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Monday 19 December 2011

E'Xed Out And Filed Away - Somewhere In That Long Room

   During the opening sequence of the Prisoner a computer print-out card complete with a picture of the Prisoner which has been X'ed out, typed over, and is then filed under.......
    The picture by the way is not of John Drake, which you will have seen on the election placards during Free For All, and again No.6 shows that very same photograph to Professor Jacob Seltzman in Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, but the picture used for Patrick McGoohan’s publicity cards.
   So why has the Prisoner been X'ed out in this fashion? Well perhaps it is because he no longer exists, well no longer in the department of MI9 anyway. Well the photograph suggests John Drake, and John Drake was part of MI9-Military Intelligence, or M9 as Drake would have it, and of course Drake did resign from M9, although I cannot recall an episode in which he did resign. Or at least McGoohan had had enough of Danger Man! So perhaps on another level, this is a symbolic act, that it was McGoohan's way of ridding himself of Danger Man's John Drake once and for all!
   Of course the photograph was not specifically created for either the Prisoner or Danger Man, and is in fact a publicity still of Patrick McGoohan. So on yet another level perhaps McGoohan was using a subtle way of striking out at the publicity which he seemed not to enjoy, and from which he shied away.
    Either way once the picture on that computer print-out card has been X'ed out, it is then filed under RESIGNED in that long room somewhere in the depths of MI9.                   
    Well it looks like the Prisoner was FILED after all, remember? "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, de-briefed or numbered, my life is my own!" as he once told No.2. As well as being filed the Prisoner's also been pushed by the interrogations by No.2 and various tortures used against him. Briefed as to the village during the aerial tour of the village on the day of his arrival. De-briefed by both No.2 and the new No.2 in Arrival, as well as being Numbered, eh No.6! That only leaves stamped, and I cannot give any occasion when he was stamped. Perhaps that occurred when his file was stamped closed or some such thing. I mean what do you stamp the file of someone who has resigned..... RESIGNED perhaps.
    One further note, that this room with all the grey filing cabinets puts me in mind of the film Indiana Jones: The Raiders of the Lost Ark. As in how once the Americans have the Ark in their possession, they crate it up and ship it off to an enormous warehouse full of crates. All in neat rows and all carefully stacked together, and their contents possibly never to see the light of day again!


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