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Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Prisoner Under The Spotlight!

    The reason given as to why so many different Number 2's, is because the Prisoner is unable to form a relationship with his interrogator. Well that's true to some extent, but Number 6 does form a rapport with Number 2 in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ ‘Once Upon A Time,’ and ‘Fall Out.’ And perhaps the same can be said of Number 2 of ‘A B & C,’ and ‘The General.’ But one thing Number 6 does, is treat them all the same way. So we take a look at each Number 2 in turn.
    ‘Arrival’ – Number 2 the first man to debrief the Prisoner, is also a one man welcoming committee turned tour guide. Although he does make one attempt to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, using the maid-Number 66. That ends in failure. The new Number 2, shows the Prisoner that escape is not possible, and puts the Prisoner firmly in his place by officially recognising his number, Number Six. A win for Number 2.
    ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ - After going through with a complicated escape plan, Number 6 finally discovers that the Colonel’s office is a mock office, that he has not escaped at all, but is back in The Village. The Prisoner has been hoodwinked by a pretty face. But Number 6 may not have given away the reason for his resignation, but some how it is a hollow victory, and you can sense the disappointment felt by a somewhat subdued Number 6 as he returns to his cottage. It’s not really a defeat for Number 2, as he seemed to be only over seeing that Number 6’s escape plan is carried out without interference.
    ‘A B & C’ - A victory for Number 6, who managed to turn the tables on Number 2. Whatever the Prisoner was going to do it wasn’t to sell out, he really was going on holiday.
    ‘Free For All’ – Number 6 takes on Number 2 during the local elections. Apparently Number 6 is elected as the new Number 2 with a unanimous majority. However when ensconced in his new office, Number 6 is then confronted by the even newer Number 2. She's is different to her statesman like predecessor. This Number 2 is hard faced, severe, and warns No.6 that they have many ways and means, but do not wish to damage him permanently. The Prisoner has not been broken, just left battered and bruised!
    ‘The Schizoid Man’ - A victory for Number 6, because although he failed in his attempt to escape, he does manage to hang onto his identity. A victory for Number 2 perhaps as he sees through Number 6's guise as Curtis, and manages to stop him from escaping. But there is also the death of Curtis to take into account. The best thing to say about this episode that between Number 6 and 2, it’s at best a draw, at worst a loss for Number 2 because of the death of Curtis.
    ‘The General’ - Two men dead, a destroyed computer, a devastating defeat for Number2!
    ‘Many Happy Returns’ – Number 6 escapes The Village, and manages to make it all the way home to his house in the City of
Westminster, London. He discovers the location of The Village, to where he is unceremoniously returned to face a new Number 2. He has however been taught a lesson. And The Village administration has been in control all the time. And that no matter where the Prisoner goes they catch up with him eventually. But on this occasion Number 6 made it far too easy for them!
    ‘Dance of the Dead’ –Number 6 encounters an almost elfin Number 2, well suited to the character of Peter Pan. Number 6 is put on trial, and sentenced to death. The Prisoner might think that he has scored a victory against Number 2 by ripping out the paper and wiring of the teletype machine. But No.2's laugh is hardly one of a defeated lady, as the teletype suddenly whirrs into life...................
    ‘Checkmate’ - This Number 2 is more of an administrator figure. Happy to let those like the doctor-Number 22 get on with whatever experiment she desires, but only up to a point. No leucotomy is to be performed on Number 6, he's far too important! Number 6 takes a new tack, and perhaps realising that he cannot escape on his own, selects a number of 'reliable' men to help him. Although the escape attempt is thwarted, by a simple mistake, and on this occasion Number 6 defeats himself this time, by not getting the Rook to trust him implicitly!
    ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ - A battle of wits between Number 2 and Number 6. Number 2 threatens to “hammer” Number 6. But by the end of the episode, it is Number 2 who has been 'hammered,' and left a completely devastated and broken man. A weak link in the chain of command, waiting to be broken!
    ‘It's Your Funeral’ - On the one hand we have a new Number 2 who is left with egg on his face, as he is forced to witness the escape of the retiring Number 2 on Appreciation Day. On the face of it, it would appear to be a victory for Number 6, although there was no chance of escape for Number 6, he did manage to avert the threat of reprisals against the citizens
    ‘A Change of Mind’ - By now the viewer should realise that nothing really nasty, like a leucotomy operation is going to happen to Number 6. That was suggested previously in ‘Checkmate,’ and was rejected because Number 6 is far too important. But nevertheless we go along with the plot, and by the end of which, Number 6 has defeated Number 2 by having 86 denounce Number 2 as being unmutual!
    ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ - This is a complete and utter disaster for Number 2. One man dead, the Colonel, and Seltzman escapes in his guise, while No.6's mind regains its body. The only victor of this episode is Professor Jacob Seltzman, who is now free to continue his work!
    ‘Living In Harmony’ - Again another utter disaster for Number 2, a murder, a suicide, and two more personnel dead. Defeat for Number 2 yes, but not via any straight confrontation with Number 6, but through his own emotions, and those of his assistants.      
    The Girl Who Was Death’ - A win for Number 6. although any Number 2 who thought No.6 would drop his guard with children deserves to lose!
    ‘Once Upon A Time’ - A one to one situation between Number 2 and Number 6, locked in a battle of wits, and that of the Embryo Room! It has to be either one of them, and it just so happens to be Number 6. But there is a bitter taste to this victory. I believe as Number 2 was beginning to like Number 6, the same could be said of Number 6 in the way he smashed that glass on the floor at the end.
    ‘Fall Out’ - No battle between 2 and 6, but a definite defeat for Number 1! Here there is only violent and bloody revolution, as Number 6 and Number2 become allies in the struggle against the system!
    There are many different facets in the many confrontations between Number 6 and Number 2 which need to be taken into account. But in the count of win lose or draw, I make it the 9 wins for the Prisoner, 6 wins for Number 2, with one ending in a draw.


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