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Saturday, 19 August 2017

6 of The Best

     And finally in this short series of ‘6 of The Best’ we come to a selection of wonderful actors and actresses who appeared in ‘the Prisoner’ alongside Patrick McGoohan.
   “All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players; they have their exists and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
   Production of ‘the Prisoner’ provided work for many great actors and actresses, and perhaps this has been the most difficult category from which to make a choice.

1, Leo McKern

2, Colin Gordon

3, Eric Portman

4, Frederick Piper

5, Mary Morris

6, Rachel Herbert
   Why the above actors and actresses? Well “spoilt for choice” is a phrase that readily springs to mind, as I could so easily have included George Baker, Peter Swanwick, Kevin Stoney, Finley Currie, Richard Wattis, Katherine Kath, Norma West, Earl Cameron, Georgina Cookson, John Sharp, Rosalie Crutchley. Betty McDowall, Victor Madden, Patrick Cargill, Nadia Gray in the 6, and apologies to those whose names do not appear here.

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The Guardians Feeling Deflated!

   Something wrong with the Guardian? It looks a little deflated! Perhaps it has mutated into something like the “thing” in ‘The Quatermass Experiment,’ and creeps and slides its way around The Village instead of rolling and bounding about, leaving a trail of slime behind it like a snail!
   On the other hand, it looks rather like the idea for the Guardian MK I, except there’s no blue flashing light!

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Village Life!

    “So they brought ‘C’ to The Village after all!”
    “You should know. It’s often the way with important people.”
    “But you’ve no anonymity any more!”
    “There is a different between you and I Number Six, I co-operated.”
    “You gave them what they wanted.”
    “I find it better here to what it was elsewhere, besides my cover was blown.”
    “I work for the Board of Education now. We’re looking into a way of education which will give people a University degree in a lesser time than the Open University will take, say six minutes instead of six years!”
    “What’s the hurry?”

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Quote For The Day

    “I have to report a breakdown in control......yes this is Number two reporting.”                {No.2 – Hammer Into Anvil}
    I have to admit that there are times when I feel sorry for Number 2. Number 6 can certainly dish out some rough justice when called upon! I suppose you could call Number 6 Nemesis, chosen by Number 1 because he knew he wouldn’t flinch when it came to breaking Number 2. I’m surprised Number 6 didn’t report the sudden breakdown in control to Number 1 himself. After all it didn’t matter who Number 1 was at that point, he’d have only been a voice on the telephone, a voice the television viewers would never have heard. But Number 6 reporting to Number 1 himself, it would be like reporting personally to the General, it just isn’t done. No, much better to have Number 2 to report himself. After all its not known how Number 1 would have reacted to Number 6 on the telephone, whoever Number 1 might have been at the time, and vice versa of course. I think to have Number 2 report himself added humiliation to his breakdown!

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Earl Cameron 100 Years Young

   Britain's first black lead actor turned 100 years of age on August 8th
   He's starred in films such as ‘James Bond,’ ‘The Interpreter,’ and ‘The Queen.’
   Earl Cameron lives in Warwickshire, and at the age of 100 he refuses to ever retire from acting.
   Dated August 11th 2017
   Earl Cameron when he spoke on 5News

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Busy Potter!

    If he wasn’t he’s going to be! Poor old Potter, he’s been left out in the cold, but at the same time he’s making a little money on the side as a shoe shine boy. Mr. X has his suede shoes brushed up, and gives Potter a £5 note, Potter is highly delighted it’s as though he can hardly believe his luck as it’s possibly the most money he’s ever earned for a few moments work. But then he’s brought down to earth by a muddy boot! Poor old Potter’s got his work cut out now!

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                              The Watchmaker

