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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Today I Am Mostly Watching THEPRIS6NER

Anvil
    Six is recruited by Two to work as an Undercover, to work with 909 who is Two’s best undercover, he thought Six would have noticed that! Would Six really work for Two? Oh no, no, no, not for him, but for the people he would be watching. Six pronounces so loudly his opposition to Two, his disbelief of everything Two and The Village stands for, people might trust him. Two already has his suspects, and he knows that Six wants to meet with dreamers. So Two offers Six the apparatus and expertise of their highly trained and well financed undercover operations to do just that.
  Six “Why would you give me all that, if it wasn’t a trap?”
  Two “My dear Six, it is a trap. You have such a high opinion of yourself. I wondered if you would be clever enough to turn this opportunity to your own advantage. Still….”
  “Everything you say is a trap. Alright lets do it.”
  Cue opening credits………………..

Be seeing you
 


Citizen No.86


    I say, you’re not wearing your cape inside out are you? “I wasn’t aware I was supposed to!” Well Number 240 wore her cape inside out. “I don’t think I know Number Two-forty.” No, but I’ve no doubt she knows you. “What do you mean by that?” Never mind, but she did wear her cape inside out, so did the Butler. Perhaps they didn’t want to look silly, especially the Butler, I hardly think a colourful striped cape would suit a man in his position. It certainly wouldn’t have gone with his bowler hat and black tails! But you carry it off very well I have to say. “Thank you very much.” Don’t mention it.
   So there you were wearing Village attire, and then suddenly you changed into a blue dress, yes I know it was more feminine than slacks, but that’s not the point. By doing that you demonstrated an act of individuality, you could have been posted as being disharmonious for that, but you weren’t, perhaps because you were in league with Number 2. You were a confident woman, clever, but not quite clever enough. You let Number 6 turn the tables on you, its no wonder Number 2 called you a stupid woman! More than that, in your sedated state of mind, you allowed yourself to be hypnotised by Number 6, and spilled the beans to him. And then you went and denounced Number 2 as being unmutual! Mind you, you said that you once suffered the shame of being posted as disharmonious, that must have been terrible for you. But thankfully the Social Group was enough for you to see the errors of your ways, your not having been posted as unmutual, and forced to make a public confession like some.

Be seeing you

An Escaped Prisoner!


    He acts like an escaped prisoner, the way he skulks and hides, evading the police, this raggedy man. And yet before he dodged the police road block, he met with a young gypsy girl. She gave him a hot cup of either tea or soup from a caldron on the camp fire. It was the first act of real kindness paid to him since his abduction to The Village. What’s more it would be the last. Oh yes Mrs. Butterworth took this raggedy man in, but then that’s what she was there for, let us not pretend it was otherwise. Which is just as well for him, because if it had been anyone else living in his former house, he would most certainly have been sent away with a flea in his ear, or worse. He might not have found anyone at home at all. Then where would he have been? Left standing in the street with nowhere to go, except to go running back to his ex-employers, which of course he did, and met with the Colonel. But what of Sir Charles Portland, and perhaps more personally to the Prisoner, why couldn’t he, why didn’t he, turn to Janet Portland for help, after all she was his fiancée, wasn’t she? Well that’s just the problem, she wasn’t, at least not until ‘Do Not forsake Me Oh My Darling’ when Vincent Tilsley wrote her into the series! And that is what ‘the Prisoner’ suffers from, too many scriptwriters.
Be seeing you

Friday, 29 April 2016

Escape!


    Rook “Look are you sure this thing’s safe?”
    Number 6 “Of course I am, stop grumbling.”
    “It’s alright for you, you’re not the one going to sea on this contraption. Two rubber lilos tied together with a length or rope, I ask you!”
    “Well no-one is asking you. I’m an expert in raft construction, trust me.”
    “I don’t know, I’ve been bossed about ever since I encountered you. What’s more you turned me into a thief, and now I’m being forced to put my life at risk!”
    “Soon we’ll be free, just think about that. Isn’t that worth a risk or two?”
    “But it’s not been you taking the risks.”
    “If it hadn’t been for me, there wouldn’t have been an escape plan.”
    “Something’s bound to go wrong. This things sinking already.”
    “Good, you’re supposed to be in distress!”
    “I might be taken for a refugee!”
    “Good, you’ll be able to claim asylum.”
    “You know what that makes you, don’t you.”
    “No what?”
    “A person trafficker!”


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                             “Portrait of No.2”
Bcnu

Quote For The Day

    “Be seeing you.”
    “No, I’ll be seeing you!”

