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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

60 Second Interview No.2

    “You’ve lost you and your friends….I’ll break the lot of you!.......who are you?”
    “I am Number One Hundred and Thirteen, and this is my photographic colleague One Hundred and Thirteen b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    No.113b “Smile” click goes the camera.
    “Well what do you want?”
    “Just a quick word Number Two.”
    “I have nothing to say.”
    “Nothing?”
    “You seemed to have plenty to say just now. What about these so called enemies in The Village, do you have any further idea of who they are?”
    “Not so called, you’ve just passed one on his way out, Number Fourteen is a traitor, he has been conspiring against me!”
    “Can we quote you on that Number Two?”
    “Haven’t you read The Tally Ho?”
    “You know how it is. Today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper!”
    “You! Why did you let these two in here? You’re one of them aren’t you? Oh yes!”
    The Butler looks at Number Two, he remains silent.
    “Don’t you threaten him! Bullies like you always pick on the little man, besides the door was open.”
    “That doesn’t mean you can come waltzing in here.”
    “We didn’t waltz, we walked in.”
    “Well now you can get out, go on, buzz off!”
    No.113b “Smile” click goes the camera.
    “We know when we’re not wanted!”
    “I find that difficult to believe! Get out, get out of this house!”
    “Come on One One Three, if we’re quick we might get a word with Number Fourteen, and get his side of the story”


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Tea Break Teaser

    In ‘Checkmate’ when Number 6 and the Rook approach Number 42 who is painting the side of an archways, someone is heard to shout “You alright there Fred,” who is Fred?


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Do We Know Where Saltzman Is?

    The man in the photograph may look like the Colonel, but if you recall he underwent a change of mind. I’m using the original spelling of Saltzman for personal choice. Obviously he won’t look like that now, it’s been fifty years. He will have changed his appearance several times by now especially if I had a body like the Colonel’s which wouldn’t have been to my liking at all!
     The Colonel arrived in The Village blindfolded, such is the security regulation. He was then driven to the Town Hall by taxi where he alighted, oh no, that was the Prisoner on the day of his arrival, I’m writing about the Colonel. He went to the Green Dome to see Number 2. “Ah Colonel, had a good trip?” “Yes thank you.” He refuses breakfast…..you know Number 2, no matter who he is, is very kind to all new arrivals in The Village offering them breakfast the way he does……the Colonel is a man of business, he doesn’t like to waste time, and would appreciate if he could be told his duties as soon possible. You see he has no idea why he’s there in The Village. All the Colonel knows, is that he was sent to The Village by the highest authority…no not Number One, but rather I suspect by those masters we hear so much about back in London. But it’s not a question of pride, more of gratification! The Colonel seems unsettled about being in The Village, he wants to get on with whatever he’s there for. No doubt he felt even more unsettled as he was laid on an operating table within the Saltzman machine in readiness for the mind transference. If his opinion of someone who spends time pacing his room whilst drinking tea and eating a ham sandwich is rather stupid, he may well soon change opinion. Because soon he’ll have to act very differently, having had not only a change of mind, but a change of clothes as well, so that at least then he’ll look the part! I wonder if he went kicking and screaming as they strapped him into the Saltzman machine? No perhaps not, the Colonel would have remained calm, with a stiff upper lip, a man who would do his duty, no matter what that duty was! And yet he may well have been sedated as was No.6 during the mind transference procedure. Mentioning No.6, No.2 must have been in somewhat of a hurry, because for the only time during No.6’s time in The Village, he is forcibly taken from his home by four security guards. When previously they had always come for No.6 in the night after he had been sedated by his nightcap! So No.6 went kicking and had to be sedated. So we have No.6 with the mind of the Colonel, and the mind of No.6 in a body not at all to his liking, the Colonel’s. Why the Colonel and not a field agent is anyone’s guess, and with his body back in The Village when ZM73 wakes up he has no-one to go running back to, so he has to go over the Colonel’s head, hence Sir
Charles Portland who is no help to ZM73 at all. So he has to find Professor Saltzman himself, but at least he has a clue via the photographic slides, Kandersfeld in Austria. Now ZM73 finds himself in a tricky situation, no it’s not the fact he was closely followed by XB4 {Potter}, but that he’s in the unusual position of needing the help of The Village’s administration. Because his body lies over the ocean! But thankfully an agent working for The Village is on hand to help, and in time ZM73 and Professor Saltzman find themselves in The Village, and for all we know Potter as well!
      So once again, as it so often does in The Village, comes down to a question of time and Saltzman needs 12 hours to prepare himself and his machine. And when it comes to that Saltzman machine, if The Village administration didn’t know where Saltzman is, where did they get the Saltzman machine from? They had no Saltzman machine of their own, there’s no Salzman machine they could have borrowed, so when acquiring one…… isn’t that how it goes? What’s more through his machine Saltzman rights a wrong, as well as engineering his own escape, the only person ever to have escaped The Village even though his mind does occupy a body not to his liking, the Colonel’s. That was fifty years ago, so who can say who Professor Saltzman looks like now. He could have changed his appearance numerous times over the years and decades in a form of immortality just as long as the Professor’s mind remains active. And could be anywhere in the world. As for the Colonel, he is the second person to have been seconded to The Village not to leave it. And yet to all intents and purposes, the Colonel’s mind having long since departed, it is the body of Professor Jacob Saltzman that lies buried over the ocean in The Village cemetery. And what of Potter? Whether he was left paralysed in that cellar of the Barber’s shop, or was taken to The Village, he would have a good deal of explaining to do, either to No.2, or Sir Charles Portland. Do you know, I’m not at all sure which would be the worse!


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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Give Them Credit!

   When it comes to crediting actors appearances in ‘the Prisoner,’ some are credited by their number, others by the job they perform in The Village, or by what they are. Thomas Heathcote is credited as “Lobo Man,” while John Hamblin and Michael Billington are credited as “1st Woodland Man and 2nd Woodland Man.” Why not as Number 16 and, well its impossible to make out Michael Billington’s number, rather than as woodland men? That credit makes me think of them as two men who live in the woods, which clearly they do not, it’s just a place where they appear in ‘A Change of Mind.’ Which makes them unique, being credited as to place, whereas many actors are credited by the job they do, Guardian, gardener, electrician etcetera.


