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Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Therapy Zone

    Tunnels! There are a number of tunnels in ‘the Prisoner’ all leading to or from somewhere. Tunnels which lead to a personal goal, or to eventual incarceration, or escape!
   There is a long dark tunnel in the opening sequence to ‘the Prisoner,’ along which a man walks with purpose and determination. The tunnel eventually leads the man to an office, where he hands in his letter of resignation. Soon after, that very same tunnel leads this man to his fate. He may think to his freedom, but in actual fact it takes him to The Village, figuratively speaking that is.
    In the episode of ‘A B and C,‘ Engadine drives the man known as Number 6 to meet a man of mystery. A man who hides behind a cloak of anonymity.
Engadine and Number 6 set out in her Alfa Romeo from Paris. The drive out of the city, and eventually drive to what appears to be an unknown location. Driving through a tunnel, which is constructed from two archways, Engadine brings the Alfa Romeo to a stop. Number 6 alights from the car. They are in The Village! The arches which they have just driven through are opposite the Recreation Hall. Even in his dreams, Number 6 cannot keep away from The Village. It appears he is compelled to return there at any given opportunity!
    The third tunnel is of course the ‘Tunnel of Love,’ in which the Girl Who Was Death lies in wait for Mr. X. She declares that she is beginning to love him, but a love such as hers would eventually be the death of him!
    A fourth tunnel leads the
Butler, the Supervisor, and Number 6 to the cavern. The song “All You Need Is Love” is being sung by the Beatles, but in the cavern there are no “hip with the jive” teenagers. Oh there is Number 48 who is said to be representative of rebellious youth. Rebellious yes, but Number 48 could hardly be described as a youth! The tunnel leads to an old wooden door, which when opened with a key, opens with an electronic hum. On the other side of the door is a neon sign, it reads “Well Come.” that’s not welcome to the cavern, seeing as the sign is on the cavern side of the door. So the sign welcomes people to The Village, who enter there via the tunnel!
    A fifth and final tunnel leads to escape and freedom. A Scammell Highwayman transporter is driven along that tunnel by the
Butler, his three confederates on the trailer in the cage. At the end of the long dark tunnel is a large pair of wrought iron gates which leads away from The Village. The Butler puts his foot down on the accelerator, and the lorry crashes through the gates to freedom. But looking at it the other way, that same tunnel leads to The Village, oppression, the loss of liberty, individuality, and identity. And yet the tunnel may also supply The Village, keeping it provisioned with milk, potatoes, ice cream and the aspirins, as well as records, cameras, special imports, and tins of Village Food. Not to mention the red 1 rocket. After all that is how it would have arrived, along that tunnel on the back of the trailer of the Scammell Highwayman transporter. Useful things tunnels, they work both ways, and one is said to lead directly onto the A20 to London. I’ve never subscribed to that singular interpretation. I much prefer the idea presented in ‘Many Happy returns’ for the location of The Village. But then perhaps I’ve tunnel vision as far as that is concerned.

Be seeing you


  1. " I’ve never subscribed to that singular interpretation. I much prefer the idea presented in ‘Many Happy returns’ for the location of The Village. But then perhaps I’ve tunnel vision as far as that is concerned." - A tunnel vision, that's really good, David! We discussed this subject recently. And I find your listing of tunnels in the series very useful! Many or perhaps any tunnel either in literature or art can be taken as a metaphor, as a means to both transportation and transformation. Who would deny that the main character undergoes a transformation whilst in the Village? How did he get there? Through the "tunnel" of unconsciousness as he was temporarily knocked out. We can see his (rather: the refugee group's) rebirth as they drive out of the tunnel and back to London. But this, to me, does not include that the Village's location is anywhere near London. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,
      Yes I thought you would like the "tunnel vision," I put that in specially for you, because as you say we have been discussing this subject quite recently. And I would agree wholeheartedly with your comment.
      We know that Nadia arrived in The Village by helicopter, however what's stopping the Prisoner from having arrived in The Village via the tunnel he eventually escaped through in 'Fall Out? Although I do suspect that his arrival was by helicopter. But the escape via the tunnel, being reborn into the outside World so to speak. But perhaps that's how supplies for The Village arrived, along that tunnel!

      Very kind regards