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Sunday, 31 January 2016

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


    When the Prisoner, on the day of his arrival in The Village, is taken by Number 2 to the Labour Exchange for an interview. “Ah” says the manager “this is our new friend.” Well I think that’s calling it somewhat differently to how the Prisoner sees it. But in any case everything is ready. Does that mean the aptitude test has been set up? The aptitude test in which the square is circled, and not the other way around. Number 2 finds that amusing, but there’s no reaction from the Prisoner. Then the questionnaire, it contains questions about his race, religion, hobbies. What he likes to read, what he likes to eat. What he was, what he wants to be. Any family illnesses…….any politics?
But the Prisoner isn’t in any mood to be filling in any such questionnaire. I’ve sometimes wondered if the Prisoner’s resignation had anything to do with politics, as that’s the one thing that makes him react, by throwing the managers toy out of the pram so to speak. But that might be simply coincidence, the Prisoner having had enough by that point. After all he’s been de-briefed once already by Number 2. And besides the Manager of the Labour Exchange can get all he needs from the file Number 2 leaves with him.
   So why the Labour Exchange? It wasn’t as though the Prisoner was going to be issued with a job, although Number 2 had suggested during the aerial tour of The Village that he might be given a position of authority. He also said that he might even meet people he knows. Well that turned out to be right, starting with Cobb. Unless the Manager at the Labour Exchange, Number 20, was the first person the Prisoner recognised as being someone he once knew…..that of Potter from ‘Danger Man.’ And even if it isn’t the same character, the Prisoner had known Potter, because he met with him in ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ what’s more Potter was doing the same style of contact work as he did in ‘Danger Man’s’ ‘Koroshi!’ And of course there is one further Potter in the series, Potter in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ but played by a different actor.

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                             “SeaEscape!”

BCNU

The Guardian


   There are two differences between the Guardians of the original series of ‘the Prisoner’ and that of THEPRIS6NER. Firstly that in the second is never once seen patrolling in any part of The Village. And secondly in the 2009 series the Guardian only appears when Six is afraid. In other words Six conjures up the Guardian by his own fear! Which in itself is a reinterpretation of that in the original series, the Guardian has been interpreted to represent one’s own fears.

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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Citizen No.53


   Hunter! You are “Colonel Hunter” Section Chief of the government department of British Intelligence known simply as “The Section?” No, obviously my mistake, seeing as how Hunter was shot and killed by Callan. But if you were Colonel Hunter, I’m sure they would find a position for you here, perhaps as Number 2. It’s ironic really, but perhaps ironic isn’t quite the right word. Because as each Section Chief of “The Section” was known as Hunter, each Chairman of The Village is known as Number 2! However seeing as Hunter is dead, the situation hardly arises.
   You say you’re an Electronic Engineer? Well we’ll take that as read, because you yourself admitted that you have invented an electronic defence system. The trouble was you thought all nations should have it, as in your eyes it would have assured World peace. My dear chap you simply can’t go about with radical ideas like that in your head. After all see where it’s got you! But then what happened? Some bumbling bureaucrat let his bag, containing the plans to your electronic defence system, get swiped. You were pleased about that. Oh no, don’t be sorry, after all if anything goes wrong with “The Beam,” you are on hand to effect repairs. Well who do you think “swiped” the bag containing your plans? Yes that’s right. They’ve installed your defence system in The Village, well in the flagpole to be precise. It’s operated on a much smaller scale than you intended, but it’s the same defence weapon, it’s called “The Beam.” They once used it to bring down a pigeon. There, what think you of that? Not much I expect!

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The Opening Sequence!


    The opening sequence of ‘Living In Harmony’ differs greatly from the usual opening sequence. It could be described as a re-imaging, a reinterpretation of the usual opening sequence. But there is another difference, because the opening sequence to ‘Living In Harmony’ is part of the actual episode, because it runs into it. Whereas the usual episode in which the Prisoner having resigned his job, returns home to collect two suitcases, his passport and airline ticket, is gassed and collapse onto a couch. Yes he does wake up on a couch in which he thinks is his own home, but in The Village {the opening sequence of ‘Arrival’ being the one exception} and doesn’t run into each episode like that of ‘Living In Harmony.’

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The Seltzman Machine

    On the face of it, it appears that there are two sides looking for Doctor Joseph Seltzman {originally Saltzman} but only one, if it’s British Intelligence who are behind The Village. That being the case, why the need to have the undertaker follow Potter? Perhaps it was a case of just making sure. But either way, Sir Charles Portland wanted to know where Seltzman was, and seeing how his men had failed to locate him through a set of slide transparencies, perhaps agents working for The Village might have better luck. Seeing as Number 6 was the last person to see Doctor Seltzman.
   But why the need for Seltzman? After all The Village authorities already had a Seltzman machine. So if they didn’t know where Seltzman was, how did the authorities behind The Village manage to obtain a Seltzman machine in the first place? Perhaps it was like Number 240 in ‘Dance of the Dead’ describing how, at the Prisoner’s trial, he was able to obtain a radio. “He had no radio of his own, there was no radio he could have borrowed, so when acquiring one….”

