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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Rover - The Village Guardian

    People fear me, they are afraid of what they do not understand, for I am Rover, the Village Guardian. Yes, I do hunt down and stop anyone from escaping the Village, but I am also set to serve and protect the community. Yet I have not always been as you see me, the MK1 model of Rover was but a mechanical device which should have had the ability to traverse any terrain. To scale steps, nay the very walls that hold so many in the Village prisoner. To travel on water, and in the water like a submarine. But MK1 Rover failed from the outset. And so the Village scientists and bio-chemists were put to work in their laboratories to see what they could create. They gave birth to me in a Petra dish, a living membrane that eventually became the Village Guardian. They loved me like a new born babe, and probably hated me even more! Capable of free movement, perpetual movement, with the option of making independent decisions. I can adjust my size, from small to over 6 feet in circumference. And when I come bounding and rolling along the street people step to the side of the road. They dismount their bicycles and are absolutely still. Those who are not suffer the consequences.
    I emit the most peculiar sound as I go along my way on patrol around the Village. A cross between a bicycle pump, an aqua lung, and Gregorian chant.
   You might think I am free, but I am just as much a prisoner here in the Village as anyone, I am a lifer! they dare not let me roam the world for fear of what might happen. So they keep me prisoner in a containment area somewhere at the bottom of the sea, and then release segments of me under the order of 'Orange Alert.'
   I am capable of killing by suffocation, or to simply suffocate my prey into a state of unsconciousness. Originally I was supposed to absorb the blood of my victims, turning my white membrane pink, but that was thought to be to frightening for the viewer to watch.
   I once showed ambitious tendencies, when I appeared in Number 2's chair. But in reality that was a warning to Number 2. And when I was in what is termed hot pursuit of two escaping citizens, I was shot at, not one, not twice, but a total of five times, and hit three times. But even the bullets of a sniper did not stop me, as my membrane is self-sealing. But yet that time my prey did evade me, that I have to admit.
    But I am more then a physical being. More than genetically engineered membrane that feels no pain, has no feelings at all. Well you try being shot three times and not feel the pain! As I am released from the containment area at the bottom of the sea, I float upwards through the water, and as I burst onto the surface of that water, that moment is, by some, considered to be the birth of Rover. If that is true, then the scene in which I appear in Fall Out, must surely be.......the death of Rover! For there are those who see me as a symbol, symbolising fear the that my victims are most afraid of.
    Well if you believe all that guff you'll believe anything! In reality I'm a weather balloon, brought with many of my kind to Portmeirion for the filming of the 1960's television series 'the Prisoner.' This is because the MK1 Rover failed, that much is true. And also true is that I am the Village Guardian, but only in the position of a film prop controlled by filling me with a mixture of air, helium, water, and attached to the end of a long fishing line. Once I was attached to the belt of Patrick McGoohan's trousers and towed along behind him, oh the indignity of that stunt! But I was difficult to control, at times I was almost uncontrollable, and would not behave as the film production crew wanted. But they outsmarted me in the end, for many of the film sequences in which I appear I appear as having been filmed backwards! What I mean is, when I look as though I'm coming towards the camera, I'm actually filmed going away from the camera, and then shown in reverse in the actual film of the episode. This no better demonstrated than in 'Arrival,' when I'm stopping the Prisoner-Number 6 from getting to the helicopter. In the background you can see the chimneys of the Old People's Home {Hotel Portmeirion} with the smoke going back into the chimneys, the effect of the film being shown in reverse.
    Do you realise, that I appear in 'the Prisoner' more than that diminutive Butler Angelo Muscat. More than Peter Swanwick who plays the Supervisor, and just as much as the star of the series Patrick McGoohan. In truth I am perhaps the most iconic television visualisation of the 1960's. The most difficult to comprehend, but the most remembered.

Rover

Thought For The Day

   Number 2 is Number 6's adversary that much is sure. Yet sometimes Number 2, on occasion, acts as a buffer for Number 6, set between him and that which others should like to perform upon him.

              "I don't want a man of fragments. I want him with a whole heart, body, and soul."
                      "This man has a future with us. There are other ways."
                                "He's far too valuable. I'm sure we can help him adjust without such drastic treatment."
                                                                      {Number 2}
BcNu

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

    An impressionist portrait of No.1.


