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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Village!

    It lies abandoned and uncared for. Long since evacuated it has lain neglected and deserted for these past 47 years. Fallen into dereliction, windows have been blown in, roofs have collapsed, doors and window frames rotted away. The undergrowth has reclaimed the land, and has overgrown many decaying buildings. Ivy clings to the walls of the Bell Tower. There’s a hole in the dome of what was once Number 2’s residence. 6 Private is all but demolished! The tree that was leaning towards the cottage finally came crashing down in a storm one night when the wind blew high in the month of February. The interior then open to the elements helped rot the furniture. The paintings and walls covered in mildew. Fungus sprouts from the once well polished wood of the writing bureau.
    The roads and paths that run through The Village now overgrown and indistinguishable. Japanese knotweed is a recent invader of The Village, it grows through the concrete of the central Piazza. The water in the pool green, yet teaming with life. Water beetles, pond skaters, frog spawn and the like. Signposts still stand. Their plastic candy striped canopies discoloured, as are the black and white striped poles. The loudspeakers of the public address system stand silent, no longer playing music, or presenting public announcements.
   Down by the quayside the once proud Stone boat, which was always good in any weather, de-masted. The prow of the vessel snapped off in a gale like a branch from a tree, and long since rotted away in the water. On the lawn of the Old People’s home, lie the overturned tables, with their colourful plastic canopies un-rotted but discoloured.   There’s no-one around, no overhead sound of the helicopter, only that of seagulls. No-one comes to The Village anymore. And yet, and yet…….out there across the sand! A spherical shaped object rolling and bounding across the beach. It would seem, it would seem, that a Guardian had been left to oversee The Village, and is it’s sole occupant.
   It would appear that no-one has ever returned to the place referred to as The Village, and why would they? There’s nothing there of any great importance, and yet why the need for a spectre, this Guardian to have been set to guard over The Village? It would suggest that there is somewhere within its boundaries, something someone thinks to be worth protecting. Whatever can it be?

Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    Number 14 had a secret laboratory somewhere in the woods. Might it not have been a good idea for a secret laboratory to be located on the island in the estuary? That’s where I put one in my film ‘Village Day,’ not that it was any more secure than that in the woods. Number 6 still managed to get over to the island, despite the protection of the Guardian. I just thought that seeing as the island was a feature, it should be made use of.
   It was a pity about Number 14, coerced the way she was into using her new drug sooner than she wanted. It didn’t appear that she wanted to use Number 6 as a guinea pig. In fact at the end, 14 seemed quite pleased that Number 6 had won, she said he knew all the time, and that he was playing with Number 2. Mind you, if 14 had reported to Number 2 that 6 had opened his eyes while lying on that operating table and actually saw her……. Well things might have turned out differently. But as it happens Number 6 did lay a clue down for Number 2, when he told him that he had a favourite doctor, Number 14. Which Number 2 did pick up on, judging by the reaction on his face, but didn’t comment.


Be seeing you

What’s My Next Assignment?

    The Colonel will give Fotheringay his orders when he returns to London, if the Colonel is able to return to London that is. It might be that the blame for the failure to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, could be laid at the feet of the Colonel himself. And that might be a good enough reason to keep him in The Village.
    As for Fotheringay, I expect he’s signed the official secrets act and would know the penalty of talking about ‘The Village. He himself might have once found himself an inmate, and like a number of others, was allowed to leave. His next assignment, what might that be? Working for The Village perhaps, doing what? Fothringay might be a congenial, affable fellow, but he works for British Intelligence, and they can be a back stabbing devious bunch. Don’t forget he knew exactly what he had got himself into, and was a willing participant, who actively, and cold heartedly, betrayed an old colleague, friend even. And during the “Alternative” Chimes of Big Ben, Fotheringay even claimed to have gone to school with the Prisoner-Number 6! Fotheringay is no better than any of them, because he allowed himself to be corrupted by The Village.
    What happened to Fotheringay? Well perhaps he was too late to avoid those so called “embarrassing” questions. Certainly by ‘Many Happy Returns,’ both he and the Colonel had been replaced.


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Village Observation

    Having been given a second term of office after the failure to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation in ‘A B and C,’ Number 2 then missed out on a great opportunity not afforded to his predecessors. This to programme the General with all that research into Number 6’s life which Number 2 had carried out for ‘A B and C,’ and ask it why Number 6 resigned. Seeing as how there is no question the General cannot answer, given the basic facts. The General might come back with, Number 6 resigned because for a very long time…… No, that’s been done before.
    But of course this had all been done before, Number 6’s life had been researched and computed, and look what it boiled down to, the fact that he believed Number 6 was going to sell out! Whatever gave Number 2 reason to believe that?
    Perhaps it had occurred to Number 2 to ask the General why Number 6 resigned, remembering that Number 6 was not Number 2’s remit this time round. Besides which, Number 2 got it wrong last time in ‘A B & C,’ he certainly wouldn’t want anything to go wrong a second time.
    And yet had ‘The General’ appeared before that of ‘A B and C’ in the series as suggested by the library order of the series, then the General would have been destroyed before the advent of 'A B and C,’ completely ruling out the possibility of the above!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                         "Escape To Where?"
                           "The Village Perhaps!"
BcNu

Teabreak Teaser

    DNFOMD - how long was ZM73 in London after having returned to his home?

