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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Thought For The Day

    I had always thought what a gentelman the first Number 2 was, he debriefed the Prisoner, briefed him during an aerial tour of the Village, and then he was gone. I always thought his term of office had come to a natural end, and that he's simply left the Village, I never thought that he was just as much a failed No.2 as any of them! Failed? Well he did try the old trick of trying to get the Prisoner to talk by first giving an innocent piece of information away, like the time of his birth. The Prisoner did give his time of birth, but nothing else. So No.2 had another go to extract the reason behind the Prisoner's resignation, by the use of the Prisoner's personal maid, he failed again. Twice a failure, it's no wonder he was replaced!

Be seeing you

Village Life!

    No.6 "I only asked how Polly was!"

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

                               "The Lotus Position!"


BcNu

Election Time!

No.2 "What a piece of luck. We start our election campaign today, showery outlook is very depressing don't you think?"
No.6 "Elections, in this place?"
"Of course, we make our choice every twelve months. Every citizen has a choice. Are you going to run?"
"Like blazes the first chance I get!"
"I mean run for office."
"Whose?"
"Mine, for instance."
"You have a delicate sense of humour."
    So does No.6, after all humour is the very essence of a democratic society! No.6 says that the interest of the citizens are very much his own, and that the security of the citizens will be his primary objective. Which means, should No.6 be elected as the new No.2, then he will not increase the security of the citizens, but oversee their freedom from the confines of The Village. In some cases this would do more harm than good, for what use does anyone born to The Village have for the outside world? It would be like when years ago, animal rights protesters releasing the Mink into the wild, when all they have known is the Mink farm. And then what did the released Mink do? They attacked the Water Vole, {Ratty from Wind In The willows} killing them near to extinction here in the UK.
   So you see No.6's actions of wanting to see the citizens of The Village to obey him and be free, might on the whole look honourable. But can do more harm than good, and the repercussions stretching all the way back to England and the government at the time in the Houses of Parliament. And after all is not No.6 simply satisfying his own desire, in manipulating the community to what he wants ultimately, to escape?
   I can just see it all now. A mass breakout in which No.6 can loose himself in the confusion! Such an opportunity will not come again until Fall Out. So No.6 will simply have to bide his time.
                             
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The Therapy Zone

Observations!
   2,00 free work Units, that's the special merit award No.6 won for his sculpture at the Exhibition of Arts & Crafts. As a matter of interest, that's the precise sum of £2,000 per week, McGoohan was earning at the time!
    Cobb is another citizen not seen to wear his numbered badge. Even in hospital patients wear their badge!
    I wonder if the guardians first victim in 'Arrival' was blind? That would account for him dodging about the way he did. He could hear the guardian, but couldn't see it coming at him. And if that is the case, it makes the killing even much more black and violent.
    Just think, if they had not involved No.6 in the plot to murder the retiring No.2 in 'It's Your Funeral,' the plot would have worked!
    When No.2 telephones No.6 in 'Once Upon A Time' No.6 says "I know your voice." It would have been remarkable if No.6 had forgotten so soon after their encounter during 'The Chimes of Big Ben. 'Seeing as how originally Once Upon A Time was to have followed on after 'The Chimes of Big Ben'. But having said that, there must have been a gap of some description between the two original placing of the two episodes in the screening order. Because No.2 says to No.6 "I've been here before." which suggests that No.2 has been away, and then later brought back to The Village, which is actually confirmed in a telephone conversation between No.2 and No.1. "You can say what you like. You brought me back here."
    If No.1 and No.6 are one and the same, two sides of the same person. No.1 is the evil side, and No.6 is the one with the conscience, and that's perhaps why he resigned, it was a matter of conscience!
    "They" seem to know what No.6 is thinking, how he will react to any given situation. That's because "they" have No.1, who is of the same mind as No.6. Perhaps then "they" should have asked No.1 why No.6 resigned!

The Numbers Game
   It was suggested to me by Morag when we were thinking of 93, that old man out there in the desert being shot at and chased by armed guardians, and whether or not he is the former No.6, when Morag said "Perhaps No.6 wasn't important to The Village authorities any more, and so was demoted in number, from 6 to 93. The more important you are in The Village rankings, the lesser the number, such Two who was second only to 1. Take No.245 for example, he was a guardian, a "school prefect" in 'The General.' Yet by the time of 'A Change of Mind' he had risen in the ranking to 93, but at the same time had become "unmutual." But obviously his confession was so good for his soul, that he maintained that number, and was even given a position as one of the delegates sitting on the assembly. So the lesser the number the more important one is to The Village authorities, and the greater the number the less important one is, and finally to be retired into the Old People's Home. And once you've been re-allocated a new number, your former number can then be re-allocated to a new arrival - Six perhaps!

Characters Say The Daftest Things
  Like when No.6 told No.2 that he'd like to be the first man on the Moon. I mean first man on the Moon indeed! Whatever would he do when he got there? However, No.6's remark certainly helps date the Prisoner, the series being pre-moon landings!

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Saturday, 29 June 2013

It's a question of Time!

   No.2 "I can never remember, one lump or two?"
   No.6 "It's in the file."
   "Yes, a matter of fact yes. But it would save time."
   "Why, are you running out of time?"
   "It's the government cuts!"
   "I've noticed there are no biscuits!"
 "They've cut the Village funding, saying far too much money is being spent on biscuits!"

   No.2 "Number fourteen the experiment must come forward!"
   No.14 "Impossible, I need all of a week."
   "I haven't got a week, I've got three days. It's the government cut in Village funding. If we're not careful, we'll all be out of a job!"



   No.2 "A week! You don't want to damage him!"
   Voice "It's not me, it's the government."
   "What about the government?"
   "They are cutting back funding."
   "I noticed, there aren't any biscuits with the tea or coffee anymore!"
   "Well if we're not all very careful, there won't be any Village either!"