BcNu

THEPRIS6NER

   So, even though I do say so myself, my hypothesis on what would happen as far as Six and 313 was concerned in Checkmate turned out to be correct. And Ian McKellen was right when he said that all the clues are there to be followed right from the start of the first opening scene of Arrival. Mind you it wasn't too difficult to figure it out, and we did get the answers we were looking for in the final episode of Checkmate, or should that have been Dance of the Dead? I mean there was certainly more about death in the final episode than there was about chess, even though it was to say a "Checkmate win" for Two.
  So, Six was dying, he had a fever, of the brain? Two's son 11-12, who subsequently went and hung himself in the "Go-Inside" club. there was a Village funeral for Two's son, but not for Two's wife. Well that was hardly surprising, as 11-12 was born in The Village, and Two's wife simply returned to her other life, her other existence, in the "other place," being New York. That is why 11-12 had a Village funeral, because he was born in The Village, and had no other existence to return to! Two, in having got Six to accept, got the people to accept and want Six as the new Two "We want Six, Six is the one. We want Six, Six is the one. We want Six, Six is the one. We want Six, Six is the one. We want Six, Six is the one." Well who could refuse with such a catchy chant as that? Almost as good, perhaps better than "Six for Two, Six for Two, Six for Two, Six for Two." and so it was that Two once again produced that hand grenade which he had always foreseen that he would use against himself one day, blew himself to bits. A Village death, which is no death at all. Two having returned to his other life in the "other place," to walk off into the sunset so to speak with his wife Helen on his arm. If only Six could have chosen death in The Village. If only he could have realised what perhaps 93 had come to realise, that in The Village death is an escape!
   Others who escaped The Village through death were 93, the former No.6, who died back in that cave somewhere in the desert. 455, the waitress who died in the explosion of the Solar Cafe. And 909, an undercover, who was murdered by his homosexual lover 11-12.
    So we know how The Village came into existence, and why it came into existence, through an experiment which was being carried out by Curtis' wife Helen, having created The Village in one of the subconscious layers of her mind. Which must surely mean that Helen, or as she was at the time, Two's wife, had not in fact given physical birth to her son 11-12. That 11-12 was but a figment of her over active imagination! It's no wonder then Two's reaction to his fictitious son. Two asked his son if his Two dynasty would continue, that 11-12 would have children, his grand children, when all the time Two knew that that was impossible. And besides which,  11-12 was a homosexual. So grand children to carry on Two's dynasty was totally out of the question!
   Two was in fact looking to the Future of the Village. Newcomers were arriving all the time In The Village, and new houses were being built hence MORE VILLAGE being the new slogan of Two's.
   After the death, the matricide committed by her son, holes rapidly began to appear in The Village which was then in danger of disappearing into one giant hole of nothingness, oblivion in fact, taking the whole population with it, hence Two's urgency to pass The Village on to a new Two. Or would it? Because all those people who were brought to The Village would, like Two, return to their other lives in the "other place." It would be those people who were born in The Village, born of Two's wife's subconscious mind who would cease to exist, who were so desperate for "Six to be the one" guided by Two of course, and for his own selfish reason "escape!" So Six finally accepted The Village, and with him 313 accepting her fate because of her love for Six, through a handful of pills! And at the end, there they sat together in the desert, the new Two making plans for a better Village, and 313 with a tear in her eye. Perhaps not the end at all, but another beginning.
   We did discover the origin of "Rover," that it was created out of the subconscious mind of Six, who refused to face up to his fears. And that has always been the purpose of "Rover" the Village guardian, to be symbolic of ones fears.
   The Village is a place where people turn up. People who no longer know too much or too little. But damaged people, people who have become mentally damaged for whatever reason. Who are brought to The Village to be made better, and who are eventually released from The Village, back to their "other lives" in the "other place."
   Such are my initial observations of the episode Checkmate. I shall be watching it again this week, because I have more observations to make. Especially about the "old man" 93.
  So what did I think of THEPRIS6NER? I liked it. Enjoyed it. At times found it difficult to follow, but always a second screening of such a particularly perplexing episode soon made things clear. At times I was excited by the series, in looking forward to the next episode, to see what would happen next, to watch where the series was being taken. Was I disappointed by THEPRIS6NER? No, it was more or less what I expected. Nor was I disappointed by having thought out what would happen to Six and 313. I was disappointed by the fact that Six finally accepted The Village, that he was so easily and readily making plans for a new Village, a better Village. That Six was not prepared to take the gamble with death when it was offered to him by Two. Had Six taken that gamble............. Patrick McGoohan will be spinning in his grave to think that Six gave in so easliy at the end. But happy in the knowledge that his No.6 finally made good his escape from The Village.
  
I'll be seeing you................if I can get the wife to swallow this handful of pills!

The Theray Zone

    "I envisaged the ending from the beginning. In a series like this, you have to know at the outset what you are aiming at. You have got to know the ending before you begin. So I had the idea for the final episode first of all and took it from there. I know what they've been saying behind my back. It's true that I have been unpredictable and impatient. You get that way when you're working at high pressure. I do, anyway. But I haven't lost a friend in the unit. Acting is a job, a craft. I arrive at the studios on time. I know my lines. I do a job the way that a carpenter does a job. I don't know anything about art. The scriptwriters, directors and every member of the unit have been plying me with questions, and I am hoping that viewers will be sufficiently intrigued to follow the series until they find out! The Prisoner himself is asking questions, and once he finds the answers he will be well on the way towards solving the mysteries that are baffling him. Just watch."

    "When the last episode was shown, people in Britain were so incensed, the Network's switchboard was blocked for hours. I had to go into hiding for two weeks, or I would have been killed. A lot of people didn't get what they expected. I'm not at all annoyed. I love people. They are entitled to their views. The Prisoner was a very time-consuming activity. I was doing about four jobs non-stop. When I'm not working I'm contemplating work. The best way I know of relaxing is working, when I care about something. The function of any art is to speak ahead of the times, to herald the warnings that are not obvious but which are there in the atmosphere."
                                           Patrick McGoohan


A New Mission For the Prisoner!
The other day I received an email from an old friend, who said something on the lines that the new series of the Prisoner should not be called the Prisoner. Probably on the grounds that it's nothing like the original series. Well why should it not be called the Prisoner, just becuase No.6 is played by Jim Caviezel instead of Patrick McGoohan. After all there are many Prisoners in the village, and anyone could be No.6, one time it just so happened to have been Patrick McGoohan. If Edward Woodwood as Callan had been abducted to the village, would he not be the Prisoner? Or Michael Caine as Harry Plamer, he would have been a Prisoner if abducted to the Village. See the point I'm trying to make?  After all, we are all Prisoners of one sort or another, and ‘the Prisoner’ itself!
Be seeing you

Saturday, 29 September 2012

It's Inexplicable!

   The way in which No.42, a young woman, in the Prisoner episode A Change of Mind, who appears to be in a permanent state of depression, always in tears. Who is quickly brought out of her depression and able to take an active, and aggressive role on the Ladies Sub-appeal Committee! Her rehabilitation has been quite remarkable, if not inexplicable!

