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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Quote For The Day

    “You’re not allowed animals, it’s the rules.”
                                                  {Number 56 – Dance of The Dead}
   
Rules to which Number 6 is not subject, but he is a cat lover who is not permitted to keep a pet. So, judging by the fact that the cat belongs to Number 2, means she must be exempt from the rules! Just a minute.....the black cat first turned up in the previous episode ‘Many Happy Returns,’ so does that mean Number 2 was also in that episode? And yet according to the film library order ‘Dance of The Dead’ was to have been the second episode, so for the cat to have been in a later episode it meant that when Number 2 left The Village, if she left The Village, she left her cat behind. In a similar way Mrs. Butterworth left her housemaid Martha behind when she left The Village, fictionally speaking of course. Martha being Number 36 in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                               “Oh noooooo!”
Be seeing you

Page 6

    It is, isn’t it, isn’t it different? No, ‘the Prisoner’ is basically the same, unless one messes it about. ‘Fall Out’ is where ‘the Prisoner’ begins, the start of ‘Arrival’ being at the end of the episode, so you could place that particular episode at either end of the series. In other words watch ‘Fall Out’ first and last, I did once, and it worked. Both ‘Arrival’ and ‘Once Upon A time’ are set in concrete, and cannot be moved, I think everyone would agree with that. And yet there are a further 3 episodes which however placed must follow in sequence, otherwise they make a mockery of each other. ‘Free For All’ must precede both ‘Many Happy Returns’ and ‘Dance of The Dead’ simply on the grounds of the local elections. In ‘Many Happy Returns’ the Colonel reads about a Town Council and asking if Number 6 had been a member. Number 6 said he could have been as the Town Council is elected once a year. And ‘Dance of The Dead’ must follow both those episodes as by that time the terribly inefficient democratic process has been done away with! There are a further two episodes which could run consecutively, those being ‘The General’ and ‘A B and C.’ Why that way around? Because in the one Number 2 announces himself in the opening sequence as the new Number 2, whereas in the latter he’s just Number 2. I suppose it’s possible that two further episodes could theoretically run consecutively, ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ and ‘Once Upon A Time.’ The only trouble with that is, the fact that Number 2 must have been away from The Village, because he was brought back there for ‘Once Upon A Time!” The remaining 8 episodes could then be jumbled up and slotted into the remaining gaps in the sequence the viewer may care to put them in, or not as the case maybe. For example there are certain episodes I might care to leave out, ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ for one, but then I would miss the music, ‘Living In Harmony’ for another, ‘The Schizoid Man’ would be a third because its flawed and didn’t need to be. Perhaps ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ for a fourth, because it’s more ‘Danger Man’ than Prisoner, ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ and ‘A Change of Mind’ to make 6, leaving only ‘Checkmate’ and ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ left to place for a mini-series of 11 episodes. Perhaps I’d place ‘Free For All,’ followed by ‘Checkmate,’ after all in the former. Number 6 did promise to find out who are the warders and who the prisoners, something he did in the latter, for what good it did him!


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Monday, 18 September 2017

Caught On Camera!

    Poor old chap, he’s hurt himself! It’s all very well Number 6 having overpowered the projectionist and then to take his place. Number 12 must have explained to him what to do with the Professor’s micro reduced message, but did he say anything about the periscope? If not, how did Number 6 know the projectionist sits at the periscope, and what did he think he was looking for or at? When Number 6 broke into the projection room he attacked the projectionist, rendering him unconscious. A voice over a loudspeaker asked projection to check-in, in fact he was asked three times to do so. Then he went to the periscope, pulling it down and looking into it saying “All clear, standing by.” How did he know he had to do that?

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Village Life!

   “Chambers!”
   “Who’s he?”
   “You, you’re Chambers.”
   “No, no I’m Cobb.”
   “Cobb?”
   “Yes.”
   “Not Chambers?”
   “No, I told you.”
   “Couldn’t you be Chambers?”
   “No.”
   “It would make it better if you were.”
   “Why?”
   “Because I was to have had a meeting with Chambers, to try and stop him.”
   “Stop him from doing what?”
   “Leaving the Foreign Office.”
   “He was defecting?”
   “Number Two mentioned Chambers, he knew I was going to meet Chambers but he never turned up. So I thought you were Chambers.”
    “Well I’m not, I’m Cobb!”
    “It would give continuity to the storyline……”
    “I’m Cobb, I was in
Germany, I went back to my hotel, I think I went to bed…I was here!”
    “You went to sleep in
Germany, and woke up here?”
    “Yes. Dutton’s here.”
    “Dutton, what’s he doing here?”
    “The same as you and me I should think, only it’s worse for him.”
    “Why, what are they doing to him?”
    “They….They….”
    “What?”
    “They sit him in….the comfy chair!”
   

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No.2 A Murderer?

