Who Is Watching Who?
Looking at things from No.2's position, perhaps one of the most important aspects of the village is its security.
Surveillance is required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, month in month out for 12 months of the year. This for the sole purpose of keeping the inmates in, and unwanted visitors out! The security of the village is both visual and audible, so that no one can do or say anything without being seen or heard. Well the more fractious children of the village, anyway.
Well at least that is the idea behind the village surveillance system, the idea behind any surveillance system if it comes to that. But no surveillance system can be 100% effective. We observe in A B and C how easy it is for No.6 to follow the doctor-No.2 through the village and the woods, to the hidden laboratory, completely unobserved. had he been, then any such observer would have reported it to his or her Supervisor, and that information acted upon. And of course the laboratory is considered to be secure enough by its anonymity. Another occurrence would be when No.6 pours his cup of tea into the potted plant in his cottage during A Change of Mind. Not to mention the way No.6 managed to swap the tea cups on No.86 as he made her a 'decent cup of tea.' Mind you, No.2 was watching at the time, and he didn't notice the switch either!
Other incidentals could also be mentioned here, for example the time No.6 stole the lifebelt and length of rope from the stone boat during Dance of the Dead. When the Rook stole the telephone from the kiosk, the Surveillance camera itself, a screwdriver and other electrical components from the electrics truck at the crossroads during Checkmate, all of which went completely unobserved by any observer in the control room. Or indeed any such warder out and about in the village.
So much for Observers, Warders, and the surveillance system in general! Perhaps this all led to the headline in The Tally Ho in Hammer Into Anvil - "Increase Vigilance Call From No.2".
All this is building up to a comparison I have made between the village Observers and my job as a security officer, which it was at the time of writing this short piece before I went and resigned. Part of my duties was to watch the security cameras TV monitors. With these I could keep a surveillance eye upon the workers. There are also microphones in strategic places and with a push of a button I could hear what was being said, without those in question being aware. This is of course is open to abuse, by the lesser discreet element of security staff.
But of course when I was not at my monitors, and out and about on the site, it meant that my colleagues could observe me, and hear if I were speaking to anyone at strategic places, which I would of course give a very wide berth to!
And with watching TV monitors, there is only a certain length of time you can do this, about 20 minutes, before you fail to notice what is on the screens. Hence the steel 'see-saw' structure in the control room!
Then there is the stainless steel camera which orbits the control room. This through which No.1 can keep a close surveillance eye upon those busy observing. A case you might say of the observers being observed!