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Thursday, 31 January 2013

What's That Number 6 Up To?

    Number 6's wrist watch had stopped, so he went along to the watchmakers shop, where he met with a white haired gentleman No.51, and his daughter No.50. No.6 was asked to leave his watch having been told that it would be ready tomorrow. So thinking the Watchmaker is a man of his word, he left his wrist watch for repair. Now he has called back.
Ting-a-ling-ling sounds the shop bell.
No.6 "Look I brought my watch in here three days ago, and you said it would be ready tomorrow!"
No.51-the Watchmaker "And so it will be, tomorrow."
"But this is the day after tomorrow!"
"Then all I can say is, that you are two days early."
"How do you make that out?"
"Look, Give me your watch and I'll have it ready tomorrow."
"But you already have my watch!"
"Then it will be ready tomorrow."
"Look...... You seem vaguely familiar. You're not Profesor Seltzman are you?"
"Who?"
"Never mind. Just make sure that my wrist watch is repaired tomorrow."
"Tomorrow sir?"
"Yes tomorrow. What is the matter with you?"
"But tomorrow will be today."
"I'm sorry....How can tomorrow be today?"
"When it arrives tomorrow will be today."
"What about yesterday?"
"Oh yesterdays gone!"
"Then tomorrow never comes, because it's always today!"
"Now you understand."
"And we are always in the present."
"Can it be otherwise?"
"Then we could spend the rest of our lives standing here having this conversation, and my watch would never be repaired!"
"A fascinating thesis."
No.50-the Watchmakers daughter "Oh father just repair the gentleman's watch!"
"Oh alright, just let me get on with my work. Must get on with my work. Your watch will be ready tomorrow!"

Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

   A question of Personality, No.1 is an introvert, well what could be more introverted than hiding in a rocket? So it would seem likely that an extrovert would be needed to mediate with the outside world whilst the mastermind, No.1, stays hidden. He is a rational type, an intuitional, thinking, and judging, a natural leader who prefers to remain hidden in the background until others "demonstrate their inability to lead." Could this, I wonder, apply equally to No.6? This in the latest attempt by No.1 to find such an extrovert to mediate with the outside world.

Be seeing you

Postcard From The Village

    This aerial view of the Italianate village of Portmeirion, judging by the trees it was taken in Autumn. Did you know that the first maps upon which the name Portmeirion appeared on were German maps. The German Luftwaffe pilots of World War II used Portmeirion as a reference point, a bearing for their bombing runs on Liverpool.

                             Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

   
    It has been said that in the United Kingdom screening order, ‘A Change of Mind’ would have been a good title for the next episode, ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ In turn, that title would have proved to have been a suitable title for the following one,’ Living In Harmony,’ as it is the title of a well known song from the film High Noon. And in turn, Living In Harmony might very well have made a good title for ‘A Change of Mind.’ The character Cobb's initials in Arrival provided the next episode, ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ Towards the end of ‘A B & C,’ the character Engadine utters the name of ‘A Change of Mind’ Episode. Stories in which the titles are actually spoken are Arrival, A B & C, Free For All, ‘The Schizoid Man,’ ‘Many Happy Returns,’ ‘Checkmate,’ and loosely, ‘Hammer Into {or} Anvil.’ No other series containing seventeen episodes is known.

   When Clough Williams-Ellis bought the costal estate of Aber Ia from an uncle, Sir Osmond Williams Bt, M.P. In a letter to Clough and Anabel's London home, Sir Osmond asked if a potential tenant or buyer could be found. Shortly afterwards, Clough saw the place, and quickly became the sought after purchaser.
   This run-down estate stretched from a cove in the south-west, just beyond the lighthouse folly, through the wooded land behind the quay, then the site of the Village-to-be, and ended a short distance away in the north-east with the trees of the Coed Aber Ia. It measured about two-thirds of a mile, lengthways, by two hundred yards, inland. Reportedly Clough paid £4,000 for Aber Ia.
    In subsequent years Clough was able to buy the lands boardering his original aquisition, as they became available. In 1931, following the death of his uncle, Clough bought the Castell Deudraeth estate. In 1941, Clough acquired two further properties formerly owned by Carton Haigh. One was Cae Canol {Middle Field}, north-east of Portmeirion. the other, more importantly, was Y Gwylt {The Wilds}, which had received many years of Mr. Haigh's respect and thorough expertise in landscaping and planting - being particularly noted for the Azaleas and Rhododendrons. It had become seventy acres of woodland and gardens, accessible by walking along the meandering paths, which are estimated to total twenty miles.

   I wonder what happened after The General, yes I know, the Village was deserted as No.6 woke up that morning of ‘Many Happy Returns.’ But I mean directly after The General, because the experiment of Speedlearn would have been brought to a very untimely end due to the destruction of the General. Mind you, the village did have other computers, possibly not as powerful as the General. But then again, there is also the death of the Professor to take into account, a man more difficult to replace than the General. A man who was trusted, a kindly man and the face of Speedlearn. A face when you see it on the television screen during one of his lectures, is somewhat symbolic of the face behind 'Big Brother.'

