their deliberations, and to look after Number 2 and Number 6, to cook them meals and so on had to sleep as did Number’s 2 and 6. There would have to be times when a break would have to be called in their deliberations, to wash, shave, go to the toilet, and sleep a little. They would need changes of costume as they continued in their role-playing through the life of Number 6. I mean at meal times for example, what might Number 2 and 6 talk about? The outside world perhaps, seeing as how Number 2 has only recently been brought back to The village, against his will perhaps, he certainly didn't seem too happy about it! Number 6 might ask questions, like who is in government now? Perhaps about music, old colleagues. Small talk about almost anything, even how Number 2 had found himself in the position he had.
   I find thinking about ‘the Prisoner’ in this way is helping me develop a new concept about the series. It can be fun trying to fill in the blanks so to speak. Just because by the end of ‘The General’ the Professor is dead, Number 2 defeated with the General gone up in smoke, does not mean that that was the end of the experiment. And of course there had to be a time when the General was brought to The Village, as well as the Professor and his wife in connection with the 'Speedlearn' experiment. The way in which the episodes of the Prisoner present things, it is almost as though it all just happens, the instant arrival of the Professor and his wife together with the General. After all as Number 6 sits outside the cafe there is an announcement through the public address system;
                 "Attention. This is an announcement from the General's department. Will all students taking the Three Part History course, please return to their dwellings immediately. The Professor will be lecturing in approximately thirty minutes. I will repeat that. This is an announcement from the General's department. Will all students taking the Three Part History course, please return to their dwellings immediately. The Professor will be lecturing in approximately thirty minutes."
   This certainly gives the impression that 'Speedlearn' courses have been going for some considerable time between the end of the episode of ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘The General’ itself. It’s all to do with the lapse of time that takes place between episodes.

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To Hell With The Village!

    I used to think that when Number 2 gave that toast in the Therapy Zone, that he really did mean those words “To hell with The Village!” He seemed so sincere, after all there was no surveillance, and yet Number 2 was himself a plant. It was all part of the game, and Number 6 wasn’t intoxicated, merely drugged.
   In a way it was rather like Number 2 in ‘The General’ when he told Madam Professor that what Number 6 wants is what we all want ultimately…….to escape. Number 2 once told Number 12 that his thoughts regarding the Professor should be carefully guarded. It would seem that Number 2, not only should heed his own advice, but he cares as little for The Village as that of one of his predecessors. The one left in the helicopter, which he piloted himself, the other may well have also left via helicopter. While the one didn’t fail, the other was twice a failure and both cost Number 1 dear. But it may be expected that he too was permitted to leave The Village. Either that or he was to remain in The Village a prisoner……… or experienced a worse fate!

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