We never fail!
That was a brave statement once made by Number 2, but is it a truthful one, or simply a boastful statement? 'Arrival' saw Number 2 try twice to get information out of the Prisoner, and all he got for his trouble was the time of his birth. Although his successor did demonstrate that escape from The Village is not possible. The plan carried out during 'The Chimes of Big Ben' was an elaborate plan, however like most elaborate plans of it's kind it had a flaw, it was time! 'A B and C,' gets into the Prisoner's dreams, and manipulates them if necessary, but Number 6 was allowed to turn the tables on Number 2, another failure. Although Number 2 and the doctor-Number 14 did discover that the Prisoner really was going on holiday!
'Free For All,' democracy, in The Village, seems highly unlikely! But Number 6 couldn't take the chance of missing out on any given opportunity. But there was never any chance of him organising a mass breakout. Here we have a demonstration of the manipulation of such a community as The Village, and of Number 6. A suggestion that he is just the sort of candidate The Village needs, and Number 6 took the bait! 'The Schizoid Man,' takes away Number 6's identity, has him wake up in a strange apartment and as someone else, then faces him with himself. It might have worked had it not been for a mirror revealing the truth about him, and the fact of the faulty table lamp. But at least Number 2 managed to stop Number 6 from escaping The Village. But then again if it had not been for Susan..........
'The General,' Speedlearn was going along quite nicely, until Number 6 poked his nose in, then things soon began to unwind for Number 2. Resulting in the destruction of the General, and the deaths of the Professor and Number 12. 'Many Happy Returns' and a deserted Village. Number 6 isn't a man to hang about waiting for something to happen, he's a man of action with a capital "A". Although this episode is a success for The Village administration, they did take a grave risk with Number 6. A demonstration that no matter where he goes, there is nowhere they cannot find him, and how easily it is for them to return him to The Village. So he might as well just save himself the bother and settle down to life in The Village.
'Dance of the Dead,' put on trial for the possession of a radio, sentenced to death. Well they were never going to see that sentence carried out, seeing as it is thought that Number 6 had a future with them. Number 6 tells Number 2 that she'll never win. To which Number 2 replies "Then how very uncomfortable for you old chap." Somehow it seems as though the canvas deck shoe is on the other foot, that it's Number 6 who cannot win, when the teleprinter suddenly bursts back into operation! 'Checkmate,' Number 6 is given a lesson on how to distinguish between the prisoners and the warders, little good it does him, when one of his reliable men puts to him his own test! In the end was there really any chance for escape? Perhaps, if the Rook had been with Number 6 when he boarded M.S. Polotska, and was able to unlock the helm, then there might have been a chance.
'Hammer Into Anvil,' a weak link in the chain of command just waiting to be broken. Not only that, Number 2 had his pride. He refused Number 1's offer of assistance, because he already had an assistant Number 14. It wouldn't have helped if Number 2 had had half a dozen assistants! 'It's Your Funeral,' just as well for the retiring Number 2 that his heir presumptive involved Number 6 in the plan to assassinate/execute him. Another elaborate plan, which had but one flaw, it involved Number 6!
'A Change of Mind,' turns the community against Number 6, declare him as being disharmonious. Further declares him as being unmutual, and recommends he undergo the process of Instant Social Conversion, a leucotomy to isolate the aggressive frontal lobes. But instead make him think he has undergone the operation, yet simply keep him drugged! And it might have worked had Number 86 not allowed herself to be hoodwinked by Number 6. Or had an Observer seen Number 6 pour that tea away into the flower vase. Number 6 managed to turn the tables on Number 2 once more. Poor old Number 2, what might have happened to him had the chasing mob caught up with him. They might have manhandled him to the hospital to undergo the process of Instant social Conversion!
'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,' Just as well for Number 6 that that undertaker, in the guise of a chauffeur, was on the ball. Had anything happened to him, how would Number 6 have found his way back to The Village? As for escape from The Village not being possible, then perhaps Professor Seltzman might have been the first ever to escape! Up until that moment the mind swapping process had been a huge success for Number 2 and his administration. 'Living In Harmony,' an elaborate and daring plan on the part of Number 8. Put the Prisoner in a dangerous environment. Give him love, take it away, isolate him and make him kill, face him with death, he'll crack. Break, if only in his mind, and the rest will be easy. After all it had worked before, so Number 8 claimed, but the flaw in this plan was the human factor. The fact that Number 2, Number 22, and even Number 8 all became involved, and did what they would in a real situation!
'The Girl Who Was Death,' a lively enough fairytale, but it always strikes as being something of a last resort. Whoever thought Number 6 would drop his guard with children wasn't giving Number 2 much of a chance. Mind you it all depends on how many times Number 6 actually attended that nursery, how many tales he told those children. Not a 1,001 I expect, but more than one might be a possibility. 'Once Upon A Time,' was a risk, a very grave risk, seeing as Number 2 has his own problems! They made Number 6 kill in 'Living In Harmony' and here Number 2 tries that one again, lucky for him Number 6 couldn't do it. Perhaps he liked this Number 2 too much to do it. Degree absolute is a method used in psychoanalysis, and in extreme cases the doctor and patient change places. This is an extreme case, and having changed places Number 6 becomes the interrogator and Number 2 the prisoner. And had it not been for the advent of 'Fall Out,' the question might have been asked, which of them actually died in that embryo Room? As for 'Fall Out,' well it could be said that there is a measure of success in most anything that takes place in The Village, save for perhaps speedlearn, and the escape of Professor Seltzman. And even here, with Number 1 sent off in a rocket, and the Village forced into evacuation, along with the former Number 6 escaping and making it all the way back home to London, there is still that measurement of success, after all he is still a.........................PRISONER!
Be seeing you