Be seeing you

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Return of The Prisoner

"What you here again?!"
Ive just about had enough. Get me the Colonel.
“He’s not available.”
“Then I’ll see Sir Charles Portland.”
“But he won’t see you!”
“Then you’ll have to do.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Do you know where I’ve been?”
“No, but everyone’s curious to find out.”
    “I’ve been in the Village! I’ve been pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, and numbered! They wanted to know why I resigned. I tried to escape, several times. I’ve been mentally and physically tortured. I had my name, my identity stripped from me, and they gave me a number, 6 they called me. But even that wasn’t enough for them. They changed me physically, they conditioned me, they took away my number, and made me out to be somebody else, and somebody to be me! Oh then there’s the Colonel, he’s a first rate bastard, I can tell you that from first hand experience. And where’s that traitor, that man who betrayed our friendship…….Fotheringay you snivelling weasel!
    "But I eventually managed to escape. I came back, you remember".
    “You asked me if there was anyone at home.”
    “That’s right. I went to see the Colonel and Thorpe. After all I went through, to come back here, to prove my story, and they had me taken back to the Village as easy as kiss your arse. And what did you do?
    “You disappeared again!”
     “Yes, and what did the Colonel do…nothing! Well not quite nothing, you sent Thorpe to the Village as Number Two to torment me, to try and break me!
    “I’ve had my dreams manipulated. I’ve been manipulated, betrayed. I’ve seen a good man reduced to being nothing more than a brainwashed imbecile. I have been faced with myself…….”
    “Did you like what you saw, what you had become?”
     “What do you know of this? What part have you played in this?”
    “For my part? I simply sat here, as I do now listening to you ranting and raving. You threw down your letter of resignation quite forcibly, upsetting my cup and saucer, to make nothing of the tea plate they stood on.”
    “That letter, what did you do with it?”
     “I simply passed it on.”
    “To the Colonel. And then?”
    “I waited for you to return.”
    “Wh….what?”
    “I waited for you to return, here in this office I waited. And here you are again.”
The Prisoner said nothing.
    “Well where is it?”
    “Where’s what?”
    “The letter man, lets be getting on with it. I’ve not been sat waiting here all this time for nothing.”
    “I don’t understand.”
    “The letter of resignation, slam it down along with your fist, upset my cup and saucer, not to mention the tea plate. You’ll start ranting and raving in a minute, then storm out just as you stormed in here a few minutes ago.”
    “I don’t understand I’ve just returned here from the Village…..”
    “Yes we’ve heard it all before. What Village?”
    “It’s run by one side or the other. I’m not sure which sides runs this Village.
    “So where is this Village?”
    “In Lithuania, thirty miles from the Polish border……No it’s not, it’s……….situated somewhere south west of Portugal and Spain, possibly Morocco!”
    “You can’t be more precise than that?” Look you resign, you disappear. You return, and then you disappear again, and now you’ve returned once more. Is this where it all begins?”
    “No it all began in the Village!”
    “Are you sure?”
    “I’ve just returned from the Village……..”
    “And now you are about to hand in your resignation. You rant and rave at me, slam down your letter of resignation and then storm out.”
    “Look, we’ve already been over this.”
    “Yes, and we’ll keep going over this until you break this vicious circle you’ve created for yourself. Only it doesn’t just affect you. Look am I condemned to sit here doing the same crossword until March the eighteenth?”
    “Why March the eighteenth?”
    “Because that’s the day before your birthday. The day you return to this office, look down at me and ask me if there’s anyone at home?!”
The Prisoner was stunned “What can I do?”
    “Don’t resign, pick up that letter of resignation, and go home.”
    “A doctor once described my condition as being an anguish pattern. That I play over and over in my mind the action of resigning my job.”
    “Well there you are then. Get over your anguish, tell me why you are about to resign, and then go home and forget it.”
    “I can’t, don’t ask me to do that. Anyway who do you think you are anyway? You’re just a petty pen pushing bureaucrat. And you can tell the Colonel that he can shove his job. Because I’m fed up with cleaning other people’s mess up!”
    “Well my advice to you is not to go home”
    With that the Prisoner stormed out of the office, back along a dimly lit corridor and into the car park where he climbed into his Lotus seven, to drive out of the underground car park.
    The Prisoner never saw his abductors, so he didn’t know to watch out for the black hearse that followed his car though the busy London streets. The black hearse which is now parked in Buckingham Place...................


Be seeing you

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner

   During 'The Chimes of Big Ben,' already disappointed by the fact that he has not escaped the Village. To have been betrayed not only by Nadia Rakovsky {if that is indeed her name} but also by his ex-colleagues, the Colonel and what hurt most, by Fotheringay. As No.6 returns to his cottage there is a public announcement "good evening citizens, your local Council wishes to announce an exciting new competition, the subject this time...seacapes." It seems to me that the announcer is rubbing salt into No.6's wound!

Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    "I am not a number, I am a free man."
                          {the Prisoner}
    Well despite the Prisoner's protestations, I'm afraid he is and he isn't. A number can be more individualistic than a name, because any number of people can have the same name, unless it is a rather unusual name. And besides the Prisoner didn't mind having the number ZM73 for identification during the course of the kind of work he did. It was not until the Prisoner was abducted did he make his protest. Possibly his protestations had more to do with having his identity taken away from him, and becoming just a number. After all the Prisoner does think a great deal of himself, of being better than anyone else in the Village. Not being subject to the rules which govern society within the Village.
   As for being a "free man," he's no longer that, not since his abduction to the Village. But then perhaps the Prisoner is referring to the fact that he had resigned his job, that he is a "free man" to do and go where he pleases.

Be seeing you
   

Not A Number

BCNU

The Therapy Zone

    1993 saw the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Prisoner, and Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society organised a special event at the Great Western Hotel in Paddington, London. Around 40 guests attended the event, guests who worked on the Prisoner series, and spent the day reminiscing about that unique time. There was a number of guest panels, one of which became known as the Fall Out panel, as it was followed by a screening of that episode. This was something of a misnomer, as all of those present contributed to that particular episode. the criteria was in fact, that they all contributed to one or more of the last four episodes of the Prisoner. What follows are extracts from the interview of that panel of guests which included;
Noreen Ackland........Film Editor
James Bree.............Actor
John Drake..............Actor
Kenneth Griffith........Actor
Len Harris................Camera Operator
Eric Mival.................Music Editor

    When you watch the Prisoner again after all these years what do you think? Do you look back on it with fond memories?
    John Drake: Yes, in the sense that it was a job and I got paid for it. Fond memories indeed. I enjoyed the time I had on it, which was one day. I had very pleasent conversations with Christopher Benjamin, I remember on the coach going out onto location discussing, mainly, the tragedy of my divorce, which seemed to dominate the day for me more then the shooting. But certainly I have fond memories. I enjoyed watching the scenes later on.

    What about you Eric?
    Eric Mival: “Well yes, for me it was more of an opportunity than anything. I had done some editing before-hand, I had been assistant editor, but this was an opportunity to do something a little more creative. It was like a step up. Really it was a smashing series to do. I was glad that I was able to do as much as I was on it.”

    You had fairly good memories then, but Noreen, I know you had a very tough time when you were working on Fall Out.
    Noreen Ackland: “Fall Out yes, but Living In Harmony was a marvellous episode to work on.”

