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