Search This Blog

Friday 18 November 2011

The Therapy Zone

The Prisoner Can Be Taken On Several Levels

    On the surface it is a spy thriller, a continuance of McGoohan's previous television series Danger Man. An agent who resigns from a position of the highest secrecy. He is abducted to the village in order to have the reason for his resignation extracted, and where he will remain for as long as he lives.
   Mystery surrounds the village. Can we really be so sure as to which side runs the village, that the Prisoner was not about to defect, or indeed the location of the village. It has been stated that this surface level of understanding is difficult to take too literary, for many of the gadgets and methods employed by the village are too fantastic for normal belief, but yet I wonder. Lukecotomies have been employed, and there are numerous methods employed to extract information from any such individual. And such methods of torture, manipulation and trickery have been employed through the centuries and by organisations around the world, and still are today.
    Although the Prisoner is not technically science fiction, the white membranic mass of the village guardian-Rover does have a science fiction quality about it. Having independent thought, able to change its size, its as well underwater as it is on land, and seems to need no sustenance to maintain its existence.
    There is social comment, taking the Prisoner to another level. It makes the viewer think of his or her environment, well it didn't have that effect upon me at the time, to ask questions and not simply accept things as they are. This is 'thinking man's' television.
   The village represents the society we lived in at the time, and the society of today, because perhaps the Prisoner and its social comment are more relevant today than they were 40 years ago. No.6 is an individual trying to survive in a society of numbers. Desperately fighting to maintain both his identity and individuality, which in society today there are those who would like to take both our identity and individuality away from us, with No.2 representing all forms of authority within society.
    There is room to question, to theorise and interpret the Prisoner, and this has been down on several levels over the past decades. And things are not taken at face value by many of the fans of the Prisoner, yet at times they can look for the most complicated reason for something, when a far simpler explanation would do as well, if not better.
    The village can be two things, an actual place where people who know too much or too little are taken, to have the knowledge in their heads protected or extracted, either that or the village is all in the mind and that could lead to a mental breakdown for anyone!
    And entertainment is another level upon which the Prisoner can be enjoyed. To simply watch each episode without thought or care, only for its pure entertainment value, which is reason enough to watch such a series which 40 years ago was ahead of its time, but has not dated today. Such is the seemingly timeless quality of the Prisoner.
   You see you can get as much or as little out of the Prisoner as you want. But to get something out you first have to put something in. But remember, the Prisoner is there also to be enjoyed, and this should not be forgotten when you are busy theorising. It should be fun and stimulating, and that's how I find the Prisoner, now my researches are complete........ well until something strikes me enough to make me pick up my quill once more!

Just How Much Does The Prisoner know About The Village?

    Well he certainly knows something. He told the new No.2 in Arrival that he is on our side, the Village that is. He knew that No.9 had been assigned to him, in the same way she had been assigned to Cobb.
    No.6 was aware that mass reprisals would be carried out against innocent citizens if the assassination/execution took place in Its Your Funeral. And he knew about Degree Absolute - Once Upon A Time - that it is a recognised method used in psychoanalysis, the patient must come to trust his doctor totally. He said he knows too much about No.2! That sometimes they change places!
   Okay, the Prisoner knows less than I first thought about the village. But even then he knows more than most!

Misconstrued Conceptions

    Over the years things have been observed of the Prisoner which have been misconstrued, but we all make mistakes, sometime we have to. And having done so, we then learn from those mistakes. For example, No.6 was been seen to wear two different blazers, the one with broken piping at the lapel and the other with joined piping at the lapel. Well why shouldn't No.6 have two blazers, one on and one at the dry cleaners!
    And when the Prisoner is handing in his letter of resignation during the Prisoners opening sequence, the Prisoner brings his fist down upon the desk upsetting a cup and two saucers as it was thought to be. Only this was a  misconception, as it isn't a cup and two saucers, its a cup and saucer and a tea plate!
   Also it has been noted in the past what kind of route the Prisoner takes as he drives through London, in not being able to understand it. Well this is simply down to the way it was edited, and that also goes for the taxi ride which the Prisoner takes on the morning of his arrival in the village. Although you might not have picked up on the way the taxi ride around the village was edited, this would depend on how well you know Portmeirion.
   And when the Prisoner looked up at the Bell Tower after emerging from his cottage on the morning of his arrival, he see the head and shoulders of a man. But once he climbs up into the Bell Tower the man has gone, to be replaced by a stone statue! There is nothing miraculous about this, somehow the Prisoner missed the man, I don't know how, but why go to all the trouble of replacing the man with a statue? And just how many men would it take to pull a stunt like that, ridiculous! And then there are those yellowing squares on the lawn seen in the opening sequence. Well these were left after the chessboard was taken up, the yellowing squares where the white chessboards had been laid down. And subsequently, the part of the opening sequence where the Prisoner walks across the lawn to the steps of the Piazza, was filmed after the human chess match of Checkmate.
    So much was made of these and other points like them in the past. But when you get to know, or use logical reasoning all becomes clear.


No comments:

Post a Comment