                                   {Number 2 and Number 6 - A B and C}
   And that’s one thing which can not always be guaranteed. You see one particular citizen in The Village in One episode, and never see them again. After all we don’t see the doctor who performs the Prisoner’s medical in ‘Arrival’ again, nor his personal maid Number 66. We do glance the ex-Admiral-Number 66 in later episodes, still sitting at a table on the lawn of the Old People’s home, waiting for a partner to play chess. The Shopkeeper puts in a second appearance in the episode of ‘Checkmate,’ but after that we don’t see him again, I expect he’s not put back on the chessboard like Number 6. But he is replaced by Number 112. Another citizen whom we meet more than once is Number 93, only he wasn’t Number 93 before, he was Number 259 a Guardian. And later he turns up as a delegate on the Assembly. Number 40 in ‘Dance of The Dead,’ we see him only the once, but we do get to meet his female equivalent in Number 23 in ‘Checkmate.’ Seeing as she suggested a leucotomy to be carried out on Number 6, it might be thought we would be seeing her again in ‘a Change of Mind.’ But no, it’s Number 86. The Supervisor-Number 26 we see pretty regularly, while other Supervisors we only get to see the once, and the same could be said of many a Number 2! There are about a handful of ordinary citizens we see from episode to episode, none of them are what you would call prominent, they generally lurk in the background, but sometimes appearing in the foreground when required. While the widow, madam Professor, she is another character we do not see again, but one we can imagine still to live in The Village, leading a solitary life, but a quiet one, filling her daily life with her art seminars. And perhaps Number 14, the chess champion had lost his enthusiasm for the game after the events of ‘Checkmate.’
    The Village is a small enough place, and more likely than not citizens regularly see the same people over and over again, day after day, as is the case in small communities. One can hardly avoid that fact that they’ll be seeing you, and you’ll be seeing them, while the observers see everybody! Which begs the question, where do the people go to we don’t see again?

Be seeing you

Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Therapy Zone

   What’s the name of this place? You’re new here aren’t you? Where? Do you want breakfast?  Where is this? The Village? Yes?…….. Well The Village could be anywhere, on the coast of Morocco, south west of Portugal and Spain, it might be an Island. On the other hand it could be on the north Wales coast. And yet be in none of these aforementioned places, but purely in the mind! It might be a place dreamed up in the imagination, or it might be based on a real place, Butlins holiday camp for example. Well what with the colourful clothes, the piped blazers along with the public address system giving out announcements about the weather and what the ice cream flavour of the day is. Or keeping the holidaymakers, I mean citizens, informed about all the activities and entertainment which have been organised for their benefit, and that’s without the daily programmes of music. It’s no wonder people want to get away, to escape, their lives controlled every minute of the day. Being told what to do and when to do it, I mean have you ever been to a holiday camp? What was it Number 6 once said? “You can enjoy yourselves, and you will,” that implies whether you like it or not! At a holiday camp one is expected to “join in,” there is no room for the individual who wants to do things on his or her own. Not to have to join in, but simply to sit in a deckchair and relax without being bothered by people in bright coloured piped blazers doing their best to cajole you into becoming involved, when all you want to be is left alone. Well if that’s your attitude, it might have been best if you hadn’t resigned that job, then you wouldn’t be here. Better still, it might have been better if you had gone on a fortnights leave somewhere else!

Be seeing you

Village Life!

     Number 2 “Well my little fiend, there doesn’t seem to any pictures of you. Perhaps that’s because you have a small standing in the community, or not so popular!”
    Butler thinking to himself “Or so full of himself!”
    “I look down on you because you represent the little man in society, who has nothing to say for himself!”
   
Butler thinking to himself “And I look up to him because he’s taller than me!”

Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    Monique-Number 50 was the only woman in ‘the Prisoner’ not to betray Number 6. There was Number 22 of course, in ‘Living In Harmony,’ but she didn’t really betray Number 6, she merely deceived him. But as Cathy, in a way she was rather like Nadia of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ seeing as how they planned to escape together! Only two women showed Number 6 any real kindness. The young gypsy woman in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ and Janet Portland in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh my Darling.‘ But I suppose that doesn’t count because those two occurrences took place outside The Village!
    I suppose the doctor, Number 14 in ‘A B and C’ didn’t betray Number 6 when his eyes opened when he was lying on the operating table, and saw her. She merely closed his eyes, and went on with her work without saying a word about it to Number 2. Number 8 was quite kind to Number 6, after all she made him his nightcap of hot chocolate that time. But it may be supposed that she wouldn’t have done that single act of kindness had it not been for the fact she had been hypnotised into loving Number 6!
   No, generally speaking, women in The Village do not look kindly upon Number 6. In almost all cases they are used as a tool against Number 6, in one form or another. It’s no wonder he never trusted a woman, not even the four legged variety!


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Time On His Wrist!


   Why is it, when Number 6 reveals that he’s not got a mole on his left wrist, he’s wearing a stainless steel banded wrist watch, when his regular wristwatch has a leather strap? He puts it on the bedside table each night beside the day/date calendar. More then that, how did Number 6 come by this wristwatch with the stainless steel band? It’s not on the bedside table with the day/date calendar, in fact it’s not in the bedroom at all. And neither is he wearing it when he wakes up. You would think Number 6 would notice something like that wouldn’t you? I mean that he’s wearing a different wristwatch, and to remark upon it, seeing as he’s up to the mark on his personal possessions. Those magazines aren’t his, and the statuette should be gilt not silver. Perhaps the watch belongs to Curtis, and seeing as how that’s who Number 6 is supposed to be, well then it would be natural for him to be wearing such an item. And yet, that still doesn’t explain how he came by it!

Be seeing you

Village Life!


