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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Thought For The Day

    There are within ‘the Prisoner’ series, a number of conflicting episodes. Those of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ and ‘Dance of the Dead,’ and again ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ which also conflicts with ‘Free For All,’ and ‘A B and C’ and ‘The Schizoid Man,’ all of which were covered in an earlier posting. However there is another pair of episodes which conflict with each other, ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘Many Happy Returns.
    I was making study of Andrew Pixley’s excellent book ‘the Prisoner – A Complete Guide’ when I observed in ‘The Schizoid Man’ section. There are a number of dates, between 12th of February when a doctor handed Number 6 a flashlight linked by a wire to a control box, shocking Number 6 when he picked it up with his bare hand, and 10th of March when Number 6 was placed in bed at Number 12’s cottage. The calendar still set at Wednesday the 10th of February, suggesting the year is 1965, as stipulated by Patrick McGoohan. But for what reason remains a mystery. Perhaps because of something personal to him, or he simply wanted to suggest that the Prisoner had been abducted in 1964. But this would then put ‘The Schizoid Man’ into conflict with ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ by which time ZM73 had been incarcerated in The Village a year. By setting ‘the Prisoner’ back to 1964 would make it two years!
    So, between the evening when the Prisoner’s abduction from his cottage on the 10th of February until his being placed in the bed of ‘12 Private’ on the 10th of March, Number 6 had undergone a months conditioning, and a physical make-over in order to alter his appearance. And that is fair enough as it goes, yet it does conflict with ‘Many Happy Returns,’ during which Number 6 has spent twenty-five days at sea, and to do that Number 6 must have put to sea aboard his sea-going raft on the 21st of February in order for Number 6 to be washed ashore at Beachy Head on the 18th of March. So some ten days before Number 6 set off on his sea voyage, having woken up to find The Village deserted, he had already been taken from his cottage under sedation, and was undergoing both physical and mental conditioning treatment! And that is what ‘the Prisoner’ lacks, continuity between the episodes, as well as suffering from too many scriptwriters not knowing what the others have written!

Be seeing you


  1. Is there continuity between the episodes of your life? Of course not. You're plunged in and out of situations with no regard or respect for time and circumstances. People say things like, "It's been a long week!" or "It doesn't seem like a year!", all part of an unpredictable life's rich pattern. 'The Prisoner' cleverly reflects this by making nonsense of any attempt to order #6's life, which we can manage no better than our own.

  2. A fair observation to some degree. However, we''re dealing with the life of a fictitious character, not a real one, whose "biography" has been made up by somebody, in this case: a number of script writers. There's at least some story telling meaning it's got to have a start, a centre part and a finale, an ending. According to this premise we're supposed to think there's a "logical" and coherent succession of temporal events on an imaginary timeline. But as David details it isn't. Not everywhere, not always. - BCNU!

  3. The Prisoner is timeless. How many times have we heard that? Why try to constrain it to a year?
    And anyway how do #6 and we KNOW that the dates are as we see them? The Village controls the chronology with its technology.
    Every assumption we make about The Prisoner is probably wrong.