This time it’s all about the question of perception, in the way we perceive both the Prisoner and the Village. On the one hand if someone can’t chuck up a job things have come to a pretty pass. Well quite obviously it’s quite alright for you or I to chuck up a job, although even then there might be some repercussions. Well there’s the mortgage or rent to consider, food for the children, and the wife might be none to pleased to find you’re out of work. But then again, you might be single, with only yourself to look after, no responsibilities for others, only for yourself.
But then there’s the Prisoner, he’s single, well perhaps engaged, but even then an engaged person is still technically single. So if one day he decides he’s had enough, can’t take any more of a job he has grown to detest, and subsequently hands in his resignation, there’s no come back, or is there?
Let us pause and consider for a moment……….the Prisoner resigns his job, what kind of job did he have? According to his description it was one of a confidential nature, even to say a state top secret, confidential job, and such business the Prisoner saw as being above the law! Now what kind of position could that be, and with whom? Public sector, or private sector? For the government perhaps? Had he employment in the Civil Service? The British Secret Service perhaps, that would still make him a Civil servant!
The Prisoner is known to have used aliases, even a code name, now how many jobs can you name which require the use of aliases and a code name? A secret agent, or private detective perhaps, or an undercover police officer.
In any case, what makes the Prisoner resign his job? Yes well that’s been the age old question, the answer to which we are told during the deliberations of Numbers 2 and 6 in ‘Once Upon A Time,’ and if it wasn’t for the advent of ‘Fall Out,’ we would have learned the reason a whole lot sooner in the series. That’s a point isn’t it, one I had not previously considered. Because originally ‘Once Upon A Time’ was intended to have been a stand alone episode, not as a prequel to ‘Fall Out,’ and that being the case appearing much sooner in the screening order. So with Number 6 having given the reason why he resigned, there would have been no need for ‘The Girl Who Was Death.’ Unless of course Number 2 could always have taken the reason to his death. But then the Butler may have over heard, but would he have told anyone? Unlikely!
We may have wanted to know why the Prisoner resigned, ‘they’ certainly wanted to know why the Prisoner resigned. But what I want to know is, what makes a resignation so important enough that the reason must be known? And what makes a resignation so important that the reason cannot be given?
The Village, to some it is a place of oppression, a prison, a place to put people who cannot be left around. Recalcitrant secret agents, people who have resigned from a certain kind of job. But to others, the people who went there of their own volition, and the people who were born there, the Village is home!
On the face of it the Village is like a British seaside holiday resort, where people enjoy themselves on the beach, playing beach ball, sunbathing, paddling in the sea, or building sand castles and playing with plastic boats! Indeed the citizens are looked after for as long as they live, however long that is, which demonstrates just what an excellent health and welfare state they have, that the citizens enjoy. Yet underneath its Utopian façade of Shangri la, there beats a black heart. For buried somewhere in the woods, or down on the beach, are the failed medical experiments of the doctor-Number 40. He like the doctor-Number 22 care only for the welfare of their patients, while they carry out such experiments that were once conducted on Dolphins. Leucotomies are carried out without a qualm. Brainwashing and the conditioning of the mind are regular occurrences in the Village using mind altering drug amongst other things. Along with all types of therapy treatment, one being to counteract obsessional guilt complexes causing neurosis.
Unmutuals and malcontents are not tolerated, there are treatments for people like those. There can only be peace and harmony. People are expected to settle down and join in, to live in harmony.
I suppose the Village could be described as the “happy Village,” seeing as how the use of drugs is manifold, in the hospital, in the cocoa, and in the tap water, as the majority of citizens are unwittingly force-fed tranquillisers and sedatives to make them sleep at night.
But during the day there are various activities to occupy the citizen, from the gymnasium, and open lido or swimming pool. The Recreation Hall, and library. Golf, Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Village Festival, carnivals. Art seminars, painting competitions, educational programmes, not to mention the regular Brass Band concerts. The theatre for amateur dramatics, television and chess. There are social groups, the daily newspaper The Tally Ho issued at noon. Along with magazines as Village Weekly, and Village Journal. There are public address announcements furnishing the good citizens with information, such as the ice cream flavour of the day, and the daily weather forecast with warnings of intermittent showers later in the day.
At the end of the day the Village is described as a self-contained unit of our own society. Yet it is a Village that does not expand, and the number of the population has to be controlled, probably through birth control, and the regulation of new inmates. It would appear that at the time of ‘the Prisoner’ the Village has achieved its optimum size. And yet, the Village has been described as a blueprint for world order, almost as though it were, in some form, an experiment.
I’ll be seeing you