A Change of Mind. It would appear that Number 6 much prefers his own company to others these days. I wonder why he stopped using the Village gymnasium? Two bully boys turn up in the woods, they taunt Number 6 for his unsocial behaviour. There’s a fight, and Number 6 gets the better of them, Number 2 should have chosen better men! But in any case the task in hand has been achieved, and for that Number 6 will be reported to the Committee!
Number 42 who is always in tears! Number 93, finds confession is good for the soul, “They’re right of course, quite right. I’m inadequate, inadequate. But I’m grateful, truly grateful.” Number 6 was supposed to have filled in the questionnaire. He sits in a circle of tables as he faces the Committee in the Council Chamber. “We are here about your complaints,” good, the Prisoner has several! But what the Committee wants to hear is Number 6’s confession, and the Chairman is sure Number 6 will co-operate. But for the moment, I think we are more than ready for a tea break. At which the Chairman, together with the rest of the Committee members, calmly rise out of their seats and leave the Council Chamber, leaving just the Prisoner and the butler. But what business the butler has at a meeting of the Committee has always eluded me.
Number 6 leaves the Council Chamber, departs the Town Hall, to return to his cottage. On his way he warmly greets Number 41 “Lovely day Number Forty-one.” But the woman ignores his greeting. That must automatically make her disharmonious, and should be reported to the Committee!
Near his home Number 6 encounters The Tally Ho vender, who dispenses a copy of the local broadsheet newspaper, the headlines reads “Committee Hearing Continues,” “No.93 Confesses Disharmony,” “No.6 For Further Investigation.”
Arriving back at his cottage Number 6 finds Number 2 has made himself at home, he’s calmly nibbling on a shortcake biscuit, and Number 6 is going to make him a cup of tea. “I should have guessed! Did you enjoy the show?”
Surely Number 6 doesn’t believe that Number 2 is behind the Committee. To the Committee and the people of the Village, Number 6 is someone to be tolerated, and if necessary shaped to fit! But there’s nothing that cannot be put right by a nice cup of tea. And tea, along with the making of a decent cup of tea, does feature strongly within this episode.
Number 86 then arrives at ‘6Private,’ and freely confesses that she once suffered the shame of being posted “disharmonious,” how terrible for her. 86 has come to take Number 6 to a meeting of the Social Group, after which he is to have a medical. Number 6 suggests tea, but there’s no time for tea, only his future!
Number 6 has a disrupting side to his nature. The Social Group is trying to help the unfortunate Number 42, who is always is a state of depression, always crying. But Number 6 disrupts the meeting, which had been held somewhere in the woods. Also lurking with intent in the woods are three members of the hospital medical staff. And as Number 6 emerges through the bushes, he sizes up the three opponents. Apparently it’s time for Number 6’s medical. So seeing that he’s out numbered, and caution being the better part of valour, Number 6 agrees. “Right, let’s go,” and he climbs into the waiting taxi, and is driven to the hospital.
A doctor carries out Number 6’s medical. He may not be pronounced as being absolutely fit, but he is fit for any contingency. However the doctor has nothing specific in mind, that’s Number 6’s suspicious nature. But it could be worse, Number 6 could have ended up in the Aversion Therapy room!
Sometime after leaving the hospital, it might very well be the next day, Number 6 once again finds himself before the Committee. The Chairman of the Committee is in possession of the fellow analysis report submitted by the Social Group, and is bound to classify Number 6 as being Unmutual! Not disharmonious then? It is at this point the Prisoner experiences another of those surreal moments, as the lights in the Council Chamber go out, and in the moment of darkness before the lights are turned on again…………the Chairman and the members of the Committee have gone! Leaving once again, Number 6 and the butler in the Council Chamber.
Having departed the Town Hall, Number 6 makes his way home, and once again he encounters the Tally Ho vender, except this time Number 6 is shunned, and has to help himself to the daily issue of the newspaper, “No.6 Declared Unmutual.” In fact Number 6 is shunned by a number of citizens. When Number 6 enters his residence he picks up the receiver of the telephone “Hello, hello, hello” he barks into the phone, but there is no-one there.
