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Friday, 31 October 2014

Teabreak Teaser

    "Mrs. Butterworth/Number 2 - why is the number of her badge white and not red?

BSEEINU

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

                                       "6 Puts Himself To The Test!"



BcNu

Thought For The Day


    Conspiracy. Number 2 saw conspiracies everywhere. There was no-one he could trust, that there are enemies at work within The Village, although Number 2 and his administration do not necessarily know who they are. Might they not be Jammer? As Number 2 says “We know there are those who believe they can get away with their plots and conspiracies,” sounds like Jammers. And yet Number 2’s suspicions were supposed to have been created in Number 2’s fevered paranoid imagination. But might not Number 2 be onto something? After all, all through the episode Number 6 himself carried out several acts of Jamming, non-existent plots and one-man conspiracies.
   Number 12 was a conspirator, his confederate was Number 6, and they conspired together to bring down both the General and disrupt the educational experiment of Speedlearn. There was also an act of conspiracy when Number 6 went about recruiting men he could rely upon. And how many times has that happened in history, only for there to be a traitor amongst them? In this instance Number 6 conspired against The Village, as he had done in ‘The General.’ And yet it would not be so long before Number 6 was forced into another conspiracy, or perhaps alliance would be a better word. This time for the good of The Village and its community, to prevent an assassination of an out-going Number 2. Number 2 asked Number 6 why does he care what happens to him? He doesn’t, not about Number 2, but for the innocent people of The Village who will be harmed and worse, when the mass reprisals begin.
    Later a final unholy alliance is formed by four conspirators, a rebellious youth, a man reborn, and the former Number 6, whose rebellion was perhaps the purest of them all. He wanted nothing for himself, but his freedom. And then there was the Butler, who follows unquestioningly, forever loyal and devoted, until the wind changes. Such is the price of fame and failure, how sad. Perhaps it was just a case of the Butler knowing which side his bread was buttered. He wanted to be on the winning side for a change, no matter the cost to others.
    And people join one side or the other in order to simply survive, as with the Professor and Madam Professor. An alliance was formed between the three. For Number 2 it was to see the successful conclusion to the educational experiment of Speedlearn. For Madam Professor it was to keep her husband alive, and the Professor so that he could go on teaching, but also to keep his wife alive, the one for the other, with Number 2 in the middle manipulating them both.
    Conspiracy? Yes, perhaps not at the same level Number 2 thought, but there were those like Number 12 who held both the Professor and Speedlearn in contempt, and with the help of Number 6, made an active move against The Village. One conspirator? Where there is one there is another, and another, until you have a cell….a terrorist cell. Didn’t Number 2 imagine Number 6 had a bomb? That might have been pure paranoia on the part of Number 2, but we do know someone who had a bomb. And if that plastic explosive hidden in a replica of the Great Seal of Office, had been detonated during the Appreciation Day ceremony, that would have been an act of terrorism! Never mind whether it would have been assassination or execution. From the ordinary citizen’s point of view, it would have been a terrifying act of terrorism. What is it Number 6 put in the personal column of The Tally Ho….. "Hay mas mal en el aldea que se sueña,” “There is more harm in the Village than is dreamt of.”
Or as several translators have it,There is more evil in the village that is dreamed.”

Be seeing you

It Could Happen To Anyone!


    “I thought you have everything covered?”
    “I did.”
    “Does this look like having everything covered?”
    “I couldn’t be expected to think of everything!”
    “That‘s not the impression I got!”
    “What does that mean?”
    “Well you took command of this little venture, you sorted out our reliable men. You gave all the orders, did all the thinking.”
    “Well someone had to. If it wasn’t for me……….”
    “We wouldn’t be standing here like two lemons!”
    “It’s not my fault.”
    “The damned tides gone out. How is the ship supposed to reach us now?”
    “Well we could………
    “Yes?”
    “How long was the tide out last time?”
    “About a week.”
    “I’d better send another mayday call.”
    “Why?”
    “Well if anyone’s in distress it’s us!”

BSEEINU

Thursday, 30 October 2014

No.6 Is A Stubborn Fellow!


   “You’re a stubborn fellow Number Six!”
    Perhaps if he hadn’t been quite so stubborn Number 6 would have left going looking for The Village to someone else. The Colonel might have got the RAF to organise a search of the 1,750 miles for The Village. But on the other hand, seeing as they only had photographs of The Village from ground level, Number 6 is the only person they had who could recognise The Village from the air. So Number 6 was the obvious choice, he had to go back!
   As for Number 6’s stubbornness not to give anything away, even when he had been betrayed by old colleagues such as the Colonel and Fotheringay, he still persisted in not answering any questions. Even when he was on the telephone speaking to Dutton. Dutton suggested that there had been a suspected security leak. He said the Committee wanted a breakdown on everything they know, you, him Arthur, the Colonel, everybody. All the files he had seen, the projects he knows about, just headings, not details. But Number 6 said that he must not ask him that, in fact he became somewhat agitated, and breaks out into a sweat, gripping the receiver of the telephone strongly in both hands telling the caller that he must not ask him that. He begins to shake, demanding to know who is on the telephone before finally collapsing back onto the bed into unconsciousness. It would appear that Number 6 has a built-in fail-safe device that shuts the brain down whenever anyone asks him for any form of sensitive information! On a more fundamental level, a man such as Number 6 would almost certainly have had to sign the official secrets act. And because Number 6 can be very single-minded, he would no doubt feel that it was his bounden duty not to give any information away. As Number 2 once said “He’d have died first. You can’t force it out of him, he’s not like the others.”

Be seeing you

The Ordeal Of No.2!