    “Electrics sir, sorry for the intrusion.”
    “That’s alright.”
    “However did you come to break the loudspeaker?”
    “I was trying to switch it off.”
    “Oh you can’t do that sir, there’s no on/off switch.”
    “Yes I discovered that, then it simply slipped out of my hands.”
    “Well never mind, accidents happen. I have another one here.”
    “Oh good! How will you turn it on with no switch?”
    “There’s a knack to it sir. I just knock on it three times.”
    “And that’s it?”
    “Not quite. An Observer hears the knock, and he or she tells someone to switch it on. Its wireless you see.”
    “Yes I know what a wireless is, thank you very much.”
    “No, what I mean is sir, that it’s operated wirelessly.”
   “Yes my granny has a wireless set.”
    “Its wireless because it doesn’t have any wires!”
    “It doesn’t have an on/off switch either!”
    “Yes sir, some people find that annoying.”
    “Not me, I love music.”
    “Yes sir, it looks like it. Well if you don’t mind I’ll just install this new speaker, and clear the old one away.”
    {The electrician knocked three times on the speaker and instantly music played.}
    “Always nice to have a bit of music while you work isn’t it sir. But try not to break this one, I’ll only have to come back and install another speaker.”
    “I’m going for a walk if you don’t mind.”
    “I don’t blame you. Can’t stand Monteverdi myself”


Be seeing you

Photographic Evidence!

    Number 24 took several Polaroid pictures of Number 6. She was practicing for the photographic completion at The Village Festival in a months time. It was such a Polaroid image as the one above which Number 6 produced from the breast pocket of his blazer in order to prove his identity as Number 6. Number 6 snatched the picture and studied it. I’ve never realised why Number 6 didn’t pick up on the evidence of the Polaroid picture when it was in his hand, and right under his very nose. Instead of proving that Curtis was Number 6, it should actually have disproved it! Why? Because in the Polaroid picture Number 6 is wearing a dark piped blazer, while Number 6 {Curtis} is always seen to be wearing a cream blazer! And that in itself should have proved Number 12 to be a liar. And yet even if both Number 6’s had been wearing identical coloured blazers, there is still one thing in that picture which proves Number 6’s identity. The bruised fingernail! When Number 24 was taking a final picture of Number 6, she accidentally knocked over the soda siphon. When she did, it caught Number 6’s fingernail, and left a bruise. That bruise over time went up the fingernail, as later Number 6 discovered when he compared it to the one in the Polaroid picture. They might have been clever enough to have removed Number 6’s mole on his left wrist, and to have given Curtis a false mole. But I doubt whether they would have given Curtis a bruised left index finger! You know, I’ve sometimes found myself wondering whether or not Number 24 knocked over that soda siphon deliberately, to cause the effect it did. In order to help give Number 6 a chance in some way, which it eventually did.

Be seeing you

Monday, 25 April 2016

Fotheringay Here!


    Who is Fotheringay speaking to on that telephone? Its red and that colour is suggestive, because the red phone is generally described as being the “hot-line” to someone of importance. It’s highly unlikely he’s talking to the Colonel, and seeing as Fotheringay isn’t actually in London, but The Village. Its improbable that he’s talking to a higher authority such as Sir Charles Portland for example. However seeing as Fotheringay is in The Village who does that leave? It’s unlikely to be Number 2, seeing as his only involvement is to have seen Number 6 and Nadia escape The Village together. So that can only leave Number 1! Fotheringay, minor Civil Servant speaking to Number 1, that doesn’t seem likely. It may be supposed he’s speaking to someone, or is it that Fotheringay is merely dressing the scene, but who for? After all Number 6 hasn’t been delivered in that crate yet. So it must be the television viewer that Fotheringay is acting for, seeing as there’s no-one else in the office at that moment. But once bitten forever shy, because Fotheringay is fooling no-one, not once the television viewer has seen him for what he is.

Be seeing you

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


   When in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ Number 50 {Monique} goes to ‘6 Private’ seeking help from Number 6. As she goes to wake him he pulls Number 50 onto his bed! He asked her how she got into his cottage. Apparently the door was unlocked, but then it always is to them! But Monique isn’t one of them! She’s come looking for help, to which Number 6’s advice is to go to the Town Hall, the Citizens Council promises help and advice to everyone. Just a minute, what’s that black ashtray doing there, that wasn’t there before, in fact its never been there. Also the two day-date calendars are no longer seen in the cottage. The one by the kitchen window, and the wooden one usually kept on the bedside table. What’s more Number 6 has taken to wearing his wristwatch in bed, rather than keep it on the bedside table, as he used to. As for the day date calendar, perhaps after the events of ‘The Schizoid Man’ Number 6 felt he could no longer trust what the date was, so he threw both calendars out! And the same with his wristwatch, it was too vulnerable sitting on the bedside table, so he took to wearing it on his wrist in bed. Thus making it more difficult for anyone to tamper with it during the night. That’s why Number 100 had to go to Number 6’s locker in the gymnasium in order to switch the wristwatch for an identical one. As he couldn’t go to ‘6 Private’ and swap the watches there!

Be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records


   The other evening I went to turn the lamp on, and it short circuited, the light blew and so did the 3amp fuse. My wife said do I feel like I’m left-handed, funnily enough I said I didn’t!
   Number 6 is left-handed, and having earthed himself to the gas pipe, he’s about to grasp that short-circuiting table lamp, in order to give himself an electric shock, thereby reversing the conditioning by electricity, and returning his right-handedness. Are we really to believe that would have happened? In all probability it wouldn’t, and Number 6 should still have been left-handed. But the script called for a quick return of Number 6 from being left-handed to right-handed. And really there was no other way of achieving that, other than via the short-circuiting table lamp, which was handy for Number 6!