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Village Life!

   “Me sir, I’m quite well thank you for asking………the old ulcer plays up from time to time, but other than that…………..I’m in the Boardroom………..well it could be my office is it wasn’t for the round table…………..well its round and made up of curved sections of table, covered in green baize………no sir we’re not playing snooker……. The Knights of the round table sir, I don’t understand?...........Freemason’s sir, no I’m not a Freemason………….well I admit there is something about the chair………its abstract in design……..why should I wish to sit in it?.............Tts for the Grandmaster…………….well he can have it as far as I’m concerned………………initiated sir, no I’ve never been initiated as far as I know………… have I ever rolled my trouser leg up? Only when I’ve been at the seaside……… Who sir?………the Butler is here now, he’s just brought my milk in……….no sir, not the milkman…………well he’s a bit quiet you know, but he’s loyal and dependent……………. That’s the odd thing about him, he never takes his black gloves off!............have I heard of who sir…..…the Dorset strangler……..you’re pulling my leg!........... well at least he’s not the Penge poisoner!.........thank you for your concern, but I should be alright as long as I sleep standing up!


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THE TALLY HO

No.93 Confesses Disharmony
                  by our own reporter
     They’re right of course, quite right. I’m inadequate, inadequate, disharmonious. I’m truly grateful, believe me, believe me, believe me!” They say that confession is good for the soul, and does seem to have done No.93 some good. But is it a true confession? No.93 is certainly under some duress after having gone before the Committee, yet he has to be told what to say by a voice over the loudspeaker. We have seen this man before, as one of the two prefects in ‘The General,’ his number then was 250 which is fairly low in the pecking order as a guardian. But then his current number 93 suggests he was promoted, promotion which seems to have turned him disharmonious, suggesting he was with them but then he went and gone! And yet he confessed his disharmony, his inadequacy and it seems to have done him a power of good, because the next time we hear this man’s voice he will be one of the delegates of the Assembly, having regained his former sense of authority. You can’t miss him, he’s easily identified by that big bushy beard poking out from beneath his mask as he reads out the charge against No.48.
                   No.61 FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION
    During No.6’s interview with the Committee, although the tape player is switched on by the Chairman, it is suggested the voice emanates from the machine and yet seems to be independent. In other words the voice reacts to what No.6 says, or is it the other way around, seeing as No.6 appears to be speaking to the voice of the machine, rather than to the members of the Committee which begins “I take it you’ve checked my file…regarding hostility.”
    Voice on the tape “Your files are no concern to us. Any information is with Number Two.”
    “Really.”
    No.18 Committee Chairman “It is the duty of this Committee to deal with complaints.”
    “Complaints?”
   Voice on the tape “Your complaints.”
    “Your complaints.”
    “Well done, I have several!”
    During that interview with No.6 the striking of a bell, presumably in the
Bell Tower, can be heard, and yet the domed chamber is well below ground, how then is it possible for the bell to be heard? There can be only one possible answer, the voice on the tape was recorded {if it is a recorded voice we hear} somewhere out of doors. And there’s one other matter. At the beginning of the interview with No.6, the Chairman presses a button on a control panel effectively switching on the tape recorder, yet the voice, which is suggested to come from the tape recorder, is heard to speak before the tape recorder is switched on. It appears the tape recorder is a blind, the disembodied voice emanating from another source. Because it’s impossible for a recorded voice to react to what No.6 is saying. The tape recorder is doing what the disembodied voice said, recording everything No.6 says. So where does the voice emanate? There is no black loudspeaker on display. Perhaps the voice is a live feed via a microphone, but because of the sound of the chiming of the bell it means the man must be somewhere outside in The Village. But why the need for that voice at all? Because the voice says nothing the Committee Chairman could not say!
   Having left the Town Hall, No.6 encounters No.61 “Beautiful day Number Sixty-One” but for some reason she ignores his greeting, why should she do that? He’s not been posted as being unmutual yet. In the same way No.42 is accused of ignoring No.10’s greeting when she was composing poetry, such was her excuse. But No.61 deliberately ignored No.6’s greeting, and because of that she should have faced the Committee for investigation, as No.2 carried out his “witch-hunt” against any and all those disharmonious unmutuals amongst us.

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Friday, 23 February 2018

Caught On Camera!

    The question here is, not where did the Butler get that key from, because it’s the same key he used to unlock the door of the cage back in the Embryo Room. But why are the President, members of the Assembly, security guards, and frogmen all locked in the cavern?


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                         Fusion!
BCNU

Thought For The Day

    In ‘Many Happy Returns’ Number 6 arrives in The Village at the end of a parachute, having been ejected from a jet aircraft. A thought occurred to me some time ago, a fanciful one no doubt, but I like to think that’s the way Curtis arrived in the Village. But no doubt he arrived by helicopter from the Landing stage, just as anyone does. I wonder just how delighted Curtis was at having been seconded to The Village? Remembering the Colonel in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ he didn’t seem over delighted to find himself there. Perhaps he’d been there before and had bad memories of the place. Certainly he had been sent by the highest authority, he should have been proud, he was certainly gratified. So perhaps Curtis wasn’t all that happy about it either, that much they may have had in common. Certainly they had one thing in common, they both came to a bad end in The Village!


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A Favourite Scene In Hammer Into Anvil

    Having left the Green Dome, Number 6 observes the posters in the bay window of the General Stores. “Music begins where words leave off,” “Music says all,” And “Music makes for a quiet mind.” He enters the General Stores, selects a copy of The Tally Ho, then examining the sleeves of a selection of LP records, he selects the Davier recording of Bizet’s L’arlesienne and wants to hear it, well all six copies of the record as a matter of fact. But surely they are all the same!
    The shopkeeper Number 112 begins to wonder what Number 6 is up to, not that Number 6 listened to all 6 records, but he did apparently find the one he was looking for. However according to Number 6 it wasn’t a very satisfactory recording.
   Number 2 didn’t understand what makes one of those records different, they sound identical. The sleeves are all the same, no variation in tempo, Number 6 must have been listening for something. He was timing them you see, and then he wrote something down on a piece of paper but the shopkeeper has no idea what, and neither do we. But since no further reference is made to that note, it may be assumed he didn’t actually write anything, but was part of the act of jamming!