The Tally Ho

           The Schizoid Man                    
              by our reporter

  Prior to the freedom of information act 2000, the vast majority of information regarding The Village and its internal activities has been tightly restricted and controlled. In fact any such requested information within official circles has to be written in triplicate, and signed by at least four high-ranking Civil Servants, and then countersigned by the head of department! However since it is almost 50 years since the Prisoner’s abduction to The Village, I am at liberty to disclose certain information relating to the curious events of ‘The Schizoid Man.’
     A doppelganger for Number 6 had been brought to The Village in order to impersonate him. Number 6 one night, had been abducted from his home, to wake up in a strange apartment, after first having been conditioned to being Number 12. This took place over a period of at least six weeks, and during that time his doppelganger was going about The Village impersonating Number 6. This was all to do with the act of taking away Number 6’s identity, in order to break him. However Number 2 had not counted on events being revealed to Number 6 in a mirror, and a short circuiting table lamp!      Having regained his right-handedness, and identity, Number 6 set off to confront his doppelganger in his cottage. In having overpowered the man Curtis, and gaining the password and the false mole, Curtis broke free and went running outside chased by Number 6 only to encounter The Village Guardian. Both men gave the password schizoid man. But Curtis began to back away repeating the password, then he ran, upon which the Guardian was on him in a moment suffocating the man to death. Number 6 then saw his chance, by reporting himself as being dead Number 6 intended to escape The Village in the guise of Curtis!
"Number 6 is dead, Rover got him!"
    "What!" barks Number 2 "Control Room deactivate Rover immediately."
    Then Number 6 reports to Number 2 in the Green Dome, but as Curtis.
    “We’re still trying to find out why Rover killed Number Six.”
    “There’s going to be hell to pay.”
    “Not if we’re clever.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Who’s to say Number Six died?”
    “I should think everybody knows by this time.”
    “Only you, me, the Supervisor, and two medics. We have one chance to rectify the situation.”
    “How are you going to do that?”
    “I’m not, you are! You will remain here in The Village, and continue your impersonation of Number six, but permanently!”
    “We’d never get away with it!”                     
   Number 2 sent Curtis to see the girl Alison because they thought she might have had some insight into Number 6s motivations. However seeing as she had nothing more to tell him he left, and upon returning to ’6 Private’ he changed into civilian clothes in readiness to leave The Village.
    But alas the escape plan of Number 6s was too spontaneous, off the cuff, and doomed to failure. He had seen a photograph of Susan in Curtis’ wallet, but that turned out to be his Achilles heel in the plan. He didn’t know what proposition Number 2 had put to Curtis when he arrived in The Village. If there had been one! Neither did Number 6 know about reporting to the General. It would seem Number 6 didn’t know enough, and had said too much. This aroused Number 2’s suspicions, stemming from a doubt he had back in his office. When Number 6 finally climbed into the helicopter, Number 2 told him not to forget to give Susan his regards. “I won’t.” This confirmed that Number 6 wasn’t the man he thought he was. Because Susan had died a year before!    
    In a file marked “Eyes Only” it is documented that it was in fact Number 6 who had been suffocated by Rover. That it was Curtis who took the place of Number 6, because the idea of Number 2’s was to have Curtis remain in The Village and be forced to continue his role as Number 6!    So Curtis, masquerading as Number 6 put his plan into action. He declared Number 6 as being dead, then went to see Number 2 in his office. Curtis was clever enough to realise that he must forget all Curtis knew, about himself, Number 2’s proposition, and the General. In fact he must behave exactly as Number 6 would have done, to bluff his way out of The Village. He even managed to convince Alison of his identity. He then returned to 6 private in order to pack his suitcase in readiness to leave. Dressed in his own blue suit, he checked his wallet before placing it in an inside pocket of his jacket, and saw the picture of his late wife Susan. So we have reached the point where Curtis is continuing his role as Number 6, whilst  masquerading as himself, while pretending to be Number 6! However there was a flaw in the plan. Curtis played his role as Number 6 too well, behaving just as Number 6 would have done, even to the point of not knowing about Susan. So Curtis sealed his own fate. Forced then to continue in the role of Number 6!

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Village Life!

   “I always think people like you are better treated than people like me!”
   “How do you mean?”
   “Here I am, Number Two, Chairman of The Village, eating scraps from a prisoner’s table, and me the boss!”
   “I don’t get privileges like this you know. No-one brings me my breakfast on a tray. Nor do I have a comfortable cottage like this.”
    “No. I have a room in the basement of the Town Hall!”
    “You should take it up with Number 1.”
    “He doesn’t care. He says I’m not here to enjoy myself, there’s work to be done!”
    “Well people like you are here one minute and gone the next.”
   “And you are staying?”
   “Until I find a way out.”
   “Escape, why would you want to do that? You’re living the life of Riley here, you don’t know when you’re well off that’s your trouble!”
   “Everything has a price.”
   “Yes it does, and I’m not paying it!”
   “Have we asked you to? Have we asked you to pay for anything, or work for it? No.”
    “You would change places with me?”
    “What the inmates running the asylum, what kind of Village would it be then?
    “An empty one!”

