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Monday, 5 January 2015


    The White Queen-Number 8 is the real victim here. The way she is manipulated through hypnotism into believing that she is in love with Number 6, and he with her. But she and her feelings of love for Number 6 are only frustrated by his cold unfeeling, uncaring attitude towards her. Number 8 is betrayed by both sides, as a tool against Number 6, and by Number 6 who doesn’t take her up on her offer to help with his escape plan because he doesn’t trust her. And yet through Number 8, if inadvertently, Number 6 acquires the last transistor required to complete the radio transmitter, found in the locket Number 8 has about her neck. 6’s callousness towards Number 8 is clear, as he has no intention of returning the locket, but he must realise that she is being used against him, that Number 8 is another victim of the doctor he met at the hospital. And yet he still does not take her into his confidence. However the original script has Number 6 taking Number 8 with him on the pair of rubber lilos, eventually taken aboard the vessel with Number 6. As it is, much of Number 8’s story remains untold. You will recall Number 9 in ‘Arrival,’ and how she was also an unwilling tool of Number 2’s, once assigned to Cobb, and then to Number 6. There appears to be something of an affinity between Number 9 and Number 8. The only question is, how many times have these women been used against prisoner’s like Number 6?
    Talking of tools within Number 2’s locker, might not Number 14, the ex-Count and chess champion, not also be in the pay of Number 2? After all, through him Number 6 realises how possible it is to distinguish between the prisoners and the warders, and then plays little part actively in the actual escape. Mind you he said it himself, that he’s too old for escape. So it could be that in his own way Number 6 had seen Number 14 had already played his part, and so thought him worthy of escape. Besides all 6 required after that was for the Rook to play his part and construct the radio transmitter.
    There are a number of “guest stars” Ronald Radd, Patricia Jessel, Peter Wyngarde, Rosalie Crutchley, and George Colouris, all of whom are very accomplished actors and actresses in their own right. However it could be said that Patricia Jessel’s role of the doctor-Number 22 could have been played equally well by actor Duncan MacRae.  His role of the doctor-Number 40 of the previous episode ‘Dance of the Dead’ is complimentary to that of Jessel’s doctor, and vice versa. Both are keen on human experimentation, and only too eager to find Number 6’s breaking point! As it is, it makes one wonder if the doctor-Number 40 had been replaced by the doctor-Number 22 because of his over exuberance towards Dutton. And yet Number 2 did say to the doctor that Dutton would give him the chance to experiment, after all he was expendable!
   The fact that the viewer is able to draw similarities between MacRea’s character of the doctor Number 40 and that of Jessel’s doctor-Number 22, is because the two episodes are placed one after the other in the series. Had they been placed further apart, the similarities would still have been there, yet perhaps not quite so pronounced!

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