    I think Number Two was greatly maligned by Number Six! He accused Number Two of killing Number Seventy-three, I don’t think Number Two was a murderer at all! And he left the office slamming the door behind him as he went. I sat back in my chair and began to consider, picturing the scene in my mind’s eye. There was Number 73 lying in bed in a hospital room, recovering from having slit both her wrists, because she had tried to kill herself. Obviously she wasn’t happy in The Village, and was having to endure another interview with Number 2. The question is where is 73’s husband? All she would say is that her husband had some work to finish, and he’s over there, somewhere over there. Did she perhaps mean behind the Iron Curtain? Number 2 attacked her husband’s devotion to 73 by taunting her with a photograph of her husband with the woman Mariah together in her hotel room. Suddenly Number 2 turns nasty, he thinks he’s wasted enough time, we are left wondering what he’s going to do next. Yes he slams down his leather document case in anger, and he does look menacing as he moves slowly and deliberately towards the bed and 73 quite naturally screams. Number 6 hears her screams, and runs to the hospital. He bursts into the room, two burly male orderlies try to restrain him, 73 screams again, leaps out of her bed and out through the open window to her death! Number 2 tells Number 6 that he shouldn’t have interfered, that he’ll pay for it. Number 6 replies “No, you will!” Later in Number 2’s office he has things to discuss with Number 6, who suggests it’s about the girl Number 2 murdered. But consider what happened. Yes Number 2 was using threatening behaviour towards 73, but he didn’t actually lay a hand upon her. Number 73 didn’t actually leap from her bed and out through the window until she saw Number 6 come bursting into the room! Number 2 simply stands there watching 73 jump to her death through the open window. It seems to me that 73 was determined to end her torment, to kill herself sooner or later. If Number 2 is guilty of anything, it’s of not looking after 73 better, and not trying to stop her. He knew of 73’s suicidal tendency, and should have taken due care. That hospital window should have remained firmly closed for a start. After all committing suicide by jumping out of a hospital window is not unheard of, there was Cobb, perhaps that’s why Number 6 went to look out of the window, perhaps just to make sure!
   But why Number 73 should take to committing suicide at the sight of Number 6 bursting into the room is quite beyond my comprehension. Is it that she recognized Number 6? If so where from, and why did his sudden appearance have such a dramatic effect on 73? Perhaps in his former life and employment Number 6 had dealings with 73’s husband, if he was in the same line of work. Did she fear Number 6 more than she did Number 2? One thing is certain, Number 2 may well have been a sadist, but he was no murderer. We shall never know what would have happened had Number 6 not come bursting into the room. However looking at it from a different angle, it maybe that 73 simply saw her chance for escape. That she used Number 6 as a diversion, that it distracted Number 2 long enough as to give her the few valuable seconds she required in order to jump to her death.
   Whereas Number 2 is a sadist who is going to hammer Number 6, Number 6 is a humanitarian, he cares about people. Number 73 was
a damsel in distress, and he vowed to avenge her death, he even laid a bunch of daffodils upon her grave. Didn’t you notice that? Well who else is there in The Village who would have laid flowers on 73’s grave?   
    As for Number 2, I was pondering the idea of how he managed to smuggle his own sword shooting stick into The Village? It’s an offensive weapon, and I should have thought the shooting stick would have been confiscated and replaced with the more usual umbrella shooting stick? And why should Number 2 think he would be in need of such a weapon, unless it was for self-protection, but against whom? And if Number 1 knew enough about Number 2 to ask if he required assistance, then perhaps he knew about Number 2 threatening Number 6 with that sword. Poor old chap, he simply wasn’t up to the job this Number 2. As for Number 6, he may have been an avenging angel, but perhaps Number 1 saw him in a different light, as Nemesis, an agent to be used in order to bring about Number 2’s downfall! 


Be seeing you

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A Favourite Scene In The General

   When Number 6 attends one of Madam Professor’s art seminars, he is busy sketching when he attracts her attention.
    “Can I help you?”
    “I don’t know….can you?”
    “Finding things a bit strange?”
    “That is the trouble, I can’t find anything at all!”
    “What exactly are you looking for?”
    “What are we all looking for?”
    “Well let’s see now. That gentleman over there. What do you think he’s doing?”
    “Tearing up a book.”
    “He’s creating a fresh concept, construction arises out of the ashes of destruction. And that woman?”
    “Standing on her head.”
    “She’s developing a new perspective.”
    “Really. Him?”
    “He’s asleep, one learns only when the mind wants to, not at set times.”
    “Is that what your husband believes?”
    “It’s self evident surely. What’s your subject?”
    “What’s yours?”
    “Mine? Modern art.”
    “Really.”
    Number 6 tears off the top sheet of his sketch pad and hands it to Madam Professor. The sketch is of herself but in a General’s uniform.
    “What do you think of this?” handing her his sketch.
    Madam Professor looks to be insulted.
    “Not altogether flattering. So art’s your subject too.”
    “No, no, military history, Generals and that kind of thing.”
    “I’m afraid you may be wasting your time.”
    “What a pity. I understood your husband is quite an authority on the subject.”
    “He may be. But I’m not.”
    “Oh.”
    Madam tears Number 6’s sketch in half.
    “Creation out of destruction?”

    It would seem the tearing up of Number 6’s sketch is symbolic for the destruction of the General! Number 6 asked Madam Professor what are we all looking for? Madam Professor and her husband must have come to The Village looking for something. But I bet they were not expecting it to be The Village!


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                  “You ain’t seen me, right!”
 BcNu

The Prisoner In Isolation!

   He wasn’t so much in isolation, that would mean the Prisoner had been set apart from others, or to be placed alone. But the Prisoner wasn’t alone, simply placed in a place of isolation, The Village, a place isolated from the rest of the world. Patrick McGoohan had been thinking about how a man might react when placed in isolation, and eventually presented us with such a man in isolation, isolated from the environment of the outside world....the Prisoner-Number 6. He does at times attempt to reach out to the world he knows, to escape back to London, or to at least send a message, hopefully to be discovered. Personally speaking I’m of the opinion that Number 6 is never more isolated than in the episode 'A Change of Mind,' as the whole population of the Village is turned against him. The Prisoner posted as being disharmonious by the Committee. And yet it might seem that Number 6 had isolated himself from The Village, by having constructed himself a gymnasium somewhere in the woods. Whereas previously he had enjoyed the facilities of the gymnasium, shooting, fencing, his daily bout of Kosho practise, however they are one-on-one sports, whereas the high bar and punch bag can be simply for the individual. And we must not forget that Number 6 had built his private gymnasium in the woods before the advent of ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ and even then Number 6 maintained his daily Kosho practise in The Village gymnasium. By using his own gymnasium in the woods, he is merely keeping himself to himself. Because there are times when Number 6 prefers his own company to that of others, after all there are times when we all feel like that aren’t there?
   However isolation can come in many forms. In 'Many Happy Returns' Number 6 escapes The Village, returns to his own world, yet he is still a man in isolation because he has no money, and the only things he possesses are the clothes he wears. Basically Number 6 has become a vagabond, a tramp. Homeless and without friends, he no longer belongs to that situation from which he resigned, yet is desperate for both the Colonel and Thorpe to believe his story about The Village.  In 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,' Number 6 is deliberately returned to the outside world, the only trouble is it's in the guise of someone else, with all unpleasant memories of the Village wiped from his mind, and regressed back to the day the Prisoner was set to hand in his letter of resignation. Again he goes back to the only people who he thinks can help him, his previous colleagues, but with the added problem of convincing Sir Charles Portland that he is who he claims to be, but only gets as far as to intrigue Sir Charles. It is his failure to prove who he is that now isolates the Prisoner from his own people. He is a man left out in the cold by both sides. He cannot even sign a cheque for fear of a charge of forgery! His appearance may have been altered, but his handwriting is the same, and in the end, and as it turns out, it is his handwriting that proves his identity!
   At the final turn of 'the Prisoner' with 'Fall Out,' in a way, that caused Patrick McGoohan to became a man in isolation. Yes he may have had his family about him, but it was the British general public who turned on McGoohan at the time. Perhaps seeing him as an Unmutual {although I doubt it} yet the meaning is there. Why? Because the British general public felt that they had been cheated by 'Fall Out.' People expected answers, but 'Fall Out' only muddied the waters even more. People didn't understand it and were outraged enough so as to complain about it! Yet would we have respected Mcgoohan more if had he explained all about 'the Prisoner?’ Should we have expected him to do so? If he had dotted all the 'i's and crossed all the 't's he would have robbed us of all the fun we've had over the decades trying to figure out what 'the Prisoner' means to each and everyone of us, on an individual level.

