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Sunday 31 July 2016

8mm Film Footage of The Filming of The Prisoner 1966

    My attention was drawn to two videos found on YouTube, both containing remarkable 8mm film footage taken in September 1966 during the filming of ‘the Prisoner’ at Portmeirion. Two links follow.

Be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records

    The above image has been taken from the “alternative” Arrival, just after we see the Alouette helicopter standing on the lawn by the sea wall. Rover can be seen on the other side of the helicopter, on patrol, guarding said helicopter as part of the alarm system, also there is the Butler. In the scene the Butler’s umbrella can be seen just above the Rhododendrons as Number 6 approaches by the swimming pool. I wouldn’t be inclined to ask the Butler why he wears his cloak inside out, but what was he doing by the helicopter with Rover? But as the Butler piloted the helicopter earlier in the episode perhaps he was making some safety checks. But then that would presuppose that he, like the approaching Number 6, also has an Electro Pass to synchronise with the alarm system. Otherwise the Butler should have been attacked by Rover!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts



Quote For The Day

    “Will you never learn? This is only the beginning. We have many ways and means, but do not wish to damage you permanently. Are you ready to talk?”
                               {The even newer new Number 2 – Free For All}

    Of course Number 6 isn’t ready to talk, he’s not likely to talk, he would have died first! But then how would this new Number 2 know that? She’s not been in The Village for five minutes, and even less, as Number 2. It will take more than physical brute force and a beating from two motor mechanics to make Number 6 talk.
   It was rather an elaborate plan, that episode of ‘Free For All,’ and I’ve never been all that sure of what it is they got out of it? Unless it was to demonstrate Number 6’s predictability, so much so that they knew exactly what Number 6 would do if he won the election as the new Number 2. That they felt so confident that he would not succeed in organising a mass breakout, that they simply let Number 6 have his head and try to turn the situation to his own advantage.....he couldn’t! Mind you I’d hate to be on the wrong side, with that Number 2. It was alright for Number 6, she was under orders, like her predecessor, not to damage the brain tissue. Otherwise she looks like she would be prepared to have anything done to you, and enjoy seeing it done!

Be seeing you

Friday 29 July 2016

Electrical Interference – Revisited!

    Putting a cushion to the television set is almost as subtle as putting the loudspeaker in the refrigerator that time during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben!’ Mind you I would like to have seen Number 6 rip out the television and trample it to bits underfoot as he did the loudspeaker that time. But then again Electrics would only have come along to replace the television.
    Has anyone asked the question, what was it that attracted Number 6 to the television set in the first place? He obviously knew “they” were watching him, because when he took the cushion away from the screen he gave a little bow to those who were watching. How did he know? And what compelled him to cover the screen with that cushion in the first place? Was it simply to annoy those who were watching? Perhaps that was the only option open to him. He couldn’t really trample the television to pieces underfoot, as he had with the loud speaker, he would need a sledgehammer. And even if he had a sledgehammer, the tube inside would have exploded! Hang on a minute, a more subtle and simple way, would be to turn the television to face the wall. Ah, but that would have caused continuous electrical interference, that peculiar acoustic feedback! Another thing would be, to stand that gold screen he has by the door in front of the television!

Be seeing you

The Schizoid Man

   Having been taken from his cottage in the middle of the night, Number 6 was taken to the cottage of ’12 Private,’ where he spent a month undergoing certain conditioning in order to alter his appearance, the mole removed from his left wrist, his right-handedness to being left-handed. He doesn’t smoke cigars, he doesn’t smoke white cigarettes, he smokes black Russian cigarettes, flapjacks are his favourite dish. He rejects a plate of bacon and eggs, he has no taste for liver and bacon, but quickly tucks into a plate of pancakes. Just a minute, flapjacks are supposed to be his favourite dish, not pancakes! Flapjacks are a soft chewy biscuit normally in squares, whereas the pancakes Number 6 eats are made from milk, eggs and flour. But never mind that, it is but a small point. How is it that when Number 6 wakes up in ‘12 Private’ about a month later, he feels strange, different, he is certainly disorientated, he has absolutely no memory of what has happened to him? It isn’t until much later in the episode when Number 6 compares the bruise under his left index finger to the same in the Polaroid photograph that he realizes something is not quite right. He checks the date, then looking deep into the dressing table mirror things soon become clear to him, what has been done to him. Had all unpleasant memories of that conditioning which Number 6 underwent, been removed from or suppressed in someway in his memory without affecting the actual conditioning of his mind? It would appear so. However with the difference in the bruised fingernail, Number 6’s memories of having undergone a change in appearance, and the conditioning he underwent, returned to him. And this isn’t the only time Number 6 comes to realize the truth of his situation by looking deep into a mirror!
   Just one final thing, when they were conditioning or brainwashing  Number 6s mind, why did the doctors attach those two electrodes to Number 6’s ears, instead of to his actual head as is usual with electrodes? What’s more one of the electrodes doesn’t have a wire… you can laugh! As my wife said, laughing out very loudly, perhaps it goes in one ear and out the other!!!

