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Monday, 31 January 2011

Thought For The Day

    "Why the crosspiece?" one of the members of the Awards Committee asked at the Exhibition of Arts & Crafts. Well obviously to hang No.38's tapestry from, so to act as a sail!
BCNU

Comparing The Prisoner

A final comparence is Village architecture, that of the Green Dome and the Solar Cafe.
    The Solar Cafe might look as though it's based on a 1950's American Diner, and you'd be right. But the added decorations are definately Portmeirionic, the Copola, and sun burst for example.
                                                                       BCNU

What's That No.6 Up To?

 "These are your papers Number Six. If you just sign at the bottom, the trucks all yours for a weeks hire."
   "200 Work Units, that's a bit steep!"
   "It's the going rate Number Six."
    "It says here that I'm liable for any damage, and have to return it with the same amount of fuel in the tank I start with."
    "Yes, the tanks half full, and if you want to make a one off payment of 150 Work Units, that will insure you against any accidents to the truck"
    "Don't you hire proper cars?"
    "There's no call for them, but they're better than walking."
    "You're sure about that are you?"

Be seeing you

Pictorial Prisoner

BCNU

Sunday, 30 January 2011

THEPRISONER

   
There has been some comparing of the two series of the Prisoner, this cannot be helped, and was sure to have happened, and no doubt there will be more comparisons made. Look at the above picture. That's the Sheriff in Boot Hill, after just burying the body of Cathy, who was strangled to death by the Kid in the episode Living In Harmony. But of course there's no actual body in the coffin the Sheriff buried, because all the action seen in Living In Harmony was taking place inside No.6's head, and what the viewer sees is nothing more than 'role playing.'                                                                                                               
    Well see the next picture, there's the Prisoner somewhere out there in the desert and mountians. There's a dead tree, and there the Prisoner has buried what he thinks is an old man who has just died of heart failure.
That old man was 93, who having died, has gone back to that 'other place,' back to his previous life. So it is possible that there's no body in the grave the Prisoner dug. To give colour to this, one sees Six open the grave of 4-15 in the final episode Checkmate, 4-15 whom he was to have married in the episode Darling. But having opened that grave Six finds that 4-15's body is not there - the coffin is filled with oranges! You will recall how Cobb supposedly jumped out of the hospital window in Arrival, and how a funeral was held for him. Well there was no body in Cobb's coffin, just as there was no body in 93's coffin, you need a body! So it just goes to show that death is an escape in both series, only reinterpreted in the 2009 production.
I'll be seeing you

Arts And Crafts

    "Red Rover" An alien being in an alien landscape!
                                                         BCNU

Thought For The Day

    Music makes for a quiet mind.
BCNU

Caught On Camera

The above picture shows No.6 with Nadia-No.8, played by actress Nadia Gray, cosying up to each other outside '6 Private,' No.6's cottage as Nadia is about to explain to No.6 the location of the village.
The next picture shows No.6 getting close to Nadia, after she has given him the location of the village, supposedly in Lithuania, 30 miles form the Polish border.
The thing is, that the woman you see from only the back view, as in the above picture, her face never once seen by the camera......is not Nadia Gray, but some other woman! It's not Joan Drummond, McGoohan's wife. But certainly it's someone close to McGoohan, as just before this picture was taken, he actually had his arm round Nadia-No.8, and McGoohan never did that with any actress! So who this woman was, standing in for Nadia Gray when McGoohan had his arm round Nadia-No.8, remains a mystery to this very day.
BCNU

Prismatic Reflection

Patrick McGoohan - A Prisoner Of His Own Secrets.

