Very Much A Common Practice
There seems to be something in common between the Colonel and No.2-Chairman of the village, in that the character changes with each appearance of the Colonel. First during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ a Colonel who is a direct superior to the Prisoner. But he is an objectionable and obnoxious character, who does not suffer fools gladly, and is very sceptical of his ex-colleague who he sees as having gone over to the other side, and has now returned to carry on the good work! That's big of the Colonel, seeing as it is he who has been seconded to the village!
Then another Colonel, to who No.6 has gone running to in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ who is rather sceptical of his ex-colleagues report. That is until No.6's story begins to check out right. From
Beachy Head, to the Gypsy camp, the Police road block, and Mrs. Butterworth's Statement. Then the Colonel begins to put in motion plans for No.6 to find the location of the village. But as he and Thorpe stand watching on as No.6 takes off from the Aerodrome, it is the last he sees of his ex-colleague "He's an old, old friend who never gives up!"
In ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ the Colonel is again brought to the village by the highest authority. Although the Colonel doesn't look at all comfortable at having been seconded to the village, he is gratified, and would like to know his duties as soon as possible, either in being keen to serve or to get it over with as soon as possible!
Finally there is Colonel Hawke-Englishe who in the episode The Girl Who Was Death, is on the trail of a mad Professor Schnipps, who has built a rocket with intent to destroy
. We don't get the chance to meet with this particular Colonel, as he is blown to bits at the wicket by an exploding cricket ball, just one run short of his century! London
Interesting to note, that the Colonel not only has his office job, but also takes up a position in the field of operations, with or with or without a standard disguise. Putting his life on the line, just as agents like John Drake and James Bond. But in two cases here in episodes of the Prisoner, going into the field as they did, on the trail of Seltzman and Professor Schnipps, it cost them both their lives.
Somehow I feel it is improbable that the position of Colonel would change so frequently during the 15 months of the Prisoner's absence. But its possible I suppose, given the latter rate of the Colonel's mortality!
I'll be seeing you.