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Number 66

    At one time I must have been a very popular Number in The Village, seeing as I appear no fewer than four times in the one episode. First I’m pinned to the frilly apron worn by a housemaid. You remember her, she tried to play on the sympathy of the Prisoner-Number 6, but he hasn’t any sympathy for anyone! She told him that if he gave her some sort of information they would let her go. But he soon saw through her, telling the housemaid that her services would not be required tomorrow! Then the next thing I know is, I’m pinned to a taxi driver outside the hospital, giving Number 6 a lift home. Then later I find myself pinned to a British navy ex-Admiral’s cap, he’s sat at a table on the lawn of the Old People’s Home waiting for a chess opponent to play. I wonder why he wanted to hide his cap badge? But if that’s not curious enough, a little later I was pinned to the self same British naval cap badge, but it’s worn by a different ex-Admiral, who is playing with a plastic boat in the pool in the Piazza. What’s more he’s got a woman with him, and she’s wearing a naval cap. Perhaps she’s his flag officer......just a minute she could be Number 1! Because in the navy the first officer of a ship is known as Number 1! Now what make you of that?


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Bureau of Visual Records

   Number 39 is busy conducting word association tests with Number 6 in ‘Checkmate. We first saw her in ‘Dance of The Dead’ assisting two medics in Number 6’s cottage as the doctor-Number 40 is about to conduct an experiment with Number 6. One can imagine Number 39 working much closer with that doctor as she assists him with his experiments with Dutton. Now in ‘Checkmate’ she works with another doctor-Number 23. It must have seemed all the same to her as the two doctors are very much the same, like working for the one doctor judging by their attitude regarding human experimentation and complete disregard for human life. And she is probably no better than either of those two!


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A Favourite Scene During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben

    Nadia having asked Number 6 where Number 2 the Green Dome is, he gives her full directions. Across the square, across the street, up the steps she can’t miss it. Nadia admits its sounds crazy, but she doesn’t know where she is. In The Village he tells her.
    “Lovely day” is sounds like a salute, and it is.
    Nadia asks Number 6 if he could take her over there. To the Green Dome, yes certainly, across the square, across the street, up the steps you can’t miss it! Well you can actually, because when Number 6 and Nadia reach the top of the steps there is no Green Dome, those steps sound a bit wooden too! That’s why there is an establishing shot of the Green Dome. But before we get there, Nadia and Number 6 pause on the steps. She asks him if she can get a car. He tells her taxis, local service only. “Where will they take you?” Anywhere you like, as long as you arrive back here in the end, that’s why they’re called local. Number 6 sounds like an old hand in The Village. “Who are these people, why are they here?” referring to passers by. Why are you, he asks.
   They arrive at the door to the Green Dome. Nadia asks him who is Number 2? But he has an obsession of his own, who is Number 1? She appears frightened when the door opens automatically. Goodbye he tells her. She pleads with him that she has done nothing wrong, she had committed no crime, all she did was resign. But it’s no use telling Number 6. So which was it? Because Number 2 told Number 6 that she was suffering from nervous tension, that she had been sent to The Village to recuperate, or was it because she, like Number 6, had only resigned? Perhaps in saying that to Number 6, Nadia thought he could sympathize with her, seeing his own personal situation. However as it happens neither of Number 2 nor Nadia’s story was right, but one of them was more wrong than the other, seeing as they are not singing from the same hymn sheet!


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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Thought For The Day

    It’s just as well ‘Dance of the Dead’ ended up the eighth episode, had it been the second episode as originally intended, to have Number 6 meet Cobb in ‘Arrival,’ and then Dutton in ‘Dance of The Dead’ would have seen to have been somewhat repetitive.
    In ‘Arrival’ Number 6 encountered Cobb in the hospital, who on the face of it appears to be under the doctor, being experimented on seeing as they want to know all about him. It’s the same with Dutton in ‘Dance of The Dead,’ except he’s been released from the hospital for 72 hours so that he can consider his position in the peaceful atmosphere of The Village. And who knows, perhaps it was much the same for Chambers late of the Foreign Office, seeing as Number 2 described him as being so taut. Meaning stressed, tight, that he wouldn’t talk or give anything away. Did Chambers break in the end, and end up like Cobb, being released back into the Foreign Office. Or perhaps he died in the struggle not to talk. Maybe he somehow managed to commit suicide, or worse, he ended up like Dutton!
   It would have been in keeping with what Number 2 said about Chambers, had it been Chambers Number 6 encountered on the ward in the hospital instead of Cobb.


