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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Right Free For All!

   I suppose I might have given this the title “Spot The Difference,” but that would have been far too easy, so I didn't! But I did wonder why they botherd to remove No.6's piped jacket back in the cave. Because when he went into the cave he was wearing his piped jacket, and when he was manhandled into the new No.2's office, he wasn't wearing it! And the picture on the right? Well, all I can say is that it was probably taken during a dress rehearsal for the scene in 'Free For All.'

Be seeing you

Postcard From The Village

    It used to be fun following in McGoohan's footsteps as the Prisoner. There was a time when I was the right age to play the role of No.6. Running about on the beach shouting "I am not a number, I am a free man." Then dodging about in the Village, popping up in bushes, and thinking about the scenes McGoohan acted out around Portmeirion. But I don't do it any more, I'm too old now you see.
   However I do still wear the piped blazer, the jacket of my suit {identical to the one worn by the Prisoner} I now wear with a pair of black jeans. Well it's the trendy thing to do when a jacket outlasts it's trouser.
    Following in the Patrick McGoohan's footsteps, no I don't do that anymore, as I've been making footsteps of my own for some considerable time now, at least where 'the Prisoner' is concerned. Is that blowing my own trumpet? Well yes, but as someone once said "At least you've a trumpet to blow!"

I'll be seeing you

MAGIC NUMBER 6


    Last night myself and my wife were privileged to have been able attended a dress rehearsal of Paul Gosling's play, and our thanks go to Paul and director Carlos Dandolo for allowing us to do so.
    Photographs? Oh yes I was allowed to take photographs of the dress rehearsal, and a few video clips, but you'll not be seeing any of them here, because I know at least one person who reads my blog will be attending a performance of the play this coming Saturday night. So pictures and video clips will be posted after the final performance of the play on November 3rd.
  The evening was very enjoyable. I was able to talk with the author of the play, director, and cast members Rob Leeson, Karen Gordon, and Colin Woods, in order to gain a little background material, notes of which have yet to be written up.
   Before the dress rehearsal we all chatted in the bar, and it was not long before talk turned to 'the Prisoner.' And the play? Well I'm not giving away any spoilers, for the reason stated. However my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It is a very original play, and extremely well written. The one act play runs for around an hour, and I did wonder how that time would be filled. We are used to seeing 'the Prisoner' and films starring Patrick McGoohan, but this is a play regarding the relationship between Patrick McGoohan and Lew Grade which is something completely different, and in that Paul Gosling had really done his research, and the play works very well indeed, it is also highly entertaining. Rob Leeson has to be congratulated on his characterisation of Patrick McGoohan. It's all very well copying him as one of his characters, but quite another to portray him as himself, and to keep it up for an hour. We asked Colin Woods who plays the role of Lew Grade, does he have the cigar which Lew Grade was so famous for? Colin just touched his nose and said "Ah, all will be revealed!" And it was.

Be seeing you

THEPRIS6NER

    Why anyone would believe that "Pigs breath" can have an effect on the weather is anyone’s guess, itall boils down to being Village propaganda! I could understand it if we were talking about the other end, methane and all. Two is indeed a very clever man, giving the populous of The Village something to do in times of crisis, as more holes appear in The Village. Getting the citizens to "Keep A Pig" keeps them occupied, and thinking they are doing something in order to keep The Village stable, when in fact it does nothing of the kind. But they don't know that, do they? I mean Two could hardly tell the populous the truth, could he now? There would be riots in the streets. The Palais stormed, and M2 murdered in her bed! Or would she? It's easy to sit here and type what I think the populous pf The Village might do. But then one has to sit and consider the fact that M2, the wife of Two, controls the entire Village and the general populous therein by the power of her subconscious mind. But then I suppose Two has to keep the general population happy, just in case they ask too many questions about the holes which keep appearing in The Village from time to time. But then if M2 controls everything and everyone in The Village, it's M2 who is making them ask the questions in the first place. Or is there free thought on the part of the citizens of The Village? Can they actually "think" for themselves, when people like 11-12 are born in The Village, and don't really physically exist?

   We realise, the people that stuck with it, that this series is all in the mind, well M2's mind actually, and to be carried on in the mind of 313, with the help of the new Two's help. I recall the theorists in Six of One, who wrote in the society magazine about how the Prisoner was simply all in the mind of Number Six. That the whole series is a persecution complex, brought about by the Prisoners own resignation. That in end the Prisoner, being faced with himself, had to face up to that which he fears more then anything.....himself! In this series it's Two who tries to get Six to face up to his fears, because Michael/Six resigned because he found out what he was doing. His fear that he had helped in the creation of The Village, which is after all, all in the mind.

DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

   Free For All
Although shown as the fourth episode in the Prisoner series, this episode was in fact the second to be filmed back to back with Arrival. Free For All was one of two episodes to be hit by the 1960's censorship with the well staged but sadistic fight sequence in the Rover cave being deleted for the transmission in the premier UK screening. Stuntman Alf Joint choreographed the sequence and along with Peter Brace, another well known fall guy, played the motor mechanics who beat Number Six senseless. This story gives the only view of the 'Cat & Mouse' night club. And although not credited, the Supervisor in this episode is Peter Sawnwick and is seen via stock footage from Arrival. The opening credits give director as Paddy Fitz, which is a pseudonym of Patrick McGoohan, coming from his mother's maiden name of Fitzpatrick.
    In one later scene in the episode, Number Six is driven by Number fifty-Eight along the Sea front a short distance away from The Village, passed a cottage called White Horses which is seen briefly. White Horses is the cottage where McGoohan and his family stayed whilst filming was taking place at Portmeirion in September of 1966. This led to the cottage becoming a favourite cottage for fans of the series to stay in Portmeirion. But there is a drawback, White Horses cottage is not available in the winter months, as certain seasonal high tides, and the cottage being part of the sea wall at Portmeirion, causes the cottage to flood!