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Village Life!

    “Well you’ve certainly made yourself at home, haven’t you?
    “Are you telling me, or asking a question?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well first you accuse me of having made myself at home, and then you asked me a question.”
    “There’s no question about it, you’ve made yourself at home!”
    “No, I’ve made you a cup of tea.”
    “How did you do that?”
    “I boiled some water in the kettle. I put three caddy spoonfuls in the pot, one for you, one for me, and one for the pot.”
    “Not one for luck?”
    “No, I added hot water and let it stand for a few moments.”
    “Did you warm the pot first?”
    “No.”
    “Oh dear, you really don’t know how to make a decent cup of tea do you......did you show it to the pictures?”
    “I didn’t know I was supposed to!”
    “If you show it to the pictures you’ll get a stronger brew.”
    “I didn’t know that.”
    “Well you do now. A Scotsman by the name of James Fraser taught me that.”
    “Shall I pour this away?”
    “Yes, then I’ll show you how to make decent cup of tea.”
    “According to James Fraser?”
    “No, according to George Orwell!”
    “Did he show it to the pictures?”
    “No, he wrote nineteen eighty-four.”


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The Therapy Zone

    Plan Division Q, a complicated execution plan to get rid of a Number 2, no I don’t mean Number 2 who was about to retire, but that toadying interim Number 2.
    Number 100 had radicalized Number 51-the Watchmaker, who had made a replica of the Great Seal of Office, and had constructed a detonator device for a bomb which would be hidden in the replica of the Great Seal. Number 100 had obtained the necessary plastic explosive, and Number 50 the Watchmaker’s daughter had managed to persuade Number 6 to involve himself in the plan. His part to convince Number 2 that there was a plan to assassinate him, but he discovered that it was not an assassination plot, but a plan to execute Number 2!
    “Plan Division Q all set………it’s working beautifully……….dead on schedule you could say…….no sir, no. no just the way you ordered it……….the people are already gathering it will be a very err, very spectacular……….no nothing can go wrong now I..I’ll stake my future on it……….well thank you sir, yes well I know you will.”
    The way this interim is seemingly always taking off and putting on his spectacles during interviews is reason enough, it’s an irritating habit! But the trouble was Number 6 just had to be involved. Up until the moment Number 6 confronted the Watchmaker in the
Bell Tower everything was going according to plan, the Great Seal of office which had hung about he head and shoulders of the retiring Number 2, now hung about the head and shoulders of the new Number 2. So why was there no detonation of the bomb inside the Great Seal? Because the detonator was then in the hands of Number 6, Number 100 had done his best to retrieve the detonator but he wasn’t physically up to the task, the plan to get rid of this new Number 2 had failed. Now something else would have to be thought up, a new plan to rid The Village of this failed Number 2!


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Fall Out

     With the Supervisor having been promoted to the new Number 2 in ‘Once Upon A time’ by Number 2, it fell upon him, out of duty, and no doubt curiosity, to release the inhabitants of the Embryo Room. Having sealed Number 2’s body in the cage, the new Number 2 asked what Number 6 wanted, “Number One” said Number 6, “I’ll take you" he said.
   Then in ‘Fall Out,’ Number 2 took his place amongst the delegates on the benches of the Assembly. My wife asked “Who is in charge of The Village, who is Number 2?  The Supervisor-Number 28 had been promoted to Number 2 for one week. So probably Number 2 promoted someone else, as the Supervisor’s assistant Number 60 had been promoted to Supervisor in ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’ Mind you, they had brought back another former Number 2 to take the role of President or Judge, if you prefer, in order to preside over the three trials in ‘Fall Out.’
    It’s interesting, because during the proceedings of ‘Fall Out’ life in The Village goes on as normal, and someone would have to oversee that. Whoever it was, it would have come as something of a shock to see The Village being evacuated, especially when he hadn’t given any such order in the first place. But then Number 2 had given the order to evacuate the Village, even if he had taken the decision upon his own shoulders. No doubt he felt it was for the best.
      So what might be the rationale behind the use of this the Beatles song, especially in the fire-fight of ‘Fall Out?’ Irony! Man is capable of peace, love, and war. "Love thine enemy" others would have it "Do it to them, before they do it to you!" There has never at any time been any peace on the planet Earth, not since Man has walked upon it. Man has always been at war with himself some where on Earth, and in that man is his own worst enemy, in the way he spends billions, upon billions on weapons of destruction, rockets and missiles which could destroy the planet in almost the blink of an eye. That is the irony of the violence in the revolution of ‘Fall Out’ to the Beatles song ‘All You Need Is Love.’ Further more, it is ironic that the only people to actually be killed in that violent fire-fight, are the armed security guards.
    Number 6 or Number 1 it makes no difference, its all Patrick McGoohan! With the Prisoner, in the later-made episodes, you are not watching an actor playing the role of Number 6, you are seeing McGoohan playing himself! “I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I” as the delegates of the Assembly chant.
   Patrick McGoohan was never very forthcoming about what the Prisoner was all about. I often wondered if he actually knew, or whether he was just making it up as he went along. When asked a straightforward question, McGoohan was hardly ever known to give a straightforward answer. He described the series as "the battle between the good and evil in oneself." But the series certainly never started out like that. More of a superior spy thriller, which is how story editor George Markstein saw ‘the Prisoner.’ For the late Patrick McGoohan, ‘the Prisoner’ became an obsession. He's not the only one, is he readers.............


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Monday, 19 February 2018

Who Is No.1?