Be seeing you

The Inner self!

    Many enthusiasts for ‘the Prisoner’ have asked why Number 6 did not himself report Number 2 at the end of ‘Hammer Into Anvil?” If he had done would Number 1 have believed him, certainly Number 1 would have known the game was up long before the moment that Number 2 reported himself. Well you had realised that Number 1 had been watching Number 2, or at the very least been advised of Number2’s behaviour at the time of his interview with Number 6. The oversized red telephone began to bleep, Number 2 answered it.
   “Number 2….yes sir….yes sir everything is under control….no sir, no problems….assistance? No, no sir, I can manage….yes sir, of course, be seeing you.” It was at that point Number 6 realised Number 2’s weak spot, that he was afraid of his master…. The Number 1.
And anyway who was Number 6 to report anybody, he is after all just a prisoner, a prisoner like anyone, just like you and me in fact. And if he had, whose voice do you reckon Number 6 would have heard. His own? If as is supposed Number 1 is the alter ego of Number 6, then yes, Number 6 would have heard his own voice speaking back to him.
    In ‘Once Upon a Time’ Number 6 knew who he was;
    Number 2 {looking at the butler with the key to the cage} “Ah…. ha, ha, ha, he thinks you’re the boss now.”
   Number 6 “I am.”
   Number 2 “I’m number 2, I’m the boss, open the door.”
   Number 6 “Number 1 is the boss!
   In ‘Fall Out’ Number 6 finally got to meet with Number 1, as he strips away the black and white mask and the ape mask underneath. Number 6 is confronted by himself as he rushes round and round the control room screaming like some demented maniac. This is very much a Jekyll and Hyde scenario, of hypocrisy. The pretence of having standards or beliefs that are contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour, mans double being, or good versus evil if you prefer. Number 6 and Number 1, Jekyll and Hyde the divided self, a double standard. Man is not truly one, but truly two. These two carry on an eternal struggle in the nature of man, yet they are chained together and that chain spells repression for the evil and remorse for the good.
If the good could be separated from the evil, how much freer the good in us would be, what heights it might scale? And the sum of all evil once liberated would fulfil itself and trouble us no more.
    Yet can good and evil exist without the other as two separate entities, would not their combined strength in fact be weakened because of that separation? The truth of the matter is good cannot live or exist without evil and vice versa, like Number 6 and Number 1 we each of us struggle at times with our other self. Sometimes the good comes out of us and we feel better for it, but there are times more than we would like to admit, when evil gets the better of us, times when you know you are doing wrong but cannot help yourself and sometimes you enjoy doing that evil thing. Mr Hyde has no inhibitions, he would tell the truth and shame the devil, unlike Doctor Jekyll who is controlled by his inhibitions and would be more diplomatic.
   The case of Number 6 and his other self the Number 1 is not as Captain James T. Kirk in the ‘Star Trek’ episode ‘The Enemy Within,’ where a malfunction of the Enterprise’s transporter divides Kirk’s good and evil side and become two separate entities. Kirk’s good self grows weak and deteriorates, while his evil self grows strong.
In the case of Number 6, it is more of a struggle between the conscious and unconscious mind, the prisoner being a divided personality. It is as though Number 6 no longer wishes to be Number 1, having first rejected The Village he has created, and the prison for himself, as well as the person he has become.
    Of course we are told at the very beginning of ‘Arrival’ who Number 1 is, but that does depend upon where you place the emphasis. Because ordinarily Number 2 could just be telling the Prisoner he’s Number 6!

