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Sunday 5 April 2015

The Butler

   Angelo Muscat as the Butler appears in 15 of the 17 episodes, which makes him second only to Patrick McGoohan, as Number 6. Other citizens of The Village are dressed in colourful clothes, carry about them colourful striped umbrellas. The Butler is more formally dressed in black, like the Top Hat officials of The Village Administration. And on occasion, like Number 6, he carries a black and white striped umbrella, the only two citizens to do so. Although Number 6 only has his umbrella on two occasions in ‘Arrival,’ the first when he is discharged from the hospital, and again at the regular Brass band concert.
   Symbolically the umbrella is seen to represent the way citizens are taken care of in The Village. Or on the other hand, it might be that each citizen is provided with an umbrella on the day of their arrival, thus providing each person with the necessary protection for them to go out and about in inclement weather! Another observation might be that the black and white umbrella is rather like the black and white masks of the delegates of the Assembly, which have been said to symbolise good and evil. What’s more it has been long suggested, that because of the Butler’s presence in the majority of the episodes, and that he is more often than not at the centre of Village activities, and when not, is seen on the fringes, that he is Number 1 who has merely adopted the character of the Butler! But of course we know better don’t we? Or do we? Because Number 1 turned out to be Number 6, or did he? Perhaps it was yet another occasion when they faced Number 6 with himself as they had done with The Schizoid Man. The idea that if they faced Number 6 with the fact that he has been Number 1 all the time, then his mind would break.
    As for the Butler, if he was Number 1, he certainly recognised a good man to whom he could attach himself, when the going gets tough, which of course he did in order to escape The Village. Otherwise he might have been left behind! But who was helping who during that escape? After all it was the Butler who knew about that Scammell lorry, and it was the Butler behind the wheel driving the lorry all the way from The Village to London. And it was the Butler who alone entered No.1 Buckingham Place! The Butler as Number 1, I think Angelo Muscat would have liked that idea!

Be seeing you

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