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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Another Black Box!


   The Royal Air Force Group Captain in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ I’ve never been sure whether or not he was involved with The Village. He did hang back in the kitting out room after both the Colonel and Number 6 had left. The Milkman {an agent working for The Village} then went into the kitting out room. Did he then overpower the Group Captain, or did the Group Captain help the milkman into his flying gear? If the latter, then after the milkman was in his flying suit, he would have then knocked the Group Captain unconscious so to give him an alibi. If not, he would have had to have had some kind of story to tell the Colonel, to explain why he is not in the aircraft with Number 6!
   And yet does it really matter
if the Group Captain was overpowered by, or was in league with the Milkman, the story would have to be the same, wouldn’t it? And yet if the Group Captain was in league with The Village, then why the necessity for the milkman to fly the Gloster Meteor aircraft, when the Group Captain was already on hand to do the job? The appearance of the said Milkman might well indicate that the Group Captain was not in league with The Village.
    Thinking about it, if the RAF Group Captain was in league with The Village, then he could have flown the plane, and ejected Number 6 out of the aircraft as we see in the episode. Then the Group Captain carried on with whatever happened next to the aircraft, either crashing the plane into the sea, or landing somewhere else. The aircraft, its pilot and navigator having died in an accident at sea! After all, the Group Captain couldn’t have flown the plane back to RAF Gibraltar, not without Number 6 aboard, that would have brought about some very embarrassing questions. Then again, if the Group Captain had flown the plane, and was not in league with The Village, Number 6 wouldn’t have been returned to The Village!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “The Penny Drops!”



BcNu

60 Second Interview With No.93


    No.113 “Number Ninety-three can I ask you………”
    No.93 “They’re right of course.”
    “They are?”
    “Quite right.”
    “Well………..”
    “I’m inadequate.”
    “Really.”
    “Inadequate.”
    “Yes, well if I could just ask you a few questions……”
    “Disharmonious.”
    “If we could begin with…….”
    “But I‘m grateful, truly grateful.”
    No.113b “Smile” {click goes the camera}
    “Well if you could just answer one small question.”
    “Believe me………believe me…………believe me!”  
    “No don’t go just yet.”
    “Well what is it you want?”
    “I’m Number One, one three, and this is my photographic colleague Number One, one three b. We contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    “Smile” {click goes the camera}
    “Well what is it?”
    “You’re the former Number Two five zero.”
    “What if I am?”
    “A fall from grace?”
    “How do you make that out? I’m Number Ninety-three now.”
    “Disharmonious and a self-confessed unmutual. This after holding a position of a guardian.”
    “Look I’ve got a meeting with the Social Group in five minutes.”
    “Well what if I told you that in about forty-two years time, you will be appearing in another series of THEPRIS6
NER, in a new Village, playing an old man Number 93 being chased by armed guardian with dogs in the desert.”
    “Typecasting is it?”
    “Typecasting?”
    “Me as Number Ninety-three, an unmutual!”
    “But you do escape The Village.”
    “Well its work. Speak to my agent will you, I‘ll give you his number!”
    And with one final “Believe me!” Number 93 stormed off seeming all the better for his confession.


Number 113
Photographer Number 113b

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ringing The Cimes of Big Ben!


    ‘The Chimes Of Big Ben’, there are certain changes made to the script, to make what we actually see on the screen, changes such as.......
    When No.6 visits the Green Dome, a rather shocking scene is cut. It occurs when No.2 consults No.6's file to discover that No.6 does not take sugar in his tea. We have always been amused by what follows. When No.6 plops three sugar cubes in his tea to make No.2 sink back into his chair, we always smile. But if they had kept the script, how different our reaction would be.
    Number 6 "Have you got a cigarette?"
    Number 2 "Of course, {offering him a box} that file is really a disgrace. No mention of your smoking here."
    Number 2 lights it for him. No.6 takes a puff to make sure that it is well alight. He takes it from his mouth and looks at the glowing end. He then slowly and without flinching stubs it out on the back of his hand.
    Number 6 "I don't."
    This scene would have been an uncomfortable one to watch but it would have shown a man unafraid of pain or torture. It also would have been a very effective way to close act one.


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Bureau of Visual Records


    The Man With No Name as the Town’s Sheriff, stood up against the Kid in a gunfight. The Kid drew first, but the Sheriff shot first and the Kid lay dead in the street! So if everything in ‘Living In Harmony’ takes place in Number 6’s mind, why the need for the two cardboard cut-outs of the Kid, the Judge, and the horse? After all there’s no cardboard cut-out of Cathy lying strangled to death on the floor in the Saloon!