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Caught On Camera!

   Why are Number 2 and Number 6 holding hands? Are they more than just good friends, I didn’t realize they were even close to being good friends! Number 6 may have won the election, but as he stood on the steps of the Town Hall the electorate looked upon him with suspicion. Perhaps they were wondering what life would be like under this newly elected Number 2. Perhaps that’s the reason the out-going Number 2 took him by the hand in order to make him feel safe, to reduce anxiety and stress, although it can be a sign of respect, or to make a connection, to lead in direction, and to protect. As for Number 6, he is in a docile state of mind, and being led blindly into a situation he will not be able to control.

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Who or What Is No.1?

    In ‘Arrival’ when the Prisoner is discharged from the hospital he’s given a number of cards. His employment card, his card of identity, a health and welfare card, and a credit card, and he’s wearing a badge denoting the number 6. It obviously doesn’t register that he is actually going to be called Number 6 anymore than any of us would expect to be known by our National Insurance or NHS number. When the Prisoner storms into Number 2’s office he demands he get Number 1. Does the Prisoner actually know there is someone with the name of Number 1 or does he simply mean No.1 as in the first officer onboard a ship. At that point the Prisoner doesn’t know people in The Village are known by numbers until Number 2 calls him Number 6.

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

6 of The Most Detestable Characters!

    Who do you consider to be the most detestable characters in ‘the Prisoner?’ I can think of a list as long as your arm, in reducing that number to 6, I arrived at the following.

The doctor-Number 40 {Dance of The Dead} clearly enjoys human experimentation, something he shares with Number 23 of ‘Checkmate’ in fact he could be her male counterpart! His method demonstrated at the outset of the episode may have always worked before, but clearly he hadn’t read Number 6’s personal file! But with Dutton he has a free hand in order to extract information from him. He realizes that everyman has his breaking point, but in his enthusiasm he goes too far, and leaves Dutton brain-dead! His methods might be efficient, but he fails to realize that there are other ways.
  For the dance Number 40 has been given {because other people choose people’s costumes} the costume of Napoleon Bonaparte. Strange that someone {perhaps Number 2} would choose that particular costume for the doctor, as Napoleon is most commonly used by people suffering from delusions!

The doctor-Number 23 {Checkmate} the female counterpart of her predecessor Number 40, who relishes human experimentation, who goes further, adapting experiments carried out on animals to humans. Pavlov’s experiments with dogs for one, and another with Dolphins. Like her predecessor she realizes that everyman has his breaking point, and should like to know what Number 6’s is. She would go further, by suggesting a leucotomy be carried out on Number 6 in order to stem his aggressive tendencies, by isolation of the aggressive frontal lobes of the brain.

The doctor-Number 86 {A Change of Mind} although Number 6 was a special case, this attractive woman happily carries out leucotomy operations on patients with a smile. Not by the once usual method, but has a much cleaner and humane way, by use of ultrasonic sound waves.

 4, The Shopkeeper No.112 {Hammer Into Anvil} he’s a guardian! This weasel, this informant, watches and reports Number 6’s unusual activity in his shop. In fact at one point he cannot wait to go running off to Number 2 himself, regarding Number 6’s recent activity. But what he doesn’t know is, Number 6 is playing him for a fool! However he has brought about change to the General Store, bringing special imports, and a record booth, so you can listen to a record before buying.

5 Number 56 {A Change of Mind} this stout, loud, brash, forceful woman would make it to Chairwoman on any committee! For the moment she is chairman of the ladies Sub-Appeal Committee, and this foul, bitter, and twisted woman doesn’t give Number 6 an inch! She doesn’t hang around long enough to see any contrition in Number 6. She seems pleased when Number 6 keeps refusing the offer of help, so be it, there remains only once course open to them. And when it comes to the time of the procession this woman is vicious in the way she brandishes her umbrella like a lethal weapon. Judging by the expression on her face, and the way she attacks Number 6 with her umbrella she means it, she hates Number 6!