“Where am I?”
“In the village”
“What do you want?”
“Whose side are you on?”
“That would be telling we want information…..information…..information”
“You won’t get it.”
“By hook or by crook, we will”
“Who are you?”
“I am the new number two”
“Who is number 1?”
You are, number six”
“I am not a number, I am a free man!”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

Be seeing you

Wednesday 27 July 2016

A Question of Time - Revisited!

   It is most interesting this matter of time that crops up in ‘the Prisoner’ from time to time, I wouldn’t have thought a question of time would have entered into it. After all Number 6 isn’t going anywhere, I would have thought that Number 2 had all the time in the world. It began during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ with Number 2 asking Number 6 how many lumps of sugar, one lump or two? To which Number 6 replied “It’s in the file.” Number 2 said “Yes, as a matter of fact yes’ but went on to say that it would save time if Number 6 answered. Surely Number 2 wasn’t running out of time so soon in the episode? But then again ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ was supposed to have appeared much later in the series, so perhaps yes.   
   And then comes Number 2 in ‘A B and C’ who either felt the need, or was pushed into giving his guarantee that he would have a favourable result in two days, when he had already lost one day. Why the need to restrict Number 2 to three days in order to bring the current proceedings to a satisfactory conclusion? It’s as though Number 1 put Number 2 under pressure quite deliberately. But that wasn’t that case, the three days equates to the maximum three doses of the drug, a fourth dose would kill Number 6!

    As for Number 2 in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ why was Number 2 running late with this latest plan? Again Number 6 wasn’t going anywhere, unless it was the fact that Appreciation Day was drawing closer. And yet Plan Division Q must have been started well in advance of Appreciation Day, because firstly it would have taken time for Number 100 to “groom” Number 51-the watchmaker to become a co-conspirator with him. And secondly the watchmaker would have needed further time to make a copy of the Great Seal of Office, together with the bomb together with the remote detonator trigger. So if Plan Division Q was running late, Number 2 and the Supervisor only had themselves to blame, they should have sent Monique to see Number 6 much sooner than they did. Number 2 said if only he had a little bit more time, how much time does he need? Was that simply down to Monique taking time to make up her mind to go and see Number 6? And it might well be that they had to take into account that Monique would be late going to see Number 6. Why? Because the drug, one of the new super strength moprobamates that has been developed, they had administered to Monique the day before she went to see Number 6, which does remain dormant until triggered by the nervous system which then relapses itself to the desired quantity. And that in itself makes the drug highly questionable. Because seeing that the drug had been administered the day before Monique went to see Number 6, during that time anything could have happened to Monique for the nervous system to release the drug. Something could have happened to her father for example he might have had a fall and had to be taken to hospital, anything could have happened to Monique, her nervous system then releasing the drug by accident!
  And finally in ‘A Change of Mind’ Number 6 said he needed time to think, and Number 2 took this to mean that it was time………..that was it…………no it wasn’t time the Prisoner demanded…….. Number 2 went on to say the Prisoner couldn’t stand his job so he needed time to think…… Number 6 became angry at that, and Number 2 became angry and frustrated, because he was asking him, not telling him!
   And later in ‘Once Upon A Time,’ Number 1 limited Number 2 to one week in the Embryo Room. Why? After all they didn’t want to damage him. It’s just as though such time limitations were imposed on Number 2 by Number 1 on purpose. Why? To ensure they wouldn’t succeed in extracting information from Number 6?

Be seeing you

Electrical Interference!

   What’s that Number 6 up to now? He is aware that the television set works two ways, that they watch him through the television. It appears that Number 6 places the cushion of the television screen to annoy the Observer, when he does there is the sound of electrical interference. Perhaps when Number 6 does that, the electrical screeching is the machine protesting at the possibility of suffocation!
    On the other hand the electrical noise might well be quite deliberate, in order to stop citizens placing something in front of the television screens to stop them from being observed, or having to watch public announcements, such as Number 6’s electoral speech. Not to mention the Speedlearn educational programmes. After all who would be able to stick something in front of the television screen and be able to put up with that electronic noise for any length of time?

