In ‘Many Happy Returns’ Number 6 is put at physical risk as he is allowed to escape The Village and set out on a voyage of discovery. They could easily have lost Number 6, not mentally but physically, lost in a real accident at sea! And then came ‘Dance of The Dead,’ and the situation with Number 6 changes once again. Now Number 2 sees Number 6 as having a future with The Village, that there are other ways, although the doctor-Number 40 doesn’t quite see it that way. He thinks that if he has to wait for orders he’ll never get results. The Doctor tries to force information out of Number 6 by using Dutton as a communications medium. The Supervisor tells him to stop, that he’ll damage the brain then they’ll all…… Number 6 must be won over, it may seem a long process to the doctor’s practical mind, but Number 6 must not be broken! This doesn’t make any sense when one considers what has taken place in previous episodes. However if ‘Dance of The Dead’ is placed in its original position, second episode in the series, then it makes perfect sense. Number 6, followed by ‘Free For All,’ after which it appears that patience has run out with Number 6. It has become clear that Number 6 cannot be won over, he cannot be persuaded. That other ways have to be employed against him. And by the time of ‘Living In Harmony Number 2 is allowed to put Number 6 in a dangerous environment. They gave him love, then took it away. They isolated him, made him kill, faced him with death in an attempt to break him mentally. But Number 6 is a born survivor, as proved in ‘The Girl who Was Death,’ which might have been worth a try because all else so far had failed! But that was before they tried ‘Degree Absolute,’ a recognised method used in psychoanalysis. The patient must come to trust his doctor. Sometimes they change places, which is essential in extreme cases. But this time Number 1 was not only risking Number 6, but Number 2 as well by giving him only a week to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, possibly to turn him. Because although Number 2 is a good man, was a good man, if they get Number 6 he will be better. But Number 6 is both physically and mentally stronger than Number 2, and the doctor and patient do change places, “Why don’t you resign?” the doctor asks, to which Number 2 laughs seeing Number 6 as being very good at it. But in having changed places, it might well be that it’s Number 6 who died in that cage…. “die Six, die, diiiiiiieeeeeeee,” a deep seated wish on Number 6’s part perhaps. But it wasn’t Number 6 who died, for he survived with a whole heart, body and soul. Only to face a final manipulation, first the softly, softly approach. Praise is heaped on the former Number 6, the man who has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. Then he is compensated for his ordeal, presented with a the key, his house being prepared for him, a passport valid for anywhere, travellers cheques a million, and a drawstring leather purse of petty cash. He’s then allowed to address the Assembly, but the delegates have no desire to hear one word the Prisoner has to say for himself. And finally Number 1, the Prisoner is brought face to face with himself to demonstrate that the Prisoner has only himself to blame for the ordeal he has undergone. That if he accepts that he will finally be a free man. But the Prisoner cannot accept that he is responsible for his own incarceration in The Village. And because he will not confide, they will not concede. And because of that the Prisoner will never be free of the anguish pattern which has dominated his life since the day he handed in his letter of resignation!
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