BCNU

Why 6?

    It just seems right somehow. Well we wouldn’t have wanted Number 243, 44, or 72. Number 6 seems to roll of the tongue easily, that could be one reason, it has a nice sound to it.
    I read recently in the book ‘George Markstein and The Prisoner’ Edited by Roger Goodman, which was sent to me at Christmas by a good friend, that they had placed so much importance upon the Prisoner, that they showed it by placing him as Number 6 within the hierarchy of The Village. It went on to say the number could easily have been 8 or 5, as it was easy to say a single figure. It suggested that the Prisoner was one of the “first ranking” prisoners in the Village.

    I surmise that if the Prisoner’s number had been 8, then the number assigned to Nadia Rakovsky during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ would have had to have been some other number, 9 for example. Mind you originally Nadia’s number was to have been 9, but was later changed to 8. In truth the Prisoner’s number could have been any number whatsoever. Production-wise, how 6 came to be chosen for the Prisoner is unknown. It might have had something to do with Patrick McGoohan’s childhood, whilst attending Ratcliffe College where he went to school while evacuated to Loughborough during the war. Ratcliffe is situated on the Six Hills Road. Or if his school number while at Ratcliffe had been six, although extremely doubtful. The RAF base situated next to Ratcliffe was called Station Six, perhaps the origin for the Prisoner’s number lies there, because our childhood experiences remain with us for all our lives. Or it might be as simple as Patrick McGoohan having asked one of his daughters to give him a number between 1 and 10, and the daughter said “Six.” Or even simpler, six chosen because of two of his daughters were six during 1966. The reason why 6 could be any of the above, all the above, or none of the above, or something completely different!

Be seeing you

Monday, 29 December 2014

Caught On Camera!


    Looking down through the steel framework of the interior of the Green Dome, is like looking down on Number 2 through what appears to bars of his own private cell, or cage. Not that that’s Clifford Evans as Number 2, nor Nigel Stock as the Colonel, but a couple of stand-ins who are not known. Mind you that looks more like Danvers standing down there than the Colonel!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    A parallel has in the past been drawn between ‘It’s Your Funeral’ and ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ {1962} which is based upon the novel by Richard Condon in which a unit of American Marines fighting in the Korean war are captured by the Chinese and taken to Manchuria. Each Soldier is drugged, hypnotised and conditioned. One man, Raymond Shaw is especially susceptible to this form of hypnotic conditioning and suggestion. He is conditioned to be a killer, an assassin, then once released by the Chinese, together with the rest of his unit, Raymond Shaw is returned a hero to America. To activate Marco into assassinating Senator Thomas Jordon, a deck of cards is used, and one card in particular activates Raymond Shaw.….. the Queen of Diamonds.
    The parallel drawn between ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ and ‘Its Your Funeral’ is how the watchmaker-number 50 is indoctrinated by Number 100 in carrying out the assassination of the retiring Number 2. By doing so will wake the citizens out of their lethargy and make them angry enough to fight. As with the conditioning of Raymond Shaw, in becoming an assassin to assassinate senator Thomas Jordon.
Well I suppose that there is something of a tenuous parallel which can be drawn between the two, yet remember when considering this, that there is a very distinct difference between the two, Raymond Shaw in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ was drugged, hypnotised and conditioned to react to a certain card ‘the Queen of Diamonds’. Where as in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ the watchmaker-Number -50 knew exactly what he was doing. There were no drugs or hypnotic suggestion used, the watchmaker was  openly conscious to Number 100’s indoctrination and persuasion and remained so, openly believing  that what he was about to do. That assassinating the retiring Number 2, was for the good of the citizens, or so he believed.

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Bureau of Visual Records


    This is actor Richard Caldicot playing the role of the Naval Commander in ‘Many Happy Returns.’ Anyone who watches this episode not over the age of 45, will not remember the long running radio series ‘The Navy Lark,’ in which Richard Caldicot played the role of Naval Commander Povey. The series also starred Leslie Philips and Jon Pertwee, and is regularly repeated on Radio 4 Extra.

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Colony Three – The Village!