    For three nights Number 6 is removed from the confines of his cottage, and taken through the woods to a secret laboratory there. The idea being that with the aid of a doctor and her newly developed drug, Number 2 intends to get into and manipulate the dreams of Number 6. This to discover what would have happened had they not go to him first. It’s easy to feel sorry for, and sympathise with the Prisoner. But it’s not a whole bundle of laughs for Number 2 either, as it can be as much an ordeal for Number 2 as it is for Number 6. He doesn’t actually live in the Green Dome, that might be described as Number 2’s residence, but in actual fact it’s merely his office. While Number 6 enjoys a comfortable cottage, Number 2 has a small room somewhere in the Underworld of The Village.
   The impression is given that Number 2 has had Number 6’s while life researched and computed in order to have the reason why Number 6 resigned boiled down to three people, A B and C. But surely the whole of the Prisoner’s life had already been researched before his arrival in The Village. After all the manager of the Labour Exchange said they had everything about the Prisoner, even the fact that he had given up sugar four years and three months ago on medical advice. So there was actually no need for Number 2 to have the Prisoner’s whole life researched, all he had to do was read Number 6’s file, and have that information fed into the computer!
   Number 2 was put under so much pressure by his superior {presumably Number 1} that he wasn’t even given a week, only three days. Why, are they running out of time so soon? Well not really, the three days reflects there having been only three doses of the doctors “wonder drug.” Any more than three doses and that would prove fatal to the Prisoner.
    But if that wasn’t enough, this Number 2 is unlucky enough to be given a second chance in ‘The General,’ in order to oversee a unique educational experiment. It would seem that someone in the outside world, probably in the government, an Minister for Education, had been approached about Speedlearn. It was something which could not simply be imposed on pupils and students in schools, colleges, and universities, the process would call for experimentation. What was the government to do? There was only one thing they could do, have both the General and the Professor taken to The Village, and the Speedlearn experiment conducted on the inmates there. Well surely no-one thought that Speedlearn had been developed simply for the good of The Village community.
   But for a second time Number 2 was guilty of one thing, underestimating Number 6! If  the result of ‘A B and C’ wasn’t bad enough for Number 2, the outcome of ‘The General’ was far worse, when you consider the loss of a super computer, along with the deaths of both the Professor and Number 12 of administration! But at least for this Number 2 the ordeal was finally over!

BSEEINU

Thought For The Day

   In one way Cobb and Dutton are alike. They are people from Number 6’s world, they knew him in his former life, and they are both used to demonstrate what Number 2 and his administration are capable of, and then both are taken away. Number 6 encounters both Cobb and Dutton just long enough to have one brief conversation with them. Cobb he never sees again, and that might have been the same case with Dutton, had that termination order against Dutton been received earlier by Number 2, and had been carried out. Or if Dutton had remained in the hospital, Number 6 would never have seen him again either!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

   There is a phrase used by Number 2 “The Observers do see and hear everything you know.” That’s a boastful claim, and a quite impossible one, when one considers that there are no more than what, seven {there’s that number again} Observers on duty at any one time in the Control Room, not counting Number 240, as she only appears in ‘Dance of the Dead.’ If for example, an Observer had been watching when Number 6 had diverted Rover, and entered his cottage, they might have seen him talking to Curtis, and the vicious fight that ensued. More than that, the Observer would have observed the confrontation with Rover. And seeing that Number 6 was wearing his dark blazer, the Observer could have told the Supervisor, he would have told Number 2, and he would have known from that moment that it hadn’t been Number 6 who had died. Then we might have been robbed of that final scene. Not that there was ever any doubt for the television viewer, that it was Number 6 who was about to leave/escape The Village.

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Village Life!


   “Nowhere is there more beauty than here. Tonight when the moon rises the whole world will turn to silver. Do you understand, it is important that you understand. I have a message for you, you must listen. The appointment cannot be fulfilled. Other things must be done tonight. If our torment is to end, if liberty is to be restored, we must grasp the nettle even though it makes our hands bleed. Only through pain can tomorrow be assured.”
   Number 2 from 'Hammer Into Anvil' was sure Number 6 was a plant, sent to The Village by their masters to spy on them. If he was right, it looks as though Number 6 has been hung out to dry by his superiors. On that second evening of ‘Dance of the Dead.’ Number 6 was found on the beach by Number 2. He was looking out to sea, looking for a sign from his world. A plane, a ship, a light. If Number 6 thought someone was coming from his world, he was to be disappointed, the radio message should have told him that much!
   Of course Number 6 wasn’t the plant, that was Number 34 and he was dead. How Number 34 managed to smuggle a radio into The Village with him, is unknown. What’s more it is only assumed by Number 6 that the message was meant for someone in The Village, the dead man, seeing as he had taken the radio from a pocket in the dead man’s trousers. This assumption brought Number 6 down to the beach that evening, perhaps hoping that someone from his world was coming to The Village. It didn't matter who, anyone helping would have meant escape!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

                                         "Man In Isolation!"




BcNu

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


  The Prisoner having woken up in what appears to be the study of his home, looks out of the window to find he’s no longer in London. He goes outside, climbs the Bell Tower {something he will later do on a daily basis}, goes to the Café, but doesn’t want breakfast. Attempts to make a telephone call, but that’s not possible because he doesn’t have a number. Then in having attempted to gain information from an electronic “Free Information” board, he takes a taxi ride. He wants to go to the nearest town, but the taxi service is only local. So the Oriental driver takes the Prisoner as far as she can, meaning as long as he turns up back where he started in the end, that’s why they’re called local.
   Well the Prisoner didn’t exactly end up back where he started, he ended up outside the General stores. Having looked in through the window, the Prisoner goes into the Emporium. The shopkeeper is busy serving a customer, who helps herself to a pineapple. No, she’s not a shoplifter, it just saved the shopkeeper time that’s all.
   The Prisoner approaches the counter and the shopkeeper bids his customer a good day, and asks what he can do for him. The Prisoner asks for a map of the area. “Colour or black and white?” It doesn’t matter to the Prisoner, he just wants a map. Not that the map tells him anything when he gets it. Yes the Map of Your Village does show everything, the mountains, the woods, various buildings. The thing is the Prisoner meant a larger map. But that’s only in colour, much more expensive. It’s a larger map alright, but of the same area, and that’s not what the Prisoner meant at all. He meant a map of a larger area. However there are only local maps, there is no demand for any others.
   The thing about The Village Map is, it doesn’t actually tell the Prisoner anything. Nothing is defined, the mountains, the sea. The map tells the Prisoner where he is, but not where he is. It is possible to ask why the need for a map of The Village in the first place, when The Village is not that large in the second place. It is unlikely that anyone would get lost in The Village. After all, have you ever seen anyone actually use a map in The Village? Yes there was that time in ‘Free For All’ when Number 6 was looking for the Town Hall, but apart from that?