Living In Harmony  
    There is no standard title sequence in this episode, but a parody in the style of the western story {although the 1984 Channel 4 screening of the Prisoner the standard opening sequence had been inserted into the episode, possibly by someone who did not know the series at all, and thought that with Living In Harmony the standard opening sequence had been left out}. Five sequences hit censorship problems when the episode was originally screened and was either deleted or edited prior to transmission, a hanging, a fight with Zeke, the Prisoner being dragged back to Harmony and a pair of sequences where Cathy is attacked. The episode marks the only credited appearance of Frank Maher {as third gunman}.
    The Harmony Township was a Borehamwood backlot, redressed and re-used several times in the series. It has been claimed that the episode was removed from American scheduling, owing to the hero's refusal to carry a gun undermining the Vietman war recruitment drive, or being seen to promote mind-altering drugs! Actor Alexis Kanner said that in his role as the Kid, he was faster on the draw than McGoohan during the end gunfight. The episode does not give the audience any confirmation that this is a ‘Prisoner’ episode. It is not until the very end that the familiar scene returns.

The School Uniform
    I remember my school days, and how proud I used to be to wear the school uniform. Oh we didn't have any fancy piping on the school blazer, or straw boater come to think of it. We did have a school cap with the school badge on it. No, no piping on the blazer to denote who the Captain of the boxing team was, or the cricket team, football, and even fencing. Yes, we did have fencing, high fences all around the perimeter of the school!
   Then when my class reached the fifth year, the headmaster decreed that we could abandon the school uniform, and come to school in our own clothes. Well I still came to school in a blazer, but a fancy one with scarlet lining, and a fancy motif.
   I recall how my classmates had hated the school uniform, simply because it was a uniform. And so were happy to be able to go to school wearing their own clothes.
   Then we left school, and in the outside world I took to wearing three-piece suits, well I likd to look smart, and also in wearing what I liked I displayed individualistic tendencies, unlike my old school friends, and the like. Because as they had hated wearing the school uniform, having left school they all took to wearing Denim. which was okay as an individual, but when they were all in the same public house/bar, they all looked the same. They might have said goodbye to the school uniform, but having left school they had all taken to wearing a new uniform, one of denim!
   Today I have taken to wearing denim, black jeans with the jacket of my once ‘Arrival’ suit, which is very trendy as it happens.

Now we shall all sing the old school song...... oh. We didn't even have a school song!

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Prismatic Reflection

The Advancement of Technology

     ‘The Prisoner’ is seen by many to be a remarkable television series, as a art form, an allegory, a parable, a moralistic tale, a wonderful piece of escapism, even an action adventure series. But what about ‘the Prisoner’ as a prediction for the future, an International community, a blue print for world order the whole world as The Village in fact?! Well look about you, especially those reading this in Great Britain, look about you at all the surveillance cameras there are. Has not Europe become an International community, the European Union? The Village has a single currency the Work or Credit Unit, while many European countries has the Euro. So in this regard, and in others, The Village is a prediction for the future, through the eyes of Patrick McGoohan might you not think? And that would include the use of identity cards, one thing Great Britain did avoid!
    And then there is the relentless gathering of information, information about you, the wife, your family, sisters, brothers‘, nephews, nieces. Who wants to know all about us, and what do they do with all that information when they get it? The administration behind The Village wants to know everything about every citizen in The Village, that’s why they could not rest until they knew why the Prisoner known as Number 6 told them the reason behind his resignation. So that they could complete his file!
    Surveillance cameras are everywhere in the Village. Some simply mounted on concrete plinths, while others are hidden in statues or busts set on stone plinths.
    And then there is the Seltzman machine, take two men of their choosing, exchange their minds. Then wipe all the unpleasant memories of the Village, send him out to gather information, bring him back to the Village and extract the information in his head, then wipe his mind of all unpleasant memories of the Village, and send him out again to gather yet more information.
    But is the Seltzman machine an advancement in technology? What about the advancement of technology in The Village? The cordless telephone, which appears to work much like the mobiles phones people the world over can no longer live without! Then there are those black speakers which cannot be turned of, as they have no on/of switch. Neither do they have an aerial, this then is the first form of what we are pleased to call “Wireless” technology, which is enjoyed today the world over.
    The first “Bio-Thumb Recognition System” which is now incorporated into Security systems around the world, first developed in the Village, and demonstrated to ‘The Schizoid Man.’
    The Village Guardian, is that an advancement in technology, or genetic engineering? Of course the first Village Guardian, or ROVER MK1 was a totally mechanical device. It was supposed to go over any terrain. To go in the sea like a submarine, or on the sea like a ship. To ascend and descend steps, as well as climb walls, ROVER MK1 failed at the first test! Which caused the sudden development of ROVER MKII And could that be said of the educational process of speed learn and the General?
    Speedlearn was the greatest human experiment that had been conducted in the Village, and upon the citizens. The General has been described by some as being a “super” computer. Well it wasn’t looking very smart by the time No.6 had finished with it. No.2 enthused about the General and it’s capabilities.
    “There is no question, no question from advanced mathematics to molecular structure, from philosophy to crop spraying that the General cannot answer.” But it would seem that a computer is only as good as it’s programmer. I mean you can’t take out what you don’t put in. The General of course is an import. The Professor gave birth to it, and loves it with a passion, probably hates it even more. But then it’s said that the Professor was introduced to the General. So which is it? And the beam used to bring down a pigeon in ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ it’s quite obvious an electronic beam of some kind. Perhaps the electronic defence system invented by the Rook in ‘Checkmate, and the Village having swiped the bag belonging to some blundering bureaucrat which contained the plans of the electronic defence system, and the Village’s administration then put it to good use in protecting the Village! Well fictionally it’s possible.
     And then there is the electronic force field of the Town Hall, which not only guards the entrance, but inside as well, at a security checkpoint. A person has but one attempt if struck by the force field, a second attempt is fatal! Then there is the technology to fly aircraft remotely, as in the Alouette helicopter. To control sea vessels via remote control.
    However, the Village Administration is very adept at modifying other technologies to suit the Village. Take the check points, you need security pass discs in order to pass, and what is it that takes such security pass discs? A little black box, which is basically a money box, often called the Magic Money Box.
    There are the nerve gas guns, five yard range, one squirt you’re paralysed, two squirts you’re dead! And the development of mind altering drugs. Mytol a sedative drug. And No.14’s drug which allows the control of, and the inception of a subjects dreams.
    There are computers for medical diagnosis, for code breaking, daily prognosis reports. Not to mention sublimators whatever they are! The Village has it’s own television station, and monitor the citizens through their televisions. Televisions which also doubled up for the first video telephone!
    And the final piece of technology, obviously borrowed from British aerospace, the rocket, the big  Red One rocket no less. But this is not a missile, well it is, but for fictional purposes it is for the transportation of personnel into space. We know this by the Orbit tubes, 48, 2 and in all probability 6. But where they would have gone, had these three individuals been launched aboard the rocket, is unknown. And so will forever remain open to speculation.
     Of course apart from looking at the Village as a place for the development of a number of technologies, ‘the Prisoner’ can be seen as a prediction for the future. Number 6 once said that he’d like to be the first man on the moon. So who is to say Number 1 didn’t achieve that desire? What’s more, seeing ‘the Prisoner’ as a prediction for the future, might that not make Patrick McGoohan the modern day Nostradamus of his time?
Be seeing you

