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Monday 24 September 2012
Helicopter - Alouette II
I was brought to the Village in September 1966, and fitted with a pair of floats, that's handy I thought, I must be going somewhere near the sea, and I'm likely to get my skids wet. But that was far from the case, I didn't land on the water once! Well that's not quite true, because it was while there was a break in filming, that my pilot decided to test out my floats, and actually landed me on the water in the estuary at Portmeirion. I thought what a shame this stunt is not going to be used in the series. After all I was filmed taking off, landing, in flight, turning this way and that, so why not landing on the water?
My primary use is to help service the Village. I don't carry heavy cargo, but I do bring people to the Village, like the Prisoner-Number 6 and Nadia Rakovsky. The people I bring to the Village are usually unconscious, so that they don't see where they are going, or where they have come from, for security purposes of course. I'm also used to film aerial sequences over the Village.
My first appearance in 'the Prisoner' was in 'Arrival,' after having given the Prisoner an aerial tour of the Village, supposedly flown by that diminutive Butler, pah, he did nothing of the sort. And then that Number 6 came along thinking he could fly me out of the Village, well he got that wrong, as I was actually being flown by remote control, back to the Village. It might have been infuriating for Number 6, but it was exciting for me, as being flown by remote control, it was almost like I was piloting myself. Mind you Number 6 wouldn't have got so far, as I've said my range is but 350 miles, less depending on the amount of fuel in my fuel tank. And that tells you that there must be somewhere else near the Village where I'm based, a landing stage as mentioned in 'The Schizoid Man,' although I only appeared in that episode for a few moments. They used a different Alouette helicopter for the taking off and landing scenes, while in the air it was me. Funny way of going about things, you'd have thought that they would have used the same helicopter for the whole scene. The way they did it makes a complete mockery of the whole thing.
Another exciting scene I appeared in, was again when Number 6 was attempting to escape in 'Free For All' by boat. Strangely it was Number 2 who piloted me that time, where the actual pilot was I don't know. Having a cup of tea or something I imagine. But anyway Number 6 was attempting to escape the Village by boat. He'd overpowered the two motor mechanics, having dumped both of them in the water, and all this time I was giving chase. Then the Village Guardian appeared on the scene, it collided with the boat, sending Number 6 into the water. Aha I thought to myself, this is where I get to land on the water so that Number 6 can be retrieved from the water and flown back to the Village.......no! Two other Rovers turned up, and they took the Prisoner back to the Village!
It might seem to the casual television viewer, and indeed to the aficianados of 'the Prisoner,' that I appear in several episodes, that is, I'm sorry to say, incorrect. Because I only actually appear in three episodes, 'Arrival,' 'The Chimes of Big Ben, and 'Free For All,' all the rest of my appearances in 'the Prisoner' is via stock film footage, which was all filmed in a couple of days at Portmeriion. If you look clsoely at the surveilance film footage of the evacuation which takes place in 'Fall Out,' I make several appearances in that episode, taking off from all parts of the Village, all within a few seconds of each other.