Then he encounters the ladies of the sub-appeal Committee, led by a very stout and forceful woman Number 56. Number 42 is also a member of the Committee, she certainly gets around. And yet to volunteer for social work of this nature requires considerable moral courage. Because there’s a risk of infection from the untouchables! But yet Number 6 has brought this misfortune upon himself. It is clearly premature to look for contrition in the poor creature.
Meanwhile Number 2 and the Supervisor-Number 26 have been keeping a watchful eye on our Number 6. And now we shall see how Number 6 withstands real loneliness.
In the woods Number 6 is keeping his own company. He doesn’t look at all happy, he’s snapping twigs and slapping out at the undergrowth. And yet, birds of a feather do flock together, and so Number 6 returns to his cottage, to be greeted once more by the ladies of the sub-appeal Committee. Unmutualism Number 6, more you must now agree is more than just a game. “They are socially conscious citizens” Number 42 tells him “ and are provoked by the loathsome presence of an Unmutual!” To Number 6 they are sheep. The ladies sub-appeal Committee depart the cottage in a body.
Suddenly the telephone bleeps, Number 6 picks up the receiver. Number 2 warns Number 6 that the community will not tolerate him indefinitely. He needs a scapegoat “Citizens to denounce this menace in our presence.” If it is a scapegoat that Number 6 thinks it is, well after undergoing conversion, he won’t care what it is. He just won’t care!
There is a public announcement, about staff psychologists and psychiatrists wishing to watch the conversion of Number 6 on the close circuit television.
Number 6 goes to sit outside. There is a gathering of citizens outside ’6 Private.’ He’s just in time for the procession. Number 6 is set upon by Number 56 laying into him with her umbrella, and other ladies of the sub-appeal Committee. Male citizens manhandle Number 6 through the streets to the hospital, where he is heavily sedated and placed on an operating table and wheeled straight into the operating theatre.
A doctor-Number 86 prepares the patient for surgery, the operation known as Instant social Conversion, in other words a Leucotomy, to isolate the aggressive frontal lobes. However in Number 6’s case, the operation never takes place. Instead to maintain the illusion of the operation having taken place, Number 6 is kept heavily sedated with Mytol.
After the apparent conversion of Number 6, he is taken home by Number 86. The taxi drives through the citizen lined streets of the Village. The citizens are cheering Number 6 on his way home, happy as they are to share in his social conversion.
Arriving home, Number 6 and 86 are greeted by the stout figure of Number 2 who is desirous to have a little chat with Number 6. But for the moment it is time for a celebratory cup of tea, and Number 2 leaves the cottage, saying that they can have their little chat later on.
Number 86 brews the tea while Number 6 lies on the recliner. Then out of the corner of his eye Number 6 notices a tiny pill is dropped into his cup of tea, which moments later 86 presents to him. He’s cold and demands Number 86 fetch him a rug from the wardrobe in the bedroom. While she is away, Number 6 pours the tea into a flower pot, thus turning the tables on 86 as she returns with the rug and checking that the patient has drunk his tea.
Later Number 2 returns for their little chat, about the trivia, the trivia of the Prisoner’s resignation, something that has been causing him such absurd distress. And seeing how Number 6’s aggressive anxieties have been expunged, he feels that he is free to speak. So why did the Prisoner resign, why prematurely? Number 6 says “Time.” Oh time, that’s what it was, was it, he needed time to think. Number 6 said it wasn’t time, to which Number 2 made the suggestion that the Prisoner couldn’t stand his job, so he chucked it in! At that suggestion Number 6 becomes angry, it would seem that he is still loyal. And in turn Number 2 becomes angry, which is getting him nowhere, as Number 6’s disruptive nature breaks through even in his sedated state.
