A man who resigns from a top secret, confidential job, that wouldn’t be allowed would it? A man who sees such business as being above the law, might that man not become a law unto himself? Might such a man not want to become Number 1? A man of his calibre, a man of steel, with a superhuman will power, he could be capable of anything, even the creation of the Village. And once that Village is created, what to do with the man who created it? Well you put him in it, so that he would not be able to tell the rest of the world about it.
What then might happen to that man who resigns his job, after what, creating the Village? He cannot be left to wander at large, who knows what he might say. So you have him kidnapped to the Village. But you make him, let us call him the architect, comfortable, at home, you even make his home a home from home. You want him whole, un-broken, a man like him, he can be of use. He is seen to have a future in the Village, he might even be offered a position of authority. But a mistake has been made, in abducting him to the Village, you may not have damaged him, but you have taken away his freedom, his identity. You’ve taken away his name, and have given him a number. So why the Number 6? There’s got to be more to it that just “Six of one, half a dozen of the other.” Oh yes I know, because 6 is the only number when turned upside down, it makes another number, well what about 9, or if you think about it 8. I could go 66, or 99, even 88, but that would be too much, as I think the point has been made. The point being, that in my opinion, Patrick McGoohan was trying to be far too clever for his own good! Or perhaps it is because six is a perfect number. Otherwise it might simply be that Ratcliffe College is situated on the Six Hills road1
So, you’ve got the architect behind the Village, the Prisoner, what are you going to do with him? Make him an offer of authority? No, that’s the last thing you want to go and do. Because if you do, he’ll only go and try to organise a mass breakout, and you don’t want that do you? So you make him a prisoner, but not just any prisoner, otherwise if he falls into the hands of unethical doctors, they just might begin experimenting on Number 6, and if they go too far, well, you might lose him!
Make him feel at home, let him live in his own “home from home,” but don’t forget to lock the cell door at night, curfew time would be best. And if you lace his nightcap with a sleeping draught, that’s all to the good. And introduce the drug into the water supply, just in case the Prisoner doesn’t drink his nightcap. Hell, that could be introduced to the whole community, to keep everyone asleep at night, and out of trouble. Not the warders of course.
You can allow the Prisoner a few privileges, but do not under any circumstances make him feel important, even though he has a future with you. Let him make the odd escape attempt now and again, stage a couple for him, but with you under control of the situation at all times. Assign someone to him through some devious subterfuge, and make that someone a woman, that way she can get close to him, get him to open up to her, and in turn she can report back to you on the progress she is making. Play games with the Prisoner, question him, interrogate him, but whatever you do…….Don’t damage the tissue! Bruise it a bit by all means, but in general terms the Prisoner must remain intact. There are other ways, and the Prisoner we know as Number 6 must be won over!
I have to say that in general terms, Number 6 had it pretty easy in the Village, when you think of what they might have done to him. I’ve been of the opinion that if the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation was so important to the Village Administration, why didn’t Number 2 have the Colonel bring the Prisoner’s letter of resignation with him to the Village during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’
How possible would it have been for the Prisoner to have resigned in the first place? I mean to say, if he was that important, when the Prisoner had returned to London, surely the Colonel would have done his utmost to make sure he didn’t lose the Prisoner for a second time, if he didn’t know of the Village in the first place that is. Otherwise he’s lost Number 6 to the other side, depending on which side runs the Village. Number 6 said that if he couldn’t find out here, meaning the west, then he’d find out elsewhere, presumably meaning the east, behind the Iron Curtain. Talk about putting your head in the noose! I’m sure the Russians, or Czechs would have loved that, a defecting British…….yes that’s a good one, a British what, Secret agent? Well let us say so for arguments sake, a British Secret Service agent defects behind the Iron Curtain in search of answers, I bet the Russians wouldn’t be able to believe their luck. And there’d be no coming back from there, not unless there was an exchange for someone on the cards. And no doubt Number 6 would blab to his Russian interrogator about the Village, much in the same way that he did to the Colonel and Thorpe. So that if the Russians didn’t know about the Village, they would after Number 6 had told them! But if the village is behind the Iron Curtain, and the Russians responsible for the Village, well they’re not likely to let go of their prize prisoner a second time. And even if they were not, either way Number 6 ‘s Goose would be well and truly cooked!