Town Crier/Nero {Dance of The Dead} according to the proclamation there will be music, dancing, happiness all at the carnival, by order. Later he appears as Emperor Nero, one of the three judges at the Prisoner’s trial. He reads out the charge against the Prisoner like he read out the proclamation about Carnival. He seems to take delight in telling the Prisoner, when he demands to call a character witness, that names are not used in The Village. Well that’s quite right, only names are used more times that Nero might imagine! But after further deliberations it is up to Nero to give the death penalty.
    Footnote: But unlike the real Nero this one didn’t “play the fiddle” while The Village burned. Meaning to occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis. Besides which there was no fiddle {violin} in first century Rome, if Nero played anything it was the lyre!

   Such is my personal selection. However it would be easy for me to put my mind to it again, and arrive at another and altogether different listing!

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Page 6

    The poor old Professor, I wonder just how far he thought he could run. If it comes to that, where did he think he was running to? In previous episodes before ‘The General’ when someone attempts to escape either Number 2 or the Supervisor deploys the membranic Guardian to chase down the escapee. But not in the case of the Professor, the helicopter is employed in the hunt, but it seems rather cruel for Number 2 to get his own students to chase him down and bring him back to The Village. Although I don’t know, perhaps Number 2 saw the irony in that, either that or he didn’t want any harm to befall the Professor should he encounter the Guardian. After all an encounter with the Guardian can be a nasty experience at the very least, but one which might have proved fatal for an old gentleman like the Professor.

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They Found It Funny!

    “I am not a number, I am a person,” that’s what Number 6 started his opening election speech with, and the citizens, the electorate, laughed at him! This chap, Number 54 found it particularly funny, perhaps he learned long ago that he is not a person he is a number. That there is no such thing as a “person” in The Village, only numbers. Perhaps this Number 45 was once like Number 6, in his younger days, he may have resisted insisted that he’s not a number but a person. It seems Number 6 still has that to learn, and Number 54 found that funny. I wonder when he died, the number 54 having been reissued to the maid in ‘Dance of The Dead,’ and when had she arrived in The Village?

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Friday, 11 August 2017

Bureau of Visual Records

    “Hello, nice to be seeing you all again,” that’s what Madam Professor said on television prior to one of her husband’s lectures. But could she really see all the students, or is what she said simply an expression. If Madam Professor really could see all the students she must have been sat in front of an awful lot of television screens. Or a multiplex screen, one divided up into many several different screens!

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Village Life!

    “We’ve been watching you.”
    “I know.”
    “You know?”
    “Yes, there was a click.”
    “A click, where?”
    “In the mirror.”
    “Just in the mirror?”
    “No, over there, yes over there too.”
    “Do you know why we had been watching you?”
    “A man of your calibre is bound to get himself noticed.”
    “I resigned.”
    “We noticed that too. But you’re with us now.”
    “With you?”
    “Our Bank is a cover for secret work, you should be used to that, it’s like World Travel you once work for.”
    “You think I was a travel agent?”
    “And you’re not a bank clerk now, so what’s the odds?”
    “Well I’m better at figures than I was at holiday destinations!”
    “How much for a fortnight’s stay in
Blackpool, is that all you can afford?”
    “Bank managers don’t eat off silver plates you know!”
    “Well go on then, treat yourself to an overdraft!”

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Harmony Times

The Man With No Name 
     We are all familiar with Clint Eastwood's character from the three spaghetti western films A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, the Man With No Name. Although he is called by the names of Manco, Joe, and Blondie in the three films. But basically he's the Man With No Name.

    I suppose you could call the stranger above the Man With No Name, because if he has a name no-one ever uses it throughout the entire series of the Prisoner. Although in his time he has been known as Duval, Schmitt. ZM73, and he once called himself Peter Smith, and the Colonel in Many Happy Returns called him Number Six, to which the Prisoner took great offence! So, in The Village he goes by the name of Number Six. Yet in Living In Harmony even this name is taken away from him, and truly becomes the Man With No Name. A 'drifter,' a 'high plains' drifter!
    But before this Man With No Name became a drifter, he was a Town Sheriff of an American wild west
frontier Town in the late 1800's. It was a job from which he resigned. No letter of resignation, but simply signified by the handing in of both his badge and his gun. But why did he resign? A town Sheriff is open to many dangers as he tries to keep the peace. There might be a gang come riding into town, say the James gang, the Dalton boys, the Youngers, or the Clanton gangs, to rob the Bank. And the Sheriff would have to try and stop them, and if he couldn't, then he'd have to form a posse and go after the Bank robbers. A Sheriff, worth his salt, would have to be fast on the draw, otherwise he wouldn't last very long. But then the faster on the draw the Sheriff became, so much greater his reputation, and that in turn would attract to town every gunslinger out to make a reputation for himself. And each time the Sheriff, who got paid very little, would have to stand up to each and every gunslinger who came to Town, and more than likely would have to face him, or them in a gun-fight. In time, this sort of thing can wear a man down, the killing. Having to put his life on the line every day, for little pay, a few dollars a month. So perhaps this one time Sheriff was fed up with the killing he had to do. Fed up with having to get up every morning, to face having to put his life on the line, eventually that would become too much for him, as it did for many Sheriffs of the time. So it could be as simple as that, as to why The Man With No Name resigned!

