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Monday, 30 November 2015

Falling Out!

   An interesting twist would be that the Prisoner has to resign his job in order to be brought to The Village, so that once there he is able to control Number 1. Then perhaps in time he might well be persuaded to become Number 1. But first to prove his mettle Number 6 is put to the test, a number of tests as it so happens. The only problem with that is, Number 6 had become self-aware, and so detached himself from Number 1, thus allowing himself to strive for freedom, and so become Number 1’s opponent whom he must beat.
    If ‘Fall Out’ is made number one, the first episode of ‘the Prisoner’ series, then Number 6 having become self-aware of what he has become, decides that there is only one way out! He separates himself from Number 1, putting as much distance between his selves as he can and then escapes with his three confederates. Then upon returning to London Number 6 goes to hand in his resignation, so that he’s free to go to The Village in order to become Number 1’s opponent. How one combats the fact that the Prisoner has been in The Village before is simple, Number 6 and Number 1 are locked together as they struggle within a vicious circle. We ourselves do not have to make ‘Fall Out’ to be the first episode of ‘the Prisoner,’ ‘Fall Out’ does that all by itself. As the end of ‘Fall Out’ we see the beginning of ‘Arrival.’ And yet Fall Out’ is both the first and the last episode making the series a vicious circle, one which the Prisoner may well have been going through long before we are made privy to ‘the Prisoner.’ 
                     
 I’ll be seeing you

60 Second Interview With Colonel Ross


    No.113: “Tell me Colonel, are you, or were you once Number Two?”
Colonel Ross: "Who?”
    “Number Two, Chairman of The Village.”
    No.113b “Smile” {click goes the camera}
    Colonel Ross “Who’s that?”
    “He’s Number One, one three b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    “The Tally Ho?”
    “Yes, it’s The Village broadsheet.”
    “You keep mentioning The Village.”
    “Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of The Village, surely you have it on file?
    “What village?”
    “Sorry to have troubled you Colonel. I can see we’re somewhat previous.”
    “Look how did you get in here. Palmer didn’t put you up to this did he?”
    “Palmer? No.”
    {Ross presses a button on his intercom}
   
Alice, get these two out of my office………”
    “Don’t worry Colonel, we’re just going.”
    “…………….and send Palmer in, I’ve a job for him.”


Reporter No.113
Photograph from the Department of Visual Records

Thought for The Day

    Is it at all possible to imagine a particular Number 2 of one episode, and exchange him for another? Such as Number 2 from ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ how might he have faired in ‘Once Upon A time?’ Probably not as well as the current Number 2 in residence of that episode. And yet perhaps if Number 2 had been taken out of The Village environment and placed in a room with Number 6 in a one to one situation as in the Embryo Room of ’Once Upon A Time,’ that would have taken Number 2’s paranoia away from him. But in any case, wasn’t Number 2 in ’Hammer Into Anvil’ in a one to one situation with Number 6 anyway? Yes he had Number 14 as an assistant, but so had Number 2 an assistant in ’Once Upon A Time’ in the shape of the butler. Everyone else in ’Hammer Into Anvil’ was superfluous to the game being played out between Numbers 2 and 6, a game in which Number 6 had a distinct advantage playing on Number 2’s paranoia like that. Now if Number 2 of both ‘Chimes’ and OUAT had been Number 2 in ‘Hammer,’ then Number 6 wouldn’t have faired quite so well. But having written that, as it is, Number 2 didn’t fair so well in ‘Once Upon A Time.’ That week of deliberations between himself and Number 6 cost him his life.

Be seeing you

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Prisoner Versus The Village

    The thing about the Prisoner known as Number 6 is, he is at a distinct disadvantage. The Village, or rather the Administration behind The Village knows all about him, well apart from the reason behind his resignation, but he didn’t know anything about them!
Whatever Number 6 does, to try and escape, or when he goes poking his nose into things which do not concern him, they are one step ahead of him. Because they know him, and what’s more because of that, they can calculate and compute his every move. They know what Number 6 is going to do before he does it. So they knew that Number 6 wouldn’t be able to resist standing for election as the new Number 2. They knew that once Number 6 had been convinced by Nadia that she knew the location of The Village he wouldn’t be able to resist escaping with her. Just as they knew how he would react once he had discovered The Village was deserted. During that episode they were just as much in control of Number 6 as they were when he thought he was escaping during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ They knew what he would do, and so just let him get on with it. But that doesn’t take into account the fact that Number 6 was allowed to get away with destroying the General, thus bringing the educational experiment of Speedlearn to an abrupt end. Just as they knew what they were doing, or thought they knew what they were doing when they involved Number 6 in Plan Division Q. If they knew what Number 6 would do, then why involve him in the first place? Because they must have known that there was a danger of the failure of Plan Division Q if they involved Number 6 with it. But all in all, whatever the situation The Village survived, if not always Number 2. As for Number 6 he can never win, which is very uncomfortable for him. Oh he may escape from time to time, but he always ends up back where he began…. In The Village. Cue dark clouds, the sound of thunder, the long deserted runway, cue the green, yellow nosed Lotus Seven, the man’s face set in a grimace look of determination……… or is that simply because the wind’s in his face?!


Be seeing you………..back in The Village!

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “Residents Only!”
                            {Well who else?}
BcNu

Special Imports!

