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Saturday 30 August 2014

Number 2 Finds It An Odeal!

    It has always seemed to me that at times ‘the Prisoner’ is as every bit of an ordeal for Number 2 as it is for Number 6. Admittedly it’s not every Number 2 who lays his life of the line for the cause, and some Number 2s appear to do little more than tend to their administrative details. Number 2 in ‘Checkmate’ is a prime example. He administers while others get their hands dirty carrying out medical experiments on subjects like Number 8. The first Number 2 was something of a gentleman, who first de-briefed the Prisoner, then briefed him on The Village. He did try to extract the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation, but quickly realised that this had to be handled very differently, and no sooner had he said that than he was replaced, just when the Prisoner was getting familiar with him. But then that’s part of the game, replace Number 2, and force the Prisoner to begin all over again. But so far it’s not been so much of an ordeal for Number 2 I have to admit. The second Number 2 seems to have a remit in demonstrating to the Prisoner that escape is not possible, which he does, then before we know it he’s replaced.
    During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ we seem to be confronted with an able Number 2, one who knows his business, and yet all he does is oversee that Number 6 successfully manages to escape The Village, and maintain the deception for a further twelve hours after he‘d been brought back to it. The fault is not his, he is not to blame. It was a good plan, although Number 2 did advise that they were using the wrong approach. But never mind, Number 2 did his best, Nadia Rakovsky said she would stress that in her report.
    Why give a man only three days in which to gain the required information from Number 6? Surely it’s not a question of time already. Or perhaps it is. Perhaps this Number 2 took too long in researching and computing the Prisoner-Number 6’s whole life. But why did he need to research Number 6’s former life? I thought they knew everything about him already! Poor old Number 2, he was really put under pressure for the first time. Although the cause of the failure was not all his alone, he would have to ultimately pay the price. I wonder what they did to the doctor-Number 14?
    Two Number 2s appear at the same time in ‘Free For All.’ One, a statesman and master of manipulation. The other plays her part, to perfection, and after revealing herself in her true colours, gives the impression that she would do all kinds of nastiness to Number 6. Yet doesn’t want to damage him permanently! The former Two leaves The Village, leaving the former Number 58 to take office as the new Number 2. But how long her term of office was, is anyone’s guess.
    ‘The Schizoid Man,’ two Number 6’s in The Village, as if one wasn’t bad enough! Number 2 was in a dead panic when it was reported to him that Number 6 was dead, that Rover got him! His predecessor would have suffered for the failure of ‘A B and C,’ but to have Number 6 die, one could only imagine what the consequences for that might have been. But thankfully for a very much relieved Number 2, he saw through Number 6’s deception of trying to escape The Village in the guise of Curtis. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Susan, who had died a year ago, Number 6 may very well have made good his escape. Number 6’s ignorance of that fact saved Number 2’s bacon…this time!
     And just when one thought it couldn’t get any worse for Number 2, having been brought back to The Village for a second term of office, especially seeing as he was to have no direct involvement with Number 6 this time. But sadly for this Number 2, overseeing one of the most important human experiments ever to be conducted, he couldn’t stop Number 6 from poking his nose in where it had no concern! Number 2’s fault was his over confidence in the General. As well as underestimating Number 6 for a second time. This episode was one of the great disasters for Number 2. The destruction of the General, the deaths of both the Professor and Number 12 of Administration, and the ultimate failure of the educational experiment of Speedlearn. We would not be seeing this Number 2 again, his fate almost certainly sealed, and can only imagine what that fate might have been.
   ‘Many Happy Returns,’ a lesson in control and manipulation. The Prisoner escapes The Village, but is kept on a very long leash, and can be reeled in at any time. We only see Number 2-Mrs. Butterworth at the end of the episode, which can only be presumed to be at the beginning of her term of office. Again there is no way of knowing what became of this Number 2.
   ‘Dance of the Dead,’ an almost elfin looking Number 2, a Peter Pan in charge of “Never Never Land.” Who can see that it’s going to be very uncomfortable for Number 6! What eventually happens to this Number 2 is unknown. Seeing as she didn’t fail, the probability is that she was forced to grow up and had to leave The Village of “Never Never land,” and return to reality!
    “You have to be hammer or anvil,” that’s what this next Number 2 said, but instead of hammering Number 6, Number 6 turned the tables on Number 2 who in turn became the anvil. I can only imagine that life in The Village did not suit this Number 2 at all, and we can only guess when his paranoia began, and what the initial reason was. Number 6’s revenge for the death of Number 73 left Number 2 a broken man. Probably to spend a lengthy time on a psychiatric wing of a hospital somewhere.
   ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ a plot to assassinate/execute a retiring Number 2, and a simpering interim Number 2, who gives the impression of being of Aryan parentage. Number 2 is due to die by being blown up! But thanks to Number 6’s intervention, he has the chance to leave The Village. The only trouble is that no matter where he goes “they” will catch up with him eventually, it would only be a question of time. So instead he returns to The Village {the helicopter turning round mid flight and returning to the Village} it might be possible that this retiring Number 2 spent the rest of his days retired to the Old People’s home. As for the new Number 2 when his time comes, he could only hope to have a lesser fate than the one he had planned for his predecessor!
    The next Number 2 thought he could bring about a change of mind in Number 6. Trick him into thinking that he had undergone a full personality change through Instant Social Conversion. But all Number 86 did was keep Number 6 heavily tranquilised with doses of Mytol. The Community turned on Number 6, they effectively sent him to
Coventry because of his unmutualism. But the community of The Village is a fickle thing, and easily turned, as Number 2 himself found out. Marched through The Village at the chant of the citizens “Unmutual, unmutual, unmutual.” And in the end Number 2 had to make a run for the relative safety of the Green Dome, with an angry mob giving chase. Whether or not the angry mob actually got to Number 2 is left to the imagination of the viewer!
   I’m not sure which Number 2 came off worse, the first candidate is from ’The General,’ and now we are faced with another. The death of the Colonel, the escape of Professor Seltzman doesn’t bode well for this Number 2’s future. However at least he managed to acquire the reversal process. But when you think about it, the reversal process wasn’t really needed anyway! You know my view on that, I shan’t repeat it.
   Living In Harmony, that’s a contradiction in terms isn’t it, I mean when you take ‘A Change of Mind’ into account. And here we have another prime candidate for a worse performing Number 2, on the death count an equal with Number 2 in ‘The General.’ The failure to break Number 6, even in his mind, plus the deaths of Number 8 and Number 22. This is certainly something Number 2 doesn’t look forward to paying for. He’s afraid!
    On the whole I think the worse performing Number 2 was that of ‘The General.’ After all he had been given a second chance. Given charge of the most important human experiment ever to be conducted. The General destroyed, the Professor and Number 12 dead and the experiment of Speedlearn ended in complete failure!
    It might make one wonder just how many of these blessed fairytales Number 2 had to listen to, hopefully not one thousand and one! But if this is what Number 2 has to resort to, things must be getting pretty desperate. But I suppose it was worth a try Number 2. But don’t go too far, your presence will be required to resolve the question of revolt! But before we come to that, another Number 2 is brought back to The Village and he’s not at all happy about it! He told them the last time that they were using the wrong approach. This time they’ll do it his way, because there is no other way. He was a good man, is a good man, and to prove that he puts his life on the line for the cause. Because if they manage to get Number 6 he will be a better man than Number 2, he will be the new Number 2! Well at least he might have been had it not been for the advent of ‘Fall Out,’ what’s more Number 2 would have been allowed to rest in peace! But then I dare say we, the viewer, would never have discovered who Number 1 was. I say was, because if things hadn’t gone the way of ’Fall Out,’ Number 6 would not have been given the opportunity of meeting Number 1.
   But this isn’t about Number 6 or Number 1 for that matter. It’s about Number 2 and his/her ordeal during ‘the Prisoner.’ It is difficult to tell just how long certain Number 2s had been in office. Some we might have liked to see more of, others we cannot see the back of soon enough. One, perhaps two we might even feel sorry for. I am aware, even known some fans whose loyalties lie with Number 2. Some Number 2s we even like, and can name a favourite if put to it.
    Each Number 2 was dedicated to each task in hand. It has been suggested over the years, that there was only one Number 2, and that each that we see is but one facet of Number 2’s character. That the two female Number 2s indicates that Number 2 is in touch with his feminine side! And we must not forget Number 2 who died for the cause. Degree Absolute was certainly as much an ordeal for him as it was for Number 6.
   And ‘Fall Out?’ Well they couldn’t let Number 2 even rest in peace could they? They couldn’t even resurrect him as he was. “I feel a new man” Number 2 said. He certainly looked a new man, reborn, regenerated, and rebellious with it, that’s because he’d seen the light. He certainly wouldn’t allow himself to be mesmerised or hypnotised by Number 1 any more. That if he was going to die again, he’d die with his own mind! However having finally escaped The Village and returning to London, he eventually returns to the fold of the Establishment, to lose himself in another The Village altogether………..The Village of Westminster!

Be seeing you

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