Be seeing you


    Rover’s sound effect is something like someone breathing through an aqua lung, there is also more than a hint of a roar, with something of a high pitched tone, together with a whirring sound, and a touch of Gregorian chant.
   In the “alternative” Arrival its interesting that Rover doesn’t attack the young man! And the sound effect to Rover is different, there’s no roar, no Gregorian chant, but there is more of the breathing through an aqua lung about it for a moment, and it seems to have been given a heartbeat! And when Number 6 attempts to escape by helicopter, he uses the
Electro Pass to get him through the alarm system, Rover is on hand to protect the helicopter. And yet the Electro Pass has a strange effect on Rover. In the series episode of ‘Arrival,’ yes Rover is agitated as Number 6 gets into the helicopter and starts the engine, but is powerless to do anything, such is the power of the Electro Pass. But in the “alternative” Arrival, we hear Rover breathing {it’s the breathing through an aqua lung again} the effect the Electro Pass has on Rover is to slow that breathing, and is rendered powerless to do anything to prevent the Prisoner from escaping! What’s more Rover seems to have a good grip on gravity, as the Guardian is not blown away from the wind created by the fast spinning rotor blades!
   While during opening sequence of ‘The Alternative Chimes of Big Ben’ when Rover herds the Prisoner out of the water it has the Gregorian chant, and a touch of breathing through an aqua lung sound effect. Then later as Rover pursues Nadia as she swims away from The Village, its sound effect has the return of the roar and very little else.

  Such are the alternatives of Rover The Village Guardian.

Be seeing you

Monday 25 July 2016

2 And 6!

   I bet they said to the first Number 2, his term in office perhaps coming towards a natural end. But before you go just settle in this new arrival in, be-brief him, brief him on The Village, and while you’re at it have a couple of goes at extracting information from him!
    The changing of Number 2 in ‘Arrival’ has the effect of disorientating the Prisoner, he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.
    “get him!” the Prisoner tells the man sat behind the desk, not knowing who he is.
    “I have taken his place, I am the new Number Two.”
    “Get Number One” snaps the Prisoner.
    “As far as you are concerned I’m in charge. What can I do for you?”
    It appears the Prisoner sees himself as someone of importance, not willing to deal with Number 2, but only with the boss!
   And yet this situation of paying Number 2 a visit, and not recognizing the man sat behind the desk is not unique. When Number 6 pays a call on Number 2 in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ he fails to recognize the man who is due to retirement.
    “Number Six isn’t it?”
    “I want to see Number Two” Number 6 tells him.
    “I am Number Two” the man behind the desk informs him.
    And yet this situation of paying Number 2 a call, and not recognizing the man, the situation in both cases might be different, but the effect is much the same, Number 6 isn’t sure of the man he’s dealing with!

Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    "Sleep, sleep, that's it sleep until tomorrow, lovely gentle sleep, and a lovely tomorrow."
                    {The seductive female announcer - –Dance of the Dead}

   Poor old Number 6, he couldn’t get to sleep! Oh not because that cat was lying on his bed, but because he didn’t drink his nightcap of hot chocolate. And when he lay back on the recliner, there came a seductive female voice that tried to lull Number 6 to sleep. She makes it sound like a dose of brainwashing to me “A lovely tomorrow" my foot, but there are times when it does look so for some! Mind you the female announcer does appear to believe her own words. In fact I can see her face, sense the ecstasy she feels as she speaks those words.
    "Sleep, sleep, that's it sleep until tomorrow, lovely gentle sleep, and a lovely tomorrow."
     It seems to me that she's the one who's been brainwashed!

    Be seeing you, and a lovely tomorrow to you all.

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                “It’s Really Not A Bad Likeness!”

Caught On Camera!

    That wooden dispenser on the wall just inside the door to the General Store, looks suspiciously like a cigarette machine. But by the time of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ it’s gone, replaced by a newspaper
and magazine rack. Perhaps the new shopkeeper, Number 112, had the cigarette machine removed. Well hardly anyone in The Village seemed to smoke cigarettes, so perhaps the machine became redundant. And certainly there’s not a single copy of The Village broadsheet, The Tally Ho, for sale in ‘Arrival.’ Observe if you will the white paper carrier bags with the red label, stating “Village Food,” atop a canopied Penny Farthing.

Be seeing you

Saturday 23 July 2016

Caught On Camera!

