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Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Schizoid Man

    Can a man be in two places at the same time? You just ask Harold Pelham, and if you don’t know who he is, he’s the man who haunted himself! Not simply a split personality, but a physical split of the psyche, the ego and the id. Harold Pelham had been in a car accident, he had allowed his other self to take the wheel of the car. Surgeons operated on him, and as surgeons fought to save his life, for a moment, and it was but a moment, there were two heartbeats on the EEG monitor. That was put down to a fault in the machine, but for Harold Pelham it meant release!
   Eventually Harold Pelham was released from hospital, and that’s when the nightmare began. You see he was always a few moments behind himself, and wherever he went, he had always been there first. Harold Pelham was a man of regular habits, but soon he began to break those habits. Gone the business suits and starched collar for more casual attire. The Rover 3.5litre Saloon replaced by a Lamborghini Islreo 400s {GTS}. To cut a long story short, was Harold Pelham going mad? Why should anyone go around impersonating him, more than that, taking over his whole life, his wife and family, his position at the Marine company. Why should  a man do this to himself? Because the Id is released from the Ego, and likes the life it leads. But can a man live in such separation, the one stronger as the other is weaker?
   Finally Pelham confronts his other self, and the chase is on, a car chase. An accident as the Rover 3.5 litre Saloon crashes off a bridge, and two hearts once more beat as one, but which one?
   So what has all this to do with ‘The Schizoid Man?’ What if having undergone the conditioning to smoke black Russian cigarettes, to have flapjacks as his favourite dish, his right-handedness for left-handed. But instead of changing his appearance Number 6 is put back in his cottage. Then instead of being invited to breakfast by Number 2 and instructed about the reason as to why he’s in the Village, and taken to ‘6 Private,’ Number 6 is left to wake up and simply go about his life in The Village as though nothing had happened. He goes to play a game of chess with the ex-Admiral, who thinks its queer since he had only just played a game with Number 6, having won in a 7 move checkmate win. He goes to the kiosk to buy a newspaper and bar of soap {a daily occurrence according to his prognosis report of ‘It’s Your Funeral’}, but he purchased the items just a few moments ago, even having bought Number 36 a bag of sweets. The kiosk holder wondering what game Number 6 is playing, and tells him to clear off!  Number 6 goes for his daily bout of Kosho, only to find his opponent has already been dunked in the tank of water! Wherever Number 6 goes in The Village, he’s already been there, whatever he does, he’s already done it. Someone is going about impersonating Number 6. Of course they eventually meet in their cottage, and the rest of the episode pans out as we see it.
    Of course one should never attempt to re-write an episode, after all ‘The Schizoid man’ is etched onto celluloid forever. However one can use imagination to expand upon it.

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