    Number 6 was ready to meet Number 1, and here he is, one of those tailor’s dummies he talked about when he was in the Council Chamber! All those former Number 2’s who make up the local Council, what a ghastly fate! So here he is, Number One, oneself. He looks petrified!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                     “Be seeing you”
Bcnu

Page 6

    ‘Dance of The Dead’ is an episode which stands out from the other 16, yes likewise ‘Fall Out,’ but then ‘Fall Out’ isn’t like any of the previous 16 episodes. Whereas ‘Dance of the Dead’ stands out because it’s a female orientated episode. There’s Number 2, the Observer-Number 240, Number 56 the maid, the Supervisor-Number 22, all they really needed was a female doctor like Number 23 and they would have the full house! But as it stands the major players are mostly female, or at least that is how it appears when there are only four. But then if one counts the three attractive ladies which Number 2 tried to date one of them with Number 6, then the number increases to 7. This episode also stands out due to the fact that it demonstrates contact with the outside world, that she sends her reports and receives instructions from those masters most probably back in London. For if that is not the case, then why the teleprinter, and not simply telephone Number 1, or to whoever she was speaking to before breakfast that day.


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Once Upon A Time

    In the Embryo Room life can be lived from the cradle to the grave. It is unknown how many prisoners before Number 6 experienced this recognized method used of Degree Absolute, possibly none as who else would have taken such a desperate measure? The decision to take such drastic action during this episode was, I feel, forced on Number 2, because there was no other way to deal with such a different calibre of a man as Number 6.
      “I am a good man, I was a good man. But if you get him he will be better, there’s no other way, I repeat no other way.” So ‘Once Upon A Time’ is the ultimate test. Does that then mean that after this test there will be no more “tests?” Perhaps it also means that Number 6 has been sought out as a possible replacement for Number 2, and should he survive, then the position is his. Always providing Number 6 accepts it of course.
    ‘Once Upon A Time’ was originally to have been the final episode of the first series of ‘the Prisoner.’ What if there had been a second series, and what if it had commenced with them having got the better man….Number 6 as the new Number 2! That would have put a new aspect on the series. They might even have been a new Number 6 in The Village!
       In this episode Number 6 refuses to kill, because he’s afraid to step over the threshold, according to Number 2 that is. And no amount of provocation will make Number 6 kill. In 'Living In Harmony' as a Sheriff the Man With No Name, hands in both his badge and gun, this in an act of resigning his job. And when he finally allows himself to be recruited by the Judge, but only for the sake of Cathy, he still refuses to wear a gun. He refuses to pick up a gun when challenged by the Kid. And yet, when the Man with No Name does put on his gun, overcoming his reluctance to take up the gun in the name of vengeance, the result is quite devastating. He takes on three of the Judges gunslingers in a fire-fight, and the Kid, who he stands against in the street, leaving all four dead. Finally proving to the Judge that the Man With No Name is the fastest on the draw he’s every seen, is ever likely to see. Because the Man With No Name has a conscience, and already regrets what he’s done, and he resigns. There is armed insurrection in ‘Fall Out,’ and the former Number 6 has no qualms about indiscriminately gunning down the armed security guards. It would seem that in certain situations, and according to circumstances, that the Prisoner will step over that threshold, and is as capable of killing as anyone else.
               
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Saturday, 17 February 2018

COB!

    Curiously in today’s Times newspaper there is an article on page 12 regarding allegations that Jeremy Corbyn {leader of the Labour party} was a Soviet informer for the Czechoslovakian regime during the cold war. Confidential files from the Secret Police archives obtained, and published by The Sun newspaper last Thursday, claimed to show that Corbyn met with Jan Sarkocy who at the time was an agent with the Czech secret police and was stationed as a diplomat in London in the 1980’s. Sarkocy claimed that he had recruited Corbyn, who was a Labour Party back bencher MP at the time, and that money was exchanged for information. It was the official code name given to Corbyn, recorded in the files of the secret police at the time, which made my wife’s eyes light up as she read the article. The code name was “COB.” Only one ‘B’ but nevertheless the code name rang a note of recognition with Cobb in ‘Arrival.’


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Thought For The Day

   That’s not the estate agents Mrs. Butterworth said she did business with, that was Stumbell and Croydon, most reputable. A charming man dealt with Mrs. Butterworth, Mr. Croydon himself or so she said. Peter Smith told Mrs. Butterworth that that wasn’t the firm he had done business with. Perhaps it was Lageu and son as pictured in ‘Fall Out.’
  In reality Lageu was John Lageu who was set dresser on ‘Fall Out,’ who got into trouble for using his own surname when he had that sign made up!


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A Favourite Scene In It’s Your Funeral

   “Plan division Q all set, its working beautifully…….dead on schedule you could say……     …No sir, just the way you ordered it………. The people are already gathering it will be very spectacular………… No nothing can go wrong now I’ll stake my future on it……….. Well thank you sir, I know you will.”
   Why is it I want to tell this interim Number 2 to get up off his knees? And why is he speaking to Number 1 using a yellow telephone, when it is more usual to use a red one. Where was continuity at the time? It might have been an idea to get him to use that red oversized curved telephone, the one Colin Gordon and Patrick Cargill were forced to endure!
   This interim Number 2 assured Number 1 that nothing could go wrong, well whenever did a plan involving Number 6 work? He also staked his future on the plan succeeding, well as it worked out this new Number 2 didn’t have much of a future. We can only speculate as to what happened to him. Was he instantly removed from the position of Number 2? Or was he allowed to replace his predecessor, forced to work for the good of both The Village and its community during the forthcoming year. And so made to sweat over what his own fate may be 365 days from now on Appreciation Day!


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Girl Who Was Death

    Sonia may be credited in the closing credits, but the girl’s name is Death, even though she doesn’t wear a black cowled cloak and carry a scythe about with her. Death comes in many shapes and forms, but Mister X, or John Drake as I like to think of him, is a born survivor.
   Death certainly led Drake a merry dance through the funfair, but I would have preferred to see him driving his Mini Cooper S in the car chase. I should have said his Lotus 7, but Drake never drives a Lotus 7 in ‘Danger Man.’ But then perhaps he hadn’t built the car at that point, after all he wasn’t at home that much. And for him to drive a Mini Cooper S in ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ might be thought to have been something of a giveaway! But even so the Lotus Elan doesn’t seem the car for him somehow, and yet to have used the Lotus 7, would that car have looked right in the car chase scene?
    I am reminded of a theory which was put forward many years ago regarding the Prisoner, that he was in fact the husband of Mrs Peel of ‘The Avengers’ {1965-1967}. This theory came about because around the time of the Prisoner’s resignation and subsequent abduction to the Village, Mrs peels husband also disappeared! It was not known where Mrs Peels husband was, yet strangely around the same time of ‘Fall Out’ Mrs Peels husband returned!
  So on those grounds I wondered if the Lotus Elan Mr. X drove might have been Mrs. Peels, but no, the two cars have different licence plates.