Be seeing you

Kind Hearted No.6!

  Regarding Number 36 in ‘Its Your Funeral,’ whether she is the same character as Martha in ‘Many Happy Returns' or not, it would seem that Number 6 has a soft touch for “little old ladies,” as well as damsels in distress. I don’t somehow think Number 36 could be described as a damsel in distress, although she is in distress, because her weekly allowance has been all used up and so cannot buy her sweets. 36 cannot go a day without her sweets. Originally the script had cigarettes as being something Number 36 could not go a day without, and not sweets. And before there was 36, there came Number 38 during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ to whom Number 6 bought her tapestry with the special merit award of 2,000 free Work Units. This because he thought he would not be needing them, seeing as he was about to escape!

Be seeing you

Monday, 27 October 2014

Bureau of Visual Records


    Colourful Striped Umbrellas. They add to the colourful atmosphere of The Village. Yet it hardly ever rains! Open umbrellas in the sunshine act more as parasols against the sun, than protection against the rain. An umbrella is always handy to have about you, as there is always the threat of "Showers later!"

BCNU

The Prisoner Comment


    How was Patrick McGoohan going to wrap it up ‘Once Upon A Time,’ to solve the question of who is Number 1? According to Tony Sloman, Film Librarian on 'the Prisoner,' he said that McGoohan was never going to solve the question. That there never was a Number 1. Pat McGoohan was Number 1. We were all Number 1. He said the extra shots were never there at the end of the original episode. That it ended before Peter Swanwick came into the room. ‘Once Upon A Time’ was originally just another episode, being one of the early written episodes. In fact the final episode of the first series. The piece at the end, where the Supervisor asks Number 6 what does he desire? To which No.6 replies "Number One" was added later. Makes you think... doesn't it?
    In THEPRIS6NER-09 scriptwriter Bill Gallagher employed this idea in the episode ‘Anvil.’ When Six, working undercover as a school teacher, he asks the pupils in his class the oldest question in Village history. 1,100 replies “"There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there never will be." The concept of the Number Two is an act of humility. The title reminds us all that we are all public servants, even Number Two.” As for Number Two, it was Number 2 the 14th who oversaw the reformation of The Village. As for the first woman Number 2, well it wasn’t Lady Two the Great, as suggested by one pupil. I thought it was Mary Morris! But as for there being no Number 1, that that there has never been a Number One, and that there never will be, what about Six being the One, as suggested by Two and proclaimed by both 147 and the people of The Village? Perhaps 1,100 got it wrong, and Six was the first Number 1!

Be seeing you

60 Second Interview With A late Number 2


    No.113 “Why are you late?”
    No.2:  “I think it was the drink!”
    “You certainly seem a bit shaky. Good night was it?”
    No.113b “Smile” {click goes the camera}
    “It might have been the drink.”
    “Aren’t you sure?”
    “You can't be sure of anything in this place!”
    “You mean that some secrets are held back, even from a late Number Two?”
    “It would seem so. I’m not feeling quite myself.”
    “You don’t look like your old self.”
    “What do you mean by that?”
    “Well we all change from time to time.”
     Number 113b “What physically?”
    “Shut up!”
    “Number 6 once grew a moustache over night….”
    “Shut up!”
    “I’ve got to get another picture of this. Smile” {click goes the camera}
    “You came here of your own free will?”
    “Did I? I don’t seem to remember.”
    “I’ve read your file, you were once a prisoner no better than Number Six over there.”
    “Was I?”
    “But it didn’t take you long to rise in the ranks.”
    “Just a minute! I resisted…..”
    “Not for very long obviously!”
    “Why do you say that?”
    “You attained the position of Number Two.”
    “And now I’m late!”
    “What like the white rabbit?”
    “This isn’t Alice in Wonderland.”
    “Some will not be too sure about that.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well originally you did disappear down a hole to arrive in this Underworld.”
    The President “When you have quite finished over there!”
    “There you are. Now you’ve made me late!”
    “You died!”
    “Died?”
    “They just resuscitated you.”
    “They couldn’t even let me rest in peace. They resurrected me!”
    “If you like.”
    “Then this is my second coming!”
    “Oh no!”
    “I feel a new man!”
    “Here we go!”
    “My Lords ladies and gentlemen….a most extraordinary thing happened to me on my way here……”
    “First of all we had Ezekiel and his old bones. Now we have a second coming. This should be good!”

Reporter No.113
Photograph by No.113b

Thought For The Day

    If the Prisoner had died in an accident at sea aboard his raft, and seeing as how the next Number 2 saw the Prisoner as having a future with them {remembering that originally ‘Dance of the Dead’ was to have been the second episode} who would have paid for that loss of Number 6? Would that have been Mrs. Butterworth in her position of Number 2 at the end of the episode, or Number 2 who was in office at the commencement of ‘Many Happy Returns?’
    Although we do not see Mrs. Butterworth as Number 2 until the end when she presents Number 6 with a cake, there had to have been a Number 2 at the outset of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ and somehow it seems doubtful that it was Mrs Butterworth. Because if Mrs. Butterworth was in office as Number 2 at the beginning, then some time after Number 6 had put to sea aboard his sea-going raft, then she would have had to been taken to London, in order to be ensconced in No.1 Buckingham Place in time for the Prisoner’s arrival home. In turn that would have called for an interim Number 2 to be brought to The Village while Mrs Butterworth was away in London, and until her return to The Village.
    On the other hand, if there had been a Number 2, other than Mrs. Butterworth, in office at the commencement of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ this makes the episode an unusual one. Not for the fact that two Number 2’s were employed in the same plot, but that as a new Number 2, Mrs. Butterworth was aware of, and involved with the plot, long before her arrival in The Village!

