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Wednesday 22 August 2012

A Favourite Scene in The Prisoner

      Comes during 'The Chimes of Big Ben" when Number 6 thinks he's in an office he knows very well in

 The Colonel “Tell me, who’s she?”
     Number 6 “Nadia Rakovski.”
     “Oh really, and what was her name before she left Peckham Rye for the Bolshoi Ballet?”
    “You haven’t changed have you, she told me she
was an Estonian. In the village…”
    “The village?”
    “She was known as Number 8, don’t you know
 about the village?”
    “I’m here to ask the questions old boy.
    “That’s what Number 2 used to say.”
    “Number 2?”
    “Chairman of the village.”
    “What village?”
    “Yes I forgot you don’t know do you. The village
 is a place where people turn up, people who have
resigned from a certain sort of job, have defected, or
 have been extracted the specialised knowledge in their
heads is of great value to one side or the other, are you sure you haven’t got a village here?”
     The Colonel “Where is this Village?”
      Number 6 “Lithuania on the Baltic, thirty miles from the Polish border.”
       “How did you find out?”
       “Nadia told me.”
       “How did she know?”
       “She used to work for their government, she came across a secret file.”
     The Colonel “On how to catch a spy in six lessons!”
    Number 6 “I risked my life and hers to come back here, home, because I though it was different, it is isn’t,
isn’t it different?”
    At this point I cannot help but think to myself........“No, I’m afraid it isn’t Number 6!”



  1. I've been trying to figure out the reference with peckham rye and the Bolshoi. Do you know what it means? Because the wway #6 says "you haven't changed" that it has to mean something

    1. Hello Matt,

      Good to hear from you.

      In my opinion the Colonel was being sarcastic towards Nadia Rakovsky. Because girls who were ballet dancers in the 1950's and 60's dreamed of dancing for the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre Company in Soviet Russia, that was thought to be the ultimate to achieve. Many would give themselves Russian sounding names as they thought this would help in their career. I don't think there was any deep meaning in the use of Peckham Rye, in the context of the scene Peckham Rye is simply a railway Station she could have left from for Russia!
      "You haven't changed" I think was merely No.6's way of saying the Colonel was still as sarcastic and synical as he'd ever been, and believed nothing anyone said.