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Well It Was worth A Try No.2!

    What might be considered the worst plan or experiment to have been undertaken by Number 2? Three episodes spring to mind, and all three have good cause to be the worst plan to be conceived. ‘The General’ because of the abominable experiment of Speedlearn, it was an abomination, slavery. Taking away people’s right to learn, to make mistakes. And of course the result was the destruction of the General, and the deaths of the Professor and Number 12.
   The second episode is ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ and the  transference of one man’s mind into another man’s body. Perverted science  brought about by the  desire for information, as well as doctor Seltzman’s reversal process! This did not end well. Number 2 may well have acquired the reversal process, but he let doctor Seltzman escape though his fingers. And there was the death of the Colonel to be accounted for.
   And then comes ‘Living In Harmony,’ the Prisoner fed with hallucinatory drugs, talked to through microphones. Put in a dangerous environment, isolated him, gave him love, took it away, made him kill, and he’ll crack if only in his mind. This episode too ended badly, two deaths, Number 22 and Number 8 for which Number 2 will have a good deal of explaining to do, as well as having to pay for this failure. And I suppose one further episode could be added, one final attempt to manipulate Number 6, to face him with the fact that he has been Number 1 all the time, and therefore he alone is responsible for everything that has happened to him, ‘Fall Out.’ The confrontation between Numbers 6 and 1 did not go well. In fact there was armed revolt, death and mayhem! The rocket launched, the loss of Number 1, the escape of four prisoners, along with the sudden evacuation, and The Village left totally deserted. It was a bloody disaster for which someone will have to pay dearly, after all someone had to have been to blame.
    Out of these four episodes I find it difficult to choose one, to say it was worth a try Number 2, but was the most ill conceived plan of them all. It has to be ‘Fall Out,’ it was an unmitigated disaster! Although the reader might not agree, you may discount all four and have a completely different idea yourself.

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Bureau of Visual Records

    There are all kinds of uniforms in The Village, but have you observed how mostly the prisoners, such as Number 58, wear striped jerseys and the Guardians wear single coloured jerseys? This man is a prisoner who is undergoing aversion therapy treatment. In The Aversion Therapy Room he is strapped into a chair with electrodes attached to him, while on a screen a film is played, film of the white membranic Guardian, Number 2, and the single word unmutual and the patient is extremely excitable. He becomes very agitated by the images shown on the screen, the Guardian, Number 2, and the word unmutual. It might be imagined that aversion therapy is designed to help the patient get over his or her aversion to something. However, if that is the case why would doctors remove an aversion to something citizens are supposed to be afraid of, namely the Guardian and Number 2. He’s not supposed to be popular and liked by the citizens, although Number 2 in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ would appear to be an exception to that rule if the Arts and Crafts Exhibition is anything to go by. More likely the aversion therapy is designed to instil fear in the subject, to increase a patient’s aversion to something, or someone, hence the citizen’s reaction towards unmutuals. Through aversion therapy the citizens are turned into socially conscious citizens who are provoked by the loathsome presence of an unmutal.

