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Monday, 22 October 2012

THEPRIS6NER

    The series may have been reinvented, revisualised, reinterpreted, and liberties taken, yet the very core of the Prisoner is present in this series. They say that the new Doctor Who is clearly the old Doctor Who, and so it is with THEPRIS6NER. After all a man is taken out of his known environment, and abducted. He wakes up not knowing where he is. Why has he been abducted? What do they want with him in The Village? Where is The Village? Why did he resign? Who is Two? And who runs The Village? And what is Rover? It may be a reinterpretation of the original series, but the core of the prisoner, and main questions remain the same.

   A man wakes up somewhere in a desert, a beetle scurries away across the sand. Where is he? How came he to be there? Who has done this to him, and why? But for this reinterpretation there is no time for the Prisoner to dawdle, no time to stop and consider, no time for the viewer to ask questions. For even now at this early stage in Arrival the Prisoner is a prisoner of his own humanity, otherwise why would he go to the aid of an old man who is being pursued, and shot at by armed men, at his own risk? Even now the Prisoner is slowly being stripped of everything he has known. In a cave the old man tells the Prisoner to find 455 and to say that he finally got out. Got out, from where? So now the Prisoner has a mission, and having sought out The Village, he must seek out 455, whatever or whoever 455 is.
   Everyone denies the existence of the life the Prisoner comes from. Indeed when the Prisoner asks the taxi driver 147 to take him to the railroad station 147 doesn't seem to know what his passenger is talking about! But surely there must have been a railroad station once, because we see the ruins of such a railway halt out in the desert during the episode of Harmony. Perhaps the railway ruin is from The Villages past, and no longer fit for requirement, as newcomers are brought to The Village by bus and not by train!
    Why are other people interested in escaping The Village, and why don't they? Why can't they? Or have they? Only "dreamers" are interested in escaping. But escape is not possible because they don't know that they have been brought to The Village in the state of someone’s subconscious! People born in The Village cannot escape because they have nothing to escape to. In fact people like Two's son 11-12 who were born in The Village don't actually, physically exist! As for others like 313, perhaps they have already escaped not from but to The Village. After all 313 doesn't want to go back and become again the person she is in that "other place," to become Sarah again.

    As it happens I was once listening to Desert island Discs on Radio 4 one Sunday, and it was Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist Dr. Gwen Adshead who was speaking to radio presenter Kirsty Young about her work, and selecting the records.
   My ears suddenly pricked up when Dr. Gwen Adshead was speaking about making people better through psychotherapy, {or something like that so please don't quote me} but there is a risk, that there may be people who are un-helpable, but that if you want to make them safer, you have to invest in time trying to understand them, is time well invested in safety. But one could always keep such people locked away, in which everybody is safe. "But you can't do that," as Dr. Gwen Adshead pointed out, "There is no legal framework in which we lock people away forever, except in a very few extreme circumstances."
   It would appear that everyone is potentially a dangerous person, "and that you would have to lock up a lot of people, who would never do anything violent." In fact a very famous Professor of Physics psychiatry, said that if you really want to make a City safe, you have to lock up every single man between the ages of 15 and 35." That would make the streets safe. "You could detain people but that would be fantastically unjust." It is said that everyone has three clinical numbers, and that when they get the fourth clinical number, they will do something violently wrong. You could lock up everybody with those three risk numbers, but you would be locking up an awful lot of people just on the off-chance, and what will you do with them?................Have a place like The Village to put them in perhaps! Well that was my first thought at the end of the programme. It would seem to me that scriptwriter Bill Gallagher has the feel of the thing when it comes to THEPRIS6NER. Because towards the end of what Dr. Gwen Adshead was speaking about, certainly put my mind to The Village, and how Two and his wife M2 were making broken people better, before returning them mentally to society. Such was The Village experiment

DAS - BCNU

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