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Friday, 16 February 2018

The General Stores

        Is The Village as futuristic as some people imagine? In some ways it is, with cordless telephones, the Guardian, micro reduced surveillance cameras. It enjoys a credit card system, and is a totally cashless society, something which the world is now working towards. Electronically operated doors, not forgetting the defence system an electronic beam. The helicopter has an alarm system, which makes it impossible to access without an Electro Pass. Drone technology is deployed when Number 6 attempts to escape by either helicopter of boat. The Sublimator used in conjunction with Speed Learn, advanced electronic equipment for imprinting knowledge onto the cortex of the brain. Then there is the General, a super computer, although that was brought to The Village and not developed there. Computers are used to break codes, to calculate daily prognosis reports. The doctor gives Number 6 a medical in ‘Arrival,’ yet relies upon a computer to give the diagnosis. Yes there was the Seltzman machine, used for mind transference, yet that had been brought to The Village. Advanced mind conditioning techniques are employed, as well as new drugs. The Pulsator, hidden in an overhead light in 6 Private, is a device used to deepen a person’s profundity, depth of sleep. The Control room, Number 2’s office, the council chamber look futuristic, but can they really be described any more than impressive?
   Many of the technologies used in The Village actually existed in the outside world at the time, and were brought to The Village and adapted. Also despite a cordless telephone network The Village does not have an automatic telephone exchange, and so retains a telephone operator, as the Prisoner found out on the day of his arrival when he tried to make a telephone call from a kiosk. Number 2 even receives instructions and sends her reports via a teleprinter!
  As for The Village itself, it’s hardly a typical
English Village despite all the signs being in English. There are no thatched cottages with roses around the doors, no country church. Yet it does have an “olde worlde” charm, and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the General Stores. It has the atmosphere of a typical English corner shop from the 1950’s, 60’s and even the 1970’s. Such shops sold both tinned and fresh provisions, sweets in jars, household and general goods. Also on the counter is a wooden cash register dating from the 1930’s, now why would a cash register be required in a cashless society? Perhaps it’s there simply for decoration, to complete the picture of that olde worlde corner shop of yesteryear. Although The Village enjoys a credit card system they have not developed a credit card imprinter {as used in the 1980’s} for when a customer pays for something. Instead a customer’s card is clipped in the same way people’s rations cards in Britain would be clipped for the points during WWII, and for several years afterwards.
   I think the Village can be described as being ahead of its time, of its time, and that of the past.


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Thursday, 15 February 2018

The General Stores

         Is The Village as futuristic as some people imagine? In some ways it is, with cordless telephones, the Guardian, micro reduced surveillance cameras. It enjoys a credit card system, and is a totally cashless society, something which the world is now working towards. Electronically operated doors, not forgetting the defence system an electronic beam. The helicopter has an alarm system, which makes it impossible to access without an Electro Pass. Drone technology is deployed when Number 6 attempts to escape by either helicopter of boat. The Sublimator used in conjunction with Speed Learn, advanced electronic equipment for imprinting knowledge onto the cortex of the brain. Then there is the General, a super computer, although that was brought to The Village and not developed there. Computers are used to break codes, to calculate daily prognosis reports. The doctor gives Number 6 a medical in ‘Arrival,’ yet relies upon a computer to give the diagnosis. Yes there was the Seltzman machine, used for mind transference, yet that had been brought to The Village. Advanced mind conditioning techniques are employed, as well as new drugs. The Pulsator, hidden in an overhead light in 6 Private, is a device used to deepen a person’s profundity, depth of sleep. The Control room, Number 2’s office, the council chamber look futuristic, but can they really be described any more than impressive?
   Many of the technologies used in The Village actually existed in the outside world at the time, and were brought to The Village and adapted. Also despite a cordless telephone network The Village does not have an automatic telephone exchange, and so retains a telephone operator, as the Prisoner found out on the day of his arrival when he tried to make a telephone call from a kiosk. Number 2 even receives instructions and sends her reports via a teleprinter!
  As for The Village itself, it’s hardly a typical
English Village despite all the signs being in English. There are no thatched cottages with roses around the doors, no country church. Yet it does have an “olde worlde” charm, and nowhere is that more prevalent than in the General Stores. It has the atmosphere of a typical English corner shop from the 1950’s, 60’s and even the 1970’s. Such shops sold both tinned and fresh provisions, sweets in jars, household and general goods. Also on the counter is a wooden cash register dating from the 1930’s, now why would a cash register be required in a cashless society? Perhaps it’s there simply for decoration, to complete the picture of that olde worlde corner shop of yesteryear. Although The Village enjoys a credit card system they have not developed a credit card imprinter {as used in the 1980’s} for when a customer pays for something. Instead a customer’s card is clipped in the same way people’s rations cards in Britain would be clipped for the points during WWII, and for several years afterwards.
   I think the Village can be described as being ahead of its time, of its time, and that of the past.

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!

    In ‘Fall Out’ a medical team are standing by. Why? To resuscitate Number 2............ but just a minute, isn’t that the Seltzman machine? They give Number 2 a makeover before they resuscitate him, perhaps the idea is to further make a new man of him by giving him a change of mind?!