    I can understand what McGoohan was trying to do with the Prisoner, to make people ask questions, to make them angry, instead of being Zombieonic sitting there watching Coronation Street. Of course at the time of the original British Screening of the Prisoner you either took to it, or thought it the biggest load of old rubbish out. You see the general public didn't understand it, at the time, and what the general public do not understand, they immediately take against, as in the case of my father who hated the series. But for those people who stuck with the Prisoner, thought that all would be explained in the final episode Fall Out - but no, that particular episode only made matters worse. The telephone lines into ATV were blocked with irate callers complaining about the Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan said that he and his family had been attacked in the streets, well I don't believe that for a moment. Because of the public's response to him and the Prisoner, he and his family had to run away to North Wales, no, not to Portmeirion. Then to Switzerland, and finally to America. No, not because of irate television viewers, but because his company Everyman Films which had produced the Prisoner had gone bankrupt, and McGoohan ran away so to avoid the British Taxman!
     Patrick McGoohan once  said"Questions, questions, you don't expect answers do you?" You see back in the 1960's people were not like the people today. If they didn't understand something, they wanted someone to explain it to them, but what if Patrick McGoohan had explained the Prisoner, do you expect people would have been any happier? And besides, what would have been the point of the Prisoner had McGoohan answered all the questions? The point of the Prisoner, was, and still is today, that people have to find their own answers. McGoohan was not a man who liked being interviewed, yet he did the occasional interview, and when asked particular questions about the Prisoner, he wouldn't put a straightforward answer to a straightforward question, and once when he was explaining something about the Prisoner, afterwards he said "Now you know what it's all about." The only thing was, McGoohan hadn't really explained anything, except perhaps to his own personal satisfaction.
   Then in the early 1980's, the infamous L.A. Tape came along. Have you watched the L.A.Tape? Well don't. I have, and it's the most boring thing ever made by man! My god, when I was shown this video tape, the owner had to keep fast-forwarding it so to try and find something interesting being said by McGoohan. Then we came to the end of the video, and there McGoohan was, on a Californian beach, and there, in the sand was a wire coathanger. McGoohan stooped to pick the wire coathanger up, held it in his hand and said "There's your answer." I'm sorry, but I didn't get it. Whatever deep hidden menaing was in that coathanger relating to the Prisoner went way over my head. All I could think was, McGoohan's off his head!
     There was the 1984 Channel 4 documentary on the Prisoner, which was screened after the screening of Fall Out, it was called Six Into One - The Prisoner File. It was supposed to be an in-depth look at the Prisoner to delve into the series, and discover what it was really all about, and finally answer all those questions so many people had. Well it didn't! Six Into One - The Prisoner File turned out to be a load of old rubbish, a complete waste of time, and never came close to dicovering what the Prisoner is all about,and there were no answers. It was all clever stuff, but Six Into One -The Prisoner File was too clever for it's own good!
    So by not answering questions put to him by both the general public and the press and media, did Patrick McGoohan become a prisoner of his own secrets? Today we know and understand much more about the Prisoner, or at least we think we do, than we did all those years ago. We know why the Prisoner resigned. The location of the village. Who Number One is, and which side was behind the village. We have had to figure it all out for ourselves, but we got there, and feel all the better for it. So thank you Mister McGoohan, you made Prisoners of us all!
    I wonder if McGoohan had not tried to be too clever for his own good, and had opened up more about the Prisoner, would he have finally become a free man. Mind you, had McGoohan done that, perhaps we would not feel so good about ourselves for figuring it all out for ourselves.
Be seeing you

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Thought For The Day

    No.2 of It's Your Funeral once told No.6 that the Observers do see and hear everything. Well if that's the case, why didn't any Observer spot No.6 following the doctor-No.14 through the village to the secret laboratory in the woods? Or Curtis having a fight in No.6's cottage during The Schizoid Man? They also failed to notice No.6 pouring away that drugged cup of tea in A Change of Mind. If Observers had been doing their job right, then certain situations would have gone in favour of No.2, instead of against him, or her.
BCNU

Aren't Numbers As Individual As Names?

    More so I would have said. There are more people to be found on the World Wide Web who share my name, than I've had hot dinners. But if I were given the number, let us say Six, there could only be one of that number at any one given time. Then after my death, that number Six would then be re-allocated to somebody else, and so one. I always thought that the point of making someone a number was to undermine their individuality!
BCNU

It's Inexplicable!