    Music makes for a quiet mind, in other words music has the power to sooth the savage breast. Music begins where words leave off, well that should be the other way around! Music says all, no can’t think of an origin for that particular Village proverb for the moment.
    If the cuckoo clocks in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ were special imports, might not the same be said of the LP records on sale in the General Stores? Not to mention the cameras on display in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ in The Village? Would cameras be so readily available in The Village? They must have been, after all Alison had a Polaroid camera in ’The Schizoid Man,’ she used it to take pictures of Number 6. You will recall she had entered the photographic competition at The Village Festival. I wonder how she got on? Oh yes, and another “special import,” Portmeirion pottery. No not the blue and white, but the Penny Plain salt and pepper pots. In a later episode Number 6 uses such salt and pepper pots in ‘The Schizoid Man’ when he is undergoing mind conditioning. And again in ‘A Change of Mind’ Number 6 pours away his cup of drugged tea from a Portmeirion teacup into a plant pot.
   I suppose the small notebooks of which Number 6 once selected one in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ was a special import, also the pens and pencils, in fact everything used in The Village is imported. Brought there by helicopter, by boat, or lorry via the fall out tunnel. After all something, or someone must be brought into The Village via that tunnel, otherwise why have the electronic neon sign saying “
WELL COME” on the cavern side of the door!

Be seeing you

Three Days!

   During ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ Number 2 explained about the workings of the Seltzman machine to the Colonel. Lying on the operating table in the Amnesia Room was a man who had obviously undergone the Seltzman mind transference technique. Because Number 2 said “We call this our amnesia room, rather proud of it. With it we can erase the memory to any point in time we choose. This man you see was extremely co-operative, he told all we wanted to know in three days, with hardly any persuasion. So now we wipe out any unhappy memories of The Village, then put him back into circulation to gather more information.” The man told Number 2 all they wanted to know in three days with hardly any persuasion. Then perhaps Number 2 of ‘A B and C,’ who only had three days in order to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, should have employed the same technique as employed by Number 2 in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ This instead of wasting time researching and computing the Prisoner’s whole life, and getting into Number 6’s dreams by Inception, and manipulate them in order to discover the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation!

Be seeing you

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sixty Second Interview With No.42


    No.113 “You don’t know me, I’m Number One, One three, and this is my photographic colleague Number One, one three b. We contribute to The Tally Ho.
    No.113b “Smile” {click goes the camera}
    “You’re Dutton, Roland Walter Dutton, oops, we’re not supposed to use names here, I forgot for a moment. That’s a nice balloon you have there…………….What is it Number Six expected you to say?…………………What’s happened to you Dutt……Number Forty-Two?……………Its alright, if you have anything to say Court Jesters are the ones who can get away with saying the things other people lose their heads for………………That balloon on the end of your stick…………….its growing larger……………..oh no it can’t be!”        
   {Suddenly the room is filled with the sound of a blood curdling roar!}
    Voice of Number 2 “Everyone stay calm, and stand completely still!”       No. 113 “That’s all very well, but for how long?”


Reporter Number 113
Photographer Number 113b

The Bureau of Visual Records


    ‘Dance of the Dead’ is considered to be a female orientated episode, and is the only episode in fact to feature a female Supervisor-Number 22. But Number 2 isn’t the first female Number 2, and Number 240 isn’t by any means the first female Observer, yet she is the first to report to Number 2 direct. She also seems very close to Number 2. The day-time Supervisor is a man, as is the doctor-Number 40. A nurse takes care of Dutton when he’s in the Control Room being used as a communications medium, but that’s not the first time a female nurse is used either. You may count in the maid-Number 54, but there have been maids before. So why is ‘Dance of The Dead’ considered to be female orientated? Perhaps because it’s the first time we have actually seen a female Number 2 in charge, as well as a woman Supervisor, not to mention Number 240’s heavy involvement in the episode. Altogether they make an accumulative force. If only the doctor had been played by a woman, such as Patricia Jessel from ‘Checkmate. After all she does appear to be the female counterpart of the male doctor in ‘Dance of the Dead,’ and her appearance as the doctor instead of Duncan McRae would have made the quorum!

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!


    There he is, the butler who has something in common with two people. He has a black and white striped umbrella the same as Number 6’s. Secondly, like Number 240 he wears his cloak inside out, and the cat, well perhaps that is the only creature in The Village he can look down upon. And yet, butlers, valets, gentlemen’s gentlemen can be the most superior of beings. However in this particular episode the butler appears to be unemployed, at least we never see him serving his mistress Number 2. Perhaps she, like her predecessor has a housemaid!

Be seeing you

Curtis


   His body language is decidedly different to that of Number 6. He’s somewhat more arrogant. And while he impersonated Number 6, Curtis added little amendments. Because when Curtis enters the cottage of ‘6 Private’ he’s whistling. When did you ever hear Number 6 going about The Village whistling? I’ve never heard him doing so. It may be argued that with Curtis they created the perfect Number 6 for their purpose. He’s at home in The Village. He’s at ease with himself, what’s more he’s accepted his number, indicated by the wearing of his badge.
    On the acting front, for the purpose of ‘The Schizoid Man’ Patrick McGoohan perhaps overplayed the role of Curtis as he impersonated Number 6, in the same way he had to underplay the real Number 6.
     The Curtis-Number 6, is there to disorientate Number 6. He demonstrates that he’s better than Number 6. It’s almost as though Curtis is proud to be Number 6, “look at my badge, I’m Number Six, what’s more I’m better than you.” And so Curtis provokes Number 6.
    On the face of it, having taken away Number 6’s identity, it looks as though they want to convince him that he isn’t Number 6. The idea is to break him. And that’s surprising really, because before they didn’t want any harm to befall Number 6. Former Number 2’s didn’t want a man of fragments, or were told not to damage the tissue, his brain tissue. Now we have the first Number 2 who is allowed to break Number 6! On the other hand, it could be interpreted that they didn’t want to convince him that he’s not Number 6, but that they wanted him to fight for his identity.

Be seeing you

Friday, 27 November 2015

What's That Number 6 Up To?


