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.
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...................
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
‘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
‘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.
Be seeing you