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Monday 13 August 2012

Almost As Bad As Changing The Minds Of Two People by our own reporter

   Professor Jacob Seltzman, an Austrian Jew who has been experimenting with "Mind Transference," has developed the "Seltzman Machine". The village administration does have such a machine and have been employing it for quite some time it seems. No.2 in a statement said "You must be aware that all major powers have in their prisons one or two spies. From time to time diplomatic swaps take place - imagine the power we could have if the spies we returned had the mind of our choosing. We could break the security of any nation." The only trouble it seems is that they do not have the reversal process which Seltzman has developed. But couldn't they just.... well I'll just let them try and figure that one out themselves!
    Whatever your opinions of Professor Jacob Seltzman, he was able to out wit Number 2 and together with his medical staff, by successfully changing the minds of three people at the same time. He escaped the village and was then able to carry on with his experiments in peace  -whatever the results of those experiments might be.
   We have been witness many dark human experiments in the village hospital, but can there really be anything as bad as changing the minds of two people as happened here, with the danger of not being able to correctly re-house both minds? However if you sit and ponder the idea of the "Seltzman Machine," there could be beneficial results. For example if you have a healthy mind, but an inactive body, and if there was such a donor of a healthy body, for whatever reason, then a mind transference would be the ideal result.
   The only thing wrong with science is, that it can be perverted. But in this case if the perversion can be controlled and redirected, then Professor Seltzman could be beneficial to mankind.

Your own reporter
Photographs from the Department of Visual Records.


  1. "Forsake" is widely regarded as trash and the worst of all Prisoner episodes. In my personal ranking it is 13th, leaving behind celebrities such as "Funeral" on 14, "Change" on 15, "The General" on 16 and "A. B. and C." on 17. I feel more than being just bad or the worst we should appreciate its different approach to the series' conception. Because this one has a pre-credit sequence which is actually compelling, it keeps you guessing as to what it is all about... In a very positive way. Then there is the ride through continental Europe and into Austria. Although executed by the use of stock footage only the sequence is remarkable in giving you just a notion of the type of TV production it could have become. Say: an early Jason Bourne type movie, a man hunting himself, his past, north by northwest - whatever. No doubt, Seltzman's contraption and the mind swap in particular are the tasteless highlights here. They belong to the 40s SF serials rather than the late 60s. It's cost-conscious cheap TV junk. Did I mention the wasted possibilities in creating a melodrama out of the stuff, Number Six', his fiancée Janet, he himself in the body of a different man...? Well, that's a different story, too. - BCNU!

  2. @ the sequence is remarkable in giving you just a notion of the type of TV production it could have become @

    I would say it gives you more of a notion of what David Tomblin was used to. The prologue sequence at the start, added to the "Euro-trotting plot", gives the entire episode the structure of an episode of Danger Man.

    I guess George Markstein was not the only person in the crew that was struggling to accept that McGoohan was playing, and making something else, other than an extension of John Drake. Not that I would have had any objection to the series having become a proto-Bourne. The moor McGoohan the better in my book... :-D

    One other thing should be said though, and I have said it before and elsewhere. The "widely accepted notion" of Forsake being 'trash' is not backed up by the first fans of this show. In the Canadian brochure for the College Course in 1976 they described it as: "the richest, most complexly rewarding program in the series".