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A favourite Scene In THEPRIS6NER


   A favourite scene in THEPRIS6NER takes place soon after the Prisoner has journeyed on foot through the desert to finally arrive in The Village. The Prisoner sees a red and cream taxi, not cream or white Mini-Moke with a candy striped canopy. But a red Renault Dauphine with a cream roof.
    “Taxi!”
    The taxi stops and the Prisoner climbs into the back.
    147 “Where to?”
    “I need to get to a railroad station.”
    “A rail what?”
    “A train….a train, take me to the nearest town.”
    “Hey man I just do local destinations okay.”
    “What’s the matter with you? I need to get out of here!”
    “Hey man, I don’t know what you’re talking about…trains, railroads.”
    “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to get my bearings here alright?”
    “It’s okay.”
    “Where is this place?”
    “This? This is The Village.”
    “Yeah but what village?”
    “Hey man what gives with you? This is The Village, and I do local destinations.”
   The Prisoner jumps out of the taxi into the road, the taxi drives on.


Breathe in….breathe out….Village life goes on.
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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bureau of Visual Records


    Apparently this elderly couple didn’t settle for ages and now they wouldn’t leave for the World. So what was it that brought them to The Village? Did they come together, like the Professor and Madam Professor, and of their own free will? Perhaps they met in The Village and decided to make a life for themselves. At any rate they seem perfectly happy, Village life seems to suit them.
   That’s a yachting cap that chap is wearing. He might have been a yachtsman in his former life. Perhaps he was a yachtsman sailing around the World with his wife, whose yacht was caught in a storm at sea, and dashed to pieces on the rocks, their unconscious bodies washed up on the shore. And therefore found themselves in The Village. They of course would not be allowed to leave no matter what the circumstances, hence it would take them ages to settle down to Village life.

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

    “Who Does He Think He’s Fooling?”

                “He’s fooling no-one but himself !”

BcNu

Caught On Camera!


   “Tell me….does my blazer look brown in this?”
   “Never mind the blazer. Just let me get you home!”


BCNU

The Butler Speaks


    We know what we must do….what must we do? Progress, progress, progress! What a lot of palaver over nothing! All that effort of the election period and at the end the electorate behave as though nothing had happened. Number 6’s words rang richly in the electorate’s ears, because everyone voted for him, little good it did. Well it didn’t do Number 6 any good at all. He thought he had won when there was no chance of him winning at all. They treated democracy, the freedom of local election as simply part of the game.
   As for myself I took little part in the election, appearing holding up the vote and progress boards, and again holding the umbrella during my master’s final election speech on the hustings. One last thing, I pride myself that I was the only unbiased individual person during the election, not to wear a rosette in support of either candidate. I suppose that could be interpreted as my being the one percent “don’t know” vote! So I abstained from voting, as neither candidate impressed me. Because to me Number 2 is Number 2 no matter who it is. Didn’t Number 240 of ‘Dance of the Dead’ once accuse Number 6 of wanting to spoil things? Isn’t that just what he attempted to do after the election. In trying to organise a mass breakout, thus trying to spoil things, by telling the citizens that they are free, free, free to go!

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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Collectors Corner


  Yesterday I was out and about the town, when my wife and I called into one of the several charity shops. Instantly upon entering the shop, my eye was caught by ‘the Prisoner’ videos set on the DVD and video shelves. Their design is distinct, so much so that they do stand out, and to my mind they are the best designed sleeves for ‘The Prisoner’ on either video or DVD since 1986.
   Why did I buy them, when I already have this set of videos? Simple, I could not resist them, and I felt exceedingly happy having done so. Oh I did for a short time. I was talking about them in the shop with the shop assistant. She asked me if I was going to buy them, but I resisted, saying that I already have the set, and my wife would frown upon me should I buy them. Eventually we left the shop, and in the shop next door I asked my wife if I should buy ‘the Prisoner’ videos? She said that it was up to me. I wasn’t sure, but after a few moments thought, I found myself thinking if I don’t go back and buy them I will regret it for the rest of the day. So leaving that shop I returned to the charity shop, the assistant asking are you going to buy them? I said yes. So my wife knew I would buy ‘the Prisoner’ videos, the shop assistant knew, and so did I. The price? 49 pence per video, which is a damned sight cheaper than when I bought my set in 1986-87, then they were £9.99p each, almost £90 the set.
   Back in November 1986 is when I purchased the first two videos covering ‘Arrival’ to ‘Free For All.’ And the rest were subsequently released two videos at a time, save for ‘Fall Out.’ over the ensuing months of 1987. And I was impatient to collect the rest, impatient that I should not miss the next release. So I would call into W.H. Smiths once a month to enquire about them, and while I awaited the next two videos I watched the first two videos over and over again. What’s more, although they have not been re-mastered in anyway, the Channel 5 videos still play as good today as they did back in 1986.