   What about you Len, how do you rate the series now?
    Len Harris: “I enjoyed working on it I must say, it was something different. I little bit confusing at times. I'm sure you've seen the last episode. I've seen it and I'm more confused than ever now. There was something about it. I've said this several times, but this man, McGoohan, was a fantastic worker and his creative ability....... he's left the country now........ is a great loss to the British film industry. It's a great shame. He's really wonderful to work with.”

The Mind Is A Powerful Thing
   It is said that the Prisoner is all in the mind, that it's a dream created by the Prisoner in his mind. Well if that's the case, then the episode of ‘Living In Harmony’ is doubly so, don't you think?
   It has also been suggested in the past, that The Village is a place created by the mind in which people with, mental problems, are put. Certainly the Prisoner-No.6 is described as having a persecution complex, suggesting that he's putting himself through the seventeen episode ordeal of the Prisoner! I'm not sure what fans of the series will make of this, I'm sure they have ideas and theories of their own. But it is a fascinating thought, that some fans of the original series, who see the Prisoner in this way, cannot see the reinterpretation of the series in the same light.
   Of course we are all familiar with the term "role playing" games, and Living In Harmony might very well be the first, as No.6 plays out the game in his mind, before finally coming face to face with his opponents, who all turn out to be nothing more than cardboard cut outs! It is also interesting to note, how part of The Village can be placed out of bounds, and with a little set dressing can be turned into an American frontier Town of the mid to late 1800's.
    So, the Prisoner, The Village, and ‘Living In Harmony’ are simply all in the mind, a dream. It wasn't as No.8 said, that No.6 could separate fact from reality so quickly, no, no. It's more simple than that I feel. As the Sheriff, after the gunfight with the Kid, No.6 is again faced with death again, as the Judge shoots No.6 with a Derringer. But the thing is, you cannot die in a dream, and so just before the point of death, No.6 woke up!
 
Be seeing you

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Thought For The Day

    They look after you very well in the Village. They see to all your personal needs, like No.6 who has a supply of his favourite brand of cigar brought to the Village for him!

BCNU

Caught On Camera

  Poor old chap, he's suffering a cold! Take two aspirin and go to bed and keep warm!
   He sneezed himself out of our camera!
  What was that? Sounded like a click!
   Something in the mirror? Yes, well I wouldn't be too bothered about that. The chap living next door is far more troubled about it, seeing as how he's got a damned great camera on a tripod in the lounge, the lens of which is stuck through his living room wall into yours, behind the two-way mirror!
Yes, over there too! Yes, well we had to pay your other neighbour to have a camera placed in her bathroom, a little inconvenient for her, and your bathroom mirror!
Be seeing you...won't we?

PICTORIAL PRIS6NER

   THEPRIS6NER, it's all in the mind, and through inception is placed in the subject's subconscious. And yet, the Village and its community has been turned into a television soap opera in the Village, and what's more citizens can read about themselves in the novelisation of the Village in the novel 'Wonkers' published by Village Books.

Breathe in.....breathe out.....more....Village.

The Lost Village

    Back in the late 1980's there was much talk and debate upon the topic of "the lost Village," that being the 1880's American frontier Town of Harmony. Where exactly was it, and how far from the actual Village was it? Well Harmony was a goodly distance from The Village, over two hundred miles away at a guess. Because Harmony was a set on a back lot at MGM film studios at Elstree. Yet in another sense, Harmony was part of The Village, as shown in the following photograph.
  The tree is the same, as is the turreted building behind the tree, only the environment is different. Here we see a Village taxi, with citizens of the Village in the background.
    In the above picture, you see the wheels of a cart, and cowboys riding horses, but who really do not exist, save in the hallucinatory mind of No.6.
    Where were the citizens who work and live in this part of The Village, while it was turned over to the Town of harmony? Well, perhaps it was occasioned like the time when No.6 woke up that morning to find The Village deserted, the citizens lying peacefully in their beds, or moved out temporarily. While for other citizens this area of The Village was made a no-go zone.

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

   Living In Harmony smacks of pacifism, is that why the Sheriff handed in both his badge and gun? After all that's partly the reason given by Number 6, that he died for "peace, peace of mind." So perhaps the Sheriff handed in his badge and gun, because he was tired of having to kill, or perhaps more to the point, in having to put his life on the line everyday. Because being as fast on the draw as he was, there would always be some young gunslinger in trying to make a reputation for himself, would put himself up against the Sheriff. And as you get older, the slower on the draw you become. So it's a good reason to hand in your badge and gun when your ahead.

   There are certain difference between the actual episode of 'A Change of Mind' and what the original script called for. For example, when Number 6 sits down outside the Old People's Home, in the script Number 6 asks for a grapefruit juice and the waiter responds angrily "Closed! Closed to unmutuals!" And the waiter continues "I, I shall complain! Complain to the committee!"
    It is Number 6's relationship with Number 86 that the most radical changes are made. Roger Parkes' script includes a number if instances of mild flirtation between the characters which, with one exception are expunged completely.

    Exhibitions like the Arts an Crafts is very important to the community, citizens can demonstrate their various skills in painting, drawing, pottery, sculpture, and various Arts and Crafts skills. But sadly many of the Village citizens fail to show any imagination with their chosen subject, as many chose No.2 as their subject. In my opinion its a bit creepy-crawly for so many citizens to choose No.2 as their preferred subject, even the General with his hand carved chess set made No.2 one of the kings!  Yet there are one or two individuals, one carved a monolith in granite, while No.6 carved something abstract in wood.
   The awards Committee wasn't too sure what it was, although it is seen to be "highly original," and it took "Our very own Epstein" to explain his work which No.6 entitled "Escape." "It means what it is, this piece. What does it represent to you?" A church door is the reply. "Right first time. Now this other piece here, the same general lines, somewhat more abstract as you'll notice, representing freedom, or a barrier depending on how you look at it... The barriers down the door is open, you're free, free to go, free to escape, to escape to this... symbol of human aspirations... Knowledge, freedom, escape." But surely No.6 was making up as he went along surely. A demonstration of very quick thinking by No.6.

Be seeing you

Monday, 28 January 2013

Thought For The Day

    At the Cafe in 'The General,' citizens are seen to be drinking wine. I wonder if that's non-alcoholic wine like the gin, whisky, and vodka? But unlike the two bottles of alcoholic wine I suspect, as seen in No.6 refrigerator during 'The Chimes of Big Ben.'