Be seeing you

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

                          "The Man Who Haunted Himself"



BcNu

John Drake – James Bond – The Prisoner

    Because of an email the other day, I began to think about whether or not John Drake, James Bond-007, and ZM73-the Prisoner could have heard of each other, to might even have met in passing, such is their fictitious world. And why not? Because James Bond worked for British Intelligence, John Drake worked for Military Intelligence MI9, yes it is M9, but for ‘Danger Man’ I think they must have dropped the Intelligence! As ZM73-the Prisoner, we are unsure what his position was, the kind of work that he did. However, when considering that the kind of work he carried out, and working for Sir Charles Portland, it might not have been possible for ZM73 to contact Janet Portland for at least a year, maybe even longer. That makes it possible that ZM73 was a field agent, just like John Drake {pity he has no number, we could always call him D6} and 007-James Bond. ZM73 was certainly well versed in the use of codes and ciphers, and was best known by his code-name, using several different aliases for different countries. An ex-colleague and friend had defected, and he had tried to stop Chambers possibly making the same mistake. Judging by the adventures of ‘A B and C’ ZM73 was used to associating with spies and espionage agents from both sides.

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    Second Only To One: Guy Doleman is the first Number 2 we meet and is as indicative as all the others which we will encounter. This No.2 has all the characteristics of a typical administrator and front man to The Village. He is affable and charming, however we see little of this particular Number 2 yet he does set the pattern for the Prisoner’s future, as he is the first to debrief him, dotting the "I's" and crossing the "t's" in the Prisoner's file. After which he introduces this new arrival - the Prisoner who has yet to be issued with his number 6 - to the village. This by both an aerial and ground tour of The Village, after which he takes the Prisoner to the Labour Exchange. Astute is this Number 2, as he sees they have a challenge in the new arrival.
    Yet this Number 2 is plotting behind the scenes since the very beginning, sending his so called "personal maid" to try and trick the Prisoner into giving away the reason why he resigned, which of course the Prisoner saw right through, and told the maid that her services were no longer required.
    The Prisoner makes an attempt to escape, and the next morning while he's having his medical, Number 2 is on the telephone talking to Number 1. "He's having his medical. Mmmm no, course I don't mind. One has to make sure of these things." "Make sure of these things" meaning that there is no escape from The Village, or that the Prisoner has suffered no ill effects from his encounter with The Village Guardian?
    With setting the wheels of betrayal in motion, his introduction of the Prisoner to The Village, his final act was to make sure of these things! After that there is an unseen changeover, and this Number 2 goes on to better things it might be believed, although we never know the future of this the perfect administrator and public figure.
   George Baker is the new Number 2, his arrival and changeover has gone unseen. And his term of office is so short we are left wondering why they even bothered! And yet on the other hand, bringing in a new Number 2, does make the Prisoner have to begin all over again with this 2, who loses no time in taking up his term of office, by assigning Number 9, previously assigned to Cobb, now to Number 6. The new Number 2 bears many characteristics of those of his predecessor, charming and genial, yet there is a slight hint of menace about this man. A possible cruel streak running through this Number 2, as he enjoys seeing the Prisoner struggle to escape in the helicopter, the controls of which are taken over by an operative in the Control Room, and who flies the helicopter back to The Village by remote control. He  enjoys making Number 6 think that there is a way out of The Village, and positively enjoys the pleasure at seeing how easily Number 6 has been tricked. And is gratified that there are no loopholes, and that there is positively no escape from The Village.
     Strange that it is not Number 2 who issues the Prisoner with his number – 6, it is the Supervisor, well at least that's the number he gives over the telephone when issuing an Orange Alert regarding the escaping prisoner. This Number 2's character is all the more unpleasant for the constant smile on his face, as he deals out treachery from behind his desk, a sign of that which is yet to come. Yet he has a sense of humour, and a touch of irony, as he hopes that Cobb’s stay had its lighter moments!
   Just how long this new Number 2's term of office was is unknown. His term of office, that we do not see beyond ‘Arrival,’ would depend on the time between the end of ‘Arrival’ and the commencement of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’

Be seeing you

The Man Who Haunted Himself


   I don’t know what the game is!
   “Neither do I.”
   But wherever I go, I’ve always been there a few minutes before.
   “I could say the same, what’s more I’m getting fed up with it!”
    “I went to the kiosk the other day to buy a copy of The Tally Ho, and a bar of soap, and this little old woman came up to me and offered me a sweet. What’s more she thanked me for buying her a bag of sweets!!!
    “So it was you!”
    No it wasn’t me. Do you honestly think I go about buying little old ladies bags of sweets?
    “Well I didn’t. Because by the time I got to the kiosk I had already bought a copy of the newspaper and a bar of soap. What’s more I’d already gone for my daily stroll around The Village. I almost thought I would meet myself coming down the Bell Tower!”
    I went for my semi-weekly Kosho practise the other day.
    “What happened?”
    There was my apparent opponent climbing out of the tank of water! He asked me if I’d returned for a second bout.
   “And you hadn’t?”
   No.
   “Do you know what?
   What?
   “I think someone’s going about The Village impersonating us!”
   You mean there’s more than two of us?
   “Even then that’s one too many.”
   There have been twins or doppelgangers in The Village before.
   “I’ll stand for twins, but I’m blowed if I’ll stand for triplets!”
   What’s your name?
   “Flapjack Charlie!”
   Don’t be flippant.
   “I’ve got a mole on my left wrist.”
   So have I {pulls up his sleeve to find he hasn’t}
   “Not quite the perfect replica after all!”
    Ah, I’ve got a bruised fingernail. {pointing his finger}
   “How did you get that?”
   Alison knocked over a soda syphon.
   “Clumsy.”
   Well I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours!
   “I haven’t got a bruised fingernail!”
   Well that proves who I am. Now who are you?
   “You daren’t kill me. I’ve got to come back as Number 1.”
    He’s not here as well is he?
    “He must be if someone’s going about impersonating us!”
    Oh don’t start all that again.
     "It might help if you wore a different coloured blazer!"
   Why me, what about you?
    “Drink?”
    Whisky.
   “Ice? I usually keep it in the ice bucket over there.”
   Cigar?
   “I only smoke white cigarettes, Senior Service.”
   Isn’t there any way out of this?
   “Doesn’t look like it.”
   Better call Number Two, he’ll soon sort it out.
   “Well someone better had, it's become all to boring!”
   {Voice over, I agree too boring too boring. Supervisor get some discipline into these men!}

Be seeing you

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Danger Man!

