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Friday, 17 August 2012

Prismatic Reflection

Have you observed how many old friends and colleagues the Prisoner encounters during his time in the Village? Well perhaps there are not that many, there’s Cobb on the hospital ward in ‘Arrival,’ and Potter, who is the Labour Exchange Manager also in ‘Arrival.’ Okay, I give you that the Labour Exchange Manager might not be Potter of ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ but seeing as how they are both played by the same actor, fictionally speaking it’s possible, even though there was no visual sign of their recognising one another. But it certainly helps with my way of thinking about the characters in ‘the Prisoner.’ And the Labour Exchange Manager must have done well for himself, seeing by the time of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ he appears to have been promoted to Number 2’s assistant. Mind you that could also be seen to be a demotion, seeing as he was once in charge of the Labour Exchange, and now although he appears to be assistant to Number 2 he’s not actually involved with the plot behind the episode. More only involved with more mundane activities, like the interrogation of Number 8. You can just see Number 14 in the background when Number 2 is talking with Number 6 in the Observation Room. And that’s another point. When Potter, I’ll call him that for the sake of argument, although I’m sure some of you wouldn’t, was the Labour Exchange Manager his number was 20, but then as assistant to Number 2 his number is, well it’s difficult to make out what Number is. But I can say that the first digit of the two digit number is 1, possibly the second digit is an 0, that would make him Number 10. But in any case at least I’ve made the effort to identify the number of 2’s assistant, unlike the ‘Prisoner’ consultant for ‘The Prisoner’ part-work produced by De Agostini, which I consulted in an attempt to identify Number 2’s assistant’s number, there was no reference to it whatsoever. So, from being Number 20 to Number 10, is that promotion or demotion? And with a change of job in the Village, does that automatically bring about a different number for the individual in question? He wasn’t the first, and wouldn’t be the last if it did. Take Number 93, an unmutual who publicly makes his confession in ‘A Change of Mind,’ a man who was previously Number 256, a Village Guardian in ‘The General, who Number 6 accused him of being a school prefect! It would seem in 93’s case it was a fall from grace, causing a change in his number. Yet, it would appear that confession is good for the soul, as the next time we encounter Number 93, he’s a delegate sitting amongst the members of the assembly in ‘Fall out.’ If you have any doubts that it is 93 of the assembly, he’s the gentleman who speaks about Number 48, not wearing, or responding to his number, and not wearing correct Village attire. Oh and the grey full beard protruding from beneath his mask is a bit of a give away, as to his voice, which is very distinctive.
    When it comes to numbers and their use in the Village, I’ve often wondered who Number 6’s predecessor was, I mean there had to have been one, unless of course the Number 6 we know is the original Number 6, that would be something if he is.
    Cobb of course we don’t know what his number was. But he was allowed to leave the Village for the city, unlike Potter {fictionally speaking} who was obviously recruited for work in the Village, as to some extent was Fotheringay seconded to the Village for a short time, but who was later allowed to leave the Village.
    Roland Walter Dutton I suppose came off worse of any friend and ex-colleague of Number 6’s, there had been a termination order set against him, and that might have been the kindest cut of all, seeing as how the doctors experiments on Dutton had left him a brainwashed imbecile!
     Thorpe was also an ex-colleague of the Prisoner’s, but did he actually make it to the Village to take up office as Number 2? I suppose the argument would be no, seeing as the character of Thorpe and that of Number 2 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ appear to be different. The one sceptical and doubtful. The other a total paranoid! However, fictionally speaking, what’s stopping Thorpe from having been recruited to the Village like Potter? Yes I know there is no recognition between the Prisoner, Potter and Thorpe, but we don’t see everything that goes on in the Village do we? And I’m quite sure that Thorpe, who had nothing but scepticism for the Prisoner’s story, would relish the opportunity of being able to interrogate Number 6. In fact Thorpe could have sought out the Village authorities for himself, and in doing so volunteering his services so to speak.
    One other old friend and Colleague I might have expected Number 6 to encounter in the Village, would have been Chambers, late of the Foreign Office, who the Prisoner tried to get to first before the ‘big boys’ found out. But we never see Chambers, we have Cobb instead. Perhaps something else happened to Chambers. He might not have made it as far as the Village, and even if he had, something very nasty might have befallen him, either in the hospital or………. An encounter with that membranic Village Guardian can be very nasty indeed, if not a fatal one!

I’ll be seeing you

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