  And then came the news, because the government has to cut 11.5 billion from government spending a number of departments have had to be closed. In the House of Commons, it was discussed, debated, and finally acted upon, and a motion was passed to close the installation known simply as The Village.



   And so the Village was evacuated of all it's citizens and personnel, by helicopter, lorry, Mini-Moke, and all available means. One final act of defiance was carried out by Number 1. He shot a rocket into the air, it landed he knew not where!
  

    As for the installation known simply as The Village, was put in mothballs, just on the off-chance that it might be reinstated. But then after even more cuts in government spending, the final decision was taken to remove the Village from mothball status, and was left to fall into dereliction and decay. There was not even enough money to give the Village it's final end, by demolition!
   
Be seeing you!

Caught On Camera!

  There sits poor Roland Walter Dutton, the court jester, all sad and forlorn. And what does the Prisoner do?
  He walks passed Dutton without so much as a glance! That's the Prisoner for you, he's about to use Dutton, because Dutton is scheduled to die, and becasue of that thinks Dutton is the man best equipped to say the things that need to be said! There's one thing about the Prisoner, he always has himself at heart!

BCNU

Quote For The Day

    "I want to call a witness, a character witness. I want the court to call Roland Walter Dutton! He's a man who I think I knew, a man scheduled to die, and therefore better fitted than I, to say the things that need to be said."
    I wonder what it was the Prisoner thought poor old Dutton was going to say? No doubt whatever it was, Dutton who was scheduled to die, wouldn't have anything to lose by saying it! But the Prisoner didn't speak up for Roland Walter Dutton, he was gong to use him! Mind you, the Prisoner was himself sentenced to death, the sentence to be carried out by the people in the name of justice. Once sentenced to death, the Prisoner didn't simply stand there and say the things that needed to be said! He ran the Prisoner, but how long could he run for, and to where?

BCNU

The Girl Who Was Death - Un-Shot!


It must be quite obvious to the casual observer of television series, that during the writing of any such script, changes do from time to time occur, and it is no different with episodes of the Prisoner. For example; The Girl Who Was Death, some three and a half pages, of an entirely self-contained scene were scrapped, from the original script to what we actually see during the episode. at the point where in the boxing ring Killer Kaminski who instructed Mr. X to go to the tunnel of love, originally Mr. X was instructed to go to a replica of Hampton Court Maze. Mr. X quickly finds the maze in question and the following bizarre sequence unfolds.
    Mr. X meets a portly, jovial showman wearing a bowler hat standing at the entrance to the maze, mumbling something quite incoherent and then laughing to himself. Mr. X enters the maze which looks
innocent enough, but he is not prepared for what he is to encounter around the next corner.
    The maze has suddenly been replaced by a tropical rainforest, the air filled with exotic screeches and bird song. It is not long before Mr. X is attacked by New Guinean head hunter brandishing a machete. But Mr. X makes short work of the native, disarming him of the machete in the process.
    Continuing his exploration of the rainforest he is stopped dead in  his tracks by the roar of a lion, which turns out to be a Tabby cat. Now deeper into the rainforest Mr. X is instructed by a passing Parrot to turn thirty degree left. With nothing to lose Mr. X follows the parrots instructions only to find himself back in the maze!
  Mr. X continues to tread carefully paying little attention to the gardener spraying insecticide onto the mazes well tendered hedges. As Mr. X draws closer the gardener, dressed in grey overalls with two metal canisters strapped on his back, the one labelled Insecticide, the other Homicide! The Gardner tried to spray Mr. X, but using the machete he took from the native in the rainforest, he knocks his assailant to the grounded piercing one of the pressurised tanks strapped to the gardeners back, sends him shooting off into the distance like a rocket!
    After regaining his composure Mr. X next encounters someone standing over him, a figure of some 12 feet tall, it is in fact a man with the painted face of a clown, wearing top hat and tails, on stilts, and armed with a sub-machine gun! Mr. X picks himself up and a Chase ensues through the maze, as he ducks and dives to escape the hail of bullets fired from the sub-machine gun, as the stilted walker uses his elevated height to trap his quarry. Before long Mr. X stumbles into the centre of the maze where he finds suitable cover to hide from his pursuer. Unable to locate Mr. X he is unaware of hat is happening to his feet, Mr. X is tying his shoe laces together, causing the stilt walker to come tumbling to the ground.
    Now desperate to leave the maze, Mr. X hacks his way through the hedge using the machete, and finds himself back in the fairground where he is told off by a disapproving mother. The little boy she has in tow is holding a balloon on which a message directs Mr. X to the tunnel of love. The balloon explodes.... BANG!

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The Therapy Zone

Any Politics?
    Its no wonder the Prisoner went berserk, smashing No.20's - the Labour Exchange Managers wooden gizmo.
   Not so much perhaps having to fill in a questionnaire, which the Prisoner refuses to do on more than this occasion, or the questions put to him, his race, religion, hobbies. What he likes to read, what he likes to eat. what he was, what he wants to be.... Any family illnesses.... any politics? No , it was not these questions put to him - the Prisoner - but the fact that Potter, Potter of all people, an ex-colleague of John Drake's, and one time contact man in the field was there in the village, and was the second person to interrogate him, that made him so angry. The fact that he had already been betrayed by his own people, that they were responsible for his current situation. Potter himself is proof of this.




Who Is Number one?
   That apparently is the oldest question in Village history. It was No.2-14 who over saw the reformation. I always thought that the first woman Number Two was Rachel Herbert. But apparently it was Lady Number Two the Great! But as for the question of "Who is Number One....... "There is no Number One. There never has been and there never will be. The concept of the Number Two is an act of humility, the title reminds us all that we are all public servants, even Number Two. No-one is Number One."
  Well that's learnt that last night, if nothing else. But there was something about 1955, the school teacher. First of all 1955 hit home with me because it's the year of my birth. Secondly there was something about the man 1955, he put me in mind of John Kieron, a character John Drake played inthe 'Danger Man' episode 'Don't Nail Him Yet.' Yes, a school teacher by the name of John Kieron!
   Please don't come back and say that I'm comparing the two series, because I'm not. Simply making observations of the echo's I see in THEPRIS6NER.