   It looks like Number 6's distress call has been picked up alright. But if Number 6 looks to be "all at sea," just take a look at the depth of water at this point. It would appear that Number 6 has not been picked up by M. S. Polotska, but instead made it along the coast, hence the shallow water. But who are the three jokers about to help him? If Nadia Rakovky was right they could be fishermen from the fishing Village Maniewo. But Number 6 isn’t in the Baltic Sea. But in fact Number 6 is preparing for The Village boating regatta next week, he's already dressed for the occasion. The Regatta Committee are of the opinion that Number 6 could have chosen a more suitable craft. That Coracle he built would have been better suited, than a pair of rubber lilos roped together. Trouble with Number 6 he will not be advised, such is the stubborn nature of the man. He takes to view that anything will do in a storm. Well I wouldn't give much for Number 6's chances with that toy boat of his!

Number 232 {Village Regatta Organiser}

Village Festival – Photographic Competition

                “That Shouldn’t Have Happened!”
BCNU

A favourite Scene In the Prisoner


   Is when Number 2 opens the blinds of a window of Number 6’s cottage and then looks out of the window. It always makes me think that this could reflect how Number 2 possibly looked out upon The Village the first time he had been brought there, after having been brought back for a third time. How he must have hated that. But three times? Well the first would be when he was originally brought to The Village as a prisoner. You will recall in ’Fall Out’ what he found to be so deplorable was that he resisted for so short a time. The second occasion he was brought back to The Village was for his ’Chimes of Big Ben’ assignment, and later in ’Once Upon A time.’ Of course this scene of Number 2 looking out over the Village would have happened only on the first occasion. Because on the two further occasions, as Number 2, he doesn’t have a residence in The Village. He has a room somewhere in Town Hall, as in that elaborate room in ‘Dance of The Dead.’ The Green Dome being only his office, and that makes me wonder what this gentleman’s cottage would have looked like on the day when he first woke up in what he thought at first was his own home, but only to find he had been abducted to The Village!
    Whenever I watch Number 2 looking out of that window, how tired he looks. After all he’s been up all-night reciting nursery rhymes to the slumbering Number 6. I always think that on its own it puts Number 2 to an immediate disadvantage once they are in the Embryo Room.


Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “I wish it had been real.”
                     {Number 22 - Living In Harmony}

   Yes I bet she did! Number 22 and Number 6 were going to escape Harmony together, just as Number 8 was going to escape The Village with Number 6. Only both 8 and 22 were as bad as each other. The only difference being Number 22 had fallen for Number 6, whereas Number 8 had a heart that was flint! And neither woman would have escaped with Number 6, because all the time both escape plans actually took place in or around The Village. That much both ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ and ‘Living In Harmony’ have in common. 

Be seeing you.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bureau of Visual Records


    After Number 6 had given Janet Portland a message, one that only he could give, it might be wondered that afterwards he sat her down, and explained to her about everything that had happened to him from the day he went missing and his abduction to The Village. Janet couldn’t be described as being a forceful woman, but she would definitely want an explanation as to where he had been for the past year, why he had to disappear the way he did and with no word to her! And if he told her, would she believe him? The trouble is, soon after being reunited with her fiancĂ© he would soon be gone again, and who knows when she would see him again, if ever!
Be seeing you. 

Teabreak Teaser

Arrival
The Chimes of Big Ben
A B and C
Free for All
The Schizoid Man
The General
Mnay Happy returns
Dance of The Dead
Checkmate
Hammer Into Anvil
It’s Your Funeral
A Change of Mind
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
Living In Harmony
The Girl Who Was Death
Once Upon A Time
Fall Out

   Which of those episodes is the odd one out?

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    Escape is not possible, I realise that. Number 6, Number 2, you me, we’re all “lifers!” It’s Pat McGoohan’s fault, if he hadn’t quit ‘Danger Man,’ or had gone on to be James Bond…….mind you I suppose McGoohan would have played James Bond in much the same way as he portrayed John Drake. So what would the difference have been? There wouldn’t be any difference that’s what!
    ‘The Prisoner, according to Pat McGoohan was not a children’s television series, and yet as I have said before, there is much childishness in it. So is it any wonder that ‘the Prisoner’ captivated the imagination of children over the years and decades? That having been the case, Patrick McGoohan seems to have been the Pied Piper of his time. He called the tune, and we danced. What’s more Pat McGoohan called the tune, and led us all a merry dance. Not quite a dance of the dead. He may not have taken our souls, but he stole our minds right enough. I suppose he would say that he gave us something in return, in showing what it was to be an individual. To question, and not simply accept things as they are. And so we did. You and I are as individual as the other people who are reading this right now, and all around the world, never mind the Prisoner fan living in the next street. He did teach us to question, I’ve spent the best part of my life studying and questioning ‘the Prisoner,’ but somehow I don’t think that’s what Pat Mcgoohan meant. Oh yes I know, there are many others like me, perhaps you who are reading this are one of them. But you have other things in your life. I have other interests, gardening, reading, deskanalia, football, snooker, Formula 1 motor racing. Ghost stories, Jacques Tati films. American Wild West films, Spaghetti Westerns, British ‘B’ films etc, etc, etc
    So what am I complaining about? Who’s complaining? I’m spending my time doing what I like to do, doing what I do best, writing about the most surreal television series of its day. There has been nothing quite like it since. Well there have been a number of “Prisoneresque” television series and feature films, and more recently THEPRIS6
NER 2009 series, which reinvented ‘the Prisoner,’ having reinterpreted many of the original series ideas.
    Is there any other television series like ‘the Prisoner,’ which you have taken apart, dismantled, dissected, and finally put back together, and you still do not know what it is all about? Can you be sure of the interpretations you have placed on certain aspects of the series? Can you be one hundred percent sure that all the theories you have arrived at can be the truth of the matter, or anywhere near the truth? And if so, why are you right, and someone else is wrong? In other words we don’t like to be contradicted in our theorising do we? But at the same time we have to be open minded, which I try to be, unless I come across someone who is seeing material which is not in ‘the Prisoner’ and was never meant to be there in the first place. I have had my differences with other fans of the series over the years, that’s only to be expected. But even if I do not agree with everything fans of ‘the Prisoner formulate about the series, I will defend their right to be able to say it! Because isn’t that partly what ‘the Prisoner’ advocates, the freedom of speech? To have the right to question those about us? If you see a situation you are not happy about, question it, and those who caused that situation, and get them to do something about it in order to put it right. Because it’s all very well being a fan of ’the Prisoner,’ if you do not heed what Patrick McGoohan, through the Prisoner,’ is trying to tell you. It’s not always possible to be a “free man” is a world controlled by numbers. It’s not easy to be able to resign your job, well you can, but only when you’re sure you have another job to go to in this day and age. But you can do other things the Prisoner advocates. Speak out when you see something which goes against all things that are right. One can question, even if you do not get the answers. Of course one cannot behave exactly like the Prisoner-Number 6, there is no such thing as escape, only from the one prison to another. It is said that death is a form of escape, but for myself I’m not willing to take that route none too soon. Because I may know from what I would be escaping, but not where I’d be escaping two. I suppose that’s the leap of faith Six didn’t have in THEPRIS6
NER!