   A good friend of mine, Steve Matthews emailed me the other day saying that he thinks he has made a discovery. He went on to ask if me if I was aware that Sean Connery made an ‘appearance’ in ‘Danger Man?’ I sat there thinking “Sean Connery in ‘Danger Man?” There was no way I could spend the day fast-forwarding through video’s and DVD’s of ‘Danger Man.’ So I bought it, and emailed Steve back saying what’s all this about Sean Connery appearing in ‘Danger Man? My wife and I had racked our brains thinking about it. Certainly we had never heard of this, or remember an episode featuring Sean Connery. Nor did we know of anyone else who had made such an observation. We presumed then that it was Sean Connery’s image that appears in ‘Danger Man.’ So I asked Steve to tell, and he did. Once knowing the episode, and the scene, I put the video in the machine and pressed fast-forward. And what do you know, Steve Matthews is absolutely correct, there is Sean Connery! I have watched the episode many, many times, and never saw Sean Connery in the episode before! “What’s the title of the episode?” I hear you ask. Well where would the fun be for you if I told you that? However to narrow it a little for you, you can discount all of the 25 minute episodes. Certainly I am obliged to Steve Matthews for drawing my attention to this discovery, well done Steve, and keep those eyes peeled!

I’m Obliged as John Drake would say.

The Prisoner Comment

    Tony Sloman, film Librarian on ‘the Prisoner’ once said that to his reckoning the two episodes ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ and ‘It’s Your Funeral’ are two episodes which do not feature an element of brainwashing or mind tampering. That is certainly true of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and yet in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ there is a drug used on Number 50-Monique, one of the new super strength moprobomates. The drug remains dormant until triggered by the nervous system, then it releases itself to the desired quantities to produce, instant tranquillity or temporary oblivion. But that might not be considered to be a mind tampering drug. 

BCNU

Quote For The Day

    "I am not a number, I am a free man.”
                                {the Prisoner}          
   What? Is that like being given the freedom of The Village? I mean that's what being a free man is. When a man has done really good for a city, or town where he lives. The people honour such a man by giving making him a free man of the city or town. And doesn’t the Prisoner run along the beach shouting “I am not a number, I am a free man” punching the air in high delight. As for “I am not a number,” could mean that he’s no longer one of the numbers, the ordinary people, that being a free man now sets him part from the hoi polloi.
   Of course not everyone will agree with this, and after all it is merely another way of interpreting the scene which takes place during the opening sequence. Ridiculous some might say. But no more ridiculous as shouting in protest “I am not a number, I am a free man,” which of course he is, and isn’t. He is a number whether he likes it or not. And he is no longer a free man, because he is a prisoner despite any amount of protestations he may care to make to the contrary.

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Village Life!


    “Attention, ladies and gentlemen attention. This is an announcement from the General’s department. Will all students taking the three part history course please return to their dwellings immediately. The Professor will be lecturing in approximately thirty minutes. I will repeat that. This is a special announcement from the General’s department, repeat from the General. Will all students taking the three part history course please return to their dwellings immediately.”
       It would seem that as Number 6 asks the waiter at the Café for another coffee, everyone has heard of the Professor and the General, everyone except Number 6! The thing with ‘The General’ is, that it gives the impression that Speedlearn has been installed in The Village overnight, which is ridiculous. Speedlearn had already been set up long before the outset of ‘The General,’ because students were already taking the three part history course! However either way, why does it appear that everyone knows about the Professor and the General except Number 6, where has he been? Perhaps he had been out of circulation, cut off from the rest of The Village, having been held incommunicado somewhere between ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘The General.’ Had he been away at sea for 25 days aboard his raft, that might account for it. But that wouldn’t happen until after ‘The General.’ Something else must have been happening to Number 6. Then having been released back into The Village he went for a cup of coffee at the Café, and appears to hear for the first time an announcement from the General’s department.
   On the other hand, Number 6 did say that he’s not one of the Professor’s students, which means he doesn’t watch television. Because to take part in the Professor’s lectures the student has to be sat in front of a television set, so that the sublimator can project the miniaturised course at a speed thousands of times faster that the eye can record, in other words subliminally! It is imposed onto the cortex of the brain, and is with occasional boots, virtually indelible! So having recently learned of the Professor, the General, and the three part history course, Number 6 is now interested, and we all know what takes place thereafter.

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It’s Not The Same!

    For ‘The Schizoid Man’ they changed things, little things, but enough for Number 6 to notice. The magazines were not Number 6’s, and the statuette should be gilt not silver. But it wasn’t only in ’The Schizoid Man’ that the interior of Number 6’s study was altered, if only ever so slightly.
    In ’Many Happy Returns’ Mrs. Butterworth had made subtle changes to the Prisoner’s study at 1 Buckingham Place. The three framed Vanity prints had been removed, replaced by what appears to be a painting of a ballet dancer, and two sketches. The gold coloured draft screen has been removed, presumably put into storage, seeing as the screen is later put back for ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ The glass carboy with its plants which sat on the coffee table was also removed, replaced by a small vase, or posy holder together with flowers. There are two additions to the study, two framed photographs, one taken on Mrs. Butterworth’s wedding day with her husband Arthur. And one of Arthur in his Naval uniform set on the mantelpiece.
    On the bureau there are a number of pieces of matching “deskanalia,” covered in leather, a blotter, stationary holder, a small box, and a pen holder. However by the time of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ these items have been removed, and replaced by a simple “Things To Do Today” and Memo pad. There is also an addition, that of the framed photograph of Janet Portland. There is also the addition of a wall mirror just outside the study door in the hallway. On the far wall of the study where three Vanity Prints once hung, they are replaced by two sketches and a painting of a ballet dancer. Although the gold coloured draft screen had been replaced. And when Mrs. Butterworth moved out of No.1 Buckingham Place, the Vanity prints were not replaced, instead three small scenic paintings were hung in their place!  All this makes me wonder, whether or not the wall safe hidden behind the television, which the Prisoner removes money from in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ is replicated in the study of 6 Private in The Village?!

