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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Out Of The Unknown!

   We are all aware of the complexities of the most incomprehensible episode of 'the Prisoner' series 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,' basically "Do we know where Seltzman is?" The Prisoner's mind is cleared of all unpleasant memories of the Village, and that his mind is transferred with that of the Colonel's. So that when the Prisoner wakes up back in his house in London, it is in the body of the Colonel. The Prisoner has to find Professor Seltzman, and hope he has perfected the reversal prosess of his mind transferrance process.
   Nigel Stock is Number Six, and Hugo Schuster is Professor Seltzman. It is quite a coincidence that these two actors should meet up in an episode of 'the Prisoner,' as they had done previously in 1966 for an episode of the television series 'Out of The unknown' called 'Second Childhood.'

Out of The Unknown - Second Childhood

    In a game-show of the near future, sixty-year-old Charles Dennistoun (Nigel Stock) has won the “prize beyond price” – a unique course of treatment resulting in complete physical rejuvenation. Travelling to an exclusive clinic in the Swiss Alps to receive his treatment, Dennistoun meets with the brilliant but aged creator of the rejuvenation process, Dr Gerard Keppler (Hugo Shuster)…
     Keppler is uses the metaphor of a clock running backwards to describe the process. Looking at the clock on the wall of Keppler’s office, the Doctor asks Charles to imagine the small wheel turning slowly inside the mechanism. Keppler pictures how this wheel could be stopped and then spun in the opposite direction. When it reaches 9am
, it could be stopped again and the procedure reversed – the clock would move forward once more, but now it would be morning, with the long summer’s day ahead of them.
    Charles protests that this would only be an illusion, since for other people it would still be the middle of the afternoon. Keppler asks whether Charles is bothered about “what the time is for other people”, to which Charles gives a hesitant “No”.
    Keppler goes on to state how the treatment will consist of exposure to a form of radiation. When Charles asks whether this would be all that the treatment entails, Keppler notes that there will also be a “great many injections”.
    At this point, Odile Keppler ( the Doctor’s wife ), who has already undergone the rejuvenation process and looks to be about 28, enters the room breezily and says: “I’m ready if the patient is”
    Anaesthetised Charles is sealed off inside the ‘radiation room’ and monitored closely by Keppler and Odile. The soundtrack features the Radiophonic effects composed for the production, and has no dialogue apart from Keppler’s request to Odile to have Charles’s “Heart X-ray” displayed on a monitor screen.
    Charles is discussing the post-operative changes in his body with Odile. The latter tells Charles that his ‘selected age’ (the age determined by the rejuvenation process ) will be that of thirty years.
    Charles muses on this: “Thirty eh?… could be worse, couldn’t it? A lot worse”. Odile states that this is a good age for a man, and asks whether Charles was a handsome man when he was thirty. Charles shrugs and says that it is hard for him to catch himself, in his mind, at any particular point in his life.

   This is indeed an intriguing coincidence, and it was brought to my attention my friend Simon.W. Unfortunately the episode 'Second Childhood' no longer exists, but somewhere on the Internet there are three audio extracts.

 Be seeing you

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