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Thursday 27 March 2014

Increase Vigilance Call From New No.2

    "Increase Vigilance Call From No.2," this in the matter of the Security of the Community. Number 6 once said in one of the televised speeches in ‘Free For All’ that the security of the citizens was his primary objective! He may not have been elected to the position of No.2, Chairman of the Village, but he certainly began sounding like one!
   A good friend of mine brought to my attention the other day, the American spelling of “Neighbors” in the article of The Tally Ho in the episode ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’
I had read the article before of course, even having written a couple of pieces of Prisoner blog on the subject. But for some reason the American spelling of 'Neighbors' had slipped by. As to the author of that article, I have no idea who he or she was. Fictionally speaking in regard to 'Hammer Into Anvil,' can we be sure they are No.2's actual words, remembering the article in The Tally Ho in which "No.6 speaks His Mind" in 'Free For All' which were not his own words, but had been written previous even to the interview with that interview with No.113.
   It has always been my own personal opinion, that the article, although written for a prop for ‘Hammer into Anvil,’ reflects an aspect of the "Cold War." More specifically, the American McCarthy Communist witch hunt of the 1950's, when neighbours were encouraged to denounce neighbour for any form of anti-American act, to denounce people for being Communists.

   To quote the article "We must constantly be on our guard against enemies in our midst." that could be likened to what was happening in
America during those Communist witch hunts. "We do not necessarily know where our enemies are, or who they might be." During that Communist witch hunt, anyone and everyone could easily be suspected of being a communist, and people were, sometimes being wrongly rounded up and arrested for being a Communist. "Therefore it is the duty of all of us to be on constant look out against traitors who, behind our back, seek to undermine and destroy us." Hence neighbour denounced neighbour as being a Communist, and this was encouraged by McCarthyism.
   "Let those who think they can strike when our guard is down take heed. We never sleep. We will never relax our guard. We know there are those who believe they can get away with their plots and conspiracies. They will be taught a lesson." Such was the Communist paranoia at the height of the Communist witch hunts of the 1950's. Communists were seen to be everywhere, even when they were not there in the first place! The whole article does smack of paranoia, and can easily be paralleled to those Communist witch hunts. Well that has always been my own personal perception and interpretation of the article for what it is worth.

Be seeing you


  1. Thanks, David, for bringing up this subject! I wonder if the person responsible for the preparation of that prop, the Tally Ho, was perhaps a victim of that witch hunt and thus had enough knowledge to write this "call" accordingly because it suited perfectly well here with that paranoiac No. 2 Or he/she came across any historic material of that time. In any case, it was deliberate decision to place it readably into the TH. On a standard 1967 TV screen, however, nobody would have been able to grasp it, it passes too quickly. So, what for...? - BCNU!

    1. Hello Arno,
      That is a fair and good comment which I agree with you.For someone in the property department of the production of 'the Prisoner' to write such article for The Tally Ho, only for it to be seen for a few fleeting moments on a small television screen, must have been a big deal for someone. Especially when they could have written absolutely anything, seeing as it would be seen only fleetingly on a small television screen in 1967.
      It might be that someone in the poperty department who was given the task of writing the artilce "Increase Vigilance Call From No.2" could have used material from the McCarthy Communist witch hunt as inspiration. Or many have had knowledge of that time.
      As you so rightly say, nobody would have been able to grasp it, as it passes so quickly. So, what for indeed?!

      Very Kind regards