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Tuesday 13 May 2014

Room One O One

 “Room one o one, the place in which you face your worst fear.” Isn’t that where you face your worst nightmare? “Room one o one, what you put in it from the Prisoner?  Well I leaned back in my chair and gave it considerable consideration. Then it struck me, ‘Do Not Forsake Me’ is a prime candidate for room one o one, the entire episode in fact. To begin with that so called “reversal process” isn’t at all necessary. All you have to do to reverse the process is to put the same two subjects, in this case Number 6 and the Colonel, through the same process again.
   It is supposed that all unpleasant memories of the Village have been wiped from the Prisoner’s mind before returning him to London. But when the Colonel with the Prisoner’s mind stares into the mirror, it’s as though the memory of the Village has been returned. As though he can remember everything that has happened to him since his arrival in the Village simply by staring deep into the mirror. But then that wouldn’t be the first time!
   I’ll stand for Sir Charles Portland, because this time, unlike the two previous times when the Prisoner went running back to the Colonel, there is no Colonel to go running back to. Seeing as the Prisoner is himself the Colonel! But I’m damned if I’ll stand for that Janet Portland, to my mind she is superfluous to requirements. The only reason for her that I can see, is because at a time before his abduction to the Village, the Prisoner left a receipt for a roll of film with her for safe keeping, in case of trouble. Couldn’t the Prisoner have left that receipt in the safe behind the television in his study? After all, those American dollar bills were safe enough, and certainly safer in that safe than the receipt was left with Janet. After all Mister Carmichael would have had that receipt when he want to collect those transparencies from the World Camera shop that time.
   The Village is in possession of the Seltzman machine, and yet they don’t know where Seltzman is. So how did the Village authorities get their hands on the machine in the first place, or at least the plans to build a machine of their own?
      Are both sides looking for Seltzman? Or is there a third, if you count the fact that neither side is running the Village. That it might be that the British who are behind the Village, but not necessarily the same department for whom the Prisoner once worked. So it might not be the case of east and west who are looking for Professor Seltzman, but two different departments of the British government! This led me to think that the reason why Sir Charles Portland doesn't seem to know where the Prisoner is, that he hasn't sent him on a mission of any kind. is because it is a different department in British Intelligence that abducted the Prisoner to the Village, seeing as Sir Charles doesn’t recognise the Colonel! And there’s the question of his future son-in-law’s resignation, Janet and Sir Charles appear not to be aware of that, unless time travel is in it as well. More than that, isn’t the Prisoner supposed to have been reported as having died in an accident at sea, Janet certainly was not aware of that when she saw his car parked in the street outside I Buckingham Place. She thought he was back! That’s the thing about ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ it’s like a Swiss cheese, too many holes in the plot!
   Why Nigel Stock? Originally an actor was called for the role of the Colonel, someone of the same stature as Patrick McGoohan, someone with the ability to act the role and character of the Prisoner, in the same style of McGoohan. Outwardly Nigel Stock is fine on the screen, but it must be remembered that after the mind transference, the actions of the Colonel as played by Nigel Stock should be those of the Prisoner Patrick McGoohan. To my mind Nigel Stock did not capture the character of the Prisoner/McGoohan at all, let alone his mannerisms. I think McGoohan’s stunt double should have played the role of the Colonel, Frank Maher could capture the Prisoner’s whole style.
   I wonder if Potter, he’s another one working for the opposing side looking for Seltzman, was also taken to the Village? You will recall how the Undertaker shows up in disguise as a chauffeur {although I recognised him instantly} nerve gassed both the Colonel-Prisoner and Potter. Was Potter left unconscious in the cellar of the Barbers shop, or was he also taken to the Village with both the Colonel-Prisoner and Seltzman? If he wasn’t, Potter would have had a great deal of explaining to do to Sir Charles, and his future son-in-law will have disappeared for a second time! One could say that ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ is an episode mainly without Patrick McGoohan. But look closely enough, and you’ll see there is more of the man in the episode than is first supposed, especially when behind the wheel of his kar! In my book there are far too many imponderables in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, ’ it’s one saving grace is it’s incidental music which I do enjoy listening to via the series sound track music cd’s. But even that is not enough to stop my consigning this episode to room one o one!

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