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Friday, 29 January 2016

No.1 Buckingham Place


    According to “Mrs. Butterworth” she had the house on a ten year lease fully furnished. Now whether or not the furnishings belong to ZM73 {for want of a better name} the previous tenant, is still open to debate. However, according to Peter Smith, {for want of another better name} there was still six months to run on the lease while he was still the tenant. That would take it back from March 1967 to September 1966 when ZM73 had resigned from his previous employment. He had apparently lived in the house for at least six months, that was up until the point when he was abducted and taken to The Village. We know this because he explained to Mrs Butterworth about the area of dry rot behind the writing bureau which was made good about 12 months earlier. So the lease had run out, and “Mrs. Butterworth had taken the house on, fully furnished on a ten year lease.
    So why was a single man, albeit one who is engaged, be living in such a large house? Perhaps because he had intended to get married, and the house was for him and Janet Portland. But something went wrong, ZM73 resigned his job, he was going abroad somewhere, and what’s more he had not bothered to tell his fiancée Janet Portland, who we shall come to shortly. So what price ZM73’s future with Janet? Would Sir Charles Portland want such a man marrying his daughter, who had just resigned from his department? And what price the house once he had gone abroad? Who can say when he’d be back. And besides perhaps the owners wouldn’t want to lease out the house again.
   So there we have it. ZM73 resigned his job, was duly abducted to the Village. Six months later he escapes back to London {so that’s why he knocked on the door, he knew that the lease had run out, and probably there was a new occupant} to find “Mrs. Butterworth” in residence. But she wasn’t, was she, not really. Just long enough for the Prisoner to arrive back home, and to help confirm his story either to the police or Special Branch when either one came calling. And soon after that she left London for The Village. So what about the house after that? Because at some point in the future ZM73 would be returned to London, to wake up on the morning he was supposed to have handed in his letter of resignation!
    Yes all unpleasant memories had been wiped from Number 6’s mind, which had also apparently been regressed back to that day. But he didn’t. His mind may have been regressed back to that day, but not time. It wasn’t September 1966, but sometime around September 1967 long after ZM73’s lease of the house would have expired. So who either owned or held the lease of the house at that time? Because one thing is for sure, ZM73 shouldn’t have been waking up in No.1 Buckingham Place that day during ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,” as it wasn’t his house anymore! I did used to think that No.1 Buckingham Place was a Government house, that it went with a job somewhere in a Government department. But if that had been the case, then there would have been no need for ZM73 to have any dealings with an estate agent regarding the leasing of the house. So who owned No.1 Buckingham Place at the time of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling?’
    And now we come back to Janet Portland, because she seemed to be under the impression that her fiancé still had the house, seeing as his car was parked outside in the street. And because of that she thought he had come back from wherever he had been working, hence her impression that he still lived in the house. What’s more she gives no impression that she has any knowledge of his having resigned, because she thought he was working for her father Sir Charles, and he gave no impression that his future son-in-law had resigned from his department. So what’s going on? Basically ‘the Prisoner’ suffers from too many scriptwriters!
   So then ZM73 was gone again, and No.1 Buckingham Place left empty once more. Until ‘Fall Out’ that is, when the house was being made ready for Number 6, along with the return of his Lotus 7. Apparently the house had been put up for sale. Two men removed that for sale sign from the railings. So it would seem that the owners of the property no longer wished to lease the house, but to sell it outright. But who owned the house? That is one fact we shall probably never know. Perhaps more importantly who had purchased it on Number 6’s behalf? The British Government, or the administration behind The Village? The former, if it’s one and the same.
   So Number 6’s house had been made ready for him, he’d been given the key to the front door. And yet as it happens, he wouldn’t actually be needing that, because as soon as ZM73 returns to London he’s off again behind the wheel of his Lotus 7 in order to hand in his letter of resignation. Such as the ending of ‘Fall Out’ suggests. But when all is said and done, its probably no bad thing that ZM73 didn’t use that key to get into his house. He might not have appreciated the fact that while his house was being made ready for him, they had upgraded the front door. As when the Butler enters the house, the door opens automatically, with a very familiar electric hum. It wouldn’t have done for ZM73 to have discovered that he’d been in The Village all the time!
    It’s a tricky question regarding No.1 Buckingham Place, because its as with the General when Number 6 asked it WHY?, we are not given enough basic facts! True Mrs. Butterworth does supply some information about the house, but then we cannot trust a word that woman says, when she turns out to be one of them!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

               “The Prisoner Offers Brute Force!”
                   The Guardian Offers No Resistance!
BCNU

Quote For The Day

    “I know every nut, bolt, and cog, I built it with my own hands.”
                                                  {The Prisoner - Many Happy Returns}
    Ah but did he spray paint the car himself, or did he have someone do that for him? As it is there seems to be no end to the Prisoner’s talents. Look at the way he carved the hull of that boat out of a fallen tree trunk, as well as the bottom of the boat, the mast, and rudder, and enveloping the hull of the vessel in tarpaulin. Not that the boat would have been watertight, far from it, the tarpaulin would have been sodden with seawater. Mind you it was a different matter with that sea-going raft of his. Once the materials had been sourced putting that raft together must have been like building it from a kit, just like it had been with his Lotus 7. Except he had been working in wood instead of metal. But having been top of his class in woodwork at school would have held Number 6 in good stead for building a raft. He might even have built one as a boy to sail on a river. But sourcing the materials and actually building a sea-going raft is one thing, it would have to be designed first, and then tested for its seaworthiness. Otherwise Number 6 might have put out to sea, and the raft come apart and foundered in the estuary. And that would have amounted to being a failure on both sides. And writing of both sides, Number 2, whoever he or she was at the time, must have had great faith in Number 6’s ability to escape by sea, seeing as no other way of escape had been left open to him. I mean to say, its not everyman who is so skilled as our friend Number 6.