Alone in his cottage Number 6 is suspicious, aggressive, this despite being heavily sedated with Mytol. Number 2 sends 86 to administer a further does of the drug, and why not? The man’s as strong as a bull!
The thing with Number 6 is, he cannot stand girls who cannot make a decent cup of tea. He pours away the tea 86 brewed, and dutifully demonstrates to 86 how a proper pot of tea should be brewed. Boil the kettle, warm the pot always, rinse out. Tea, one for me, one for thee, one for the pot, one for luck. Milk, sugar, wait one moment, pour, should be just about nice. And seeing as how 86 has put the Mytol pill in his cup, Number 6 swaps cups when she is not looking, thus turning the tables on 86 for a second time. It is Number 86 who is drugged, and not 6!
“Stupid woman! She’ll ruin everything!” Number 2 orders 86 to report to him immediately, do you hear that immediately, repeat immediately. Mean while Number 6 goes out, well why not? He’s simply drugged. If he has doubts, suspicions even, a little outside help will reassure him.
After an encounter with another once Unmutual having undergone Instant Social Conversion, Number 6 goes into the woods. He visits the gymnasium he built there. He tries to jump up to the parallel bar, he cannot. He makes a fist to hit the punch bag, but it would appear all is aggressiveness has been expunged! Then the two bully boys who accosted Number 6 at the commencement of this episode, turn up seeking their revenge upon Number 6. They think Number 6 hasn’t got any fight left in him, that he’s too much the convert, they are wrong. A fight ensues, and Number 6 leaves the men sprawled out on the ground unconscious, his aggressiveness having returned, he’s feeling much more like his old self.
Meanwhile Number 86 who Number 2 is still calling after via the public address system, is picking flowers. Number 6 arrives on the scene, and 86 tells him that she is high, higher than Number 2, that she wants to make him happy, although that could be the drug Mytol talking. She has to report to Number 2, yet seems in no great hurry to do so.
“Calling Number 86, Number 86 report immediately to Number 2. 86 report to Number 2.”
But Number 6 has a better idea, what he does is this…..he hypnotises 86 into reporting to him instead. 86 gives 6 a full report of what has been going on, that he never underwent Social Conversion, he had been kept heavily sedated with regular doses of Mytol. And now there is one more thing 6 requires of Number 86, and that is, when the Village clock strikes four…………….
Number 6 pays Number 2 a call at the Green Dome, and carries out an act of jamming! He manages to fool Number 2 into thinking that he wishes to confess, but not simply to tell Number 2, but to speak out publicly. Because there must be others who have secret information Number 2 requires, and if Number 6 does speak out publicly, then he might encourage others to do likewise.
After an announcement by Number 2, the citizens gather in the town square below the Gloriette, where Number 6 and 2 stand on the balcony together. Number 2 tells the people that Number 6 has shown the desire to speak to them all, to thank everyone for bringing to him total Social Conversion.
No don’t cheer Number 6 that is a mistake, it’s Number 2 you should applaud. After all it was Number 2 who brought about Number 6’s social conversion, and it was him and not the Committee. Until then 6 was a rebel, an Unmutual, senselessly resisting the fine community of the Village. There is a saying, the butcher with the sharpest knife has the warmest heart, and it took me a while to understand what Number 6 meant by that.
The Village clock strikes four, and out of the crowd appears Number 86 who has a confession, denouncing Number 2 as an Unmutual! Look at him, your Welfare Committee is a tool of those who wish to possess people’s minds!
The citizens chant “Unmutual, unmutual, unmutual, unmutual,” and before Number 2 knows where he is, he’s being pursued by the citizens through the Village, but at walking pace. He makes a sudden bolt for the relative safety of the Green Dome further chased by the citizens.
What befalls Number 2 we shall never know whether or not he survived the rule of the mob, but at the very least Number 2 needs to be replaced!
Be seeing you later on, when we take a trip to the theatre and a play in three acts!