Pictorial Prisoner

  












There is a scene which to me makes very little sense. No.6, who doesn't know where the Town Hall is, goes to the electronic Free Information Board {how that will help him I don't know, seeing as the Town Hall is named and not numbered!}. Anyway No.6 does press a button, and his choice is reflected on the screen. No.58 desires to pick a number, she chooses number 6, and presses the button, which indicates the cottage of 6 Private on the screen, and No.58 gets quite excited about this. I have never understood why, not in all my years of appreciation of 'the Prisoner.'

I'll be seeing you

Teabreak Teaser

    No.2 of 'Hammer Into Anvil is the only No.2 to have a shooting stick which is not also an umbrella. Obviously No.2 brought the shootingstick with him into the Village. Why was it not detected? And why should No.2 think he needed to bring a weapon with him?

BCNU

Thought For The Day

    It is always interesting to hear from anyone who is releatively new to 'the Prisoner,' because more often than not they are able to bring something new and fresh to the cut and thrust of the debate, and discussion regarding 'the Prisoner' series. And I have learned not to be surprised that they sometimes see something in 'the Prisoner,' which I have still been able to miss in all my years of appreication for 'the Prisoner.'
   In fact a friend of mine and blog commenter, Jana, emailed me the other day regarding 'Once Upon A Time.' Jana made the point to why Credit Units are not for No.6.......because he had been used to pound sterling! As John Drake would have said, I'm obliged to you Jana.

Be seeing you

THEPRIS6NER

    Arrival is a series of encounters, the old man 93, the taxi driver, 455 the waitress, 313, and Two, each one takes Six into a deeper understanding of The Village.
   When the viewer first encounters the Prisoner waking up somewhere in the desert, its not so much a question of where he is, although for the Prisoner it must be disorientating for him to have woken up in such a place. But for the Prisoner there is no time to wonder, as he is instantly thrown in at the deep end in order to help another human being. In that he comes to the assistance of an old man who is being both pursued and shot at by armed men.
   During a meeting with Two, Two tells Six that there is no out, there is only in. But Six is yet to be convinced of this, and his one thought is to escape, this he is determined to do by crossing mile upon mile of desert. But if there is no physical escape from The Village, then Six needs to understand. And all the people he first encounters, all have clues to The Village. What was it the old man, 93, knew, and was it that knowledge which took him out into the desert and mountains that day? One thing is for sure, Six is a catalyst, who makes things happen in The Village.
[93 the former No.6]    93, who is really the former No.6, who died out there in the desert and the Prisoner, Six, took time out to bury, or to hide the old man's body, I'm not sure what the Prisoner's motives were. But the old man suffered what we were to later learn, a Village death, which in reality is no death at all, but a way of escape back to a former life in the "other place." So seeing as how this old man is the former No.6, to what previous life, what "other palce" might he have returned to? That of his life in London, as his sketch found by Six hidden in an old wine bottle in 93's apartment would suggest, or did 93 suffer an even worse fate? It all depends upon where 93 was taken from in the first place. I mean just because 93 draws a sketch of a place he remembers from his former life, doesn't mean that he was brought to The Village from London. That sketch of St. Stephen's Tower could equally have been the Bell Tower in The Village of the previous series, and so 93 could easily have returned to his former life in The Village!

    I have suggested in past articles, of the possibility that M2, Two's wife controls everything and everyone in The Village in her subconscious mind. But I was wrong, this does not happen, nor would it be possible for M2 to control absolutely everything in The Village. Yes people are brought to The Village through Two and M2's mind, while both The Village and those born in The Village are created by M2's mind. But afterwards the general populous have to do things for themselves, as they would in the real world. When M2 wakes one time from her unconscious state, she asks Two how her son is and asks what he's like, and Two tells her that he's quite grown up now. So if M2 was controlling everything in The Village in her mind, then she would have known about her son, and so would not have needed to ask. So when in the episode Schizoid, when Two gives his son 11-12, the opportunity to spend time with his mother, so that he may get to know her a little, that cuts both ways in my book. Because 11-12 may not know his mother, as his mother doesn't know her son 11-12 either!

DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

Continuity - Within The Prisoner!
   It's easy to spot the numerous continuity errors which crop up within ‘the Prisoner’ series, not so easy is it to spot continuity between the episodes, but I have found one example. When No.6 wakes up on the morning of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ No.6 looks at his wrist watch, which he wears in bed. Then again when No.6's mind wakes up, but in the body of the Colonel in the study of his London home during ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ he looks at his wrist watch which he has been wearing whilst asleep.
   So I wondered if this continuity runs all through the series, and low and behold it does. For as No.6 pulls No.50-Monique onto his bed in ‘It's Your Funeral,’ you can see that No.6 is wearing his wrist watch beneath the sleeve of his pyjamas. Okay, No.6 isn't wearing his wrist watch in bed the night the doctors come for him in The Schizoid Man, but that could be for convenience sake for the scene. Because a doctor injects a needle into No.6's wrist just about where the leather strap of the wrist watch would have been. If No,6 had been wearing his wrist watch in bed, the doctor would have had to remove it!
   I've not heard of anyone who wears their wrist watch in bed. I shouldn't wonder if wearing his wrist watch in bed, was one of Patrick McGoohan's own habits.

“I’m New Here!
   The episode of ‘Dance of the Dead’ lies 8th in the screening order of the Prisoner, yet there is a line spoken by No.6 "I'm new here." After No.6's arrival in the Village, he's been duped into thinking he escaped The Village during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ Had the privacy of his dreams invaded. In ‘Free for All’ he ran for electoral office, met his doppelganger ‘The Schizoid Man.’ He destroyed the General by asking a question, supposedly insoluble to man or machine. Then having found that he is the only inhabitant The Village, No.6 made himself a sea-going raft and set out on a sea adventure. So to say "I'm new here"........I mean just how long does a citizen of the Village have to be a resident so as not to be new here? I should have thought by the time Dance of the Dead came along, No.6 would have been an old hand of The Village! But then again, not if ‘Dance of the Dead’ had been screened in it’s original position in the screening order 2nd!

A Man of Mystery!
   The Butler has no name, no number, and has only become to be known to fans of ‘the Prisoner’ by his apparent job title - the Butler. Yet in the series he's made no mention of at all, not by name, number, or even his job title!
   In fact we know less about the Butler than we do the Prisoner or even No.1. So perhaps the Butler is the real mystery man of the series. It was even thought at one time by a number of fans to be Number 1!

I’ll be seeing you

Monday, 29 October 2012

Caught On Camera

    Here is an image taken from routine surveillance from 'Arrival'. The only problem is, it was actually taken from 'Free For All!  At this very moment No.1, having been elected as the new No.2, is trying to take control. He's telling the citizens that he has control, that he will immobolise all electronic controls, and telling them to obey him, that they are free, free, free to go, free to go! And how do we know it is at the time of 'Arrival?' Well you can see the Prisoner newly arrived in the Village wearing his charcoal grey suit.

Be seeing you

Who's That On The Telephono?


No.2 “Get me the Village Fish and Chip Shop……..hello, I’d like cod and two please.”
No.213 “I’m sorry?”
“Do you deliver?”
“Deliver what sir?”
“My cod and two of chips, with salt and vinegar please.”
“I’m not sure I understand sir!”
“It’s simple enough I should have thought. I’ll repeat my order….”
“No that’s alright sir, I heard plain enough.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“I’m not sure I can fulfil your order that’s all!”
”What do you mean you cannot fulfil my order. Do you know who you’re talking to?”
“Yes Number Two, but it’s clearly obvious you don’t!”
How dare you speak to me like that! I want to see you in my office immediately, immediately do you understand?”
“Yes sir.”
No.243 “Who was that on the telephono?”
“Number Two.”
“What did he want?”
“Cod and two of chips!”
“Are you going to take it to him?”
“How can I? You know full well the fryer’s broken down!”

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

     From my watercolour period  "Be seeing you."


BcNu

THEPRIS6NER

   I quickly learned that there is not so much material to play with within the confines of this series, as there is with the original. However there are a few puzzlements, such as why the plastic pig masks as worn by 16's family? There must be a reason for it. Perhaps Six is Jewish, and by feeding him Barbecued pork wraps, and wearing the pig masks was to taunt him, only the scriptwriter Bill Gallagher knows, but I shall endeavour to find out.
    An old friend of mine, who writes to me in what is termed the "old fashioned" way of letter writing, something which we both enjoy doing. Anyway my friend, whom I shall refer to as "Mister X" said that now I have seen the whole series he would tell me what he thought of it. As it turns out he's completely indifferent towards it, THEPRIS6NER does not do anything for him, and does not wish to discuss it with me. And that's fair enough, however "Mister X" is quite happy to read my thoughts on the series, and I am quite happy for him to do so.
    It's a strange thing, but in all my years of performing in, and organising Prisoner re-enactments at Portmeirion, I never once felt the inclination to pay the role of Number Two. I suppose that's because I felt a strong affiliation with Number Six, that together with the fact that I looked like McGoohan when he was the Prisoner. But now, with this reinterpretation, I feel more of an affiliation towards Two. Perhaps it has something to do with my age. Well I'm no Number Six at the age of Fifty-Five now you know. More like an old Number Six who should be retired gracefully into the Old People's Home, not that Number Six would have stood for that. He's far too independent to let happen to him.
   You know it only occurred to me earlier this morning, that when the Prisoner wakes up in the desert it's simply a reinterpretation of the Prisoner waking up in what he thinks is his own home, but quickly finds that it's anything but! The disorientation is the same. Both men don't know how they came to be where they are, why, or who brought them there? The questions are the same, simply different environments to begin with.
    Harmony - to live in peace and harmony is something which THEPRIS6NER is all about. With 16, for example, living the simple life. Getting up in the morning, going to work, coming home to the wife and children. Watching the popular television show in the comfort of ones own home. Isn't that what everyone works for? But not everyone wants to live in harmony. Take Six for example. He wants to belong. He wants 16 to be his brother, and is saddened to find that he is not. Two is trying to assimilate Six into the community by giving him his brother back, and by that to give Six a family within The Village, because inwardly Six wants to belong. And things happen to Six which makes him fundamentally doubt himself. Perhaps after all Six has got it wrong........nah!