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Living In Harmony

    I enjoy watching American westerns, ‘Gun Fight At The Ok Corral,’ ‘High Noon,’ ‘Buchannan Rides Alone,’ ‘The Tall T,’ ‘Seven Men From Now,’ ‘Ride Lonesome,’ ‘The Desperados,’ ‘Decision At Noon,’ ‘3:10 To Yuma,’ ‘Warlock,’ ‘Stagecoach,’ ‘The Outlaw,’ The Way The West Was Won,’ ‘Eldorado,’ ‘She Wore A Yellow ribbon,’ ‘Fort Apache,’ Rio Grande,’ ‘Winchester 73,’ ‘Bend of The River,’ ‘Destry Rides Again,’ I could list plenty more, but I think you get the general idea. So one should think that ‘Living In Harmony’ would be pretty high on my list of favourite episodes, but it isn’t. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, a bad Judge who owns the town, surrounds himself with hired hands. The Kid, the fastest on the draw the Judge has ever seen, and who is dressed in the clothes of his victims! The Kid never utters one single word, perhaps he’s undergone some trauma in his past. His family murdered by renegades, his mother, his sister both raped by a gang of desperados, then brutally murdered, and the Kid witnessed it all. Harmony is just like The Village, toe the line and both will take good care of you. Step out of line, and there’s bully boys on the one hand and gunslingers on the other to get in your way, to make sure you do toe the line! I like Cathy, she always gives regulars the first one on the house, whisky that is. But The Man with No Name isn’t regular, and the dollar piece he tosses onto the bar to pay for his drink, sounds more like a wooden nickel!  Horse flesh is expensive, and like The Village there is no escape, as Gunslingers guard the only road out of town! Why did the Sheriff hand in both his badge and gun? Perhaps he was fed up putting his life on the line for $10 a month. Having to face up to every two-bit gunslinger riding into town looking to make himself a reputation, and take on outlaws like Jesse James, the Dalton gang, and the Younger gang, for example. One day the Sheriff would come up against someone who was faster on the draw than he was, and that would only be a question of time. And all that killing would have taken its toll on the man. Better to get out while the going was good.
   So why isn’t ‘Living In Harmony’ high on my list of favourite episodes? Simply because it does not appeal to me as a western for some reason, in the way that not all American western films do. Perhaps that’s the reason, it’s a British made western, but so is the film ‘Carry On Cowboy’ and I thoroughly enjoy watching that. It probably has something to do with the British actors trying to sound American in ‘Living In Harmony’ apart from the Judge. But does that make the American accent in American Westerns wrong? It would all depend on when the American people began to lose the British dialects to what became the American accent.


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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Caught On Camera!

  Number 50 must have gone to see Number 6 very early in the morning, he was still in bed. According to his daily activity prognosis Number 6 exercises daily with a walk around The Village at 6:30am, so Number 50 went to see him before then. Why so early? And that also would account for the Supervisor-Number 26’s little “Slap-dash improvisation” as the Interim Number 2 described it, of having the door to 6 Private being left open. Because although the Supervisor explained that Number 6 doesn’t always answer the door when someone comes calling, at that early time in the morning the door to the cottage would have been locked, to prevent the occupant from going out. So the Supervisor would have had to have given an instruction to have the door unlocked anyway at that time of the morning I should have thought.


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A Favourite Scene

    “Mopping up operations Number 6?”
    Number 2 enters 6 Private looking for the Professor’s tape recorder, and has an operative with a metal detector who sweeps Number 6 and then his cottage. Number 2 believes Number 6 took a stroll along the beach, what beach might that be? The poor old Professor has lost his tape recorder with all his notes on it, Number 6 didn’t see it of course. It was about such and such size, that big was it? The Professor is rather worried about it, or so Number 2 says. Number 6 suggests Number 2 gets his man to look in the wardrobe, but there’s nothing there but Number 6’s own suit and his other piped blazer!
   Number 2 has an air of confidence about him, which is surprising after his poor result of ‘A B and C.’
   “Tell me, are you still as keen as ever to leave us?”
    “Any more questions?”
    “I was thinking that a compromise could be arranged in exchange for the recorder.”
    “I wonder who has it?”
    “Enjoy the lecture?”
    “What lecture?”
    “It’s a great experiment Number Six, you can learn a lot.”
    “History’s not my subject.”
    “Isn’t it? When was the treaty of
Adrianople?”
    “September
eighteen twenty-nine.”
    “What happened in eighteen-thirty?”
    “Greek independence was assured and guaranteed.”
    “By whom?”
    “
Russia, France, Britain.”
    “Who was
Bismarck’s ally against the Danish Prince of Glucksburg?”
    “Frederick of Austenburg he like the German Bundestag had never accepted the treaty of
London in eighteen fifty-two. Bismarck wanted war but he wanted it waged by Prussia, Austria in alliance and not by the whole German bunt. He realized that a successful war against the Danes in eighteen sixty-four would serve the same purpose as Cavour of Italy’s entrance into the Crimean war…..all together now….namely that it would indicate future leadership and would at the same time raise Prussia’s prestige.”
    “Very good, ten out of ten. Don’t underestimate yourself Number Six….and don’t underestimate me.”
    So Speed Learn would have created a field of cabbages, knowledgeable cabbages, all repeating the same answers to the same questions word for word! Hence to destroy man’s creative learning, along with the right to make mistakes. A confident Number 2, who has confidence in both the Professor and the General to deliver Speed Learn. He told Number 6 not to underestimate himself, and not to underestimate him, but he underestimated Number 6 for a second time. One would have thought he would have learned his lesson the first time, but then this is the first time these two meet, if you don’t go by the screening order!


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Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

    If things were not already bad enough for Number 6, they were just about to get a whole lot worse! His mind and body separated, and only all the King’s men and all the King’s horses will avail him nothing. For only Professor Jacob Seltzman can put Humpty Dumpty back together again! Yes I realize it should be Number 6, but they did like to put children’s nursery rhymes into ‘the Prisoner’ from time to time. But wasn’t Number 6 supposed to be dead to the outside world? And yet there’s Janet having seen his car parked outside his house, going in and shouting out for her darling. She even goes upstairs looking for him, but he is not there. But at least that little scene dispels any belief fans might have that ZM73 lived in a flat, flats do not have upstairs rooms! I do not particularly enjoy watching this episode, although I do know one or two people who list it as being their favourite. But I have to say I do enjoy the soundtrack to this episode. For me it is its one saving grace.


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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Escape!

    So apparently doctor Seltzman is the only person ever to escape The Village! His mind now inhabiting a body perhaps not to his liking, the Colonel’s, but now he’s free to continue his experiments. And you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as the doctor is able to set up another laboratory he’ll find another subject and ditch the Colonel’s body! Pity the next poor soul who falls into Seltzman’s clutches!

