There are four main constant characters in ‘the Prisoner.’ Number 6 obviously, well that is only to be expected seeing as he’s the hero or anti-hero depending on how you look at it. The there’s the Butler who serves without question each new master or mistress who takes up residence in the Green Dome. Although the Green Dome isn’t a residence seeing as Number 2 doesn’t actually live there. The Butler is much more fortunate, as he lives in the annexe behind the Green Dome! Then there is the Supervisor-Number 26, although there are times when his appearance in the series is via stock film footage. And finally a balloon, and on occasion more then one in various sizes. Admittedly the balloon doesn’t appear in every episode, however he is always there at the end of the credits. But is The Village Guardian a character, or merely a visual icon? Certainly the use of a meteorological weather balloon as the Guardian was an inspiration. Had Rover Mk1 been a success, it’s always possible that it would have still looked ridiculous, and not been taken to the hearts of the fans of the series. Originally an escaping prisoner caught by Rover MK1 would have been over powered by a blue light. This idea of a controlling blue light does appear in ‘the Prisoner,’ and no better demonstration of this takes place than in ‘Free For All.’ When Number 6, as the new Number 2 is in the Green Dome with Number 58, pressing buttons on the control panel of the desk. There shines a blue light of which Number 6 comes under its controlling influence. Whether this blue light is activated by accident on the part of Number 6 by pressing the wrong button, or by someone else somewhere is unknown.
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