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

  The "alien" environment if the Village.

BcNu

The Professor's Lecture

   My lecture today ladies and gentlemen concerns "Obsession," one man's television programme is another man's obsession. I mean what kind of person remains a fan of a television series like the Prisoner for all one's life time? Yes it is an enigmatic and compelling series, I've watched it myself, but I have never been compelled to search out other fans, not that I'm a fan myself you understand. Not to join an appreciation society, never to buy merchandise associated with the series, nor to wear a badge saying "I am not a number, I am a free man." I have never felt the compunction to collect newspaper cuttings about such a series for the past 43 years, to go about wearing a piped blazer, even if piped jackets are considered to be the height of fashion at the moment. To do all that you are in danger of becoming a Johnny Prisoner. Someone who cannot let the day go by without thinking about the Prisoner. I mean no offence to our distinguished, if rather obsessive co-writer here on The Tally Ho, yet I find his behaviour obsessive to the extreme!
   ‘The Prisoner’ became a cult television series, and people latched onto that, something which Patrick McGoohan didn't want, because he felt that if something becomes a cult, the people associated with that cult can become something of a nuisance. But for people like me, who has been to a Prisoner convention, involved with the making of a series of documentaries on the subject of the Prisoner, well it gives one a new purpose in life, especially when one hasn't worked so much in recent years. I'm sure that when Alexis Kanner appeared at the 1996 Prisoner convention he thought it to be a real pinnacle in his life at that time. To have so many people sat about hanging on his every word. Well everyone save one person there, who wasn't listening to one single word Alexis Kanner said. I won't name him, but he knows who he is. But it would seem that when Alexis used the phrase "Pacemaker" instead of "Peacemaker" to do with the American hand gun the Colt 45, this person wanted to stand up and shout out "For god's sake get it right Kanner! It's Peacemaker, not Pacemaker!" You see whenever Alexis Kanner spoke about the gunfight between himself as the Kid, and McGoohan in the episode Living In Harmony, Alexis always referred to the Colt 45 as the "Pacemaker," and no-one has ever seen fit to correct him. So he must have been listening to something of what Alexis was talking about, or perhaps he was listening out to see if Alexis would get it right this time, which he didn't. I know this person in question had a deep desire to correct Alexis Kanner during his talk at that particular Prisoner convention, but he didn't. And I know he has regretted that ever since, and no, it wasn't J.P.

The Professor

The Therapy Zone

   It has been observed that the Butler, wears his gloves all the time, both outdoor and indoor alike. Indeed there are only two occasions upon which the Butler does not wear his gloves. One being during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ when he is setting out the tea things upon a table in No.2's office. The second occasion is when during that episode ‘The Schizoid Man,’ The Butler is giving No.2 a massage. This is also the only time when we see the Butler in a state of undress.

   What follows is another extract from an interview with the late Frank Maher, stunt double for Patrick McGoohan, and stunt arranger on the Prisoner.
   Q: How did the Penny Farthing bike come about? It appears on all the props, badges and so on.
Frank Maher: Well, at the time the bike turned up it was pulled out of the props truck at Portmeirion and put to one side. A lot of Welsh extras were around, goggling at all these funny things that were being pulled out. Anyway, this Penny Farthing was leaned up against something, and Pat came up and said "Right Stuntman - ride it!"
   So, I tried riding it and nearly broke my neck! Anyway, there was a little guy who'd been watching  -must have been seventy if he was a day - and he said "Excuse me, do you mind if I rode it?" And he made an idiot of me because he walked over to a tree, leant the bike against it, climbed up - which I hadn't thought of, sat on the bike and merrily went on his way.
   Pat loved it and got him to ride around the village on it as part of the background. Now I don't personally agree with the ideas of symbolism connected with the bike, I love it as a logo, but "Symbolic of Progress" and so on... no, not for me.

In the episode Living In Harmony, the Prisoner, in the guise of a Sheriff, hands in both his badge and gun. Then later as the Judge tries to coerce the Man with no name to work for him, the stranger adamantly refuses to wear a gun.
During a fencing bout in Once Upon A Time, the protective tip of the fencing foil comes off and at that point No.2 orders No.6 to kill. Yet No.6 cannot kill, and only injures No.2 in the shoulder.
However to say that No.6 cannot kill cannot be right, for during the violent and bloody revolution, alright you don't actually see any blood, you have to imagine that, the Prisoner quite openly kills, blazing away with his machine gun. Yet have you noticed at the end, that the only village personel killed in that "fire fight," are the armed security guards. And so neatly put in one pile!

    It was a very important day for the Prisoner, he was getting ready to meet Chambers, soon to become “late” of the Foreign Office. Chambers was presumably about to either resign, or defect, and the Prisoner was hoping to change his mind before the “Big boys” found out. So the Prisoner waited and waited but he never turned up. “A nice guy Chambers and so talkative!” So we can gauge from this that Chambers, who was to meet with the Prisoner on this particular morning, was actually abducted to The Village sometime before that meeting was due to take place, that’s why Chambers never turned up, “they” got to Chambers first.  But I’m surprised that No.6 never got to meet with Chambers in The Village. After all the Prisoner met with two other old colleagues, that of Cobb on the same hospital ward in Arrival, and later with Roland Walter
Be seeing you, but not Chambers.....obviously.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

PICTIORIAL PRIS6NER

   There is something familiar about 93's cottage, oh not from the outside, but the interior. I suppose it's the front door, the fire place, and the over hanging lamp that makes it suggestive of the former No.6's cottage.
   And that arch, so singular to No.6's cottage. Not to mention the two lava lamps. Yes, they are modern day lava lamps, but can you name another building that has such lamps in it's rooms?
  The interior of 93's cottage is not a direct remake of the of 6 Priavte in the original series, but is suggestive enough to plant the idea in the mind that we are looking at the interior of the former No.6's cottage!

