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Monday 24 September 2012

The Therapy Zone

Re: Its A Question Of Interpretation
   Yesterday you may have read the article Its A Question of Interpretation, well it was not until afterwards when discussing this with my wife, that I recalled that originally it was the Irish Marshal who was singing the song Oh Danny Boy, then as he was knocked out by Mister X, it was he who then carried on with the song, singing, humming, and so on. This was so that if anyone had heard the Irish Marshal singing, and then suddenly stopping, wouldn't come along to see what was wrong with the Irish Marshal. So really the original interpretation has nothing whatsoever to do with it!

Number Six - A Lumberjack And He's Okay!
   But there's one thing he's doing wrong here!
     As No.6 chops down the tree in the woods during The Chimes of Big Ben with his stone-age axe, research as well as experiment has shown, that instead of taking huge swings at the tree with his axe, No.6 should take smaller swings to achieve a better result. No.6 may be doing as the caveman did, but he's not doing it right!

   ‘The Prisoner’ has often been described as "Kafka-esque", meaning it is often surreal, blurring the bounderies between reality and fantasy. However the parallels between the Prisoner and the story of Joseph K. in Kafka's The Trial are much closer than just the emphasis of the programme.
   Der Prozess {The Trial} was written by Franz Kafka in 1914. The basic story is about Joseph K. who wakes up one morning to find himself arrested and pronounced guilty of a crime he has not committed, indeed the crime of which Joesph K. is charged to have committed is never mentioned. He attempts to procure justice only to come up against a bureaucratic nightmare, against which he cannot win. It is such a complex story that it is not possible to outline it in a nutshell, but to get to the point, how does the Prisoner resemble The Trial/ Well the similarities are such, and not in any particular order, as Jospeh K. wakes up to find himself under arrest without knowing what he has done, so too the Prisoner wakes up in the village to find himself abducted without knowing why.
   During the episode’ Dance of the Dead’ No.6 is put on trial as Joesph K. is put on trial without knowing his crime, both given a defence lawyer, in the case of No.6 his defender is his observer No.240. No.6 is faced with a bureaucratic nightmare, one that he cannot win. At his trial Joseph K. is found to be guilty and is sentenced to death, the sentence is carried out. No.6 is found to be guilty of the possession of a radio set, is sentenced to death, but in his case the sentence is not carried out.
  In Kafka's The trial we never find out what the K stands for in Jospeh K. as we never really know the name of the Prisoner-No.6.
   Questions; throughout The Trial the question is why? What has Jospeh K. done? What is his guilt? In the Prisoner the question is why did he resign? Which side runs the village? What is the village guardian? Where is the village? Questions in both cases, and to some degree, remain unanswered.
   When Josph K. meets the interrogator he has to wear black, When No.6 meets No.2 he is wearing charcoal grey............. In Joseph K's second interrogation everyone is wearing badges except Joseph K., No.6 never wears his badge either!
   And in Fall Out No.6 is again put on trial, although No.6 is allowed to address the court he is not permitted to be heard, shouted down as he is at every attempt to make himself heard! At least Jospeh K. was allowed to address the court!
   Two men come for Joseph K. to take him away for execution. The two men are wearing black frock coats and black top hats - a good description of the two undertakers who come to abduct the Prisoner in the first instance wouldn't you say?
   There are indeed parallels to be drawn between Kafka's The Trail and that of the Prisoner. But in  my researches, and sometimes quite by accident, I have also found a number of other literary works which share equal parallels with that of the Prisoner. The ghost story entitled ‘The Midnight Express for one,’ and Bram Stoker’s 1894 story ‘The Crooken Sands’ to name but two.

Be seeing you


  1. I've never seen the film but "The Devil And Daniel Webster" is among those most cited sources of influence on the The Prisoner. Especially for the dance scene in the final carnival sequence which was altered before or while shooting. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,

      I've never seen "The Devil And Daniel Webster" either, but I did read about it some place, and how as you say, cited as being a source of influence on 'the Prisoner.' But for me, I like to think that influence for the final dance scene of 'Dance of the Dead,' was from a more original source. This I researched for my manuscript on the subject of 'the Prisoner.'

      Kind regards