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Tuesday 10 May 2016

The Prisoner - Number Six

      He is still there, even after almost 50 years, he is still somewhere there, in The Village. It could be described as being one of the most complete examples of duel identity in the history of medical science. Meaning that half the time the Prisoner was Number 6 and the other half he was his double, his other self, the Number 1. And in the end Number 6 got the upper hand in the Control Room of the rocket during ‘Fall Out,’ sending Number 1 to infinity and beyond. Although that might be something of an exaggeration. But certainly no matter how you look at it, both Number 1 and Number 6 did, escape The Village at precisely the same moment!
   One might ask how Number 6 could be in two places at the one time. Well apart from that confrontation between Number 6 and Number 1, we only ever see Number 6. However there is one time towards the end of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ when Number 6 is in the company of Number 2, who actually reports a breakdown in control to No.1, in the presence of Number 6, which can be explained by a previously recorded message. There was of course Curtis-Number 12, but then he was a look-a-like who in the end came to a very bad end in ‘The Schizoid Man.’ So how to explain that most singular confrontation between 6 and 1? Well to be perfectly honest I can't, well save for the possibility that the man was haunting himself, a doppelganger maybe. After all we all of us have a double somewhere.
   Yes I know what McGoohan said, that Number 6 is the alter ego of Number 1 whom he was trying to beat. But that cannot explain the physical confrontation between the two in that control room during ‘Fall Out.’ I know what the majority of readers might say, that it was an allegorical meeting between the two. Well allegorical or not, the meeting seemed pretty physical to me, did it not you?
   If the Prisoner is all in the mind, then Number 6 appears to have an anguish pattern, as observed by the doctor-Number 14 in her laboratory in ‘A B & C.’ Over and over again in the Prisoner’s sub-conscious he plays out the act of his resignation, over and over again on the large screen, once his thoughts had been turned into pictures. It is probably in this case, that the Prisoner’s act of having resigned from his position is now causing him to suffer some agonizing physical or mental distress. And in that he has projected himself as being this all consuming power who is Number 1, his alter ego, who he is trying to beat. Ah but now I have fallen in line with McGoohan's theory, which I suppose there is no getting away from. But the allegorical leaves no room for the physical nature of the man. For the Prisoner known as Number 6 is physical, earthy, and of the flesh and bone as any man alive today.

Be seeing you


  1. The Bible tells us that the flesh body will not go to Heaven, as it is sin natured...but our SPIRIT can go to Heaven as long as we accept that Jesus is the Son of GOD. So perhaps the allegory is about the Spirit fighting to suppress the physical body...not to join in the things of the physical world in order to join the Heavenly Host....even though McGoohan said that he didn't CONSCIOUSLY write in regards to religious aspects..he acknowledged that subconsciously he could have added religion into the mix...and there sure are a lot of inferences to religion in Fall Out !!!

    Be Seeing You!

    1. Hallo Karen,
      People read all kinds of things into 'the Prisoner,' often they see things in the series which they are looking for, or have an interest in, or have faith in. Religion, I tend not to comment upon, not being terribly religious myself. McGoohan didn't write religion into 'the Prisoner,' but that’s never stopped people interpreting religion into the series. Although the song ‘Dem Bones’ cannot be denied. As for Number 2 there are those who see him as having been resurrected. But for me he was resuscitated, as the President did give the order to resuscitate Number 2. It all comes down to what one wishes to believe.

      Best regards
      Be seeing you

  2. Hi David . ..
    I found it interesting that Number 6 was continually going through his resignation in his dreams too...was it because he was conflicted about resigning . ..or was it always in his mind because while awake he had to be ever on guard against the tricks and techniques the Village used trying to find out WHY he resigned ?
    We saw in Living in Harmony that Number 6 SEEMED to have cuts and bruises...but when he jolted awake he didn't have any physical injuries. I've even thought about the theory that maybe the entire series was a DREAM.
    What do you think ?