Dance Of The Dead
   This is perhaps the most difficult episode to take literally. The Prisoner is sentenced to death for the possession of a radio set. That sentence is to be carried out by the people, who carry it out in the name of justice. But this is "mob justice," as they chase the Prisoner through the corridors of the Town Hall. You've ripped the guts out of a teleprinter, which inexplicably bursts into life again, continuing to type the message it was originally printing at the time the Prisoner caused it to stop. And the death sentence is not carried out. Well you never expected it to be, did you....or did you? How can things be normal in the Prisoner ever again after this? The answer is simple, it can't. Things can only get worse!

Be seeing you

Friday, 28 June 2013

Team Village

  Tomorrow sees the start of the Tour de France, and this year Team Village has entered the endurance race. As you can see in the first picture, it's safety first!
  The cyclist wearing a crash helmet gives protection in an accident, and the addition of a canopy to the Penny Farthing gives some protection from the weather. And yet the Penny Farthing isn't the easiest bicycle to ride, as Team Village principle No.55 learned in early preparations for the Tour de France.
 Team Village Principle No.55 aided by No.240. Note the added safety feature of fixed stabiliser wheels either side of the Farthing wheel.
Oops! But then No.240 went on to show how it's really done.
   Blast, the film's run out, well what a pity! But later No.240 gave the cameras a treat by showing off her skill with the newly adapted RWS16 bicycle, which is No.240's preferred bicycle for the Tour De France.
   The RWS16 is a much smaller bicycle to the Penny Farthing, lighter, more manoeuverable, but again with the addition of a canopy to give some protection against inclement weather, as well as acting as a sun screen
   So we say good luck to Team Village, as they make their final preparations for the Tour de France, which sets off at the Grand Start on Corsica.

Be seeing you

Pictorial Prisoner

    It might be said of 'Free For All' that the Control Room lacks a Supervisor, seeing as how No.2 spends his time there during the Truth test. I know that the Supervisor-No.26 {Peter Swanwick} appears in the episode, but that's simply reused film footage taken from 'Arrival.'
   So why no Supervisor? Well as it happens I believe there is a Supervisor, only he appears to be filling in as an Observer sitting on the See-saw, in the top left hand corner of the picture {Kenneth Benda who is actually credited as being the Supervisor}. You will recall how No.2 mentions the Labour Exchange Manager's technique and asks where he got it? The Supervisor replies "From the Civil Service, adapted it immediately." So why the break in continuity, by using footage of Peter Swanwick as the Supervisor, when they could have maintained Supervisor continuity by having Kenneth Benda say something about the Village Guardian like "Now approaching," instead of using a few seconds of film of the Supervisor from 'Arrival!'

Be seeing you

Arts and Crafts Exhibition

                           "Comfort and Support!"


BcNu

Analysis - Escape

   Soon after his Arrival here in the Village the Prisoner-No.6 makes two escape attempts, one completely off the cuff and employing one of our own vehicles, a Mini Moke Taxi as he heads for the "outer Zone" along the beach, and the other, somewhat more audaciously, using an "Electro pass" and by helicopter - an Alloutte II. Both attempts fail, the one resulting in the Prisoners first encounter with the white membranic mass of ROVER the village guardian. And being flown back to the village aboard the helicopter by remote control.
    So it seems that the Prisoner-No.6 is desperate to escape the village, but not only to escape, but to come back, to destroy it, obliterate it off the face of the Earth and No.2 with it seems during The Chimes of Big Ben which sees No.6's third escape attempt aided and abetted by No.8 who proclaims to know the whereabouts of the village!
    During Free for All No.6 attains the lofty position of No.2 Chairman of the village and attempts not to simply escape himself, but to instigate a mass breakout by the citizens of the village. yet as his words "This is our chance...this is our chance, take it now. I have command, I will immobilise all electronic controls....Listen to me...you are free to go...you are free to go. Free to go... free to go...You are free to go....You are free, free, free to go....I am in command obey me and be free...you are free to go...you are free to go...you are free to go...free to go" booms out across the village from the confines of No.2's office in the Green Dome, none of the villages citizens takes the least bit of notice of this new No.2's commands. It appears that no one wants to be free, certainly not by their own free will, and nor by command! It seems to me that in his new position of the new No.2, which does not last that long, No.6 is forcing his own will upon that of the people, the same people who elected No.6 to the position of No.2 in the first place. But then everyone votes for a dictator!
    Strangely enough it isn't until we reach the episode of Many Happy Returns that No.6 finds himself in the unusual position of not only being alone in the village, but also being able to escape the village, completely unhampered, but this time by raft. Well the mountains provide no safe passage and seem quite un-scaleable and there seems to be no road out of the village, ending in a track way into the fields beyond. So the sea provides the only outlet for escape from the village for No.6, but a dangerous one I have to add. However along the way the supposed gun runners give timely help to the escaping No.6, and just when he needs it most, having collapsed from exhaustion upon his raft! But it all once again is to no avail, as he goes running back to London and eventually seeking the help of his ex-colleagues in order to solve his mystery of the village. A trusting sole this No.6, and after being betrayed by his ex-colleagues and friend during The Chimes of Big Ben, the Colonel and Fotheringay. However its not all bad, as Mrs Butterworth is on hand to welcome No.6 upon his return to the village, with a smarmy smile and a birthday cake which she promised to bake him back in London just as long as he comes back!
    During the episode of Checkmate No.6 discovers a way to distinguish between the whites and the blacks, to identify the warders from the prisoners. And upon selecting his reliable men No.6 sets out to organise an escape. But his problem is that the Rook-No.58 uses No6's own methods, and having tested No.6 comes to the conclusion that No.6, being the bossy one, and having taken control of this little venture must therefore be a Guardian and not a Prisoner!
    Strangely enough the escape attempt made during Checkmate would be the last No.6 would make, save for what was thought to have been the final escape during the mass evacuation of Fall Out. So why didn't No.6 escape at the end of Its Your Funeral? Well it was a question of trust. No.6 did have the detonator device in his hands sure enough, but who was there No.6 could trust enough to stop the new No.2 from removing the chain of office about his neck as No.6 did in allowing the retiring No.2 to escape in the way he did, or did he? But that's another matter for another time. And then there was Do Not Forsake Me oh My Darling, No.6 escapes in someone else’s body, and that of the Colonel of all people, that certainly would not be to his liking at all!
No as it was to turn out, Checkmate was to be the last chance for No.6 to escape the confines of the village, until the time of Fall Out that is.