    Number 2, seen here in the Control Room saying au revoir as Cobb goes on his way. He is the only Number 2 to wear such a blazer, one almost identical to the one worn by Number 6, except for the broken piping on the lapel. However it will become Number 6’s second blazer, once George Baker returns his to the wardrobe department, to be worn by both Patrick McGoohan and Frank Maher. After all one or the other would need cleansing after rolling about in the sand during that scene in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ not to mention after spending a night on the beach during Carnival!
   But when it comes to the question of piped blazers, during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ when Number 6 is playing chess with the General he is wearing the blazer as worn by Number 2 here, but when he stands up asking Number 2 what crime the new arrival {Nadia} has committed, he’s wearing the piped blazer with continuous piping on the lapel. Then when Number 2 and Number 6 retire to the Green Dome for tea, Number 6 has reverted to wearing the blazer with broken piping on the lapel! And in ‘Free For All’ when Number 2 comes calling at his cottage Number 6 is wearing the above blazer, however when they leave the cottage to assess the madding crowd Number 6 has changed his blazer again, for the one with continuous piping on the lapel! And there are other such instances throughout the series. Logically though one change of blazer is right, as when Number 6 attempts to escape by Jet boat in ‘Free For all’ and ends up in the water he’s wearing the blazer with the continuous piping, the next time we see Number 6 he’s wearing the other blazer, seeing as the former would have to be cleansed and dried out before he could wear it again. But on the whole Number 6 would seem to favour wearing the blazer as worn by Number 2.

Be seeing you

No.2’s Arrival and Departure!

    If we are to believe that the number 2s came and went with such rapidity, it must have been like a shuttle service. Some of them could be there barely longer than a shift. But if this turn-over had always been the same, for all the years before the Prisoner-Number 6’s arrival in The Village, they couldn’t possibly have not been let back into the outside world, there would have been too many of them. Although we do witness one Number 2 actually departing The Village for the Homeland, in fact he pilots the helicopter himself to the landing stage. And Leo’s Number 2 being a “lifer” must have meant that there is never any escape, not that it should be imagined that he was never allowed to leave The Village. He must have been, because in ‘Once Upon A Time’ he said to Number 1 “You can say what you like, you brought me back here.” So that no matter that Number 2 was nicely back in the House of Lords sometime after ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ he could be brought back to The Village at any time. Whereas with Number 2 of ‘Checkmate,’ he seems a capable administrator, who is happy to allow the doctor to carry out her experiments on the Rook, Number 8 so as not to get his hands dirty. Therefore it is possible that this Number 2 might have been promoted to the position from within The Village’s own administration. In fact there is no reason why the majority of Number 2’s could not have been promoted that way. Then should they fail and be required to be replaced, all that would be needed would be simply to select a new Number 2, and return his or her predecessor to their former position within administration! That in turn would alleviate the logistical nightmare of having to select personnel from the British Civil Service for each Number 2, then having to ferry them in and out of The Village each time, operating like a shuttle service!

Be seeing you

Another Candidate!

   This is Number 256, a guardian, or a prefect as Number 6 suggests, when he’s caught playing truant on the beach. At the outset of ‘the General’ Number 6 is having a cup of coffee at the café, indeed the café has a number of customers, including the man sat at a table with three young girls.
   There is something familiar about this man, and it struck me that he is a look-a-like and a dress-a-like for Number 256. Yes one does wear the positive badge, the other a negative. However both wear a striped jersey and yachting cap, albeit different colours, as are their trousers, but both sport a beard. And despite the differences there is a similarity between the two men. Another case for look-a-likes, twins, and doppelgangers!

Be seeing you

Thursday 21 July 2016

No.2’s Term In Office!

