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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

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