"Humour," as No.2 once said "Is the very essence of a democratic society." Well certainly the village is devoid of any form of democracy, any opposition which is an irritation, has been dispensed with. Even at its best free democracy is remarkably inefficient. Which only leaves humour, and there's some of that. Even to No.2's amazement in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ he finds that No.6's sense of humour is "Strong and unimpaired" and indeed makes a vocal note upon it. This after an exchange of words between No.2 and No.6 down on the lawn of the old people's home regarding a game of chess between the two, by post as No.6 suggested! Then about the new arrival having just arrived by helicopter, why she is here, here to recuperate, and how much is No.2 charging her!
I think that to help survive in the Village you would have to have a sense of humour like No.6, and if you didn't have one it would be advantageous to cultivate one as soon as possible. Because laugh and the Village laughs with you, scream out and you alone feel the pain. So to borrow one of No.2's saying "Laugh it off when you can, bite the bullet when you can't." And there are numerous moments of humour within the Prisoner series, some of which come to fruition in ‘Free for For’ simply because of the shared rapport between No.'s 6 and 2. And even by suggesting that No.6 should "run for office."
"Whose?" No.6 asks.
"Mine for instance" No.2 replies.
"You have a delicate sense of humour."
Well perhaps so, and if he does that is all the humour to be found during the election period of ‘Free For All,’ well perhaps in the Therapy Zone "See him, cheers" well we mustn’t damage the tissue! And sometimes its easy to get hold of the wrong end of the stick, well at least the doctor has!
‘The Girl Who Was Death’ is perhaps the most humorous of the 17 episode's, or should that be ridiculous. But even then its humorous in a ridiculous sort of way. In the fact that Potters radio transmitter is concealed in his shoe-shine box, cleaning Mr.X's suede shoes with a black shoe brush, and the way his next customer's shoes are caked in wet mud, in a high street of all places, ridiculous! But again humorous, as are the French Marshals, Professor Schnipp's men. I mean the whole adventure is a complete comedy of errors. And the mountain rope which would hold an Elephant, Mr. X must remember that the next time he goes climbing with one!
And the "late" No.2 after he has been resuscitated, he finds the whole situation humorous to say the least. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha" "A funny thing happened to me on my way here, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha" and his laughter at the situation he now finds himself in is highly contagious, well save for Sir and the
it is. And he's still laughing even when sealed inside the No.2 orbit tube! Butler
Humorous, yes the Prisoner is that. But is a subtle and delicate humour, not side splitting, but something to make you smile and chuckle at quietly. Prisoner and Village humour is not action, although No.6 splitting his trousers during the fight scene in the arbour where he meets with 'B' in ‘A B and C.’ No.2 laughing to himself when in ‘Arrival’ in the Labour Exchange managers office, the Prisoner attempts to put a round peg into a square hole in a table. But the hole closes and this No.2 finds most amusing. And then there's the artist No.118 who No.6 sits for down on the lawn of the Old People's Home in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ No.118 is an eccentric fellow who as an artist is painting No.6's portrait, which turns out to be "A perfect likeness" No.6 informs the artist. Although the painting itself turns out to be something more abstract, like the second piece of No.6's sculpture he entered in the Exhibition of Arts & Crafts. On the same general lines as the first, but somewhat more abstract, representing freedom or a barrier, depending on how you look at it! I mean I should think that No.2, as he watched No.6 carving out the hull of his boat out of a tree trunk in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ found it most humorous knowing what No.6 is up to all the time. Humorous to simply sit, watch and let No.6 get on with it.
And there's No.2, the heir presumptive of ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ He wanted No.6 to find out how he was going to be killed, for the laugh would do him an awful lot of good! Certainly this No.2 found the whole situation humorous, well he would wouldn't he, seeing as how he was the one behind it all!
Humour in 'the Prisoner' can be down to the individual, as to what he or she finds humorous. It all depends upon one's own sense of humour I suppose, which will not be the same as No.6's, as he smirks at the thought of "The Hope and Anchor. It's a pub I used to drink at!"
In ‘The General’ when No.6 is attending the Professor's wife's art seminar, where she tears up the colourful sketch No.6 has made of her "Creation out of destruction?"
There's not much too much to laugh at in the Village. But it does help to have sense of humour, and if you haven't got one, well I'm sure there's a doctor in the hospital who can get you one. After all these days you can get implants for all kinds of things, getting a sense of humour should be as easy as falling off a log, or is that the crosspiece?...... Oh well we all aspire to that don't we. The symbol of human aspirations, knowledge, freedom, escape.
Be seeing you