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Saturday 7 March 2015

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

    Sloppiness is the word to describe this episode, and yet playing Devil’s advocate, it is easy to see that Nigel Stock didn’t fit easily into the role of the Prisoner, he is physically very different to Patrick McGoohan. He had light brown hair which was thinning. His physique was bulkier and square in both face and body. When sitting behind the wheel of the Lotus Seven, or while wearing the same attire as the Prisoner of charcoal grey suit and black polo neck shirt, he looks considerably larger that Patrick McGoohan, and somehow he doesn’t look right in the same suit clothes as McGoohan. Perhaps that’s why Nigel Stock is later seen wearing grey trousers, double breasted jacket, white shirt and tie. Or perhaps it’s a case Nigel Stock feels happier as himself! All in all, no matter how much we do not think Nigel Stock is like the Prisoner in appearance, it should be remembered that he’s not supposed to look like him!
   The episode uses a good deal of stock film footage of the Lotus Seven being driven around London. This footage has obviously been cut from the opening sequence of ‘Arrival’ because Patrick McGoohan can be clearly seen behind the wheel. Had this footage been included in the opening sequence, it would have been far too long. And when Nigel Stock is seen in close-up in the car, it’s against back projected film.
   In the long shots of the Colonel and Number 2 in the Green Dome, it is clear that nether of the two figures are those Nigel Stock and Clifford Evans, and so are stand-ins for the two actors. Stocks stand-in had considerably more hair, and it’s dark rather than light hair, and bears something of a resemblance to Danvers! But at least the stand-in for Clifford Evans does bear some resemblance to him. But at least Angelo Muscat as the Butler is present in the long shot. So no doubt he could have told us who the other two people were. And why? Well it would suggest that by having to use stand-ins for both the Colonel and Number 2, that at the time, both actors were unavailable to film that long shot in the Green Dome.
   Number 6 has had all unpleasant memories of The Village erased. His mind had been regressed back to the morning he was due to hand in his resignation, having written the letter the night before. Perhaps brought about because of his assignment to find Professor Seltzman. But surely that was a year ago, and even though ZM73 doesn’t hand in his resignation in the episode, he still had resigned a year before. More than that there would have been an identical copy of ZM73’s letter of resignation on file somewhere, because regressing the Prisoner’s mind back to the morning he was due to hand in his letter of resignation is one thing. But he had not been physically sent back in time to that morning a year earlier. The Prisoner’s act of having handed in his letter of resignation would still have happened, a year before!
    This is the Prisoner’s third return to London. And despite the removal of all unpleasant memories of The Village from the Prisoner, it is remarkably easy for the Prisoner to regain those memories when he looks into the mirror in the hallway of his house. So presumably with the return of those memories, must come the memories of his two previous encounters with his ex-colleagues. And yet no mention is made of these by ZM73 when he finally gets to meet with Sir Charles Portland. And remembering that ZM73 had actually resigned his job a year earlier, no mention of this is made by Sir Charles, whether ZM73’s memory had returned or not. Either way, both of the former situations have simply been ignored by both parties.

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