Be seeing you

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Therapy Zone

    I know that aspects of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ make no sense, that there are more holes in the episode than a segment of Swiss cheese. But it does have one redeeming quality, the incidental music, which I always enjoy listening to, either during the episode or on cassette tape or C.D. It’s the same with ‘Fall Out,’ it’s not my favourite episode not by a long shot, but it is the most logical ending to the series Patrick McGoohan could have contrived. And once again I can appreciate the episode for its incidental music alone.
   I suppose my favourite piece of incidental music is from ‘Checkmate’ when the chess match is about to get underway. There are times when I watch Number 14, the chess champion, approaches Number 6 and asks him if he plays chess. I sometimes find myself willing Number 6 to say no, and that would have been that. But Number 6 always says yes, and Number 8 introduces herself to him as the white Queen. “Come and be the white Queen’s pawn.” “Certainly” he replies. I suppose it must have been something of a novelty for Number 6, as a student of chess to take part in an actual game of chess where humans take up the chess pieces themselves. One might say he was allowing himself to be manipulated by the chess player Number 14. But I don’t suppose it really matters, seeing as Number 6 was moved only once. But it always made me wonder why he bothered to ask Number 8 “Who is Number One?” I mean to say, as if she would know! And then again, it’s only Number 6 who shows interest in the identity of Number 1. Perhaps everyone in The Village, except Number 6, is an optimist, that’s why it doesn’t matter who Number 1 is. Perhaps for many they are simply too tired to care. Whilst others have come to terms with their existence in The Village, and couldn’t care less who Number 1 is.


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                  “Escape!”
BCNU

Escape!

    “I risked my life, and hers to come back here, home, because I thought it was different. It is isn’t it, isn’t it, different?”        {Number 6 - The Chimes of Big Ben} 

   No Number 6 it wasn’t different, it was just about the same, except it was the Colonel asking the questions and not Number 2. You see old chap you had not escaped the Village at all, in fact The Village has always been closer than you could possibly have imagined. What’s more you are all alone now, there’s no-one who can help you. Even that Fotheringay is a backstabber! There’s no-one you can either trust or rely upon, no-one save for yourself. Everyone is working for The Village and against you! Mind you that was a stroke of luck your having that chap’s wristwatch, if yours hadn’t become waterlogged. Mind you even if your wristwatch had been waterproof the result would have been the same, as I suspect your watch would have been set at the same time as the one belonging to the chap in the cave. So now you know, it’s a lesson learned at the very least. It might be expected that Fotheringay got away with it, having been to The Village, and returned home before any embarrassing questions had been asked. But perhaps not so the Colonel, as when you were leaving his office he looked a worried man. Oh well off you go, back to your cottage, it’s the only place you can ever go!

Be seeing you

Saturday, 23 April 2016

William Shakespeare


   Today is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. As quotes from his works appear at large throughout ‘the Prisoner,’ from ‘Hamlet;’



 “These foils have all a length.”
 “Ah, my good Lord.”
 “Hamlet, act five.”
 “Scene two.”








And from ‘Macbeth;’



  


    “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.”








And from ‘As You Like it;’ 


“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

    In addition, his image appears in The Village, or rather Portmeirion, on the balcony of Dolphin cottage.”

Be seeing you

Today I Am Mostly Watching THEPRIS6NER

Harmony
   Having been attacked by the Guardian {I do not write Village Guardian, as the Guardian never appears in The Village in this series} Six is left unconscious in the desert! Then there is another remembrance, Michael returning to his New York apartment with Lucy. While as a boy he is on the beach looking for  his brother, as 16 is in the desert looking for his brother Six!

    Six didn’t recognise 16 as his brother, because his bother was lost at sea on one of their trips to the beach when they were boys. 16 is not Six’s brother. Two gives Six his brother back, and a family. Family is important to Two, its just a pity that Two’s own family is so disjointed!

   Two recommends Six undergo some therapy, The Talking Cure. Unless Six is afraid that Two will mess with his mind, or that Six will discover that he is the problem after all!
   Six spends time with 16 and his family, discovers that he’s a bus driver, learns that he does like pork after all. He also learns about Wonkers, the television serialisation of the book Wonkers, about life in The Village. One of his “nieces” explains the current storyline Six……….okay, so, 765 is in love with 23-30, but 23-56 is pregnant to 46-5, and 9-13 had an affair with 23-30. So 765 is jealous of 23-30, and so she, like, took her revenge by sleeping with 46-5. While on the television screen……………

   765 “I’m leaving you.”
   “No.”

   “Yes.”
   “Oh no! Why?”
   “I love your brother.”
   “Oh.”

   In Palais 2, Two’s residence,11-12 sits on his mother’s bed as she sleeps on, dreaming The Village, and then spies on Two as he feeds his wife, M2, three more pills. And Six helps 16 with a bicycle repair, before he goes to the Clinic for his first therapy session with the brothers 70. For Six The Village is a dark place, his home is not his home, his brother is not his brother, nothing’s real!



Breathe in…breathe out…more Village

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!


   No.86 “Hello viewers, do you know I once went to the dentist. I told him that I’d rather have a baby than have a tooth out. He said “well make your up mind love, I’ll have to alter the position of the chair!” I once had to perform an operation on a man to take his tonsils out. The only trouble for the patient was the operating table was turned at the last moment! Number Thirty-four came to see me the other day. He said doctor every lime I lift my arm it hurts. I said well don’t do it then! Number Twenty-two was in for an operation on his hands. He asked me if after the operation he would be able to play the piano. I told him of course he will. “Good” he said, “I couldn’t before!” You see, I find that telling a joke puts the patient at ease. Now Number 6, what are you in for?”
   “Never mind, I’ve suddenly had a change of mind!”


