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Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Rough Justice!

    No.2 has been on the end of some rough justice by No.6, and for what, the death of No.73? It’s not as though he drove her to leap to her death through the open hospital window, she didn’t do that not until No.6 came bursting into the hospital room.
    The pair of steel doors slide open, and No.6 enters the purple walled domed chamber of No.2’s office. No.2 is hanging onto the Penny Farthing bicycle for comfort.
    “What are you doing here?”
    “I’ve come to keep you company, I hear all your friends have deserted you, can’t trust anyone any more, pity…..Odd isn’t it, all this power at your disposal and yet you’re all alone, you do feel alone don’t you.”
    “What do you want?”
    “Talk, to listen.”
    “I have nothing to say.”
    “That’s not like the old Number 2, where is the strong man….the hammer, you have to be hammer or anvil remember?”
    No.2 comes out from behind the Penny Farthing and confronts No.6.
    “I know who you are.”
    “I’m Number 6.”
    “No! D6.”
    “Yes sent here by our masters to spy on me.”
    “Ha, ha, I’m not quite with you.”
    “Oh yes, you can stop acting now you know, I’ve been onto you from the beginning I knew what you were doing, all those messages you sent and all those people you recruited I knew you were a plant, you didn’t fool me!”
    “Maybe you fooled yourself.”
    “What does that mean?”
    “Let us suppose for arguments sake that what you say is true, that I was planted here.”
    “By XO4.”
    “Oh very well by XO4, to check on village security, to check on you.”
    “You were.”

    “What would have been your first duty as a loyal citizen, not to interfere, but you did interfere, you have admitted it yourself there is a name for that sabotage!”
    “Who are you working for Number 2?”
    “For us, for us.”
    “That is not the way it’s going to sound to XO4.”
    “I swear to you….”
    “You could be working for the enemy, or could be a blunderer who’s lost his head either way you’ve failed, and they do not like failure here.”
    No.2 breaks down.
    “You’ve destroyed me!”
    “No, you’ve destroyed yourself, a character flaw, afraid of your masters, a weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken.”
    “Don’t, don’t report me.”
    “I don’t intend to, you are going to report yourself.”
    No.6 picks up the large red over-sized intercom and hands it to No.2. No.2 takes it and sits into the black global chair.
    “I have to report a breakdown in control, Number 2 needs to be replaced. Yes this is Number 2 reporting.”
    No.6 leaves the dome’s chamber, and No.2 a broken man.
    No.6 deals out some rough justice of his own, his activities against No.2 could be attributed to jamming. And yet had it not been for No.2’s mental instability, his paranoia, and fear of his masters, No.6 might not have fared so well. Thinking about it all No.2 had to do was place more trust in his assistant No.14 who was after all loyal, well until No.6 had put the poison in!
   What it was that brought about No.2’s paranoia in seeing enemies within the midst of the village as reported in Tally Ho article, will remain a mystery.

    The following paragraph from that article is the most telling one.
   It appears that “jammers” have been active in the village before the advent of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and indicates that this No.2 has had more to cope with than No.73. Its doubtful that this No.2 was brought to the village because of No.6, in fact he’d probably had had no dealings with No.6, at least not until he came bursting into that hospital room. From that moment ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ became like ‘Once Upon A Time’ a two handed episode, a duel between No.2 and No.6, the hammer and the anvil!

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Saturday, 4 July 2020

Earl Cameron 1917 - 2020

This morning the sad news of the passing of Earl Cameron, who passed away yesterday. He was a lovely, kind, generous man, and a pioneer as one of the first black actors to star in a British film. I shall always remember him in his various appearances in ‘Danger Man’. The 1951 film ‘Pool of London,’ and as the Supervisor-No.106 in ‘The Prisoner’ episode ‘The Schizoid Man.’  

   Here are a selection of links.

  Thoughts are with his wife Barbara and family.

Rest In Peace Earl.

Any Family Illnesses? Any Politics?

   “Just fill in the questionnaire, race, religion, hobbies, what you like to read, what you like to eat, what you were, what you want to be, any family illnesses, any politics.”
    The above picture is not an actual ‘Tinker Toy’ construction set as seen in the episodes ‘Arrival’ and ‘Once Upon A Time.’ This one is called ‘Fix-A-Stix’ a construction set on the same lines as a ‘Tinker Toy’ and does the same job, and is my new executive toy.

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Listen To That!

                        Listen to that, I can’t quite make it out!