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Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Schizoid Man

    We know ‘The Schizoid Man’ has a slight flaw in the plot. Number 24-Alison, after her mind reading act in Number 2's office, produces a photograph she claims to have taken only the night before, and claiming that there is a much easier way to identify Number 6. "Isn't it awful, I took it last night, he's all arms and legs. He has a mole on his left wrist." Well there lies the flaw in the plot, because Number 6, to whom Alison-Number 24 is alluding, is wearing a cream blazer with black piping. And the man in the photograph is wearing a dark blazer with off white piping! Of course the production crew and cast have not taken into account this change of coloured blazer in the scene, and still remain faithful to that of the original script which called for a dark blazer. One further observation, Number 6, who under went conditioning to make him left handed, has not taken this left-handedness into account. He still wears his stainless steel banded wrist watch on his left wrist, when of course, being left handed, it should have been worn on his right wrist. I remember I was at school with a boy who was left-handed, and he wore his wristwatch on his right wrist!

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Village Life


    Number 6 has recently left the Town Hall having been brought before the Committee, which he has not been called before to defend himself, all they want is his complete confession. The Chairman is sure Number 6 will co-operate.
   It was soon after that that Number 6 encountered Number 61. He greeted her.
    “Beautiful day Sixty-one.”
    But Number 61 simply ignored his greeting
    This is like number 42’s behaviour when she ignored Number 10’s greeting. 42 pleaded mitigating circumstances, that she was composing poetry and didn’t hear Number 10’s greeting. But Number 61 can plead no mitigating circumstances, because she deliberately ignored Number 6’s greeting. She cannot plead her case against not wanting to accused of acknowledging an unmutual, because at that time Number 6 may have been pronounced as being disharmonious, but he hadn’t been posted as an unmutual. Indeed if Number 61 carries on like this, she herself may find herself facing the Committee. The fact that she ignored Number 6’s greeting might well have been enough to see her brought before the Committee!


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Thought For The Day


  KAR 120C, a Lotus Seven which looks the business in its British racing green, with yellow nosed livery. A sports car, almost a racing car, for the road, fast, sporty, rebellious, a car for the single man, for the individual. But not a car for the winter months, nor does it look so cool with the hood up. Also, on a chilly day damned cold, it having no heater. I admired KAR 120C, I even dreamed of owning one once. But then I became disillusioned, of not with the Lotus Seven itself, but with the paint job. I guess back in the 1960’s there were not so many Lotus Sevens about, and such a car could be seen to belong to the individual, that the car was an individual. Someone who enjoyed the freedom of the open road, the wind in his hair and all that. But in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and to this day I expect, there are far more Lotus/Caterham 7’s about in ‘the Prisoner’ livery. I remember being on holiday at Pormeirion in the late 1980’s when at least 9 Lotus 7’s turned up, 9 all in ‘the Prisoner’ livery. It was then I began to think that there were too many about in ‘the Prisoner‘ livery, and the car seemed to be no longer individual! I suppose that’s why I’ve given the Prisoner in the manuscript of my novel, not only a different car to that of a Lotus 7, but a new Number 6!

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Many Happy Returns

    The episode ‘Many Happy Returns’ written by Anthony Skene, originally Number 6, having escaped The Village on his sea-going raft, was to have been picked up by a Russian trawler. Onboard there was to have been a Russian Princess, and she was to have had a romantic liaison with Number 6. Patrick McGoohan would have soon have that written out of the script, but why? He might not have wanted to have a romantic liaison with a woman, but Number 6 would. Because do not forget Number 6 did enjoy a romantic embrace with his fiancée Janet Portland. Yes it wasn’t Patrick McGoohan it was Nigel Stock, but more importantly it was Number 6 kissing Janet. I think I read somewhere that Patrick McGoohan said Number 6 would never kiss a woman, yes he would. It’s rather like the way Terrence Feely wrote in his original script for ‘The Schizoid Man.’ Instead of Number 6 using Alison’s mind reading act to try and prove his identity, both Number 6 and Number 12 were to have kissed Alison. But because of McGoohan's refusal to kiss a girl on screen, the scene led to the change in the script, resulting in the scene we now see.
    It seems to me that McGoohan imposed his own morality upon the character of Number 6. In any case, what was a Russian Princess doing on a Russian Trawler? As for the Russian Trawler itself, we know precisely what that would have been up to in 1967, and it wasn't fishing. Well it was............ but fishing for information,
 information!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                     “The Man With No Name”
BcNu

Caught On Camera!


    The two crewmen of a motor cruiser have come across a raft. On board a man has collapsed, and appears dead. The men turn out to be gun-runners, although personally I’ve always been rather sceptical of that. They take anything they can from the raft, I don’t know why they bothered to do that, as there couldn’t have had anything of value aboard. But apparently these two gun-runners enjoyed eating Number 6’s Village Food. Cold tinned corned beef, baked beans, and tin of fruit, possibly apple or pear.
    Then just as they cast off, Ernst tips the body of the unconscious, possibly dead man from the raft into the water. Why, when it would have been simpler to just leave the body on the raft! However the act of dumping the body in the water did have the effect of separating it from the raft, and the cold water would have brought Number 6 to his senses, had he not already come round. If he been left aboard the raft, Number 6 couldn’t have got aboard the vessel unseen!
   So there he is floating in the water, playing dead it would seem. Then the crewman casts off, leaving the raft adrift. The pair of diesel engines are revved, which makes Number 6 swim towards the stern of the vessel. The engines are left to idle, as Gunter doesn’t seem to be in any particular hurry to get the motor cruiser underway, to apparently give Number 6 time to scramble aboard the vessel, just before it gets underway.
   If by any chance the cold water hadn’t brought Number 6 round, or if he was dead, one of the “gun runners” could easily have brought the body aboard, as they would have needed the body as evidence. Either way they wouldn’t have gone off without him. Because I think they were more than what they appeared to be. Not gun-runners, but the crew of M.S. Polotska, belonging to The Village, who had been shadowing Number 6 aboard his raft. After all they had turned up at a most propitious time, soon after Number 6 had collapsed in fact. How did the two crewmen know that he had? And how did they know Number 6 had been able to board their vessel, they didn’t check that either. They could have sailed off leaving Number 6 floating in the water! Perhaps they were sure of the man’s ability, if he was still alive. And Ernst didn’t even check to see if Number 6 was alive or not before he dumped him in the water. But if he hadn’t done that, and had left the body aboard the raft, Number 6 wouldn’t have been able to get abroad the motor cruiser without being seen, and then he would have died in an accident at sea. After all they had taken all of his provisions!

