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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

   It is such a pity that Vincent Tilsley’s script for this particular episode was edited so drastically after he had written it—because in his mind they had made a bad script into an incomprehensible bad script, or words to that effect. To be perfectly honest I’m not one for reading scripts, yet having glanced through the original script Face Unknown, the episode in hand, it would have been more effective and enjoyable, and far less mixed up for the viewer, if David Tomblin and co had not messed the script about, but left it as it was originally written.
    According to the original script the Prisoner was sent back to London, his mind having been regressed back to the day of “crisis,” to the day of the Prisoner’s resignation—a most important moment in time. Originally we would have seen the Prisoner in his London home on the evening before the day he resigned, wearing a dressing gown as he settled down to write his letter of resignation—and having finished it he places his letter on the mantle piece and retires to bed. The mind of the Prisoner having been regressed back to the day before he resigned. He then awakens in what appears to be his own home, the camera makes a search, everything is quiet, and then we hear the Prisoner’s voice;
    “Where am I? Home…. This isn’t home…. There’s something wrong.”
The Prisoner’s hand appears into shot and picks up the travel brochures. This leads to a shot of a framed photograph of Janet Portland.
    “Janet… You’ll understand. I hope you’ll understand.”
From the mantle piece the Prisoner takes an envelope which contains his letter of resignation.
     “My letter of resignation. Wrote it last night. Said I’d sleep on it. Sleep… Was it only last night\?”
The camera searches suspiciously.
“Do they know what have they done? They’ve done something… Something …. There’s something different… What have they changed?”
The camera hurtles to the window.
     “That’s it! Out there! There’s something different out there” Looks the same. What’s changed?... Nothing. Nothing.”
The Prisoner stuffs the letter into his pocket and heads for the door.
     “It’s all the same. Why should I think it’s different?”

   The door opens violently and we see feet hurrying down the steps as the Prisoner hurries towards his parked Lotus 7. A hand opens the door, and he gets into the drivers seat, the engine is fired into life and revved up.
     “Of course it seems different. Of course. Things are different. Because -I– - am  -resigning! Now!”
The Lotus 7 picked up in the ant-like traffic in a panoramic shot of London, and zoomed in on, as the Lotus darts angrily through the traffic. There is a high shot of the Lotus as it enters the underground car park, and a shot through the car's windscreen as the Lotus enters the car park.
   The Prisoner storms along a darkened passageway.
    The Prisoner bursts into the office, the standard office which we see in the opening sequence and gives his letter of resignation to the man sat behind the desk. The man looks surprised.
     Danvers “YES. What’s this?”
The Prisoner “Read it.”
     “I don’t understand.”

     “Get me Sir Charles.”
     Danvers {frightened} “Who are you?”
Prisoner “Who am I?”
Hands reach out and grab Danvers by his jacket, jerking him to his feet.
     "Get me Sir Charles Portland. At once!”
Well if that isn’t enough to convince you that it was a mistake to change that to what we actually see in the episode, I don’t know what will. I think the episode would have stood better if the script had remained truthful to Vincent Tilsley’s original writing.
    What’s more, we see in the actual episode a man lying on an operating table in the “amnesia room.” He was very co-operative, apparently told them all they needed to know in three days, with hardly any persuasion.  All unpleasant memories of the village are then wiped from the man’s memory, and he is put back into circulation in order to gather more information. And that is apparently what they have done to Number 6, wiped all unpleasant memories of the village from his mind, and sent him out into the world in order to find Professor Jacob Seltzman and so he is brought back to The Village.   
Be Seeing You


  1. The script reads well until you consider the fact that The Prisoner is supposed to have made it all the way to his ex-place of employment without once glancing in a mirror and seeing his reflection. Didn't he shave the morning of his resignation? Didn't he shower or bathe and notice is once fine physique was now rather portly?

    1. Hello Roo,
      Thank you for your comment.
      What we do not see is what happened to the Colonel/Prisoner immediately after the mind transference. We can assume that all unpleasant memories of The Village have been wiped from his mind, and regressed back to the evening before he was due to hand in his letter of resignation. Then he was taken back to London unconscious, the same way he was taken to The Village. Hence the Colonel/Prisoner waking up in his pyjamas and dressing gown. I don't think the Colonel initially had shaved, showered or bathed that morning, as he had just woken up from the effects of the nerve gas {as he did that morning of his arrival in The Village}. Mind you, once the Prisoner had woken up and looked at his wrist watch he should have known straight away that something was wrong. That it was not his hand, nor wrist he was looking at!
      I’m quite sure he must have known what was going on before he made his way to his ex-employers. Because if he didn’t, he would be playing out what we see in the opening sequence, handing in his letter of resignation, and not demanding to see Sir Charles Portland. But as the Colonel the Prisoner has questions he wants answers to. My point was with the original script, that it would have been far more of a shock to the viewer to see all these pre-ambles and not discover he was completely physically changed until much later into the episode.

      I shall have to make time to listen to your Prisoner Podcast. Please give my regards to Nodge and Steve.

      Best regards

  2. Hello David,
    that's an interesting point, that the Prisoner should have known what was going on. I agree, he would have noticed that it wasn't his wrist he was looking at. Even if he wouldn't have looked into a mirror.

    I think it is quite paradox: He should have known what they did to him, but if it is true that his mind was regressed back he wouldn't likely have known who did it to him. And somehow I don't think that in this case he would have just went on with his original plan to resign but would have been quite upset to find out.

    I think it's possible to explain it by brainwashing, maybe they managed to make him "recognize" his alien appearance as himself. But then again - this might have failed as a motivation to look for Seltzman.

    I think it's a tricky script, and somehow I feel they had to drop the reference to the Prisoners resignation to make it work. Although I agree, for the viewer it would have been very thrilling to not know what was going on.

    Best wishes,

    1. Hello Jana,
      Enjoyed your comment very much. The thing about the Prisoner is, that on two occasions all becomes clear to him by gazing into a mirror, 'DNFMOMD' being one, 'The Schizoid Man' being another.'
      The Prisoner may have woken up that morning with the intention of handing in his letter of resignation, but as soon as he found out his current situation, any thought of resigning went out of the window. He had more important things to do, like getting back to his old self, and that was the motivating factor. The Colonel's body may not have been to the liking of Professor Seltzman, but the Prisoner didn't fancy remaining as he was either! Imagine if something had happened to Seltzman...............

      Very kind regards

    2. Hello David,
      oh yes, in this case Number 6 would have been in serious trouble, just like the viewers, the writers of the next episodes and .. well, and the Colonel. Unless one of the writers would have had the idea that no Seltzman was needed to revert the process. Maybe they would have made Number Six searching for the plans instead.. there must have been something that was written down about the process.

      But if not, one might ask if this would have changed the appearance of Number 1, too... ;)

      Very kind regards,

    3. Hello Jana,
      Yes there would have been something written down regarding the reversal process. But why would they need any such plans, when all that had to be done to reverse the process was to put the same two subjects through the same process they went through the first time. There was no need for any such plans, nor was there any need for Seltzman to be brought to The Village. Because they must have already gained the plans for a Seltzman machine. Scientists and technicians had built the machine and made it work. Surely they could have figured out how to reverse the process themselves!

      I like your thought about if the process changed appearance of Number 6, would it also change the appearance of Number 1....mmm interesting thought.

      Very kind regards