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Friday, 22 February 2013

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

    It is such a pity that Vincent Tilsley's script for this particular episode was edited so much after he'd written it - because to Vincent Tilsley's mind they had made the script far worse, and more confusing than it was originally, or words to that effect. To be perfectly honest I am not one for reading scripts, yet having glanced through the script Face Unknown which was the original title for this episode, the episode would have ended up far more enjoyable for the viewer if director David Tomblin and co had not edited Tilsley's script.
    For example; it would appear that before the Prisoner was sent back to London, his mind was regressed back to the day of "crisis," to the day of the Prisoner's resignation - a most important moment in time. Originally we would have seen the Prisoner in his London home on the evening before the day he resigned, wearing his dressing gown as he settles himself down to write his letter of resignation - and having finished he places his resignation letter on the mantelpiece and retires to bed. The mind of the Prisoner having had been erased right back to the day before he resigned.
   The Prisoner awakens in what appears to be his own home, the camera makes a search, everything is quiet, and then we hear the Prisoner's voice;
   "Where am I? Home.....This isn't home...... There's something wrong."
    The Prisoner's hand appears into shot and picks up the travel brochures. This leads to a shot of a framed photograph of Janet Portland.
    "Janet.... You'll understand. I hope you'll understand."
   From the mantelpiece the Prisoner takes an envelope which contains his letter of resignation.
    "My letter of resignation. Wrote it last night. said I'd sleep on it. Sleep.... Was it only last night?"
    The camera searches suspiciously.
    "Do they know? What have they done? They've done something.... Something.... There's something different.... what have they changed?"
   The camera hurtles to the window.
    That's it! out there! there's something different out there! Looks the same. What's changed?.... Nothing. Nothing.
    {Well I would say that plenty has changed!}
    The Prisoner stuffs the letter into his pocket and heads for the door.
    "It's all the same. Why should I think it's different?"
    The door opens violently and we see feet hurrying down the steps as the Prisoner hurries towards his parked Lotus 7.  A hand opens the door, and he gets into the drivers seat, and the engine is fired into life and revved up.
"Of course it seems different. Of course. Things are different. Because - I - am - resigning! Now!"
   The Lotus 7 is picked up in the antlike traffic in a panorama shot of London, and zoomed in on, as the Lotus darts angrily through the traffic. There is a high shot of the Lotus as it enters the underground car park, and a shot through the cars windscreen as the Lotus enters the car park.
   The Prisoner storms along that darkened passageway.
    "Whatever they're doing they can't stop me. I'm going to resign. They can't stop me.... they? Who are they?"
    The Prisoner bursts into the office, the standard office which we see in the opening sequence and gives his letter of resignation to the man behind the desk. the man looks surprised.
   Danvers "YES". What's this?"
   "Read it."
   "I don't understand."
   "Get me Sir Charles."
   Danvers {Frightened} "Who are you?"
   Prisoner "Who am I?"
      Hands reach out and grab Danvers by his jacket jerking him to his feet.
  "Get me Sir Charles Portland. At once!"
    Well, if that little scene is not enough to convince you that it was a mistake to change that to what we actually see in the episode Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, I don't know what will. I think that the episode would have been better if the script had been left as Vincent Tilsley originally wrote it.
   What’s' more, we see in the episode a patient in the amnesia room, an agent lying on a table, who gave them all the information No.2 wanted. Later all unpleasant memories of the village would be erased from the agents mind, so that later he can be returned to the outside world in order to gather more information....... And that's what they had originally done to the Prisoner, erased all unpleasant memories of the Village, and released him in the outside world - so as to find Professor Seltzman, Professor Jacob Seltzman, and bring him back to the Village!

Be seeing you


  1. Arthur Butterworth22 February 2013 at 20:03

    The re-resignation scene is good on paper, but are we to believe that Number Six didn't look in the mirror once before leaving home that day (did he not shave?) or see his reflection at all on the way to his former office?

    I always feel sad when I watch the actual episode as it seems that all the love and care that was once lavished on the series is now missing. The long shots of a fellow who is clearly NOT Nigel Stock in the Green Dome are jarring, as are the shots of what is clearly unused footage of Patrick McGoohan driving around London. These things were painfully obvious even on black and white telly back in the day.

    And if only they could have dropped in a line to say that 'for some reason' just reversing the process with the same two bodies does not put the minds back in the correct bodies.

    1. Hello Arthur,

      Good to hear from you again.
      Ah, you have spotted a flaw in that resignation scene, I had not considered No.6 not looking in a mirror while he shaved, or not catching his reflection in some other way, nor apparently had Vincent Tilsley!

      I think this episode would have been better if they had stuck to the original script for one thing. But then Patrick McGoohan came along, and it would seem that he took offence that the production crew had been able to produce an episode of 'the Prisoner' without him. Because upon his return from America, having worked on the film 'Ice Station Zebra,' McGoohan didn't like the way 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling' had been produced, and made several changes to the episode, to it's detriment, the result being what we see on the television screen.

      Of course there lies the crux of problem with 'the Prisoner,' McGoohan had been so lavish with the initial episodes, that money was fast running out by the time of 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,' hence McGoohan having to earn money to put into the project by going to work on 'Ice station Zebra,' seeing as Lew Grade was not prepared to put more money into 'the Prisoner.'

      Yes I agree, the shots in which it is clearly not Nigel Stock and seeing Patrick McGohan driving in the episode in what is clearly unused film footage originally intended for use in the opening sequence, are jarring.

      Can I ask, why doesn't putting the same two subjects, through the exact same process they originally went through, not reverse the mind transferance? Ie; putting the minds back into the correct bodies?

      Kind regards
      Be seeing you