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Friday 24 May 2013

The Therapy Zone

    As the Prisoner is taken into that locker room by the Supervisor at the commencement of Fall Out, the Prisoner puts a hand to the effigy that is wearing his own suit of clothes. Sometimes when I watch this it appears that at one point the Prisoner wants to strangle the life out of it. Memories of Curtis perhaps, or to kill his own identity. But of course I'm wrong. the Prisoner has no such intention, as he calmly unbuttons the black polo shirt.

They Should Make Up Their Minds!
    In the episode ‘Dance of the Dead’ No.6's own suit of clothes was specially delivered for the occasion. No.6 asked No.2 why he had no costume, and No.2's response was "Perhaps because you don't exist." This after ‘Arrival’ when the doctor told the Prisoner, for he had no number at that time, that his clothes had been burnt. Yet moments later there's this bald-headed bloke wearing the Prisoner's own clothes in the aversion therapy room!
   Then at the commencement of Fall Out the Prisoner is taken to a cloakroom "We thought you'd be happier as yourself" the Supervisor informs him. As upon a dummy, the image of the Prisoner, is once again his own suit of clothes!
   You know, I do wish they would make up their minds as to what they are about!

   Can a man be in two places at the same time? Can he have slept with an attractive girl in her apartment when he's only ever seen her briefly, and didn't even know her address? It is bewildering questions such as these that torment Harold Pelham when he recovers from a near fatal car accident - an accident which has strange undertones.
   Pelham himself is every inch the city businessman, conservative in dress, staid in manner with a lovely wife and a young family. A man of substance.... a man truly set in his ways. So how does Julie, an attractive girl he has only seen once, claim such an intimate relationship?
   As each day passes the enigma deepens, the mystery becomes more unfathomable, and more terrifying. It is only after his wife, children, and best friend turn from him as from a complete stranger that Pelham discovers the terrifying truth.
  This film is very much like the Prisoner episodes ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘Fall Out’ in the way that there are two 6's, and two Pelham's, but who are the alter ego of the same man. Although perhaps not in the case of Curtis, who has simply taken the place of No.6. To all intents and purposes there were two No.6's in the Village.

   I'm of the opinion that the Prisoner used his fiancée Janet Portland. Why, well he had resigned his job, and hadn't told her, otherwise she would have discussed that with her father Sir Charles. And at some point in time the Prisoner had given his fiancée a receipt for a roll of film, which he expected Janet to keep in case of trouble. Then when the Prisoner returned to London he only went to her birthday party to retrieve that receipt for a roll of film he'd had transformed into transparencies - slides.
   Somehow I don't think his fiancée Janet Portland, rated very high on the Prisoner's list of priorities!

Be seeing you


  1. Make Up Their Minds: I think we agree that in "Arrival" everything concerning the Prisoner's (the series') exposition is laid out before us: the characters, the location, the look & feel of the show. There is the saying that showing the tools to the victim is the first step of torture. In this respect we should perhaps be less investigative, track down faults and errors, but take all that we see here as a "tableau" of things and surreal oddities constituting the Village power. Everything can be (made) possible, that's the message to No. 6 as well as to the audience. - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,

      We do indeed agree, 'Arrival' sets the scene perfectly, and gives us all the basic information we need on the Village, location, characters, and prepares us for what is yet to come, the look and feel of the whole series.
      I like the saying about showing the tools to the victim is the first step of torture.
      I think that 'the Prisoner' does suffer from it's faults and errors. And yet they also help make 'the Prisoner' what it is. So you think we should simply accept things as they are? But didn't the Prisoner/Patrick McGoohan warn us against doing that?
      Like me, there have been hundreds of fans who have disected 'the Prisoner,' asked questions, interpreted, theorised the series from outset to end. But at the same time it has never spolit the series, it is as it is, as it's always been.

      Kind regards

  2. That's a truly dialectic question, "leave it as it is", "accept things as they are". The Prisoner as a work of art - yes, with all its merits and flaws. While at the same time there's probably nothing that would and we shouldn't stop (us) deliberating and even disecting(to some degree) what it's all about and how it came into being.

    BVB takes Wembley!


    1. Hello Arno,

      An interesting comment, but I have questioned whether or not 'the Prisoner' can be described as a work of art. I suppose it depends on the definition of what a work of art is. I see a painting, sculpture, or drawing as works of art. It could be said that with 'the Prisoner' Patrick McGoohan was painting a picture, sculpting it with his own imagination, drive, moulding it into what he thought it should be, but with the assistance of others. For myself, I prefer to think of 'the Prisoner' as a television masterpiece, a work done with extraordinary skill by a group of people.
      The Prisoner is basically about one man's struggle against the system, well initially. But by the time of 'Fall Out,' McGoohan tells us that it's all been about the struggle of No.6 against himself, his alter ego of No.1 who he was trying to beat! Yes, I cannot help but feel that McGoohan was turning the tables there!
      Where did 'the Prisoner' come from, or how did it come into being? As you know, it all depends on who you asked. If you asked George Markstein the Prisoner came from 'Danger Man.' If you asked McGoohan, it was an idea he'd been thinking about, one man in isolation, and how psycologically he would deal with that isolation.

      Very kind regards