    That No.6 should know that the head of the Professor lying quietly asleep in his bed, was actually a bust, and not in fact the Professor at all. I mean he took a terrible risk if he had got it wrong. I have often wondered what had made No.6 so suspicious in the first place, so as to bring that walking stick down on the Professor's head like that. And you see, even after these 45 years, there are still things in 'the Prisoner' which will forever remain unanswered.
    Madame Professor, she seemed as surprised as anyone to see No.6 bring that walking stick down upon her husbands head, only to discover that it was made from some form of plastic or resin. And seeing Madam Professor's surprise, would be an indication that she had not in fact made that bust of her husbands head. Yet No.2 remarks that No.6 has made a bit of a mess of her masterpiece. I have wondered in the past whether or not it was Madam Professor who had acutually made that bust of her husband, due to her apparent, shock, surpirse and puzzlement. But that could of course be because of the destruction of her masterpiece. And if Madam Professor had not made the bust of her husband, why should No.2 say that she did?

BCNU

Thought For The Day

   When in the opening sequence the Prisoner shouts from the beach "I am not a number, I am a free man," is he shouting this in anger or panic? I've often wondered.

BCNU

Page 6

   When he was 'Danger Man' John Drake, Patrick McGoohan was used to taking on a variety of different guises. A school teacher who has sufferd a breakdown. A lecturer with a drink problem. A white slave trader. An airline steward with a drink problem. A writer. A clerk. A journalist. A radio disc jockey. An insurance investigator to name but a few. So here on Page 6 we are happy to bring you the Prisoner known as Number 6 a he appears in a variety of guises.

                  
              

                      


              

     From supposed abducted secret agent, to a prisoner dressed in regalia more acustomed to Henley boating regatta, to an abducted supposed secret agent in Paris! From a Top Hat Administrative figure to a Projectionist, as himself, and as someone who looks like him, his own doppleganger. Posing as a doctor, and this next guise is a particularly clever one, the Prisoner in the guise of the Colonel, or perhaps that should be the other way round. A town Sheriff, well all boys like to play cowboys and indians, girls like to as well. Next up is John Drake Mister X, although he looks like John Drake in that raincoat and flat cap. And then we come to the real Mister X, who poses as a soldier of Revolutinary France, and a cricket player, though not necessarily in that order. And finally the mad Monk, or I should say Number 1.

I'll be seeing you

THEPRIS6NER

    Why the ships drift anchor as a folly in the middle of the desert? I have absolutely no idea, as that was never explained, and follies are rarely explained. "Follies are as follies do" as Braithwaite would say, they need no explaining, otherwise they would not be follies. Personally I think it would have been a nice tribute to the original series to have had a canopied penny farthing bicycle discovered by Six, half buried in the sand.
   Originally there was the idea to have a full-sized ship attached to the sea anchor, but it was plain to see that that was just one step too far. However, along with the ships sea anchor, a lifeboat from a ship can also be seen in the desert.
   So Michael took over as the boss of Summakor, Michael sat in the chair in the control room like a Supervisor amongst so many observers sat at their monitors. Such is the modern day take on the Village Control Room.
   I don't see it, do you, what it was that sent 313 running out of that dark corridor in ‘Checkmate.’ You see it was said that all the questions will be answered in the final episode, well the basic ones maybe. Not the fact that no-one in The Village seemed to actually pay for anything. Not even why wraps were the basic nourishment in The Village, or exactly what the Therapy Zone is. And did you notice just how Six spent so little time in his apartment in The Village? And why did Two's wife give The Village a fifties/sixties atmosphere, even 313 rode a sixties style bicycle!
    Despite what fans of the original series might think, basically the two series are not that dissimilar from one another. Okay you haven't got the quirkiness of the original, there are no huge painted backdrops as used in the original, no studio sets purposely built, and in it's way there is less style of the original series in the reinterpretation, with Two the stronger of the characters, Six being the weaker. But if you take away the "filler" episodes of the original series, episodes like ‘Living In Harmony,’ ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ ‘It's Your Funeral,’ ‘A Change of Mind,’ ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ ‘A B & C,’ originally McGoohan envisaged ‘the Prisoner’ being only a 7 episode series. So if McGoohan had managed to get his way, instead of having 17 episodes, you would have only 7. Because when you look at the original series, there are some which basically are really unnecessary to ‘the Prisoner,’ and are considered as simple "fillers" used to "pan out" the series.
    The Village has a postman, he delivered Six's Clinic appointment card you'll recall. But does it have a newspaper I wonder? And to get on the bus in The Village, and to get off the bus and arrive in the Village is just the wildest thing!
   Undercovers, they watch and report on people who become suspect "Dreamers" they call them. Well here's a right pair of "Undercovers" you're ever likely to meet.
  909 and Six. Here they are "undercover" at the swimming pool as they watch 1955 who is suspected of being a "dreamer."
   I mean aren't "Undercovers" meant to blend into the background? These two, 909 and Six, seen here on the right of the picture, stand out like two sore thumbs. I mean if you're going undercover at the swimming pool, then wear trunks. Sit down, blend in, like those other people by the pool, who themselves could be Undercovers. The thing about Undercovers, the Undercovers are never told who the other Undercovers are. And a "cell" of Undercovers never tells other Undercovers who they are. So it's possible that everyone in The Village is an "Undercover!"
    If a Village death isn't an actual death, in the way Two died having blown himself up with a hand grenade, and by which he returns to that "other place," as others have who have died in The Village, then that means that no-one is actually buried in The Village cemetery. And that can be said of the original series, as Cobb died in The Village, there
was his funeral of course, but then Cobb wasn't actually buried in The Village graveyard - was he? Cobb was allowed to leave The Village to return to the "other place." It's not exactly the same thing I know, it's more of an interpretation, as is THEPRIS6NER series itself.