  When I went through the Inside The Prisoner sections of the three DVD's of THEPRIS6NER box set, and I found one slight anomaly in the DVD episode of Harmony.
   When I watched the episode Harmony during the ITV screening of THEPRIS6NER series, towards the end of the episode, when Six was telling, or trying to tell 16's family of his death, all the family were interested in was to watch the soap opera Wonkers, which by the way is a typical 1950's/60's American soap opera. 16's supposed family then begin to laugh and Six cannot understand what thay are laughing at, then just as Six is being taken away, there is one last shot of the family, laughing, but wearing white suits and plastic pig masks. and indeed that is the case in a clip from Harmony in the section Inside The Prisoner, so far there is no anomaly in this. 
  The anomaly turns up in the fact that in the very same scene on the DVD episode of Harmony, seen below, the same people in the last same shot, as Six is taken away by men in white suits, are clearly not wearing white suits, nor are they wearing plastic pig masks!
  I contacted a friend of mine who had seen the AMCtv screening of THEPRIS6NER in America, and he sent me the following picture to confirm that in the same scene in the AMCtv screening the people are wearing the plastic pig masks.
 So the obvious question is, why was the final scene showing 16's family wearing the plastic pig masks removed from the DVD episode of Harmony, and one inserted with the people not wearing the white suits and masks? It's a question I will be asking, and if I get a response, I'll be letting you know.


DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

Freedom!
   After Sir and his Butler have returned home to 1 Buckingham Place, Westminster,  London, the place where it all began. A black hearse passes slowly by, but this time it holds no fear for him. However, can we be sure that it is a simple hearse, it's two undertakers having not just abducted another destined for The Village? But for Sir, he has escaped The Village of his mind. He climbs in behind the wheel of his Lotus and drives off, as the Butler watches him go. Then, the door of the house opens automatically, the Butler enters, and the door closes automatically behind him with that oh so familiar electronic buzz, just like the door of 6 Private back in The Village.
  Is Sir really free? Well no, as the word PRISONER appears on the screen as Sir drives his Lotus passed the Houses of Parliament. Oh physically he is free of The Village, here in the World outside, where you would expect things to be different, they are aren't they.....aren’t they different? Perhaps not, because before the episode of Fall Out finishes, we see that for the Prisoner it is about to commence all over again. Perhaps at the end of the day, the Prisoner prefers his dream of The Village to that of the real world!

Boy Meets Girl
   Is the title of a television drama series screened on ITV1 in May 2009. ‘Boy Meets Girl,’ boy becomes girl - girl becomes boy! Apparently there is an electrical storm, and an electrical pylon carrying heavy-duty electrical power cables, which the boy and girl are near to and are both struck by a powerful electrical charge during the storm, which they both survive. However their minds have changed places. The boys mind in now wrongly housed in the body of the girl, and the girls mind trapped in the body of the boy.
  Does this put you in mind of anything? Professor Seltzman and the episode of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ perhaps. It would seem that a scriptwriter has taken a leaf out of Professor Seltzman's book, perhaps the scriptwriter has seen this episode of ‘the Prisoner,’ and used the basis of the plot as inspiration.
       Boy Meets Girl is an ITV comedy-drama television mini-series starring Rachael Stirling and Martin Freeman. In the show, Danny Reed (Freeman) is struck by lightning. When he wakes up from the attack, he is inside the body of a woman, fashion journalist Veronica Burton (Stirling). Written by David Allison, the series began on 1 May 2009.
    Danny Reed (Martin Freeman) is directionless and dissatisfied with his lot in life. Working at a DIY superstore, he vents his frustrations on the customers when not pining for his co-worker Fiona (Angela Griffin), or foisting his encyclopaedic knowledge of useless information onto loyal friend Pete (Marshall Lancaster). He is a world away from the successful and vivacious Veronica (Rachael Stirling), whose job as a glamorous fashion journalist provides her with a well-stocked bank account and an even better-stocked social calendar. Worshipped by her devoted boyfriend, Jay (Paterson Joseph), Veronica seems to have it all. When a freak accident traps the mismatched strangers in each other's bodies, the results are not pretty.
    As Danny and Veronica struggle with their new identities they begin to discover new truths about themselves. But besides learning to walk in high heels or being forced to 'slum it' with the working classes, the pair long to get back to their own bodies and, ultimately, their old lives.

Did You Know - Or Perhaps You Did
   That both the Butler and No.2 in ‘the Prisoner’ episode of Once Upon A Time are wearing Inuit glasses. What's more if you look carefully other citizens in The Village throughout the series, who can also be seen to be wearing Inuit glasses, to protect their eyes against what, the glare of the snow? Yes that would be right, or is it simply for effect, that all kinds of unusual things at the time, were employed in ‘the Prisoner?’ What’s more a number of citizens can be seen wearing these Inuit sunglasses.

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Thought For The Day

   The amended wallet in the dead man's pocket of 'Dance of the Dead' was obviously never found, nor would it seem the amended body so that it's No.6 who has died in an accident at sea - otherwise Janet Portland wouldn't still be wondering where her fiancĂ© is, and pestering her father Sir Charles Portland who appears not to have received any report on the Prisoner's death at sea!

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Teabreak Teaser

   What was it that saw this man brought to the Village as a Prisoner?  Any suggestions welcome.

BCNU

What's That No.6 Up To?

   “What The Devil!  I don't remember seeing this door here before!”
  "Funny thing! It wasn't here the last time I was in No.2's office. Hang on a minute, the chamber wall of the Green Dome, did that just revolve, how did it do that then? Oh well, at least it can't get any worse, I think I'll risk it."
    "Ah, things just got worse!"

