At the time of the Prisoner there was both the East and West, locked together in a "Cold War." The democratic West, and the Communist East behind the Iron Curtain, and of course Communist China behind their "Bamboo Curtain."
I have always believed, as indeed I still believe, that the village is run by the British, but not necessarily on British home soil. However there is a case for the village being in the hands of the Eastern block - Communist Russia - the U.S.S.R. Well there is no democracy in the village, No.2 of Dance of the Dead admitted as much. It’s administration is effective, but it has no opposition. "An irritation we’ve dispensed with. Even at best, free democracy is remarkably inefficient."
So the village is not free, there being no democracy, and if in the hands of the other side, then that makes the likes of the Colonel, in whatever guise, Fotheringay and Cobb traitors. Having gone over to the other side! And at the same time makes the Colonel in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ right, in the fact that his ex-colleague has just returned from the other side, well supposedly so. Of course the Prisoner hadn’t, but if he had, the Colonel would have been right!
Communist Russia, well what about Communist China, or even
, could they figure in the equation? After all as the Chinese No.202, of the social groups in A Change of Mind puts it, "There can be no mitigation. We all have a social obligation to stand together," an attitude of Communist China’s I should say. You see there has been a complaint placed against No.42, who does not contest the validity of the complaint. But there can be no exceptions! No.42 says she is a poet, and that she was composing when she failed to hear No.10’s greeting. "Neglect of social principles" as the Chinese No.202 puts it, again reflecting attitudes to the North Korea . Communist State
No.6 sees poetry as having a social value, and No.6’s intentions are seen to be obvious. No.6 is trying to divide the two young men in the argument of the social group. In stopping the two young men helping the unfortunate girl-No.42, who accuses No.6 of trying to undermine her rehabilitation, in disrupting her social progress, which in it’s self is strange talk for a poet!
In managing to disrupt the social group, the members of the social group then turn on No.6 "Reactionary!" "Rebel!" "Disharmonious!" "Reactionary, rebel, disharmonious!" And so No.6 becomes an outcast within the community of the village. But wait a moment, No.6 greets No.64 on his way from the Town Hall before the meeting of the social group. So was No.64 acting in an Unmutaul manner to No.6! Certainly being posted as being Unmutal smacks of Communist China at the time, because if you didn’t toe the line, say the wrong thing, read the wrong book, sooner or later you are denounced by someone or other, someone of the party, to a Committee somewhere! Just as No.2 was denounced at the end by No.86 as being Unmutual!
BCNU - Comrade Chairman.