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A favourite Scene In The Prisoner


   A favourite scene takes place on the day of the Prisoner’s arrival in The Village, when after Number 2 and the Prisoner take a taxi ride from the Old People’s Home stopping outside the Town Hall, they part and got their separate ways. Number 2 makes his way to the Gloriette, while the Prisoner………
   The brass band emerges from the pink pavilion playing the Radetzky March. The Prisoner is passing by at the time, but pauses to look up at Hercules with the World on his shoulders, and his lion skin wrapped about him.
   It’s another beautiful day, but suddenly there are two announcements and your attention is required. “Ice cream is now on sale for your enjoyment. The flavour of the day is strawberry. Here is a warning! {that grabs the Prisoner’s attention} there is the possibility of light intermittent showers later in the day. Thank you for your attention.”
    The Prisoner makes his way across the lawn and onto the Piazza where people are promenading around the pool and fountain, as well as taxis driving around the piazza. A chap in a boater collects his penny farthing bicycle and gives a salute to the Prisoner. There’s a chap in a dark blazer and straw boater sitting in a dinghy in the pool of water by the fountain. An elderly couple pass by and greet the Prisoner.
   “Beautiful day.”
   Number 2 tells the Prisoner from the Gloriette using a megaphone that they didn’t settle for ages, now they wouldn’t leave for the world!
   Also in the pool two men are fighting, and a chap is riding a tricycle. One chap is riding a garden tractor, while elderly citizens are pushed along in wheelchairs. Citizens riding bicycles with the addition of a candy striped canopy, the same as the taxis. The people sat in those wheelchairs are wearing colour tinted visors, and some of the citizens promenading have their colourful striped umbrellas open. Either expecting rain, or simply employing them as parasols for protection against the sun. And two men in black top hats, black suits, and overcoats carrying black leather document cases pass through the Piazza. These are two men of The Village’s Administration, not the pair of Undertakers who abducted the Prisoner from his home!
    Suddenly an order issues from Number 2 “Wait, wait, be still!” And everyone stands stock still, even the Prisoner, and even the fountain stops operating!
    And then a small white amorphous sphere appears on the waterspout of the fountain. Then, in the blink of an eye, its much larger and on to of the Gloriette.  Young man in a hat, sunglasses and a striped jersey suddenly emerges from the pool of water and runs about. He is told to stop by Number 2, the young man ignores him. Number 2 orders the man to turn back. But then the white amorphous sphere is upon the young man in seconds, covering his face, suffocating the life out of him. And then it’s gone. The Prisoner asks Number 2 “What was that?” Number 2 tells him that that would be telling!
    Then an announcement over the public address system, apparently the Labour Exchange is now ready for him. Number 2 will be right there, and proceeds to direct the Prisoner to a sign which points the way to the Labour Exchange. There’s the ex-Admiral floating a plastic boat in the “
Free Sea.” The electric’s Truck parked up. Then the sign pointing to the Citizens Advice Bureau, and then the Labour Exchange. Number 2 eventually meets up with the Prisoner by a tall hedge.
   “Well how do you like it? he asks.
   “Charming” the Prisoner replies.
   The Prisoner finds The Village Charming, and so do I.
 
  Be seeing you

Interior Design!


  Talk about minimalism! Number 2 takes minimalism to the extreme, he’s even had the pair of Lava Lamps, seen in ‘Arrival,’ removed from his office! And that’s the whole point, the Green Dome isn’t Number 2’s residence, it’s his office. Yet all he needs is there, a desk, control panel, a separate control panel, a chair, and the wall screen. If other chairs are required then they emerge through holes which appear in the floor at the touch of a button.
   Access to the office is either via the pair of steel doors, which give the impression of being blast proof doors. Or through the floor, as Number 2 is sometimes seen to arrive in his office sat in his black spherical chair. As for the floor, it’s slightly ramped around the base of the wall, and a ramp leads up to the two steel doors. The centre of the floor appears to be painted in such a manner as to resemble an eyeball! Although perhaps that’s my imagination working overtime!
   The office is a domed chamber with purple coloured walls, which is illuminated from lights set high up in the dome. What’s more there is a steel framework around the chamber, which gives the effect of being a cage. This in turn, if one is symbolically minded, could be interpreted as being Number 2’s personal prison cell!

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Dance Of The Dead

   ‘Dance of the Dead’ is perhaps the most difficult episode to take literally. The Prisoner is sentenced to death for the possession of a radio set. That sentence is to be carried out by the people, who carry it out in the name of justice. But this is "mob justice," as they chase the Prisoner through the corridors of the Town Hall. No better than the lynch mob who hang Cathy Johnson’s brother in ‘Living In Harmony,’ or those self-righteous citizens who attack and man-handle Number 6 all the way to the hospital in ‘A Change of Mind.
    He’s ripped the guts out of a teleprinter, which inexplicably bursts into life again, continuing to type the message it was originally printing at the time the Prisoner caused it to stop. And the death sentence is not carried out. Well you never expected it to be, did you....or did you? After all didn’t Number 2 herself say that Number 6 has a future with them, that there are other ways. Well ‘Dance of the Dead’ is one of those other ways! Number 6 tells Number 2 “You’ll never win.” To which Number 2 replies “Then how very uncomfortable for you, old chap,” so when taking into consideration Number 2’s words, and the fact that ‘Dance of the Dead’ is the second episode of the series according to the library/production order. How can things be normal in the Prisoner ever again after this? The answer is simple, it can't. Things can only get much worse!