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Teabreak Teaser

     Why did Number 1 show the former Number 6’s future in the crystal ball?

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                                                "ESCAPE!"



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The Therapy Zone

    What must it like to be, well not in the Therapy Zone, but to be in the Aversion Therapy Room, where they put a blind fold on you, and a pair of headphones to cut off any external influences one might imagine. Perhaps music is played through the headphones, that or poetry, maybe a disembodied voice speaks to those patients in quiet tones. It must be a form of brainwashing, in order to help the patient get over whatever they have an aversion to. Number 6 never made it into the Aversion Therapy room, but then it cannot be imagined what aversions Number 6 might have. I doubt whether he even has any phobias. Mind you he is averse to giving anything away, such as the reason behind his resignation.
     It might be wondered what they were doing to that poor wretch the Prisoner saw in the corridor of the hospital, on his way to the examination room. He had pieces of tape attached to his head, which presumably held electrodes in place. And then a little later he was wearing the Prisoner’s suit of clothes, sat behind a clear glass screen with a spout of water, with a table tennis ball balanced on that spout of water. The man was uttering some gibberish, the doctor said he was coming along nicely. Yes, but why was he wearing the Prisoner’s suit of clothes? Unless the man was a clone, and was being taught to…but no, that man didn’t look anything like the Prisoner. Not even if the clone was in an early stage of development. No I think cloning can be discounted, but then cloning by doctors would account for the number of twins and doppelgangers seen in The Village. The gardener and electrician for example, although there was the theory that both were actually one and the same. And yet if that were true, no-one has yet, during the past 47 years, offered up an explanation as to how the bald-headed electrician got to the garden so quickly from the cottage in order to encounter the Prisoner there.
   Once it was thought that Curtis was a clone of Number 6, but then Curtis was brought to The Village. But there’s always Number 1, just how many doppelgangers can one man have? First Curtis, and then Number 1. Of course Number 1 could be the long lost brother of Number 6, perhaps even the black sheep of the family, cast out to make his own way in the world.
   But this is far removed from the original subject, that of the Aversion Therapy room. In there perhaps one is forced to confront one’s own worst fear, or what it is one is averse to. For some it might be Number 2, for others the white membranic mass of The Village Guardian. For Number 6.…….well he says he’s afraid of nothing. How very uncomfortable for him that must be.

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ZM73

    Not 0073 as in being licensed to kill, but perhaps ZM73 worked for a different department in British intelligence to James Bond. And yet ZM73 is still a field operative if that episode with ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ is anything to go by. Curtis was also a top field man, Number 2 said as much, while he was stuck in admin. It is a wonder that ZM73 and Curtis never met, but perhaps British Intelligence was keeping them apart. Everyone in the world has a doppelganger somewhere, so they say. But with ZM73 his was nearer than he could possibly have imagined. And of course it must not be forgotten that the same can be said of Curtis.
    Number 6 is seen as the hero and Curtis is set as the villain who goes about The Village impersonating Number 6. It couldn’t have been easy for Curtis, to be brought to The Village to begin with. Nadia didn’t think The Village would be like the way she thought it. It makes one wonder just how well Curtis was briefed on The Village before his arrival? All Nadia Rakovsky had to do was to get close to Number 6 in order to gain his trust. Curtis on the other hand had to become Number 6, body, heart, and soul. But just how much alike was Curtis to Number 6? Yes he looked exactly like Number 6. He was the same height, the same build. The hairstyle would have to be altered though, the hair colouring, and the moustache would have to go. But what about the walk, the voice, the mannerisms of Number 6, they would all have to be learned, and the voice perhaps altered a little. Then there’s the attitude, Curtis would have to learn to be stubborn, there must not be the least bit of change in the character. And he must learn to win at chess in seven moves. He must be as good at fencing and shooting as Number 6. Yes Number 6 was handicapped in having been conditioned to be left-handed. But all the same, Curtis must shoot to an average of 90 percent. Just because Curtis looked exactly like Number 6 didn’t make him a perfect doppelganger for Number 6, not in the true sense of the word. And then Curtis would have to study Number 6’s file, to know the little things, like he gave up sugar four years and three months ago. Because it can be the little things that let you down. The fact that Curtis wears a cream blazer and not a black one should have been one. That he has no bruise under the index fingernail like Number 6 had, and so far as Number 6 is concerned, that Susan died a year ago.
    Curtis was seconded to The Village to do a job, to impersonate Number 6, and he did that very well. However it was not simply the fact of that Polaroid picture that let him down, that the Number 6 in the photo was not wearing a cream blazer. This alone should have been the undoing of Curtis. However in the case of Number 6, it’s the little things, the little details forgotten, such as the bruised fingernail, that saved him in the end!

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Thought For The Day

    "Playing it according to Hoyle?” Number 6 asks.
     Number 6 likes to “play the game,” well he might as well while he’s waiting, waiting for another opportunity for escape.
    "Oh, all cards on the table" Number 2 assures him.
     The only trouble is, for Number 6 that is, Number 2 is playing with a stacked deck!

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Regressing To The Future!