    John Drake was once sent on assignment to Colony Three, a school for spies somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, perhaps on the very Russian Steppes. Since World War II 757 British defectors have gone out there. Oh M9 were able to keep tabs on the big ones, the diplomats and the professionals. But over 400 have disappeared without trace why did they want them? And why did they disappear? Drake was going to find out, he did find out! He managed to infiltrate Colony Three in the guise of Robert Fuller, a clerk.
   There were 86 students being trained up as spies in Colony Three, and before Drake had to be extracted from Colony Three by an agent working for M9 in SEKCJA 1 {Section 1}, he was able to take 59 photographs. But at least M9 will be able to nab those when they turn up on duty in Britain. As for those working in Colony Three, which looks like a typical  English town, and given the name of “Hamden” New Town, have ceased to exist!
    There is a theory that after Drake’s experience of Colony Three, he discovered that the British have their own such Village. A place to put troublemakers, people with individual thoughts, defectors, anarchists, recalcitrant agents, agents whom British Intelligence has no more use for, their nerve gone, or their cover blown. Those who once held a position of a secret nature, who has information which needs protecting or extracting, and people who have resigned their jobs, or were simply up for retirement where they could live out the rest of their lives protected, in relative comfort and safety.
   John Drake being upright with high moral standards, who shows great enthusiasm for his work, being utterly loyal, is this a man who suddenly walks out? No, Drake resigned having come to realise what would happen to him. Well they couldn’t lose a man of Drake’s calibre to the other side. His resignation had been accepted, adopted, and perverted, resulting in his abduction to The Village. The Prisoner having resigned knowing that his route would take him to The Village, his infiltration of this abomination of an internment camp complete, Drake could then bring it down from within.

Be seeing you

Sunday, 28 December 2014

KAR 120C

The Prisoner “What’s the number of that car?”
Mrs Butterworth “Terribly interesting.”
 “KAR one two zero C, what’s the engine number?”
 “Do tell.”
 “Four six one three four T Z.”
 “Marvellous.”
     Being mechanically minded and skilful with his hands it is then not surprising that the prisoner would turn his hand to building his own car, the Lotus Seven which of course is a ‘kit car.’ So its no wonder that the Prisoner knew every nut, bolt and cog, he built it with his own hands.
But more than that the Prisoner would have to know every nut, bolt and cog if the car was to be registered with the letter ‘C’ for 1965, as ‘kit cars’ are usually registered with a ‘Q’ instead of a letter for the year. For the Prisoner to have his Lotus Seven kit car registered as being brand new in the year of 1965 and so being registered with the later ‘C’ for that year, the Prisoner would have had to have proved that the car was in fact brand new right down to the last bolt, so the Prisoner would quite literally have to know every nut, bolt and cog!
    Strange how so mechanically minded as the Prisoner was, that he did not realise that by covering the grill with the registration plate, that this would in effect cut off much of the air which cooled the engine, thus creating the overheating problem in traffic! After all, the number plate could have been placed upon the yellow nose cone of the car.
    The grimaced look set upon the face of the Prisoner as he drives his Lotus Seven along that deserted highway in the opening sequences is because of the cold driving wind against his face, the small windscreen affording little protection in the openness of the car. Also the Prisoner is 6feet 2½ inches in height, this has the effect that the top of the windscreen is at eyelevel for the Prisoner, and thus the reason why he is seen leaning out of the car slightly as he drives along the road having just left Mrs Butterworth, on the way to his first of two calls.

BSEEINU

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                       “Escape To Where?”
                           “The Village!”
BcNu

You’ve Never Understood Us Number Six……

We Never fail!
   Is that why the retiring Number 2 did so well for The Village, why he enjoyed a long and successful term of office. Being able to go away from The Village on leave, because he had had no truck with Number 6? Certainly the retiring Number 2 and Number 6 had never met previous to the events which took place during that episode of ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ You remember, Number 6 went to pay a call on Number 2
    “Number Six isn’t it?”
    “I want to see Number Two.”
    “I am Number Two.”
    Although Number 6 doesn’t wear a numbered badge, people in The Village know who Number 6 is. Well isn’t that generally the case in such a small village, everybody knows everyone else. Clearly Number 14 didn’t, the doctor in ‘A B and C,’ she had to ask him    
    “Number…..?”
    “Six” the Prisoner replied.
    Ah but then 14 was feigning not know who Number 6 was.
    Number 2 is guilty of many things, and amongst them is making bold statements, like “The Observers do see and hear everything.” What just 7 of them in the Control Room? The retiring Number 2 told Number 6 that he’s never understood them, they never fail! Well if this Number 2 looked through the file on Number 2 in general, he would see that more often than not 2 rarely fails, but on occasion has to face failure which has proved to be costly for 2. Only two 2’s have ever been given a second chance, because in their case failure could not be fully laid at their door. Although it should, because ultimately Number 2 is in overall charge, and must carry the can for any such failure. But then had ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ run consecutively as both ‘The General’ and A B and C’ should have done, then Number 2 wouldn’t have left The Village to be brought back, as in the case of Leo McKern’s Number 2. With Colin Gordon’s 2, there is no indication that his 2 had been away from The Village. Once he confirmed in the opening sequence that he is the new Number 2, while in another he states quite clearly that he is Number 2, suggesting that he had not been away from The Village, but had followed on for a second term in office. The first failure of ‘A B and C’ might not be described as being directly  his fault, but that of Number 14 for her deception in not telling Number 2 that 6 had opened his eyes and had seen her. But indirectly he must have carried the can, taken the blame. And yet 2 was given a second chance. Perhaps Number 1 looked kindly on this Number 2, and thought it unlikely that he would fail a second time if not embroiled with Number 6. But then Number 6 involved himself with Speedlearn, the Professor, the General, and ultimately the downfall of Number 2. However if we consider that according to the library order of ‘the Prisoner’ ‘The General’ should have appeared before ‘A B and C’ and running consecutively. So that Number 2 having failed so deplorably with the educational experiment of Speedlearn, was to have been given a second term in office, this time to deal with Number 6. Was this deliberate on Number 1’s part in the affair? That in setting this failed Number 2, retribution for that failure would come in the shape of Number 6!