Be seeing you

Quote For the Day

    "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered."
                                                            {the Prisoner - - Arrival}

    Brave words indeed, except of course the Prisoner has been PUSHED into his resignation perhaps by a situation which was no longer to his liking. This is judged by the rage in which he gives in his letter of resignation. FILED, a card with the Prisoner photograph is "Xed" out and filed under "Resigned." STAMPED, having been hallmarked for the Village to where the Prisoner is duly abducted. INDEXED, that would be his personal file. BRIEFED, the Prisoner was briefed on the Village during the aerial tour of the Village by helicopter. DEBRIEFED, this took place on the day of the Prisoner's arrival in the Village, after No.2 had invited him to the Green Dome for breakfast. NUMBERED, they gave him the number 6.
   Brave words indeed, and yet the Prisoner's defiance availed him nothing!

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera

    During the episode of 'The General,' the Professor attempts to run away from the Village, although I'm not so sure that it's an attempt to escape because the Professor couldn't run so far or too quickly. No, I think it was simply to hide in the sand that tape recorder containing his message to the citizens about the General, the General must be destroyed!
   As No.6 is talking to No.12 about the probabilities and improbabilities of Speedlearn the chase for the Professor is on, a helicopter passes overhead, and from the Control Room the Supervisor announces an Orange Alert, yet such an alert generally brings about the Village Guardian, but there is no Village Guardian, as it's the students themselevs who chase down the Professor. And there is the sound of a siren as a Village taxi speeds through the Village.
  But this is unused film footage of 'Arrival,' during the Prisoner's taxi ride around the Village. I mean why bother to insert a few seconds of film into 'The General' which is obviously from another episode? 'The Prisoner' was supposed to have been so carefully edited together, with McGoohan in the editing suite to see that what he wanted done was done. And yet, sometimes the editing together of 'the Prisoner' episodes is so slap-dash! I suppose it was simply a case of utilising what they had on film.

BCNU

The Therapy Zone

   Since his arrival here in the village, No.6 has tried to escape, and has poked his nose in where it's not wanted more time than I care to remember. But he's not been alone you know, far from it. There are those Jammers, people who used to make up plots of escape, generally to make mischief in order to confuse the observers.
   Then there are those individuals who have worked against the village, and those who said they would, if they were given a second chance! Like No.12, and No.24, to name but two, and Monique-No.50 who worked with No.6 to put a stop to an assassination plot against No.2, makes three! And of course more citizens resist more than you might think, otherwise there would be no need for aversion therapy. There would be no unmutuals in the village, and therefore no need for "Instant Social Conversion!"
   Just because the village gives off an almost holiday resort atmosphere, doesn't mean that everyone is happy here. This is not Shangri-la, this is the Village!

    No.6 wore his numbered badge twice. Once as he was leaving the hospital on the morning after his arrival here in the Village, a badge which incidentally he took off the lapel of his blazer and tossed into the back of the taxi. The second occasion was when he impersonated No.12-Curtis.
   But No.6 isn't the only citizen seen not to wear his or indeed her numbered badge. The Professor here is one, along with his wife Madam Professor, I never can figure out how they were never forced to wear their badges. And another is the Butler, who said he lost it. But I believe he, like No.6, threw it away! And finally the doctor in Arrival, he doesn't wear a numbered badge either! I don't know how they are allowed to get away with it? Mind you, even though No.6 doesn't wear his numbered badge, everyone in the village appears to know who he is!

   The Village is a self-contained unit of your society, but is it so self-Sufficient? I mean how do they get here the milk, ice cream? the potatoes, and the aspirin?
     We enjoy all of the usual amenities here in the Village, water which means there is a large reservoir, electricity - means a modest power station, gas - by pipeline, there's a sewage plant close by, and a land-fill site for all the rubbish generated by the community here. We also have a farm which produces all the fresh vegetables we need, milk, cheese, cream, butter, and of course meat.
   What we don't have is a factory, a factory which produces all the tinned "Village Food," that is canned some place else, given the "Village Food" label and then shipped out here to the village. The same goes for record labels, Village Film, Village Cooking Oil, and packets of Village Needles, clothes, deck shoes, umbrellas, etc, etc, as well as No.2, all of which are imported. As for our exports, of which my fellow reporter wrote once "Will cover every corner of the globe," well what exports? The Village doesn’t actually produce anything, except information. I suppose there's always a market for that.
   So you see, the Village maybe a self-contained unit, but it is far from being self-sufficient, and needs exterior support from the homeland, wherever that maybe.

Be seeing you

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Who's That On The Telephono?


















No.261 "Calling Electrics Control."
Supervisor-No.28 "Electrics Control?"
"Ah Electrics Control. I need a two stroke D replacement."
""Who is this?"
"Electrics Control?"
"Ah good. I have one of your electricians on the phone."
"Yes I know, it's me!"
"Who am I speaking to?"
"Electrics Control?"
"Ah, we must have got cut off for a moment. As I was saying I've got one of your electricians on the telephone....."
"Yes it's me!"
"Look who are you?"I want Electronics Control."
"Yes."
"Ah at last. I need a two stroke D replacement."
"What's one of those?"
"Well.... it's a lightbulb!"
"Well why don't you just say you need a new lightbulb?"
"Well it sounds more technical. I also need you to switch in the temporary reserve to 6 private."
"What for a blown lightbulb, you want Electrics Control. Who do you think I am the telephone Operator?"
"Hello Operator, can you put me through to Electrics Control?"
"Supervisor here, I'm on yellow."
"What?"
"Supervisor I'm on yellow."
"I'm not the Supervisor!"
"I know you're not."
"Then why say I was?"
"I wasn't saying, I was telling. Who am I speaking to?"
"Number 261, I'm at Number Six's."
"Are you on his telephone?"
"No, I'm on a grey head-set."
"Well what is it you want?"
"I've already told you, I want Electrics Control."
"Yes."
"Hello Electrics Control at last. Look I've been talking to baldy the Supervisor for the last five minutes. I need a........"
"You're still talking to Baldy the Supervisor, and when you get that two stroke D replacement you know what you can do with it...."
"What's that?"
"You can stick it up your jumper!"
"Thank god for that. I thought you were going to say stick it up your......"
"Whatever makes you happy! I'll have you put through to Electrics Control."
"Ah Electrics Control.........."