I pride myself on being able to put answers to the multitude of questions posed by the Prisoner and his Village. Able as I am to put the right interpretation to almost any situation within the Prisoner series, from the mundane and everyday, to the more oblique. But in all my time of appreciation for the Prisoner, I have found that there are scenes within the series which still today, 44 years after the original British screening of the series, still define interpretation. And this is one such scene. It comes towards the end of the episode Free For All, when in a cave, four men, wearing safety glasses, sit in chairs around a segment of a 'pulsating'  Village Guardian. Why? Are these men being conditioned or brainwashed in some way by the Guardian? Perhaps the four men make up some sort of Cult group, worshiping the Guardian! Is it a briefing or tutition session of some kind? This is one such scene which is clearly still open to speculation 44 years on!
I'll be seeing you

Village Observation

    Someone once wrote "What was the point of the Prisoner putting colour photographs of his holiday destination in one of his two suitcases? Well, firstly they are not simply colour photographs, research has proven that they are two folded magazines which the Prisoner puts in his suitcase. And as for the colour photographs being that of his holiday destination - well the Prisoner was heading for Europe, not the South Seas!
BCNU

Episode Titles

    Originally the working title of Arrival was The Arrival, while A B & C had two working titles, that of 1 2 3 or A Play In Three Acts. Checkmate was The Queens Pawn, and finally Face Unknown became the episode title of Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.
    It is also interestiung to note that it is possible to interchange the titles of three episode of the Prisoner A Change of Mind for Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling {because of the mind exchange}. Do Not Forake Me Oh My Darling for Living In Harmony {simply on the grounds of the song in High Noon of the same title}, and thirdly Living In Harmony for A Change of Mind {because it's better to live in harmony than being disharmonious}.
BCNU

Friday, 28 January 2011

Village Observation



     There are two types of badges worn by citizens in the village. One of a white background badge, with a black canopied Penny Farthing and red numeral, and the second with a black background, with a white canopied Penny Farthing, and a red numeral - the negative and possitive as I term them.
   However there is a third. Pictured here is Mrs Butterworth as the new No.2 in Many Happy Returns. But note the badge pinned to her dress. A 'negative' badge, but with a 'white' numeral 2. As far as I am aware, this is the only badge of it's kind, seen in the entire 17 episode series! The fact of the white numeral 2 makes this badge 'inexplicable!'
I'll be seeing you

Collectors Corner

 



    Compiled by Rae Wittrick, Directed by Roger Goodman, and Produced by Ged Lennox in the early 1980's for members of Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society.

Thought For The Day

    When I first watched the Prisoner as a boy of twelve years of age in 1967, I was immediately hooked by the series. So was gripped by Arrival, and after the failed attempt by No.6 to escape, I wanted to see more. And after The Chimes of Big Ben, there was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that it was some department in British Military Intelligence which was behind the village. Both the presence of the Colonel and Fotheringay were proof enough of that for me. And by the time of Many Happy Returns, I was convinced that the Prisoner-No.6 had finally escaped, and was deflated by the fact that he hadn't!
Be seeing you

Arts And Crafts

    I call this 'Village Announcement.' The effect is created by what I term Negativism.
                                                                BCNU

Compare The Prisoner

 Comparing the Prisoner continues with Identity.

BCNU

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Schizoid Man

  Here he is, Curtis-The Schizoid Man! Brought to the village because of his uncanny likeness to No.6. So while No.6 was being conditioned to be left handed, to smoke Black Russian cigarettes, and to have flapjacks as his favourite dish........Curtis is out and about the village impersonating No.6. But there are two factors here; first, when did No.6 go about wearing a cream piped blazer? Okay, he might have fancied a change, so I'll let Curtis have that one. But really, Curtis should have read in Six's files, or have been briefed, that No.6 never wears his numbered badge, as Curtis is doing here!
Be seeing you

Many Happy Returns

   Why anyone should think that the village was actually deserted is quite beyond me. Obviously the village wasn't deserted. That the citizens were kept sedated, and all village personel kept out of sight, until No.6 had finally set sail aboard his sea-going raft. And then, so to maintain the illusion, once word of No.6's imminent arrival back in the village, the same effect was played out again. There's nothing complex about Many Happy Returns, except for that village cat - that's the only surreal, enigmatic thing about the episode. Because there was the black cat sitting on a table on the lawn of the Old People's Home when No.6 set out on his sea voyage. And then when No.6 was so unceremoniously returned to the village, that same black cat is still sat in the same place some 27 days later!
BCNU

Down Right Weird!

