What Happened To No.2?
The idea for this article finds its origins in a comment made by a TV critic on the matter of No.2, having said that "No.2 ended up dead." So after a good deal of research by our very own reporter, into the question of "What happened to No.2?" it can be confirm that hardly any No.2 ended up dead at the end of his or her term of office, well one certain No.2 came close to it, that of the retiring No.2 in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ an assassination plotted by his own people against him, and chiefly by the retiring No.2's heir presumptive. What became of that new No.2 is difficult to say. He was about to commence upon his term of office, and if allowed to do so one thing can be assured, he would have made it extremely hard for No.6!
But let us begin at the beginning, ‘Arrival,’ the first No.2 was a bit of a charmer, a gentleman who saw to the arrival of the Prisoner-No.6. He carried out a debriefing session with the Prisoner who only gave away his time of birth, introduced him to the Village, gave him an aerial tour in fact. However he also failed when No.66 the maid attempted to get information out of the Prisoner. So either this No.2 had come to the natural end of his term of office, or he was replaced do to his failure. But in either case with No.2’s successor, it meant that the Prisoner was back to square one, having to deal with a new No.2. As for his replacement, well we have hardly the time to asses him, as he is seen on the screen for ten minutes or so. He also failed to extract any such information from the Prisoner"Although no extreme measures are to be used yet."
No.2 of ‘Free for All’ gives the impression the Village is a pocket democracy, that there are free elections within the boundaries of this 20th century Bastille. Yet having lost the election, which turns out to be nothing more than a farce, this is the first No.2 who we see actually see being able to leave the village and flying the helicopter himself. Ah but what about his replacement, the new No.2, who having attained the position of No.2 instantly tries to instigate a mass breakout, which no citizens wants to know about, and for all his trouble gets a sound beating at the fists of the two jet boat mechanics. The real new No.2, who had been masquerading as No.58, well she has just begun her term of office. But already she has threatened No.6 with worse to come if he is not yet ready t talk. I feel sorry for No.6 and the day which is yet to come, tomorrow!
‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ yes this episodes should have been listed here second, sees a somewhat convivial No.2 who enjoys a rapport with No.6. He is someone who knows exactly what No.6 is up to, having seen Nadia-No.8 planted assigned to No.6. But at the end it was not this No.2's failure, that the plan to get No.6 to talk about the reason for his resignation, Nadia was kind enough to stress that in her report. So again this No.2 was allowed to leave the village, and being such a good man, he was brought back for the episode of ‘Once Upon a Time’ during which he apparently.... died, but did he? Because this No.2 was resuscitated during ‘Fall Out’ and put on trial.
‘A B and C’ enjoyed a number 2 who was already under suspicion of not being fit for a further term, such was the headline of The Tally Ho at the time "Is No.2 fit for further term?" Certainly with this current No.2, we see a demonstration, as the big red telephone begins to bleep impatiently at the end of this episode, the look of fear at the thought of what might befall him after this failure. However we also we learn that it is possible for any No.2 to serve two terms of office, and indeed this No.2 is brought back for a second term of office, that of the General which sees him brought to failure by his own over confidence in "The General." No.2 of ‘The Schizoid Man’ saw another No.2 instructed to make No.6 talk. In this he failed, but at least was alert enough in preventing No.6 from escaping under the guise of being Curtis. Whether he was paid to suffer in his failure to make No.6 talk can only be a matter for conjecture. So we continue with No.2's next term of office which begins with Many Happy Returns, but not in the village, but at No.1 Buckingham Place, Westminster, London. An usual beginning for any No.2, but at the same time demonstrating that those who administer the village can reach out far and beyond its confines, making use of a new No.2 even before she has arrived in the village!
No.2 of ‘Dance of the Dead’ enjoys something of an elfin look about her, and she is quite unfeminine which makes her choice of costume, that of Peter Pan quite an apt one, it suits her. We can only assume this No.2 was allowed to complete her term of office, because this is not a defeat for No.2, more so it is a moral victory, demonstrating that No.6 cannot win. And in trying to do so it will become very uncomfortable for him. ‘Checkmate,’ well who can say what happened to this No.2, perhaps he was allowed to leave the village as others before him have done. yet Hammer Into Anvil sees a very different ending to a No.2's term of office. Having been brought down by his own insecurities, and No.6 to give him a helpful push. He reports himself to No.1 as a 'breakdown in control' reporting himself to be replaced. I bet he wasn't allowed to leave the village. More likely that he ended up in the psychiatric wing of the hospital! ‘A Change of Mind’ sees the failed No.2 declared as being 'Unmutual' and hounded out of office by the good citizens of this...... our fine community.
Other No2's in episodes of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ again the look on this No.2, either at the thought that he has allowed Doctor Seltzman has slipped through his fingers, and at the thought of what might befall him for the failure of having done so. Living In Harmony in which No.2 fully understands that he has to pay for this failure. And finally ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ another failure and another No.2 who needs to be replaced, and is as No.2 from ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ is brought back to the Village "I told you the last time you were using the wrong approach...." But even ‘Decree Absolute’ was the wrong approach, which begs the question is there any right approach in dealing with No.6? For one final manipulation of the Priosner-No.6, was to bring back another No.2 who acted as a judge in the case of three trials. It was decided that in having revolted, resisted, fought, held fast, maintained, destroyed resistance. Overcome coercion as well as vindicating the tight of the individual, it was decided that the former No.6 had earned the right to meet No.1. In fact so much praise was heaped on the former No.6, that it was thought that if he was faced with himself, to make him see that it was it was he himself who was responsible for the Village, that it would break him……it didn’t!
Be seeing you