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

THEPRIS6NER
    So Two knows the very secret of life...........breath in, breath out! Curtis and Helen volunteered for The Village because they wanted a family, and what a family it became. Two became a dark, bitter, and twisted man. 11-12 a two-time murderer, of 909 stabbing him in the neck, of matricide, and final suicide. And Helen was in an almost permanent state of sedation! It's no wonder Two only wanted to escape in the end. But of course to be able to escape Two required someone he could hand The Village over to, a new Two, and in this regard Two demonstrated his brilliant manipulation of both Six and 313. And thinking of 313, I didn't take to her other self at all. Because the abused in time, becomes the abuser! But Six saved 313, who saved Six by giving herself to him, and effectively together they saved The Village and all those people. But back in New York, how can one possibly convince someone that they are, like Michael, living a parallel life both in New York and The Village, as Michael tried to convince his driver 147.
   They threw everything they could at Six, loathing, love, death, yet he still resisted, and Six only gave in at the end only to save 313 from herself. Six did the right thing, because he's in love with his own humanity, and that's what gave him to Two. But whether or not the new Two can possibly make a better Village remains to be seen.
  All in all I can say without any doubt whatsoever, that I thoroughly enjoyed the reinterpretation of THEPRIS6NER, and at some point I'll be watching the series again. Two said that The Village is inside all of us, if that's the case I wouldn't mind a fortnight's leave there. When you look at the world at large, I find it difficult to understand why anyone would wish to leave The Village. Two had to escape becasue he realised that life there wasn't how it was planned to be, and I suppose that could be said of all of us. His son didn't turn out to be the son he wanted, and everyday must have been a torment for him, having to keep his wife sedated, only able to spend short periods of time with his wife in a conscious state of mind. Before having to sedate her again. So Two had Michael brought to The Village to replace him, and that was the intention all along. And towards the end it became a question of survival for both Six and 313 who wanted to save each other, at any price. And the price was each other, and the price paid was the Village!

Many Happy Returns
    It states in the original script of this episode, that Edgar is a "ruddy computer." That we fed in everything you gave us sir, meaning the Colonel, with all the variables, it came up with a possibilty, this while calculating the search area for the village. This reads like the computer in which No.2 had researched and computed the Prisoner's whole life in A B & C!

It’s Inexplicable!
   The way in which No.6 looks up to see a figure looking down at him from the Bell tower, that morning of the Prisoner's arrival in the village. I mean, the Prisoner was quick enough to get round to the other side of the Bell tower - to climb the Bell Tower but for there to be absolutely no sign of the figure he saw - where did that figure go so quickly, and who’s job was it to manhandle that statue right o the top of the Bell tower in the first place?!

Be seeing you

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Village Life!

   "Thanks for that mate! I only wanted a lift..................Yeah and you!"

BCNU

A favourite Scene In The Prisoner

    No.93's confession in 'A Change of Mind,' see how much better he feels after confessing that they're right, quite right, that he's inadequate, inadequate! Well they do say that confession is good for the soul.
Click on the link below to watch 93's confession

http://youtu.be/Ged045qQxoY

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!

    The stainless steel electronic eye that orbits the Control Room, as No.1 maintains a quiet surveillance eye on his subordinates. And it was when I looked at it yesterday, that I saw a likeness to the head of Gort!
    Gort being the robot in the 1951 film 'The day The Earth Stood Still.
    And I couldn't help but see the similarity between the steel eye, and the heed of Gort when his visor opens.