    Why In Fall Out are four jukeboxes needed to hear the Beatles song All You Need Is Love? Mind you, originally the script for Fall Out called for four different songs to be played at the same time, as No.6, the Supervisor-No.28 and the Butler walked along that passageway, and of course during the fire-fight. I forget for the moment what the four songes were, but I understand by statement, that it was an awful cocofony of noise, that they plumped just for the Beatles song.
BCNU

Caught On Camera

According to Nadia Rakovski-No.8, the village is in Lithuania thirty miles from the Polish border, which would put the village squarely behind the Iron Curtain. But I think Nadia had forgotten about the Soviet State of Kaliningrad, which lies betwen Lithuania and Poland. But forget that for the moment, because gauging that rickety boat which No.6 and Nadia constructed from the pieces of No.6's sculpture, I think they would be lucky to make thirty feet before that mast collapses, let alone thirty miles!
I'll be seeing you.

The Judge!

   


    You be the judge - is it a cardboard cut out, as seen towards the end of Living In Harmony, of the Judge himself?

BCNU

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Arts And Crafts

   A variation on a former theme, when in my surreal period.
BCNU

Pictorial Prisoner

BCNU

No.6 Attempts New Water Speed Record! by our own reporter

Looking at this photograph one could be forgiven for thinking that No.6 is attempting to escape the village by boat. Well you would be wrong. For our intrepid villageer is attempting to set a new water speed record. The boat, Seagull II is being monitored by the support helicopter should anything go wrong.
No.6, along with his two trusted mechanics, worked through the night and into the morning to get the boat ready, after yesterdays accident. No.6 was speeding away at a fast rate of knots, when the boat smashed into something floating in the water, over turning the boat, damaging part of the hull and flooding the gas turbine engine.                                                                                                                                    
This will be the first of two mile and a quarter runs, and the average speed worked out from the two runs. That average speed of the two timed runs must be greater than 320 MPH. I spoke to No.6 before the attempt, and No.6 said he was confident of breaking out, breaking the water speed record. Unfortunately as No.6 steered Seagull II round for the second run, the boat hit it's own wake and flipped Seagull II over, and dumping No.6 into the water. Thus ending the attempt. I spoke to No,6 who told me that he was                 disappointed, but that he would not be giving up. His next attempt at a world record will be that of altitude, the highest 'manned' Balloon flight!                                                                                                           
Reporter No.113
Photographer No.113b

Village Pin-Up

  


    The delicious Valerire French, who played the roles of No.22 and Cathy in the Prisoner episode Living In Harmony. Incidentally, Valerie was told for the production of Living In Harmony, to tone down the amount of cleavage she was showing when wearing her saloon girl costume!
BCNU

Thought For The Day

    If  does anything, it makes you question your reality. Is what you are experiencing in life, a dream or reality?
BCNU

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New Patrick McGoohan Biography

    I received an email yesterday in regard to a new biography for the late Patrick McGoohan by Robert Booth which is released on March 30th 2011, and for which Amazon Books are taking advanced orders now. The price is £9.99.

It will be interesting to read this biography, and I don't usually read biographies, nor am I a fan of Patrick McGoohan himself. Because the last so termed "biography" about Patrick McGoohan by one Roger Langley, was actually read as an extended filmography. And as a matter of interest, back in the early 1990's I became aware that a gentleman had written a biography about the life of Patrick McGoohan. Indeed the gentleman in question sent McGoohan a copy of the biography. McGoohan then had the said manuscript supressed, even though he had co-operated in the writing of it! It's a pity that that manuscript has not been published since McGoohans death. I'm sure it would make for interesting reading. Becuase it makes me wonder what was in that biography that McGoohan didn't want made known!
Be seeing you