THEPRIS6NER
   Soon after the release of THEPRIS6NER on DVD, I went there to enquire about this soundtrack cd, and do you know what I learned? That it's been deleted! Apparently it was available from last January, but I've not seen it in HMV. Anyway, there it is, stricken from the list! The soundtrack is still available through downloads from the Internet, but that's not quite the same for me. It's the actual article you see, the packaging, having the article in one's hand. True, the soundtrack to THEPRIS6NER isn't very inspiring I have to say. I'm sure no doubt I'll get a copy of this, given time, off ebay perhaps or through Amazon Books. And no doubt in years to come this item will have become a real collectors item.
    However I did acquire the soundtrack on cd, at Christmas 2010. Which must have been no little effort, because the cd is only available from America od Switzerland.
 
DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

    The Embryo Room, I'm sure it didn’t just exist just for this session of 'Degree Absolute' that we witness in
Once Upon A Time.' It makes wonder how many other ‘Ages of Man’ have been relived from the cradle to the 
grave in that time locked room? I suppose it all all depends upon how many individuals survived the previous
tests in order to make it into the Embryo Room in the first place doesn’t it?

“We Shall Need The Body As Evidence!”
   Evidence, for what? Oh we know what happened during 'Fall Out,' No.2's body was resuscitated and he became like a "new man." But 'Once Upon A Time' was produced long before the idea of 'Fall Out' came along. So originally at the end of 'Once Upon A Time,' when the episode was to have stood alone, amid the other 15 episodes, No.2 would have actually died and what then for No.6? Was he simply to have been returned to the Village and the cell being his cottage? Most probably, yes.
   But as it stands why the need of the body for evidence? Simply to show that Number 6 turned out to be the better man?

A Matter of Resignation
   Having escaped the confines of The Village, or at least he thinks he has, he arrives in an office he knows very well, and in that office he is confronted by the Colonel who sets about debriefing the Prisoner. "The night is young and there are many questions First why did you resign?"
    The Colonel has been brought to the village in order to question and thoroughly de-brief the Prisoner-No.6, the Colonel has become akin to No.2 if you like. But I never have understood the Colonel's peristence over the Prisoner's resignation. Surely the Colonel had read the Prisoner's letter he left with that balding man in the office during the opening sequence, and if he had he must surely know the reason behind the Prisoner's resignation, and so doing could tell No.2 why the Prisoner resigned without all this complicated plot, which failed anyway. All the Colonel had to do was walk into No.2's office and show him the Prisoner's letter of resignation, then they could move on and use that reason against the Prisoner himself!

Be seeing you

Friday, 28 September 2012

Teabreak Teaser

    The question is often asked by Number 6, "Who in Number One?" However rarely is the question asked.......who is Number 2?

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

    Today we look at the Prisoner through the French Window!


BcNu

THEPRIS6NER

THEPRIS6NER

    93, the old man who died in the desert. He was the first we see die, "Tell them....." he said to the Prisoner "........Tell them I got away." And so 93 did, because through a Village death, which is no death at all, 93 returned to his other life in that "other place." But exactly what "other place" was that? True, there was a sketch of St. Stephen's Tower of the Houses of Parliament hidden in an empty wine bottle in 93's apartment, which does suggest London, so how did 93, the former No.6, come to be brought to The Village?
    Okay, the last we see of the Prisoner he is driving his Lotus Seven in London during the final episode of Fall Out. Yet as we know, the ending of Fall Out is the beginning of Arrival, well it is in my book if not yours. And so it is that the Prisoner begins all over again at the end of Fall Out. The Prisoner has not escaped, but remains a prisoner of his own personal vicious circle, which is all in his mind. So if the Prisoner-No.6 is still living his own tormented dream in the prisoner, how was it that No.6 was brought to The Village in THEPRIS6NER, if he wasn't actually living in New York but London. And if not London, The Village! And if then The Village, surely 93 would have had a sketch of the Bell Tower, and not St. Stephen's Tower.
   I may not be able to tell you how 93, was brought to The Village, or indeed how long ago. But the reason for his having been brought to The Village is plain. No.6 was damaged, mentally. He was troubled about something which brought about his resignation. So Two had the former No.6 brought to The Village, given the number 93, in the hope that the former No.6 would be made better and then returned to his former life in the "other place, to which 93/6 returned to upon his death out there in the desert.
    Why the ships drift anchor as a folly in the middle of the desert? I have absolutely no idea, as that was never explained, and follies are rarely explained. "Follies are as follies do" as Braithwaite would say, they need no explaining, otherwise they would not be follies. Personally I think it would have been a nice tribute to the original series to have had a canopied penny farthing bicycle discovered by Six, half buried in the sand, what think you?
   So Michael took over as the boss of Summakor, Michael sat in the chair in the control room like a Supervisor amongst so many observers sat at their monitors. Such is the modern day take on the Village Control Room.
   I don't see it, do you, what it was that sent 313 running out of that dark corridor in Checkmate. You see it was said that all the questions will be answered in the final episode, well the basic ones maybe. Not the fact that no-one in The Village seemed to actually pay for anything. Not even why wraps were the basic nourishment in The Village, or exactly what the Therapy Zone is. And did you notice just how Six spent so little time in his apartment in The Village? And why did Two's wife give The Village a fifties/sixties atmosphere, even 313 rode a sixties style bicycle!
    Despite what fans of the original series might think, basically the two series are not that dissimilar from one another. Okay you haven't got the quirkiness of the original, there are no huge painted backdrops as used in the original, no studio sets purposely built, and in it's way there is less style of the original series in the reinterpretation, with Two the stronger of the characters, Six being the weaker. But if you take away the "filler" episodes of the original series, episodes like ‘Living In Harmony,’ ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ ‘It's Your Funeral,’ ‘A Change of Mind,’ ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ ‘A B & C’, because originally McGoohan envisaged the Prisoner being only a 7 episode series. So if McGoohan had managed to get his way, instead of having 17 episodes, you would have only 7. Because when you look at the original series, there are some which basically are really unnecessary to ‘the Prisoner,’ and are considered as simple "fillers" used to "pan out" the series.
    The Village has a Postman, he delivered Six's Clinic appointment card you'll recall. But does it have a newspaper I wonder? And to get on the bus in The Village, and to get off the bus and arrive in the Village is just the wildest thing!
    If a Village death isn't an actual death, in the way Two died having blown himself up with a hand grenade, and by which he returns to that "other place," as others have who have died in The Village, then that means that no-one is actually buried in The Village cemetery. And that can be said of the original series, as Cobb died in The Village, there
was his funeral of course, but then Cobb wasn't actually buried in The Village graveyard - was he? Cobb was allowed to leave The Village to return to the "other place." It's not exactly the same thing I know, it's more of an interpretation, as is THEPRIS6NER series itself.

