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Monday 13 February 2012

Actuality Or Imagination?

    Upon a wet Tuesday afternoon I sat watching a video The Prisoner: In Depth Tape 2 a Steven Rick's production. It was very near to the end of an interview with camera operator Jack Lowen that my ears pricked up at something he said. I rewound the tape and listened again to what Jack Lowen had to say on one aspect of the Prisoner. That in turn, began to make me think and inevitably put pen to paper {well finger to keyboard as I do these days}. A question began going around and round inside my head: "Is the Prisoner really all in the mind?
   The Prisoner has often been described as "a prisoner of himself", "a Prisoner of his own mind, "a man fighting the evil side to his nature, his evil self, that being his evil side which manifests itself as No.1. A man who cannot escape his own "Id." But is that really the case? Is the Prisoner simply all in the mind? Well I suppose it all comes down to interpretation, one man's meat being another man's poison so to speak. Logic would dictate however, that this is not the case, nor could it be so, that it simply just isn't possible.
   There is the question of "actuality" within the Prisoner series. No doubt there are many who would argue against this. However if we are to suppose that the Prisoner is all in the mind of No.6, actuality would dictate that you could only have things happen in the series/village which No.6 actually took part in, or is seen to be taking part in, or had prior knowledge of. For example, the Prisoner handing in his letter of resignation, No.6 and his escape with Nadia-No.8 during the Chimes of Big Ben, the fight scene between No.6 and No.14 of Hammer Into Anvil. And of the same episode, No.6 in the General Store, his Kosho practise with No.14. As the white Queens pawn in the human chess match of Checkmate. And such a list could go on, but on the other list might be scenes and sequences which No.6 could know nothing about. Scenes which does not contain No.6, such as various scenes in the control room. The meeting of the educational board in The General. No.2's interrogation of No.72 in Hammer Into Anvil, the conversation between the doctor-No.40 and No.2 in the Town Hall during Dance of the Dead. the discussion between No.2 and No.100 in the office of the Green Dome of It’s Your Funeral, and again the list could be endless, but you get the general idea. These are scenes and sequences which do not have No.6's participation, which could not, and indeed should not exist in the mind of No.6. Oh, I suppose he could have imagined such scenes in his mind, but that then would not be "actuality."
   Allow me to demonstrate. Take a moment or two to think about the scenes that are happening in the flat or house next door, or in the office along the corridor. Think of the people acting out scenes therein, what they are doing, what they are saying to each other. You can't, can you, because you are not there. You are not taking an active part, and therefore can only imagine what is taking place. You can try to imagine what is taking place, but in actuality those living next door, or working in that office along the corridor might have gone out, and so are not there at all. It's all in your imagination after all, and therefore didn't really happen at all!
   "Actuality" only allows us only to see the things in which No.6 takes an active part in. It does not permit us to see the scenes in which he does not appear, for he cannot possibly know of them. For that reason we should only see the scenes in which No.6 took an active part, not the scenes he did not. That is what cameraman Jack Lowen had to say, and what my ears pricked up on hearing.

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