I’ll be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    There’s one thing about the Prisoner-Number 6, he has just as many questions as Number 2. Several Number 2’s are as pre-occupied with the reason why Number 6 resigned, as he is about who is Number 1. He keeps asking who is Number 1, and Number 2 keeps asking why Number 6 resigned, and neither will give up the answer. Does Number 2 actually know who Number 1 is? It seems highly unlikely, meet him………..ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! And that’s as much as any Number 2 can say, that Number 1 is a man. As for Number 6, is the reason behind his resignation so important to him that he refuses to say what the reason is. Or is it the plain and simple truth, that if he told Number 2 the reason, in having given one piece of information away then all the rest of what he knows would soon follow?

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Who Is That On The Telephono?

    The following link was sent to me this morning by Arno. I was gobsmacked when I looked at the web page.  After clicking on the link scroll down to abour halfway down the page, and check out the names of the ringtones. You can click on the black circle with yello triangle and listen. Then  scroll down to the picture at the bottom of the page.

http://www.swissvoice.net/L7/?lang=de 

And in English.

http://www.swissvoice.net/L7/?lang=en
 
   My thanks to Arno for drawing this to my attention, and to Michael Kimpel who discovered the source, and to Thomas Kayser.

Be seeing you

Symbolism


    The mirror was straightened! Why did Number 6 bother to straighten that mirror? Well it was a wild party, but once Number 6 had straightened that mirror the party did settle down a little. And yet it might also be said that in straightening the mirror it was symbolic of Number 6 taking control of his final dream sequence in ‘A B and C.’

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “Damn The Defiant!”

BcNu

Parallel Lines

   There is a certain parallel to be drawn between ‘Many Happy Returns’ and ‘Dance of the Dead,’ in that when Number 6 returns to London he makes his way back to his home of No.1 Buckingham Place. While in ‘Dance of the Dead’ after spending a night on the beach, Number 6 finally makes his way through The Village to return to his home of ‘6 Private.’ They are the only two places he can ever go. Hardly surprising really when one considers that both episodes are written by the same scriptwriter Anthony Skene.

Be seeing you

Monday, 23 November 2015

Tea Break Teaser

    If the episode ‘Checkmate’ contains the most film footage of Portmeirion, which episode {putting The Girl Who Was Death to one side} has the least film footage of Portmeirion?

Be seeing you

The Broken Lava lamp

    Thomas sat watching an episode of his favourite television series ‘the Prisoner’,’ the prisoner who was at that moment standing in the Piazza amongst people in brightly coloured clothes who were promenading around the pool and fountain.
   “Beautiful day” greeted a couple as they passed by.

   “They didn’t settle for ages” announced Number 2 through his megaphone “now they wouldn’t leave for the world.”
    “You mean you brought them round to your way of thinking” replied the Prisoner.
    “They had a choice. Wait, wait…………be still!” Number 2 ordered
    A small white balloon suddenly appears in the waterspout of the fountain. The Prisoner tries to take a step forward, but finds he’s rooted to the spot. The white balloon disappears for a second, before reappearing, but much larger, on top of the Gloriette. Then a young man wearing a striped jersey, a corduroy hat, and sporting a pair of sunglasses is standing in the pool. Who then runs out of the pool, arms stretched out wide, and spins around. Number 2 orders him to stop, but his words fall on deaf ears, the young man’s behaviour is erratic. He appears to give the impression of dashing about without actually doing so. Then the sound of a blood curdling roar fills the air, along with a high pitched whine. The white amorphous Guardian leaves the top of the Gloriette and floats down towards the young man, who falls backwards onto a flowerbed, and the Guardian is on him in an instant. The membrane of the Guardian covering the man’s face, smothering him either into unconsciousness, or to death!
   Sitting there alone in his room, something caught Thomas’ eye, it was the lit Lava Lamp perched on a bookshelf, the red wax in a state of perpetual motion in the heated oil of the lamp. He studied the globules of wax for a few moments, globules of different sizes rising and sinking in the oil, at times mixed with long streaks of wax. Sometimes when two globules collided they merged, while others divided into two. It seemed to have a calming, an almost mesmerising effect on Thomas, who then turned his attention back to the television and sat enjoying the rest of the episode. It wasn’t long before the Prisoner was attempting to escape The Village by Mini-Moke, in a Village taxi. Having dealt with the two men in the Moke, the Prisoner now behind the wheel of the vehicle speeds off along the beach. But then in the distance, appears the white membranic, amorphous mass of the Guardian. The Prisoner drives straight towards the Guardian, it’s almost as though he cannot believe what he’s seeing. The Mini-Moke and the Guardian collide, and the Prisoner falls out of the taxi. Sprawling on the sand the Prisoner gets to his feet, and lays into the Guardian with his fists. But the Guardian cannot be beaten, because its best defence is to offer no resistance. The Prisoner then falls backwards onto the sand and the Guardian is upon him in an instant, covering its prey with its membrane, suffocating the Prisoner into unconsciousness.
   Later Number 6 having been handed the opportunity for escape, attempts to do so by helicopter. But it’s a trick, and Number 6 the victim in a demonstration to show that escape from The Village is not possible. As the helicopter is landed back on the lawn by the sea wall, Number 2 tells Cobb that he thinks he’ll let Number 6 keep the watch, the Electro Pass, just as a reminder that escape is not possible. And so as the Guardian rounds up Number 6 at the Old People’s Home, the Butler reminding us that The Village is for residents only, and with the slamming of the steel bars preventing the looming face of the Prisoner from escape, the episode comes to an end. The closing credits as the canopied Penny Farthing builds up, and at the end, and the birth of the Guardian as it emerges out of the sea and skims away across the waves. Thomas ejected the DVD disc and replaced it back into its case, switching off both the player, television, together with the Lava lamp leaving the globules of wax to cool and descend to the bottom of the glass bottle, as he retired to bed.

