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Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Therapy Zone

   During The Chimes of Big Ben, was Nadia sure about Lithuania, and the Village being 30 miles from the Polish border? I mean the conversation between Nadia and No.6 went as follows;
No.6: Where are we Nadia?
Nadia: Lithuania.
Announcer: Curfew time, one minute to curfew.
No.6: Lithuania.....
Announcer: Sixty seconds.
NO.6:.... In the Baltic. That means, making for West Germany, Denmark, that's er, three hundred miles at least.
Nadia: No it doesn't mean that.
No.6: Why not?
Nadia: Well, nearer, in Poland, Danzig.
A little later the conversation continues as follows
Nadia: Thirty miles, that's all.
No.6: Eh?
Nadia: Yes, that's how far we are from the Polish border. Beyond, on the coast there's a little fishing village, Maniewo, they resist them.
   Well if you have a glance at the Atlas, you will see that the village is far from being 30 miles from the Polish border, in fact there is no coastal border at all between Lithuania and Poland, because of Russian State of Kaliningrad in between, which has a coastline of some seventy five miles.
   The reason for getting it wrong, could be when in working out the plot of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ Vincent Tilsley got his geography wrong.
    The Author knew it was wrong and scripted Number 8 to make the mistake, by ignorance or on purpose. After all, the whole "escape" was a set-up and the Village presumably not really meant to be in Lithuania. However No.6 didn't spot the mistake.
   Kalliningrad is an isolated part of Russia, and has a coastline of some 98 kilometeres, aproximately 73 miles! A seaport city and the administrative centre of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea
   Or the Prisoner is set at an unspecified time period where this might be the case.
   One further mistake as No.6 and Nadia make their escape by sea, is that they were supposed to have been sailing from Lithuania to Poland, the land is on their right. However, they would have been sailing west in the Baltic Sea and the Polish shore would therefore have been on their left - unless they were in the Zalew Wislany and making for the spit of land to its north.

Be seeing you


  1. Now, which way was it? To further complicate matters the German TV version takes it own direction. And this can be said quite literally. Because their escape route is changed like harld anything else in German. This retranslates as follows:
    "In Bulgaria. On the Balkans. That means making for Greece, into Turkey..." So the route becomes "Boat Turkey - Istanbul - understood. Then plane Athens. Plane again Paris, then London."

    Why did they choose the Balkans? Nobody knows for sure. One probable guess would be that Gdansk = Danzig as well as the region around it and beyond once were German territory until the end of WWII. So having the action take place there may have been considered politically too delicate. Only a guess. The Balkans on the other hand were widely known from the novels by popular 19th century writer Karl May, hence a bit more politically correct. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,

      That's quite remarkable, to translate the Village as being in the Balkans, and in turn that makes the journey to London via a very different route. I have not heard of this before, and I always find it fascinating how 'the Prisoner' is treated in different countries. Thank you for bringing it to my, and readers attention.

      Best regards