A B And C And The GeneralIt has been much debated over the years as to which episode should precede the other. As with ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ and ‘Once Upon A Time,’ the same Number 2 is brought back for a second term of office, and so it is with ‘A B & C’ and ‘The General.’ However unlike Leo McKern whom we can easily tell which episode preceeds the other, but somehow with Colin Gordon its not quite so simple.
In ‘A B & C’ Number 2 does seem to be "under the cosh" right from the outset, is this due to his failure with ‘The General,’ if it is then it does appear strange that this particular Number 2 got that second term of office. But both episodes are different, the one dealing with a human experiment, the other an experiment of a different kind. A new experimental drug developed by Number 14, and used on Number 6, but which for a second, or first time, ends in failure for No.2 who we do not see again.
But whichever episode was supposed to precede the other, both end in failure for Number 2, but failure of a different nature, so perhaps the one does not preclude a second term of office simply because of their varying plot. Of course there is always the possibility that if ‘The General’ was supposed to be screened before ‘A B & C’ in the screening order, then perhaps giving Number 2 the chance of experimenting on Number 6 in order to obtaining the reason behind Number 6's resignation, then perhaps Number 1 thought Number 2 would succeed where others have failed. In that Number 2 would wish to get his own back on Number 6 for his handiwork in the destruction of the General!
In the opening dialogue of ‘The General’ when Number 6 asks "Who are you?" No.2 replies "The new Number two," which indicates that the two men are new to each other. For ‘A B & C’ when Number 6 asks Number 2 "Who are you" No.2 says "I am Number two," it would be nonsensical for him to say "The new Number two, as they have met previously, as with Leo McKern when No.6 says to him in ‘Once Upon A Time’ "I know your voice." I suppose it would be a touch of mockery if in the opening sequence Number 6 asked "Are you still here?" Instead of "Who Are you?"
But as ‘A B & C’ does appear before ‘The General’ in the screening order, perhaps the failure to obtain the reason behind Number 6's resignation, does not preclude Number 2 overseeing the human educational experiment of Speedlearn.
It’s Your Funeral
"By assassinating the retiring No.2, the citizens of the village would have faced mass reprisals from the authorities. And they would have gained nothing - merely removed a man who they hadn't any use for any more."
Well that is one fans take on the plot behind the assassination/execution of the retiring No.2. But it's not right, is it? After all, in the village you are looked after for as long as you live. That is the village health and welfare policy, and No.2 would have ended up, retired into the Old People's Home. As for only getting rid of a man they had no further use for, well that was not the idea at all. The plot behind the assassination was so that mass reprisals could be carried out on the villages population, to rid themselves of a number of "Jammers" or malcontents, of which No.6 was top-of-the-bill you may recall. So if the assassination/execution Plot had succeeded, and the proposed mass reprisals been carried out, would they really have rid the Village of public enemy Number One – that of Number 6?
Had the Prisoner managed to get away before they came for him, the pair of Undertakers with their hearse and coffin, to disappear somewhere in the world. I wonder if his fiancée Janet Portland would have been brought to the village, in the same way No.73 was, so as to help find her husband?........ Makes you think doesn't it. That the village administration is not as infallible as we are given to think. Seeing as how one man can evade capture so much that his wife has to be brought to the village, and even then all she could tell them was that her husband was "He's still over there" "Where?" "Oh somewhere there. He had some work to finish." This poses the question, just how long would Janet have held out? Mind you having just written that, how could Janet tell them something which she doesn't know. After all I get the impression that her fiancé was doing a runner without the intention of taking her with him. Without even saying goodbye to her!
I'll be seeing