    The next evening Nadia and Number 6 were all at sea in a desperate attempt to escape The Village. Nadia had persuaded Number 6 that she knew the location of The Village, having seen a file but for a few seconds only. So now Number 6 could calculate where he was sailing to, because he knew where he was sailing from!
    With just two miles to go, just around the next headland in fact, the kraken is released from its confinement at the bottom of the sea, and having risen up to the surface the white membranic Guardian skims away at speed across the waves.
   “That’s it” Nadia suddenly shouts pointing to the cliffs “see the cave?”
   The cave where Karel, or rather Post five is waiting, watching with a pair of binoculars. He sees the approaching Guardian in the distance, and reaches for a high powered rifle. Meanwhile the sail of their boat catches a crosswind from the rocks. Nadia looks back and to her horror sees the fast approaching Guardian emitting its blood curdling roar.

   In the lit Lava lamp on the book shelf the red globules rise and sink perpetually in the hot oil. One globule absorbs others until it’s the largest of them all, and presses itself against the glass for a moment until it sinks to the bottom of the glass to rise up gain as a long streak.

   “Look!” Nadia shouts.
   “Swim for it” Number 6 tells her.
   Both of them jump out of the boat and into the water in an attempt to escape the clutches of the Guardian which is hell bent on preventing their escape.
   Karel, or rather Post 5 opens fire upon the Guardian. Five shots ring out, but the Guardian is hit only three times, but even though it’s impervious to the bullets, it’s halted in its progress, and remains just off-shore. This while Number 6 and Nadia make it to dry land, and the cave beyond in the cliffs where Karel/Post 5 is waiting to meet them.
    Of course Number 6 has been tricked, far from having escaped and on the first leg to London, he and Nadia have barely left The Village! But if it wasn’t for the fact that Post 5 had his wrist watch set at English time, when it should have been set at Polish time, the plan to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation might well have succeeded. But at least this time the blame could not be laid at Number 2’s feet, as he had little or nothing to do with it, except to oversee that Number 6 and Nadia managed to escape The Village unhindered.
    With the closing of the end credits Thomas ejected the DVD disc and replaces it back into its case, switching off both the player, television, together with the Lava lamp leaving the globules of wax to cool and descend to the bottom of the glass bottle, as Thomas retired to bed.

    The following night is virtually Guardian free seeing as the episode watched is ‘A B and C,’ save for its appearance at the end of the closing credits. After which Thomas ejected the DVD disc and replaces it back into its case, switching off both the player, television, together with the Lava lamp leaving the globules of wax to cool and descend to the bottom of the glass bottle, as Thomas retired to bed.

   On the fourth night Thomas again sits in his armchair watching Number 6 standing for election as the new Number 6. His election promise is to maintain the security of the citizens, but that they enjoy themselves, and they will. They can partake of the most hazardous sports, and they will whether they like it or not. Where do the citizens desire to go? What has been their dream? Number 6 can supply it, winter, spring, summer or fall, they can all be theirs at any time. Apply to Number 6 and it will be easier and better. But perhaps not better for Number 6, because even in the middle of his election campaign he attempts to escape The Village by Jetboat, while Number 2 give chase in the helicopter.
   “You were doing so well, now you’re simply being foolish” Number 2 informs Number 6 from the tannoy of the helicopter “It won’t get you anywhere you know, go back before its too late. Go back before it’s too late.”
   But Number 6 persists, and goes on, the jetboat ploughing through the waves.
   Number 2 picks up a red ‘L’ shaped telephone “Southern perimeter alert.”
   And from the Control room the Guardian is released from its underground confinement at the bottom of the sea.
   While the Supervisor advises Number 2 by telephone that the Guardian is “Now approaching.”
   The white amorphous mass of the Guardian rises up through the water, then bursts through to the surface. Number 6 carries on steering the jetboat away from The Village and out to sea, while Number 2 flies the helicopter back to The Village. What follows is rather like what happened on land that time in ‘Arrival’ when the Prisoner was attempting to escape The Village in a Mini-Moke. But this time Number 6 doesn’t steer the boat straight at the fast approaching Guardian, he tries to steer around it. But the helm will not respond, and Number 6 has to quickly abandon the boat, only to find himself foundering in the water and at the mercy of the Guardian. But it shows no mercy, instead it half suffocates and half drowns Number 6, until two small Guardians arrive on the scene in order to help take the Prisoner back to shore.
   At that moment in the Lava lamp perched on the bookshelf, three globules of red wax merge, then other globules merge, until only one large red globule remains, which then begins to expand, putting pressure on its glass containment area. And then quite suddenly, and  without warning, the glass vessel of the Lava Lamp shatters showering splinters of glass and hot oil all over the room.
   Thomas leapt up out of his armchair in startled surprise. Shards of glass were everywhere, oil dripped down the walls and soaked into the carpet. He switched off the Lava Lamp, cutting off the light from the hot bulb. Thomas swore. Then he went into the kitchen to get cloths and dustpan and brush, while on the television screen Number 6 is rushed to the hospital in a Red Cross trailer towed by a Mini-moke, and the Guardian is returned to the place of its confinement at the bottom of the sea.
   Mopping up operations proved difficult for Thomas, trying to sweep up all the splinters of glass, wiping the oil from the walls left messy streaks, and he cleaned up the carpet as best he could, but it was ruined! But where was the wax, the wax contained in the Lava lamp? There was a long red waxy smear on the carpet leading behind the television set, Thomas went to look. It was not there. Instead the red streak of wax led from out behind the television across the room, and under the coffee table. From there it was but a short distance to the skirting board and up the wall to the ceiling. Looking up Thomas saw the large red mass of molten wax had attached itself to the ceiling light. He stared at it for several moments, examining it, wondering how it had managed to get up there in the first place. Suddenly the room was filled with a familiar sound, a blood curdling roar. On the television screen the Guardian was skimming across the waves of the sea It was at that same moment when the large red mass of wax dropped from the light fitting onto the head of Thomas Barlow. Fingers clutched at the molten wax that covered his face as in his desperation he tried to pull it off. But rather than molten wax, it felt more like a thin membrane that had cut off the air. He clawed at it with his fingers but could not get a grip. Thomas fell backwards onto the carpet, the life being suffocated out of him.
   The mass of red wax oozed its way out of the lounge and into the hallway seeking escape from its confinement. Along the hallway, it arrived at the door of the flat. Set in bottom of the door was a cat flap, for the Guardian it meant freedom and escape.