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Monday, 25 January 2016

The Future Seen In A Crystal Ball!

    Number 6 was about to meet Number 1, and at long last we would finally get to the face behind The Village. But instead it was hidden behind a mask! As Number 6 approached the figure in white robes, the figure turned and handed him a crystal ball. What we see is the looming face of the Prisoner, The Village in the background, and the slamming of the steel bars. Which is seen at the end of each episode, thus demonstrating that there is no escape. However in this case Number 6 is being shown his future, as a prisoner. It is a future which he rejects by letting the crystal ball slip from his fingers to smash into a thousand splinters on the floor. And yet it is a future which seems to be set, because no sooner has he returned to London than he’s drives off in his Lotus Seven, without even having gone into his house. If he had he might have got a shock as the electronic front door opened automatically. Which either means symbolically he’s been in The Village all the time, or the two men seen preparing his house, up-graded the front door while they were at it!

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Point of Observation!

    Strange how a system which once found individuals as “trying” {or at least that’s what Number 2 said} that in the end was prepared to embrace Number 6 as an individual. Indeed was prepared to absorb him into that system. That if they could not shape Number 6 to fit, the system would be altered in order to make him fit. Remarkable that Number 6 has been an example to them, in having convinced them of their mistakes. It would seem that Number 6 knows the way, because suddenly they need him to show them the way! Perhaps Number 2 {as the High Court Judge} instead of using coercion, which has failed to work against the Prisoner, tries a different tack, to heap praise upon the Prisoner. He has revolted. Resisted, fought, held fast, maintained, destroyed, resisted, overcame coercion. He has earned the right to be a person, someone individual. All that remains then is the recognition of a man, a man of steel who apparently is magnificently equipped to lead them, having proved himself. His revolt has been good and honest. He is an individual who has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. And now they need him! But soft soaping butters no parsnips. Meaning heaping praise on Number 6 didn’t work either. It simply helped bring about another revolt, one violent and bloody, more of a purge really, in which the only ones to die are the armed security forces!

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Citizen 86


    You may be an attractive woman, more feminine in that dress of yours than in slacks. But it must not be forgotten, your attractiveness should not detract from the fact that you carry out those appalling leucotomies. Because there is something about your eyes, there’s a coldness in them. Yes you may have found a more clean and clinical way of carrying out those operations, but the result is the same.
   I can see the doctor-Number 23 carrying out such operations with her patients, she was the first to suggest a leucotomy be carried out on Number 6, and would have been pleased to carry out the operation herself I’m sure. But what drives a young attractive woman to do it? Perhaps like a former doctor in The Village, Number 14, you are coerced into carrying out such operations. Yet there seems no evidence for that supposition, as you appear to enjoy your work. However you’re not quite as clever as you think you are. In keeping a close eye on Number 6 yourself, you allowed yourself to be outwitted by him. You could say Number 6 pulled the rug out from under you? Get it, rug, pulled it out from under you, when you went to get it from the wardrobe! Then you let Number 6 turn the tables on you when he gave you a lesson in how to make the perfect cup of tea. Yes you managed to drop two Mytol {a sedative} pills into his teacup, but he swapped the teacups when your back was turned. And Number 2 wasn’t the least bit amused by that, he called you a stupid woman!
   Then your doped state of mind left you wide open to hypnotism {is there nothing Number 6 cannot do?} you gave a full report of what had happened to Number 6. That he didn’t undergo the operation known as Instant Social Conversion, but instead had been given a dose of Mytol to keep him calm and sedated. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you denounced Number 2 as being unmutual, the final act of betrayal. But then as they say, we’re all pawns me’ dear!

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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Interior design