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Quote For The Day

    “The Professor and I have several privileges. We came here voluntarily, we have everything we need, we’re perfectly happy.”
                                                  {Madam Professor-The General}

   Yes I bet they did, Madam Professor doesn’t sound very happy! I’d put money on it not being at all what they expected it to be. They could have been told that a village school was in need of a teacher, and with his wife the artist she would make an excellent addition. There’s a Village alright, but there’s no school, only a large number of guinea pigs to be used in the educational experiment of Speedlearn. But there is a school house where the Professor and his wife live, but are never allowed out into The Village itself. Only the Professor is allowed to leave the confines of his house when occasion demands, and that one time when he managed to escape! As for madam Professor, she is never allowed to leave, but seeing as she is the artist she is permitted to hold art seminars in the garden of her house. No doubt the idea being to keep her occupied, after all the only reason she is in The Village is to make sure her husband does what Number 2 wants, and if the Professor should resist, then some unpleasantness could easily befall his wife. They are both necessary you see, the one for the other, even essential. Besides if it had not been them it would have been some other couple, and that’s the thing you see, never volunteer for anything! And yet there is one other way of looking at it, perhaps the Professor and his wife were a couple of misfits who needed the work, and needed The Village as much as Number 2 and the Educational Board needed them!

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Earl Cameron

    Actor Earl Cameron celebrates his 100th birthday today, I wish him happiness and joy of the day. He will also no doubt have received a birthday card from her Majesty the Queen.
    For those who are not acquainted with Earl Cameron, other than through his role as the Supervisor-No.106 in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ here are a number of links about the man and the actor.

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Village Life!

   “Control here…….I’m sorry?........I’m on yellow, Control room here……….. you’re not on the telephone, how can that be, I’m speaking to you now! No sir we haven’t found Number Six, as I was going to say, negative search results so far. No trace of him yet sir.”
   “You’ve been looking for him then?”
   “Yes sir, well not me personally, the Observers………… I’ve just had a tea break…..biscuits sir, they were proper biscuits the ones with the cream inside.”
    “Bully for you, now get about your business and put out a general call, Orange Alert.”
    “That mans Rover sir!”
    “Yes Rover. Why bark yourself when you have…….”
    “A balloon sir?”
    “You trying to be funny?”
    “No sir, but we have a saying in
Haiti, a little dog is very brave in front of his master’s house!”
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Many Happy Returns of The Day

Earl Cameron

A very happy
Birthday Today
May the sun shine on you today and everyday

Monday, 7 August 2017

Fall In: The Prisoner at Fifty Event

 But for a waiting list for extra tickets click on the link below.

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Rocket Red One!

    Something silver high in the night sky leaves a tail of fire in its wake, height 70 thousand feet and falling, exterior heat three thousand degrees, 50 thousand feet and falling, flame burnout, 30 thousand 20, 10, 5, 2, 1,000 feet and still falling.

    “What’s that noise…..something in the sky……..I can’t see it! Get down, get down!”
    Whoosh, the sound is deafening, the falling object just misses the village, its houses the local pub, church, the school before plunging to the ground!
    “What’s going on out there sergeant?”
    “Yes sergeant, you’ve got to investigate.”
    “Alright, alright, there’s no need to panic, just let me put my tunic on.”
    A silver shaft had embedded itself into the ground, on the outer hull a red 1 .
    “What is it Sid?”
    “It’s a rocket Dorothy, the heat, it’s incredible!”
    “I don’t like it Sid, I’m frightened.”
    “Now then, now then, what are you two doing?”
    “It’s a rocket Sergeant.”
    “The heat’s incinerated the haystack!”
    “I can see that for myself, I don’t need telling.”
    “Is it the Russians?”
    “I don’t think the Russians would send a rocket over here simply to destroy a haystack miss! Now look you two get back, and keep back, and that goes for all you others. Tom you keep these people in order, I’ve got to make a telephone call, and a report to make.”

    A black
Bedford van speeds on its way to the crash site. Inside are four men, the driver, a Government Minister, and two other men.
    Minister “What went wrong?”
    “We don’t know.”
    “The Home Office stresses that there is no immediate danger. This could turn out to be a complete disaster, in more ways than one.”
    “I am painfully aware of that.”
    “What went wrong?”
    “If I knew that I would tell you. We don’t know how far it went into space.”
    “Wasn’t there any radio contact?”
    “Did you launch it?”
    “No I didn’t!”
    “Did you authorise the launch?”
    “You know I didn’t, but they’ll blame me all the same. All I know is we lost contact with The Village. Sometime later this rocket was picked up on radar.”
    “The Village, is a place, we have to keep that dark. Can’t have information leaking out about it.”
    “That might be difficult now.”
    “The rocket should never have been launched.”
    “Do you think I don’t know that. Now we’ve got to find out why.”
    “What about the men inside?”
    “We don’t know.”
    “This is going to cause one hell of stink. What do you think happened, what went wrong?”
    “You had better send a team to The Village.”
    “Both the Russians and the Americans want to know what’s going on, the un-licensed launching of a rocket………….”
    “Well the sooner we find out what went wrong the better for all concerned.”