Be seeing you
© David A. Stimpson

Who Is That On The Telephono?



    No.6 “Hospital......yes hospital? Psychiatrics, head of the department.”
    249 “Director of psychiatrics.”
    “Ah doctor, I'm on grey!”
    “I beg your pardon?”
    “I'm on a grey telephone.”
    “Well so am I as it happens.”
    “Well I’m pleased, we seem to be on the same wavelength.”
    “We seem to be on the same telephone!”
    “Well doctor, what's the verdict on our friend?”
    “Friend, friend, who is this?”
    “Your report doctor, on Number Two.”
    “Number Two? What are you talking about? Who....who is this speaking?”
    “I understand, you'd rather not talk on the telephone.' 'Well not to you certainly.....are you mad?”
    “Not according to your records!”
    “Look ring off.”
    “I understand doctor. Never mind, I'll be seeing you later on......”
    “Yes why don't you do that. Come and see me in my office.”
    “Do you think that would be appropriate?”
    “Under the circumstances I see no other alternative.”
    “Well if you say so doctor.”
“How long have you been making these nuisance calls?”
{the telephono goes dead}


Be seeing you

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Number 6 Knows Too Much!

   “I know too much about you!” is what Number 6 told Number 2 at one point during their deliberations taking place in the Embryo Room.  This would suggest that Number 6 knew Number 2 prior to The Village. Seeing as how towards the end of ‘Fall Out’ we witness Number 2 entering the Houses of Parliament via the Peers entrance, and ZM73 parks his car in an underground car park just a few yards from the Houses of Parliament. So it is always possible that they met there, in the Houses of Parliament, not in the car park. Or at the very least ZM73 had knowledge of Number 2’s former reputation as a diplomat. And it could easily have been reciprocated by Number 2, as during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ he said to Number 6 “I am glad you are here!”

Be seeing you.

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                            “A SeaEscape”


BCNU

Observers Report

    The episode of ‘Many Happy Returns’ is the first episode to break the custom of revealing the identity of Number 2. Although Number 2 at the end of the episode turns out to be Mrs. Butterworth. And yet the voice of Number 2 during the opening sequence is of a man, what’s more there is a man sitting in Number 2’s chair. So perhaps Mrs. Butterworth is the new Number 2, having been involved in this episode but at the London end, living in No.1 Buckingham Place waiting for Number 6 to arrive home. Then having been brought to The Village in time for Number 6’s return home.

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Trust A Woman – Not No.6!

