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Tuesday 10 November 2015


   It's surprising is it not, how few times Number 6 attempts to escape The Village. Once on the day of his arrival, along the beach in a Village taxi, and once the day after, by helicopter. The next time would not be until ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ when he was betrayed by Nadia-Number 8. And instead of being taken on a long journey to London via Danzig and Copenhagen, in reality it was merely a short boat trip back to The Village...... but Number 6 didn't know that of course, and neither did the viewers, not the first time of viewing anyway!
   The next escape attempt was some little time away for Number 6, and that was by boat during that episode of ‘Free For All,’ and we know how that ended, don't we readers. And No.6 wasn't any more successful posing as ‘The Schizoid Man’ either. Well how was he to know that Susan had died a year ago!
   In ‘The General’ Number 6 was still as keen to leave The Village, but there came no opportunity, the next and probably the best opportunity for escape so far, came on the morning of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ when Number 6 woke up to find The Village deserted! So instead of hanging around to find out where all the citizens had gone, or to see what would happen next, our hero built himself a sea-going raft, and ended up washed ashore at Beachy Head. But The Village has tentacles, agents and operatives everywhere. So there is no place Number 6 could go without the long arm of the village reaching out to bring him back for Many Happy Returns and a birthday cake specially baked for him by Mrs. Butterworth - the new Number 2, unless of course she had been Number 2 all the time. But then that would require a woman’s voice during the opening sequence!
   ‘Checkmate’ turned out to be a foolsmate! Number 6 takes a different attitude to escape. Not on his own this time, he looked for reliable men upon whom he could depend. And we know how that all ended don't we readers. There had been one almighty cock-up on the part of the Rook who put to Number 6 his own test. And because of Number 6's own authoritative manner the Rook took him to be one of them... a guardian!
   And so ‘Checkmate’ saw the final escape attempt to be made by Number 6, until ‘Fall Out.’ Because after the episode of ‘Checkmate’ there was no natural chance for him to attempt any further escapes. ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ Number 6 had other things on his mind, other than escape. ‘Its Your Funeral,’ well who was going to stop the new Number 2 from removing the Great Seal of office from about his head and shoulders as Number 6 did for the escaping retired Number 2, as he clutched the detonator of the bomb in the Great Seal. But there was no-one for Number 6 to trust in order to do the same for him to have escaped.
    ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ could have turned out as an escape attempt by Number 6, and might have proved successful, if he had a been able to accept the Colonel’s body. As well as being able to shake off both Potter and the undertaker. That seemed unlikely. ZM73 wondered to himself if Professor Seltzman had perfected a reversal process. But even if he had, there was only one way to resolve the situation for ZM73, to go back to The Village!

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