    “Mayday, mayday, mayday any station receiving come in please mayday. This is a mayday call, this is a mayday call, any station receiving come in please”
    The Polotska replies.
    “Mayday to Polotska, mayday to Polotska this is trans ocean flight D for delta 250 zero starboard engine in flames port engine oil pressure dropping rapidly three thousand feet and losing height over.”
    The Polotska responds by asking for the aircraft’s position.
    “Mayday to Polotska, mayday to Polotska our position is {crackle} minutes longitude {crackle} degrees latitude over.”
    “Polotska to mayday, Polotska to mayday we’re not reading you say again please.”
    “Mayday to Polotska {crackle} mayday to Polotska too late port engine in flames losing height rapidly, will have to ditch will have to ditch……………….. closing down.”
    The Supervisor-No.56 has been listening to a mayday call put out by an aircraft in distress. The mayday call is a little garbled broken up at times by seemingly radio static, but in reality its No.6 crinkling grease-proof paper to imitate radio static when it comes to giving the aircrafts position. You know it’s the voice of No.6, I know it, so why doesn’t the Supervisor recognize the voice? Perhaps he’s a bit slow, and doesn’t have the wit, after all this Supervisor does appear to need an assistant!
   In the background there’s a change in personnel on one end of the steel see-saw device. Perhaps his attention span to the monitor has been reached, and needs a break. Or perhaps it’s a “comfort break” he needs!

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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Tales From The Village