    It is difficult to calculate just how long any particular Number 2’s term in office 
might be. Take the first Number 2 we meet in ‘Arrival.’ I cannot believe that he was brought to The Village simply to de-brief the Prisoner, in order to simply bring his file up to date. Or to brief the Prisoner on The Village, and after one simple attempt to try and extract the Prisoner’s reason behind his resignation, which failed, was then removed from office. How ever long this Number 2 had been in office we simply do not know, and yet it might be that by the time of the Prisoner’s arrival in The Village, it may have been suggested to Number 2…. that just before he goes, he deals with the new arrival. Then there is a new Number 2 in The Village, which seems reasonable enough seeing as his predecessor has reached the end of his term in office. And at least this time we see when a new Number takes up his term in office, even if we don’t know when that term comes to an end! One might ask why the need for the change in Number 2. After all the first 2 could just as well have overseen the plan to demonstrate to Number 6 that escape from The Village is not possible. But the change in Number 2 does work another way, and its rather clever really, because the introduction of a new Number 2 has the effect of resetting Number 6. That when he pays a call on Number 2 having been discharged from hospital, he has to begin all over again with a new Number 2. This next Number 2 does appear to be very much at home when we first see him. What I mean is, it appears to have taken him no time at all to become familiar with the workings of, and the personnel in The Village! He has certainly hit the ground running, explaining to Number 6 that if he doesn’t give them what they want, they’ll take it. And quickly sets up a scenario in order to demonstrate to Number 6 that escape is not possible. He also seems somewhat friendly towards Cobb, and Cobb appears unfazed by this new Number 2, who tells Cobb that he thinks he’ll let Number 6 keep the watch {Electro Pass} just to show that escape is not possible. Anyway what’s Cobb to this new Number 2 in order to talk to him in that way? To hope that Cobb’s stay had its lighter moments? This new Number 2 certainly has a complete grasp of what has been happening in The Village before he arrived, which implies that a briefing session had been held. But it doesn’t matter, because by the time of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ this Number 2 has been replaced!
    The problem being with this attempt to gauge any length of Number 2’s term in office is, we can only go by what we see on the screen! Because by the time of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ a new Number 2 has already been installed, what’s more he already appears to have had time to develop something of a rapport with Number 6. The Exhibition of Arts and Crafts, so the public address announcer informs us is just six weeks today, that tells us that this Number 2’s term in office ran for longer than six weeks. It might have been eight weeks, or as long as five months. We simply do not know when he replaced his predecessor or when he was replaced by his successor, and that can be said of almost any Number 2. Nor do we know what takes place or the length of time that takes place between the seventeen episodes that we do see.
    In ‘A B and C,’ Number 2 has just three days in order to bring the episode to a satisfactory conclusion and that’s fair enough. But why only three days? Was Number 1 placing undue pressure on Number 2 deliberately? The answer is a simple one, no. The doctor-Number 14 had developed a new wonder drug, which when used allows access to a subject subconscious, to get into a person’s dreams, as she was able to do with Number 6. The trouble is only three doses of the drug can be used on the subject, as a fourth would kill him, hence the limit of three days.
    But when did this idea of getting into Number 6’s dreams in order to extract the required information, ie why did he resign, come about? Did Number 14 develop her drug in The Village, or was she brought to The Village because of her drug? Number 2 said that they had researched and computed the Prisoner’s whole life, but does that suggest that this particular Number 2 oversaw that process for ‘A B and C?’ Surely they had already researched every aspect of the Prisoner’s whole life, seeing as they had a file on him by the time of his arrival in The Village! However Number 2 believed that Number 6 was going to sell out, what made him believe that? Perhaps it was the research on the Prisoner’s whole life that he had had computed, and it was the result of that which led Number 2 to his belief that the Prisoner was going to sell out! But what that has to do with why the Prisoner resigned I don’t quite know, because that’s what I thought Number 2 wanted to know. But this is getting far away from how long this particular Number 2’s term in office was. If all Number 2 had to do was to have the details of the Prisoner’s file fed into a computer, it wouldn’t have taken the computer long to come to the conclusion that it boiled down to three people, A B and C! In short this Number 2 might not have been in The Village all that long before the commencement of ‘A B and C.’ We know that his prime objective was to extract information from Number 6, but did he also run The Village administration as well? The Tally Ho suggests that he did. “Is Number 2 Fit For Further Term?” The headline has nothing to do with Number 2’s administrative ability, it questions the man’s health. He suffers from a stomach ulcer, hence his frequent drinking of milk, which was advised in such cases. But in any case, this Number 2 is the first we see retained for a second term in office, as he oversees the educational experiment of Speedlearn. Yes I realize that it should be ‘The Schizoid man’ next, but we’ll come to him in a while. And forget that ‘The General was produced before ‘A B and C,’, otherwise the headline in The Tally Ho would suggest that this Number 2 might have been put up for a third term in office. Besides I quite enjoy the idea of these two episodes running consecutively.
    When it comes to a question of time, by the time of ‘The General’ both the General and the educational experiment of Speedlearn, have long been established in The Village. Evidence of that is plain, from the public address announcement about the three part history course at the outset of the episode. It is clearly impossible to estimate the length of time it took to establish this educational experiment in The Village, or indeed when the experiment was first implemented. As for Number 2, ‘A B and C’ and ‘The General’ can be seen as separate terms of office for him because of ‘The Schizoid Man.’ On The other hand had both episodes run consecutively, but in the order of ‘The General’ then ‘A B and C’ as produced, then both episodes could come under the umbrella of one term in office. And the Tally Ho headline “Is No.2 Fit For Further Term?” would make better sense.
