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Saturday 28 March 2015

Living In Harmony

    Lets face it, ‘Living In Harmony’ is a piece of self-indulgence on the part of those who wanted to make a western. While the Executive Producer’s away, the production crew play! It is also the third “filler” episode.
    There was a great deal of animosity between Ian Rakoff and Frank Maher {Patrick McGoohan’s stunt double} as to which of them came up with the idea of producing a western as an episode for ‘the Prisoner.’ Both claimed the original idea {now where have we heard that before?} but Maher’s ideas gelled with Ian Rakoff developing the script, with director David Tomblin handling the final treatment of the script. So ‘Living In Harmony’ was a team effort!
    Number 6 has a certain importance to the Administration of The Village, the question is, is Number6 aware of this? If he is, then it gives him a subconscious reassurance that he can take risks, go to any lengths in defending himself, the consequence being he’s too important to be harmed. So placing Number 6 in a dangerous environment where physical violence is the daily norm in order to break his mind, we see Number 6 defending himself with such ferocity that is less-sophisticated than previously seen.
   ‘Living In Harmony’ is rather like the 1977 film ‘Welcome To Blood City,’   or rather that should be the other way around.
   ‘Living In Harmony’ is a demonstration of how desperate The Village Administration was to break Number 6, mentally if not physically, yet the tissue is well bruised! Also there was a desperation for the production team to come up with another script in order to help eke out the series. Why, when two perfectly good scripts had already been rejected?
   I have never really taken to ‘Living In Harmony,’ I don’t know why, seeing as I’m a big fan of American Westerns, especially those starring Randolph Scott. And that’s what ‘Living In Harmony’ is, a Western, something which when watching, should take me out of myself, on a purely adventurous level, a piece of escapism if you like.
   Even though Number 6 has been put in a dangerous environment, no real harm can come to him, because only the Judge, the Kid, and Cathy physically exist. Sometimes when I watch this episode I cannot help but imagine Patrick McGoohan slapping his thighs, as children do, or used to do, when running along riding imaginary horses! Or when fighting Zeke and rest of the Judge’s boys, Number 6 throwing punches and receiving punches and blows from imaginary assailants. Throwing himself on the ground and rolling about, which would be the reality of what was supposed to be taking place in Harmony.

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