   By the end of ‘Fall Out’ the former Number 6 had returned to the society of London after having received a taste of a possible future. For in The Village there have been a number of technological predictions, the cordless telephone - the credit card - a cashless society - the International Community of The Village as a blueprint for world order, that would become the European Community of today. The electronic defence system developed by the Rook, that idea reflects into the one time idea Of the “Star Wars” missile defence system that never saw fruition. ‘the Prisoner’ gives us a lesson in education, and demonstrates the reliance on technology in The Village.
    The idea of the Penny Farthing was to be a symbol of man's progress and the speed at which he is progressing technological wise, and that perhaps we should slow down, is a good analogy for how technology features more and more in out everyday lives, and our ever growing reliance on that technology. The mobile phone has become part of the human anatomy, and is something many people can no longer live without. It is their way of communicating with people, people on social websites whom they are never likely to meet in real life.
   Number 6 also took part in the first “Virtual Reality” game, that of ‘Living In Harmony.’ Nothing was real, it was all played out in the Prisoner’s mind. One can imagine for example Number 6 as The Man with No Name riding along on a horse, but not actually riding a horse, but running along slapping his thigh as children do when playing cowboys and Indians, well when they used to play that game, I don’t think they do so much these days. And of course when The man With No Name is in a fist fight with the Judge's boys, he’s actually fighting imaginary people. And that also goes for the gun fight in the Silver Dollar Saloon.
    Today people play video games, like that Wii game thing. I watch the commercials on television for Wii and there they are, a group of people with a games controller in their hand, linked up to a game being played on television, as they seem to be playing musical instruments in a band on the television screen. But if you look at the idiots in the room, waving about a white game control around in their hands as though playing a guitar, banjo, or holding that game control to their lips as though playing the flute, or clarinet, take a step back and see just how ridiculous they look!
  I mean, if people want to play a musical instrument, why don't they go and actually learn to play the flute, clarinet, or guitar for real? Now I can see the point Patrick McGoohan was trying to make in ‘the Prisoner,’ and his idea of the Penny Farthing and man's technological progression - but I fear it is already far too late!

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A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


    During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ when Number 6 and Number 8 are taking the pieces of the abstract sculpture from the Recreation Hall, and assemble them on the beach to make a boat. Manhandling the pieces through the woods and down to the beach, that would have taken a while, seven trips in all I should imagine.
   Was that act really a show of kindness, when Number 6 used those 2,000 free Work Units to buy Number 38’s tapestry? Certainly he thought he would never use them, so perhaps he thought he might do someone a bit of good. After all he need not have bothered to buy 38’s tapestry, he could have just taken it when he removed the pieces of his sculpture from the Recreation Hall. Like that tarpaulin sheet, Number 6 had to have stolen that from somewhere!
   And so eventually Number 6 and Number 8 set sail, and as they do, and as I look at that rickety mast I cannot help but think that the boat wouldn’t make it thirty yards, let alone thirty miles! Yet at the same time, when watched for the first time, one is willing their escape to be successful.

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Once Upon A Time – The Fan Club!


    I was wondering the other day, purely out of curiosity, what became of ‘Once Upon A Time’ formally ‘the Sussex Group’ based in Britain, who called themselves friends of ‘the Prisoner,’ which was a breakaway group from Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society in the early 1980’s, and as I understand it, gradually evolved into ‘Once Upon A Time’ an American based fan club for ‘the Prisoner.’ I came across a link to ‘Once Upon A Time,’ but the link wouldn’t work. Neither could I find a site for ‘the Prisoner related ‘Once Upon A time’ fan club, to which I was once a member. I can only imagine that the fan club no longer exists. Perhaps someone reading this has knowledge of what became of ‘Once Upon A Time,’ and was he or she a member at one time or another, and knows what happened to the fan club.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Olympians!

   Number 6 and Nadia Rakovsky had something in common, they were both Olympians at one time or another. Nadia was an Olympic bronze medallist at the age of seventeen. While Number 6 was a member of the British fencing team. Yes it was Curtis who said that during the fencing scene of ‘The Schizoid Man,’ “It's good agricultural stuff, but would hardly have got you my place on the Olympic team.” But remembering at the same time that Curtis was impersonating Number 6!
   So if Nadia was once an Olympic Bronze medallist swimmer, why couldn’t she swim so far when she was attempting to swim away from The Village? Well she was no longer 17 for one thing, and for another, she would have been used to only swimming in swimming pools, not wild swimming as she endured during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben!”

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Thought For The Day

    To some enthusiasts of ‘the Prisoner’ Number 6 is a hero, someone to look up to, emulate even. To others he’s the anti-hero, a disruptive force, always causing trouble, poking his nose in where it has no business. Refusing to accept, or respond to his number. Refusing to settle down and join in. He is a rebel! But then who wouldn’t be in his circumstances? The Prisoner is also a man of violence. He gets into numerous fights with Guardians, motor mechanics, security guards. Thugs and henchmen, gun runners, and even with himself! And he is capable of killing, gunning down the Kid in the street, and on a more destructive level he kills Professor Schnipps, The Girl and all the French Marshals by blowing up the rocket. But then the Kid didn’t really exist, he was simply in the mind of the Prisoner, as much as Professor Shnipps and his daughter were. And yet the armed security guards in ‘Fall out’ were real enough, and he killed them indiscriminately during a vicious fire fight.
   Some people might try to emulate the Prisoner to some degree. But for myself the closest I got to emulating the Prisoner, was to portray him in a number of re-enactments at ‘the Prisoner’ conventions held at Portmeirion, which I had the privilege of doing several times in the past. However I did resign from two different jobs at one time or another, and I’ve been rebellious, asked questions. Tried to bring democracy to a certain society. But I cannot truly say that I was trying to emulate the Prisoner on those occasions.

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Caught On Camera!



   In the above image a taxi speeds along a road into The Village. The driver is an Oriental young woman, and sitting alongside her is the figure of the Prisoner, so this image must have been taken from routine surveillance of ‘Arrival.’ Well that isn’t the case, as this image was taken during the evacuation of The Village in ‘Fall Out.’ So unless the Prisoner vacated the cage on the back of  the trailer on the Scammell Highwayman transporter,  and returned to The Village for whatever reason {perhaps he forgot to turn off the gas} this chap has to be Number 1! But then how did he get out of the rocket? On the other hand, if this is the Prisoner, and following the reasoning that ‘the Prisoner’ is a vicious circle, even so his arrival in The Village seems somewhat previous!