The Kid

   The Kid is the fastest on the draw that the Judge has seen, up until the time when the man with no name was brought to town. The Town of Harmony.
   The Kid is a trigger happy, homicidal manic. The story goes that the clothes he wore, were taken from the victims he killed. But what turned the Kid into such a killer? Perhaps as a boy he underwent some traumatic event that tilted his brain. Perhaps his mother and father were attacked and killed by Indians. His mother raped and killed, and his father pegged out on the ground, covered in molasses, and left to be eaten by ants. But of course that's mere speculation, save for the Kid wearing the clothes of his victims. That was supposed by Director David Tomblin, scriptwriter Ian Rakoff, and Frank Maher who produced the story for the Prisoner episode Living In Harmony.
BCNU

Kids' Stuff

   I was twelve years of age when I first watched the Prisoner in 1967. And the only questions I had at the time were; what was the village guardian? Where was the village? Which side runs the village? Why did the Prisoner resign? Who was the Prisoner - oh I had no doubts about the identity of the Prisoner. He was John Drake of the preceeding series Danger Man.
    More then that, I feel that the Prisoner series is better viewed through the eyes of a child. What's more I think that any understanding of the series is also done in the mind of a child. Because when I was a young boy, the Prisoner seemed so easy to comprehend. Only in adult life does the series become more complicated. Because we as adults over-complicate the subject. Reading things into the Prisoner which simply are not there, nor was never meant to be there in the first place. And looking for so called hidden meanings. there are no hidden meanings - I know because I've looked and not found any!
Be seeing you

Compare The Prisoner

    We continue to compare the Prisoner, and this time it's the public address system. The system is the same, but I find the speaker in the top picture more pleasing on the eye. And less automoton than those in the bottom picture.
BCNU

Escape and Escapability

    One way to try and escape the village would be, hiding in a dustbin, and getting yourself thrown out with the rubbish!
Be seeing you...............phew! It doesn't half pen and ink in here!

Caught On Camera

   Patrick McGoohan doing like Eric Morecambe, as in Morecambe and Wise, singing "Bring me sunshine in your smile, bring me laughter all the while. In this world where we live there should be more happiness, so much joy you can give to each brand new bright tomorrow. Make me happy through the years, never bring me any tears. Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above, bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love."

BCNU

Monday, 24 January 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

It's Inexplicable!

    How the front door of the Prisoners house in Buckingham Place opens automatically with that all so familiar electronic hum. It's one of the most enigmatic points in the Prisoner series, and has never been successfully resolved within the annuls of Prisoner appreciation. Unless it's all simply been a dream, the village and supposed reality of London being one and the same or the door simply upgraded. After all, it's not every citizen in the village who had an electrionically operated door you know! And yes, I know that this doesn't adequately resolve it either.
BCNU

Many Happy Returns

    The question has to be asked of the action of this story, "did it all really happen at all?" After all, in the episode Living In Harmony, the events which took place in the American Wild West, were simulated, or role played, induced with the use of hallucinatory drugs. In Many Happy Returns there is no visible fabrication; the viewer is taken on the voyage and at the end dumped back in the village along with No.6!
   It has to be said that the real first act of kindess to the Prisoner, since his abduction to the village, was shown to him by a young gypsy woman. She gave him a cup of tea, or hot broth.
    Not only is there a Colonel in Many Happy Returns, but also in The Chimes of Big Ben, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, and The Girl Who Was Death. Yet there is mention of another Colonel, in Dance of the Dead, when Dutton is on the telephone to No.6, when he refers to "Arthur and the Colonel." So was No.6 previously linked to the military........Certainly British Military Intelligence, who recruited it's men from the military forces.
Be seeing you

Arts And Crafts

   A Study of No.2
BCNU

Compare The Prisoner

     We continue to compare the Prisoner, by comparing sets.
BCNU

Photocaption

Man in doorway; "But my favourite part of last night's programme was when he opened the doors like this, stormed up to the desk, and demanded his resignation with such force, it shattered a tea cup! Oh, and the music was smashing too!"