Be seeing you

And Now Music!

    ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ that’s the name of the song from the film ‘High Noon,’ and the title of one episode in ‘the Prisoner.’ And it makes me wonder whether or not Janet Portland did forsake her long lost fiancé? I don’t mean with another man, but about a year ago her fiancé, ZM73 left a receipt for a reel of film with her for safe keeping. It seems highly probable, that a man calling himself Mr. Carmichael had somehow obtained that receipt, and took it to the World Cameras shop in order to retrieve that said roll of film. That roll of film had been developed into transparencies, or slides if you prefer. And looking at those slides at the beginning of the episode was Sir Charles Portland and member of his department. More than that, his code breakers had spent time trying to solve a problem with the slides, because Sir Charles believed that within those slides a code was to be found, a code that would provide the location of Professor Jacob Seltzman.
    If this chap “Mr. Carmichael” working for Sir Charles Portland had needed the receipt in order to obtain the film transparencies from the proprietor of the World Cameras shop, there was only one person he could have got it from. But perhaps Janet Portland was asked by her father to hand the receipt over, saying that it would be returned to her. Did she resist, deny the existence of the receipt? But then what daughter could say no to her father? But if that was the case, how did Sir Charles become aware of that receipt’s existence in the first place? As I’m sure ZM73 would have given it to his fiancée for safe keeping in complete confidence, that she told no-one about it. Ah but then we don’t know what effect ZM73’s resignation had on both Sir Charles and his daughter, not to mention his sudden disappearance. If as Sir Charles told his daughter, he genuinely didn’t know where ZM73 was, Janet may well have felt as though she had been forsaken by her fiancé, but that didn’t seem to be the case when she saw his car parked outside his house. She went in expecting to see him, “Darling” she called out. I myself am guilty of forsaking this episode, simply on the grounds that there are far too many holes in the plot. Certainly ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ doesn’t stand up to too much scrutiny. Perhaps it’s simply best to sit back, watch it, and not think too much about it. It’s funny, well not funny, a little strange perhaps, because to a friend of mine ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ is his favourite episode in ‘the Prisoner,’ and sees it as pivotal to ‘the prisoner!’


Be seeing you

Friday, 22 April 2016

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                “ESCAPE”

BCNU

Citizen No.113c




  Is he your brother? “Who?” That chap waving back there. “Oh you mean Number One one-three b.” Yes, the photographer. “No, don’t know him!” But you look just like him, you could be his twin, you even dress identically! Relatively speaking might that not make you Number One one-three c? Just a minute, why is he and Number One-one three running away like that?
“Perhaps they are in a hurry to get their copy to the Tally Ho office!” And you dispense the broadsheet? “What else would I be doing?” You’re the local News Agent then! Number Six speaks his mind, so the article is already written!

Not only that, but there’s a photograph. “What’s the matter with that?” Well who wrote the article? “Our own reporter.” Is that Number One one-three? “No.” And the photograph? “What about it….look I’ve got customers!” No you haven’t. “Who are you anyway?” Never mind that, we’re discussing the photograph. “What’s wrong with it?” It’s of Number 6. “That’s right.” He’s in mufti! “What?” Not in Village attire. “Oh.” But he should be. “Should he?” He should, seeing as Number One one-three has just taken photographs of Number 6. “But he didn’t take that photograph.” Did he actually take any photographs of Number 6? “Why do you ask?” Was there in fact any film in his camera? “I shouldn’t think so.” It’s all a game to you, isn’t it? “It’s the power of the press.” Is that what you call it? People like you wouldn’t know the truth if you fell over it! “Don’t be like that!” What’s Number One one-three to you? “He’s a colleague.” He’s certainly not relative to you. “Meaning?” The fact that you and One one-three b being twins, and One one-three isn’t a triplet. Or is it that being numbered the way you three are, is simply because you are colleagues, and nothing more than that? “Dunno, you’ll have to work that one out for yourself. Look, do you want a copy of The Tally Ho or not?”

Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “Daily the subject climbs the Bell Tower.” 
                                     {Voiceover - It’s Your Funeral}

   Why should Number 6 do that? Perhaps he’s simply eccentric, or maybe he does simply like the view. On the other hand he might still be looking out for a light, a boat, a plane, a sign from his world. In fact the same as he was doing on the evening in ‘Dance of The Dead. No doubt the idea inspired by the radio message he heard via the transistor radio.
    “Nowhere is there more beauty than here. Tonight when the moon rises the whole world will turn to silver. Do you understand? It is important that you understand. I have a message for you, you must listen. The appointment cannot be fulfilled. Other things must be done tonight. If our torment is to end, if liberty is to be restored, we must grasp the nettle even though it makes our hands bleed. Only through pain can tomorrow be assured.”
     There is a high probability that it was that radio message which brought him down on the beach the evening of ‘Dance of the Dead,’ looking for a light, a boat, a plane, someone from the outside world. Hence Number 6 climbing the
Bell Tower daily as documented in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ is still looking for a light, a boat, a plane, someone from his world!
    Regarding the message, one interpretation of part of that message is, that the appointment cannot be fulfilled, that there were other, more important things that had to be done. In other words, Number 34 who was under the impression that he was to have been extracted from The Village by force or forces unknown, had been hung out to dry in The Village, with no way of escape!
    However there is a question regarding the origin of that message, and who originated it. Because the voice coming over the radio sounds to me like that of a previous Number 2 of ‘Free For All’ {Eric Portman}. What’s more this part of the message: “If our torment is to end, if liberty is to be restored, we must grasp the nettle even though it makes our hands bleed. Only through pain can tomorrow be assured,” reads as though it could have originated from somewhere within the Village itself! Perhaps the former Number 2 who once toasted “to hell with the Village,’ really meant those words, and was now instigating rebellion within The Village. In talking about ending the torment of the citizens, and restoring their liberty to them, to do that means it will take open rebellion by grasping the nettle, even though many will get hurt. But only through pain can tomorrow be assured.  Yes I know there’s a flaw in that thinking, that particular Number 2 actually left The Village by helicopter!