    “Never trust a woman, not even the four legged variety,” such is Number 6’s ethos towards the fairer sex, and with good reason it would seem. After all he had been betrayed by so many women during his incarceration in The Village. It started on the day of his arrival,’ when Number 2 had sent a maid, Number 66, to extract some sort of information from the Prisoner by playing on his sympathies. But the Prisoner had no sympathy for the maid, as he saw straight through her and told her to get out of his cottage!
   Number 9, she had been assigned to Cobb and then was assigned to Number 6 in much the same way. She affords Number 6 the opportunity for escape, but will not go with him, as according to her she never planned to escape without Cobb. 9 gave 6 an Electro Pass which she claimed was from the last pilot, but it was in fact Number 2 who had given it to her. Number 9 is a used woman, no more than a pawn to be used by Number 2 in whatever game he was playing at the time. She might not like the way she is given assignments by Number 2, inwardly she might well be unhappy with her lot, the way she is used to betray people. But on the other hand, it’s a way to survive The Village.
   Nadia Rakovsky who managed to get close to Number 6 as she claimed to know the location of The Village because she had seen a file but for a few seconds only. And he fell for it in his desperation to escape! Although Nadia had betrayed Number 6, she was more his type of woman, as well as working in his line of business. Something like ‘B’, who Number 6 knew in his former life. She like the maid-Number 66 tried to extract the reason behind his resignation. Only she was being manipulated, words being put into her mouth by the doctor-Number 14. But Number 6 soon began to see through the deception, because in putting words into ‘B’s’ mouth she used an expression “We all make mistakes, sometimes we have to,” and just as Number 6 didn’t know about Susan having died a year ago, Number 2 didn’t know about ‘B’s’ son! The doctor-Number 14 did work against Number 6 with the use of the newly developed drug, but at the insistence of Number 2. The doctor wasn’t happy about this, seeing as the drug hadn’t been tested on animals let alone humans. But if she didn’t use the drug on Number 6, Number 2 threatened to see it proved on her! In the end, the doctor appeared happy that Number 2’s machination against Number 6 had failed, and that he had succeeded.
    “Drink it while it’s hot.”
    “What is it?”
    “It’s good for you.”
    “Good for someone.”
    Each night Number 6 is betrayed by a woman, the night-time maid who comes to his cottage in order to make him his nightcap of hot chocolate. The nightcap is drugged of course, in order to make him sleep.
   Alison, a young woman who Number 6 was helping with her mind-reading act for The Village festival, betrayed Number 6. Although it’s not clear whether she was assigned to Number 6, or whether the idea came to Number 2 of exploiting the situation upon the discovery that she and Number 6 had a genuine mental link. And then pressure was brought to bear on Alison. It may be suspected it to be the latter. Because later, realising that it was Number 6 who came calling at her cottage, and not Curtis, she told Number 6 that she wanted him to know that if she had a second chance, she wouldn’t have betrayed him.
    Mrs. Butterworth, she managed to convince Number 6 that she was a good Samaritan helping a nameless exile. But she turned out to be no better than any of them, seeing as she turned out to be Number 2! But having written that, the next Number 2 saw Number 6 as having a future with The Village. She stopped the doctor-Number 40 in his tracks while attempting to extract information from Number 6 using Dutton as a communications medium. She told the doctor that Number 6 isn’t like the others, that there are other ways. She doesn’t want Number 6 broken, he must be won over, and sees it as a long process. So this woman is protecting Number 6, well that makes a change, not only against the doctor and his human experiments, but also the angry mob, who was set upon him when sentenced to death for the breaking of a rule….the possession of a radio!
    Number 8 would have doted on Number 6 for the rest of their lives, had her love for Number 6 not been manufactured, and rejected by him! She saw them as being happy together, but he was too much of a doubting Thomas, having hardly any feelings for Number 8 at all. It was her emotions which were betraying Number 6 without even knowing she was doing it, she simply couldn’t help herself the poor woman.
    Monique, she went to ‘6 Private’ looking for help from Number 6 {is that what Alison had done originally?} but was being used as a pawn by an interim Number 2. At first she was an ally, but later she became nothing more that Number 6’s side-kick. She is the first woman not to have betrayed Number 6, she was merely the catalyst for Number 6’s involvement in ‘Plan Division Q.’
    Number 86, another doctor used against Number 6, but it could so easily have been Number 23 from ‘Checkmate,’ who once suggested that a leucotomy operation for Number 6 in order to stem his aggressive tendencies. The only trouble with Number 86 was, she isn’t so quick witted as some. First she is used by Number 2 in order to maintain the illusion that Number 6 had undergone the full Instant Social Conversion, when in fact he was merely drugged. Then once Number 6 had turned the tables on Number 86, after first switching the teacups, he then used her susceptible mind to turn the tables on Number 2.
    Cathy, didn’t betray The Man With No Name {but as Number 22 she had certainly fallen for him by the end of the episode} because she wasn’t who he thought she was, and besides he thought he was going to escape the town of Harmony with her, as he had expected to escape The Village with Nadia. But as with the one-way out of Harmony being guarded by a couple of the Judges gunslingers, so too the one way out of The Village, guarded by Post 5!
   As for The Girl Who Was Death, , she would have loved Mister X to death! But let us not forget that in this case the Girl is of Number 6’s own creation, an adversary worth her salt. Strange then that Number 6 should make such an adversary a woman and not a man. But fitting, with all Number 6’s previous experiences with women in The Village, that he should make a woman try and kill him, and so by eventually vanquishing her, he vanquished all woman kind, symbolically speaking that is. After all, there are no women whatsoever in ‘Fall Out,’ unless of course they are to be found amongst the delegates of the Assembly!

Be seeing you

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Mrs. Butterworth/No.2


  If Number 2 of ‘Dance of the Dead’ is Peter Pan, does that dress make Number 2, on this occasion, Harlequin?

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What’s In A Name?

    Peter Smith, as he told Mrs Butterworth, but surely that’s not his real name, neither is he Schmitt or Duval. Even the code name D6 which Number 6 uses to sign a message to XO4 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ is a false one, as in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ we learn his correct code name is ZM73. And Curtis is another false name to be used by Number 6, unless of course it was Number 6 who had died then the name would be right!

Be seeing you

Pat And Frank


   “Who have you come as?”
   “I’m you.”
   “You’re not me, I’m me.”
   “Yes but I’m you as well, and at times you’re me.”
   “I’m never you, and you’re not me.”
   “I’m as often you as you are yourself!”
   “I’m Number 6.”
   “So am I, except when I’m Number Twelve. In fact thinking about it I should get twice the appearance money.”
   “But I’m Number Twelve.”
   “You can’t be Number Twelve because I’m Number Twelve who is supposed to be impersonating you.”
   “But you said you’re Number Six.”
   “Yes that’s right.”
   “Look this isn’t going to work. If we don’t know who we are, how are we to expect the television viewers to know?”
   “But we do know who we are, you know who you are, I know who we are.”
   “Yes, but will the television viewer?”
   “Does it matter?”
   “Yes.”
   “Well perhaps I could wear a number Six badge.”
   “Don’t be daft, Number Six never wears his badge.”
   “Well perhaps your impersonator doesn’t know that.”
   “You could wear a different coloured blazer.”
   “What colour?”
   “Pink.”
   Pink! What do you take me for?”
   “Well what about white with black piping?”
   “That’s a good idea, like positive and negative.”
   “What?”
   “Or I could be your id to your ego!”
   “Don’t get clever. You’re just my stunt double and don’t you forget it.”
   “And don’t you forget I’m Number Six just as often as you are, but I take all the risks!”
   “Oh alright. Drink?”
   “They’re not open yet are they?”
   “I’ve a bottle of Irish in my office.”
   “It took you a long time to think of that one!”