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Measure For Measure

    Mercy, justice and truth. In his time in The Village, Number 6 deals out a measure of each. He carried out his own form of justice for Number 73 who was driven to suicide by Number 2 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’ He showed Number 2 mercy by allowing him to report his own breakdown in control. In ‘Living In Harmony’ he did likewise for the murder of Cathy, strangled to death by the Kid. He put on his colt 45 peacemaker, and out in the street he faced the Kid. He drew his gun, there was the sound of thunder, the flash of fire, gun smoke filled the air, and after all lay quiet and still, the Kid lay dead in the street.
   As for the truth, he suggested to the Colonel during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ that surely he knew about The Village. And asked if they had a Village here, it may be supposed that Number 6 meant Britain. He was also determined to find the truth about The Village during ‘Many Happy Returns,’ if not with the Colonel, then elsewhere. Even if that meant going back to The Village!

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The Prisoner Is Put To The Test!

   The question was asked back in the 1990's "Were the 16 episodes of ‘the Prisoner’ specific tests?
   Well of course they were, and the ultimate test being ‘Once Upon A time.’ Yet in the 17th episode, ‘Fall Out,’ is another manipulation of Number 6, and which culminated in his meeting with Number 1.
   In those 16 specific tests Number 6 demonstrated such qualities as:
A sense of humour
Strength of character
Determination
A sense of identity
He cared about those in The Village - once anyway
Ingenuity
Survival
Navigation
Woodwork
Individuality
Cleverness
Trustworthiness - in some people
Suspicion
Friendship
A skill in using his hands, building a raft in 'Many Happy Returns,' a coracle during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ for two examples. Stitch work in making his own punch bag, and private gymnasium sometime between the end of 'It's Your Funeral' and 'A Change of Mind.'
He demonstrated how he can live by his wits
Quick thinking in how he was quick to come up with an explanation of his three piece sculpture to the three members of the Arts & Crafts committee.
Sportsmanship in the noble art of boxing, fencing, shooting, not to mention Kosho.
    Number 6 had it all, then rejected it all in ‘Fall Out,’ and it was the manipulation used against him in 'Fall Out' that started it all in the first place. It's no wonder there was such a persistence with the question "Why did you resign?"

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Door To Number 1

   Number 1 Buckingham Place that is, which is somehow symbolic in the way that it opens  and closes automatically with that very familiar electronic hum that we have come to associate with the door to the Prisoner’s cottage of 6 Private, or indeed the Green Dome. And in that we possibly realise exactly what the Prisoner has been all about, varying aspects of life. To demonstrate that The Village is never very far away, indeed that The Village has become our world, the Global Village. And it happened without any of us realising. And now it's all too late to do anything about it!
   Episodes such as ‘Free For All’ tackles the question of the democratic process and democracy which so many countries are said to enjoy, and others envy. ‘The Schizoid Man’ examined problems within ourselves, possibly mental illness, while ‘The General’ delves into the world of education. Other aspects dealt with within The Village, the rights of individual, the question of identity, freedom. ‘Many Happy Returns’ deals with control and manipulation, while ‘Dance of the Dead’ has death at its core. Medical experimentation runs throughout, as does the need for information, information, information! While a number of episodes deal with the need for some to escape. But the need to escape from what, and to where? If it's escape from The Village one is after, then you’re already there. It's where one escapes from, only to arrive! Like the newcomer who just got off the bus having arrived in The Village {THEPRIS6NER-09}. Where did she get on the bus? In The Village. But it is The Village, she had arrived. Because there is only The Village, and it's all around. I like the automatic doors to shops, and each time I approach such a door I cannot resist clicking my fingers as Number 6 does as he returns to his cottage during 'The Chimes of Big Ben!'

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Bureau of Visual Records

   It would appear that even the Underworld cannot hold Number 6! But really, what is the Butler doing there? What duties does he have in the Council Chamber? I suppose Number 2 might have asked his Butler to set out the circle of tables in readiness for the Committee, to put out desk blotters, pens, and writing pads, someone had to do that, also to put the tables away afterwards. And perhaps he made the tea for the Committee's tea break!
   It is such a pity that the futuristic looking chair with the controlling blue light {originally intended for Rover MK1}in the back rest was never used as a chair. I can picture Number 1 in his white robe and black and white mask sitting there lording it over some committee or other, or the members of the Town Council.

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The Intended Fate Of The Prisoner

    Would that have been to lead The Village or go? They had always been careful with Number 6, one Number 2 even went so far as to suggest that he might even be given a position of authority. While another said of Number 6, “This man has a future with us.” And so it was that there was to have been an exchange of ultimate power, an exchange of ultimate power between who, the former Number 6 and Number 1? If the former Number 6 was to take the helm of The Village so to speak, what then of Number 1, what might have been his intended fate?
  In the rocket there are four clear Perspex tubes, two of which are marked “Orbit 2” and “Orbit 48.” A third is opened by the press of a button, ready for….the former Number 6, "Orbit 6" perhaps. And the fourth, that’s in the Control Room of the rocket, presumably for Number 1. These tubes are perhaps life support tubes, of the kind seen aboard the Jupiter II in the 1960’s television series ‘Lost In Space,’
    So if things didn’t work out as intended there was to have been a space journey? Why? To get rid of a rebellious youth, a man who bites the hand that feeds, and the former Number 6 if he refuses to co-operate? It seems a long and elaborate process to rid The Village of these three individuals. If that is correct, what might have been the destination of the rocket? Number 6 did say that he’d like to be the first man on the Moon! But would reaching the Moon be a realistic achievement? It seems unlikely, seeing as the rocket is but of a single stage, unlike America's Saturn 5 rockets which were three stage. If the rocket wasn't capable of reaching the Moon, only being possible to achieve either a low or high orbit around the Earth, presumably it would at some point re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. And if that was an uncontrolled re-entry it would burn up in the atmosphere, like the Russian cosmonaut Nicholai Soloviov ‘The Man Out There.’ And if the rocket didn’t burn up, then it would crash and burn on impact with the Earth! Such might have been the fate of Number 1, over which one can only speculate.

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                       "Portrait of the Prisoner-Number 6"


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