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Friday 17 August 2012

The Therapy Zone

   Continuing profiles of characters in the Prisoner.

The Chimes of Big Ben

Number 2
     Here we have a most dramatic change in character of number 2, from those we have met previously. But not in the way in which I am treated by any current new master!
 Village attire, a plain dark blazer, grey polo neck jersey fawn slacks and deck shoes. Oh yes and wears the somewhat compulsory ‘old school scarf’ and carries about with him, a furled umbrella shooting stick. This as you will see, is the normal uniform/costume of many of the male number 2’s.
Height….. 5feet 8inches {approx}
Weight….. 200lbs {approx}
Age……..  middle aged {approx}
Hair…….. black, receding hair line, goaty beard
Nationality…. English speaking
Chief Administrator
Chairman of the village
Right handed
Not only is he a capable administrator and interrogator, but also cleaver and self assured.
Has a strong sense of humour.
He has a glass eye, the left one
Wears a wrist watch with a black leather strap in his left wrist
In general he is a pragmatic, philosophical character and full of good humour. He enjoys a joke, his bellowous laugh seems to echo and re-echo around the Village. Not a man to be underestimated, he is extremely cunning and cleaver, a very capable and shrewd operator. Familiar in the ways of the village which would suggest that number 2 is well into his term of office. Or that this was not his first term in office, suggesting that he had been to the village previously.
    He appears to enjoy his time in the village and on the surface seems not to be concerned as to his purpose, being more than capable of dealing with Number 6.
   He accepts that he is just as much a prisoner as Number 6, in fact he knows too much, he and Number 6 are both lifers.
   However Number 2 is also an optimist, it doesn’t matter who Number 1 is, it doesn’t matter which side runs the village.
    As far as the Village is concerned, it is an International community, a blue print for world order and a pattern for the future. The whole Earth as the Village!!!
    Did this Number 2 in suggesting the village as a blue print for world order, an international community, be also suggesting the European Common Market?
    On the outside Number 2 appears relaxed and quite genial in many ways. However underneath lie’s a core of hardened steel. A strong man of determination, who perhaps is used to doing things his way. We get a hint of what this Number 2 is capable of when he tells Number 6 that he will be cured. If he has so much as a bad dream, he will come whimpering to tell it to him!
    During his time here in the village this particular Number 2 has built up something of a rapport with Number 6, who reciprocates this relationship, they both being prisoners!
    This Number 2 does have an assistant but seems himself to have little or no need of him, perhaps even thinks nothing of him after putting down his assistants early suggestion that ‘there are methods they haven’t event tried yet’. This Number 2 wants the prisoner with a whole heart, body and soul. He doesn’t want a man of fragments, he doesn’t want number 6 broken, even though Number 6 can make even the act of putting on his dressing gown seem like an act of defiance!
    However this Number 2 does have an assistant, but instead of employing him in regard to Number 6, Number 2 has another assistant, a plant in fact, brought to the village with one precise purpose in mind, to befriend Number 6.
     At the beginning Number 2 seems only concerned with seeing that Number 6 begins to settle down, to join in with community life. But this is only a demonstration of Number 2’s sly cunning. To get Number 6 involved, to have certain information fed to him via Nadia so that number 6 comes up with the escape plan that he did.
But first he had to get Nadia accepted by Number 6. This was done by projecting Nadia as a damsel in distress. To make Number 6 feel sorry for her, at the time of her interrogation, which Number 2 had to make sure Number 6 witnessed.
And of course it worked like a charm, Nadia under the protective wing of Number 6, just as he wanted. However number 2 with a keen sense of humour, could not help but see the funny side of it. The exchange of Nadia for Number 6 to do some wood work for him!!!!!
     And of course Number 2 new exactly what Number 6 was up to as he sat watching number 6 build his sculpture/boat. This via surveillance and also through Nadia who would have kept him well informed.
    Not that Number 2 would have needed Nadia’s input, he could see for himself what number 6 was doing and playing him for a fool was happy for him to get on with it and apparently enjoying every moment.
In this situation Number 2 was always in control, allowing Number 6 to use his home made tools which are themselves ‘outside the pail of the law’ but at the same time was perhaps unsure that the ruse against number 6 would actually work. In fact at in the end he is not at all surprised that the plan has not in fact worked. ‘I told you’ he tells Nadia. This would suppose that the plan made to get Number 6 to talk was not in fact his but of someone else’s, and that Nadia who was about to vacate the village, was in fact superior to Number 2.
    But perhaps it was not a complete failure, because now the prisoner number 6 will not know who he can trust!
    His relationship with the butler is not defined. Perhaps at times he finds the dwarf a little strange to live with. This is perhaps manifested in no better way than when I leave his office after setting out the tea things. I am sure that Number 2 gives a shudder as he watches me depart up the ramp and through the steel doors!
     Curiously this Number 2 is prepared to make a deal with Number 6 in order to obtain that which he wants from Number 6. If Number 6 will tell him one thing, why he resigned and he will release him from the village. An early attempt with a deal loaded in number 2’s favour.
He is also it seems, an inspiration to the whole community, as he has been much the subject for painters, sculptors, sketches and drawings, for almost the entire ‘Arts & Crafts Exhibition’.
Number 2 appears to be a popular man of the community, as he is the model for almost the entire number of entrants for the arts and craft exhibition. From painting, sketches and drawings to sculptures a popular man amongst the citizens so it seems.
But not so important as to actually give out the prizes at the award ceremony!
That privilege is altogether mine, the Butlers. Which begs the question, who was more important, the master or servant?
The failure of the plan to fool Number 6 into giving up the secret of his resignation cannot be laid at the feet of Number 2. The blame lie’s elsewhere, and with a man back in a cave on the Polish coast.