Tonight On The Video Channel

   After an enforced two week break, tonight the Prisoner meets with a very dangerous femme fatale, in an episode that takes the Prisoner out of himself, and give the viewer a break from what has gone before, and light relief for that which is yet to come.
   This episode is fun, almost 'Danger Man' or 'Avengers' like in it's style, with a touch of Mission Impossible' thrown into the mix.
    The girl is a born killer, Mister X a born survivor, and Professor Schnipps as mad as, well as mad as Napoleon Bonaparte. But Napoleon Bonaparte wasn't mad was he? This episode puts me in mind of a James Bond novel and I have written about that before, Ian Flemings 'Moonraker.'
   Poor old Potter, sent out into the field as a shoeshine boy. I never could understand how a man could get muddy shoes walking down a high street! If only he'd kept his eye more on the game, instead of the girls legs! Colonel Hawke-Englishe blown to bits at the wicket, the awful thing he was one run short of his century!
   Now in this episode they've taken away the Prisoner's car, and given him a Lotus Elan, the car Patrick McGoohan refused as the car for 'the Prisoner.' And I think McGoohan was right. the Lotus Elan suited Mrs Emma Peel, but somehow not the Prisoner.'
   And the clown? Well I'm sure that's symbolic of something, but I've never been able to put my finger on it. Surrealism? Yes there is that, because who was it who turned the wall screen on again after No.2 had switched it off?!

Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    The ghost in the machine.
  No I didn't create this image, but it seems to me to be a poignant one somehow. How? How should I know! Perhaps it's because no series or film could be produced without paying some sort of homage to the original series, and there are several of them in THEPRIS6NER.
   In a way the Prisoner-No.6 is in the series, but in the guise of the old man 93. However, and I suspect this might have been too expensive to do for very long. But do British readers recall a television commercial which featured a number of actors on a modern day train journey, actors like Cary Grant, the Railway Children, John Mills appeared in the commercial, as you will see by clicking on the link below.
http://youtu.be/hozCKWDOk9c
   I know that Patrick McGoohan as the Prisoner-No.6 appeared in one of these adverts, but I cannot find it on YouTube. But you see what I mean by watching the advert, by this technique one could resurrect Patrick McGoohan in his role as the Prisoner!

BCNU

Spotlight on The Prisoner


    "The Prisoner" is renowned for its ambiguity, its enigmatic and allegorical content, according to Patrick McGoohan, a television series having continually tried to fathom its depths over the past 4 decades, arriving at untold ideas and theories as to what "the Prisoner" is all about, as they busy themselves searching for those so termed "hidden meanings." Well they have been on a long and fruitless search, because there are no such "hidden meanings" within any of the 17 episodes of "the Prisoner," I know because I've looked and found "the Prisoner" devoid of any such hidden meanings. Are fans of "the Prisoner" really so gullible to think that there was any such time to spare in which the script writers write hidden meanings into the scripts, I hardly think so. There would be enough to do without all that fuss of additional work of "hidden meanings," they'll be suggesting "subliminal cuts" next!
Do fans make more out of "the Prisoner" than there really is, or was ever supposed to be? After all at the end of the day does it matter who No.1 was, which side runs the village, certainly its run by one side or the other, but both sides are beginning to look the same, at least they did at the time of "the prisoner" when the cold war was still going on between the Americans, the Soviet Union with Great Britain there somewhere. But there is the danger of making more out of "the Prisoner" than is there to begin with. Oh there is certainly depth to the series, and questions to be asked, but then there is always the danger of reading something into something else which at the end of the day is misinterpretation of an everyday occurrence. Take the opening sequence of "the Prisoner," at one point the Prisoner having arrived in London, parks his Lotus 7 in an underground car park in Abingdon Street, which is only a step or two away form the Houses of Parliament.
Then the Prisoner goes through double doors marked "Way Out." This has been described as an act of rebellion on the part of the Prisoner, in his demonstration of entering a building via the "way out." See what I mean about misinterpretation, reading a more complicated action into something which is everyday and quite mundane, its no wonder people find it difficult to understand "the Prisoner" series if this is the kind of thing fans are reading into such mundane actions. If one watches the opening sequence to "the Prisoner" carefully the Prisoner is not demonstrating an act of rebellion, nor is he entering a building via the way out. He has just parked his lotus 7 in the underground car park, and is LEAVING the said car park via way out. If it was the case that the Prisoner was entering a building by the "way out" the words "way out" would then be on the other side of the double doors and back to front, which they are most definitely not.
Another example of reading too much into everyday actions contained within "the Prisoner" series can be found again during an opening sequence, this time of the episode "Living In Harmony." A Sheriff has handed in both his gun and badge, and by the looks of it his horse went with the job of Sheriff as well, because the man with no name, for the Prisoner has no name that we hear of, is walking the plains carrying his saddle on his back. This simple little scene has in the past been seen as being representative of Christ carrying his cross to his crucifixion. When the actual truth of the matter is, that during the time of the Wild West, if a riders horse went lame, was stolen, or had to be shot because of a broken leg for example, the rider would carry his saddle until he came by another horse, either by fair means of foul. This because a man's saddle was the most expensive possession a cowboy, Sheriff, Marshal, rancher, farmer etc would own. A horse was cheap enough, but not so his saddle.
   So perhaps too much can be read into "the Prisoner," but why complicate it so when there is no need. After all sometimes the simplest answers are the best answers, although in the past I have found that for certain fans simple answers are not the best answers, they like to over egg the pudding so to speak. Which is fine if that is what they want, but which doesn't help to understand the series. And
there must come a time when you have to arrive at some understanding of "the Prisoner," after all one cannot spend a life time searching "the Prisoner" for answers which are not good enough, or by reading things into the series which are simply not there and were never once intended to be there in the first place.
For myself I have reached an understanding of "the prisoner" which I personally am happy with, but which may not suit everyone. Oh there are certain aspects of "the prisoner" series which may never have answers put to, not even after 40
years of Prisoner appreciation. But that is something one has to live with, those inexplicable aspects of "the Prisoner" which even Patrick McGoohan would be hard pressed to figure out and explain, if he was so inclined to do. What do I mean, well for example; Why in the episode "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling" does the village need Doctor Seltzman's reversal process for the village's Seltzman mind swapping, machine when all they had to do was to place the two subjects who have undergone the mind change back in the Seltzman machine and do what they did the first time around. And in the episode of "Many Happy Returns" why did the Prisoner go running back to his ex-colleagues when he had already been betrayed by them, Fotheringay and the Colonel during "The Chimes of Big Ben." I suppose he needed to start somewhere, but he trusted them. Had he forgotten about Fotheringay and the Colonel who either worked for, or were seconded to the village in his betrayal? That The Tally Ho uses only pictures depicting No.6 wearing his suit, and never in village attire of his piped blazer. That "the Prisoner" was produced and filmed as a film and not a television series, so much detail was gone into, detail which could easily be picked up on, on the big screen, but which was lost on the television screen.
Yet I suppose if all aspects of "the prisoner" series was explained away, then there would be no mystery, would there? Remember that for the majority of "the Prisoner" there are answers to be discovered, and they are discovered easier than you might imagine. And in such answers comes enlightenment and understanding of a series which has stood the test of time, a series which is as relevant today as it was back in the late 1960's, perhaps MORE so now than back then. Especially when it comes to the question of the individual, ones identity, surveillance and the state of the International European Community of today, that was at the time of "the prisoner the "Common Market" that the village is a prediction for the European Community of today.
"What has been created , is an International Community, a perfect blueprint for world order. When both sides facing each other suddenly realise that they are looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future."
    So it's really a question of interpretation, arriving at an understanding which suits yourself. But in attaining such an understanding one must fathom the depths of "the Prisoner" but at the same time accepting its simplicity when it slaps you in the face. Over complication, misinterpretation, and reading things into "the Prisoner" which are simply not there and were never intended to be in the first place is not the way. And as for the allegorical, well that's better left in its box, as Pandora would have had it.

