Patrick McGoohan once explained that Number 6 is Number 1.Who Number 6 is trying to beat, in fact is himself. Well that’s how we understand the situation to have been from ‘Fall Out’ when Number 6 finally comes face to face with Number 1. But what about prior to the advent of ‘Fall Out,’ is it clear that Number 6 is in a struggle against himself. Yes Number 6 wants to know who Number 1 is, but does Number 6 know that he is Number 1?
When Number 2 is called by Number 1 on the telephone, to whom is he speaking? Is it Number 1 calling from within the rocket, or is it Number 6 speaking as Number 1 from a telephone kiosk? And then there is the case when having been a breakdown in control in ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and Number 2 reports himself to Number 1, when Number 6 is still in the office of the Green Dome. How are we to account for that? It might be thought that Number 6 could have reported Number 2’s breakdown, but that would mean Number 6 speaking to Number 1, and that would not have done at all. Besides would Number 1 have spoken to Number 6? If he had, it would have meant he would be talking to himself. In any case, for Number 6, it was more damning to have Number 2 to report himself. Prior to that, when Number 2 is speaking to Number 1 on the telephone during ‘Dance of the Dead,’ Number 6 is clearly seen on the wall screen shaving in his bathroom. Number 1 tells Number 2 that he wished he could be the at the Ball, as Number 2 said she wished he could come too. Of course Number 1 couldn’t be at the ball, not if Number 6 was going to be there at the same time. It’s rather like never the twain shall meet. As Number 1 and Number 6 are supposed to be opposites of the same person, this would give the game away much too early, on the basis that according to the library order of ‘the Prisoner,’ ‘Dance of the Dead’ is the second episode in the series.
It is always possible that if Number 6 was in two minds, a schizophrenic, he could have telephoned Number 2 speaking as Number 1 from a telephone kiosk to give instructions. And yet there are situations when this is impossible. And situations that develop, which seem to be impossible for Number 6 to be aware of at the time.
Be seeing you