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THEPRIS6NER

   The episode of Schizoid isn't so very different from how the Prisoner deals with No.6's alter ego. Six struggles with himself as the desire to kill Two builds up within him. One side of Six's nature wants to kill Two, tells him that it's the only way. Yet the other half of his nature keeps that desire to kill in check. In the Prisoner No.6 couldn't kill either!
    There is no physical other self of Six, or at least I don't think so. Because if there is a physical other Six, 2x6, then when it comes to building a better Village, The Village is in trouble even before it gets off the ground! And if Six doesn't keep that other side of his nature in check, in time it will be the worse for him and The Village.
    In the Prisoner, the final episode of Fall Out, we are supposed to witness Number Six coming face to face with his other self, his alter ego Number One. But when in
THEPRIS6NER Six struggles with his alter ego, you see only Six. Yet at the end of Schizoid Six can see his other self from a window of the Summakor building, in The Village, standing on a street corner. But who then disappears. So was Six's alter ego supposed to be a physical entity like Number Six's of the original series or not? You see, there's still something for me to mull over from this series. It's not all so cut and dried as they said it would be.

Village history can be a very contradictory thing. If you will recall, those readers who have actually watched this series, how 1,100 stated that "There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there never will be." But there was One, for Six is the One, who became the new Two. You see Mister Gallagher, there's still something to be  squeezed out of this series. Not all the loose ends were tied up in a nice pink ribbon I'm pleased to say.

    There is something which this series shares with the original series of the Prisoner, Six, like his predecessor, was brought to The Village for a reason. Both No.6 and Six are seen to have a future with The Village, and during the process no harm must befall either one of them.
    In the original No.6 was offered ultimate power, an offer which he rejected during Fall Out, yet in the final episode of this series, Six accepts the offer of ultimate power. But only because he is coerced by Two into accepting, to become the new Two. And don't forget that No.6 once accepted the position of the new No.2 in Free For All, this so that he could fulfil his own desire.......to escape. So No.6 and Six are not so different, they have both accepted situations for different reasons. You might think that Six gave in too easily in the end, that he accepted. But his predecessor accepted more of the Village than you might think. One has to accept society, otherwise one becomes an 'outsider,' and what rights do 'outsiders' have within the community.......none as far as I can see. If one accepts society, as Six accepted The Village, then perhaps, like Six, we can find a way to make it better.

DAS - BCNU

The Therapy Zone

Cry Wolf Often Enough.....
........ And No-One Will Believe you.
    Then when your cry is genuine no-one will believe you. If there was one man in the village to prove to be a stumbling block in the execution of No.2, then that man would surely prove to be No.6. So someone had to have No.6 discredited, so that he was not to be believed, not even when he cries wolf to the intended victim.
   But then why should No.6 care what happens to No.2, well of course he doesn't. But he does care what happens to the innocent people, in fact No.6  seems to have gained a social conscience all of a sudden. Which to me seems to be completely out of character, as he's never bothered about the innocent people of the Village. Certainly he has no time for them in the next episode, as No.6 has reverted back to the "lone wolf," and the citizens have no time for No.6, short memories that they have. Indeed they are quick to turn on No.6, as he is posted as being "unmutual!" But then of course the good citizens of the village would have had no indication of what No.6 had done for them in the previous episode Its Your Funeral, as they would not be aware at the time, nor be told afterwards. So it would seem that the equilibrium, the status-quo of the village, has been maintained throughout.

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Tonight On The Video Channel

   Tonight it is the turn of 'Free For All,' when No.6 stands for election to public office. Miraculously it is a landslide victory for No.6, as everyone votes for him, including his opponent No.2. But then as it turns out, everyone voted for a dictator!
    In 'Arrival' we heard some incomprehensible language spouted by No.19 the Shopkeeper. Now we hear another incomprehensible languge spoken by both No.58 and No.2, which No.6 picks up quite easily.
   For the fourth time No.6 attempts to escape, this time by jet boat, but he cannot get so far with No.2 himself in hot pursuit aboard the helicopter! In fact it is possible the draw a parallel between No.6 attempted escape by boat in this episode, to his first escape attempt made in 'Arrival' but by Village taxi. In 'Arrival' the Prisoner attempts to drive away from the Village in a Mini-Moke, during which he gets thrown out of the vehicle, and is confronted by the membranic form of the Village Guardian. In 'Free For All,' No.6 attempts to escape by boat, but as No.6 loses steerage of the boat he jumps overboard into the water, and is confronted by the membranic form of the Village Guardian. And the boat? Well that is taken under remote control by an operative in the Control Room. This in the same way that the helicopter in 'Arrival' is flown by remote control and brought back to the Village, as M.S. Polotska is taken under remote control, but steered back to the Village by the Village Guardian!
   Tonight I join No.2 and No.6 in the Therapy Zone, and join in the toast "To hell with the Village." remembering at the same time not to damage the tissue, just to bruise it a little bit!   Does No.6 get my vote? Well can we trust him? His promises ring richly in our ears, but has he the administrative ability, and the backing, to impliment his policies?
   At the end of the day, all No.6 wants is to escape. How is he likely to manage that? By promising freedom for all, this by implimenting a mass breakout, during which many citizens will be recaptured, as No.6 hopes to escape in the confusion and melee.

Lye ezeet azoon

Caught On Camera

   Have you observed how it is that it is someone else who carries out No.6's work-outs? See No.6 on the parallel bar apparatus in 'A Change of Mind.' Although it's not No.6, it's someone else! It would seem that No.6 has many privileges, one of which is much in the same way that King Louis the 16th of France had someone do everything for him!

BCNU

Thought For The day

   In 'Dance of the Dead' No.2 is speaking on the telephone to a superior whom we assume is No.1, they are discussing No.6. And judging by what No.2 says, No.1 appears to ask when the Ball is "Tomorrow night, we're preparing for it now." No.1 seems to make the comment that he wishes he could come "Yes, wish you could come too!" But who is to say No.1, the man behind the big door, isn't the man pictured above? Because we know from 'Fall Out' No.6 and No.1 are one and the same person so they are both there at one and the same time! But the at the time of 'Dance of the Dead,' we the television viewer didn't know that....did we?