   The house of No,1 Buckingham Place came fully furnished with the lease, we learn that much from Mrs. Butterworth. And yet she brought about subtle changes to the study. The green Carboy is replaced on the coffee table by a small white posy vase. The gold coloured screen in the corner by the door is missing. The three Vanity prints on the far wall from the door have been taken down and replaced by a large painting and two smaller prints. And there are two additions, a picture on the mantelpiece of her late departed husband Arthur, and a wedding photograph on the writing bureau. But basically the fixtures, fittings, ornaments, and furniture etc, etc are the same as when the Prisoner lived there before he went away.
    In almost everyway this room has been replicated in ‘6 Private’ back in The Village, except here there isn’t a small window above the couch upon which the Prisoner first awakens in his new ‘home from home’, there is no French window leading out onto a small balcony.
    When the Prisoner wakes up in his London home as the Colonel, there is one addition to the study, the framed photograph of Janet Portland. But the leather desk blotter, pen stand, stationary holder, two boxes and a notepad have gone, only a simple “Things To Do Today” pad sits upon the leaf of the writing bureau. And yet those items of deskanalia must have been the Prisoner’s rather belonging to Mrs. Butterworth’s, as they are replicated on the writing bureau in the study in ‘6 Private.’ And the same blotter can be seen on the bureau in the opening sequence of ‘the Prisoner.’ However the gold coloured screen is back in the corner, but not so the three Vanity Prints. Instead three watercolour paintings have been hung on the far wall facing the door.
   Whether or not the Prisoner’s
London home came fully furnished when he took up the lease is still open to debate. But if it did, he would have added a few personal touches of his own, with a few personal possessions, as Curtis had done when he moved into ‘6 Private’ in The Village. And the majority of the furniture, table lamps, the Canterbury, pictures, wood carving, statutes, ornaments etc, etc, didn’t change when Mrs. Butterworth moved in. Yes she had removed the three Vanity Prints, the carboy, and the screen, but perhaps they were not to her liking, and had been stored away in the cupboard, or one of the rooms upstairs.
   The only really odd thing out is the framed photograph of Janet Portland. It isn’t there in the Prisoner’s study during the opening sequence, or ‘6 Private’ in The Village. If it had been in the study when Mrs. Butterworth had moved into the
London house, then quite understandably she would have removed it and put it away in a cupboard somewhere. But seeing it wasn’t in the study in the first place, that hardly arises. The framed photograph of Janet Portland is contrived, as is the need for the character. Had it not been so, then when the Prisoner woke up in his London home, but in the guise of the Colonel, the study would have been exactly the same as when he had been gassed in it during the opening sequence. Well save for those three watercolour paintings hanging on the wall, instead of the three Vanity prints. That I feel was a mistake!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “Boot Hill- Harmony!”
BcNu

We Want Information!

    The one piece of information which they cannot extract from the Prisoner-Number 6 is the reason behind his resignation. Perhaps they thought, that if Number 2 could extract that reason, then firstly they would be able to complete his personal file with the one piece of information they lack about him. Secondly that if Number 6 did give up that information, then everything else he knew would follow. On the other hand, by using his stubbornness in not giving the reason why he resigned, Number 6 was able to concentrate on that thing in order to resist the coercion used against him. But then again, it might be the case that Number 2 was using that stubbornness in not giving the reason why he resigned against Number 6. This in order to test him, to see if he is the man they thought him to be. To test their interrogation techniques, to see Number 6 how long he could resist them. If Number 6 didn’t tell Number 2 why he resigned, then he was unlikely to tell anyone else, thus proving that he was worthy of having a future with them.
   There is one further detail, albeit a trivial one. That despite having researched and computed Number 6’s whole life, the one detail which still eluded them, was the reason why the Prisoner resigned his job!


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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Bureau of Visual Records



    There are some enthusiasts of ‘the Prisoner,’ who consider this bureaucrat to be ZM73’s boss, on the grounds that it is to him that ZM73 hands his letter of resignation. However eventually this man is replaced, either he’s been promoted, or moved on to another department, or simply went on holiday. Because at some point this man, Jonathan Peregrine Danvers takes over the position.






    So with the original thinking, would this then make Danvers ZM73’s boss? It seems highly unlikely, judging by the way ZM73 pulls him out of his chair by the lapels of his jacket, and the way he talks to him about his experience in the typing pool! Its Sir Charles Portland ZM73 demands to see, seeing as he’s outwardly the
Colonel. Because it’s Sir Charles who’s the boss! And also Danvers importance, or lack of it, is demonstrated when he is told to leave the room by PR12. No, for me both these men are the first point of contact within the department. The room is a kind of reception, and the man sat behind the desk no more important than a receptionist might be. That’s not meant unkindly, it’s just the manner of the job.

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Newcomers to The Village!


  “What do you think kids? Isn’t it beautiful? Where do you think the clinic is? That’s where Two will be.”
    This woman and her children are newcomers to The Village, who just got off the bus. So how does she know about the Clinic and Two? But where did they get on the bus? Well in The Village. But this is The Village, they’ve just arrived. Well it’s the wildest thing, and perhaps explains how the woman knows about both the Clinic and Two!

Breathe in….breathe out…..more Village!

Who Guards The Guardians?


   Gardener “Yes?”
   Number 6 “I’d like a word with you.”
   “Well you’ll have to wait!”
   “Alright, forget it……guardian!”
   Number 6 learned from Number 14 how to distinguish between the blacks and the whites on the chessboard, it’s the same way as it is in life, you judge by attitudes. You soon find out who is for or against you. So having leaned how to distinguish between the prisoners and the guardians, Number six approached a gardener. He put on an air of authority, but the gardener didn’t fall for it, because he’s a guardian. Which poses the question, if the guardians are guarding the prisoners, who guard’s the guardians?

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Be Still!