Be seeing you

Why Did ZM73 Resign?

    Why call the Prisoner ZM73? Because he wasn’t the Prisoner then, well not physically at least, nor was he called Number 6. He could be called John Drake just as much as he could be called Peter Smith, the one being a pseudonym, the other we do not hear used, so his code name will have to do. In The Village Number 2 wanted to know why Number 6 resigned. The Colonel wanted to know why he resigned. So why didn’t Sir Charles Portland want to know? ZM73 being Sir Charles’s potential son-in-law would surely want to know, so both officially and personally, he would want to know why he had chucked up his job. And then there was someone else who would want to know, after all she was engaged to ZM73, Janet Portland.
   The original script called for all unpleasant memories of The Village to be erased, his mind regressed to the day ZM73 was due to hand in his letter of resignation. But that doesn’t stop the event of ZM73 having handed in his letter of resignation. He might not remember doing it, but it had happened nonetheless. We’re talking brainwashing here, not time travel! So as far as Sir Charles Portland and his daughter Janet are concerned, ZM73 had still resigned a year earlier!

Be seeing you

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Many Happy Returns!

   The Girl who was Death said of Mister X that he was a born survivor. And a good demonstration of Number 6’s powers of survival is well demonstrated during his voyage of discovery in ‘Many happy Returns.’ Number6 does return to London, back to his home, having finally escaped The Village. He took it rather well that someone was now living in what was after all his home, seeing as the lease on No.1 Buckingham Place still had six months to run. And if that wasn’t enough, Mrs. Butterworth was now the owner of his Lotus 7!
   This episode could have been a series finale. ZM73 having accepted that someone else was now living in what was his house. He would have had to move out anyway when the lease was eventually up. As for his car, he would have to have taken that up with the estate agents Stumbell and Croydon, who really had no right to sell his car! But then again, who did ZM73 think had been looking after his car during his incarceration in The Village? KAR 120C would not have been allowed to be parked on that single yellow line outside his house indefinitely. Eventually the London Council would have taken action.

   So, ZM73 was homeless in London, and he had no transport, no money, he was a vagrant! But at least he was free of The Village! And yet he couldn’t let it alone, he wanted answers, and the only people he might get them from, were his ex-colleagues, and if not from there, then elsewhere. But Number 6 didn’t escape, he was always within the grasp of his captors. Number 6 will forever be a prisoner of who he is, and of what he once was.

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!


   It would appear that once Number 6’s own suit had been delivered specially for the occasion of the Ball in the evening of ‘Dance of the Dead,’ he was allowed to keep it!



BCNU

Village Life!


In An Emergency Patients Are Manhandled To The Hospital!
    It would appear that the Health and Welfare state of The Village is under extreme pressure, as medics and doctors are forced to improve the hospitals response times to patient waiting lists, as well as The Village ambulance service!
   First doctor “See, nine and a half minutes, that’s knocked seven minutes off the time it takes for an ambulance to get a patient to the hospital.”
    Second doctor “Yes, and it cuts out waiting time of the ambulance crews, who are stuck waiting to have their paperwork for a patient processed.”
    “Precisely, and reduces patient waiting time. We can get this patient into a bed straight away. But we need to see the patient within forty-two minutes. If we can achieve that we’ll have improved our patient times by seventy-three point six percent.”
    “Well I can see him now!”
    “Really? Well that’s improved our patient processing time by ninety-nine point four percent!”
    “It doesn’t seem right does it?”
    “What doesn’t seem right?”
    “Well its all about numbers, the patient hardly seems to matter these days!”
   
