What’s So Special About Number 6?
No.2 of The Chimes of Big Ben doesn't want a man of fragments, and even his predecessor recorded that no extreme measures were to be used - yet! And although No.2-Colin Gordon wanted to take risks with both No.6 and his future, he was determined to find out what No.6 had to sell and to whom he was going to sell it, even at the price of No.6's demise.
Free For All saw a more careful handling of No.6, by No.2 at least, if not the new No.2. Because until her promotion to No.2, it was a case of "not damaging the tissue." But then with the new No.2 it was "This is merely the beginning. We have many ways and means. Are you ready to talk?" And then there's The Schizoid Man where No.6 was beside himself, and No.2's remit was to break No.6! What is this, good cop, bad cop?
In Many Happy Returns Mrs. Butterworth demonstrates to No.6 that there is no escape from the influence of the village, and go where he may, there is nowhere to hide, and see how easy it is to be brought back to the village! Yes, but No.6 made it easy for them, he's so predictable you see! Yet they risked their prize prisoner, by allowing him to go to sea aboard that open raft! And No.2 during the Dance of the Dead, she had No.6 put on trial and sentenced to death! But that death sentence against No.6 would never be carried out. Because No.2 said "This man has a future with us, there are other ways!"
And so it was with other No.2's, trying to break No.6, to "hammer" him in fact. In making him believe that he has undergone the treatment known as Instant Social Conversion. To make No.6 tell why he resigned in a blessed fairy tale, well this one wouldn't drop his guard with his own grandmother!
They tried to make No.6 kill – twice, but he still couldn’t do it! What’s more they changed No.6’s mind for him, and sent him to find Professor Jacob Seltzman, another extremely risky business if you ask me.
And then No.6 went and gone but to survive the ultimate test of Degree Absolute in Once Upon A Time, to be brought before the President, this man of steel, who has fought, resisted, overcome coercion, held fast, maintained, the right to be person. Someone individual, one who has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. And all that remained was the recognition of a man - a man of steel - a man magnificently equipped to lead us.
Has there not been any previous men of such calibre? After all No.2 was a good man, is a good man, but if they get No.6 then he will be better! Makes you wonder just how many previous prisoners have made it through or indeed as far as Degree Absolute, to their final trial of Fall Out, not that many I shouldn't wonder! There are few men as the same calibre as No.6. It takes strength of character to get through to the final trial, achieved by No.6, and then to face yourself in the way No.6 did takes some courage, as none of us stand up to too close a scrutiny. Not many of us would come out of it so well as No.6, still a prisoner yes, but alive and whole as he was on the day he when he first resigned.