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Friday, 3 June 2016


    There are certain times of the year when ‘the Prisoner’ is in my mind for a specific reason. Feb 10th for example, the date on two issues of The Tally Ho it seems. But then nothing is as it seems, because it if was, that would mean that both episodes ‘A B and C’ and ‘The Schizoid Man’ would take place on and around Feb 10th which would be impossible. Because as it is ‘Many Happy Returns’ has to overlap with ‘The Schizoid Man’ if Number 6 is to have spent 25 days at sea in order to arrive back home in London on March 18th, having set sail on Feb 22nd. When Number 6 apparently woke up on Feb 10th it wasn’t February the 10th at all, it must have been about 4 to 6 weeks later. Because depending on the man, of course, it generally takes between 4 to 6 weeks to grow a full beard which is what Number 6 did whilst he was undergoing his conditioning. But in any case there are not two Tally Ho’s with the same date, just the one, because the headline is the same “Is No.2 Fit For Further Term?” I believe that refers to the question of Number 2’s health in ‘A B and C,’ rather than his ability. As there can be no such question about Number 2’s ability in ‘The Schizoid Man.’
   So now and again, between February and March 19th I do find myself thinking of Number 6, all alone out there aboard an open raft in the Atlantic Ocean. Just wait until he has to cross the Bay of Biscay! On his return to his home in the City of Westminster, I have expected that he would have to break into his house, seeing as he had no key. Instead he knocked on the door. I wonder who he thought would be there to open it? Perhaps he wasn’t sure whether it was still his house or not. It should have been, seeing as there were still 13 days for the lease to run. And then on March 19th, his birthday, the Prisoner was returned to The Village. I think he took it rather well, that he had been returned there with relative ease. He eventually goes back to his cottage, as Number 2 once said, “It’s the only place he can ever go,” I think she was right. Because Number 6, or Peter Smith, call him what you like, seems to be more at home in The Village than he is in the outside World. I like the way Number 6 looks out of the window, and up to the sky, as if looking for that Meteor jet. But it’s long gone!
    ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ is another episode which comes to mind at Spring time, because of the daffodils in the vase in Number 73’s hospital room, and later on her grave. But who put those daffodils on the grave? In my book, it must have been Number 6. He did visit the cemetery, and although we do not see him actually place the bunch of daffodils on the grave, he did stand there in a thoughtful, almost reverent manner at the graveside for a few moments. And besides who else was there in The Village likely to place flowers on Number 73’s grave?
   Appreciation Day, that’s on a Thursday, an annual event. But I was thinking about a phrase said by the Top Hat official at the ceremony. “This is the moment ladies and gentleman, the great moment when we can all show our appreciation of our respective Number 2’s.” By the use of the word “respective” the official means “proper to each.” For example the retiring Number 2 isn’t Number 6’s Number 2, that’s the interim Number 2. I say that because when Number 6 pays a call on the retiring Number 2, he doesn’t appear to know who he is. In fact he asks to see Number 2, and Number 2 has to tell him who he is!
   “Respective” can also be “several,” and ‘It’s Your Funeral’ appears to have enjoyed four Number 2’s. The two on the screen having the appearance of two former Number 2’s, of who Number 6 is very sceptical. Because he thinks the two clips may have been doctored. But even if the two films of Number 2 had been doctored, it doesn’t stop them from having served terms of office in The Village. Perhaps he never met these Number 2’s either, having never had any dealings with them. Which could be said as being strange, but then he hadn’t had any dealings with the retiring Number 2, not until a couple of days before Appreciation Day.                                 

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