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There’s Just One thing......

  If Number 2 is lying dead on the floor in the steel cage, and you having brought Number 6 to these proceedings in the cavern, and are about to take your place on the Assembly. Who is minding The Village? Because last I remember you, Number 2 left you in charge of The Village for a week. I can see that they have brought back a former Number 2 to preside over this question of a democratic crisis {which is pretty good organizational work on someone’s part by the way} but he cannot also be responsible for the day to day running of The Village as well can he? But perhaps he was, seeing as it’s the President who gives the order to evacuate The Village!


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The Experiment!

    A few days ago I went out and bought myself a Cuckoo clock. I didn’t have one of my own, there was no Cuckoo clock I could have borrowed, so when acquiring one I put is outside the editor’s office door. The editor opened the door, looked down at the Cuckoo clock swore an oath that I was an idiot, and trampled the clock underfoot, and stormed off down the corridor.
    I took the wooden box the Cuckoo Clock came in up onto the roof of The Tally Ho office, along with a pencil, and a half eaten sandwich! The idea to conduct an experiment, to see if like Number 6 I could set a trap and catch a pigeon. I set the box down on the roof opened the lid, supporting it with the pencil, threw in my half eaten ham sandwich, and went away. I returned some time later to find the box just as I had left it, no pigeon, only the half eaten ham sandwich. I picked up the box, placed the pencil in the breast pocket of my blazer, and ate the rest of the ham sandwich on my way back to my office. The result of my experiment was a complete failure due to a distinct lack of pigeons, where only the day before you couldn’t move for pigeons. Perhaps they don’t like ham sandwiches!
   I like the way Number 6 is always so very active,
each day he exercises with a walk around the Village. Daily he climbs the Bell Tower, it’s said the reason is unknown, although I suspect Number 6 is keeping an eye open for a light, a boat, a plane, someone from his world. He enjoys a physical workout in his private gymnasium in the woods, previously fencing and shooting in the Village gymnasium, along with bouts of Kosho. He enjoys water skiing, sitting to have his portrait painted. And he keeps his mind active by playing chess with the Admiral or General, and often wins by a seven move checkmate. He’s also artistically minded, remember that time he created that abstract sculpture for the Exhibition of Arts and Crafts. But since when did Number 6 become a pigeon fancier? If we’ve learned anything about Number 6, it’s that there’s always a reason for what he does. In capturing his pigeon he thought to send a message home by carrier pigeon, or at least that’s what the Supervisor-Number 60 thought.
   Number 6 thought to set a trap using a wooden box, a pencil and a half eaten ham sandwich, only it was more than half eaten, and yet looking from inside the box, the remnant of that ham sandwich actually grew in size! Also there must have been real pigeon fanciers in The Village, because the pigeon caught in the trap had a ring on its leg! So is the pigeon a homing bird? Number 6 took it out of The Village into the countryside, and when released the pigeon with a coded message attached to its leg would, if a homing pigeon, fly back to The Village because The Village is its home. So there really was no reason to employ the beam, set at “hellfire” or minimum strength. But when the bird had been stunned by the Beam a search team was sent to look for the bird and it might not have taken all that long to find the bird seeing as it had been tracked on radar.
   But this setting a trap can be seen as a metaphor, for the trap Number 6 was setting for Number 2, because it wasn’t only the pigeon that fell into the trap! The code written by Number 6 was made up by a list of numbers 20 60 40 47 67 81 90 80, these numbers were fed into the computer, and what came out was “Vital message tomorrow 0:600 hours by visual signal.” So someone was hiding out somewhere in the countryside, awaiting a message from Number 6! Well of course there wasn’t anyone, but Number 2 was convinced there was, and ordered the Observers to keep a watch at 0:600 hours the next morning. I have to say I’m surprised how early people rise in The Village, Number 6 was able to leave his cottage at 5 and twenty minutes to six. I wonder if it was the Supervisor’s idea of having the door to ‘6 Private’ unlocked, so to make it easier for Number 6 to keep his appointment? Mind you he could have always climbed out of the French window!
   So there he was, our friend Number 6 on the beach using a hand mirror to heliograph a message. Number 2 ordered the message to be written down, while the Supervisor-No.60 asked who could Number 6 be signalling to? I would have thought it was blindingly obvious as it should have been to Number 2, to those who were watching of course! You know what I think, I think Number 6 was jamming, and Number 2 fell for it! He fell for it because he didn’t know what a jammer was. No-one knew what a jammer was because No.6 is the original jammer! And if he wasn’t, it means he learned all about jammers from Number 118 in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ which would be placed before ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ in the screening order.


  Be seeing you

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Favourite Scene In Harmony

    The Man With No Name is at the bar and the bartender slides a glass of whisky along the bar.
    “On the house.”
   Cathy tells The Man with No Name that regulars get the first one on the house.
    “I’m not regular.”
    “I’m Cathy.”
    “It’s a nice name.”
    The Man With No Name reaches for the glass, it’s shot from under his hand! The Judge asks the stranger to join him, the stranger orders a whisky. His hand reaches for a filled glass, but it hesitates for a moment...then picking up the glass The Man With No Name takes a drink. Putting the empty glass on the bar he turns, seeing the Judge sat at a table playing patience. He sees the Kid and steps forward, the Kid stands there holding one of his Colt 45’s. The two men look at each other, each sizing the other up, their eyes never break contact, the Kid’s thumb is on the hammer of his gun. But The Man With No Name is fast with his fists and strikes out to punch the Kid, the Colt 45 drops from his hand and he falls to the floor. The stranger sits down at the Judge’s table. The Judge tells the stranger he shouldn’t have done that, because a man needs all the friends he can find. The Judge and the stranger engage in conversation while the Kid crawling about on the floor recovers his top hat and Colt 45. The Kid’s good according to the Judge, sensitive, but one of the best, meaning he’s a fast on the draw gunslinger and mean with it. The conversation between the stranger and the Judge continues, an offer is made, but The Man with No Name is moving on. He gets up to leave the Saloon, drops what sounds like a wooden silver dollar on the bar and leaves. But he doesn’t get very far, all the horse flesh is expensive $5,000 and more...........so how’s business? Looks like The Man With No Name will be staying in Harmony after all, unless he can escape rather like Number 6’s predicament in The Village. He even plans an escape with Cathy, like Number 6 did with Nadia during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ only unlike Cathy, Nadia lives to tell the tale!