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THEPRIS6NER

The Village Shop – for All Your Needs

   "For All Your Needs" is the slogan above the Village Shop, yet once inside, where is all the food that people eat? The milk, the aspirins, the eggs, butter, the ice cream and potatoes? Because once inside the Village Shop, well see for yourself.
   There isn't a sign of a potato anywhere. No refrigerator for the milk, butter and ice cream. No packets of aspirins, only an illicit packet of cigarettes! Oh there's a straw boater on the shelf, an echo of the past. If you have ever been to the Italianate Village of Portmeirion in North Wales, you will undoubtedly have gone into the Ship Shop. Well this Village shop has that kind of look about it, and no doubt if you could be there, has the same feel and atmosphere as the Ship Shop in Portmeirion, which the Village Shop has more in common with than the General Store of the original series of the Prisoner I have to say. What's more, the Shopkeeper seems only to happy to sell only Maps of The Village. Go inside his Emporium, and the first thing the shopkeeper asks you is "Would you like a map of The Village?" "No, I would like a pound of King Edward potatoes, a loaf of bread, a pound of butter, and a bag of sweets!"
   By the way, that wasn't 20 Players No.6 that Two asked the Shopkeeper for was it?

   Its strange to think that "what goes around, comes around," because according to an interview with Kenneth Griffith in 1986, Mcgoohan had said to him that he wanted to make a film about The Prisoner, on the life of Cardinal Menzenti in the Kalahari desert. And here, some 24 years later, and we have THEPRIS6NER having been filmed to the larger part, in the Kalahari desert!
   Recently I have not been comparing Merekats, but THEPRIS6NER, and here is another comparison between the two series. No.6 awakens on the sand after spending a night sleeping on the beach in the episode ‘Dance of the Dead.’
  No.6, looking up at the sky sees a number of sea gulls flying overhead
  Where in the episode of ‘Harmony’ as Six wakes up lying on the sand, somewhere in the desert.
  But he also sees sea gulls flying in the blue sky overhead.
 There's more in THEPRIS6NER than first meets the eye, such are the visualisations shared between the two series.

   Six is a dying man - 313 examines Six and discovers that Six is dying. 147 takes Six to a man who might be able to cure him, a Village prophet tells Six that deliverance is coming, they just need to wait. I wonder what else that Village prophet might be able to tell us if we were able to ask!
    In The Village "There is life, or no life" as Two puts it. So why does Six choose death, but then why is he afraid to die? Village Death is escape, if only Six could see it, if only he had the faith that Two had. But then Two had prior knowledge, otherwise he might have thought twice before he pulled that pin of the hand grenade.
   Mister Curtis returned to his wife Helen in New York, he tells her "Don't look back." but how possible is that? For Curtis The Village had been his life, everything he believed in was in The Village. Could Curtis really walk away as easily as that and forget The Village forever? As for his wife Helen, she has lost a son. It doesn't matter that 11-12 never really existed, he did in Helen's mind, and that was enough for her. If you ask me Cutis and his wife, are two more broken people in New York who are in need of being made better, I wonder.................

DAS – BCNU

The Therapy Zone

And You Thought No.2 Was Paranoid!
   No-one was ever to think, or even suggest that ‘the Prisoner’ is ‘Danger Man’ John Drake, Patrick McGoohan fervently denied that ‘the Prisoner’ is John Drake. So much so seems to have been the paranoia in making sure that no-one could possibly make or suggest such a connection, that the name in the children’s nursery rhyme used in the episode Once Upon A time was changed "See-saw Marjory Daw, Jackie shall have a new master." when the actual name is "Johnnie!" Now why else would anyone bother to change a name in a children's nursery rhyme like that?

You may Not Know This, But Perhaps You Do
   That film and television actress Fennella Fielding is the voice behind The Village, as she makes the announcements heard in The Village in the 1960's television series the Prisoner, that she went completely unaccredited for her role in the series.



  This is film director Lewis Gilbert, famous for directing the James Bond Films. But did you know, or perhaps you did, that Lewis Gilbert was originally involved with the setting up of the 1960's television series the Prisoner.




    The man who played the dead body washed up on the shore in the episode ‘Dance of the Dead,’ whose name eludes me at this time, although he was one of the production crew, said that the water was so cold that he had to dig his fingers into the sand so as to try and stem his shivering. It takes a certain person to simply lie there and play dead! Not everyone can do it you know.

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Friday, 26 October 2012

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

    I call this the stainless steel eye.


BcNu

Village Observation

   In ‘It's Your Funeral,’ the heir presumptive No.2 orders a daily activities prognosis be carried out on No.6. No.8 takes that report to the interim No.2, and during reading out the report No.8 tells him that No.6 is very active. Well just how active is No.6? I mean whenever I've seen No.6 working out in his own private gymnasium, it's someone else on the high bar, and it's someone else "cooling off" water skiing. In ‘Free For All,’ in a long aerial shot of No.6 escaping in the jet boat, it's not Patrick McGoohan. It's not even a stuntman.........it's local man to Portmeirion, Brian Axeworthy who doubled for No.6 escaping in his jet boat in long shot, just as he did for No.6 when he was supposed to be water skiing!
  I met Brian once at Portmeirion, as an electrician he was installing a new emergency generator beneath the Pink Pavillion. For those who don’t know, the Pink Pavillion is where the Brass Band emerges from in ‘Arrival.’

BCNU

THEPRIS6NER

    Judging by this photograph, it would seem that Six was suspect, and being watched by "Undercover" 909 long before the episode of ‘Anvil,’ because in the photograph Six is depicted wearing his wedding day suit, as in the previous episode ‘Darling.’
  Here Two is seen being driven in his Bentley convertible, the only time we see Two being driven in the car, is in the final episode ‘Checkmate.’
 
