Looking At The Prisoner.......through The Georgian Window!
Hero or anti hero? A good friend or your worst enemy? Whatever one might think about the Prisoner, as some have described him as being, a typical British hero, a character who represents everything about honour, dignity and spirit.
Well that’s as may be, but the Prisoner isn’t British, he’s Irish-American. But we’ll let that ride for the moment. A typical British hero? Well I wonder about that, because we only see the Prisoner how he is in the village, with only glimpses of his other world. And what exactly goes to make a typical British hero, I’m not at all sure.
Dignity, well of course the Prisoner retains his dignity, well apart from the time he split his trousers during that fist fight in ‘A B and C.’ And he does have a sense of honour, that had been drummed into him as a boy "That’s honour Sir" he tells the headmaster "You should teach it Sir!"
As for his spirit, well wasn’t that broken at a very early stage, because "Everyone tries to escape when their spirits broken" as No.8 tells him in ‘Checkmate.’
And what about that Irish-American? Well if one goes with the presumption that the Prisoner is a follow-on series of ‘Danger Man,’ that must clearly make the Prisoner-John Drake. In the 25 minute episodes Drake, named after a famous Admiral, has an American accent, and at times a damned awful American accent. Only in the 50 minute episodes does John Drake become British, and if so, then that Brutishness is fake - hence Irish-American.
Okay, none of it is that clear cut, well it wouldn’t be would it. Otherwise none of us would be here, would we?
A Point To Ponder
In the episode ‘Dance of the Dead’ No.6 is listening to the radio when a voice says "Tonight when the moon rises the whole world will turn to silver." At one point the voice asks "Do you understand? It is important that you understand."
Well there was a time when I didn’t understand. But for a long time now, I have understood. Of course that message heard on the radio was not intended for No.6, but for the dead man, whose body was washed up on the shore in the cove down on the beach! And not, as some have said, simply another ambiguity designed to confuse us.
Have you worked it out yet?
In the episode 'The General' citizens are forced to learn what others want them to learn, well isn't that the way it was at school? Well it was as far as I can remember, and that's a long way back to remember!
No.2 saw Speedlearn as the most important human experiment ever to be conducted. Yet speedlearn has a fault, in that facts are all it provides the student with facts, when, but not what! As for the General, well the computer can only give back information when it knows the basic facts. Hence when No.6 asked it WHY? The General could not give an answer, because there were no basic facts.
It seems learning by tedious rote in school is the best way after all. Mass education is all well and good, but what a world if we all knew the exact same thing, and answered using the exact same words and phrasing! You would have nothing but a row of cabbages as No.6 put it, knowledgeable cabbages, but cabbages nonetheless for that. There would be no thinkers, no creators, the heart would be ripped out of the human soul.
What was the question again?
Why didn't No.6 try and escape during ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ ‘Its Your Funeral and ‘A Change of Mind?’
Well taking ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ first, how was an escape possible in this episode? Escape was not on No.6's mind, nor to try and bring down the system from within, as some fans of the series think, but solely concerning himself with bringing down the sadistic No.2, in revenge for driving poor No.73 to commit suicide! there was no possible chance of escape during this episode, however there might have been half a chance at the end of its Your Funeral.
The assassination/execution plot of Its your Funeral might have given No.6 the chance to escape, after all he had managed to get the explosive detonator away from the Watchmaker-No.50. The explosive hidden in the "Seal of Office" was still hanging around the new No.2's neck, a perfect opportunity you might think. But ask yourself this, if No.6 was to do a runner to the waiting helicopter, with the explosive detonator in his grasp, who would No.6 be able to trust in stopping the new No.2 from removing the "Seal of Office" from about his shoulders in the way No.6 had for the escaping - outgoing - No.2? There was only one person, the retiring No.2, but how effective he would have been against the new No.2 is doubtful.
And as for any possible escape during ‘A Change of Mind’ is also questionable, even at the end after bringing down another No.2, with the help of No.86 who denounced No.2 for being an unmutual! And don't forget, even as No.2 was being chased back to the Green Dome by certain citizens of the community after being denounced as an unmutual, No.2 would have gained the security of his office within the Green Dome, to resume control over the village and its community. If only until his replacement arrived, making any escape impossible for No.6. And even if No.2 had been chased down by the ladies of the appeals sub-committee and taken off for "Instant Social Conversion" at the hospital, there was always the Supervisor in the control room to look after things until a new No.2 arrived in the village. Just look to the week of ‘Once Upon A Time’ for such evidence.
Be seeing you