DAS - BCNU

A Favourite Scene From THEPRISONER Comes When
   Six enounters some newcomers just getting off the bus.

Six "Who are you people?"
"Woman "Newcomers."
"So where have you come from?"
"We just got off the bus."
"Well where did you get on the bus?"
"The Village."
"This is the Village, you've arrived here."
"Isn't this just the wildest thing."

DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

The spectre of The Dance
   No.2 was seen on the telephone to, presumably No.1, and made the comment that she wished you could come too. So presumably No.1, or whoever it was, had made the wish that he could be there at the ball in the evening.
    Now if we take the premise of ‘Fall Out,’ that No.6 and No.1 are one and the same person, the one alter ego of the other, then surely No.1 did actually attend the Ball in the Town Hall that evening of ‘Dance of the Dead.’ and here he is walking, when he should be dancing along with little Bo-Peep. Whether or not this stands up is one thing, another would be that whoever the Prisoner is, he never allows himself to relax and enjoy himself!
Be seeing you, at the dance perhaps.

The Prisoner
   Given No.6's unusual qualities and the extent of his knowledge, especially about The Village, it's very existence and location. It is therefore not surprising then that it is necessary that he should be held in a place of confinement, and not be allowed to roam free after his sudden resignation. Such a person is extremely dangerous to the security of both the Nation and The Village. That’s why he had to be brought back to the Village, the knowledge of the Village keeping him prisoner!

The Prisoner And Me
    I watch the whole the Prisoner series once a year, and the odd single episode once in a while. But these days I mostly write about the series, well there's hardly a day goes by when I don't write something about the series, regular readers of my blog here can vouch for that. A good few years back now an old, old acquaintance once said that, "Everything that can be written about the Prisoner has been written." Well a decade or so on, and I'm still finding new things to write about ‘the Prisoner’ series, so I've been happy to prove him wrong.
   I don't collect Prisoner merchandise so much these days, well there’s not so much merchandise which is produced these days. However I do keep an open surveillance eye open for any memorabilia to do with the series.
    I no longer go to Prisoner Conventions. I'm not a member of any Prisoner related group or society, as I no longer feel the need to be. And yet I am happy to discuss ‘the Prisoner’ with many people around the world, and they are happy to discuss the subject with me. For ‘the Prisoner’ is as much part of my life as it has always been, perhaps more so, since the day I heard that first crack of thunder over 45 years ago.
   Through a 4 year in-depth study of ‘the Prisoner’ series I have arrived at an understanding which suits me, although it probably wouldn't suit you. Oh I can give explanations, interpretations, answer questions. But in the end we must all, each and everyone of us, arrive at our own unique understanding of an outstanding television series. But having said that, no-one has to understand anything about the Prisoner and his Village. Just sit back and enjoy, and sometimes I just do that. But ‘the Prisoner’ never lets go, he's always there taunting me with this or that when something I see in the series pops into my head, I just have to write about it. That's why I'm a prisoner!

Be seeing you

Thursday, 27 September 2012

This Week I Am Mostly Reading

    I purchased a copy of this book via ebay, I'm not at all sorry that I did, for I did so for sentimental reasons really. Back in the early 1970's this book was my only link to 'the Prisoner,' although the book itself has nothing to do with the actual series, it is based on the series. It was the front cover of the book really that was my link to 'the Prisoner,' even if the designer of the cover had given Number 6's blazer blue piping instead of off-white.
  I used to take a copy of this book out of my local library time and time again, and I would read it. I'm reading the book again now, and to be perfctly honest I'm struggling to hold my concentration with it. I mean since when did the Village have a Railway Station? Ah, in the Village of THEPRISO6NER-09 there is an old disused Railway Halt, but that's got nothing to do with the original series. But like the 09 series, in which Two brings Lucy to the Village in order to break Six's heeart, in the same way Number 2 brings Lora a girlfriend of Number 6's to the Village.  Number 6 does become Number 2 after the Number 2 escapes by.......helium balloon. But I find there is a distinct lack of discription of the Village in Disch's novel. For me, the only thing that makes this a novel based on 'the Prisoner,' is the cover of the book, and the use of numbers instead of names, not that names or not used in the book. I think Disch's novel was an easier read back in the early 1970's when I had no access to 'the Prisoner' series itself, as I do today.

Be seeing you

Who's That On The Telephono?