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Friday, 26 June 2015

Bureau of Visual Records


    That’s a strange piece of Village technology they have there. That’s the gizmo through which the Professor’s lectures are transmitted on to the cortex of the brain of the students watching their televisions. What is they call it? Oh yes the Sumblimator. It spins, it thrusts, its got a spotlight attached to it, as well as a gyroscope. I had one of those when I was a boy. A gyroscope that is. It’s used to keep something on course, a torpedo, a missile, a rocket, or a ship steady on its course. Is that what the gyroscope is doing to the Sumblimator, keeping it steady? And the projectionist, what’s he about, looking through that periscope? He’s not in a submarine, although the projection room is below ground. Mind you, I’ve seen that before, men in a sealed room, observing something through periscopes. It was during a television documentary several years back. I wonder what the projectionist is observing through that periscope? The transmission of the Professor’s final lecture perhaps? Or maybe the effect of the lecture on the students, from the safety of the projection room?

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The Day Nothing Happened!

    It was a perfectly ordinary day when Number 99 woke up. Rising out of bed, putting on his dressing gown he went through into the lounge. He drew back the curtains and looked out of the window, there was no-one! The Piazza was devoid of anyone.
   99 washed, shaved, dressed, had breakfast and then went out into The Village. There was no-one leaning out of
Bell Tower looking down at him. The waitress was busy opening the cafĂ©, but no-one interrupted her to ask her the name of The Village, or to enquire where the police station is. So there was no-one for the waitress to ask if they wanted breakfast, or even to direct them to the telephone box around the corner! As he passed cottages there was no maid standing on a balcony shaking a yellow duster, and she definitely wasn’t seen rushing along a path and down steps. As 99 made his way through The Village, no-one greeted him with the words “Beautiful day.” There was no order to “Be still,” so the Village Guardian didn’t put in an appearance, and no-one was suffocated by said Guardian. And the Ex-Admiral wasn’t sailing his plastic boat in the Free Sea on this particular morning.
   There was no-one running along the beach being pursued by two men in a Mini-Moke. What’s more he didn’t see Number 9 at a funeral, because no such funeral took place. The regular Brass band concert never took place, and no-one attempted to escape by helicopter, and the Ex-Admiral was still sitting waiting for an opponent to play chess!
And so 99 arrived at the Citizens Advice Bureau at the usual time he got there!
    “Morning Number Twenty-eight.
    “Morning Ninety-nine.”


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                           “Little Bo-Peep”
                        {Who always knows where to find her sheep!}

BcNu

Thought For The Day

    There are those who are not at all happy in The Village. There are others who have accepted the situation of their imprisonment and will die there like rotten cabbages! And there are people like Number 48, who reject The Village. They refuse to observe, wear, or respond to their number! And then there are others who simply refuse to talk, like that Number 6. He refuses to talk, he rebels, fights coercion, resists, and on occasion attempts to escape.
   And yet all ‘the Prisoner’ is, all it really is, is a television series, a television series which is almost 48 years old, but which still has the power to captivate the senses, the mind, and us, the television viewer. The Village isn’t real, it’s a fictional place, although the fabric of The Village is real enough. The building, the woods, the mountains, and the sea, called Portmeirion.
    I go there most days, to The Village, oh not physically, but mentally, in the imagination. I go not as a prisoner, nor warder, I go there to escape! Although I’ve not back been to Portmeirion since 2003. However I suppose it could be said that both Portmeirion and The Village of ‘the Prisoner’ are one and the same place, farcically if nothing else!
   Mind you there are two Villages now. One is surrounded by woods on three sides, and then the mountains beyond. Then there is the estuary leading into the sea. As for the other Village, it is in the desert, with nothing but sand dunes in all directions for hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles, and the mountains beyond. While the first Village has been very easy to get to know, the second Village is much more difficult, it’s the size you see. While the first Village is, well a village. The second is much larger, more the size of a city if the map of The Village is anything to go by, and thereby far less easy to get to know. The Village Shop, the Clinic, Palais 2 the residence of Two are known, as are a few streets and houses. In any one street if a house number is 53 for example, it does not follow that the house on either side are 52 and 54, as in the case of 909, the house to the left of 909 is 59!!! It is known where Six’s apartment is, where 93, 909, and 131 live. Where Palais 2 is, and the Clinic, the Go-Inside bar, also The Village Shop. However the vast majority of the Village remains a mystery. Therefore it is far easier to go to the original Village in one’s imagination, than it is the one in ‘THEPRIS6
NER!