BCNU

Analysis - Survival

    When not trying to escape the village, which to be perfectly honest wasn't all that often, our No.6 was occupied in ensuring his survival, retaining his individuality and hampering the village authorities in any shape or form he could and at any given opportunity as during The General. As well as coming to the aid of damsels in distress as with Monique-No.50 in Its Your Funeral, aiding Alison-No.24 during The Schizoid Man with her mind reading act and avenging the death of No.73 in Hammer Into Anvil.
    No.6 had to survive all the 15 tests put to him, and having survived the "ultimate test" of Once Upon a Time No.6 then went on to be no longer referred to as No.6 or indeed any number at all, having vindicated the right of the individual to be individual, and finally to meet No.1 during Fall Out.
    But before all that could happen No.6 had to fight to retain the individuality which the village authorities wanted to strip from him. However, more than that, No.6 also had to fight to maintain the secret of his resignation as No.2 in Arrival "they want to know why you suddenly resigned," The Chimes of Big Ben "I resigned because for a very long time.....," A B & C, The Schizoid Man, A Change of Mind "the trivia, the trivia of your resignation!" The Girl Who Was Death "you'd think he might give something away!" and Once Upon a Time "tell me boy, why did you resign?" At other times "they" tried to break No.6, as in Free for All, The Schizoid Man, Dance of the Dead {although here No.2 tried to win No.6 over}, Hammer Into Anvil, and Living In Harmony. But during Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, it was simply a question of survival, of being able to have No.6's mind reunited with that of his body back in the village!
    But the Prisoner-No.6 may have won through in the end, however he was still a Prisoner and never escaped the village. Oh he returned to London alright, as did the ex-No.2 and the Butler along with his new master. But what did the Prisoner do, he jumped straight back into his Lotus 7 and drove off just for it all to begin all over again in some kind of vicious circle! Cue dark clouds.....cue thunder.....cue music.......
    It has been a theory of some, that No.6 was not No.1 at all, No.1 actually being the person of the Butler! How some fans arrived at such a conclusion is because upon their arrival back in London and more back home at No 1 Buckingham Place, Westminster, it is the Butler who enters the house, as the front door opens electronically with that oh so ever familiar hum, and just because the front door has the No.1 upon it......... well you know what peoples imaginations are like.
     On the whole it might appear that the Prisoner-No.6 was continually trying to escape the village, he wasn't, nor were the village authorities hard on No.6 in the extreme, as in the case of Roland Walter Dutton during Dance of the Dead, No.8-the white Queen in checkmate, or the rook-No.58 or worse, the "Lobo" man in A Change of Mind and other such poor souls in the hospital. No real harm was brought upon No.6, "We mustn't damage the tissue!" "This man has a future with us!" Although at times No.2 did want to go further, not caring if No.6 had a future here in the village or not! During A B & C No.2 wanted to gain the reason for No.6's resignation, believing he was going to sell out, even if it cost No.6 his life, and if it did No.2 would worry about that later! And in Free for All "Will you never learn... this is only the beginning..... We have many ways and means but we don't wish to damage you permanently.... Are you ready to talk?" No.2 of The Schizoid Man wanted to see No.6 break, also in Living In Harmony if only broken in his mind. And the sadistic side of No.2 in Hammer Into Anvil was going to "hammer" No.6! But it wasn't just No.2, the doctor-No.22 of Checkmate would have enjoyed, I'm sure, finding No.6's breaking point, and also that of her predecessor the doctor-No.40 "Everyman has his breaking point!"
    I can only add that if the matter of the Prisoners resignation was so important to the village authorities, why didn't they simply use a truth drug on No.6, or simply obtain his letter of resignation which he handed in so forcibly and with much anger?

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    If Number 6 and Number 1 Are One And The Same Then surely the village administration already knew why the Prisoner resigned, which when you think about it, makes a mockery of the whole thing!

He Really Was Going On Holiday!
  Well the Prisoner told Engadine as much " Somewhere different, somewhere quiet, where I can think." Makes you think of Portmeirion doesn't it, well it does me. So was this an in-joke on the part of Patrick McGoohan? Possibly not, as I understand he didn't care for so called  in-jokes!

   The undertaker types, those "Top Hat" officials seen in the Prisoner series. Could they be the original "Men In Black?"

Looking Back
   In some of the Prisoner based magazines which have been produced over the years, I found many, many articles written and hundreds of questions asked on the subject of the Prisoner. The vast majority of questions have logic behind them, others are either deep reaching, or are a triviality. Whilst others are bizarre to say the least. Like the one "How On earth did No.6, and the Judges men ride cardboard cut-out horses? Well the fact of the matter is..... they didn’t'!

Be seeing you....... Giddy up horsey!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Prisoner Under The Spotlight

   In his first electoral speech, No.6 begins by making the electorate laugh, "I'm not a number, I'm a person" says he. He goes on to tell it like it is, "At some time, in some place, all of you held a position of a secret nature, and had knowledge that was invaluable to an enemy. The candidate goes on to say that like him, the citizens in the Village are here to have that knowledge protected, or extracted! But then he goes on about accepting their situation of imprisonment, and dying there like "rotten cabages," Just how do rotten cabbages die, I've never known! And then No.6 goes on about those who have gone over to the side of their keepers, and tells the electorate that he intends to discover them, which is which? How many of each? He asks who is standing next to them now? He intended to discover them, who are the prisoners, and who the warders. Well as we know he did eventually find out who some of the warders are, and some of the prisoners, little good it did him!
   So let us move on to his second electoral speech, the one given from the top of the forecastle of the Stoneboat. "There are those who come in here and deny that we can supply every conceivable, civilised amenity within our boundaries." He must be making reference to those "special imports" the Village enjoys from time to time. Like LP records, cameras, and Cuckoo Clocks! He goes on to tell the citizens that they can enjoy themselves, "and you will" {whether you want to or not}, that you can partake in the most hazardous sports and you will {again whether you like it or not} and he could be talking about Kosho, that's definiately a hazardous sport if I've ever seen one. And for all this, the price is cheap, all the citizens have to do in exchange, is give us information, No.6 is already sounding like No.2, he even offers the possibility of promotion to perhaps more attractive spheres. He teases the electorate by asking them where do they desire to go? When he knows perfectly well that the citizens are going nowhere, therefore it is an empty electoral promise! He asked the electorate what has been their dream, and he tells them that he can supply it, in winter, spring, summer or fall, shouldn't that be autumn instead of fall? Americans use the word fall for autumn, that casts a slight shadow over No.6 nationality. But in any case, if we apply to No.6, it will be easier and better. Possibly meaning that life will be easier on the prisoners, and that No.6 will find a better way in the Village! But for me, it's that talking about enjoying yourselves and you will, that you can partake of the most hazardous sports and you will, sounds threatening, don't you think?

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Thought For The Day

    'Once Upon A Time,' or 'Degree Absolute' as was the episode's original title. It's the ultimate test which the President said No.6 had survived. In this episode No.6 is put through yet another ordeal, that of Degree Absolute, a recognised method, used in pshycoanalysis. The patient must come to trust his doctor, sometimes in extreme cases, they change places. That is a risk. So I've a mind that No.6 was not the only one being put to the test!

