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Friday, 22 February 2013

The Therapy Zone

The Circle Line
   If there is one thing about the Prisoner series it is this, that the Prisoner is a vicious circle from which there is no escape. That the Prisoner travels in circles which is demonstrated in the episode Many Happy Returns, as he finishes up at the very spot he started out from. That the wheels of the penny farthing turn in varying degrees of circles. At the end of Fall Out the Prisoner has finally come "full circle," but has learned little or nothing by the experience.
   And of course there is "squaring the circle," or is it "circling the square?" Anyway whichever is shaped to fit, which takes place in the Managers office at the Labour Exchange, when the Prisoner is given a round peg to fit in a square hole. The square hole turns into a circle, meaning the village is prepared to change so as to make the Prisoner fit!

    “In Checkmate two experiments are played out on certain citizens of the village. The Rook is subjected to Pavlovian experiments once conducted on dogs, designed to condition behaviour through positive and negative response {in this case in order to avoid electrical shock from the proper-coloured blue water cooler}. The other experiment once performed on Dolphins which had transmitters implanted in their brains in connection with detecting submarines, is now performed on the white Queen-No.8, although they haven't got quite as far with humans as they have with Dolphins. No.8 is conditioned, or hypnotised into thinking that she is in love with No.6, and he with her, and has a locket about her neck which she believes No.6 has given to her. In effect the locket contains transistor circuits which feeds off No.8's emotions, effectively making her a walking alarm system. It seems that doctors in the Village are not averse to treating their subjects like animals!"

   Victor Maddern, the leader of the Brass Band in the episode of Hammer Into Anvil, who was one of the guests who attended the 10th anniversary party for Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society. The only trouble was, Poor Victor Maddern could not remember anything at all of his work in the Prisoner! He remembered going to the studio, but other than that, he could recall nothing else. Well at the time, it was twenty years ago, and Victor Maddern was only in one short scene with Patrick Cargill-No.2. And the scene which you see in the episode, was filmed in one continuous take.

Number 6 Or Number 1 - Its All McGoohan!
    With the Prisoner, in the later-made episodes, you are not watching an actor playing the role of No.6, you are seeing McGoohan playing himself!
   Patrick McGoohan was never very forthcoming about what the Prisoner was all about. I often wondered if he actually knew, or whether he was just making it up as he went along. When asked a straightforward question, McGoohan was hardly ever known to give a straightforward answer. He described the series as "the battle between the good and evil in oneself." But the series certainly never started out like that. More of a superior spy thriller, which is how story editor George Markstein saw the Prisoner.
   For the late Patrick McGoohan, the Prisoner became an obsession. He's not the only one, is he readers.............

I'll be seeing you

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