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Quote For The Day

    “I didn’t think it would be like this.”
                       {Number 8 - Nadia Rakovsy  -  The Chimes of Big Ben}


   Well how did she think it would be like then? A Gulag in the middle of Siberia? A labour camp? Surely Nadia Rakovsky was briefed about The Village, or if she was she wasn‘t told very much. And yet….she wasn’t given a very good cover story, because at times it contradicted itself. Number 2 told Number 6 that she had been brought to The Village suffering from nervous tension that’s all, she was there to recuperate. And yet she told Number 6 that she had committed no crime, that all she did was to resign. Well that’s more like it, that way she hoped to play on Number 6’s sympathies. After all he in The Village would be the one person to understand her, seeing as he had resigned!
    The name Nadia Rakovsky might be false, although Nadia is likely to be her real first name. As agents usually use their first names. That way there is no possibility of an agent not responding if he or she happens to hear their real name, as they might if they are using a false name.
    We cannot believe a word she utters. She never saw a file on The Village. She doesn’t know the location of The Village. She is obviously working for The Village, no matter her nationality. But she’s good, Nadia had faith that the electricity running through the floor of the interrogation room would be switched off in time. From that moment on Number 6 had this damsel in distress under his wing. She suckered Number 6 good and proper. Nadia succeeded where the maid and Number 9 in ‘Arrival’ failed! Nadia had Number 6 eating out of her hand, because he thought she had information he needed, the location of The Village! She was brave as well, no amount of briefing about The Village could have prepared her for the encounter with the membranic Guardian!
    Anyway the plan to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation failed. If only Post 5 had his wrist watch set at Polish time and not English time. At least that should have told Number 6 which time zone The Village is in, which helps cut down the mystery of the location of The Village. This leaves the only one mystery, to whom was Nadia Rakovsy going to report? Not Number 1, that’s Number 2’s job. Most certainly not the Colonel, he was already only too aware that the plan had failed. So it must have been some outside agency, or department within British Intelligence, such as MI6, or one of the other MI departments within Military Intelligence.


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The Prisoner On Trial!

    The Prisoner was apparently on trial for the possession of a radio. According to the Prosecutor “From somewhere, he has not yet been subjected to interrogation, the accused acquired a radio. He had no radio of his own, there’s no radio he could have borrowed. So when acquiring one…..”  Just a minute, Number 240 just contradicted herself, if there was no radio the Prisoner could have acquired, or borrowed, where did he get the radio from? And that’s the one thing they the three judges didn’t ask the Prisoner, where he got the radio, and he never told them, probably because he wasn’t asked. Certainly he never volunteered the information. But that’s the Prisoner all over, never one to rat on anyone, even the dead! But if memory serves, Number 2 did ask Number 6 where he got the radio that time they were together on the outlook. But Number 6 never answered.
    Of course Number 6 took the radio from the pocket of the dead man he found on the beach. It may be wondered where the dead man got the radio. It’s always assumed that the body was washed ashore, but he’s wearing Village attire, and there’s a photograph of the man with a young woman sat by the pool and fountain in the Piazza of The Village. So, if there is no radio he could have acquired, no radio he could have borrowed, where did he get it? There is one possibility, which is more of a probability, that the dead man smuggled it into The Village with him. But as a prisoner, well that’s improbable, as it may be assumed that if the man was brought to The Village as a prisoner, whatever came with him would have been checked by his abductors. A radio would surely be one such article to be left behind. Possibly the dead man came to The Village as a warder, he might have been able to smuggle a radio into The Village with him. But of course we are not privy to any possible security searches made. The man’s belongings may have been searched upon arrival. But if not as a prisoner, or warder, perhaps he was like others who were neither one nor the other, but came to The Village of their own free will to work for The Village. He could have been sent to infiltrate The Village. In the same way John Drake once infiltrated Colony Three. But who sent the dead man to The Village, and why, will forever remain a mystery. And what of the young woman in the photograph taken with the dead man? Was she his wife, a girlfriend whom he met in The Village, or had she been assigned to the dead man in the same way Number 9 had been assigned to Cobb? What of her? So many questions that will forever remain a mystery, and yet left open to interpretation.


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More Village!

    There are some surreal moments in THEPRIS6NER, like the time when 313 is sitting on a swing. Moments later Two is sitting beside her, talking to her about Six and their relationship. This happens twice, once during the episode ‘Darling,’ and again in the finale ‘Checkmate.’ The one minute Two is there talking with 313, holding her hand, then the next moment he’s not, then he’s back again, and then he’s gone as though he was never there in the first place! Once Two is inside your head, it’s not long before he begins to mess with it!
    And then there are the pair of glass door to the Summakor building, with no building attached to them, it has the look of a portal! A pair of glass doors somewhere out in the desert. 313 approaches the pair of doors, they open and 313 goes through and along a darkened passageway. Something frightens her, perhaps it’s her other self Sarah which causes her to turn and run back along the passage the way she came!


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The Therapy Zone

    I’ll have a double. Well perhaps not. After all Number 6 had a double, and look what trouble that caused! Mind you there’s only one thing worse than twins, and that’s triplets. And yet, well the twins are not simply confined to both ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘Fall Out.’ Twice Number 6’s doppelganger can be seen during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ Once, standing on the balcony of the Green Dome, when Number 6 is still in bed. And a second time just before Number 6 leaves the Green Dome, his doppelganger is seen standing on top of the stone Bandstand. There is another occasion, I think it’s when Number 6 thinks he’s being flown away from The Village by helicopter in ’The Schizoid Man.’ Number 6’s doppelganger can be seeing running along the road as the helicopter circles The Village. Now that double cannot be Curtis, he’s supposed to be dead. So it can only be Number 1 going about The Village as Number 6, as he’s in the helicopter impersonating his doppelganger Curtis! 