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Village Life!

    “What are we to do with him?  
    “There you go again doctor, always in a hurry.”
    “Well we can’t let him go on doing as he likes.”
    “Arsenal 2 v 0 Stoke City….Burnley 2 v 1 Coventry….Everton 3 v 1 Manchester United…. Fulham 1 v 2 Wolves….Leeds United 1 v 1 Sunderland….Leicester City 2 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur…..”
   “What’s all that about, some sort of coded message?”
   “No doctor, football results.”


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Prismatic Reflection

    Back in the late 1980’s the ‘first cut’ of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ described as the ‘Lost Episode’ had been discovered and was given the title of ‘Alternative’ which I suppose is right enough being one of two or more available possibilities. But nevertheless it’s a term which I have never particularly taken to.
    One scene from the first cut of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ which was not used in the transmission version, sees Number 6 outside his cottage just before curfew. He has a notebook and pencil and is using a curious wooden device, which he has made himself, the device is called a Triquetrum. Number 6 is trying to ascertain the whereabouts of the village by taking a series of astronomical bearings.
      “The triquetrum, a makeshift Greek device for discovering one’s whereabouts, not one hundred percent accurate, but on the other hand not too bad.”
   In his rather flippant way of describing the Triquetrum Number 6 got it spot on, save for the possibility of using it to discover the whereabouts of The Village.                                                                                                           
      The Triquetrum or three staff is an ancient Greek astronomical instrument developed by Claudius Ptolemaeus {Ptolemy in English} in the 2nd century A.D.   Ptolemy was an ancient Greek geographer, astronomer and astrologer who probably lived and worked in Alexandria in Egypt. The Triquetrum comprised of two intersecting struts hinged to a vertical post which enabled calculation of the angular elevation of a heavenly body observed through a sight mounted on the upper arm.
     Could Number 6 have used his own homemade Triquetrum to ascertain the whereabouts of The Village? I would appear that Number 6 had the rudimentary knowledge of astronomy in order to make the astrological calculations. He could at least discover in which hemisphere. The Village was by the position of the stars. He had the knowledge of nautical navigational experience as demonstrated by his schoolboy log written on the back of The Tally Ho during his sea voyage in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ and of  course he navigated his way back to The Village in the same episode. The thing about Number 6 is, he has knowledge which the ordinary man in the street does not. After all how many of us had even heard of a Triquetrum before we watched the first cut of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’
    In his notebook Number 6 had written a star chart. In the upper left hand corner Number 6 had circled the number 1754 which could be the 24-hour designation for
5.45pm, the time of his observations. If that is the case then we can reasonably assume this episode ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ does not take place in midsummer when it would be too light at that time of the day to observe the stars. If the sketch is truly meant to be Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, then it’s a pretty bad one, for there are three critical stars missing and also the handle of the ‘The Plough’ is pointing in the wrong direction. It could be that Number 6 simply did not get around to notating the other stars, although he did
manage to jot down the stars to the right of Ursa Major, yet curiously there are misspellings of Ursa Minus and Ursa Magor, perhaps he was on drugs at the time! As for VI I have no idea what that is, save for Roman numerals for 6! Then comes the range of numbers and degrees at the bottom of the page of Number 6’s notes. 
21/48 | RA{Deg}|30
21/60 | 50 {End} | 55-15
    It appears after some in-depth research that there are not enough numbers for it to be a calculation. Possibly they are partial copies of two rows of almanac data, copied to be used as aids to making observations and computations perhaps. Whatever the above figures are meant to represent one thing is clear, Number 6 could have used the Triquetrum to determine his latitude. First he would have had to determine the hemisphere he was in – North Or South. This could be done by simply looking up, if he saw the Southern Cross he was in the Southern Hemisphere. However if he saw Ursa major, he was in the North Hemisphere. As Number 6’s star chart shows both Ursa Major and Ursa Minor then the star to the left of VI was most probably Polaris, and here we have the key to determining latitude. Once he had sighted Polaris, he would have aimed his Triquetrum at it and read off the angle of elevation, and that would roughly have given Number 6 his latitude. As for longitude, well there are two basic methods in determining longitude. With the astronomical method Number 6 would need to find longitude by the predicted time of an astronomical event, such as an eclipse, with the predicted time for a particular meridian, Greenwich Mean time for example. The mechanical method requires a chronometer. What is important however is that it is not possible to determine longitude without either an almanac, astronomical or nautical tables, or an accurate watch and a reference meridian. It is possible for a certain amount of guess work which Number 6 could indulge in. For example if he knew that he was at approximately 50 deg. N latitude, the climate of The Village might give him some answers. A moderate climate say would indicate that he was near the Gulf Stream. Longitude he could never determine successfully because he had not the tables or time reference to do so, and they could not exactly be purchased from the general store!
   The question remains, having made the Triquetrum would Number 6 be able to use the device in the open air without being observed by an Observer? Well I don’t see why not, after all the Observers don’t see half the things Number 6 gets up to! And besides that’s perhaps where Number 2’s ingenuity comes in. The fact that he probably already knew that Number 6 could not determine the whereabouts of The Village by employing this makeshift device, and hadn’t all the necessary resources he needed to do so. Also could Number 6 be absolutely certain of the date and time? To do so he would have had to have been keeping a calendar from the moment he arrived in The Village, and trust that his wristwatch had not been tampered with. Because what is there in The Village to confirm or disconfirm both the date and time? The only indicator as to the date is the day-date calendars in Number 6’s cottage Wednesday February 10th, as well as the date on The Tally Ho broadsheet Feb 10th.


