Which would you consider to be the worst outcome for any of the No.2’s who have held office in the village? I sat back in my chair considering the fate of each of the interim No.2’s, interim because none of them were permanent, their term in office ending naturally or due to ineptitude and failure. I came to the conclusion that ‘The General’ is the first contender, No.2’s confidence in the General to be able to answer any question, given the basic facts, was eventually to lead to his own downfall. What could possibly be worse than the destruction of a powerful computer, along with the death of both the Professor and No.12 of administration? There had been a number of failures on the part of No.2, but in ‘Arrival’ No.2 wasn’t trying, he had hardly got into his stride when he was replaced! ‘Chimes’ well once could hardly blame No.2 for that failure, had it not been for the fact that Post 5’s wristwatch was set at the wrong time, who knows, perhaps the plan might well have succeeded. The look on the Colonel’s face told me that he is more likely to pay for this failure than No.2, after all he had done all he could to see No.6 and Nadia managed, to escape the village.
‘A B and C’ a definite failure for No.2, although14’s drug did work, but really is the doctor-No.14 not guilty of aiding No.6? She failed to tell No.2 that No.6 had opened his eyes and had seen her. Is she guilty of deliberately leading No.6 to that laboratory in the woods? Then there’s that curious phrase of hers, “We all have to make mistakes, sometimes we have to” did No.14 deliberately introduce that phrase into the conversation with ‘B’ so to give the game away to No.6 in his dream? But if this failure wasn’t bad enough for No.2, things were bound to get worse for him! ‘The Schizoid Man,’ the best that can be said in No.2’s favour in this case is, he did manage to stop No.6 from escaping! ‘Many Happy Returns,’ ‘Dance of the Dead,’ ‘Checkmate’ are well calculated episodes on the part of No.2, and then we come to ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ the next failure for No.2 a weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken. A man with a paranoid mania because he thought enemies within the village were all conspiring against him, so much so that he couldn’t trust anyone, he didn’t even trust No.14 in the important details! In the end No.2 only had himself to blame, and who can say, perhaps No.1 enjoyed No.6 bringing retribution to No.2. Also it’s possible that when No.2 advised the citizens to be constantly on guard against enemies in their midst in that Tally Ho article, he had previously been suffering from a bad bout of “jamming” before the advent of ‘Hammer into Anvil.’ And when the Tally Ho article says “We do not necessarily know where our enemies are, or who they might be” that could mean that the village administration didn’t have a list of known jammers at that time. And that brings us nicely to ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ this turned out to be a complete disaster for this interim No.2, and yet an important lesson was learned, that any plan involving No.6 is bound to fail just ask No.2 of ‘A Change of Mind’ who was hounded back to the Green Dome by an angry mob of villagers!
Now we arrive at the next two episodes of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ and ‘Living In Harmony’ which are possibly the final candidates for the worst outcome for No.2. By the time of ‘Darling’, “Did you call?” the editor asked poking his head around the door, no I said and resumed typing, the village administration have brought about the use of the ‘Seltzman machine. Thereby exchanging the minds of two people, the village administration have been able to send foreign agents, brought to the village, then back into the outside World but with the mind of the administrations choosing. This in order for the agent working for the village to infiltrate and break the security of any nation, then to live that foreign agent’s life, gain information, then be returned to the village in order to have that information extracted!
But once again the plan behind ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My darling’ involved No.6 who for the first time was dependent upon the village’s administration being able to bring him back to the village! But No.2, who although watched everything Professor Seltzman did to reverse the minds of the Colonel and No.6, was out manoeuvred. So another disaster for No.2, in that Professor Seltzman managed to escape in the guise of the Colonel, the Colonel who died on the operating table. But at least the Seltzman machine remained intact, unlike the General! So out of these two episodes ‘Darling’ and ‘General’ I would put ‘The General’ as having the worst outcome for No.2. But what of ‘Living In Harmony,’ that’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? I mean would YOU like to live in Harmony? In fact when I think about the title of ‘Living In Harmony’ it would suit the episode ‘A Change of Mind’ considering the citizens in the village are encouraged to live in harmony. Whilst the title of ‘A Change of Mind’ would suit ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ and that being the song of the 1952 film Western film ‘High Noon,’ would dovetail as the title of ‘Living In Harmony’ very nicely. But as it is, in the Sliver Dollar Saloon No.22 lies dead on the floor, strangled to death by No.8, who has gone totally doolally because he can no longer separate fantasy from reality and throws himself off the balcony. Oh not in remorse from strangling No.22, but because he didn’t want the Judge to hit him no more! Another complete and utter failure for No.2, and two more dead personnel, but still this does not put ‘Living In Harmony’ above ‘The General’ in the “worst outcome” stakes. ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ was No.2 really trying during this episode, at the end it seems his heart hadn’t really been in it when he sighs. Whose idea was it to put No.6 in the nursery in the hope he would drop his guard with children. He told them a blessed fairytale! “But it was worth a try Hein” the editor said poking his head around the door! ‘Once Upon A Time’ didn’t end well for No.2, having been brought back for a second term in office. He did succeed to some degree as he did manage to get more out of No.6 than any of his predecessors, and yet at the end he dies, having given his life for the cause, although there are better causes to die for! And he was resuscitated, and eventually arriving back in
later that over-sized red, curved telephone is going to start bleeping. And at the end of ‘A B and C’ No.2 is a beaten man, and by the time that telephone does start to bleep he’s panic stricken and with good reason! I shall leave you with this question…..as No.6 throws No.14 out of his cottage through the French door in ‘Hammer,’ did No.14 break his neck, or was he merely injured?
Be seeing you