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Friday 16 December 2011

Questions Can Be A Burden - Answers A Question Of Interpretation

    Having been captivated by the Prisoner from the beginning of his life time sentence, I have grown to know the Prisoner very well indeed. In fact for the past 2 - 3 years I have been researching the Prisoner and all related material to a depth never known before, and what's more my recent finding have been quite remarkable. Not earth shattering by world standards I admit, but interesting enough to fans of the Prisoner the world over and with just enough surprises to make them look at the prisoner in a different way. What follows are a number of questions which have puzzled me over the years, but which I am now pleased to say puzzle me no more.
1, In Arrival Cobb, who didn't commit suicide by jumping out of the hospital window, remarks to N.2 in the control room;

      "Mustn't keep my new masters waiting!"

    So what does Cobb mean by this remark?  It’s always possible that Cobb has gone over to the other side, now working for the village, depending on who you see which side is running the village. If its the British running the village, then that doesn't make Cobb a traitor. So in this case Cobb could hold a position within the Government, perhaps there was a general election, or a reshuffle of the cabinet ministers leaving Cobb with a new master of his department. No.2 is also heard to say in the same scene;

    "Au Revoir"

    Cobb saluting "Auf Wiedersehn."

   This could be  a reference to the Common Market as it was known at the time, and in this the shape of things to come. Our New Masters being the Europeon Parliament in Brussels. Or possibly they simply mean the same as be seeing you when accompanied with the village salute!

2, During Dance of the Dead N.2 has a rather novel way of reporting.

    "You're going in?" asks the doctor.

    No.2 "to make my report."

    A report to either the committee or more plausible to N.o1. But in a way which we have not seen before. Instead of simply picking up a telephone No.2 both reports and receives her instructions via a teletype which No.6 discovers, after leading the citizens a merry Dance of the Dead, and which he brutally rips the wiring out of. Yet the teletype, despite having both wiring and paper ripped and torn out! Well either No.6 didn't do a very good job, or the machine had a back up system, which would be unusual for such a machine you have to admit.
3, In Its Your Funeral we hear for the first time about Jammers, those people who create plots to cause mischief for the observers, and which control used to run themselves ragged investigating the plots of Jammers, but they don't do any more. The plots of Jammers were always make believe, so why is it that anyone known to be a Jammer didn't act to escape. After all any known Jammer giving away any such plot to escape would not be taken seriously by control, and so could escape. But no one did, at least not in what we see of the prisoner. I could never figure out why not, just goes to show that however much you think you know of the Prisoner there is always a mystery or two to puzzle over, and that goes for No.4!
No.4, During the mass evacuation of the village during Fall Out we know of the Alouette II helicopter which the village authorities employed. But where the hell did all those other helicopters come from which appear to be taking off from all points of the village? Haven't seen any of those before, yes I know we hadn't seen the rocket either, and yes they were superimposed on the film! But answers please in the actuallity of the village!
5, During Checkmate as No.6 and the Rook are busy looking for men they can trust, but can you trust No.6? They speak to a painter who is busy painting. A disembodied voice is heard to say "alright there Fred?" Certainly not the voice of a citizen of the village, no names are supposed to be used in the village! so it has to be a member of the film crew, either that or a day visitor or guest staying at Portmeirion during the time of filming.
6, In A B & C we learn that the Prisoner was not selling out, he was actually going on holiday. The travel leaflets taken out of the envelope given to No.2 prove that much. Italy, Greece to name but two possible destinations. But could the Prisoner have been going on holiday to Portmeirion?

    "Somewhere different, somewhere quiet where I can think" the Prisoner tells Madam Engadine.

    Portmeirion is both of what the Prisoner is describing, and I like the idea that he was in actual fact going on holiday to Portmeirion after McGoohan discovered the village for himself during the filming of the Danger Man episode A View From A Villa.
7, There is no question 7 as the No.7 does not exist in the village. This due to the fact that 7 is a lucky number as 13 is unlucky!
8, In both Free for All and Dance of the Dead No.6 has breakfast brought to him on a tray by a maid, strange when he has a fully and stocked equipped kitchen. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that breakfast used to be served to guests staying at Portmeirion in Serviced accommodation in the early days of the village.
9, On a more serious note, during The Chimes of Big Ben No.2 describes the village as being an International community, a blue print for world order. True the village is very cosmopolitan, you never know who you will meet, and it has its single currency of the work or credit unit.

    This in fact mirrors the state of Europe today, or at the very least predicts what is to come for Europe. A single economic, International European Community that is Europe today, but known only as the Common Market back in the 1960's, but which today, although not all countries within the European Community have signed up to it, boasts its own single currency... the Euro. and what's more we here in England seem to have new masters with the European Parliament in Brussels telling us what we can and cannot do, laying down the law as much as they like. Are these our new masters referred to by Cobb in The Chimes of Big Ben?
    You have to admit that if you dig deep enough you will find there is much more to the Prisoner than meets the eye, and much which is reflected more and more in our everyday lives!

Be seeing you

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