   Everyone is still, at the command of Number 2, standing stock still in fact. And that includes the Prisoner who when he attempts to take a step forward finds himself suddenly rooted to the spot! Then a small white balloon appears in the waterspout of the fountain. Suddenly growing in size it takes a position on top of the Gloriette. But at what price? For the membranic Guardian appears to be nothing more than a white over-sized balloon. Therefore a demonstration is called for. Enter a young man wearing a striped jersey, sporting sunglasses and corduroy hat, standing in the pool. All of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, he begins to dash about without actually appearing to go anywhere. It seems likely that this young man has been conditioned to behave in this way, suddenly released from whatever holds his fellow citizens to the spot. The young man ignores Number 2’s seemingly half-hearted order for him to stop and turn back. He then becomes the prey of the Guardian, who attacks its victim suffocating him into unconsciousness or to death. So without that demonstration the balloon is only what it appears to be, however because of that demonstration, the white looking balloon suddenly becomes something entirely different, and a whole lot more dangerous. And shows what you have to face should citizens step out of line, even though they still don’t know what it is!
   “What was that?” the Prisoner asks.
   “That would be telling” Number 2 replied. 

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                  “Evicted!”


BSEENU

What’s That No.6 Up To Now?


   Number 6 finally arrives back in London, and makes his way across the city to his home, No.1 Buckingham Place. He walks slowly up the street, looks at the door of his house, possibly wondering how he’s going to get in. He looks behind him, at the Ford Zodiac as it drives passed. He walks to the end of the street to the ‘T’ junction, and glances up and down the street before casually turning back down Buckingham Place. He mounts the steps of the house and knocks on the front door. Who does he think will be there to answer the door?
    There is someone there, a housemaid who announces that her mistress is not at home. She looks down her nose at the raggedy man stood on the door step, what’s more she is appalled by the effrontery of this raggedy man who asks who owns the house. And shuts the door in the man’s face when he asks if she minds if he waits.
    Eventually the mistress of the house does turn up, a one Mrs Butterworth, a widow, what’s more she’s driving his car! Again on the doorstep the raggedy man confronts the mistress of the house. He’s desperate to prove himself, and asks her the number of the car?. She looks the raggedy man up and down. He tells her KAR 120C. He tells her the number of the engine, 461034TZ, more than that, he knows every nut, bolt and cog, seeing as he built the car with his own hands, which means he bought the car from Lotus in kit form. And as it happens he’s just the man Mrs Butterworth wants to see, seeing as she’s been having a good deal of overheating in traffic. Perhaps he would care to advise her, and invites her into the house. Well I could advise her to remove the number plate from the front grill, as its restricting the air flow to cool the engine. She can buy some of those self-adhesive letters and numbers and stick the car’s number on the nose of the car, Simples.
   It must seem strange for Number 6 to be back in his old house once again. Perhaps he finds it a little unnerving, quite not being able to believe in his surroundings. After all he’s been fooled before. Mrs. Butterworth leaves her visitor to amuse himself in the study for a few moments. On first glance the room is just the same as it was when he was abducted from it, except there are a few subtle changes. The wedding photograph on the bureau, the photograph of Arthur on the mantelpiece. The military photograph of men on parade, by the telephone, along with changed pictures and paintings on the walls. Even the glass carboy has been replaced by a small white posy vase. However once the door to the study closes, Number 6 could be back in The Village. In fact he looks for reassurances, the writing bureau, out through the window he sees the view outside, it’s not that of The Village, but of a skyscraper. He picks up the receiver of the telephone and listens to the dialling tone.
   Mrs. Butterworth returns. He asks her the date, March the eighteenth. He tells her that the house used to be his, in better days, before he went away. She thinks he must miss it. Apparently the lease still had six months to run, but it’s been renewed, Mrs. Butterworth now has it for ten years fully furnished. After afternoon tea, Number 6 looks for further reassurances, not to prove anything to Mrs. Butterworth, but to himself. Behind the writing bureau there was an area of dry rot which was made good about twelve months ago. The bathroom door is sliding, it opens to the left. The sink is on the right as you go in, the hot and cold taps on the shower were put on the wrong way round. He also asks to see the lease of the house and the logbook of the car. The car’s logbook is a new one, hers is the first name on it, there’s no indication of the previous owner. But in this case the logbook is simply a deception! And the estate agents were Stumbell and Croydon, who were not the ones he had leased the house from. So with two forms of doubt to try and combat those in his favour. Perhaps because of these two mysteries they were enough to make Number 6 go one step further. Because much to Mrs. Butterworth’s apparent annoyance, he takes measurements of the rooms dimensions!
    “Are you going to be much longer?”
    “I’m just making sure.”
    “If I knew it was going to be like this, I’d never have let you in!”


Be seeing you

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Caught On Camera!


   Number 6 is listening to the first few seconds of three of the six recordings of the same record, the l’arlesienne suite by Bizet, the Davier recording. What’s more he appeared to be timing them, then he wrote something down on a piece of paper. But just a minute! Where’s the loudspeaker? He might have his head in a telephone bubble, but he’ll not hear anything through that soundproofing board!

Be seeing you

Citizen No.22


    Number 8 said that they would become involved, and do what they would in a real situation, which they did. But neither Number 8 nor Number 2 had to stand there and watch themselves on the wall screen being strangled to death. Imagine Number 22 being forced to stand there and watch the life being strangled out of her, by the homicidal maniac standing next to her in Number 2’s office. Its no wonder 22 was so upset towards the end of the episode, in tears, throwing down her headset, and running out of the office like that. But why go to ‘Harmony,’ in particular the Silver Dollar Saloon? Perhaps it was a need to visit the physical place where she was murdered so violently. As for Number 8 being there, well it’s said that a murderer always returns to the scene of his crime. But in this case no crime had actually been committed there…….yet. “Cathy!” The homicidal figure of Number 8 turns on Number 22, about to repeat what took place in the virtual world of ‘Harmony.’ Strangling the life out of her, but this time Number 6 was on hand to help Number 22, unlike being too late to save Cathy. But even then Number 6 was too late, she died in his arms.
   Perhaps Number 8 had a thing about Number 22, and his jealousies were brought to the surface in the virtual world of Harmony. After all he said they would do what they would in a real situation. But with Number 8 it was the other way round, first! 


Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    It must have taken about six weeks, give or take a week depending on how long it took Number 6 to grow a full beard. And to condition his mind, to change his right-handedness to being left-handed, to change his likes and dislikes etc. But while all that was going on, might not the same be happening to Number 12? When Number 6 wakes up as Number 12 surely that is how Curtis looked on the day of his arrival in The Village. So that his appearance would have to be altered in order for him to look like Number 6. The moustache would have to come off for a start, his hair dyed and restyled. Curtis might not have had to be conditioned in the same was as Number 6 had been, he might already have been right-handed for example. But there would be all kinds of things to learn about Number 6. First Curtis would have to read Number 6’s personal file in order to get to know everything about the man. Then he would be sat in front of a television set, screen, or monitor in order to watch hours and hours of film footage of Number 6, to study the man very closely. To learn the way he speaks, the tone of his voice, the way he walks, his mannerisms so that Curtis can mimic them precisely. Only he added a few embellishments of his own. He chose the wrong coloured blazer, he wears the numbered Penny Farthing badge, something Number 6 never does, and he whistles, Number 6 is never heard to whistle. And finally Curtis appears to be making himself into a better Number 6, who appears more at ease with himself than the real Number 6 does, has come to accept The Village, and the circumstances which brought him there.

 Be seeing you

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Manipulation Of A Scene

    During Number 6's speech in the Council Chamber in ‘Free For All,‘ when he’s addressing the so called "tailors dummies," meaning the members of the Town Council, he holds up the latest issue of The Tally Ho and asks "Is this, is this how they tried to break you ‘til they got what they were after?" Which is fair enough, until we come to a scene in ‘Once Upon A Time’ - during which Number 2 is reviewing the progress report on Number 6 via the Department of Visual Records. In that same clip of film taken from ‘Free For All,’ when he is heard to ask the “tailors dummies" “Is this how they started to break you before you gave them what they were after?" We know that Number 2 is a past master of the manipulation of the community, but really what would be the point in altering a speech made by Number 6? No, its more likely to be more mundane than that. Most likely Patrick McGoohan either dubbed over that original line. Or the scene was filmed for a second take, and the out-take was used in the scene for ‘Once Upon A Time.’ 

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

              “Portrait of Madam Professor”


BSEENU

Village Life!


       Well that didn’t go exactly according to plan. Oh I know what you are about to ask, what didn’t? True you did stop Number 6 from escaping as he masqueraded as Curtis, but you must admit that you got lucky there. Yes you had become suspicious back in your office, but it was really during that taxi ride that your suspicion’s become proved. Just as well you had Susan’s death to fall back on. But that wasn’t the only safety net you had, the password Gemini, nice touch that, Gemini for twins. So that when it all got started even you wouldn’t know which was the real Number 6. Well that was a lot of baloney, you could see which of them was the real Number 6, he was the one wearing the dark blazer! What would have happened had Number 6 been confronted by the Guardian and had given it that password Gemini? Rover would have attacked him instantly, suffocated him into unconsciousness or to death. So it was lucky for him that he came across those two guardians that time when they asked him for the password. That little encounter demonstrated to Number 6 that Gemini wasn’t the password. Mind you, when eventually faced with that membranic Guardian, having extracted the password from Curtis, it was just as well it accepted the password Schizoid Man from Number 6. Because if it hadn’t it might well have suffocated Number 6 to death, and then where would you be? The only way out would to have had poor old Curtis confined to The Village to spend the rest of his days going about not only permanently impersonating Number 6, but actually living his life! After all who would be in your deck shoes to have to report to Number 1 that Number 6 was dead, suffocated to death by Rover?! Ha, ha, ha, ha, what’s so funny? Well imagine the situation then for Curtis, there he is a prisoner in The Village with the appearance of another man who he had been impersonating. Then off you go leaving The Village, with Curtis still pleading that he’s not a number, he’s a free man. Well who’s going to take any notice? Number 2 has heard it all before, Number 6 rejecting his number is practically an every day occurrence. The situation would have been something like ‘The Man In The Iron Mask,’ when Philippe is substituted by Louis in the Bastille! Don’t you think? As it is its more like ‘The Prisoner of Zenda!’

Be seeing you

Monday, 18 January 2016

Many Happy Returns

    The original script for ‘Many Happy Returns’ called for filming around Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, specifying a sequence outside Lillywhites a sports retailer based in Piccadilly Circus. A passer-by gives Number 6 a two-shilling coin thinking him to be a beggar. This two-shilling coin he uses to deposit the roll of film, containing pictures of The Village, in a left luggage locker at Piccadilly Circus tube station for safe keeping.
    Safe keeping! I wonder what state that roll of film and the copy of The Tally Ho would have been in, should have been in, when the gun runners tipped Number 6 into the water. It was most advantageous for Number 6 to have put both the roll and film into a polythene bag and put it in his pocket. Had he left them in one of the wooden crates aboard the raft, the moment he was parted from his raft, the photographic evidence of The Village, along with his log written on the back of The Tally Ho, would have drifted away aboard the raft. Having said that, the polythene bag wasn’t exactly waterproof, simply wrapped round the two items, but not sealed. So it was thought water would have seeped into that bag, and thereby ruining both items. However experiment has proved, that although some water would have seeped into the polythene bag, both the copy of The Tally Ho and the roll of film would have in the main survived, which of course in the episode they did.