    In the orange walled committee chamber 9 men in striped jerseys and black top hats sat around a round, segmented green baize topped table. In the centre sat No.5, a middle aged man of medium height and build, with dark hair, and dressed in grey flannel trousers and a dark blue piped blazer.
    The Chairman of the committee, No.18 spoke “You know why you have been brought before us Number 5.”
    “No…do tell.”
    “There have been a number of complaints levelled against you” the Chairman said accusingly.
    “Complaints….don’t you wish to hear my complaints?”
    “Complaints, you have complaints?”
    “I have several.”
    “Gentlemen I think it’s time……. I think we’re more than ready for a tea break. This session will resume once we have had time to assess the psychological reports regarding Number 5.”
    “But what about my complaints?”
    The Chairman of the committee stared at the prisoner through his round lens spectacles “If there are any further complaints against you we shall have no alternative but to declare you as disharmonious!”
    “But I have complaints!”
    “You have complaints?!”
    “Well fill in form B24681/2H-473Z, then we can take your complaints into consideration at the next session of this committee.”
    “When will that be?”
    “Next Tuesday afternoon at two-thirty.”
    Suddenly the lights went out, then an instant later the chamber was illuminated again and the members of the committee…..they had gone!
    The week passed slowly, with each day more or less the same as the one after and the one yet to come. The only curious thing was the complaints, and there were several laid against me! Complaints that I ignore people and do not acknowledge their greetings, one chap battered and bruised stopped me in the street and accused me of picking a fight with him and beating him up! I looked at my hands, there was not a sign of broken skin on the knuckles! I called at the kiosk to buy a copy of The Tally Ho, a bar of soap and a chocolate bar. The stallholder accused me of theft saying that I went to his kiosk and walked off with a copy of the broadsheet, a bag of sweets, and four packets of village cigarettes.
    “It was only two moments ago” the stall holder said.
    And now he demanded payment or he’d call a guardian, I mean I don’t even smoke! Later in the afternoon, I walked down to the Old People’s Home for a game of chess with my old friend No.73.
    “What you’ve come back have you, looking for more pain, two losses and a stalemate not good enough” 73 said busy setting up the board “oh well sit ye down, I’m white this time I think.”
    I didn’t understand, and told the old man that I had just come for our game of chess, and to my memory I had yet to lose a game against him.”
    “Well certainly you were off form today me boyo” 73 said chuckling to himself “your move!”
    And so it went, whatever happened, happened but a few moments of my being anywhere, I couldn’t understand it unless…………….
    I went storming up the road to the Green Dome, across the square, across the street, up the steps and into the foyer where that diminutive butler stood waiting. I told him, I told him good, well my dander was up you see. He showed me into the large domed chamber that is No.2’s office.
    “What’s the game Number 2?” I barked out across the desk.
    He sat there in that black global chair staring at me “Game, what game?”
    “You know, oh you know alright!”
    “All I know is, you burst into the foyer, verbally abuse my manservant and demand to see me. Then you storm into my office and demand to know what the game is!”
    “You have set your creature upon me!”
    “I have…….what creature?!”
    “Everywhere I go, no matter what I’m going to do, I find I have already been there and done it!”
    “And you have no memory of having done anything?”
    “There’s someone going about the village impersonating me!”
    “You don’t say, why would anyone do that?”
    “To send me over the edge!”
    “You must be mistook, you’ve been over doing it. Why not see a doctor?”
    “Complaints have been levelled at me; on Tuesday I’m to be brought before the committee to answer those complaints. I shouldn’t wonder that it’s my doppelganger who is to blame!”
    “You think you have a double.”
    “And he’s going about the village impersonating you.”
    “Haven’t any of your Observers picked anything up?”
    “They haven’t spotted anything out of the ordinary?”
    “Is that what it’s all about?”
    “Is what all about?”
    “Doubles, doppelgangers, twins, look-a-likes, and the like.”
    “I think you had better go, before I call security” No.2 said his hand moving towards the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom.
    “I’ll go, tomorrow I’ll face your welfare committee and this time I expect them to listen to my complaints!”
    It was a slow walk back to his cottage; he wanted to lose the anger inside him before he arrived home. He opened the door and went inside. He removed his dark grey blazer and was about to hang it up on the coat rack but the exact same blazer already hung there. Music came from the lounge, Wagner. Slowly he approached the door, which was slightly ajar; putting a hand to it he pushed it open and stood framed in the doorway. Across the room a man sat in an armchair.
    “I expect you’d like a drink, scotch?”
    Entering the room I said “You’re fee with other people’s drink.”
    “Whose drink?” he asked filling a glass “I’ll make it a large one, you’ll need it.”
    “Your face is familiar to me” I said.
    The man stood opposite me and offered me the filled glass, a man with my face! The glass slipped from my hand smashing on the carpet the drink splashing out everywhere.
    “Now look what you’ve gone and done” I said….he said taking a handkerchief from his pocket and mopping up the spilled drink “I suppose I cannot blame you” I said….he said “I’d probably do the same in your shoes” I said…..he said.
    “W….who are you, why are you doing this?”
    “I could ask the same of you. I put it down to one of Number 2’s little games, but I’ve long since realized it isn’t.”
    “It isn’t what?”
    “One of Number 2’s little games.”
    I poured myself anther drink and handed it to myself.
    “How came you to be here?”
    “Don’t you know, you of all people should know. If it hadn’t been for you resigning that job of ours we wouldn’t be in this predicament now!”
    “It was a matter of conscience.”
    “So you say.”
    “You talk as if you were there.”
    “In a way, certainly I would have handled it differently.”
    “So what now?”
    “I came here, so now you must go there.”
    “Go there, go where?”
    “Well we can hardly both go on living here.”
    “What like Box and Cox?”
    “How do you mean?”
    “I have the cottage during the day, you have it at night.”
    “Oh I see” I said….he said a little slow off the mark “sadly that is impossible, you see both of us can no longer live in the same existence.”
    “You mean one of us has to die?”
    “Not quite, but don’t worry I’ll live our life here for the both of us, you never know I might even manage to escape, wouldn’t that be nice?”
    I suddenly began to feel light headed, and things seem to be receding, a darkness swooped over me, and suddenly I was looking at myself in the mirror with fresh eyes.
    “Now Number 5” the Chairman of the committee said looking at my open file “seeing as the psychoanalysts have concluded your report we can continue with your complaints.”
    “You don’t….we’re not here to discuss your complaints Number 5. Oh, I see according to the report you’ve had a change in attitude towards your fellow villagers.”
    “You could say that.”
    “In a previous meeting of this committee you suggested that you had complaints of your own, did you will in form B24681/2H-473Z?”
    “You didn’t?”
    “I have no complaints. I like it here, everyone has been really kind since my arrival.”
    “Well gentleman seeing as that is the case I think we can make an early day of it. Well done Number 5, keep it up.”
    No.5 made his way through the village and back to his cottage, there was a smug if not a smile of deep satisfaction on his face. He was going to like it here in the village, he felt the village to be a place of possibilities for a man who wanted to get on. It was stupid of him not to have seen that before.