     Are we really to believe that a local election is held once a year so that the citizens can elect their new Number 2? Well not really, seeing as the new Number 2 turns out to be the former Number 58, and she hadn’t been elected by the people. So Number 6 wasn’t really the new Number 2 at all, and even if he was, as Number 2 he was possibly to have served the shortest term in office of any Number 2. As for the out-going Number 2, we know when he left The Village, as soon as his successor had moved into the Green Dome. But sadly we’ve no idea of when he took up the position. As for the new Number 2, her term in office appears to have been as short as that of Number 6. It all depends on what took place after, between Number 6 having carried back to his cottage on a stretcher, and then being taken out again on a stretcher that first night of ‘The Schizoid Man!’
    At the outset of the episode there is one month until The Village Festival. Number 6 was taken from his cottage and secreted in ‘12 Private’ during the night of February 10th by medical staff, and was supposed to have woken up on the morning of the 11th. However on that morning Number 12 was waking up in ‘6 Private’ and doctors and medical staff began to put Number 6 through a number of mind conditioning techniques. More than that his appearance was to be amended, and that process began with Number 6 growing a full beard, which would have taken between four to six weeks, depending on the individual. Certainly by the time Number 6 does wake up in the strange apartment of ‘12 private’ The Village Festival has come and gone, as there is no further reference to it. So this particular Number 2’s term in office began before the outset of the episode, as the plan involving Number 24 and her mental link with Number 6 had been put in place before the actual episode, and then they had to find a look-a-like for Number 6, resulting in the pulling of strings in order to second Curtis to The Village. So perhaps Number 2 was looking at a term in office of about 5 to 6 weeks. However I will throw another date into the mix, Wednesday August 15th. This date can be clearly seen on a poster on the notice board outside the Recreation hall {when Number 6 and Number 6 are having a fist fight} advertising a concert of folk music. It seems highly improbable that a poster advertising a folk music concert in August would be pinned to the notice board in February!! Obviously the date on the poster is something the television viewer was never meant to see, and would probably not have been seen without the advent of the DVD together with the re-mastering of the 35mm film, together in High-definition. If however the date on the poster was correct, that would mean Number 6 lost 6 months of his life in The Village, but as it stands he lost at least month!
    And now we come to Mrs. Butterworth, a very charming and amiable woman, who eventually turns up in The Village on March 19th as the next new Number 2. And that is something quite unique knowing the date of her arrival, as we might suppose that this was the first day of her term in office, having so recently arrived, that she had little time to change out of her dress and into Village attire before having to wish Number 6 many happy returns, and present him with a cake! Prior to this, Mrs. Butterworth operated in
London as an agent working for The Village, and had been ensconced in No.1 Buckingham Plac to await the arrival of Number 6, such was her involvement in this episode. Whether or not at that time she had already been appointed to take up her position as the new Number 2 in The Village, is unknown. It might be thought that Mrs. Butterworth was in The Village at the every outset of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ and was overseeing the entire scheme against Number 6. But that cannot be, as the voice during the opening sequence is that of a man, and it’s a man we see sitting in Number 2’s chair. So he is a Number 2 whom we know absolutely nothing about, and yet almost any of them, if not all, fall into that category. However this Number 2’s term in office may well have lasted some 29 days, allowing a couple of days for Number 6 to build his sea going raft, the 25 days he was at sea, and two more days until he was eventually replaced by Mrs. Butterworth on March the 19th. As for her departure from The Village, that is unknown, however there is the black cat to take into consideration. The cat was in The Village at the time Number 6 was about to set sail aboard his sea going raft, and was still there upon his return. Indeed the cat came walking into the Prisoner’s cottage at the feet of Mrs. Butterworth. But surely the cat cannot be hers, because Number 2 in ‘Dance of The Dead’ laid claim to the cat, saying she works in The Village as well, that she’s terribly efficient, almost ruthless. It sounds as though Number 2 was describing herself! And seeing as we have strayed into the ‘Dance of The Dead,’ one might be forgiven for thinking that this Number 2 over saw the events of ‘Many Happy Returns’ simply on the basis of the presence of the cat. That would be fine, if there was not the male Number 2 during the opening sequence to take into consideration!
    So we can just about say when Number 2 arrived in The Village, and when Number 2 departed for home. What we have never known before is for a Number 2 to go on leave, or indeed to retire from the position. But that is the case of Number 2 in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ And while this Number 2 has been away on leave there have been at least three “interim” Number 2’s in his place, one of whom still operated in The Village even though Number 2 has returned just in time for his retirement, operating from the Computer Room, that is, and not the Green Dome. How long Number 2 was away on leave is an unknown factor, as is the number of interim Number 2’s who served while the current Number 2 was away. So again its an impossible calculation to make, as we do not have the basic facts. However this Number 2 who is about to retire, may well have been the longest serving Chief Administrator ever to serve in The Village. Simply because of all his achievements which could not be achieved in a matter of weeks, but in months! And if we are to judge by what we see in the screen, that Appreciation Day is an annual event at which the citizens say farewell to an out-going Number 2 and the same time

