"You must not ask me that!"
"I'm not, it's the Committee that's asking."
It's not No.2 asking the questions here, not even the Colonel, it's Dutton! So having themselves failed in extracting information from No.6, they turned to the Colonel, and after he had failed, now it’s one of the inmates asking No.6 the questions. Turning the tables eh, very neat. But even that didn't work. It seems that No.6 has a built in default system that prevents him giving absolutely anything away. He collapsed rather than talk to someone he actually knows. Unless of course he didn't trust Roland Walter Dutton in his previous employment.Poor old Number 1, he can‘t make it to the Ball, he‘d like to be there, but you know how things are. What‘s more it looks very much like No.6 is being kept under surveillance through the mirror again, with breakfast being brought to him on a tray once more. I would have thought those tractors a bit slow for the job, the fact that by the time No.6 receives his breakfast it will be cold!
So the Prisoner known as Number 6 has one privilege, as well as a new personal maid. Well her predecessor fell down on the job rather badly, failing to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation. However this personal maid Number 56 is just what she appears to be, a woman impatient to wear a new dress!
It’s Carnival you see, and everyone is having a good time outside, but you’d hardly think it to look upon their faces! Number 2 tried to get Number 6 fixed up with a young lady, but he was having none of it. Instead he chose Number 240, who would become both his observer, and prosecutor at his trial.
There’s a doctor who rather enjoys his work, in fact his work gives him an enormous amount of enjoyment. He’s currently working on Roland Walter Dutton, who is proving to be rather difficult. By the way, names are not used in the Village, and yet the doctor-No.40 continually refers to this prisoner by name rather than his number! He uses Dutton to try and gain information from No.6, it’s a ruse that fails. No.6 would rather die first than give anything away. It would seem that the Prisoner-No.6 has a future with the Village, and there are other ways.
No.6 encounters a Village cat, he takes it into his cottage and gives it some cream, but is reminded by his maid that animals are not allowed, it’s a rule. But No.6 sees rules as something to which he is not custom. Nor does he want any flowers, and refuses to sign his number when the Village postman asks him to sign him number for a special delivery of an invitation to the Ball.
At curfew every citizen is locked in their room or cottage, no-one is allowed out after curfew………….and yet. No.6 is restless, there’s a cat asleep on his bed which he does not disturb, instead he lies back on the black leather recliner. The overhead light is turned on, and a soothing voice tries to lull No.6 to sleep, and to wake to a beautiful tomorrow. But No.6 is far too restless, the door of his cottage is locked against him, but the French door to the balcony has been left unsecured, by mistake or design?
No.240, who was once No.34’s observer, has now been assigned as observer to No.6. The only trouble is she can’t find him, and 240 is supposed to be their best Observer! But never mind, it will test their efficiency, as there’s only one place No.6 can ever go, that’s home.
So No.6 having made good his escape his escape from his cottage, disappears into the night. On the beach he tests himself against the Village Guardian, running against “it” at the water’s edge. But No.6 cannot run so far for so long against the Guardian, which runs No.6 into the ground, then drifts away leaving No.6 on his knees on the beach, and that is where he spends the night.
In the morning No.6 wakes to the sight and sound of seagulls, more than that there’s a body of a man lying in the water. The man is dead, there’s a wallet in his pocket, inside which is a picture of the dead man together with a woman. Also in the dead man’s pocket a small transistor radio in a black leather pouch. No.6 turns it on, it seems that the sea water has not got to the transistors or battery. Perhaps through the radio No.6 might get to hear something from his world, and yet he meets with someone else from his world, Roland Walter Dutton! Dutton has been released into the Village from the hospital for 72 hours so that he can reconsider in the peaceful atmosphere of…….of the Village. You see the doctor’s got it all wrong, he thinks Dutton has more information to tell him. But Dutton didn’t have access to the vital stuff, and by the time the doctor realises that, well it’ll be too late…..for Roland Walter that is!
But waste not want eh! No.6 is always quick to seize any given opportunity, and having stolen a lifebelt and a length of rope from the Stoneboat, he sets out to use the dead body of No.34 to send a message to the outside world. He writes a note, to whom so ever many find this, and adds a map of the Village and surrounding area, along with the photograph of himself taken from his card of identity, and places the three items into the dead man’s wallet, the wallet into a polythene bag, and that into the dead man’s pocket, and the dead man tied to the life belt and set adrift in the water.
On the evening of the Ball No.2 as Peter Pan finds No.6 down on the beach looking for a light, a boat, a plane, someone from his world, because the Prisoner likes his world, he likes his dream! But if he continues to dream it he may be taken for mad!
At the Ball a cabaret is promised and No.6 is it! But before that, No.6 takes the opportunity to poke his nose in and around the corridors of the Town Hall posing as a doctor-No.116. Another doctor emerges from a side room, asks No.116 if he’s seen No.2? He tells her that he’ll be seeing her, and is handed an envelope which he must give to No.2 straight away, it’s a termination order against Roland Walter Dutton.
In his search of the Town Hall No.6 finds the Village mortuary, and in a long grey cabinet the body of the dead man he found on the beach. The contents of the wallet in the dead man’s pocket will be amended, the dead man will be amended, so that it’s No.6 who has died in an accident at sea!
So No.6’s attempt to get a message to the outside world has been foiled. Oh well he’ll have more important things to worry about in a minute, he’s about to be put on trial! Apparently it’s against the rules to possess a radio, it’s not even permissible to listen to a radio, if you had one that is. There’s no radio to borrow, no radio he could have acquired, so having acquired one No.6 showed a complete disregard for the rules! No.6 then having been faced with both his prosecutor, Number 240 who is completely bias by the way, and his defender, No.2 who turns out to be a Prosecution witness!
The Prisoner calls for a character witness who turns out to be Roland Walter Dutton, who the Prisoner sees that seeing as he’s a man who due to die, there is no better man who can say the things that nee to be said. But sadly for the Prisoner, and even sadder for Dutton, the doctor-Number 40 has gone too far in his experiments with Dutton, that have left him an imbecile!
The three judges then decide, but before they can come to a decision, the Prisoner asks that a character witness be called to say the things that need to be said, and who better than Roland Walter Dutton. A man who the Prisoner thinks he once knew, a man who is due to die, so it won’t matter much to him what he says! But Dutton has been left a brain dead imbecile, the doctor in his attempt to get further information, information Dutton was not in possession of, has gone too far in his interrogation techniques!
Duly sentenced to death in the name of the people, the people then carry out the sentence in the name of justice. What, a screaming baying mob, who if they get their hands on the Prisoner would have surely torn him limb from limb, they’d never risk that surely? And I was right, No.2 had No.240 call off the mob, what’s more she no longer No.6’s Observer! Observers of life should never get involved, oh and look the tele-printer has suddenly burst into printing life, after having had it guts ripped out! How the devil did it do that? Oh well another unexplainable surreal moment in ‘the Prisoner!’
Be seeing you next time during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’
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