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Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Pri50ner At Fifty - NETWORK Event

   More details regarding the official 50th Anniversary celebrations for 'The Prisoner', taking place in Portmeirion on 29th September, hosted by NETWORK, have been announced!
   A fantastic line up of guests, screenings, and special events has been announced, with MORE still to be announced!
    Guests so far confirmed include series guest stars Peter Wyngarde, Jane Merrow, Derren Nesbitt, Norma West and Annette Andre, and third assistant director on the series Seamus Byrne.
   As well as guests, there will be several screenings on 35mm film, including three episodes of 'The Prisoner', and 'In My Mind', Chris Rodley's new feature-length documentary film, in the Hercules Hall (climaxing with 'Arrival' screened 50 years after its original broadcast, introduced by a very special guest).
   In addition (as if the above wasn't enough), the Big Finish 'Prisoner' team of Nick Briggs (writer/producer) and Mark Elstob (Number Six), along with special guest star Nickolas Grace (Number Two) will be providing a very special live episode in The Green Dome!

   There will also be other guests and attractions to be announced nearer the time. All indoor events are open to ticket holders only, who today (8/9) received event details by email. Portmeirion will of course still be open to day visitors to soak up the atmosphere of what promises to be a unique event to celebrate the series' 50th anniversary.
With thanks to NETWORK for this news item, more details regarding the event can be found on their website at http://www.networkonair.com 
   With thanks to The Unmutual website  https://www.theunmutual.co.uk for this news item.

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Friday, 8 September 2017

In Lucks Way!

   Ah Number Thirteen how goes it with you?
   How think you it goes with me Number Seven? Yesterday I tripped over the black cat, tumbled down some steps, fractured my leg and ended up in hospital! The day before that my weekly credit allowance was all used up, and I couldn’t buy myself a quarter pound of pear drops! Number 6 beat me at chess, checkmate in seven moves in seven games! A few minutes ago it was announced that ice cream was on sale, when I got there I discovered the flavour of the day was mint choc-chip, I hate mint choc-chip! A couple of weeks ago I tried to escape The Village by digging a tunnel, a slight miscalculation and I intersected a tunnel below the Town Hall! I’ve been run over by a taxi, attacked by Rover, and I got caught trying to escape with Number 6.
   Crikey you have been in lucks way!
   And you Number Seven, how’s it with you?
   You think you’ve had it bad! Have you ever had the feeling you’re being eradicated? Recently I’ve become aware that the number 7 has been removed from practically everything here in The Village. All I want is for it to vanish from my badge and I’ll cease to exist entirely……..
   Hello Number Thirteen, that’s the first sign of madness you know, talking to yourself.
   Oh no Number Twenty-two I wasn’t talking to myself, I was just talking to Number 7 here. That’s funny, he’s gone!
  

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Caught On Camera!

    The Judge is wearing the same shirt as Mister X wears in ‘The Girl Who Was Death, and Number 48 in ‘Fall Out,’ coincidence? No, I bet it’s the same shirt, there couldn’t be two, no three shirts like that! Mind you I have one identical to it, handmade as a matter of fact, and the second one of two, the previous one wore out. I wear it from time to time when I’m out and about the town, with the same sort of tie the Judge and Mister X wear. Both are part of my Village wardrobe, together with my piped jackets, canvas deck shoes, elastic sided black boots, polo shirts, and the jacket from my arrival suit. Fashionable? Well most are to wear about town, others a personal trend. Mind you I’ve not yet plucked up courage to go out and about wearing one of the colourful striped capes I have tucked away in the wardrobe! Mind you with the cooler whether on the horizon it will be time to get No.2’s scarf out!


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THE TALLY HO

 No.6 FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION
                                        by our own reporter
  It seems hardly credible that there is anything left at all to investigate about No.6, not after these past 50 years. I would have thought the subject had been squeezed dry, and yet there does seem to be a little remaining! Because how can No.6 be seen in the two places at the one and same time? No, I am not referring to The Schizoid Man, but during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ No.6 is observed standing on the balcony of the Green Dome, when No. 6 is still in bed!  On a second occasion No.6 is observed standing on top of the stone Bandstand, and yet this was only moments before he is seen leaving the Green Dome! But if that was not enough, upon a third occasion No.6 is seen running along the road in the central area of The Village, as moments later he’s returning to his cottage as the announcement is made about a great new painting competition. Perhaps this is a case of a 6 impersonator in the Village! It might be that No.2 has had 6’s twin brought to The Village, two-times 6 that would just be asking for trouble! But perhaps it is The Schizoid Man, going about The Village impersonating No.6 in readiness to take his place. But no it can’t be, that No.6 wears a cream blazer! But why should No.6 be seen running down the road? Much is made of those new “masters” who Cobb mustn’t keep waiting. No.2 who said mustn’t damage him permanently, say our masters. And No.2 who thought No.6 was a plant, No.14 suggested an accident could befall No.6, but No.2 suggested that their masters would know who was responsible. Did Number 6 once work for those “masters?” Is Sir Charles Portland one of those so called masters? And what about that time No.6 went calling on No.2 who was due to retire, he asked to see him, and when he did, he didn’t seem to recognize No.2. Mind you No.2 himself seemed pretty vague about No.6, which would indicate they have not had anything to do with each other, well not until that moment! On the face of it, it looks like No.6’s loyalties have changed, seeing as he’s trying to save No.2’s life in assisting his escape from The Village. But No.6’s loyalties never change, he’s on the side of the people, which begs the question “Why do you care?” Its seems unlikely that we’ll ever know.
   As we know No.6 is very active, he’s also very athletic, having been on the British Olympic fencing team, has a shooting average of 90%, and has constructed his own gymnastic frame in the woods. He is a keen student of chess and knows several 7 move checkmate wins. But more then that there’s  Kosho, something No.6 appears to excel at. During one of No.6’s electoral speeches he said that you can partake in the most hazardous sports, and you will. Hazardous sports, that would be Kosho would it? Because I cannot think of a more dangerous sport!
   No.6 is also cultural, he’s read Cervantes, he knows his Goethe. Artistic-wise he likes to work with wood, his abstract carving ESCAPE had the Arts and Crafts Awards Committee worried for a moment. He has a classical knowledge in that he knew how to construct a Triquetrum, a device by which to make astrological calculations, and how to construct a “floating compass.” No.6 is quite the most extraordinary man, whose skill, knowledge and ability is second to none. Its no wonder that he was chosen as No.1. Who else in The Village could have been selected to that lofty position? But No.6 is a man of principle, his loyalty is beyond question. He is also his own worst enemy. See how he approaches the effigy in the cloakroom during ‘Fall Out,’ the effigy which wears his own suit of clothes which were supposed to have been burnt. Is it my imagination, or does No.6’s hand first move to grasp the effigy by the throat but unbuttons the polo shirt instead? Think then how much of a shock it must have been to No.6 to discover that he’s been No.1 all the time. But it was worse for No.1, thinking that he’s the boss only to find he’s been the Prisoner all the time! Either that or its been Curtis playing the 6 against the 1 all the time. No wonder No.1 was mad as a hatter, playing two people at the one and same time would be enough to turn anyone's brain!