Be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records


   Why did Number 6 bother to put his number to that I.O.U he wrote on the counter in the General Stores, in fact why did he bother to write it in the first place? After all he didn’t expect to be paying that debt, as he was about to escape The Village and wouldn’t be coming back. Unless of course he wanted to leave a message, in order to let them know that it had been Number 6 who had taken the provisions, the copy of The Tally Ho, the loudspeaker, and the 35mm Cannon Dial camera.
   But The Village was deserted. Who did Number 6 think would read his I. O. U? But at least he did sign it, even though he was questioning his identity even at that moment!

Be seeing you

Friday, 20 November 2015

Teabreak Teaser


   Was Number 12 committing suicide, or was his an act of altruism in   trying to save the Professor’s life?

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                            “Little Bo Peep”

BCNU

A Favourite Scene in The Prisoner


    There he is, Number 14, assistant to Number 2, lounging half asleep in an armchair in the anti-room of the Green Dome. He’s a loyal man, and only wishes to serve, to help Number 2 in his machinations against Number 6. But Number 2 only uses Number 14 when he needs him, in carrying out menial security tasks, like retrieving the top sheet of paper from a note pad on Number 6’s desk in his cottage. Or to have him follow Number 6, and watch him all the way to the Stone Boat, then help Number 2 retrieve the white envelope Number 6 left there. But when it comes to the important details, like discovering what Number 6 had written on his notepad, or what it was in the white envelope, Number 14 is kept well beyond arms length.
   So there he is, loyal to the last, only too willing to serve, lounging in an armchair half asleep, when suddenly he hears the pair of steel doors open. He jumps out of the armchair, straightens his piped blazer, and stands smartly to attention. Thus giving Number 2 the impression that he’s been standing there all the time, ready and waiting for the word from Number 2 to do something. And what does Number 2 do? Calls him to heel like a lap dog, to follow him through the streets of The Village to the Town Hall and eventually the Control Room, where he leads away the Supervisor, his having been removed from his position. Number 14 himself is eventually removed from his position, accused by Number 2 of being a traitor. But Number 14 wasn’t a bad man, he was just following orders. If only Number 2 had trusted 14 more, taken him into his confidence, perhaps then things might have turned out differently for Number 2. But then again Number 14 was no match for Number 6, whom he wanted to enjoy giving a “dusting down,” but almost ended up with a dunking himself. And of course we know how it ended when 14 went round to ‘6 Private’ in order to exact his revenge upon Number 6 for “putting the poison in” with Number 2. I can still see Number 14 jump up out of that armchair and standing smartly to attention just as though he’s been standing there like that all the time. Who does he think he’s trying to fool? Number 2 obviously. But surely Number 2 isn’t that big a fool!


Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “Transmission will start in five seconds from now. Five, four, three, two, one.”
                             {Announcer - The General}

    It’s all very well telling the students that the Professor’s lecture will start in five seconds. But there is a flaw to Speedlearn. Yes it transmits information which is imprinted on the cortex of the brain through the iris, and that with occasional boosts it’s virtually indelible. And every student may well be word perfect, exactly the same words perfect, so that you end up with a row of knowledgeable cabbages. It may well be argued that the flaw in the educational experiment known as Speedlearn has already been listed, but not the flaw I’m thinking of. To have the three year history course indelibly imprinted on the students brains, they must first be seated in front of a television screen. Without the student doing that, he or she will remain unaffected by Speedlearn, and remain in ignorance, and quite right too! Up the Professor, and down with Speedlearn, that’s what I say. Mind you, if I’d have had a dose of Speedlearn when I was at school I might have passed my maths exam. Unlike Number 6 I had no head for figures!


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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Bureau of Visual Record


    The study of ‘6 Private’ had been duplicated right down to the tiniest detail, nothing was overlooked. There’s even the fireplace, which is just for show of course. Number 6 screwed up his copy of The Tally Ho and threw it into the grate of the fireplace. Just as well he didn’t want to burn it, or start a fire, because there’s nowhere for the smoke to go. The fireplace is false, just for show, besides the cottage has no chimney. That could be a bit awkward in the autumn when the chilly nights start to draw in, more so in the winter when it really gets cold. Because in having no working fireplace, ‘6 Private’ doesn’t appear to have any central heating either, there are no radiators to be seen anywhere in the cottage. What’s more there’s no hot water boiler to provide hot water. I suppose the cottage could have under floor central heating, but the hot water would have to be piped into the cottage from a central hot water reservoir I suppose, but it would take a super conductive water heater to provide hot water for every cottage in The Village. Unless it was super heated coolant from a nuclear power station. Well the electricity has to be provided from somewhere!

Be seeing you

Village Life!


    Life in The Village will never be quite the same again! I know Number 1 is supposed to be aboard that rocket, but I cannot help but see a missile carrying a nuclear warhead. The Village has gone ballistic! If either the Russians, the Americans, and yes, even the British, had learned of the launching of this ballistic missile via their monitoring stations, either side would think that the other side had launched a pre-emptive strike. Then they would automatically retaliate, and then the fallout would be far reaching.
    The rocket was a Blue Streak rocket superimposed on the film, which was once to have been
Britain’s nuclear missile programme. But that was changed, and the Blue Streak was turned over to launching satellites just before the programme was cancelled altogether in 1968. How or even why, should The Village wish to acquire a Blue Streak rocket? But seeing as how they had, The Village Administration would be in need of a scientist to oversee the missile project. So who better than Professor Schnipps, a German scientist who could have worked on the VI and VII rockets during the second World War. Possibly even on the NAZI New York rocket programme. 

Be seeing you