The Butler

     At times he seems to causes his master to cringe and he may have overall say in the village {second to Number 1 of course}. But there are moments when he is somewhat more important than my master. For who is it who hands out the prizes at the arts and crafts exhibition? Me that’s who! At such prize giving events, it is always the prize giver who is the most important person present.
   He appears to enjoy an anomaly in the hierarchy of the village, also a security which so far none of my masters have!
   Life for the Butler is relatively simple here in the Village, because he does not rebel, or question, he simply concentrate on my tasks given to me, rather then waste time and effort challenging anything.
   A life of service appears suites him, and sometimes as you have seen there are moments when, as a little man, he can achieve importance, even if only briefly.

Number 8
     Arrives in the village like so many before her, unconscious and flown in by helicopter and is taken to an exact replica of her own home.
A young woman dressed in a dark blue cardigan and skirt with gold high heel shoes.
Name…..  Nadia Rakovsky.
Height…… 5ft 5inches {approx}
Weight…..  140lbs {approx}
Eyes……. Blue
Height….. 5 feet 4 inches {approx}
Country of origin…Estonia or so she claims.
Name…………….. Nadia Rakovski
Bilingual, speaks Russian and Polish.
An International swimmer, at the age of seventeen, she was an Olympic bronze medallist at the London 1948 Olympics. It has to have been at that year, not only because of Nadia’s age, but for the fact that the previous Olympics were held in Berlin in 1936, the 1940, 1944 Olympics having been cancelled due to World War II.
     Nadia has been brought to the village unconscious and by helicopter, the same as any other prisoner. However in the end we see Nadia for what she truly is, anything but a prisoner. Nadia is working for the village authorities! The woman is an expert in the art of deception, for this woman is not as she first appears. Apparently brought to the Village to recuperate. Although Number 2 also states that she’s not at all important, and seem surprised that they sent her to the Village at all!
Village attire, Nadia changes into, pink top and slacks, with brown flat shoes. Also wears a black swim suit when down on the beach. And as she prepares to leave the village, a pink top and skirt, with a fur coat.
She is the new number 8, the old having vacated the premises, although he did not escape and there was no funeral, but then that is not always possible…. You need a body!
     She speaks very good English but with a slight Russian or Eastern European accent. Nadia is in fact a plant. Obviously a top field agent, but working for which side? She is as good as British agent John Drake at building a character and keeping to it. Her brief is obviously to get as close to Number 6 as she can, and does with remarkable ease. Indeed Nadia is the first woman to do so far to do so. It is wholly possible that she began to have feelings for the Prisoner, however at the end Nadia has a cold expression and probably had no feelings for number 6 at all. Despite the apparent relationship which they had built up between them in the Village.
But at first Nadia feigns miss trust towards number 6. ‘Number 2 being a charming man, she would expect his assistant to be the same!’ But what about Number 8?
Posing as a prisoner Nadia tries to swim away from the village in a desperate attempt to escape or so it seems. She is pursued by the guardian in her desperate escape attempt. Nadia is finally caught by the white membranic mass of the guardian, unable to not swim the thing, she is then caught in a whirlpool created by the guardian and retuned to shore unconscious and half drowned.
   Nadia is then questioned and interrogated at the hospital. The torture she goes through number 2 tells Number 6, is self inflicted!
   However the self infliction might be, Number 8 does take her life in her hands when she makes for the door, as the floor has an electrical current running through it.
Nadia would know that she was in relatively safe hands during the interrogation period. But the ordeal she was put through at the hands of the guardian, must have been a truly awful experience. Obviously Nadia was a quite excellent and capable field agent.
 All of which has been carefully calculated to make Number 6 feel sorry towards Nadia
/number 8 which of course he does. With the result that number 8 is successfully taken under the wing of number 6.
     Nadia tells Number 6 that she knows the location of the village, having worked for their government and seeing a secret file but for only a few seconds. Number 8 wants to escape the village telling number 6 that what she really wants to hear is the chimes of Big Ben.  She tells Number 6 that she knows of a small fishing village which resists them and has a contact who will help them.
How is it possible for Nadia to contact anyone outside the village? The answer is of course she cannot, the whole thing is a put up job, which she is most happy to be apart of.
    Finally one evening {after curfew }she and Number 6 put the pieces of the sculpture together to create the boat and begin their escape together.
She plays her part well with post 5, and even more so sealed in that crate with Number 6, Knowing full well that all the time they were back in the village!!!
Nadia’s name is used by Number 6. But Nadia does not use her confederates name, she doesn’t even know his name! Such is their relationship that Nadia has to resort to the use of a nick name she gives him. “Big Ben”.