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Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Therapy Zone

    Anyone from the outside World, who had been assigned, or came to The Village of their own free will, didn’t usually fair very well. I think Fotheringay was the luckiest one, after all his presence there was simply to help dress the scene. Had Number 6 arrived in what he thought was the Colonel’s office in Whitehall, London and Fortheirngay was not present, well Number 6 might well have smelt a rat much sooner. As for “Nadia Rakovsky,” she was a well trained agent, and would have been briefed on The Village. And afterwards when the assignment was over, she would simply move on to her next assignment. But the Colonel, he looked a very worried man as Number 6 left his office to emerge back into The Village. We don’t know what happened to the Colonel, but perhaps he paid the price for this failure instead of Number 2!
    Then came Curtis, he looked the spitting image of Number 6 once he’d undergone a makeover. And once he’d learned all about Number 6. His speech, his walk, mannerisms etcetera, he gave a very passable impersonation of Number 6. But Curtis came to a bad end, suffocated to death by Rover. At least he didn’t leave anyone behind, seeing as Susan, presumably his wife, had died a year ago. Mind you there might have been other family members.
    The Professor on the other hand left his wife, after he had been electrocuted to death by the General! No doubt his widow would live out the rest of her life in The Village giving art seminars, once she had been given time to grieve for her late husband.
    Number 34 was the man found dead on the beach by Number 6 in ‘Dance of The Dead.’ I think he had been assigned to infiltrate The Village, however he had been promised a way out for him. But that he had, for whatever reason, been left high and dry. As the appointment could not be fulfilled, other things had to be done that night. So no extraction from The Village for Number 34, or whoever he was. How did he die? Well he must have been out on the beach, just as Number 6 had been, and so had the Guardian. But unlike Number 6, Number 34’s encounter with the Guardian was a fatal one! {Well that’s my one personal interpretation}
    Then came the Colonel who had been assigned to The Village by the highest authority, and he was gratified by that. But I bet he was frightened, he certainly seemed nervous, trying to hide it behind his stiff upper lip and the desire to do his duty. The Colonel’s last words being “Tell Number One I did my duty.” A terrible thing, the mind separated from the body, if anything were to go wrong the effect would be devastating. In this case it cost the Colonel his life, although his body lived on.
   You could say I missed out Thorpe of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ that’s because there is no actual evidence he came to The Village in the capacity of Number 2. Although several times I have suggested that fictionally speaking Thorpe could be Number 2 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil, as there was his dislike of Number 6, by both Thorpe and Number 2. So even if they are supposed to be different characters they did at least have that much in common. If Thorpe had been brought to The Village in the capacity of Number 2, then Village life certainly had an ill effect on him. His paranoia leading to an eventual mental breakdown, may well have seen him removed to the psychiatric ward in the hospital. Something I have suggested on more than one occasion. But even without Thorpe’s presence in The Village, those who are assigned to the detention camp do not generally fair well from the experience.


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What Might Have Been A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner


    When in ‘Fall Out’ Number 6, or rather the former Number 6 because having survived the ultimate test he is no longer to be known as Number 6, or indeed any number at all. When he takes the stand, I naively thought, watching ‘Fall Out’ when I was but 12 years of age, that Patrick McGoohan was about to make a statement that would go towards explaining something about why he had been abducted to The Village. That he might have given the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, giving something away. But nothing of the kind, this one wouldn’t drop his guard with his own grandmother! Instead he left it to us to figure it out for ourselves. The trouble was it would be another eight years before I got the chance to see ‘Fall Out’ once more. And again in 1977, it would have been a hat trick, if Yorkshire television hadn’t cut it’s screening of the Prisoner about halfway through the series. Because where I lived in Lincolnshire at the time, I could pick up Anglia, Central, and Yorkshire all part of ITV’s regional television network. And all three stations screened the Prisoner one after the other. So by the time Yorkshire began screening the series, I had already watched it twice. And I found that marvellous, well I hadn’t a video recorder at that time, so I was most fortunate indeed.

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The Prisoner At Fifty!