No.2 "Yes who is it, what's the matter?"
No.60 "Supervisor here, I'm on a sort of turquoise."
"What?"
"The telephone, I'm on a turquoise telephone."
"Oh."
"Come on sir, play the game."
"Oh very well. I'm on yellow."
"Shouldn't that be red?"
"What?"
"Shouldn't you be on red?"
"Are you Number One?"
"No sir."
"Well don't be ridiculous. Now what is it you want?"
"I don't want anything, It's Number Six."
"What about him?"
"He could be heading for the woods, or the shore. He's just walked through the mangrove walk."
"So?"
"He's carrying a box."
"A box!"
"Yes, he has a pigeon in it!"
"A pigeon?"
"Yes."
"I didn't know Number Six was a pigeon fancier."
"Hello!"
"What now?"
"Number Six has just taken the pigeon out of the box, he's doing something to it."
"What's he doing to it?"
"He's about to release the pigeon. Perhaps it's a homing pigeon!"
"Well it won't have far to go then will it!"
{suddenly the telehpono went dead!}

BCNU

Thought For The Day


    And you think Number Six is a prisoner. Well he's got nothing on me I can tell you that, all I can say is I want my mum! Well if I actually had a mother that is. I was born in a scientific laboratory, in a petra dish to be more precise. And then I was transferred to this container, perpetually breaking up onto small globules and long streaks of myself, and for what, people's entertainment? Let me out of here......I am not a, well I don't know what I am, but if I can just break the glass of this container I'll do someone some actual bodily harm!

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The Therapy Zone

Arrival
    In the conversation between the new No.2 and the Prisoner he says "We do here what has to be done. It's the law of survival. It's either them or us." Imprison people, steal their minds, destroy them! "Depends on whose side you're on, doesn't it?" To which the Prisoner replies "I'm on our side." What the side of the village? If his own people put him here, there cannot be any question of which side runs the village. And if the Village is set up to gather information, as suggested in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ it's not just the reason behind the Prisoner's resignation that they want - but all the information inside his head! The Prisoner has been put in the village for the protection of National security, and to be thoroughly debriefed at their leisure! And it might have worked, had they offered him something in return. Oh but of course they did, or at least No.2 did. It was during the aerial tour of the Village when No.2 suggested to the Prisoner "You might even be given a position of authority." Well they did actually offer that position of authority, in ‘Fall Out,’ they offered No.6, or sir as he became to be addressed as, the offer of ultimate power!

The Prisoner
   You can just tell it's going to be one of those days, when you wake up and suddenly something feels different. Then as you make a search of The Village you discover that everyone's gone but you! Imagine, everyone escaped The Village but No.6. What could be worse than that? Me being left alone in The Village! Mind you, I don't have the necessary skills as our friend No.6 here. Oh I could chop down trees and probably make myself a raft. But then what? I'm no sailor, and have very limited navigational skills, and besides which, it's a very long way home! So if it were me in No.6's shoes, I'd probably have to sit down and wait to see what happens next. And if then no-one turns up, well I'd probably pack necessary provisions and head off across country, but keeping well away from those mountains!

Downright Surreal!
    ‘A B & C’ is a primary example of surrealism in the Prisoner, as much of the episode takes place in No.6's dream. However towards the end, with No.6 only partially drugged, his projected visions are as if he is partly awake and partly asleep. And when No.6 is heading for the secret laboratory somewhere in the woods, watching No.6's progress on the wall screen. It must have been a very surreal moment to see the pair of steel doors of the laboratory slide open on the wall screen, but not the actual doors, and to watch No.6 walk in on the both of them, in his dream that is!

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Thought For The Day

   You can see the Astro or Lava Lamp in many rooms and offices in the Village. Number 6 for example has two such lamps in his cottage. While Number 2 in 'Arrival' also has two, but of a different design, the one placed on top of the other! It is also interesting to note that Number 2 of 'Arrival,' are the only Number 2's to have any such lamps in his office, as his successors rely upon the Lava Lamp effect being displayed on the wall screen as seen below.

BCNU

Teabreak Teaser

    Why does Number 2, even this interim Number 2, feel the need to have film of the perpetually moving wax in an Astro or Lava Lamp on his wall screen? Or is it surveillance film footage of the Village Guardian in it's containment area under the sea?

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

    Yellow skies, brown acrid smoke, the Village is on fire!
                    "Evacuate - evacuate - evacuate!"


BcNu

The Therapy Zone

Oops!
    I was reading through some old issues of Number Six magazine, and spotted a letter referring to a mistake made in ‘Living In Harmony’ and is the following.

    "It starts when the stranger {Patrick McGoohan} is in jail. The Kid pulls one of his guns on him, but the stranger simply sits on his bunk rolling a cigar and ignores him. The Kid draws his gun again, and the stranger continues enjoying his cigar. But when the Kid draws his gun for the third time, we see the stranger lighting up the cigar......this must be a mistake?"

    Well what else would you do with a cigar, but light it! The only mistake made, and it has nothing to do with the scene, is actually made by the author of the above piece. Patrick McGoohan isn't rolling a cigar, but rolling himself a cigarette. The cigarette paper is brown because it's "liquorice" paper!

Rats!
    A disapproving Headmaster.
    2 That is cowardice!
    6 That's honour, sir
    2 We don't talk about such things.
    6 You should teach it, sir.
    2 You're a fool!
    6 Yes sir. Not a rat.

    Rats run together! They race for position. Fools like in the Shakespearian tradition, are non-conformists, outlaws, outcasts. They are out of the common fun. The headmaster exists to train his charges into the ways expected of them. Hence the headmaster in question, does not want to see his prize pupil grow up to be a "Lone-Wolf!"
   On the other hand, there is another form of "Rat," one who "rat's" on his mates, tells on them to the Headmaster for example. That is the kind of honour the Prisoner was talking about, the honour of not "ratting" on the boy who was speaking in class, the schoolmate who he took the punishment for.....12, not 6, of the best!

Rebellion Is Something Ill Afforded!
    It has been generally accepted by many fans of the Prisoner that No.6 is a rebel, a rebel who has "Vindicated the right of the individual to be individual," so stated by the President in Fall Out. No,6 is said to be a "Revolutionary," a man who has revolted, resisted, fought, held fast, maintained, destroyed, overcome coercion...... But then No.6 is offered the opportunity to lead "them," or go, No.6's first instinct is to make a statement, but seeing as no-one wants to listen to him, he rebels and brings down the system of The Village. It is strange is it not, that the revolutionary should be both Jailer and prisoner, don't you think. What did No.14 call it.....oh yes, "A persecution complex!"