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Interior Design!


   The nursery, but whose nursery were the two boys and girl in? We never know. Nor is there any indication of how long Number 6 has been taken to child-minding during his time in The Village. However we do know he’s going to call again tomorrow, as he doesn’t think he has any other important appointments.
   The nursery is like any children’s nursery, but not quite as many toys as it might be imagined. There’s a toy steam road roller on the carpet, along with a model railway locomotive, but no model railway in the room. There’s a red racing car, a rocking horse which the girl sits upon. There is a distinct lack of dolls for the girl to play with. Indeed the wooden Dutch doll seen in both ‘Arrival’ and ‘Checkmate’ would not be out of place in the nursery. In the back ground a stuffed toy owl, and another stuffed toy which is difficult to describe! Upon a small round table in the centre of the room sits a soft doll with bright clothes, a black face, and fuzzy hair, a golliwog, a toy which is much frowned upon these day of course, and with good reason. For those who are not aware of what a Golliwog is, click the link for further information.
   And in the foreground sits a large teddy bear in an armchair. He is not unlike one of my wife’s many Teddy bears, Mister Aldershaw is his name. He is roughly the same size and also in appearance.
  There are also a few books dotted about the nursery, again not as many as might be imagined. One story book of course is The Village Story Book, which appears to contain a number of pictures which have all been roughly pasted into the book, and left rough edged as can be seen in the film footage in this scene. And yet Number 6 can be seen holding a book in his hands which doesn’t appear to have those same rough edged pages. It looks as though two books were used as The Village story Book!
   There are a few images on the walls, one of a sailing ship in the same kind of format as that of Captain Pugwash’s ship.
   As well as a shield, the type used for the family coat of arms.
   Brown wooden furniture adorns the room, yet looks to be out of place in a nursery somehow. One might expect such furniture to be painted and decorated with childish motifs.

  And so to bed, the two boys sleep in bunck beds and the girl physically put to bed by Number 6. One could almost imagine that it’s like Patrick McGoohan putting one of his daughters to bed. Of course its not, because the girl is played by Gaynor Steward, the first little boy being her brother.
   There are two night scenes painted on the wall, and two small pictures. Oh yes and the toy clown, used symbolically by Number 6 as a final gesture. He was playing with Number 2, he knew all the time!

“Goodnight children everywhere!”
               {Uncle Mac of the BBC radio programme ‘Children’s     
      Favourites’ who was also the voice of Larry the lamb in ‘
Toy Town}


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Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

                          “Good Queen Bess!”

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Thought For The Day

    ‘It's Your Funeral,’ and ‘Plan Division Q’ put together by a man who believes in complete manipulation. Together the interim Number 2, Number 100, and Number 51 failed miserably. As the episode draws to its conclusion, the innocents {the retiring Number 2 and citizens of The Village} are preserved. The two winners to emerge are Number 6 because he has countered the machinations of both Number 1 and the interim Number 2, and managed to remain true to himself. And Number 1, who allowed an over-zealous interim Number 2 cause his own downfall. Yet as it turns out to be that Number 1 and Number 6 are the alter egos of the other, neither can really win or lose, only be on the end of a perpetual stalemate! As for fanatical Watchmakers they can never win, but at least Monique still has her father, and he his daughter.

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Teabreak Teaser

  When is Number 6 not Patrick McGoohan?

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Caught On Camera!


   “Look can’t you get the lighting right? And does my blazer look brown in this shot?”
    “About time, my blazer looks black in the shot now, so make sure you keep the lighting just like that!”

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More Village!

   There is one thing for sure about THEPRIS6NER, that Two is dark, dangerous, and twisted! He certainly cuts a menacing figure, likes toying with a live grenade, and so twisted that he sleeps with his drugged wife. But I suppose that could be that he wants to be close to her, despite her state of mind.
    ‘Harmony,’ is surreally mostly in the mind, and the first time of viewing there is so much in it, it was difficult to make sense of what’s going on. And that explanation could account for the series as a whole when first viewed. So Two gave Six a brother, 16. Michael did have a brother who disappeared in the sea when they were boys, presumably he was drowned, his body carried out to sea. Two makes Six experience that again, when 16 is taken into the sea by the Guardian. It’s ironic though, that the Guardian only appears, conjured up by Six’s own fear, when he’s either going to escape, or when he’s in danger of losing someone. In this case 16, in another 4-15!
  It’s not the first time the Prisoner is given a brother, he was given one in my art-house film ‘Village Day.’ But at least Two did get Six to admit to who he is.....Six, “I am Six” he shouted, and Two seemed to be pleased about that.
    Surreal are both the ship’s sea anchor in the desert, along with a ship’s lifeboat. And the seemingly long deserted Village railhead in the desert. When the Prisoner first arrives in The Village, he asks the taxi driver 147 to take him to the railroad station. 147 appears to know nothing of railroads and trains. Perhaps he doesn’t know anything about the railhead out in the desert, after all it looks to be long abandoned. The desert having swallowed the rail track!