Be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records


    This is Barbara Murray, who appeared in the ‘Danger Man’ episode ‘The Sisters.’ Sadly Barbara passed away in May this year. Curiously some time ago I saw a woman amongst the people at the Ball in the evening of ‘Dance of the Dead,’ she seemed familiar to me, but I failed to put a name to the face. The woman can be clearly seen in this production photograph, 
and here from images of the scene of the Prisoner’s trial, on the extreme left behind Queen Elizabeth’s chair.







 Is this woman Barbara Murray? Certainly there is a resemblance to her. Curiously she cannot be seen in amongst the film extras in this scene prior to, or after, the Prisoner’s trial, and only then in close-up of the three judges, in long shot she is not there!

BCNU

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Village Crisps!


   Well alright, not quite Village crisps, however they are numbered. And curiously like 'the Prisoner' there is no No.7, and No.2 has been exed out....perhaps he or she resigned!

BCNU

The 2015 Prisoner Calendar




                                                                   Reverse side


   Please feel free to save the two images and print off for yourself.

BSEEINU

The Long And The Straight Of It

   At the commencement of ‘the Prisoner’ we see a long straight road, and out of the distance comes hurtling along that long straight road, a green, yellow nosed Lotus 7. For the car is the freedom of the open road, for the driver the road which eventually leads to freedom from a long held occupation.
   In The Village all roads lead to the same destination…..The Village. At one point Number 6 talks of the electrics truck being at the crossroads. At another Number 6 reaches a crossroads, at which he has to decide whether to go back to the Green Dome, or take to sea aboard the pair of lilos in order to reach the vessel searching for the downed aircraft.    
    Eventually during the “Fall Out,” the former Number 6 and his confederates take to the road that leads from The Village to the freedom of the outside world. The Village left abandoned and uncared for. The youth takes to the road again, not caring in which direction he travels as he tries to hitch a lift on either side of the duel-carriageway. In his case it’s not so much the destination that’s important, more the journey itself. The former Number 2 finally takes a familiar road, back to the Establishment where he belongs. As for the former Number 6, no sooner does he arrive home than he’s back behind the wheel of his Lotus 7 once more. The freedom of the open road, and the prospect of freedom from a self-created occupation that is THE PRISONER!

BCNU

The Prisoner In Lucks Way!

    In the way Number 6 is able to turn the tables on Number 86, by tipping the tea away in the plant vase without being observed. And later when Number 6 demonstrates to Number 86 how to make a descent cup of tea, he is able to swap cups and saucers even when both Number 2 and the Supervisor-Number 26 is watching the scene played out on the wall screen!
   Do you know, I think I’d like some tea!


Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “I think I’d like some tea.”
                                    {Number 2 – A Change of Mind}
   Generally speaking each episode of ‘the Prisoner’ has a theme running through them. Arrival, Chimes, MHR, and Checkmate – escape. A B and C – the quest for information. FFA –democratic elections, Schizoid – the question of personal identity, General – education. D of the D – death. Checkmate – chess. Hammer – paranoia and Jamming, Funeral – assassination. Change – Unmutualism and disharmony, Harmony – fantasy. Girl – a fairy tale, OUAT – the need for information, and finally Fall Out – a final manipulation of Number 6!
    And yet within ‘A Change of Mind,’ as well as Unmutualism and disharmony, tea also can be said to run through the episode. Suggestion is a powerful motivator, because as Number 6 demonstrates to Number 86 how to make a descent cup of tea, with Number 2 watching on the wall screen in his office, it makes him feel like some tea! Its no wonder Number 6 has hypnotic suggestion as one of his numerous skills!

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Seasons Greetings


           “They’ve made me Father Christmas!”

    “I don’t see what you have to grumble about. Look what they’ve done to me!
                The Ghost of Christmas present!

   I wish all of my friends and readers a very merry and joyous Christmas

I’ll be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records


   Why is the electrician in ‘Arrival’ the same man as the gardener? That was the question asked. One answer came that they are clones, or doppelgangers, another that they are twins. For myself I much prefer the latter answer.
    Yet one person wrote this solution to the question many, many years ago. The electrician and the gardener are one and the same person. That this may be a scheme to further confuse and disorientate new arrivals to The Village. Once the Prisoner had gone out for his walk, the electrician could be transported through the underground tunnels that we know exist beneath The Village, but he’d have to be quick, to then pop up in the woods as a gardener.
   “Careful sir, they’re new plants.”

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                   “ESCAPED!”


BcNu

Caught On Camera


   What’s this? The Prisoner appears to be about to hand Mrs. Butterworth an envelope. That’s not his letter of resignation is it? Go on open it, as Number 2 might urge, to get her hands on that letter would be truly a feather in Mrs. Butterworth’s cap. I cannot see that envelope containing travel pamphlets again. But where did he get it? Perhaps it was secreted away in the wall safe hidden behind the television. He might have hidden that receipt for that roll of film he took to that photographic shop that time. But then he gave the receipt to Janet for safekeeping, perhaps thinking that it would be safer with her than in the wall safe! So what’s in the envelope this time? The lease to the house, the logbook of his car, or an old copy of The Tally Ho which he used to write his ships log he kept for 25 days at sea! Damn and blast it, foiled again!  