    Getting on for close to 50 years after the event, if you don’t choose to include the production of the series which began in 1966, and there is much we still do not know or ever understand or know the answer to. For example, was there a drug administered at night in the water which Number 6 drank in ‘A B and C?’ Where did the figure of a man up in the Bell Tower in ‘Arrival’ disappear to? And again in ‘Arrival,’ why didn’t the Prisoner encounter the maid as he rushed round to the door of his cottage? And when faced with his double in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ why didn’t the Polaroid picture of Number 6, produced by Curtis, disprove his identity as Number 6? How did Number 6 know that it wasn’t the Professor lying in that bed, when he brought the walking stick down on the head lying on the pillow? Were the two gun runners in ‘Many Happy Returns’ simply that? That’s a debate which still runs today. The doctor in ‘Arrival’ said they had burned the Prisoner’s clothes, and yet once a bald-head patient was seen wearing those cloths in the hospital. And again the Prisoner’s own suit of clothes were specially delivered to him for the occasion of Carnival in ’Dance of The Dead.’ It was suggested by the Prisoner, that it was because he’s still himself. Can the same be said of Number 48 in ‘Fall Out,’ seeing as he’s there wearing his own suit of clothes?
   While in ‘Checkmate,’ why Number 6 is the only one of the escapees returned to the chessboard? As we do not see Number8, Number 14 the chess champion, or Number 19, or is it 56, the shopkeeper again! And in both ‘A B and C‘ and ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ why it is that these two Number 2’s {Colin Gordon and Patrick Cargill} are the only two forced to endure that extraordinary, ridiculously oversized, curved, red telephone?!


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An Almost Moke-less Zone!

    There is a distinct lack of Village transport in certain episodes ‘The General,’ ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ ‘Its Your Funeral,’ ‘A Change of Mind,’ and ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’
   In ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ Number 14 does drive a Mini-Moke in order to go and pick up Number 6 somewhere in the countryside. However after leaving the Green Dome, Number 2, had to walk with Number 14 to the Town Hall to pay a call on the Control Room. Although the Bomb Disposal Team did have a Mini-Moke, fitted with a curious high pitched siren!
    In ‘It’s Your Funeral, there is a glimpse of a Mini-Moke as it passes along the road by the steps at the back of the General Stores. Yes the Mini Moke does appear in the Central Piazza, but that is in stock film footage from ‘Dance of The Dead.’ Even ‘A Change of Mind’ has to rely mostly on film stock footage for its Mini-Mokes except for two scenes. Once in the woods when two orderlies pick up Number 6 to take him to the hospital for his medical check-up, and that takes place on a set at
MGM film studios. Having said that, much the same can be said of ‘The General,’ when the two Guardians having found Number 6 playing truant down on the beach, give him a ride home in a Mini-Moke, dropping him off outside his cottage. Rather as in the scene in ‘A Change of Mind’ when Number 86 drops Number 6 outside his cottage, having been given a ride home from the hospital. And during that ride home, most of the scene is made up from film footage from ‘Free For All.’ And finally in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ the Mini-Moke only appears by via film footage taken from other episodes, chiefly ‘Arrival.’ In fact taking all the 17 episodes into consideration, there are really only about a handful or so of episodes in which the Mini-Moke appears in its own right, and not via re-used film stock footage. 

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Bureau of Visual Records


   This isn’t the last time Number 6 will look down upon that lighthouse. But for the time being, never did Number 6 realise, that when he had been washed up on the beach at Beachy Head during his escape of The Village in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ just how close he was to Professor Schnipps rocket - hidden in the lighthouse!

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Exhibition of Arts And crafts

                     “The Watchmaker”
                                  “Keep Away!”
BcNu

Don’t Blame It On The Cat!


   On occasion when the Prisoner is about, there is sometimes an upset cup and saucer. Only we can’t blame him for this one, nor can the blame be placed on the cat. After all if the cat had done it, the only way possible would be for the cat to knock both cup and saucer off the table, and that clearly didn’t happen. So to quote Sherlock Holmes, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” So someone must have been abroad in The Village, hiding under the table, behind the balustrade of the Old people’s Home.
   As for the cat, it’s very well trained, to remain sat there when the cup and saucer were smashed. Many a cat would have run off. And then to remain there on the table when the broken crockery was replaced on the day of the Prisoner’s return. As for the cat, it seems fascinated by the parachutist floating down towards the beach!

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Monday, 18 April 2016

The Pri5Oner can be taken on several levels!

    On the surface it is a spy thriller, a continuance of McGoohan's previous television series ‘Danger Man,’ depending on your perspective of the series, But in any case he appears to be something of a confidential agent who resigns from a position of the highest secrecy. He is abducted to the village in order to have the reason for his resignation extracted, and where he will remain for as long as he lives.
   Mystery surrounds The Village. Can we really be so sure as to which side runs The Village, that ‘the Prisoner’ was not about to defect, or indeed the location of The Village. It has been stated that this surface level of understanding is difficult to take too literally, for many of the gadgets and methods employed by the village are too fantastic for normal belief, but yet I wonder. Leucotomies have been employed, and there are numerous methods employed to extract information from any such individual. And such methods of torture, manipulation and trickery have been employed through the centuries and by organisations around the world, and still are today.
    Although ‘the Pri5Oner’ is not technically science fiction, the white membranic mass of The Village Guardian-Rover does have a science fiction quality about it. Having independent thought, able to change its size, its as well underwater as it is on land, and seems to need no sustenance to maintain its existence.
    There is social comment, taking ‘the Pri5Oner’ on another level. It makes the viewer think of his or her environment. Well it didn't have that effect upon me at the time as a boy, to ask questions and not simply accept things as they are. For me it was pure adventure, the questions didn’t come until later.
   The Village represents the society we lived in at the time, and the society of today, perhaps. ‘The Pri5Oner’ and its social comment are more relevant today than they were 50 years ago. Number 6 is an individual trying to survive in a society of numbers. Desperately fighting to maintain both his identity and individuality. In today’s society, there are those who would like to take both our identity and individuality away from us, with Number 2 representing all forms of authority within society.
    There is room to question, to theorise and interpret ‘the Pri5Oner,’ and this has been done on several levels over the past decades. And things are not taken at face value by many of the fans of ‘the Pri5oner,’ yet at times they can look for the most complicated reason for something, when a far simpler explanation would do as well, if not better.
    The Village can be two things, an actual place where people who know too much or too little are taken, to have the knowledge in their heads protected or extracted, either that or The Village is all in the mind and that could lead to a mental breakdown for anyone!
    And entertainment is another level upon which ‘the Pri5Oner’ can be enjoyed. To simply watch each episode without thought or care, only for its pure entertainment value, which is reason enough to watch such a series which 50 years ago was ahead of its time, but has withstood the ravages of time. Such is the seemingly almost timeless quality of ‘the Prisoner,’ well in The Village at least!
   You see you can get as much or as little out of ‘the Pri5Oner’ as you want. But to get something out you first have to put something in. But remember, ‘the Pri5Oner’ is there also to be enjoyed, and this should not be forgotten when you are busy theorising. It should be fun and stimulating, and that's how I find the Pri5Oner.