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The aRRivALl

    I don’t know why I’m here, they must have made a mistake, yes that’s it they’ve made a mistake, and when they realize that they’ll release me.
    Someone calling herself Number 2, who appears to be the head woman, invited me to join her for breakfast in her office this morning. Number 2 asked me if I’d had a comfortable journey. I told her that I couldn’t say, seeing as I was unconscious at the time! I was then de-briefed and briefed upon my position. I pleaded with her that someone had made a mistake, that I shouldn’t be here. I told her I’m loyal, that my loyalty has always been beyond question. Please I said, check, check every detail about me. She said that they had, and that I could read it all for myself in my personal file.
   As far as I could tell the hours turned into a day, the day turned into a week, the week into a month, and all the time I was questioned, interrogated, tormented, tricked, fooled, and even endured mind altering drugs. They wanted to know all about me, but they knew all that anyway, it was just to get me to talk, but I had nothing to say, nothing!
   I told them again that if they thought they had the right man they were wrong, because they had the wrong man! Then one day……… Number 2 called me into her office, she told me that she had been reviewing my case, and had been doing some investigating. She apologized for her predecessors attitude towards me, and told me that there had in fact been a mistake, that I should have been released on the day I had arrived. I was much relieved to learn this, and prepared myself to leave, if they could just let me have my clothes……..but I was told they had been burnt! Why? Apparently it was thought I would not have any further use for them, again Number 2 apologized. She said she could understand my sudden jubilation at the thought of being released. But sadly my feeling of joy was premature. Number 2 informed me that it is has now become impossible to release me, due to the knowledge now in my possession. It has been decided that I have become a security risk. And will now spend the rest of my days in the peaceful atmosphere of The Village!


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Bureau of Visual Records

   Life imitating art! In the article “Digital force fields to stop terrorist vehicles” in The Times newspaper Saturday July 1st 2017 “It is believed that ministers are interested in technology such as geo-fencing systems, which use satellites to create electronic boundaries around specific sites.” Reading this, thoughts instantly turned to the Prisoner episodes ‘The General’ and ‘Dance of The Dead’ wherein the Town Hall and sensitive areas therein are protected by an electronic force field!
   “Are you alright? You tried to go in, by mistake? It’s fussy about who it lets in, this is the Town Hall.”


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The Therapy Zone

    I sometimes wonder, when I watch ‘Checkmate,’ if Number 219 who seems to be an assistant to the Supervisor-Number 56 might once have been assistant to Number 2. But Number 2 being an excellent administrator Number 219 became superfluous, and went to work in the Control Room as assistant top the Supervisor. Just like Number 2’s assistant during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ and Number 22 of ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ because that’s what appears to have happened to them. In the one case for punishment, for suggesting that there are methods they haven’t used against Number 6. And in the other because Number 22 had nothing better to do, seeing as his Number 2 was preoccupied with his forthcoming retirement! But even then only one out of the three actually made himself busy by assisting the Supervisor. And yet another Supervisor-Number 26 had an assistant, Number 60. Number 60 hadn’t been an assistant to Number 2, that was Number 14’s job, if Number 2 would allow him to do what he’s supposed to do! So what about this Number 60, perhaps he was an apprentice, learning to be a Supervisor from one who is the best, the most competent of all the Supervisors Number 26. After all Number 2 isn’t the only one who will retire one day, there would come a time when Number 26 could look forward to his own retirement into the Old People’s Home. What a thrilling prospect for anyone who has served The Village so well.


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Monday, 4 September 2017

Village Life!

    “It’s terrible to be brought face to face with oneself, I can’t believe it, I’ve been ‘C’ all the time! How could that have happened?”
    It must have been quite a shock, the sudden realization, it’s not at all like looking at oneself in the mirror. Don’t worry Number Two, this is a trick that will be played more than once, you wait until ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘Fall Out,’ Number Six will brought face to face with himself twice, three times if you count the dummy in the cloakroom! But of course you won’t be around to see that, mind you it’s not everyone who gets a second bite of the cherry, generally speaking one strike and you’re out.
   “Number Fourteen’s drug failed.”
    No he succeeded, but I assure you that you will not be the only Number Two to fall foul of Number Six. All I can say is better luck next time.
    “Next time, there’s to be a next time?”
    Why yes, it’s impossible to bring in your successor at such short notice, so just carry on regardless.
    “I’m not a well man!”
    What...oh I see are you fit for a second term? Well we’ll just call this your first term, no need to serve a second....have you been introduced to the General?


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The Trivia!

