Having escaped The Village, Number 6 sets off on a voyage of discovery. He discovered that someone else, a Mrs. Butterworth, had taken up residence in his home, the lease of which still had 6 months to run when he lived there. More than that, she had taken possession of his Lotus Seven! And now here he is, our friend Number 6, seeking reassurance of “place.” He looks at the writing bureau, and about the study. There are subtle differences in personal possessions, but then that’s only to be expected. Mrs. Butterworth’s wedding photograph for example, and the picture of her husband Arthur on the mantelpiece, and the carboy once on the coffee table has gone, replaced by a posy holder. Number 6 then looks out of one of the windows, nothing wrong there, or so it seems on the face of it. He then picks up the receiver of the telephone and listens to the dialling tone, nothing wrong there. But there is something not quite right………..it’s the shape of the room.
The front of No.1 Buckingham Place is flat, the windows face forward and look out on No.14 Buckingham Place on the opposite side of the street, and not set at an angle as in the above picture taken from ‘Many Happy Returns.’ So that when Number 6 looks out of the window he shouldn’t see the skyscraper, but instead he should have looked out upon the house on the other side of the street, No.14. In fact the study of No.1 Buckingham Place is more suitable for the Round House cottage of 6 Private more then No.1 Buckingham Place!
Production footnote: Of course Patrick McGoohan isn’t actually in the room of No.1 Buckingham Place at all. During the opening sequence to ‘the Prisoner,’ and in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ he’s actually on the set of the study at MGM film studios. However, unlike during the opening sequence, it’s nice to see that on this occasion set designers have taken more care to disguise the step to the French window. The base of which, along with the step have been covered up with a board, painted green so to fit in with the rest of the walls décor!
Be seeing you