At the outset it seems that the episode ‘Many Happy Returns’ presents No.6 with the perfect escape, albeit a dangerous escape attempt on a raft as he sets out to sea, such is our daring, adventurous, and somewhat intrepid hero.
The Village was deserted, but I don't think the citizens were on their "democratic annual outing." Still drugged, and fast asleep in their cottages for an inordinately length of time, and again for the Prisoners return to the Village.
There seems little point in this episode, it gives little away about the village itself, and viewed on its own one gets little information about the series which can be gleened from other episodes. Yet there is a point to ‘Many Happy Returns,’ its a risky business, but it demonstrates to No.6 that there is no escape from the village, and that there is nowhere No.6 can go, that he cannot be returned to the village. Mind you, No.6 was fairly predictable in the way he went running back to his ex-colleagues for their help, and this in turn helped the village extract No.6 back to the Village.
The story line doesn't stand up to close scrutiny, spending 25 days at sea, with 4 hours sleep out of each 24, is very improbable, as is the sea voyage itself. A rough sea and it would all be over in a trice, and No.6 dead and drowned in the process. Well we have M.S. Polotska and her crew, under the guise of two gun runners, to thank for the rescue of No.6 for that. Well you didn't think the village Administration would allow No.6 to set sail on such a dangerous voyage without some kind of rescue mission should No.6 get into difficulties did you?
And then there was the possibility of actually discovering the location of the village, not exact, but at least we know it could be on the coast of south of
, South West Portugal, or Spain . Morocco
One thing does stand out in this episode, and that No.6 is shown an act of kindness by a young gypsy woman in the mug of broth or tea he is given. The first genuine act of kindness since his abduction to the village in fact.
And No.6 takes it all in his stride, the fact that there's this woman - Mrs. Butterworth ensconced in his home, that she's driving his car, that Mrs. Butterowrth allows him to borrow his own car! and then to be extracted and returned to the village with this same woman, Mrs. Butterowrth, as No.2. with that smarmy smile on her face, and the cake she promised to bake him. Yes No.6 takes it all in his stride, and without any show of anger.
No.6 is an old, old friend who never gives up. And in that he is his own worst enemy.
Have You Ever Noticed
How it is that the Prisoner quickly eats his way through that plate of sandwiches at Mrs. Butterworth's home? Yes I know he's hungry, mind you those triangular sandwiches of Martha's are quite dainty, with the crusts cut off, and little filling. Its no wonder the Prisoner quickly polished them off, the fruit cake as well. The best fruitcake he had ever tasted, well I bet his fiancé, Janet Portland, wasn't much of a cook, or at baking cakes!
And that's another curious thing. Once the Prisoner had arrived back in
in Many Happy Returns, he went straight back to his home. A house to which he had no key, so presumably he was going to break in. But thankfully Mrs. Butterworth arrived just in time to invite him in! But then, after a wash and shave, the borrowing of some of dear Arthur's clothes, Arthur being Mrs. Butterworth's late husband. The Prisoner then has the lend of his own kar, as he has two calls to make, one in town, and the other in the country. But what of his fiancé Janet Portland, and her farther Sir Charles Portland for whom the Prisoner had previously worked, before he resigned? The Prisoner never went to see them did he, why not? had he done so, the prisoner just might have played a safer bet! Well possibly because of his single-mindedness, in wanting answer, answers to his questions, as to where the village is, which side runs the village, and would he be able to find it again? London
Well he did, and now he's No,6 once more!
Just one more thing brought to mind by my wife a moment ago, in the episode of ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ the heir presumptive-No.2 ordered that a daily prognosis report be carried out on No.6. Well is it possible that a likewise prognosis was carried out on No.6 before they allowed the events of ‘Many Happy Returns’ to unfold? In this way the actions of No.6 would be, to some extent predicted, and in that "they" would have a reasonable estimation of the action to be taken by No.6 at any given time, as in the daily prognosis report of ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ This together with No.6's predictability of course.
Be seeing you