    The police were at the scene in force, as well as the fire brigade, and ambulances were already on the scene when the
Bedford van arrived. The four men alighted. There was a large crowd.
    “Alright Blake, set the radio equipment up over there, try to make contact with the crew. Inspector, keep all those people back.”
    “Yes sir. What about the hatch, can’t that be opened?”
    “Not unless you want to incinerate the men inside.”
    “Well we could dowse the rocket with gallons of water to cool it” suggested the fire chief.
    “That would prove disastrous.”
    “How so?”
    “It could explode!”
    “Then what do we do?”
    “Wait for the rocket to cool.”
    “How long will that take?”
    “Two, three, maybe four hours. Any contact Blake?”
    “Rocket red one can you hear me, this is control come in rocket red one…….no sir, there’s nothing coming through.”
    “Keep trying.”
    “Rocket red one can you hear me, this is control, come in rocket red one, red one can you hear me…….”

    The rocket was cooling off, the temperature about right.
    “Can’t we open that hatch?”
    “The temperature is about right. Blake…..”
    “Still no contact with the crew”
    “No sir.”
    “Set up the remote control, but don’t open the hatch until I give the word.”
   “Chief, we’ll cool it off a little more, back those fire tenders up to the rocket, and stand by.”
   “Get those tenders backed in, get the hoses ready” ordered the fire chief.
   “Okay, pour on the water.”
   “What is it Blake?”
   “A sound, from inside the rocket.”
   “Rocket red one this is control, can you hear me, red one rocket this is control, red one can you hear me……”
   “What is it Inspector?”
   “The hatch is opening!”
   “You did that Blake?”
   The hatch slides open, no-one moved towards the opening, everyone waited. Then a figure emerged, a figure wearing a white robe and cowl. The figure stumbled forward until it fell on the piled earth around the crater.
    “Quick, get the medics.”
    “Who is he?”
    “It’s Number One!”
    “Is he alive?”
    “What about the rest of the crew?”
    “Lets find out.”
    Once inside the rocket a search for the rest of the crew, the control room and the four life support orbit tubes were empty. The rocket was searched from the nose cone to the rocket motors, of the other three members of the crew there was no sign.
    “What happened to the rest of the crew?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Did they leave the rocket?”
    “How do I know, we’ll ask Number One.”
    “How is he?”
    “He’s in a bad way” the medic announced.
    “I need to ask him questions.”
    “I doubt he can answer.”
    “One, Number One what happened? Tell us what happened.”
    The man lying on the stretcher opened his eyes, his mouth opened, and laughed inanely like a madman!

Be seeing you

Aversion Therapy!

    The current Number 2 of ‘A Change of Mind’ is most probably the worst of all them all, and you should not trust him as far as you can throw him. He may have a benevolent, beguiling charm but this is only a fa├žade, behind that smile lurks a menacing character that makes your skin crawl, well it does mine! Such is the affect he has on the citizens that his image is used as part of the therapy treatment being conducted by doctors at the hospital.
  In the Aversion Therapy Room people are treated for their aversions and phobias. One poor individual has a phobia of the Guardian as he becomes quite agitated and excitable at seeing the Guardian on the screen. At one point the letters and numbers of No.2 and unmutual appear on the screen, not to mention Number 2’s face. It’s understandable that citizens should be treated for their aversion to the Guardian as it’s something to be afraid of. But an aversion of Number 2....yes well in this particular case that’s understandable!
   When Number 6 was at the hospital having undergone a medical, when he asked Number 46 if he had been in there, in the Aversion Therapy Room? Number 46 said that he had not been in there, he’s one of the lucky ones, having undergone the operation known as Instant Social Conversion, and he thinks that’s lucky. Perhaps he’s right, perhaps he is, it would all depend on how long patients spend at any one time in that room during any one session, and how many times a day! It just goes to show how much this current Number 6 is disliked, that doctors have to treat patients for their aversion to Number 2. Things in The Village have never been that bad before, some of the Number 2’s are quite likeable.

Be seeing you