    Number 2 called it the trivia of your resignation, Number 6’s resignation that is, and really by the time of ‘A Change of Mind’ I suppose that is what it had come to be, a trivial point. After all no Number 2 had interrogated Number 6, or had carried out some ingenious plan in order to try and extract the reason behind his resignation since ‘The Schizoid Man’ episode, and that was 6 episodes back. But then it seemed to matter again, and Number 2 tried his best to make it a trial matter. And yet in his sedated state of mind Number 6 resisted still, he was not about to give up the reason behind his resignation because he was not obliged to give a reason. But what would it have mattered had Number 6 given them a reason, after all he could have told them anything, as long as it sounded convincing enough. But perhaps that was it, give one piece of information away, and all the rest would follow. It might be supposed he took a risk by giving them the time of his birth, but then he knew that they had that on record, even if they had deleted it from his personal file. One trivial point, ‘A Change of Mind’ has something in common with ‘Dance of The Dead,’ they both carried a threat which Number 2 knew would not be carried out against Number 6!


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Press Release For: The Prisoner: It Means What It Says

Understanding ‘The Prisoner’ at 50 – By The Fans, for The Fans

The Prisoner: It Means What It Says
   Trying to Understand The Prisoner, Volume One
    50th Anniversary Edition (2 variations) Edited by Ed Fordham (Cover by Dan Kreeger, Illustrations by Warren Green, 'The Jailbird' by Steve Matt, Foreword by Rick Davy, 'Looking After Number One' by VJ Clarke, etc.)

    On the surface, The Prisoner was an unusual TV series - a mixture of spy thriller, action and science fiction - about a man who resigns a top secret job and is then abducted and taken to a strange place simply known as the Village. Here, others like him have been living peacefully and he is known only as Number Six, but he refuses to accept both his imprisonment and the number. Each episode finds him battling efforts by one of a succession of Village leaders, each known only as Number Two, to extract the priceless information in his head.
    Gradually however, under the guidance of Patrick McGoohan (who both starred as Number Six and was Executive Producer), the series becomes an allegory indicating that we are all 'prisoners' of some kind, ultimately held captive by our own worst enemy - ourselves.
   Over the past fifty years, many attempts have been made to understand or decode The Prisoner. Is it really a work of television art, as often claimed? Can the concepts of politics, sociology and psychology be seen as shaping the fabric of the series? Who is Number Six? Who are the various Number Twos and to whom do they owe their allegiance?
   For the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner, this first volume unlocks facets of the series through a variety of topics, with the help of those who know it better than anyone - its fans. Mixed with humour and illustrated throughout, a range of essays and critiques examine the elements that make up the series’
DNA.
·       Very personal views from the wide fan base, aimed at creating an understanding of the various themes of the series
·       More frivolous pieces build on the series’ wit and whimsy
·       Includes the long awaited return of ‘The Jailbird’ cartoon
·       Pieces dealing with ‘The Butler’, Lotus 7 cars, Mini Mokes and why the episode 'Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling' has been much maligned
   All profits from the sale of this book will go to Tลท Gobaith, a hospice for life limited children, located in North Wales.

STANDARD EDITION (b & w illustrations), 333 pages  -  £9.99
FULL COLOUR EDITION, 358 pages  -  £29.99

Standard Edition 

Full Colour Edition


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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                  The Arrival
BcNu

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A Breakdown In Control!

Due to illness blog articles are temporarily suspended!
 David
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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Thought For The Day

   A sceptic with a devious mind, turned sadist with a paranoid mind! I know that Patrick Cargill once said that the character of Thorpe of ‘Many Happy Returns’ is not supposed to be the character of Number 2 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ but fictionally speaking why not?
    Thorpe is very sceptical about his ex-colleague’s report regarding The Village, that seeing as The Village was deserted that perhaps everyone had gone on the annual democratic outing, and that seeing as how The Village is a far cry from Sing Sing, that he wouldn’t mind a fortnights leave there! But is there more to this man than first meets the eye? Is it possible that he already knows of the existence of The Village? If he didn’t, he did then, after his ex-colleague had divulged the information about it to him and the Colonel. After seeing Number 6 off on his journey back to The Village, might not Thorpe have made some discreet enquiries about it, perhaps from the Colonel? The Colonel may have known of the installation before his ex-colleague’s report. After all he never once tried to stop Number 6 from returning there!
   It might be that Thorpe volunteered his services to The Village, or was recruited, either way it would have afforded him the opportunity to cross swords with his ex-colleague again. But perhaps The Village wasn’t quite what Thorpe had expected, and wasn’t “mentally” up to the challenge. He had become a weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken. And for that reason perhaps that’s why Number 1 hung Thorpe out to dry, preferring to leave Number 2 to seal his own fate against Number 6, rather than to become involved himself!
    We know that Thorpe has a sceptical nature, but in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ we see a darker side of his character, he’s a bully and a professional sadist! He drives Number 73 to an attempted act of suicide, finally succeeding by hurling herself through a hospital window to her death. But like all bullies Number 2 is afraid, he is afraid of failure, of what his master might do to him should he fail. Hence Thorpe managed to smuggle a sword shooting stick into The Village with him, possibly for self preservation. And it is with that sword that he enjoys taunting his adversary, Number 6, you have to be hammer or anvil you see. But the trouble with hammers is, the more hammering they do, the more likely they are to break, unlike the anvil.
  We talk of Number 2 being able to leave The Village. I doubt very much that this particular Number 2 would be allowed to leave The Village, besides he wouldn’t be in the right frame of mind to be able to do that. More likely he would be removed to the psychiatric ward of the hospital. Perhaps Number 6 might care to visit, and take him a bunch of daffodils!


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A Favourite Scene In A B and C

    And you think Number 6 has had a couple of bad nights, Number 2 doesn’t look much better. It must be the late nights he’s been having, as well as the stress he’s under. The only time we see Number 2 dressed in his pyjamas and dressing gown is when he’s having a bad time of it. Here Number 2 has one more night in which to bring ‘A B and C’ to a satisfactory conclusion. In ‘Its’ your Funeral’ an interim Number 2 had to find a way to make Number 6 interested enough as to involve himself in a plot to assassinate/execute Number 2. Only he was dressed in his pyjamas in the Control Room, and had the help of the Supervisor. Here Number 2 must bear the burden of responsibility by himself!


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