Number 14 – Assistant to Number 2
Height…. 5feet 11 inches {approx}
Weight… 200lbs {approx}
Age……. Mid thirties {approx}
Hair……. Light brown
Nationality… English speaking
Village attire, black piped blazer, grey polo neck jersey, grey flannel trousers and deck shoes.
   Once the Labour Exchange Manager, he has obviously been moved up the promotion ladder, perhaps through the Labour Exchange itself, a handy place to be if one is looking for a new position. Well citizens do get promoted, or change jobs you know! Although we see this man in number 2’s office and is clearly number 2’s assistant, he is never actually seen assisting his superior, although he is seen in the control room from time to time.
    He does however remind Number 2 “There are methods we have not used yet.”
   Perhaps as Number 2 has an assistant in Nadia, this assistant is relegated to more mundane matters.

Supervisor – Number 28

This is the same supervisor as seen previously, His details have not change, nor his village costume/uniform.


Height…. 5feet 10 inches {approx}
Weight…. 160lbs {approx}
Hair……. Light brown
AGE…….Middle aged
Wears spectacles
Nationality…. English
Occupation… Civil Servant
Salary………. £200 per month {approx}
Dressed in a three piece business suit, white shirt and tie, with black shoes.
  He is an ex-colleague of number 6’s, and assistant to the Colonel
Works in some government department, most probably the secret service. Not a field agent, but something in administration.
    He shows great delight at seeing his old colleague {Number 6} again, in fact he can’t wait to see him!
   Yet how easily he aids in the betrayal of his old ex-colleague and friend, in fact he thinks nothing of what he is doing.
   It is most probable that he was speaking to Number 2 on the red telephone in the Colonel’s office… ‘Fotheringay here. Yes, Yes I’ve seen a copy of the deciphered message. What time would you say…. good I cant wait to see him’.
Surely not a simple case of following orders! Otherwise he would not have shown so much enthusiasm at meeting him again.
Coldly with this current assignment over, he asks Number 2 what his next assignment is?
    Apparently the Colonel will give him his orders when he returns to London.
   Fotheringay is a man only too eager to serve, which ever side that might be!
It is quite possible that Fothringay is not only a betrayer, but also a traitor, having gone over to the other side. Unless of course the village is a British installation, but run by a separate British department of course. Either way that could explain why Fotheringay has to get back to London, before any embarrassing questions are asked!
    Again there is a demonstration of trust, as Fotheringay will be allowed to leave the village.

Next time we continue with the Colonel

Be seeing you

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