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Village Life!

    “A good day for it.”
    “If you say so, but a good day for what?”
    “Don’t be like that. The sun’s shining, the birds are singing.”
    “Yes and here we are on our way to the Town Hall for another meeting.”
    “Administration is a brutal taskmaster.”
    “Yes I know, but we did it the yesterday, the day before, the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that.”
    “What’s up with you this morning?”
    “The same thing that’s been up with me for the past two hundred and twenty seven days. I have become disillusioned!”
    “You can’t do that, it’s not allowed!”
    “Not allowed?”
    “How can you become disillusioned with The Village?”
    “Its not so much The Village, it’s the job, where is the job satisfaction?”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Well take yesterday for example. I sat in on a meeting that dragged on for hours discussing the question of a new clock golf!”
    “That’ not so bad, I sat in on a meeting discussing the new mural in the library.”
    “I didn’t know we have a library!”
    “Yes, a very fine one.”
    “Well talking about the new mural was like watching paint dry!”
    “Well have you ever played clock golf?”
    “Number Two is very active for his age.”
    “And what about this idea of the electrification of the clocks?”
    “He’s got ideas for new café facilities.”
    “What does that entail?”
    “Building a new café.”
    “But we already have a cafe.”
    “Well it looks very much like there’s going to be another one.”
    “It will put the other one out of business!”
    “Well you know what they say, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone! Next week I sit on the Committee for the construction of a new concert hall.”
    “What’s wrong with the old one?”
    “You obviously didn’t go to the folk music concert!”
    “And this new blue zone in the post, what’s that all about?
    “It’s only the repainting of the post boxes!”
    “Post boxes, who writes letters to anyone here?”
    “You know Number Two has gone on leave.”
    “Yes.”
    “Well he sent a very nice postcard to administration, it was a nice view of the beach looking back towards The Village, and wishing we were here.”
    “But we are here!”
    “Its sounds as though you need a spot of therapy.”
    “See you in the Cat and Mouse this evening?”
    “I’ll get them in, gin, whisky or Vodka?”
    “Doesn’t matter they all look and taste the same to me!”


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A Change of Mind

    That’s what they were hoping Number 6 would believe had happened to him, after thinking he had undergone a full personality change through Instant Social Conversion. But it took a man like Number 6 to see through that! Number 6 is certainly aggressive, disruptive, and at times disharmonious. He’s also a bit of a lone wolf, at times he prefers his own company to that of other people. Mind you he must have been feeling like that long before this episode, because even before, by the previous episode Number 6 had constructed his own personal gymnasium in the woods. And yet he still needed The Village facilities for his semi-weekly Kosho practice, mind you that’s one activity he could not carry out on his own in the woods. I wonder when that all began, those semi-weekly Kosho practices?
    Number 6 once described Number 2 as a professional sadist, but to my mind this Number 2 is the creepiest of them all. Something’s he says makes my blood run cold, especially during one conversation with Number 6 in his cottage. This Number 2 does not suffer stupid women, mind you he’s easily pleased when Number 6 comes to say how he wants to make his public confession, so to encourage others with secret information to speak out also. Number 6 easily reels this Number 2 in and gaffs him, with the help of Number 86 that is. It would appear that Number 2 is unmutual, a man who would steal your mind. Instant social conversion for Number 2. It’s no wonder he made a dash for the relative safety of the Green Dome!


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Saturday, 10 February 2018

The 50th Anniversary Screening of The Prisoner

    And so my 50th anniversary screening of ‘the Prisoner’ comes to an end tonight with ‘Fall Out’ and it couldn’t be happening on a more appropriate date, February 10th, this being the only date used in The Village. But for Number 6 his immediate future appears to be as his recent past, in his end is his beginning. Certainly for Number 6 he was shown his future in that crystal ball, which he let slip from his fingers and smash into a thousand splinters on the floor. Such is his refusal to accept that future.
   I have thoroughly enjoyed this screening. However back in 1968 for those living in ITV’s network Scottish region it was Feb 1st, ATV Midlands and Grampian it was Feb 2nd. While on Feb 4th it was ATV London – Southern Television – Tyne Tees – Westward, and Channel. In the Border region ‘Fall Out’ was on the 9th of February. For myself living in the
Anglia region, it was Feb 10th 1968 exact to the day today, and by chance a significant date in ‘the Prisoner.’ And yet those watching in the Granada region they had to wait until March the 1st to watch ‘Fall Out.’ So many people having watched ‘the Prisoner’ knew how the series concluded a month before others. It makes me wonder exactly when, and by whom, those ATV telephone lines were jammed by angry callers about ‘Fall Out?’ Depending on when it was, it means that the majority of viewers didn’t complain. Otherwise complaints would have lasted a whole month! For myself at the time, I thought ‘Fall Out’ would answer, if not all the questions I had, then at least some of them. But no, it was more confusing than ever. And there was no watching the episode, nay the whole series again on catch-up, I-player etc. Nor did I have a way of recording it, so there it was, ‘Fall Out’ and indeed ‘the Prisoner’ was gone, and with no way of knowing when, or if ever, I would be able to watch it again. All I was left with was what I could remember of ‘Fall Out.’ At the time the episode was over all too quickly, too quickly for me to take it all in really. In later years of course ‘Fall Out’ became easy to understand, seeing as it has all the attributes of a finale to a James Bond film, looking at it as action and adventure. The word Prisoner seen on the screen has been misinterpreted as the man still being a prisoner, when it was a credit to Patrick McGoohan, he didn’t want his name credited for some reason. But the two film editors felt he should be credited so they inserted the word “Prisoner.” But there was a mistake, the fact that the clash of thunder and sound of a jet plane has been inserted into the episode too soon, when the late Number 2 is on his way back to the Houses of Parliament in fact. Then of course there’s the last few moments of ‘Fall Out,’ the long deserted runway, a green yellow nosed Lotus 7 looming out of the distance, and the man’s face set in an expression of determination suggests ‘the Prisoner’ is about to begin………. Just a minute, I’ve just had a thought about another way to watch ‘the Prisoner’ but I’ve some calculations to make regarding the screening order first before next October!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                      “The Schizoid Men”

