In the Village live citizens from all races and nations, people of various faiths and religions, all living in harmony. But exactly who are these citizens? Why are they here? Prisoners or warders, whose standing beside you now?
Of course no village such as this one can operate without some kind of co-operation from a number of the inmates, those who arrived in the Village of their own volition, their own free will, who were actually recruited in the first place. Others, like Monique-the watchmakers daughter in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ the maid-No.66 of ‘Arrival’ were in all probability born in the Village. Yet in the case of the Professor and his wife, of The General, came to the village voluntarily and are very happy here, according the Professors wife, although she did not sound at all convincing at the time, and now here husband is dead, she remains here, as much a prisoner as anyone. And then there is No.6 who was abducted and brought to the village against his will. Yet they all have one thing in common, they are all prisoners, even the warders are just as much prisoners as the prisoners themselves. Only at times are citizens allowed to leave the village, No.2 of ‘Arrival’ was the first, soon followed by Cobb. Then during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ Nadia, the Colonel and Forthingay were all allowed to leave the village, obviously they are the trusties who will not speak of the village in the outside world. Any number of No.2's have come and gone, but a couple of occasions departure was not always possible. This in the case of Curtis of The Schizoid Man, and the Colonel of’ ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ both having died in the Village. And as it happens only one noted escape - that of Professor Jacob Seltzman of the same episode. you might say that there were actually two escapes from the village, but I do not count the escape of the retiring No.2 of the episode ‘It’s Your Funeral’, as the helicopter can be plainly seen turning back towards the village.
We hear various languages here in the Village, French from the oriental taxi driver, possibly Hungarian spoken by the shopkeeper in the general store. Some incomprehensible language uttered by No.58-the new No.2, possibly some Eastern European origin in ‘Free For All,’ a language which appears to be only understood by the current No.2. And Nadia speaks fluent Russian., which all goes to make the village very cosmopolitan, an International community.
But what has happened to people to have them brought here, or arrive of their own volition? Well in the case of those recruited to the village via the Civil Service, Labour Exchanges and Employment Bureaux and such, it could be that promises of a good job, or position was made. The possibility of making good money working on a government contract in the actual construction of the village. But then who were never allowed to leave once the village was up and running, and who now live here, working day to day as they would in the outside world. Working in administration, as waiters and waitresses. Maids, taxi drivers, doctors, surgeons and nurses. Medical orderlies, shopkeepers, watchmakers, gardeners, painters, window cleaners, electricians, builders, roofers, plumbers, hairdressers. Observers, supervisors, psychiatrists, therapists, helicopter pilots. Those who work in the electric power station, sewerage plant, water pumping station and generally helping to provide all the services the village and it community need to exists.
In the case of Martha - Mrs Butterworths maid of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ she actually arrived with her mistress, the new No.2, and continued to serve her mistress. However when the time came for her mistress to leave the village, Martha had to stay behind as she had seen the Village, and could not be trusted beyond its confines. And then there is the Rook-No.53 of ‘Checkmate,’ who was brought to the village because of his beliefs, having invented a new electronic defence system, he thought all nations should have it, because it would have ensured peace. And here he will remain a prisoner, for a very long time, as in the case of both The General and the ex-Admiral-No.66, and for as long as you live in fact.
Yet there are some cases which you have to ask "Why was he or she ever brought to the Village in the first place?" In the case of No.8-the white Queen in ‘Checkmate’ for example. What does she possibly have to contribute to the village, what secret or information does she hold that anyone could possibly want? What reason is there for this No.8 to be here in the village? Why is anyone here, like that sweet little old lady - No.38 who made the tapestry for the "Arts & Crafts Exhibition" during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ Whatever did she do to have herself brought here to the village? But of course No.38 was not always as she appears now. Brought here as a young woman, perhaps there was a time when she had much to offer the village and its community in whatever capacity, but who now lives out her old age in peace and quiet in the Old Peoples Home.
There are all kinds of people here in the Village, from a an African Caribbean, a, Sikh, Orientals, an ex-count whose ancestors used to pay human chess with their retainers, and who were beheaded when they were wiped off the board! Who's anybody here?
And finally, purely as an observation, there is one person who arrives in the Village on a regular basis, someone who is allowed to leave each time without question - the helicopter pilots!
Be seeing you.
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