   Curiously in Thomas M. Disch’s 1969 novel ‘The Prisoner’ he has a Village railroad station.
    ‘Harmony’ must have had a profound effect on Morag. Because she told me when we woke up, that she had been dreaming of THEPRIS6NER, and that she had been out there in the desert with that ship’s anchor. Morag, dreaming of The Village.........I had better watch out!

Breathe in….breathe out….more Village!
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The Numbers Game

   Once when watching ‘Arrival’ of THEPRIS6NER, Morag suggested that perhaps 93, the old man out in the desert and mountains being shot at, and chased by armed guardians, "Perhaps Number 6 wasn't important to The Village authorities any more. And so was demoted in number, from 6 to 93.” To understand this, readers must be aware that production designer Michael Pickwoad said of 93, that he is a representation of Number 6 of the original series.
   In The Village, the more important you are in The Village rankings, the lesser the number, such as Two who was second only to 1. Take Number 245 for example, he was a guardian, a "school prefect" in The General. 
Yet by the time of ‘A Change of Mind’ he had risen in the ranking to 93, but at the same time had become a disharmonious "unmutual." But obviously his confession was so good for his soul, that he maintained that number, and was even given a position as one of the delegates sitting on the assembly. So the lesser the number the more important one is to The Village authorities, and the greater the number the less important one is, and finally to be retired into the Old People's Home. And once you've been re-allocated a new number, your former number can then be re-allocated to a new arrival - Six perhaps!
   Footnote: If it wasn’t for the production designer saying that 93 is a representation of Number 6 from the original series, I might have thought the old man 93 might be a representation of the 93 of ‘A Change of Mind.’ It’s the close croped white hair and the beard I suppose, they are suggestive!

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


    When Number 6 sees Number 14 sat at a table on the lawn of the Old People’s Home. He walks over and sits himself down.
    “My handbook on social etiquette doesn’t deal with this, how does one talk to someone that one has met in a dream?”
   “Look um Number……..?”
   “Six.”
   “Six. I’m usually a social animal, but not now. Another time.”
   “Last week Number Fourteen was an old lady in a wheelchair. You’re new here…..and you’re one of them!”
   “Your nonsense bores me.”
   “Oh my mistake.”
   “Don’t worry. We all have to make mistakes…sometimes we have to.”
   I get the idea that the phrase “Don’t worry. We all have to make mistakes…sometimes we have to,” was said by Number 14 to plant it in Number 6’s mind. Because the next time he hears that phrase, “We all make mistakes sometimes we have to,” the words come out of ‘B’s mouth, but it is Number 14 who puts them into her mouth. Hearing that phrase in his dream makes Number 6 pause and consider, because he asks ‘B’ if she’s ever had the feeling of being manipulated?
  I like the way Number 14 and Number 6 joust with each other sat at the table together. She knows who Number 6 is, but feigns not to know who he is, she asks for his number….?. This would be a natural reaction if she didn’t know him, because Number 6 isn’t wearing a numbered badge. But when Number 6 tells her his number “Six” it’s almost as though he’s asking a question!
   Before this scene Number 14 stops at the flower seller’s stall to buy herself a bunch of flowers. The flower seller who knows everyone, who’s ill who’s getting better, it sounds as though the flower seller knows Number 14 is a doctor. But then she would, knowing everyone as she claims to do! It’s such a pity that 14 has no-one to buy them for her.

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Exhibition of arts And Crafts

                          “Number 6 Is A Stubborn Fellow!”




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See-Saw!

  “See Saw Margery Daw,
Jacky shall have a new master;
Jacky shall earn but a penny a day,
Because he can't work any faster”
     {The name Jacky being a replacement for Johnny}

   The See-Saw is the oldest children’s ride, which has been developed for a totally different use by Village technicians. In the Control Room on the See-Saw, two Observers sit at either end of the device watching the monitors before them. The duration time for someone being able to monitor screens is about twenty minutes, after that the observer begins to fail to notice what is taking place on the screen. It is possible that the simple "up and down, back and forth" movement helps prolong the duration time of the two Observers attention to their monitors.
   Yet in the deeper underworld of The Village, in that dark and dank cavern of ‘Fall Out,’ this See-Saw device is put to a more obscene purpose. Then it is fitted with a heavy machine gun at either end, that it should protect the community, as the President would have it. The regrettable bullet!  Its purpose in the underworld, is to maintain security during the trial of three rebels! And yet when bloody and violent revolution does break out, the effect of the two machine guns of the See-Saw is negligible. Because there is a limit to the guns depression!
   In The Village a Child’s innocent toy is employed to prolong Observers observational duration. Some might interpret it as evolving into a symbol of the unfair rise and fall of power, and ultimately becomes a symbol of war, rendering both death and destruction.