I’ll be seeing you
Quite insightful. Should be a PhD thesis!ReplyDelete
Hello Dweller of the Crag,Delete
Thank you, a compliment indeed.
I trust the world is well with you.
By chance I was watching a documentary (on Discovery Channel perhaps) recently dealing with the question of reality. Nothing more, nothing less. Unlucky, I was catching only the remaining minutes of it. But they left with a quintessential statement by one scientist who after explaining what it was and how it worked said that reality was like a hologram. Meaning you can break it into pieces but information of the whole picture is still enclosed in the tiniest fragment. But, the closer you look at or into it that more your vision, what you see or believe to see becomes blurred. Pointing in that direction is the Antonioni film "Blow Up" although here it's about ordinary "analogue" film.ReplyDelete
To me, The Prisoner discourse sometimes appears to align with that statement. Whatever details are unearthed, explained and discussed it's a never ending process, always unfolding new twists and threads, new layers of interpretation. Many of them not necessarily "clearer" or more evident that previous ones. Strange, perplexing, mind boggling isn't it? - BCNU!
An interesting and intriguing comment. It has been said that if you look too closley at 'the Prisoner' it does not improve your understanding of it. That topics within the series can become blurred under too close examination. Up to a point I can see that. But the whole point behind 'the Prisoner' is to question, that was McGoohan's ethos. And so yes I completely agree with you that;
"The Prisoner discourse sometimes appears to align with that statement. Whatever details are unearthed, explained and discussed it's a never ending process, always unfolding new twists and threads, new layers of interpretation. Many of them not necessarily "clearer" or more evident that previous ones. Strange, perplexing, mind boggling isn't it?"
Yes it is, even 45 years after the event. I could not have put it better myself.
Be seeing you
interesting train of thought! The Prisoner as the architect of the Village - this would need a kind of brainwash at arrival, wouldn't it?
Or is it that the Prisoner created the village just to recognize that he hated it, and to resign? Therefore to put it out of his mind? So he put it out just to be put in it... kind of ironic.
It was actually Arno who put this idea of Number 6 being the architect of the Village, and having done so, what do you then do with the said architect to stop him talking about it? You put him in it!
I suppose when you consider the Prisoner's arrival in 'Arrival,' there would need to be a certain amount of brainwashing for the Prisoner not to know where he was if he had created the Village. But then if you take 'Fall Out' into consideration, and continuing with the supposition of Number 1 being Number 6, then the Prisoner has been in the Village all the time. 'The Prisoner' has been described as a struggle between his ID and his ego, if 6 is the Id then 1 has a big enough ego to put his ID through anything in the persecution of 6, in effect persecuting himself as 6 struggles with the anguish he feels at having created the Village in the first place.
I think the Prisoner resigned because of the events of 'Fall out,' that he was the architect behind the Village.' But having done so, he felt anguish for what he had done, and because of that anguish he resigned, and tried to put the Village out of his mind, and as you say" He put it out, just to be put in," and yes, I agree there is the irony.
Be seeing you
Thereby fullfilling the circle. Circularity is said by many to be at the heart of The Prisoner. - BCNU!ReplyDelete
Well quite, and very precisely put. Indeed the episode of 'Many Happy Returns' can be said to be a circle within the circle, as Number 6 escapes yet ends up where be began, in the Village.
Thinking a little more outside the box, one could describe 'Many Happy Returns' as a second arrival for the Prisoner, seeing as how he has been abducted to the Village a second time! it's no wonder in 'dance of the Dead' that Number 6 told a gardener fixing up a window box "I'm new here!"
Be seeing you