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Appreciation Day – So it Must Be Thursday!

    “This is the moment ladies and gentlemen, the great moment when we can all show our appreciation of our respective Number 2’s.”
   What exactly did the Top-Hat administrative official mean by that? During the Appreciation Day ceremony the departing Number 2 in saying his farewell to them, the citizens are afforded the opportunity to pay their tribute to their departing leader. As well as showing their gratitude to a man who has ruled them so wisely. And in paying respects to their retiring Number 2, they also extend their warm welcome to his successor, their new leader, their new Number 2. So that’s what the administrator meant by respective Number 2’s. But might there not be another meaning to the use of the word “respective” meaning proper to each or several. After all the retiring Number 2 wasn’t “proper” to Number 6, meaning Number 2 wasn’t his Number 2. Because when he paid a call on Number 2 in the Green Dome he didn’t know who Number 2 was.
    Number 6 looks puzzled as he stands in Number 2’s office.
    “Number Six isn’t it, I’ve been expecting you.”
    “I want to see Number Two.”
    “I am Number Two.”
    This could of course have been another attempt to disorientate Number 6 by presenting him with another new Number 2 as they did in ‘Arrival.’ Only he’s not a new Number 2, as he’s due for retirement soon. Thus the “respective” or proper Number 2 to Number 6 is the blond haired interim Number 2. And the same can be said of any citizen who has had no dealings with the retiring Number 2, or indeed with the interim Number 2. Their Number 2, might be someone altogether completely different!

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Bureau of Visual Records



    Buy one map get one free! Why would Six need two maps? The second makes a great gift!
   It’s quite miraculous how such a small packet opens up into such a large Map of The Village. But what I would like to have seen, is this, for the shopkeeper 37927 to have tried refolding that map!


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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunday Election Parade

    Images taken via Portmeirion's web-cams between 11.04am and 11.14am
      Never mind Number 6's speech, isn't that the wooden beams, and dark shadow of the wreck of the Amis Reunis in the water?

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What’s That No.6 Up To?


    In the original script of ‘Many Happy Returns, having driven out to the hospital, breaking in to find the building as deserted as The Village, he ran back to the Mini-Moke. He then drove out into the countryside and gazed out over the mountains, and seeing that there was no escape in that direction, Number 6 was astonished to see a helicopter standing in a field. He drove the Mini-Moke across the field, and climbed aboard the helicopter. As luck would have it, the key had been left in the ignition {just as it had been with the Mini-Moke} he checked the fuel gauge. Turning the ignition key the engine fired into life and slowly the rotor blades began to turn. But then the engine stopped, and the rotor blades slowly stopped turning, as though the battery had died.
   Number 6 climbed out of the helicopter, and connected wires to both the battery of the Mini-Moke and that of the helicopter. Then he started the engine of the Mini-Moke and revved it, and kept the revs up by placing a rock on the accelerator pedal. Climbing aboard the helicopter again he turned the ignition key and the helicopters engine fired into life, the rotor blades began to turn, then the engine faltered a little and then picked up again, the rotor blades fully turning, the helicopter finally lifting off the ground. But about a foot off the ground the engine coughed, spluttered, and died, the helicopter came to rest on the ground again. Number 6 tapped the fuel gauge with his knuckle, he watched the needle swing back to zero. It was with disappointment that he climbed out of the helicopter, removed the wire from the battery, and drove back into The Village.
   That would have been far too easy an escape for Number 6. Mind you, had he been able to escape in the helicopter it might have been just as interesting an adventure. The Alouette II has a flying range of some 448 miles, but depending on how much fuel had been left in the tank, perhaps enough for a short journey, before Number 6 would be forced to land in……well possibly in the middle of nowhere. Even with a full fuel tank, there is no-way Number 6 could have flown all the way back to England. Although he could have made it to RAF Gibraltar, which was much closer! But let us not forget, it would have been the same for Number 6 aboard the helicopter, as it was aboard his raft, he didn’t know where he was sailing from, let alone where he was sailing too. But aboard the helicopter the journey would have at least been safer. Perhaps Number 2 had taken that into consideration, and that’s why the fuel tank of the helicopter was left virtually empty!

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