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Saturday, 22 November 2014

A B And C

   With the absence of Portmeirion scenes, together with the emphasis placed on Number Fourteen’s laboratory, this goes to make ‘A B and C’ a somewhat  claustrophobic episode. We are introduced to the laboratory at night, when a storm rages outside. Lightening with torrential rain, the only instance of bad weather in the entire series of ‘the Prisoner.’
    Even in Number 6’s three dreams there is a sense of release, seeing that a portion of the action takes place at Engadine’s celebrated parties in Paris. In other words, “outside” of The Village. As Number 14 says, “I’m sure he’ll welcome the change of environment.” Back in the real world, other than the surreal world of The Village!
    A play in three acts; A is a conventional spy episode, in which ZM73 encounters an old colleague, with whom he was once friends, and had good deal in common. But that’s in the past. “A” made world news when he defected about 6 years previously. They did the same job, they still do the same job, but for different sides! Later A attempts to abduct ZM73, and we are to believe that this is what would have happened if The Village administration had not got to ZM73 first.
   B is also a spy working for the other side. The other side supposedly opposite to both ZM73 and A. ZM73 appears to be friends with B, and yet he keeps her at arms length even when dancing! He has encountered B before. The last time when she was hiking across the mountains to Switzerland…..she got sore feet! Trying to escape from someone, or to somewhere where she thought she might be safe. Unlike A being the direct approach and with the aid of force, B is more of a semi-seductive approach, more indirect, and set on an emotional basis. Number 14 attempts a spot of emotional blackmail. They want B to make a deal with ZM73, they want to know why he resigned. If he would just talk about it, they would let her off the hook. Emotional blackmail has been used before against the Prisoner, on the day of his arrival in The Village, by the maid-Number 66. The trouble here is, it’s all taking too long with B, and Number 2 wants to hurry things up a little, by Number 14 putting words in B’s mouth. That was a mistake, because as soon as B speaks 14’s words, ZM73 is put on the alert, he becomes suspicious, and resists direction. The second mistake is that they don’t know about B’s son……and yet is that a bluff on ZM73’s part, perhaps there really is no son?
    C, and here we enter the world of fantasy which is both complete and enthralling. Number 6 has diluted the third dose of Number 14’s drug, and because of that the veneer of the real-world is stripped away as represented in both A and B, whereby he demonstrates his capability of being not only able to enter his own surreal dream, but to control it, direct it according to his own will. In this Number 6 creates a completely misleading story line designed to overturn Number 2’s expectations, and uses his enemies own device and drug against themselves, in order to defeat Number 2, and ultimately deny him the proper result of his examination.
   There has been some pitiful research into C, but can anyone really expect anything else when C hides behind a cloak of anonymity! C exists, but not in the terms of which A and B are defined. C is C because C is not A or B. C is more important than either A and B, the man who resides behind the “big door” as Number 6 might have put it.
    The episode transcends into an almost “out of body” experience, taking place in Number 6’s subconscious, as Number 2’s plan is completely overcome. His deep belief that Number 6 resigned because he was going to sell out is left unfulfilled. Number 6 is brutal in his retribution against Number 2. He delivers in person the information that he really was going on holiday. That he wasn’t selling out, that’s not why he resigned. This leaves Number 2 a broken man. As the over-sized curved red telephone bleeps, we can only imagine what fate lay ahead for this pathetic failure of a Number 2!
   With the scenario that Number 6 builds in his surreal subconscious, and the suggestion that there is a fourth that Number 2 had no idea about, “D,” then we are to suppose that “C” was Engadine. To suggest that Number 2 is C and not D, would depend on what Number 6 says when he turns the man dressed as the “Sandeman” of Sandeman Port to face the camera. That would be “C” as in the letter c, or as the word “See!”

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