Be seeing you

Symbolism

    Symbolism, there are many such symbolic components within ‘the Prisoner.’ The Penny farthing bicycle which is claimed to represent progress of man and technology, suggesting at the time of ‘the Prisoner,’ that perhaps it was time to slow down. Although it seems that technologically speaking, man has long since progressed too far. Today many people can now do without their mobile phones? There has been the technological progress of drones, used both in war and peace. Now we have had Professor Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s eminent scientists warning of the dangers of creating artificial life, which could be a threat to human’s very existence. Machines becoming aware, yes, I’ve seen the ‘Terminator’ films which began with creating sophisticated drones for the War Department! The reliance upon technology is now absolute. But without which I could not reach fans and enthusiasts for ‘the Prisoner’ all around the world with my blog.
   And then there is that item which is seen all about The Village, added to the Penny Farthing logo, on taxis and bicycles, tractors, electrics trailer. On top of sign posts and loudspeakers and The Tally Ho broadsheet dispenser, the canopy, is said to represent safety and security. It is said that they will look after you in The Village, for as long as you live. And while you are alive there is “Health and Welfare.” The society which looks after you, in the way that here in
Britain “Health and safety” has gone berserk in the past few years, preventing anyone from doing anything even remotely dangerous. Even to prevent the playing of “Conkers” by children in the school play ground, and that even adults should wear face goggles during the “Conker” championships!  
   {Conkers is a traditional children's game in
Britain and Ireland played using the seeds of the Horse chest nut trees—the name 'conker' is also applied to the seed and to the tree itself. The game is played by two players, each with a conker threaded onto a piece of string: they take turns striking each other's conker until one breaks. A hole is drilled in a large, hard conker using a nail, gimlet, or small screwdriver. An electric drill such as a "Dremel" using increasing drill-bit diameters at intermittent intervals, produces less internal damage to the nut's core and is highly effective during the hardening period / process. Once ready for action, a piece of string (often a shoelace is used), about 25 cm (10 inches) long, is threaded through it. A large knot at one or both ends of the string secures the conker.
    The game is played between two people, each with a conker. They take turns hitting each other's conker using their own. One player lets the conker dangle on the full length of the string while the other player swings their conker and hits}.
    All one has to do is take Portmeirion as an example. There was a serious accident a few years ago, and that caused “Health and Safety” to move in, and railings soon sprouted up in all corners of The Village! The railings on top of both the Bristol Colonnade and Belvedere Outlook look ridiculous, being but a few inches high. They don’t look as though they would stop anyone from falling from there.
   In the same way as the “canopy,” the umbrella can be seen in that same symbolic way. However I have never seen the ‘umbrella’ to be anything other than simply an umbrella, and not to be representative of anything. Yes it is protective against the rain, but it rarely rains in The Village, where an umbrella may be used more as a parasol, to protect, or shade one from the effects of the sun. Yet there is another meaning for the colourful striped umbrellas used in The Village. As when opened the umbrella in wet or dry weather, when twirled and waved about in such garish manner, does help to add a holiday atmosphere and colour to The Village especially during ‘Carnival.’
    However if its theory and interpretation you are after, try the following on for size!
    Throughout the series and throughout The Village these party coloured emblems are carried about and waved about almost like banners, yet in one case as a weapon. When citizens are turned against Number 6 in ‘A Change of Mind,’ in the hands of Number 56 the umbrella becomes a most formidable weapon. Apparently one definition of “umbrella” is; a unifying, conditioning, stabilising or controlling factor or authoritative influence. Well I myself have not been able to find any such definitions in connection with umbrellas, but I suppose the village can be described as an umbrella agency in this respect, an authoritative influence controlling The Village residents. The word umbrella comes from the Latin word ‘umbra’ meaning shade or shadow. Village residents are certainly in the shade of its influence and most of them are mere shadows of their former selves. From the word “Umbra” we also get the word “Umbrage” meaning displeasure, resentment or annoyance. Using this definition we can tie the Prisoner’s own feelings together with The Village’s subtle intended meaning in a single symbol. Or perhaps the umbrella is seen as a kind of security blanket to remind villagers that they are under the protection of the reigning Number 2. While Number 2’s shooting stick umbrella, and I do happen to subscribe to this, is a symbol of his authority, like a King or Queen’s sceptre, the way Number 2 handles it and carries it about with him or her when abroad in The Village.
    Have you observed how Number 2 never opens his or her shooting stick umbrella? Perhaps its better not to go there, other wise one might say the reason for that is, perhaps because Number 2 knows the truth about the false security in the ineffective protection they provide for the captive citizens of The Village. Ah but then again Number 2 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ doesn’t have a shooting stick umbrella, it is simply an ordinary shooting stick, which contains a sword, for his self protection!


