I always enjoy watching ‘Checkmate’ because it is the episode which contains a great deal of film footage, if not the most, of Portmeirion. In fact the episode can be enjoyed simply for Portmeirion’s own sake.
When I watch the episode I sometimes think of my stays in
Portmeirion, walking about The Village as I follow in Number 6’s footsteps. Or
at Prisoner Conventions in the 1990’s when Morag and I produced the chess
match, with several hundred people watching, that was members of Six of One:
The Prisoner Appreciation Society and day visitors to Portmeirion. Although at
the time the Conventions were not appreciated by every day visitor, there were
complaints made to the Portmeirion management. One time a chap was heard to say
“Oh no! Not a damned Prisoner Convention! If I’d known I wouldn’t have come!”
But on the whole the Convention re-enactments were enjoyed by the day visitors.
‘Checkmate’ always gives a holiday feel to The Village, a
quiet seaside resort. People enjoying themselves on the beach. Never mind that
the doctor is performing experiments on human beings once carried out on both
dogs and Dolphins!
Why Number 6 should think Number 8 knows who Number 1 is I
cannot imagine. I suppose the question was worth asking, he might have got a
surprise answer. And the stolen surveillance camera, the telephone, along with
the screwdriver and electrical equipment, I cannot imagine that the electrician
didn’t report them missing to Control. Perhaps he did, perhaps Number 2 knew
all along what Number 6 was up to. After all it was Number 2 who brought the
Rook and Number 6 together, by playing on Number 6’s sympathy’s, something like
Number 2 had done during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ The Rook-Number 53 had become
the underdog, and Number 6 will fight for the rights of the underdog. Besides,
the Rook is an electronics expert, brought to The Village not because he had
invented an electric defence system, but for the treasonable thought that all
nations should have it, and thereby ensuring World peace. Only some bumbling
bureaucrat let his bag, containing the plans of the electronic defence system,
get swiped. Most probably by an agent working for The Village! Well couldn’t
that electronic beam which is deployed in the next episode ’Hammer Into Anvil, be
a scaled down version of that electronic defence system invented by the Rook?
And once again Number 6 is all at sea aboard a flimsy homemade
raft. And for the second time the crew of a motor cruiser comes to his
assistance. However this time there is no doubt whatsoever about either the
vessel or its crew!
Be seeing you