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Sunday, 28 June 2020


             “I Didn’t Do It! Says Butler”

                              by our own reporter 

   So the butler says he didn’t do it. And yet since the writing of murder mysteries there has been the expression “The butler did it,” which is used to describe an ending or resolution to a fictional mystery that is stereotypical, predictable, or contrived. It is based on the murder mystery cliché of revealing that the butler was the one who committed the murder. The concept of "the butler did it" is commonly attributed to Mary Roberts Rinehart. Her otherwise forgettable 1930 novel, “The Door,” is notable for the ending, in which the butler actually is the villain. However the actual phrase “the butler did it,” never appears in the text.
    We know absolutely nothing about the butler which makes him the most enigmatic character in ‘the Prisoner. He serves each new No.2 with an unquestioning loyalty, and carries out his duties impeccably, he can also pilot a helicopter. He is thought to be mute because he is never heard to utter one single word in the entire series, but perhaps he has nothing to say for himself, or has nothing interesting to say. And yet he must speak on at least two occasions, the first in ‘A B and C’ when No.2 is speaking on the telephone “Is he. Send him in.” it’s the butler who shows No.6 into the office so it must follow that it must have been the butler speaking to No.2 on the telephone informing him of No.6's visit. And again in ‘Its Your Funeral’ when No.6 goes calling on No.2 he said “I thought I told you that I didn't want to be disturbed. Tell him to go away.” Who else is there to tell No.6 to go away but the butler!
   The butler has something in common with No.6, he doesn’t wear a numbered badge, and wears his own clothes, well at least he is not forced to wear the usual colourful attire, although he does wear a cape…inside out, perhaps because he doesn’t want to look ridiculous! Symbolically the butler is seen to be the “silent majority” those citizens who do not have a voice. And yet he is always at the heart of things, such as the award ceremony at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition, and can be described as being “the Keeper of the Great Seal of Office,” seeing as it’s the butler  who presents the Great Seal of Office on a crimson cushion during the Appreciation Day ceremony. He also enjoys a game of chess, as in ‘Checkmate’ he follows the game which uses human chess pieces, from the top of the bandstand reproducing the moves on his own chessboard. Some people have come up with the idea that it’s the butler who is manipulating the moves on the human chessboard as he makes the moves first on his own board! And ‘A Change of Mind’ no doubt it was the butler who set out the tables in the committee chamber, and when the Chairman of the committee said “Gentlemen its time, I think we’re more than ready for a tea break,” in all probability it’s the butler who has made the tea! During the week in the Embryo Room the butler is there alongside his master, cooking meals, keeping the cage neat and tidy, as well as serving his master, as No.2 and No.6 carry out their deliberations. And then there’s ‘Fall Out.’ The butler seems to know a great deal about what’s going on, he sees the former No.6 as being his new master, so he’s quick to see its time to change sides judging by the way he takes part in the violent and bloody revolution. Not only does he kill with a Thompson machine gun, but at one point in the rocket, he can be seen strangling someone with his gloved hands! And the question has to be asked, how did the butler know about that Scammell Highwayman transporter? At the very least the foot pedals of accelerator, brake, and clutch would have had to have been adapted in some way in order to suit the Butler's size, ordinarily his feet would not have reached the pedals. Or if they did he wouldn’t have been able to see over the steering wheel, meaning no disrespect to our diminutive friend. And then back in London the butler accompanies his new master to his home in London, and as he stands on the steps of No.1 Buckingham Place the front door opens automatically and the butler goes inside the house. It is because of this that people have arrived at the conclusion that the butler did it, and had been No.1 all the time.

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Thursday, 25 June 2020

Caught On Camera!

    Here we have an agent working for the village, he is generally dressed as an undertaker, and drives a black hearse. We saw him earlier in the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ as a waiter working at Janet’s birthday party. He later followed both ZM73 and Potter to the barbers shop in Kandersfeld where he encountered ZM73 and Potter fighting in the basement. But who is this agent supposed to be now? I thought he looked rather like a chauffeur, suggested by the peaked cap. But then who would he be chauffeuring? My wife suggested that he’s probably posing as a coach driver driving tourists on a tour of Austria. Looking at that jacket she could be right. What’s more he’d need a bus to take everyone back to the village, Professor Seltzman, ZM73, as well as Potter. Unless of course Potter was left behind after all he wasn’t all that important. But if he were left behind, unconscious in the basement, when he eventually arrived back in London he would certainly have some explaining to do to Sir Charles Portland! As for the coach driver here, how he got at least two bodies out of the barbers and into a coach or other such vehicle in broad daylight without being seen without questions being asked by passers-by, will forever remain a mystery!

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