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Monday, 22 December 2014

The Prisoner Comment

   "From the beginning of the series, the character called 'Number 1' was responsible for death, torture, war. So the worst enemy of man is surely himself; the evil in him the worst thing on Earth. One is born with an instilled sense of right and wrong, which is why one is a human being and not an animal. The Prisoner was a splash of objection on a canvas. It was an attempt that failed really to try a slightly different type of television series and at the same time take a stand on something I feel strongly about: numerization, mediocrity, this levelling of people by acceptance. It seems to me that part of the rebellion today is the rebellion against acceptance."
                                                                                             Patrick McGoohan

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I like My Dream!

    Dreams, are all the events and acting meant to be real, or are they the dreams of a paranoid ex secret agent? The dream theory adopted is that all the action of the series takes place in the mind of the Prisoner, but then he would have to be insane, wouldn’t he? Or perhaps it’s a self persecution complex or maybe an anguish pattern as suggested by the doctor number 14 in ‘A B & C.’
If ‘the Prisoner’ is all in the mind of Number 6, then he could use this to subconsciously work out his conflict. In this interpretation each Number 2 would be a facet of his own personality. And all the other symbols, the penny farthing bicycle, the Butler, The Village Guardian and such like would be metaphors of his own unconscious mind, symbols for which he couldn’t express in his waking life. There is evidence for supporting this dream theory, for during the opening sequence to each episode, save for ‘Living In Harmony’ and ‘Fall Out’ the Prisoner passes out in the confines of his own home only to wake up in the confines of The Village! If this is the case then the location of The Village is easily found, it lies somewhere in the mind of the Prisoner, which would explain the sequences becoming more and more bizarre, but would at the same time defeat the main theme of one man versus society and does unnecessarily complicate things. I mean are we to believe that in ‘A B & C’ Number 6 was dreaming about his dreams?
    However if you take things quite literally then the Prisoner has been rendered unconscious by the use of nerve gas hasn’t he? He then wakes up again in what at first appears to be his own home, but within the confines of the village. So if the Prisoner is awake how can what we see in ‘the Prisoner’ be a dream if he is awake? I mean for anyone to carry all ‘the Prisoner’ around in his head, well he’d have to be mad!

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A Favourite Character


    Fotheringay, who can't wait to see his old friend and colleague, is that why he is happy go along with the Colonel? No! Fotheringay is happy to assist in the deception, but he is simply "window dressing" nothing more than that. Simply to add credibility to the situation the Prisoner finds himself in, having supposedly returned to the Colonel's office in London. If Fotheringay had not been there to greet him, the Prisoner may very well have smelled a rat! And yet he appeared genuinely happy about the prospect of seeing his old friend and colleague again. But might not that simply for us, the viewer? Yes Fotheringay is a likeable fellow, but it must be remembered that he cold heartedly deceived, betrayed even, his old friend and ex-colleague. A man, the Prisoner soon learned, was no longer to be trusted!

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Thought For The Day

  The Butler who invariably manages to be at the centre of things, assisting during the local elections. Handing out the prizes at the Exhibition of Arts and Crafts, and assisting the three judges at the Prisoner’s trial in ‘Dance of the Dead.’ Following the human chess match, and acting as the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Office during the ceremony of Appreciation Day, as well being close by in the background. He may have been in The Village a very long time, maybe he was always there. He certainly had enough time to learn about how The Village works, he knew about he Embryo Room because he’s the first one in it. But how he knew about the Scammell Highwayman transporter, that’s inexplicable! And while the former Number 6 sits upon the throne of honour, there stands the Butler by his side, the Butler being as close to Number 1 as anyone ever can be.

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Village Life!


    Engadine “You’re not John Drake are you?”
    ZM73 “John Drake?”
    “You look like him.”
    “They say everyone has a doppelganger somewhere in the world.”
    “That’s what he said.”
    “Who John Drake?”
    “No Curtis.”
    “Curtis?”
    “Yes, he looks like you.”
    “Not John Drake?”
    “He looks like both of you!”
    “Unfortunate!”
    “Unfortunate?”
    “To have one doppelganger in the world, may be regarded as a misfortune. To have two would be consider calamitous!”

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “The Last Prisoner!”


BcNu

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


    From ‘Many Happy Returns,’ when the Prisoner arrives at a gypsy camp. Because the young gypsy woman shows the Prisoner the first genuine act of kindness since his abduction to The Village, by giving him a hot cup of tea, or broth.

