Why the Prisoner?
"Well if it hadn't been, it would have been something else."
Having been a fan of Danger Man as a boy, and John Drake having been my childhood hero, it was inevitable that I should take to the Prisoner, seeing as how it's a follow-on series to
Well that's how I saw it anyway, and that the Prisoner-No.6 is John Drake, simple and fool-proof in the mind of a child. Danger Man.
Back in 1968, having seen the prisoner for the first time, there was no-one I could talk to about the series. None of my school friends liked the series, neither did my father, and mother, well it went completely over her head! And I had difficulty in recalling what was in each episode, not Rover, I could never forget Rover, nor the opening theme music and opening sequence which remained in my mind. Well it had to, because it would be nearly ten years before I was to see the Prisoner again, and gain some answers to my questions. But with the second viewing, third, and fourth the Prisoner became simple in my mind, even Fall Out, which I saw as a James Bond style of ending to the series. What's more my questions of the Prisoner were answered - the only trouble being that more viewings of the series threw up more questions than I had actually wanted answering. But that was in the days before I heard the dreaded word allegorical, and since I began mixing with people of the Prisoner Appreciation Society who were banding the word allegorical around since Patrick McGoohan had been heard to use it - I quite deliberately dismissed that particular word and refused to have anything to do with it, because I am more of a goat than a sheep!
"If it hadn't been the Prisoner, what else would it have been that has withstood the test of time?"
A Sense Of Humour
Even in the bleak episode that is The Schizoid Man as Number 6 fights to maintain his identity, there are moments of humour. For example when Number 6 meets his doppelganger for the first time "Are you one of those double agents we hear so much about?" And again "Where'd they get you? A people's copying service?" And prior to visiting Number 12 after he has regained "himself" Number 6 asserts "I think it's time we paid ourselves a call."
Number 6 has a ready wit, and a dry sense of humour, and as we know "Humour is the very essence of a democratic society."
All At the
! Village Hospital
No.6 is supposed to have undergone the process known as Instant Social Conversion, the isolation of the aggressive frontal lobes - in other words a leucotomy. Well this is all nice a civilised, not a patch on the blood and guts operations which preceded this new technique.
There was a new television series on
BBC2 back in 2009 called ‘Blood and Guts: A history of Surgery.’ I didn't watch it myself, well I had researched the subject, and knew what I would be letting myself in for!
Such techniques of isolation of the aggressive frontal lobes, a Leucotomy, was never 100% successful, and operations such as these are still performed today - in extreme cases. Either the Leucotomy worked or id didn't, and in many cases the patient simply lost their minds! so if the doctors were to have performed such an operation on No.6, they might have lost him forever, do you understand, lose him!
What's Your Poison?
There has often been the question as what tipple Mr. X enjoyed at his local public house. Certainly its a dark ale, which had the suggestion put forward that it is a pint of brown ale, possibly Guinness, or a stout ale. Sadly it is none of these, because brown ale is a bottle beer, and Mr. X's pint is drawn from pump. As for Guinness, or a stout ale, well the head is not thick enough to be either of those. One other suggestion might be "old and mild," which is a blend of mild and bitter beer. However seeing as the pint of dark ale is drawn from one pump, and not two separate pumps, that clearly makes Mr. X's drink, a pint of "mild" ale.
Who's Side Are You On?
Well No.9, played by Virginia Maskell, appears to be on anyone’s side! He's No.2's puppet, first assigned to Cobb, who was using her, and then to No.6. No.6 uses her to get what he wants, the
, and No.9 allowed herself to be used by the helicopter pilot, so as to attain the Electro Pass in the first place! Electro Pass
Perhaps No.9 decided not to escape, not because he never intended to without Cobb, but because she probably decided that she had been used enough. As the No.66 told here "We're all pawns me’ dear!" I think No.66 the Ex-Admiral knew more than he was letting on!
Be seeing you