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Sunday 19 February 2012

In The Numbered Pecking Order

   Numbers, do they relate to the status within the community of the village? After all we know that No.1 is the boss, No.6 said as much in the episode of Once Upon A Time. And that being the case No.2 is second only to one, and which in turn must put No.6 pretty high up in the pecking order. After all there was the suggestion of the possibility that No.6 might be given a position of authority by the words of No.2 during his aerial tour of the village on the morning of his arrival. Or was that an insinuation towards the offer of ultimate power during Fall Out?
   Perhaps there is evidence for any such numbered 'pecking-order' through No.2's various assistants. The first No.2's of Arrival didn't have assistants, well not that we saw. No.2 of The Chimes of Big Ben had No.14 as an assistant, which seems again to be high up in the numbered pecking-order. And this number is repeated in Hammer Into Anvil, the same No.14 but a different citizen altogether. But before then No.14 is a doctor in A B and C who might be akin to an assistant for No.2, but not in the true sense of the word. Although she is helping No.2 in her own right, and the use of the drug she has developed.
    No.12 in The General is a member of the village’s administration, and thereby having the No.12 puts him higher up in the pecking-order to No.14. Although No.12 is associated with No.2, is heard to take instructions from No.2, and carries out those instructions, he also has a place on the board of education, along side No.2. And in so being, makes No.12 No.2's equal in this specific instance.
   Now with the episode of It’s Your Funeral we deal with not one assistant to No.2, but two! Numbers 22 and 100, assistants to the retiring No.2 and Heir presumptive respectively. First No.100 seems to be quite a drop in the pecking-order, being not so highly placed, number wise. But this makes him not the least important, because No.100 brings into play  an invaluable quality. His ability of indoctrination. To make the watchmaker believe he is not what he actually is, but a fellow conspirator in the plot to assassinate the retiring No.2. No.22 on the other hand is placed higher than No.100, but not as high as 12 or 14. Yet there is something familiar about this No.22. He has a striking resemblance to 14 of the previous episode Hammer Into Anvil. Incidentally, previously No.22 was a female doctor during Checkmate. No.22 also wears the exact same clothes, including the blazer! which suggests to me that.... but that's not for here, but 'The Butler Speaks.' But certainly No.100 is the busier of the two assistants, although No.22 is fully aware of what is taking place. That his superior is to be executed by his own people, but is either not willing, or is powerless to do anything against the plot in order to save his superior, the retiring No.2, from the fate which is to befall him.
    The episode of Living In Harmony sees No.2's assistant come from a much higher position, that of No.8. And like No.100, No.8 brings his own skills to the fore. The use of hallucinatory drugs. To put No.6 into a dangerous environment, and speak to the subject through microphones. But this chap is not the first No.8 we have seen. Nadia of The Chimes of Big Ben was issued with the No.8, which would be right to the status of her ranking. Being an agent assigned to the village.
   But then what of the white Queen of Checkmate, she is the first to break the mould of any such pecking-order. The white Queen's number might have been No.8, but really she was not that important, save for her being used in one of the doctor-No.22's medical experiments! No.8 though was a different 'kettle of fish' of It’s Your Funeral. It was No.8, who instigated the 'day’s activity prognosis' on No.6, on behalf of the heir presumptive. She, as the new No.8 was far higher in the pecking order, as a person to that of the white Queen.
    The episode A Change of Mind brought the doctor No.86 to the fore as an assistant for No.6, but again not in the sense of No.s'14, 100 and 22 for example. More in the same context as the doctor-No.14 of A B & C.
   And the final assistant to No.2 is No.10 of the episode The Girl Who Was Death. Higher than both No.14 and 22, but not as No.8. Mind you the doctor-No.86 claimed to be even higher than No.2, but then she was high on Mytol at the time!
   So, there is some evidence for a numbered pecking-order in the village. Although at times it doesn't seem to matter the number, more the person’s ability, or specialised skill which sees someone brought to the fore.
   Then again it might simply be a question of availability of any given number which could be issued to any new citizen to the village.

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