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Cause And Effect

    The cause being the Prisoner’s apparent resignation. The effect being his subsequent abduction to The Village. The effect in this case is clear, the cause being not so clear. It is easy to understand the cause if it was the resignation,  and yet prior to that, and perhaps for some considerable time, the Prisoner had been under close surveillance. The surveillance was caused by something else. It might have been that the Prisoner had become suspect of something. He may have been acting differently, which had been caused by the kind of work the Prisoner had been carrying out. Even thinking about chucking a job in can have the effect of causing one to behave differently. The fact of the matter is we know the effect, but cannot be certain of the cause. The act of the Prisoner resigning his job could simply have been coincidental. He had been under close surveillance, by whom, his own people, why? The other side? Possibly, as he would have information which would be valuable to them. And that’s a good enough reason for his own people to protect that information, and have the Prisoner placed in The Village of their own! And yet there could be another cause, Seltzman, Professor Jacob Seltzman. One side, both sides, either side had been looking for Seltzman. And it was just about the time of the Prisoner’s abduction to The Village that he deposited a roll of film with the proprietor of the Wold Camera photographic shop. The receipt for which he left with his fianceĆ© Janet Portland, and so only the Prisoner knew where Seltzman was. It seems apparent that he was protecting Seltzman from both sides. Did the Prisoner not once tell Number 2 that the trouble with science is that it can be perverted. Perhaps the Prisoner could see that Professor Seltzman’s mind transference process could be perverted in the way it had already been by scientists and technicians in The Village.
   Cause and effect. Whether or not the cause of the Prisoner’s resignation was to do with Seltzman is clearly impossible to say, the effect of that being, we can only theorise and speculate.


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Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Village Aka The Castle

    “You’ve only been in the village and already you think you know everything better than people who have spent their lives there”
                                                                            Kafka – The Castle
    There are those who feel the quote from Kafka’s ‘The Castle is quite apt for ‘the Prisoner’ because on the surface Number 6 does appear to know a good deal about The Village. For example he knew that Number 9 in ‘Arrival’ had been assigned to him, as she had once been assigned to Cobb. And by keeping a watch on 9 he saw her leaving the Green Dome, and that told him that Number 2 was her boss. Number 6 is aware that in the woods they can see but cannot hear, the observers that is, but then he could have learnt that for himself at some time or other. At times he seems an old hand in The Village as he explains about the taxi to new arrival Nadia Rakovsky, having experienced that for himself. And the chimes of Big Ben told him that The Village is not in Lithuania on the Baltic. He knew that Number 14 was a doctor and that she was one of them! Also the name of that the white membranic Village Guardian – ‘Rover’ was known to him, how did he know that? Number 6 may not have known where The Village is when he set out on his voyage of discovery, yet by the end of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ he had no doubts as to the location of The Village, seeing as he had navigated his own way back there! And when it comes to telling fairy tales, he knows who is watching and listening!
   ‘Once Upon A Time’ he recognised the voice on the telephone, it was Number 2 who had been in The Village before, and more than that Number 6 knew about “Degree Absolute,” being a recognised method. He has learned about the democratic process which was later dispensed with. Of the underground tunnel system.
   He learns about the cost of a taxi ride, the price of non-alcoholic drinks, the Citizens Advice Bureau which offers help and advice to everyone. He knows that he has been betrayed by his own people.
   And yet there are things Number 6 doesn’t know, such as where the Town Hall is, and didn’t know about the electric force-field. He doesn’t know who Number 1 is, or who Number 2 is for that matter. Nor about the General, the Professor, or Speedlearn! He doesn’t know how to distinguish between prisoner and warders. He’s not sure which side runs The Village. He didn’t recognise Number 2 in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’
    At the time it strikes as though Number 6 appears to know a good deal about The Village, more than he actually does. Because at times he seems to know even less. What he does know about The Village he learns through his time and experience during his incarceration. Mind you seeing that Number 6 is the alter ego if Number 1 he should know all there is to know about The Village.

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Bureau of Visual Records


    The dead body found by Number 6, supposedly washed up on the shore in the episode ‘Dance of the Dead.’ In all probability it is Number 34 who had died. The body  was played by Roy Cannon who said that the water was so cold that he had to dig his fingers into the sand so as to try and stem his shivering. It takes a certain person to simply lie there and play dead, not everyone can do it. Especially lying in chilled water!

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Caught On Camera!

   Pictured here is Two, sitting on the left of his sofa, which happens to denote the number 2. And yet here is Two again, sitting on the other end of the sofa. You will observe that the 2 of the sofa is reversed, making this Two un-Two, and a danger to The Village!


    "Impersonating Two is an act of treason. In the event of a Two impersonator arising, you must seek him out and apprehend him. This man may look like Two, but you will know that he is not Two, because he is not Two. He may appear in the Village in a dishevelled state, which has resemblances to Two. He may claim to be Two, but he is not, and he must be treated as who he is, which is someone who is not Two. He is a danger to the Village."
   Except that there is no un-Two, its just Two, perhaps letting his other self lead him for a while.

Its is, as it is, as it should be.
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