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Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Prisoner Under The Spotlight

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
    It is such a pity that Vincent Tilsley's script for this particular episode was edited so much after he'd written it - because to Vincent Tilsley's mind they had made the script far worse, and more confusing than it was originally, or words to that effect. To be perfectly honest I am not one for reading scripts, yet having glanced through the script Face Unknown which was the original title for this episode, the episode would have ended up far more enjoyable for the viewer if director David Tomblin and co had not edited Tilsley's script.
    For example; it would appear that before the Prisoner was sent back to London, his mind was regressed back to the day of "crisis," to the day of the Prisoner's resignation - a most important moment in time. Originally we would have seen the Prisoner in his London home on the evening before the day he resigned, wearing his dressing gown as he settles himself down to write his letter of resignation - and having finished he places his resignation letter on the mantle piece and retires to bed. The mind of the Prisoner having had been erased right back to the day before he resigned.
   The Prisoner awakens in what appears to be his own home, the camera makes a search, everything is quiet, and then we hear the Prisoner's voice;

"Where am I? Home.....This isn't home...... There's something wrong."

    The Prisoner's hand appears into shot and picks up the travel brochures. This leads to a shot of a framed photograph of Janet Portland.

"Janet.... You'll understand. I hope you'll understand."

   From the mantle piece the Prisoner takes an envelope which contains his letter of resignation.

"My letter of resignation. Wrote it last night. said I'd sleep on it. Sleep.... Was it only last night?"

    The camera searches suspiciously.

"Do they know? What have they done? They've done something.... Something.... There's something different.... what have they changed?"

   The camera hurtles to the window.

That's it! out there! there's something different out there! Looks the same. What's changed?.... Nothing. Nothing.

    {Well I would say that plenty has changed!}

    The Prisoner stuffs the letter into his pocket and heads for the door.

"It's all the same. Why should I think it's different?"

The door opens violently and we see feet hurrying down the steps as the Prisoner hurries towards his parked Lotus 7.  A hand opens the door, and he gets into the drivers seat, and the engine is fired into life and revved up.

"Of course it seems different. Of course. Things are different. Because - I - am - resigning! Now!"
   The Lotus 7 is picked up in the antlike traffic in a panorama shot of London, and zoomed in on, as the Lotus darts angrily through the traffic. There is a high shot of the Lotus as it enters the underground car park, and a shot through the cars windscreen as the Lotus enters the car park.
   The Prisoner storms along that darkened passageway.

"Whatever they're doing they can't stop me. I'm going to resign. They can't stop me.... they? Who are they?"

    The Prisoner bursts into the office, the standard office which we see in the opening sequence and gives his letter of resignation to the man behind the desk. the man looks surprised.

Danvers "YES". What's this?"

"Read it."

"I don't understand."

"Get me Sir Charles."

Danvers {Frightened} "Who are you?"

Prisoner "Who am I?"

    Hands reach out and grab Danvers by his jacket jerking him to his feet.

"Get me Sir Charles Portland. At once!"

    Well, if that little scene is not enough to convince you that it was a mistake to change that to what we actually see in the episode Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, I don't know what will. I think that the episode would have been better if the script had been left as Vincent Tilsley originally wrote it.
   What’s more, we see in the episode a patient in the amnesia room, an agent lying on a table, who gave them all the information No.2 wanted. Later all unpleasant memories of the village would be erased from the agents mind, so that later he can be returned to the outside world in order to gather more information....... And that's what they had originally done to the Prisoner, erased all unpleasant memories of the village, and released him in the outside world - so as to find Professor Seltzman, Professor Jacob Seltzman, and bring him back to the village!

Be seeing you

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