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Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

Entitled                               "Nadia"

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Is No.1 Mad? asks our own reporter

    As we discovered in Fall Out No.1 turned out to be the alter ego of No.6 all the time. A Mr Hyde to No.6's Dr. Jekyll, if you prefer. There is good and evil in all of us, and we cannot live without either, remove the evil other self and we are the weaker for it. The evil side helps us make those difficult decisions we might prefer not to have to make. And the good, to keep in check that side of us which would do evil to others, well that's the principle of the idea, it doesn't always work as history has proved, it is so easy to give into our "darker side."
    But what about those masks worn by No.1 which No.6 had to remove to reveal the face behind the mask, the mad, cackling face of No.1. The black and white mask could be representative of those faceless men, as of the members of the assembly seen during Fall Out, who are supposed to govern us so wisely! The ape mask, a form of representative regression, or was No.1 simply monkeying around?

    So if No.1 was No.6 all the time, then No.2 must surely have been aware of this. After all No.2 spoke to No.1 on the telephone often enough. And that brings us nicely to that moment during Hammer Into Anvil when the broken No.2 begs No.6, who he sees to be a "plant" sent to spy on him and the village, not to report him. "I don't intend to. You are going to report yourself." But had No.6 taken the opportunity afforded to him to actually speak with No.1, then who's voice would he hear? Presumably his own, but then the secret of who No.1 was, would be revealed, if at that time McGoohan knew who No.1 was, which I seriously doubt. Because even by the time of Fall Out no one knew who No.1 would turn out to be, least of all Patrick McGoohan. Some of the production crew thought it would turn out to be Lew Grade, Sir Lew Grade as in later years he became. And why should any of the production crew think Lew Grade would turn out to be No.1? Well because he controlled ATV, and no ITC television series was made without Lew's say so. He did the deals, everyone at the time wanted to work for Lew Grade....... but as we know that is not how things turned out inside the control room of that rocket. It was in fact No.6 alter ego who was No.1, his alter ego, his evil side which he was trying to beat, or at least subdue!

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The Therapy Zone

Do You Think that’s Wise Sir?
   Involving No.6 in the assassination plot in this way? And since when has the village administration needed an excuse to punish the citizens? Mass reprisals of innocent citizens for the supposed assassination of a retiring No.2, sounds more like a purge to me. The removal of troublesome people. The removal of persons who are believed to be disloyal  from an organisation, just like Uncle Joe Stalin and his number of purges of those around him who he felt he could no longer trust!
   Mass reprisals, against the citizens. I wonder if No.6 was to have been amongst their number?

If He Will Answer One Simple Question The Rest Will Follow
    Well that was the idea which No.2 had at the beginning of the Chimes of Big Ben. The exact same idea as one of his predecessors  -No.2 of Arrival, who carried out the debriefing of the Prisoner on the morning of his arrival in the village. No.2 thought that if he could get the Prisoner to voluntarily give the time of his birth, to answer one simple question in fact, that the rest would then follow.

No.2 "One likes to know everything, for instance I had no idea that you liked lemon tea."
The Prisoner, looking at a page in his file: "The time of my birth is missing."
No.2: "Well there you are, now lets bring it all up to date."
The Prisoner: "4.31 am 19th of march 1928, I've nothing to say, is that clear... absolutely nothing!"
No.2: "Now be reasonable old boy, it's just a matter of time. Sooner or later you'll tell me, sooner or later you'll want to. Lets make a deal, you co-operate, tell us what we want to know. This can be a very nice place, you may even be given a position of authority."
the Prisoner: "I will not make any deals with you, I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own."
No.2 "Is it?"
The Prisoner: "Yes, you won't hold me.
   It was a nice idea of No.2's, but it was as successful for him, as it would be for his successor two No.2 of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’

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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Prisoner On The Big Screen!

   The news that The Prince Charles Cinema in London has aquired the theatrical rights to the 1960's television series 'the Prisoner.' The above was in my email inbox this morning from ChristineB. The cinema is looking for suggestions as to how the series should be presented. Although I don't think a 24 hour, or even two 12 hour marathons would be a good idea, after all, why rush a good thing? A bi-weekly would seem favourite, I think I'll drop the cinema an email.

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Quote For The Day

    "I'll fix it Number Six, so that you become aware that deliberate destruction of official property is a most serious offence. I must recommend the full penalty. It could be imprisonment, it could be a fine."
                                     {No.12 - The General}
   So where's the prison within the prison? I can think of only one, solitary confinement!

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Teabreak Teaser

    The Penny Farthing can face either way on a Village badge, either to the right or to the left. Could there be a reason behind it? Or is it simply that the one badge simply mirrors the other?

