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Sunday 30 September 2012

Rover - The Village Guardian

    People fear me, they are afraid of what they do not understand, for I am Rover, the Village Guardian. Yes, I do hunt down and stop anyone from escaping the Village, but I am also set to serve and protect the community. Yet I have not always been as you see me, the MK1 model of Rover was but a mechanical device which should have had the ability to traverse any terrain. To scale steps, nay the very walls that hold so many in the Village prisoner. To travel on water, and in the water like a submarine. But MK1 Rover failed from the outset. And so the Village scientists and bio-chemists were put to work in their laboratories to see what they could create. They gave birth to me in a Petra dish, a living membrane that eventually became the Village Guardian. They loved me like a new born babe, and probably hated me even more! Capable of free movement, perpetual movement, with the option of making independent decisions. I can adjust my size, from small to over 6 feet in circumference. And when I come bounding and rolling along the street people step to the side of the road. They dismount their bicycles and are absolutely still. Those who are not suffer the consequences.
    I emit the most peculiar sound as I go along my way on patrol around the Village. A cross between a bicycle pump, an aqua lung, and Gregorian chant.
   You might think I am free, but I am just as much a prisoner here in the Village as anyone, I am a lifer! they dare not let me roam the world for fear of what might happen. So they keep me prisoner in a containment area somewhere at the bottom of the sea, and then release segments of me under the order of 'Orange Alert.'
   I am capable of killing by suffocation, or to simply suffocate my prey into a state of unsconciousness. Originally I was supposed to absorb the blood of my victims, turning my white membrane pink, but that was thought to be to frightening for the viewer to watch.
   I once showed ambitious tendencies, when I appeared in Number 2's chair. But in reality that was a warning to Number 2. And when I was in what is termed hot pursuit of two escaping citizens, I was shot at, not one, not twice, but a total of five times, and hit three times. But even the bullets of a sniper did not stop me, as my membrane is self-sealing. But yet that time my prey did evade me, that I have to admit.
    But I am more then a physical being. More than genetically engineered membrane that feels no pain, has no feelings at all. Well you try being shot three times and not feel the pain! As I am released from the containment area at the bottom of the sea, I float upwards through the water, and as I burst onto the surface of that water, that moment is, by some, considered to be the birth of Rover. If that is true, then the scene in which I appear in Fall Out, must surely be.......the death of Rover! For there are those who see me as a symbol, symbolising fear the that my victims are most afraid of.
    Well if you believe all that guff you'll believe anything! In reality I'm a weather balloon, brought with many of my kind to Portmeirion for the filming of the 1960's television series 'the Prisoner.' This is because the MK1 Rover failed, that much is true. And also true is that I am the Village Guardian, but only in the position of a film prop controlled by filling me with a mixture of air, helium, water, and attached to the end of a long fishing line. Once I was attached to the belt of Patrick McGoohan's trousers and towed along behind him, oh the indignity of that stunt! But I was difficult to control, at times I was almost uncontrollable, and would not behave as the film production crew wanted. But they outsmarted me in the end, for many of the film sequences in which I appear I appear as having been filmed backwards! What I mean is, when I look as though I'm coming towards the camera, I'm actually filmed going away from the camera, and then shown in reverse in the actual film of the episode. This no better demonstrated than in 'Arrival,' when I'm stopping the Prisoner-Number 6 from getting to the helicopter. In the background you can see the chimneys of the Old People's Home {Hotel Portmeirion} with the smoke going back into the chimneys, the effect of the film being shown in reverse.
    Do you realise, that I appear in 'the Prisoner' more than that diminutive Butler Angelo Muscat. More than Peter Swanwick who plays the Supervisor, and just as much as the star of the series Patrick McGoohan. In truth I am perhaps the most iconic television visualisation of the 1960's. The most difficult to comprehend, but the most remembered.


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