BcNu

Feb10th

    February 10th is the only date used in The Village, and on this morning 51 years ago, according to the day/date calendar on the bedside table, Number 6 woke up to find a local election was about to take place. What’s more he is invited to become a candidate and stand for election for the position of Number 2! But that is not all, because tonight Number 6 will drink his nightcap of hot chocolate before going to bed, and two medics will come for him in the night. But despite the sedative in the nightcap, Number 6’s sleep is still light, so it is quite on the cards that any disturbance will wake him. So his sleep is deepened for him by use of a pulsator device hidden in the overhead light. While that is taking place, two medics come for Number 6, both of which are wearing dark tinted goggles which presumably protect their eyes from the effect of the pulsating light. One of the medics administers an injection into 6’s left forearm before they take him from his bed and place him on a stretcher. His wristwatch and day/date calendar are removed from the bedside table. The wristwatch is then given to Curtis because during the rest of the episode Number 6 wears a watch with a stainless steel band. As for the day/date calendar it never appears in Number 6’s cottage again, neither does the one removed from the kitchen.
   But Feb 10th appears even before the onslaught of both ‘Free For All,’ and ‘The Schizoid Man’ the date appears in ‘A B and C’ on The Tally Ho broadsheet along with the headline ‘Is No.2 Fit For Further Term’ And yet as we know this is the same edition of The Tally Ho used in ‘The Schizoid Man.’ the end of the same headline ‘Is No.2 Fit For Further Term’ can be seen. And yet Number 6 cannot hang around long, because by Feb 22nd he has to set sail on that day if he’s to arrive in
London on March 18th!


Be seeing you

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Therapy Zone

   And so the great day was nearly over, it went off rather well Number 6 thought, better than planned in fact. And then the new Number 2 could look forward to his own retirement, and Number 6 is sure they will arrange something equally suitable for him when the day comes.
   “Be seeing you…won’t I?” said Number 6, there is a question mark over that, oh not like the word Security in The Tally Ho, but will Number 6 actually see this new Number 2 again? Because he had never met the previous Number 2 before the onset of Appreciation Day, in trying to prevent his assassination!
   So where does that leave this new Number 2? Will he see Number 6 again, or will he be hidden away somewhere, working behind the scenes doing good works for The Village on behalf of the community,  as his predecessor had done. In the past Number 1 has always been swift in removing any Number 2 who has failed to bring about a successful conclusion to the remit they had been asked to carry out. As an interim Number 2 he had given Number 1 his assurance that Plan Division Q was running like clockwork, dead on schedule in fact. “Nothing can go wrong now….” Well, it did, Plan Division Q was an unmitigated failure, and this new Number 2 was responsible. So what might Number 1’s action against him be? I like to imagine that any such retribution against Number 2 would be carefully considered and thought out, that time would be allowed to pass by and Number 2 given time to settle into his new position. It would be very uncomfortable for Number 2, forced to carry on with his work, all the time knowing that one day his time will come, but not when nor how. In effect being made to sweat it out!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                 “Receiving A Mayday Call!”
          “It’s the M.S. Polotska saying she’s taking on water and sinking fast!”

BcNu

Caught On Camera!

    A search is made of Number 6’s wardrobe at his suggestion. Number 2 and this operative with his metal detector are searching for the Professor’s tape recorder. The tape recorder isn’t in the wardrobe, however hanging there is Number 6’s other piped blazer, together with his own suit. The same suit which was supposed to have been burnt in ‘Arrival,’ but was seemingly being worn by an infantile patient at the hospital. The same suit which was specially delivered to him for the occasion of Carnival, and yet here it is hanging in the wardrobe in a scene in ‘The General!’ It doesn’t quite hang right does it, this plot about a suit of clothes. And yet it would have, had ‘Dance of The Dead’ been kept in its original place of second in the screening order, therefore before ‘The General’ not after.


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It’s Your Funeral

    Another question of time, simply because Number 50 took a long time making up her mind to go and see Number 6. Why, because she needed his help in preventing an assassination! So this interim Number 2, the first one we have come across, is behind with Plan Division Q. A plan which involves Number 6 at its very heart, so to give it credibility when he goes and warns Number 2 of the assassination plot against him! This the Number 2 who has been away on leave, which is also new, because as far as we can say no Number 2 has ever left The Village to go on leave. But it just goes to show we learn much about The Village as we go along. And it would appear that his Number 2, who has recently returned to The Village, has never before had any such dealings with Number 6, he barely knows who he is, lucky for him! And Number 6 certainly doesn’t know who Number 2 is. Perhaps he has been far too busy with his administrative details, as he works behind the scenes, leaving interim Number 2’s to deal with the likes of Number 6! But then I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. No plan involving Number 6 ever succeeded, the interim Number 2 should have taken a closer look when he was reading Number 6’s file!

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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Therapy Zone

   And so the great day was nearly over, it went off rather well Number 6 thought, better than planned in fact. And then the new Number 2 could look forward to his own retirement, and Number 6 is sure they will arrange something equally suitable for him when the day comes.
   “Be seeing you…won’t I?” said Number 6, there is a question mark over that, oh not like the word Security in The Tally Ho, but will Number 6 actually see this new Number 2 again? Because he had never met the previous Number 2 before the onset of Appreciation Day. He was trying to prevent his assassination, which of course he did. More than that Number 6 managed to orchestrate the retired Number 2’s escape, knowing that he could not have put the detonator to his own advantage.
   So where does that leave this retired Number 2? Because as the new Number 2 looked to the sky, the helicopter was turning back towards The Village, but on whose authority? Had Number 1 intervened? Had the Supervisor ordered the pilot to return to The Village? The helicopter might have been taken under remote control as in ‘Arrival’ when Number 6 had attempted to escape by helicopter. More likely it was on the word of the retried Number 2, because he was all too well aware that they would catch up with him eventually wherever he went. And everyday he would be looking over his shoulder. So to save him all that grief perhaps Number 2 decided to return to The Village. After all he had nothing to fear, it was not his fault that Plan Division Q had failed. Perhaps Number 2 saw this as an opportunity to be able to return to The Village and live out the rest of his life in quiet retirement in the Old People’s Home.


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