Be seeing you

Citizen 93


    It has been thought that the smaller the number, the more important the person, or the nearer to Number 1 one is. But take this fellow here, you may not see his face, but you can see part of his full beard, and you will certainly recognise his voice. He is the former Number 259, later to be Number 93 fictionally speaking who once confessed that he was disharmonious and inadequate. So it appears that confession is good for the soul, because here he is, Number 93 a delegate of the Assembly. Let us say that Number 259, a former Guardian in ‘The General’ got on. In fact he rose up through the ranks, and because of that they gave him a change of number to reflect that. Oh he didn’t quite make it into single figures, and 93 isn’t a particularly low number, so he’s not so important as to be placed further up the pecking order so as to be closer to Number 1. And yet he has become important enough to become a delegate on the Assembly. And because of that Number 93 may well be closer to Number 1 than even Number 2, if as might be suspected, Number 1 is the head of the Assembly. Because it is highly doubtful that any former Number 2 is a member of that Assembly. 

Be seeing you

A favourite Scene In The Prisoner


   It’s a small enough scene, at the end of ‘Once Upon A Time.’ Both the rocking horse and the swing are moving of their own volition, almost as though there’s the suggestion that the Embryo Room is haunted. Surely Number 6 is not the first prisoner to have undergone such an extreme measure. Who can say what has taken place in that room before? After all, in the Embryo Room it’s possible for anyone to live ones life from the cradle to the grave. Number 2 died in that room, which eventually became his tomb!

Be seeing you

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Magic Number 6 At Portmeirion 2013

   I received an email from Paul Gosling yesterday, who found some raw footage of one of their performances of Magic Number 6 which takes place at the Portmeirion. He spent yesterday editing it into shape- the video quality is low resolution, but for those who didn't get the chance to see it in 2012/13 - here it is:

I hope you enjoy it, I certainly did, it brought back some happy memories of earlier performances of the play.
Be seeing you

There Are Other Ways!

    In the main Number 2 is Number 6’s adversary, and as it happens only male Number 2’s want to know why the Prisoner resigned. Also Number 2 can be the Prisoner’s protector, especially when taking the two doctors Number 40 and 23. Both of whom want to know Number 6’s breaking point, and one would be prepared to go even further than that! But Number 2 said she didn’t want him broken, as once Number 2 said he didn’t want a man of fragments when the suggestion was made that if he doesn’t bend he’ll crack. There are other ways, he must be won over, it’s a long drawn out process, but Number 6 has a future with The Village, just like Cobb, Fotheringay, and the Colonels! And when the doctor Number 23 suggested a leucotomy Number 2 said that Number 6 is too valuable, he was sure they could help him adjust without such drastic treatment. Anyone would think Number 1 didn’t want Number 6 broken, to know the reason behind his resignation. But then seeing as Number 1 is the other self of Number 6, he would have known anyway, from the moment the Prisoner sat down at his writing bureau to write that letter of resignation! So really it’s not so important to know why the Prisoner resigned, except to bring his personal file up to date. More important is to help Number 6 adjust to his current situation, and eventually to win him over so that his future with The Village is attained. But then that doesn’t account for the couple of times Number 2 seems to be under the mandate to break Number 6, even if only in his mind!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                      “Circling The Square!”


BcNu

Village Life


   “I’ve brought Number Two this envelope.”
   “He’s not here.”
   “Not here? This is very important to him.”
   “Well can I give it to him?”
   “I don’t know, can you?”
   “If you give it to me I’ll see Number Two gets it.”
   “Oh he’ll get it alright! Its very important to him you see.”
   “What is it?”
   “My future.”
   “Should you be here?”
   “No.”
   “How did you get here then?”
   “Through the door.”
   “How did you know I was here?”
   “I followed you.”
   “Are you sure I cannot give that envelope to Number Two for you.”
   “No, I think it would be better coming from me.”
   “Please yourself.”
   “Perhaps I’ll see you both in my dreams.”
   “How do you know you’re not dreaming now?”
   “I’ve been dreaming! It’s all been a dream, I didn’t resign after all!”

   Meanwhile on the set of ‘Danger Man.
   “Come on Pat snap out of it. You’ve been in a dream all day, what’s the matter with you?”
    “I’ve had an idea.”
    “What idea?”
    “I’m going to see Lew Grade and tell him what he can do with Danger Man!”

Be seeing you

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Conrad Phillips


  Pictured here with Colin Gordon in ‘the Prisoner’ episode ‘The General,’ Conrad Phillips plays a very attentive doctor to The Professor.

   2015 was a year in which we saw the passing of several people who worked on ‘the Prisoner,’ and now Conrad Phillips died on January 13th aged 90.
   He will be mostly remembered for his role as William Tell in the classis 1950’s television series. He was a man who was thought to have been in everything. I personally remember his excellent performances in a number of 1950’s films, and in 1961 he played Harold in the 1961 film ‘Murder She Said.’ But my favourite Conrad Philips film is ‘Impact’ {1963} in which he played crime reporter Jack Moir who is framed by a crooked nightclub owner, 'The Duke'. In prison, Moir plans his revenge.
  Conrad Phillips, a very talented actor who had a very long Television and filmography stemming from 1948 to 1991 after which he retired, living out the rest of his life in the Netherlands.
            Conrad Phillips 1925 – 2016 Rest In Peace

BCNU