   It makes you wonder where the production crew found all these 1950's and 60's cars, van's, and bicycles, seen throughout the series, in Namibia and South Africa. I mean they couldn't possibly have taken them all with them from America. It seems pretty likely that they were found, and hired from a museum, seeing as how they are all so immaculate. After all the Go-Inside bar was a bicycle museum in Cape Town.
    Through his work as an "Undercover," Six discovers that there is the possibility that everyone in The Village belongs to an "Undercover cell," and so that everyone is spying on everybody else. It's an extraordinary and horrifying thing. Yet is common place. For example my next door neighbour could be an "Undercover." Every time I'm out in the garden, my neighbour comes out into hers, and passes the time of day with me, asking how I am, and discussing the weather and the like. And when I'm about to go out, there she is, "Gong shopping are you?" "Yes" I respond. One of these days I'll fool her, and say I'm going shopping when I'm not going to do anything of the kind. But then I suppose when I don't come home with any shopping that will be written down in her report and I'll then become suspect! Shall I give it a go and see what happens? Yes I think I will, but I bet you nothing happens. Such is life outside The Village!
    Here is Two enjoying his own private Golf Course. Such are the privileges of being Two.
   But playing on ones own cannot be that much fun when Two can only pit himself against, well himself. But Two enjoys any kind of game, that's why he puts the challenge to Six, to see if he can turn an opportunity to his own advantage. It's a trap and Six knows it's a trap which Two has set, because Two tells Six it is a trap.
    I wonder if 909 accepted that he was going to die by the knife of 11-12? After all 909 was a dreamer, wasn't he? And being a dreamer made him suspect, so perhaps 909 had figured out for himself what lies beyond Village Death - a return to a previous life in that "Other Place."

   This is the Solar Cafe, it has a sun motif on top of the copula on top of the building, as seen in the next image, which is very much Portmeironesque.
 
   On the one hand, the Solar Cafe is an American Diner interior, showing an American influence. But at the same time, it has to be very Village. So they tried to soften the diner, to mix it with a bit of English, a bit of German, a bit of Swakopmund, and a bit of Portmeirion architecture, to somehow confuse people. As this is another Village, in another time, in another mind, and in someone else’s dream, but with elements of the other dream that has just crept in.
  The owners of Swakopmund, a German holiday resort, liked the Solar Cafe so much, that they tried to buy the building. But as we know, the Solar Cafe was actually blown up in the first episode.

THEPRIS6NER –Someone’s Impersonating Two!
   Here we see Two about to enter the Village Shop. Yet if you look closely you will see that Two almost crossed paths with someone who was going about The Village impersonating Two. There he is, passing Two, and dressed the same as Two!
   I missed this the first time round, and just goes to show how little I know THEPRIS6NER, yet I fully intend to get to know this series very well indeed.
  What's more, every picture tells a story, and more about the character of Two then one may realise. All you have to do is look upon his benign expression, because there's something dark and twisted lurking behind it, or is that Two simply likes cherry cake?

DAS - BCNU

Thought For The Day

   The Butler has no name, no number, and has only become to be known to fans of ‘the Prisoner’ by his apparent job title - the Butler. Yet in the series he's made no mention of at all, not by name, number, or even his job title!
   In fact we know less about the Butler than we do the Prisoner or even No.1. So perhaps the Butler is the real mystery man of the series. It was even thought at one time by a number of fans to be Number 1!

BCNU

The Therapy Zone

The Prisoner Explained?
    Well no not really, and when I originally watched the Prisoner Companion Video, which is a bonus item on this DVD, I was truly disappointed.
    Some fans of the Prisoner have described it as "very good," but I have never been able to watch that video companion more than once, and that was probably more than enough. I never learned anything I didn't know at the time, and make no mistake we are going back several years, and no answers were really put to the many questions posed by ‘the Prisoner’ and his Village, but clouded the issue even more!
  All I can say that was a good thing about ‘the Prisoner Companion video,’ were the video clips. I've watched it once and will in all probability never watch it again.

Portmeirion And Brian Epstein
    August 1966 Brian Epstein was recovering from a very serious bout of glandular fever. His doctor prescribed a quiet vacation to convalesce, "he went by himself to a luxury hotel in Portmeirion on the North West coast of Wales that overlooked the Sea, and wind-swept beach, as remote a place as you could get from London. Everyone’s advice was the same try not to worry." He had been there only four days when uproar occurred in parts of America when John Lennon's famous quote about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus was published out of context in a teen magazine. He felt compelled to leave his convalescence in Portmeirion to go and sort it out.
   This was not Brian Epstein's only visit to Portmeirion. Apparently he used to stay in Gatehouse cottage, which in those days was much smaller than it is today. Brian said to Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, architect and creator of Portmeirion, that what the cottage needed was a dinning room. Consequently Sir Clough built one, but in my opinion it is rather large and ostentatious for such a small cottage.
   If Brian Epstein had not have had to cut his stay in Portmeirion short, having had to leave, and had he still been there in early September 1966........... Well who knows.

Sound Recordings
    Fans of ‘the Prisoner’ have it easy today, especially when it comes to the availability of actually watching their favourite television series, either on video or DVD. But I think in that there lies a lack of excitement, as it was in the early days before I, and many like me, could actually afford a video recorder. In those days of the middle to late 1970's, all I had were audio tape recordings which I had made of each episode, and would listen to at night in bed, whilst trying to put pictures in my head to the words, music and sounds I was hearing. Why did I make audio recordings? Well when you can't see ‘the Prisoner,’ then next best thing was to listen to it.
  Today fans of ‘the Prisoner’ are spoilt for choice, but in the pioneering days of Prisoner appreciation, you got of the Prisoner what you could, when you could, and I think in that there lies a much deeper appreciation for the Prisoner, than perhaps there is today.

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