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Prismatic Reflection

    Six, Drugs and Violence.
    Patrick McGoohan was against gratuetous sex on television, that's why as John Drake he would have no truck with women. He refused to show Danger Man John Drake getting romatically involved with women. And he carried that over into the Prisoner. Yes, Patrick McGoohan might have been against sex on television, but he was not so squeamish when it came to drugs and violence, of which both Danger Man and the Prisoner have more then their fill!
BCNU

THEPRISONER

The Village logo is on everything, it says Village, and in that is it's only similarity with the original Village logo the canopied Penny Farthing. When you saw the canopied Penny Frathing you instantly think of the Prisoner. You know exactly where you are. And so it is with this new logo or emblem. It appears on everything from maps of the village, to village vehicles. From telephones and the Village Dirctory, to mugs.
I did wonder how this logo was designed, and how the designer was inspired with the idea for it. After all it does have the look of Art Nouveau about it don't you think. In fact that's just about right, because the inspiration for this village logo, as I found out, comes from the Wedding Tower in Damstadt in Germany, seen in the following pictures.
The Wedding Tower was designed by Austrian architect Josef Maria Olbrich {1867 - 1908}, with contributions from Heinrich Jobst {decorative figures} and Frederich Wilhelm Kleukens {mosaics}. The Tower was commisioned by the City of Dramstadt to mark the occasion of the wedding of the Grand Duke Renst Luwig.
Originally it would seem that the idea was to have this Art Nouveau design for the tops of the twin towers that over look the village, as seen here in the set designers sketchbook.
Also if one studies the top picture with the Wedding Tower, one can also see where the inspiration came from for the village Clinic compound seen in the final picture.
                                   
Be seeing you.

Caught On Camera

  

    What's this, another experiment being carried out on No.6? Not really. Seeing as Patrick McGoohan is seen in many production shots of the Prisoner with a cigartte either in his mouth or hand, the doctor here is giving Pat some anti-smoking therapy, to try and stop his almost chain-smoking ways!
   "You don't have a favourite brand of cigarYou don't smoke white cigarettes, nor do you smoke black Russian cigarettes.....in fact you don't smoke at all!"
BCNU

Arts And Crafts

    I'm still going through my Surreal period!

BCNU

Thought For The Day

Be seeing you

Friday, 21 January 2011

Fall Out

     For years fans of the Prisoner have tried to lip read No.6's speech, and thus far have failed to do so. However there are three words which I have  been able to make out, and they come at the end of his speech "I'm pissed off," and I honestly think that's just how Patrick McGoohan felt by the end!
BCNU

Once Upon A Time

   The viewer is lead to believe that it must to be one or the other of them, No.6 or No.2. That only one can leave the Embryo Room, is that "alive?" And if so, did No.2 foresee the possibility of his own death? I think he was afraid that it would be him that died. But if that's the case, why should it be either one of them, why not both? Because No.2 is a good man, was a good man until that episode The Chimes of Big Ben. There seems ot be no rhyme nor reason as to why No.2 should die. But was it No.2 who died in that cage in the Embryo Room? Recall the words of the Prisoner......."Die Six.....die.....die.....dieeeeeeee!" And don't forget that at some point in their deliberations, the patient had actually changed places with the doctor. So it was No.6 that the Prisoner wanted dead!
BCNU

Thought For The Day

    During The Chimes of Big Ben Nadia Rakovsky-No.8 asked No.6 if he was engaged. No.6 dodged the question. Perhaps he had been engaged, but since his long disappearence he wasn't so sure. Unless of course he wasn't engaged, because the script for Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling hadn't been written then. And therefore the character of Janet Portland hadn't been created at that time. Then again if No.6 was engaged, he might have been afraid of falling for Nadia's charms, and therefore was fighting to remain faithful.............
I'll be seeing you

Arts And Crafts

    If it's not "Spooky" it's definately "Surreal."
BCNU

Pictorial Portmeirion

   The Amis Reunis, Clough Williams-Ellis' Ketch, moored at Portmeirion.
   The Amis Reunis was sunk in a storm in the estuary at Portmeirion. She was having her bottom scraped at the time, high and dry, lashed down on a sand bank when a storm came in. Some of her timbers were saved, and went into the construction of the Stone Boat at Portmeirion's quayside.
Be seeing you

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Compare the Prisoner

We continuing to compare the Prisoner this time it's the corridor.

BCNU