That's probably stating the blindingly obvious, but however aesthetically I find ‘the Prisoner’ series to be, however much I have found myself involved with theories, interpretations and the like, there has for me, been the growing tendency to involve myself with thinking between the episodes so to speak. Well perhaps not between Arrival and Fall out, as they are seamless, the one being the commencement of the other. Unless of course there is somewhere between the Prisoner driving off from No.1 Buckingham Place having returned to London in ‘Fall Out,’ and the Prisoners face appearing on screen accompanied by thunder and a long deserted road of the opening sequence of ‘Arrival’, the act behind the reason for the Prisoners resignation!
No more specific reading between the episodes can begin between ‘Free for All’ and ‘The Schizoid Man,’ after all it does seem that Number 6 is in for some rough treatment, not by the hands of the new Number 2 herself, but certainly instigated by her. Certainly the threat is there, and the end of Free for All is simply the beginning. They don't want to damage Number 6 permanently, although they do have many means and ways. How this new Number 2 dealt with the matter of Number 6 is open to speculation, but one thing is certain, Number 6 did not break, because that is what Number 2 during ‘The Schizoid Man’ was about to try and do. Nor did he talk, because Curtis-Number 12 asked Number 6 "why did you resign your job in your dream?" And if Number 6 had talked during the new Number 2's term of office between ‘Free for All’ and ‘The Schizoid Man,’ although there is something to read between in this particular episode itself.
We have seen No.6 wear two different blazers, the one with continued piping at the lapel and that of broken piping Yes of course it would be expected of any citizen to have more than one choice of clothing, "one on and one in the wash." But when have we ever seen Number 6 wearing a cream blazer with black piping? Well we may not have done, but certainly village citizens would have done, as Curtis-Number 6 would have been out and about in the village, setting himself up as Number 6, getting the good citizens used to seeing Number 6 wearing a cream blazer with black piping. This during the time of the village festival at the very least. And that is something else which can be read into this episode, certainly it was a festival for which No.24 was going to use her mind reading act, not to mention entering the photographic section!
Then there's ‘The General,’ when was this computer brought to the village? When did the professor and his wife arrive in the village? Sometime between the end of ‘The Schizoid Man’ and the commencement of ‘The General,’ which also brings into question when did Number 2 of The General actually arrive in the village? To have set up the project of Speedlearn, a good deal of time must surely have elapsed between ‘The Schizoid Man’ and that of ‘The General,’ after all projects like Speedlearn are not set up over night, although that is how it appears if one does not take into account that what you see, is not all there is to ‘the Prisoner!’ Sometimes deliberating about what you don't see in ‘the Prisoner’ can be as rewarding as what you do.
And don't forget that while Number 6 was risking life and limb during his attempted escape on his raft by sea in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ life in the village went on just as it had always done. Including the arrival of a new Number 2 in the form of Mrs. Butterworth. Who actually was Number 2 during ‘Many Happy Returns’ in the village, is anyone’s guess. Unless of course it was Mrs Butterworth, who was installed in the village and left for
t some point! London
Then you can speculate what happened to the Watchmaker-Number 51 after the assassination/execution plot of ‘It’s Your Funeral’ had been thwarted? To Number 8 in ‘Checkmate’ having once been hypnotised into thinking she was in love with Number 6, and he with her? The hypnotic suggestion having been reversed, and remembering nothing of her adventure, I shouldn't wonder! And what about poor Roland Walter Dutton-Number 42, he would need almost constant attention in the hospital, being in the state of mind he ended up in ‘Dance of the Dead,’ and possibly even when living in the old peoples home, for however long he lives, if he lives that long!
And finally during ‘Once Upon a Time’ there was a slight change of policy as to the bringing in of a new Number 2, being taken up with Number 6 in the embryo room. During the week of ‘Once Upon a Time’ it was the Supervisor-Number 28 who was put in charge of the village administration by Number 2 himself!
These are but a few examples. Perhaps you who reads this can define a few such times of the Prisoner for yourselves.
Be seeing you..... wont I?