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The Desire For Freedom and Escape!

   Number 2 "What a piece of luck. We start our election campaign today, showery outlook is very depressing don't you think?"
Number 6 "Elections, in this place?"
"Of course, we make our choice every twelve months. Every citizen has a choice. Are you going to run?"
"Like blazes the first chance I get!"
"I mean run for office."
"Whose?"
"Mine, for instance."
"You have a delicate sense of humour."
    So does Number 6, after all humour is the very essence of a democratic society! Number 6 says that the interests of the citizens are very much his own, and that the security of the citizens will be his primary objective. Which means, should No.6 be elected as the new No.2, then he will not increase the security of the citizens, but oversee their freedom from the confines of The Village. In some cases this would do more harm than good, for what use does anyone born to The Village have for the outside world? It would be as it was years ago, when animal rights protesters released Mink into the wild, when all they have known is the Mink farm. Irrespective of ones personal views on this, the result was an absolute disaster. What did the released Mink do? They attacked the Water Vole, {Ratty from Wind In The Willows} killing them near to extinction here in the UK. But now numbers of Voles are slowly recovering.
   So you see Number 6's actions of wanting to see the citizens of The Village to obey him and be free, might on the whole look honourable. But can do more harm than good, and the repercussions stretching all the way back to England and the government at the time in the Houses of Parliament. And after all is not Number 6 simply satisfying his own desire, in manipulating the community to what he wants ultimately, to escape. It can be visualised now. The new Number 2 organising a mass breakout in which Number 6 can loose himself in the confusion! Such an opportunity will not come again until ‘Fall Out,’ although he doesn’t know that!
                             
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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Caught On Camera!


   “Now come on lad, let’s get this lighting right! In the last scene the lighting was all wrong. Pat’s blazer had a definite brown hue to it when it’s supposed to look black on the screen!”
   “I dunno, it still looks brown to me through this camera lens. What do you think Sid?”

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Fall Out The Schizoid Man

    It isn’t until the finale to ‘the Prisoner,’ that of ‘Fall Out,’ that we discover who the anonymous character of Number 1 is. As it is it turns out to be Number 6 himself, his alter ego, or rather the evil side to his nature. Although it could be interpreted that Number 6 met his evil self in a much earlier episode, in the guise of The Schizoid Man.
   “What the devil!” utters Number 6 as he first meets himself in his cottage. Never “Oh my God,” or Oh for God’s sake,” nor does he tell 6 to go to hell! While the Supervisor-Number 106 tells Number 2 that in Haiti they’d say “He’s stolen his soul.”
    Perhaps Number 1, his evil self came to Number 6 in his nightmare during ‘The Schizoid Man,’ throughout which Number 6’s doppelganger can be heard laughing maniacally. It is the same laughter which pervades the control room of the rocket as Number 1 is pursued by Number 6. And it must not be forgotten that the idea behind ‘The Schizoid Man’ originated from a high source, perhaps via Number 1 himself. Perhaps it’s Number 1 masquerading as The Schizoid Man. Yes Curtis was supposed to have died towards the end of the episode, but there was time for him to have been resuscitated, if the length of time it took for them to resuscitate Number 2 is anything to go by!
   Therefore it’s possible that in ‘The Schizoid Man’ Number 6 does meet with his evil self. It is an interesting observation, that although Number 6 fights with his doppelganger, the double is not overpowered by Number 6, but by the membranic Guardian. And that it is Number 2 who thwarts Number 6’s attempted escape. Therefore it would appear that Number 6 cannot defeat his evil self and escape The Village by his own efforts!

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More Village!


    When the trailers for THEPRIS6NER began to appear on ITV towards the end of 2009, I wondered what a bus marked ESCAPE was doing in The Village. Eventually when ITV finally got round to the screening of the series in mid April 2010, it seemed a hell of a long time from the autumn of 2009 {when the trailers for the series began} to April 17th 2010. I finally found out why the ESCAPE bus, it was to take holidaymakers to the Escape resort! Other busses take citizens on bus tours of The Village, and apparently the highlight of the tour is to see the Clinic, where people are taken for treatment, treatment of all kinds!
   The above bus is a Mercedes because they forgot to remove the Mercedes emblem from the front of the bus. The second type of bus used in The Village, is unknown. In fact all of the vehicles used in The Village have all maker’s names and emblems removed, so that the only way to identify the vehicles is by actual visual recognition. I did identify a Volvo, simply by the “V” on the hubcaps! And the Mercedes cars are always easily recognisable. I have made a small collection of die-cast vehicles as seen in THEPRIS6
NER. At one point I purchased a “Bubble car,” Isetta, the only trouble was it had four wheels. 1960’s “Bubble cars” had only three wheels. However I added the car to my collection anyway. But then when I watched the series soon after, I saw the Bubble car on the TV screen, I froze the picture……the Bubble car had four wheels!

“See how the sun makes it all glow. The kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive!”
                {Two - Arrival}

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