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Prismatic Reflection

     A man who resigns from a top secret, confidential job, that wouldn’t be allowed would it? A man who sees such business as being above the law, might that man not become a law unto himself? Might such a man not want to become Number 1? A man of his calibre, a man of steel, with a superhuman will power, he could be capable of anything, even the creation of the Village. And once that Village is created, what to do with the man who created it? Well you put him in it, so that he would not be able to tell the rest of the world about it.
    What then might happen to that man who resigns his job, after what, creating the Village? He cannot be left to wander at large, who knows what he might say. So you have him kidnapped to the Village. But you make him, let us call him the architect, comfortable, at home, you even make his home a home from home. You want him whole, un-broken, a man like him, he can be of use. He is seen to have a future in the Village, he might even be offered a position of authority. But a mistake has been made, in abducting him to the Village, you may not have damaged him, but you have taken away his freedom, his identity. You’ve taken away his name, and have given him a number. So why the Number 6? There’s got to be more to it that just “Six of one, half a dozen of the other.” Oh yes I know, because 6 is the only number when turned upside down, it makes another number, well what about 9, or if you think about it 8. I could go 66, or 99, even 88, but that would be too much, as I think the point has been made. The point being, that in my opinion, Patrick McGoohan was trying to be far too clever for his own good! Or perhaps it is because six is a perfect number. Otherwise it might simply be that Ratcliffe College is situated on the Six Hills road1
    So, you’ve got the architect behind the Village, the Prisoner, what are you going to do with him? Make him an offer of authority? No, that’s the last thing you want to go and do. Because if you do, he’ll only go and try to organise a mass breakout, and you don’t want that do you? So you make him a prisoner, but not just any prisoner, otherwise if he falls into the hands of unethical doctors, they just might begin experimenting on Number 6, and if they go too far, well, you might lose him!
    Make him feel at home, let him live in his own “home from home,” but don’t forget to lock the cell door at night, curfew time would be best. And if you lace his nightcap with a sleeping draught, that’s all to the good. And introduce the drug into the water supply, just in case the Prisoner doesn’t drink his nightcap. Hell, that could be introduced to the whole community, to keep everyone asleep at night, and out of trouble. Not the warders of course.
    You can allow the Prisoner a few privileges, but do not under any circumstances make him feel important, even though he has a future with you. Let him make the odd escape attempt now and again, stage a couple for him, but with you under control of the situation at all times. Assign someone to him through some devious subterfuge, and make that someone a woman, that way she can get close to him, get him to open up to her, and in turn she can report back to you on the progress she is making. Play games with the Prisoner, question him, interrogate him, but whatever you do…….Don’t damage the tissue! Bruise it a bit by all means, but in general terms the Prisoner must remain intact. There are other ways, and the Prisoner we know as Number 6 must be won over!
     I have to say that in general terms, Number 6 had it pretty easy in the Village, when you think of what they might have done to him. I’ve been of the opinion that if the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation was so important to the Village Administration, why didn’t Number 2 have the Colonel bring the Prisoner’s letter of resignation with him to the Village during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’
     How possible would it have been for the Prisoner to have resigned in the first place? I mean to say, if he was that important, when the Prisoner had returned to London, surely the Colonel would have done his utmost to make sure he didn’t lose the Prisoner for a second time, if he didn’t know of the Village in the first place that is. Otherwise he’s lost Number 6 to the other side, depending on which side runs the Village. Number 6 said that if he couldn’t find out here, meaning the west, then he’d find out elsewhere, presumably meaning the east, behind the Iron Curtain. Talk about putting your head in the noose! I’m sure the Russians, or Czechs would have loved that, a defecting British…….yes that’s a good one, a British what, Secret agent? Well let us say so for arguments sake, a British Secret Service agent defects behind the Iron Curtain in search of answers, I bet the Russians wouldn’t be able to believe their luck. And there’d be no coming back from there, not unless there was an exchange for someone on the cards. And no doubt Number 6 would blab to his Russian interrogator about the Village, much in the same way that he did to the Colonel and Thorpe. So that if the Russians didn’t know about the Village, they would after Number 6 had told them! But if the village is behind the Iron Curtain, and the Russians responsible for the Village, well they’re not likely to let go of their prize prisoner a second time. And even if they were not, either way Number 6 ‘s Goose would be well and truly cooked!

I’ll be seeing you

Village Observation

    After the act of sabotage which the observers fail to notice, Number 12 feigns telling Number 6 that the deliberate destruction of official property is a most serious offence and that he must recommend the full penalty. It could be imprisonment, it could be a fine, Number 6 takes the fine. Well imprisonment could only mean solitary confinement, as Number 6 was already in a prison of a sort. So it might have been solitary confinement, which I’m sure Number 6 would have enjoyed!
    The Number 12 once issued to Number 6 in ‘The Schizoid Man’, is now the Number 12 issued to a young
man who works in administration, who has been with us, to use Number 12’s own words “Quite a long time sir"
So some time has passed between 'The Schizoid Man' and 'The General,' and Curtis lies in the graveyard.
    Number 28-the Supervisor announces from the confines of the control room;
    “All units orange alert, orange alert. All units, all posts orange alert, orange alert.”
    This because the Professor is trying to flee the village along the beach, where incidentally he deposits his tape
 recorder with the message that the General must be destroyed, and discovered by Number 6.
    So the orange alert is for the Professor and possibly to warn all units and all posts that the amorphous white membranic mass of the Village Guardian has been released from its containment area somewhere on the seabed,
and that they should be on the alert. However it is a curious fact that even though an Orange Alert had been
issued by the Supervisor in the Control Room, the Village Guardian did not put in any kind of appearance.
    The watchmaker-Number 51 is a man of principle, he has lived in this prison of the village for a very long
time, everyone is here for life, yet he has never met anyone here who has committed a crime. He sees the death
of Number 2 as an assassination and not murder, perhaps it is what they need, the citizens, to shake them out
of their lethargy, to make them angry enough to fight. When it comes to relationships in the Village we see for
 the first time father and daughter linked by numbers, Monique-Number 50 and her father-Number 51, his
wife was probably 49 or 52.

Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

   It has always been something of  a puzzlement as to how Number 6 knew that it wasn't the Professor lying in that bed. I mean to say Number 6 picked up that walking stick before he entered the bedroom, he must have had a plan as to what he was going to do with that walking stick, so what was it in the hallway that first raised his suspiscions?
   And I have written about this before, who or what is Madam professor screaming over as Number 6 brings that walking stick down on the head lying on the pillow, her husband, or that of her masterpiece about to be smashed by Number 6?

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The Art Seminar by our own reporter

    Soon after her arrival here in the Village, Madam Professor began to organise "Art Seminars," well this reporter decided to go and see what all the fuss was about. But low and behold I was not the only familiar face there, why, No.6 was attending this art seminar!
   Quite a likeness, wouldn't you say? It seems that as an artist No.6 is a bit of a dab-hand! But there seems to be another familiar face at the seminar, the figure sitting on the edge of the pool, with his back turned towards my photographic colleagues camera lens, just behind the man whose asleep, and in the top photograph as well. Isn't that No.14, the chess champion of Checkmate?
   But I digress for the moment. We are here to find out what this art seminar is all about. First I asked No.6 why he was here. "I don't know" was his reply. Madam Professor suggested that he might be finding things a bit strange, to which No.6 responded with "That's the trouble, I can't find anything at all!"
    So with No.6 not being able to find anything, I asked Madam Professor "What are people looking for here?" Madam Professor looked around her garden "What do you think he's doing?" I looked at the man tearing up a book. "Tearing up a book!" I replied. "He's creating a fresh concept. Creation arises out of destruction" Madam Professor told me. "Well what about the young woman standing on her head over there?" Madam looked to where I was pointing. "She's developing a new perspective." "Really. And him?" Oh, he's asleep. The mind learns only when it wants to. Not at set times" Madame explained.
   Does your husband believe that Madam?" I asked "It's self evident surely" was her clever answer. Finally I asked Madam Professor what her subject is. "Modern art, what's yours?" Well apart from a pint in the "Cat & Mouse", I'm one of these newspaper reporters who goes about sticking their nose in other peoples business!
    I came away from the art seminar with the feeling that I had learned absolutely nothing. It matters not one tinkers jot whether of not the man tearing up a book is creating a fresh concept or not. All he's doing is destroying a reasonably good book! And as for all that girls time standing on her head, the world will still remain the same, but upside down! Nothing will change for all their efforts, and if things don't change, they will remain the same!

Your own reporter
Photographs by No.113b

The Therapy Zone

Man Of Mystery Who Simply Wasn't There!


   John Maxim, who is credited in the cast of ‘Once Upon A Time’ as No.86, but who doesn't actually appear in the completed episode. Perhaps his scene was never filmed, or was cut, and ended up on the cutting room floor! But the mystery has always remained, and can never be answered, why is John Maxim still credited as No.86 when he doesn't appear in the episode?




Once Upon A Time And The Unfair Treatment Of Number 6
   No.6 "I Appeal my Lord!"
   No.2-Judge "Appeal, You're getting the same treatment!"
   No.6 "I appeal against unfair treatment!"
   No.2-Judge "You're getting the same treatment as everybody else!"
   No.6 "I, I know. That's why I'm going to appeal against unfair treatment!"

    No.6, being unfairly treated, when he's getting the same treatment as everybody else. It seems to me that No.6 sets himself up very highly, even to the point of putting himself above everyone else. What's more No.6 was rebelling against the figures, he shouted enough to that very effect. Well perhaps that's the part of Patrick McGoohan's life where got fed up working in a Bank, as he once did.

Things To Do Today
   These are the words written on the Prisoner's desk pad. Now who do you think would be sending the Prisoner flowers? This image was taken from the episode of Arrival, and the only person who might very well send flowers to the Prisoner would be his fiancee Janet Portland. Ah, but then Janet Portland wasn't written into the Prisoner until the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ by Vincent Tilsley. At the time of the writing of the script for Arrival written by George Markstein and David Tomblin, Janet Portland had never been thought of, let alone the Prisoner having a fiancĂ©. So I just wonder who had been sending the Prisoner flowers? It must have been someone he knew, someone close to him to warrant the sending of a thank you note. This is one of the enigmas of ‘the Prisoner’ that can never be answered, something we can live without knowing, but at the same time something to speculate about in a quiet moment.

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Thought For The Day

How was It Done? Was It The Drink?

    The viewer is led to believe that only one person can leave the Embryo Room alive. Did No.2 think that it might not be him, and if it wasn't, did he know how death was to be administered? Was it the drink, as the resuscitated No.2 demanded to know. And if it was, why didn't No.6 die because of the drink as well? And why the need to kill No.2 in the first place?
    Well I don't think it was actually the drink that did for No.2, because as posed in the question, why didn't No.6 die because of the drink as well. So this fact leads me to believe that it wasn't actually the drink, but that No.2's glass was pre-laced with poison. And as to the question of how it was done, well apart from No.2 and No.6, there is only one other person in the Embryo Room at the time - the Butler! I have watched the surveillance film footage of 'once Upon A Time,' and No. 6 never went anywhere near that bottle, or No.2's glass. And even if he had, where would he have got the poison from? So the presumption is, like in many a good murder mystery, the Butler did it! Otherwise Monsieur Poirot, you tell me who did it, and why!

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