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Thursday 18 October 2012

The Therapy Zone

    Death is not a word to be afraid of, it merely means the end of one thing, and the start of something else. Yet death features heavily within the 17 episodes of the 1960's television series the Prisoner, commencing with the possible death by suffocation of that young man in the central Piazza by that membranic village guardian. Then came the faked death of Cobb in ‘Arrival’ and his subsequent "staged" funeral, which for the viewer was highly credible. Cobb committed suicide by jumping out of a hospital window, he might have been the first, but wouldn't be the last. As to follow him was a young woman, No.73 in the first scene of Hammer Into Anvil, driven to suicide by the sadistic No.2. And to make nothing of the death of an old woman, No.113. ‘A B & C’ saw the threat to 'B' who feared that she was going to be killed, pleading with No.6 to help her. But they dare not kill No.6!
    No.12-Curtis also came foul of the Village guardian-Rover in the episode of ‘The Schizoid Man.’ Rover took against Curtis, possibly in the way he nervously gave the password "schizoid man." Curtis died, also by suffocation at the membranic form of the village guardian.
    ‘The General’ saw two deaths, that of the Professor, and No.12 who was trying to save him from electrocution, but who was also electrocuted to death in the attempt. Is there a case for three deaths I wonder? Could you count the self-destruction of the General as a death? Not really no.
     The episode ‘Dance of the Dead’ is cluttered with death, as the title might suggest. To begin with there's the body of a man washed up on the beach, the body discovered by No.6. Death was caused possibly by drowning, suffocation, or a mixture of both in the form of the membranic Village guardian. The death of No.34, who the observer No.240 had been watching, and of course No.6 at his trial, had been sentenced to death, and a termination order had been issued against Roland Walter Dutton! In fact originally everyone but No.6 was supposed to have died at the Ball that evening during Dance of the Dead, and one idea for a fancy dress costume for No.2 had been Death, in black clothes and carrying a scythe!
    The episode ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ a very apt title if I may make so bold, was to have seen the assassination/execution of a retiring No.2. Had this assassination/execution plot succeeded, then mass reprisals would have been taken out upon the innocent citizens of the village. In other words a purge would have been carried out, and possibly mass deaths of innocent citizens into the bargain!
   ‘Living In Harmony’ saw the death of two people twice over, that of No.8-the Kid, and No.22-Cathy, to make nothing of the lynching of Johnson, Cathy's brother. The Kid shot down in the street, this after the Kid had strangled Cathy to death with his bare hands. The three gun slingers. There was like the lynching of Johnson, Cathy's brother, pure fantasy, although later No.22 was strangled to death by the bare hands of No.8, who then committed suicide, by throwing himself off a balcony so as to avoid the retribution of the Judge, or should that be No.2? Oh yes, and there was the killing of Will, a rancher gunned down by the kid in the Silver Dollar Saloon, and Jim, who wanted the stranger to help them clean up they're town. And those three shot to death in the gunfight with the stranger.
   ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ did her utmost to kill Mr. X, who foiled her at every turn, not so however Colonel Hawke-Englishe, who was murdered to death at the wicket by an exploding cricket ball! And then there were the death's of all Napoleon's Marshals, caused by "backfiring" rifles. And what of the girl herself and her father, Professor Schnipps? Blown to bits, first by two German hand grenades, and then blown to atoms by the rocket built inside the lighthouse as itself explodes.
    The episode of ‘Once Upon A Time’ saw the possible death of No.2. I say possible, as there is no actual proof that he had actually died, caused by the drink. Although it is possible if you consider that ‘Once Upon A Time’ had originally been filmed as an episode in its own right, and not as a prequel to ‘Fall Out.’ So in that regard perhaps No.2 was to have meant to have died, poisoned to death by his drink! ‘Fall Out’ of course saw many deaths, mostly those of the armed security guards. No-one else apparently died in the violent and bloody revolution of ‘Fall Out,’ the only other deaths were those of No.1, who died somewhere, somehow sealed as he was in the nose cone of the rocket! The death of the village guardian can also be included, I think we can, because whatever it is, alien, or manufactured membrane, it is a living thing!
   Death is much a part of life as anything, and so too in ‘the Prisoner.’ But remember with death there comes birth. The death of one thing, and the birth of something else. This together with the resuscitation of No.2!

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