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    You know it rarely rains here in the Village, the sky is blue, hardly a cloud to be seen. Yet there are warnings of intermittent showers later in the day. And if you greet a citizen with "Beautiful day" you get "Showers later" in response. The only time it does actually rain and a thunder and lightening storm with it, well to my knowledge, is during ‘A B & C’ when the slumbering No.6 is being taken to that secret laboratory somewhere deep in the woods.
    No.6 is a smoker, something frowned upon in these modern times. In ‘he Schizoid Man’ we learn that No.6 enjoys his own brand of cigar, that he has "Black Russian" cigarettes to hand. John Drake was a smoker, of both cigars and cigarettes, yet the only time we actually see No.6 smoking is during his spell in jail in the episode of Living In Harmony, having been put into "protective custody!" No.6 whilst lying on his bunk in his cell, rolls himself a cigarette using a  liquorice paper. He lights the cigarette with a match and smokes it. It is the first and last time we see No.6 smoking, he coughed on the cigar in The Schizoid Man because the cigar was rigged with a piece of plastic running inside its length, and that would make anybody cough!
    ‘Arrival’ and that wrist watch doubling up for the Electro Pass, it’s a Hamilton automatic. There's a date indicated on the dial, 19. Some people think that's the date of Number 6's birthday, which of course it is, but surely not the month of March, but that of September! Well filming began in Portmeirion on the 5th of September 1966, which means cast and crew would still be there on the 19th.
   In ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ No.2 suggested that No.6 was doing as the caveman did, even though these tools of stone axe and chisel were outside the pale of the law. But surely number 6 would have been better off using flint axe and chisel? After all just because he was known as stone age man, didn't mean he used stone implements, certainly not for chopping, cutting and scraping, he used napped flints!
    It was an ironic touch by the Colonel of ‘Many Happy Returns’ when their ex-colleague asked about the police road block. "Nothing to do with you my dear fellow, an escaped convict." And before that little scene, there was No.6 asleep in the back of that truck, when suddenly there was the sound of cars and a police siren. Suddenly being awakened from his sleep No.6 is quick to react. He leaps down from his resting place and out of the back of the moving truck, out into the road of moving traffic. Had a bus, taxi or some other vehicle have been travelling close behind No.6 could have been killed. Injured certainly, and that would have meant hospitalization then what of the chances of returning No.6 to the Village, an abduction from the hospital perhaps?

Be seeing you

Friday, 25 January 2013

MORE MAGIC NUMBER 6


    There is now to be eight performances of Paul Gosling's play in 2013. Ticket prices for the Edinburgh performance includes concessions.

BCNU

Pictorial Prisoner

Checkmate – here No.6 about to go with No.2 to see the Rook at the hospital.
   And then in the same episode, the next short scene, here is No.6 on his way back from the hospital! Although this is from unused film footage from 'Arrival,' And they thought no-one would notice!

Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “Rules to which I am not subject!”
                           {No.6 – Dance of the Dead}
   It would seem that No.6 thinks a lot of himself in placing him above all others. Rules, especially rules that govern society it would seem, are not for No.6 as he sees it. However even before the Prisoner-No.6 was brought to the Village, he set himself above others. After all in ‘Once Upon A time’ he told the judge, after a fatal road accident which he caused, that the work he was doing was “above the law?!”

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

    The Seaside from my Watercolour period.


