In ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ we learn at the end that Number Six's British superiors are working for The Village - or at least they were a part of whatever system had incarcerated him. In ‘Many Happy Returns,’ we're not so sure. Those British superiors appear authentic, and they seem honestly concerned about what happened to Number Six, well the Colonel perhaps, not so sure about Thorpe! Casual viewers may think that the pilot of the Gloster Meteor jet aircraft, the man who ejects Number Six from the aircraft and back to The Village, was working for the British. But a closer viewing reveals that the airplane pilot first appears in the episode as a Milkman, driving a milk float which bears a sign "Pinta man Is Strong," which of course is a cover. The Milkman is working for The Village, who overpowered the Group Captain, taking his flying suit and helmet, and flew Number Six back to The Village.
That is exactly what happened in the original script. In
fact, in the original script we are introduced to the character who is going to
fly the aircraft, and we are privy to a scene in which the Milkman and this
pilot confront each other. If this had been completed according to the original
script, we would be in no doubt that the actual airplane pilot was different to
the intended pilot. Why would the change have been made in the final version?
Perhaps the script was going too long and certain scenes had to be trimmed. And
yet considering the importance of this detail - it was decided to leave the
situation ambiguous. Although it is fairly clear that the British superiors
were in on it as the Colonel and Fotheringay before them, the Colonel this time
making no attempt to try and stop his ex-colleague from going back looking for
The Village. Whether or not the Group Captain was also in on it, helping the
Milkman into a flying suit, or having been attacked by the Milkman, thus taking the Group Captain’s flying suit, or if he had one
of his own will forever remain unknown.
Be seeing you