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Prismatic Reflection

    The Prisoner isn’t a difficult series to comprehend, not if you keep it simple, or treat it simply as an action adventure series, or a spy series such as a sequel to ‘Danger Man.’ Sometimes the simple answers to ‘the Prisoner’ are the best answers, the tricky bit comes when you try and solve the conundrum. It has been said, that the more you look at ‘the Prisoner,’ or the deeper you delve into the series, the more complicated, the more ambiguous it becomes.
    I remember once when I was studying one aspect of ‘the Prisoner,’ I forget what it was, there have been so many. But I remember how I was led down one particular avenue, and that was fine, until the avenue split, and I ended up going along a different avenue, which took me far away from the original subject I was researching in the first place! It was like “File Number six, subsection six, paragraph five, back to the beginning!”
    Or then I would probably retrace my steps back to the junction, and take the other avenue, to follow it to it’s ultimate conclusion. Then at a later date, find my way back to the junction, and turn left instead of right. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you start out with a fixed idea of trying to resolve a matter within ‘the Prisoner’ series, you do not always end up where you think you will. Such is the series’ diversity and complexity, of this particular conundrum.
    It has been both said and written that ‘the Prisoner’ is a timeless series. Personally I think it could have happened yesterday, it might have happened today, or worse of all, it could happen tomorrow. But really, the question has never really been asked, as far as I know that is, just how timeless is ‘the Prisoner?’ I mean all you have to do is look at the cars and vehicles in the
London streets that actually date ‘the Prisoner’ to the 1960’s. So perhaps not quite so timeless after all. Ah, but then there is the Village, that’s a totally different kettle of fish. The Village is not only timeless, being difficult to date, but also it could be anywhere! There is very little, if anything at all to date the Village. Yes, there is The Tally Ho newspaper you say. But only one issue has a date, Feb 10th, but no year is indicated. Well what about the Village taxi, the Mini-Moke? Well there are such vehicles today, the Mini-Moke gives no date for the Village, they could be new vehicles, or old! Once you are in the Village, you could be at any time, in almost any place, such is it’s mixture of architecture.
    New arrivals to the Village, I wonder………………I wonder if they speak to other citizens about what is happening in the outside world? Or indeed, citizens ask new arrivals about the outside world? After all Roland Walter Dutton asked No.6 about
London. True he didn’t get much of an answer “About the same” No.6 told him. And those born of the Village, lets be honest, anyone who doesn’t believe that sex does not take place in the Village must be in a world of their own.
    So what do those citizens born of the Village, think of the outside world, should they hear two people talking about it? To them the outside world would be completely alien to them. From busy city traffic to supermarkets. From skyscrapers to films and cinema.
    In ‘Fall Out’ the Village was evacuated. Where would the population of the Village be evacuated to? They just couldn’t allow the citizens, captive of, or born to the Village to roam free. Think of the adjustment citizens born of the Village would have to make to being in the outside world, full of wonders to them as it might be. There would be the noise for one thing, then the hustle and bustle of busy life for another, which they would certainly not be suited to.
    You may remember that in the early 1960’s the remote island of
Tristan da Cunha, had top be evacuated in a hurry because of an erupting volcano. The islanders came to Britain. It was a completely alien environment, like nothing they had ever experienced.
   I recall when I first stayed as a guest in Portmeirion in the September of 1988. I deliberately remained in the Village, in isolation from the outside world so to speak for four days, again I wanted to follow in Pat McGoohan‘s footsteps. Eventually when I did leave the Village to go into Portmadog, the noise and bustle in contrast to the peaceful atmosphere of Portmeirion, of the Village, even after that short time was astonishing, and took a little getting used to again.
    And yet, there is another Village, the Village of the mind. The mind of the subconscious, which we carry around with us each and every day. We each fill our Village with all kinds of information and images. We put people in it, people we see everyday, or every so often. Some of the people we know, others are strangers. Sometimes animals appear in our Village, if not, then perhaps it’s because you are not allowed animals, it might be against the rules! We fill our Village with experiences. Likes, dislikes. Hate, loathing, love, and desire. We can never leave our Village, and the only escape comes to us through death.

I’ll be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

"It's Good Agricultural Stuff"
    No.6 is heard to say during the fencing scene of The Schizoid Man and went on to say "But would hardly have got you my place on the Olympic team."
    Well this is all fine and dandy, but don't forget it's not No.6 who is saying this, but Curtis-No.12, the man who is impersonating No.6. So when he says "But it would hardly have got you my place on the Olympic team," of 1960 presumably, I wonder who is saying it? The Man Curtis himself, or is Curtis saying on the part of the man he is impersonating - No.6 - which of them was on that Olympic team do you think?
   And that's a curious turn of phrase "It's good agricultural stuff," I wonder where that comes from? Looks like I've got some more digging to do!

   It's a cunning plan when you stop and think about it, this "Plan Division Q" lark. To get No.6 to give such an assassination plan credibility, then to film him whilst warning the interim No.2 about such an assassination plot against him. Then to edit that film in order to discredit him when it comes to No.2 having returned from his spell of leave. This so that the real plan will not be believed, it's quite brilliant really.
    But it's a lot of rigmarole isn't it? I mean why not just kill the man and have done with it? And at the end who has benefited? Only those innocent citizens, saved from the mass reprisals of the new No.2, but of course they'll never know. Nor will they know that it was No.6, along with No.50-Monique, who saved them from suffering those mass reprisals to have been carried out against them.
    There are two losers, the new No.2, what his ultimate fate might have been we have no way of knowing, only the fact that we never see him again. And No.100, who gave his assurance regarding "Plan Division Q." It was his lack of force which did not prevent No.6 from attaining the explosive detonator taken from the Watchmaker-No.51, which ultimately saw the failure of "Plan Division Q." But ultimately it would be the new No.2 who would have to pay the price. So it is possible that No.100 kept his position, although he is another who we do not see again in the village.

How Many Colonels Make The Prisoner?
    4 actually. There's Fotheringay and the Colonel in The Chimes of Big Ben. Thorpe and the Colonel of ‘Many Happy Returns.’ The cricketing Colonel in The Girl Who Was Death, plus Arthur and the Colonel mentioned by Dutton in the Dance of the Dead.

    On the evening of ‘Dance of the Dead,’ the French door leading out onto the balcony of No.6's cottage, 6 private, had been left unlocked. An oversight, or an open invitation?

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Village Life!

   No.2 "You say Number Six was listening to this record."
   No.112 "Yes sir."
   "Mmmmm, I didn't realise he likes Bix Beiderbecke!"

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Pictorial Prisoner


 

The Butcher, the Baker, and the Candlestick Maker? Who were they? Well Brendan Bull is Brendan Stafford who was director of photography throughout the entire series of 'the Prisoner.' David Dough is David Tomblin producer on all 'the Prisoner' episodes. And Leonard Snuffit is Len Harris Camera Operator. This is one of the in-jokes that occasionally appear in 'the Prisoner,' which Pat McGoohan didn't usually approve of, unless of course they happened to be his in-jokes!