BcNu

The Therapy Zone

    I do try and vary the articles of blog you for, with information on the Prisoner, 60 second interviews, archive items and a little bit of fun with No.6, but never to take the Mickey, only in taking a look at what No.6 gets up to from a different perspective and that's where the fun comes in. And observations, plenty of those and for a couple of examples how about when during the fight scene with the pair of henchmen in ‘A B & C’ No.6 splits his suit trousers! Not spotted that one, well there's the maid who actually works at Portmeirion standing staring as the brass band emerges from the pink pavilion during the episode of Arrival. And what about those motor cars parked at various places around the village, they are mostly seen in aerial shots of Portmeirion. They are cars belonging to the guests actually staying at Portmeirion at the time of filming the Prisoner, not to mention the day visitors, which makes the attempt to keep the location of the village a bit of a nonsense really. The actual location of the village was not of course revealed until the opening sequence of the final episode ‘Fall Out,’ but those who had actually witnessed the filming of the Prisoner at Portmeirion would instantly know when they watched Arrival! Plus certain people staying at Portmeirion at the time shot film footage of the filming activities of their own. One piece of amateur film footage which I have been privileged to see, is of the Alouette helicopter employing the large floats by landing on the surface of the water, which is never seen to be done in’ the Prisoner.’ And no doubt you will have observed the elongated 'map of your village' running around the base of the wall of the Control Room. And perhaps you will have observed a white light which traverses the roads of the village. Back in the late 1980's this light was originally thought to be a village taxi, well video at the time wasn't of the greatest clarity. Today we have re-mastered video tapes and even better DVD of ‘the Prisoner,’ and so employing DVD we can positively see that the white light is just simply that and not a village taxi, and more likely to be that of Rover, the village guardian, as its progress through the village is tracked in the control room. And then there are those Orbit Tubes inside the rocket in ‘Fall Out.’ Orbit 2, Orbit 48 and a third which was at the time unmarked. One can only surmise that this third Orbit Tube would have been for Sir if he had rejected the offer of ultimate power, had not the bloody and violent revolution ‘Fall Out’ not been instigated by Sir himself.
    With regard to information, you may or may not be aware that after the episode of ‘Once Upon a Time’ Leo McKern collapsed and suffered a nervous breakdown and vowed to have nothing more to do with the Prisoner. In fact Leo had taken some persuading to return to his role of No.2 for ‘Fall Out,’ by which time he had shaved off his goatee beard for another project and refusing to wear a false beard a way had to be found to explain the difference between No.2 who possibly died at the end of Once Upon a Time and No.2's new appearance in ‘Fall Out’, hence the need to give No.2 a shave! It is interesting to note that having worked on the Prisoner in no fewer than three episodes ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Fall Out,’ Leo McKern never once spoke about his involvement in the series. Most probably because of the effect of both Patrick McGoohan and Once Upon a Time had upon him.
 "Even I won't be able to Tell You Apart. You'll Need A Password, The Password Is Gemini"
    Gemini is of course the astrological sign for The Twins, yet No.6 and Curtis-No.12 were not twins, even though looks can be deceptive , but definitely not in this case. Curtis-No.12 was either a very good look-a-like for No.6, or he underwent some extraordinary plastic surgery which either left not scars, or the scars were very well hidden. The mole on No.12's left wrist was false however, and the mole on No.6's left wrist having been surgically removed. There is a unique curiosity to the episode of ‘The Schizoid man.’ and it is this. There is no evidence that No.6 checked the body of Curtis after he lost his nerve and was attacked by the village guardian Rover, and judging by what we see no evidence to say that Curtis actually died, he may simply have been unconscious. And if Curtis had still been alive, then what price Curtis remaining in the village as he was? After all administration couldn't have two No.6's running around loose in the village... could they? And if that had been the case, and if Curtis had not undergone plastic surgery previously, he would certainly have been faced with that prospect, if this were the case. After all with the episode of ‘Dance of the Dead’ No.2 told No.6 that the body washed up on the beach and which then lay in  a long drawer in the mortuary of the Town Hall, would be amended slightly, so that it was No.6 who had died in an accident at sea. This then is yet another indication to the extent of both surgical and medical capabilities and techniques, to be employed by doctors at the hospital.
    When it comes to the question of twins in the village, there are two such cases that we know of. The first demonstrated in Arrival, that of the electrician who attends '6 Private' the Prisoner's cottage, this to replace the busted loudspeaker which the Prisoner trampled under foot. And that of the gardener whom the Prisoner encountered after he left the cottage, feeling like a bit of a walk. The gardener who asks No.6 to "Mind the plants," and who seems to be a twin to that of the electrician, and not just a twin, but an identical twin!
    The second demonstration for the possibility of twins in the village comes in the episode of ‘Free for All,’ this between the photographer No.113b and the publisher of The Tally Ho upon that quirky looking press device outside of the Town Hall    "Get your election edition now." Again this appears to be another case of identical twins in the village, which is I suppose acceptable, well we have to accept it do we not? Because if not then there is a possible case for cloning within the confines of the village. Indeed it has been suggested that Curtis was a clone of No.6, a suggestion or theory which I have to say I do not subscribe to.  Yet if not cloning, then we must take to the possibility that twins, and for that matter identical twins were either being brought to the village of their own free will, or twins who were abducted. But what would be the point in the abduction of twins to the village? The prisoner was brought to the village because he resigned from his job and they wanted to know the reason. But if the Prisoner had had a twin brother, what would the village gain by having his twin brother abducted to the village? Well none that I can think of, unless of course for experimental purposes in the hospital.
   There is however one further explanation as to the two sets of identical twins in the Village, that they were born here!

I’ll be seeing you

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Village Day - Summary

    Village Day has it's faults, it has it's critics, although it has it's fans too. I produced the film and I am proud of my work, although that's not to say I cannot see what is wrong with 'Village Day.' I was never very happy with the finished product, I am the film's biggest critic.
   However the film is what it is, and despite all the problems and frustrations I encountered along the way, there were times when I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I also picked up a few skills, and learned something about film-making, and about human nature!
   I was also proud, for at the time I was staunch member of Six of One I was producing something for the society, but with the help of many many people. At the outset of the film project I had in excess of 60 people who wanted to help with the film, many of whom brought a variety of skills with them. But of course in any process there is a natural wastage, and so as people dropped out of the project for whatever reason, I was left with a production crew of about 12 people who I could rely on.
    When the idea of making a film was first put to me, the idea was for me to play the Prisoner. So I thought fine, just wait while someone writes the script, I'll learn my lines, and act the role of the Prisoner. Never did I envisage that the entire project would fall upon my shoulders. When all is said and done, I think working on 'Village Day' was well worth it. It brought many people together from Six of One, and gave many a purpose within the society. And I like to think that everyone who was involved got something out of the experience. For myself, it gave me some small understanding of how things must have been for Patrick McGoohan while he was working on 'the Prisoner.' I was relieved when it was all over. An old friend of mine said will you be making another film? I said not on your life. And do you know what....I didn't, one film was quite enough for me!
  I hope the film has given people pleasure over the years, I know it has for some. And certainly someone has seen the value in the film, because of the number of unauthorised copies there are out there on DVD. I only produced the film on video. One day, when I've nothing better to do, my time these days is all accounted for, I intend to produce a Directors cut, and edit the film together how I had originally envisaged it to be. When that will ever happen I don't know, because I've been saying that for the past 3 or so years and have not got around to doing it yet. Mind you it's been some time since I've watched the film myself, perhaps it's time I did. And do you know, 'Village Day' is the only film produced for Six of One which has never been screend at a 'Prisoner' Convention, want to know why? well it's like this............................

Be seeing you