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Monday 13 June 2011

The Prisoner Draws You In - Makes You Part of The Village

    The viewer of the Prisoner is often asked to accept something without question, because much of the series will forever remain an unexplained puzzlement. The rest is open to questions and interpretations, that which has no specific definition or reason.
   Yet there is much we do understand about the Prisoner series. It is possible that, we, the viewer understand the series more than No.6 himself. Take Many Happy Returns for example. No.6 wakes up in what he sees as a deserted Village. Now it is quite inconceivable that everyone would have deserted the Village and simply leave No.6 behind. So what does No.6 do? Well he doesn't just sit about waiting for something to happen, no. He makes a search of the Village, to see if there is anyone about. But as it turns out, the only other creature sharing the Village with No.6, is a black cat. Then No.6 sets about construction a Kon-Tiki style sea-going raft, from fallen trees and oil drums. He gathers his provisions, takes photographic evidence of the Village, and then puts to sea. He has no idea where he is sailing to, because he doesn't know where he is sailing from. No.6 has set off sailing into the unknown, taking us with him!
    From the moment No.6 woke up in an apparently deserted Village, he didn't question the situation. He never once thought that he should just sit down and wait to see what happens next. No.6 is a man of action, and took what he saw as being the only way out of the Village. Such was his desire to escape, to be free of the Village, that the dangers of the open sea were far preferable to him.
   If No.6 can accept that the Village is deserted, then so can we, the viewer. In fact No.6 has drawn us into the Village, he has made Observers of us all, watching as he chops down trees, empty's oil drums, from which he constructs his sea-going raft. But more than that, No.6 takes us along with him on his epic sea voyage. And then back in time to witness his unceremonious return the the Village.
   Yet there is an episode in which we the viewer are apart of the story as No.2 and his assistant No.10, and that is the story of The Girl Who Was Death. No.6 gives nothing away, to either No.2 or his Grandmother, and at the same time, confesses nothing to the viewer, that's you and me. Because No.6 may have told No.2 and his assistant a blessed fairy tale, but he was telling the tale to us as well. He drew the viewer into the story, who wanted to know as much as No.2 himself. And like No.2, the viewer is just as frustrated by No.6. And if there is meaning by the gesture of the toy clown being placed in front of the camera, aimed at No.2. Is that also not also aimed at the viewer?        Be seeing you

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