It was once called the lost village, then someone went and discovered, this so called second village, which appears in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ ‘A B & C,’ ‘The Schizoid Man,’ and ‘Living In Harmony.’ So where is, or rather where was this lost Village? If you go to Portmeirion, you can wander about as much as you like, through the woods and all about, but you will never find it there.
That's because the village contained in the above map isn't anywhere near the village, the Italianate
that is. But was a series of structures on a back-lot at village of Portmeirion MGS film studios at Borehamwood, now long since having been demolished, the back-lots that is.
Much of the Village was a mock-up on the back-lot at
MGM for the film the ‘Dirty Dozen,’ the , and was used in several films as well as doing sterling service for the village. French Village
This is the Prisoner on the day of his arrival, the Prisoner who will become known as No.6. Yet sometimes, in his dreams he's someone else, who I wonder? No.1 perhaps. Well that's how it seemed to turn out, but of course he could easily have been Curtis, in his dreams.
Some have put the theory forward that he's a clone of himself, but that's ridiculous. Okay, you can make someone with the right build, the right bone structure, look like someone else with the use of plastic surgery. But that would leave tell-tale scars, and there are no such scars. Cloning, well yes, but being cloned to look like someone else does not make you that person. To actually become that person, the clone would have to be cloned at birth. To live the same way at the subject, to grow up in the same way, to experience the subjects life, his dreams, his likes, dislikes. His favourite dish, a favourite brand of cigar, learn how to shoot, fence, and box. It would take a life-time to get this far. Which in turn would mean that the village has been plotting this exact scenario since the birth of No.6, at 4.31 am 28th of March 1928!
No.7's It Doesn't Really Mean Anything!
This image is reckoned to have some enigmatic, symbolic meaning, a message to the viewer perhaps. I think too much is read into it. It's simply a sign, which means the area beyond, at Portmeirion, is for residents only. The
hasn't got anything to do with it! Butler
Betty McDowell Peter Howell Conrad Phillips
Two actors and one actress, all three well known, having worked in numerous television series and in films, who all have on thing in common - they all appeared in ‘the Prisoner’ episode ‘The General.’ However, Peter Howell and Betty McDowell never worked in the episode together. Betty McDowell appeared on screen together with Conrad Phillips, and vice versa. Conrad Phillips appeared on screen with Peter Howell, and vice versa, but Betty McDowell never once appeared on screen with Peter Howell, and she as Madam Professor, was supposed to have been the Professor’s wife!
Be seeing you
Don't underestimate the symbolic impact of that sign. Of course it doesn't mean anything "factual", because it's a Portmeirion sign which by chance was standing in the way. But how could the camera operator or the principal director of photography Brandon Stafford miss this shot!? Look at the angle by which its (alleged or insinuated) importance is emphasized meaning: "My territory" or "You're within our reach" or else... - BCNU!ReplyDelete
I agree with nr6de.
I think that sign could say more than it seems. I think it's quite humourous. What I find interesting is that in "real life" this sign excludes all "Non-residents" from staying in Portmeirion or entering specific areas. In the Village it can be seen more as an "including" sign that says that there ARE only residents. There is noone who is expected to leave. So in both cases the sign reads that only residents are allowed, but the point of view is deciding. It depends on whose side you are on.
Very kind regards
Hello Arno and Jana,Delete
No.7 can be quite controvertial, and quite deliberately thinks the other way in order to stir things up - like No.6 he's a trouble maker!
In truth I have never underestimated the sign in conjunction with the Butler. I always thought that shot was trying to tell the fan something, it looked quite deliberate not to be so.
A simple sign indicating to day visitors to Portmeirion that the lawn area by the sea wall is for residents to Portmeirion only. But then stand the Butler behind it and suddenly the sign takes on some symbolic and sinister reason.
No.7 is of the opinion that we see far too much symbolism in 'the Prisoner.' Well we are all entitled to our opinion.
Good morning David,Delete
well, Number 7 really does a good job :), I agree.
Thank you. There will be more from the controvertial No.7.
Clearly, this shot placed prominently at the end of "Arrival" wasn't taken by chance. like the Dadaists one could call the sign an "objet trouvé". It's one of those occasions where, so to speak, fact - also reciprocally - becomes fiction, thus the (real) Village sign embedded in a virtual environment. - BCNU!ReplyDelete
That's a very intersting comment, and a thinking I've not come across before from aficianados of the series. Yes it makes one think. No.7 appears to have his uses so to bring out such thinking, I must use him again!
"Residents Only" - a thing of solid matter and a sign, something immaterial giving us information. This thing/sign has been on its place probably for decades. As is known from semiology, the theory of signs, the value of any sign depends only on the context in which it appears. Any sign in isolation means almost nothing. This applies especially to cinematic images. Now there comes that TV series lifting it out, isolating the sign from its "natural" Portmeirion surroundings by means of a filmic shot which thereby changes its meaning (= value) when transposed by editing it into a different context, that of the series. No matter how insignificant or vague the new meaning may be. Something fundamental to any filmic experience. - BCNU!ReplyDelete
A very intersting comment indeed, and all you say is true. The only thing is, if we are dealing with the sign in the Village as indicated by the Butler, and not that of Portmeirion, if it's residents only beyond that sign, who then are the "Non-Residents?"
Not quite sure where you're heading at, David. I'm referring to the physical sign standing in the Portmeirion Village as being "transferred" into an filmic sign, maybe a symbol or an icon even, by means of the simple camera shot and, of course, through the presence of the Butler character next to it. Something that wouldn't occur in the "real "world and which thereby alters the meaning (value) of it into something different. This, to my liking or notion, can be regarded and interpreted in a variety of ways.ReplyDelete
In this case one could maintain there are no "non-residents" at all! Because all of you, all of US, are virtual prisoners, no escape. And because of his huge umbrella the Butler could be seen as a "guarding" figure however vague the connotation. Attributing to and makeing The Prisoner special! - BCNU!
Of course the picture is a simple camera shot. And in the real world it's meaning is perfectly clear. Yet in the 'the Priisoner' by having the Butler pictured with it, the sign somehow takes on a new symbolic meaning. I say symbolic because in the Village of 'the Prisoner' there can only be residents, there cannot be non-residents.....oh but just a minute....there are at times non-residents in the Village....the Colonel and Fotheringay to name but two! Oh well, back to the drawing board!
No, on a wider scale. "We are all prisoners." Wasn't it McG himself who said this?ReplyDelete
Shots like that, in a way, are out of context. There's nothing about the episode action that it would be required. They can be taken for many things adding meaning or the notion of meaning, at least ambivalence to the whole show. And among other things that's one reason why we are here. Aren't we. - BCNU!
Yes it was, and he was right, we are all prisoners of one thing or another, and can only swap one prison for another! In that way we are all residents of the Village! And you are quite right, being prisoners is the reason we are all here, all lifers!