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Thought For the day

    Why was No.2 given a second chance? Because in ‘A B and C’ the failure was not his alone! In ‘Once Upon a Time’ No.2 is a good man who is worth risking. But primarily because during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ this particular No.2 struck up a relationship with No.6, enjoying a rapport together, something which would be a necessity during 'Decree Absolute" – ‘Once Upon a Time.’
    So it would seem that No.24 was right. There are second chances for the lucky ones!

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A Crisis of Identity!

        After Patrick McGoohan left Switzerland for America he finally settled down in California, where he lived unil his death in 2013. In 1975 he appeared in a Columbo episode entitled Identity Crisis in which he plays Nelson Brenner a top operative for the CIA, but who is also a double agent who commits murder on a beach beneath a pier, killing a fellow operative and making it look like a mugging, but inadvertently leaves several clues for Detective Inspector Columbo to follow, well clues which no one but Columbo would pick up on. The two halves of a broken poker chip, a photograph taken of Brenner and "Geronimo" an operative Brenner was meeting under the pier and the fact that the victims jacket had been removed!
    Nelson Brenner has a cover approved by the CIA as a speech writing consultant, and a successful one at that.  Needless to say Columbo confronts Nelson Brenner at his mansion home, whilst enjoying fine wine, food and a Cuban cigar to Madame Butterfly, which incidentally is Mrs. Columbo's favourite music.
    In my humble opinion ‘Identity Crisis’ is by far and away the best of the Columbo episodes featuring Patrick McGoohan, probably because of the Prisoner connection. Because it seems, even by 1975 Patrick McGoohan still hasn't managed to get the Prisoner out of his system, little things like wearing deck shoes in certain scenes, a blue zip up anorak as of the type No.6 wore during The Chimes of Big Ben and the frequent use of the phrase "I'll be seeing you" "Be seeing you" "Well, I'll be seeing you."
    Indeed Identity Crisis enjoys an unmistakable Prisoner feel to it, and that has to be laid at the feet of McGoohan himself. So he's only got himself to blame when the Prisoner won't go away!

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The Therapy Zone

    ‘The Chimes of Big Ben saw both No.6 and Nadia sealed up together in a crate for twelve hours. If that had been me landing in the Colonel's office after such a long journey, I wouldn't want to go straight into an interview with the Colonel, it would be the toilet for me! {Ah, but then hero's don't sweat, nor do they feel the need to go to the toilet!} Hang on a minute, the Prisoner perspires all the time, you can se it on the re-masterd vidoes and DVD's during the close-up shots, and the Prisoner is supposed to be a hero! {Hero or anti-hero?} Now you're just being difficult! {No I'm not. John Drake was your boyhood hero, so why not the Prisoner?} It depends upon whose side your on. {I'm on our side!} Didn't the Prisoner admit to that when he paid a call on the new No.2 during the episode of Arrival? He's on leave.{On leave, no one goes on leave from the Village!} Number 2, the retiring Number 2 that is, went on leave halfway through his term of office. He left his heir presumptive in charge, not to mention the other interim No.2's.
    And regarding the retiring No.2 of Its Your Funeral. When No.6 came to pay a call on number 2 that morning, he stormed into the office and said "I want to see Number 2." The man sitting behind his oval desk informs the visitor "I am Number 2." On his previous visit to see Number 2 only the day before, it was an interim No.2 who No.6 met, the retiring No.2's heir presumptive. But that does not take into account that No.6 did not seem to recognise the retiring No.2 sat behind his desk in his office, otherwise No.6 would not have asked to see No.2!

    Those Juke Boxes along that passageway, one of which used to be found in my local cafe back in the seventies. Were they all really playing that Beatles song "All You Need Is Love?" If they were, they’d have had to have been started at the exact same moment! And while we are on the subject of that underground passage way. The Butler, he seems to know more about what's going on than he lets on. I mean how come he's got the key to the welcome door? I've just watched the footage of the three of them walking along that underground passage way, and I didn't see the supervisor hand that key to him. So the butler must have had the key in his pocket it all the time. Which only confirms to me that the Butler knows much more about the village and what goes on than he admits to. Not that the butler admits to anything!

    The exploding lighthouse as seen in ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ is actually stock-footage from Thunderbirds.

   Some would have it that the Prisoner is some kind of hero. Others see him as a rebel in the way he rejects the village. Yet there can be no doubt that the Prisoner is a man of violence, violence which he takes to extremes causing bloody and murderous revolution and insurrection of ‘Fall Out!’

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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Thought For The Day

    I like the symbolism regarding what Dutton said, that he told them all he knew, he didn't have access to the vital stuff. The irony being was, they didn’t believe him! I used to wonder what people and fans of the series would have thought, had Pat McGoohan explained all he could about ‘the Prisoner,’ and would that have been enough for us? Somehow I don’t think so, I would have probably contradicted him for a start, even if only on the grounds that alter egos of self cannot physically meet! I'm sure that even if Pat McGoohan had explained the series, fans would have dissected his explanations, as well as the series itself. I couldn’t see people, fans of ‘the Prisoner’ simply accepting McGoohan’s explanations. Yet on the other hand, I know of some fans who idolised McGoohan so much, that they would have believed, and swallowed every word he said, and have done without question! McGoohan did tell us a little of his creation, but the rest he left to us to arrive at our own conclusions. I just don’t think he expected us to be still doing it almost 46 years after the event!
    We didn't think McGoohan would  have handed explanations of 'the Prisoner' on a plate did we? We wouldn't have expected him to, would we?

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Caught On Camera!

    Of all the entrants, and exhibitionists in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition, the most chosen subject is that of No.2. A bit creepy crawlie I should have said. However nonetheless for that, the artists have depicted No.2 in different guises. As No.2, in shirt and tie, and as a classical actor, possibly as Sir Roger Delisle in 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' 1955, a role played by Leo McKern, as seen below.
I cannot but help think, that there is a similarity between the above picture, and the two picture below.
   All of the items in the exhibition, were created by members of the production crew working on 'the Prisoner,' and some by their chidren.

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