welcoming his successor, then the retiring Number 2’s term in office has been of 12 months duration. And that makes all other Number 2’s “interim,” and there 

being 19 of them in total, that would give each one a term in office of more or less one month as each one deals with Number 6 in one shape or another, the Prisoner having been incarcerated in The Village for 15 months. Leaving the permanent Number 2 to deal with his many achievements as celebrated on Appreciation Day. That’s why Number 6 didn’t know who this Number 2 was, they had never met until Number 6 went calling on Number 2 to report the assassination attempt on is life!
    Once upon a time Number 2 had been brought back to The Village, something he was hardly happy about judging by his mood. He shouted at his Butler to remove the breakfast, but to leave the coffee.  
“The coffee leave it!” he shouted at the diminutive man. He wasn’t very happy with Number 1 either, in fact he began to lay the law down when he was given only a week in order to finally bring the question of Number 6’s resignation to a satisfactory conclusion. Number 2 considered that a week wasn’t long enough, suggesting that Number 1 doesn’t want to damage him. So why only a week, after all Number 6 wasn’t going anywhere, unless Number 1 was deliberately putting pressure on Number 2. Reluctantly Number 2 had no choice in the matter. But at least in this case we know that Number 2 wasn’t brought back to serve an actual term in office, that duty fell upon the shoulders of Number 26-the Supervisor, but for the following week only. After that the duty fell upon someone else, because the supervisor was then charged to go and attend the Embryo Room, after which he took Number 6 to Number 1!
    It would appear that there was a democratic crisis, that the following session in ‘Fall Out’ was held in security. The proceedings of which were presided over by a President, or High Court Judge. The person of whom was a former Number 2 who attempted to gain information from Number 6 through the telling of a fairytale! This former Number 2, then acting as President, must have been brought back to The Village during the previous week. So whatever the outcome of Degree Absolute, it was realized that there would have to be a trial in order to bring this question of democratic crisis to a satisfactory conclusion. Even if that meant bringing a man back from the dead!
   So who was overseeing the administration of The Village during ‘Fall Out? Not the Supervisor, he had taken his seat on the Assembly, it had to be whoever it was the Supervisor handed control over to. Whoever that was, I bet he got a shock when the President/Number 2 gave the command to evacuate The Village!
   The reader will have observed that I have not included the episodes ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ ‘Living In Harmony,’ and ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ in my calculations, as it is clearly impossible to say how long Number 2’s term in office was during those episodes.
   This has been a difficult, and tricky article to write for most of the time. Of course any calculation for the length of time of Number 2’s term in office, other than what we see in the episode, can only be an estimated one. The problem being, that at times two basic facts are unknown, those of arrival and departure. In some cases we have one or the other, but not both in the one episode. However one thing may be concluded, any length of time Number 2 has in office, appears to be dependent upon the task in hand at the time.
    And what exactly has this proved? Apart from proving to have been an interesting, and compelling exercise, that regarding Number 2’s term in office, all any of us can really go by is what we see on the television screen. That being the case, there are times when Number 2 lasts little more than two or three days in office, as such is the running time of the majority of episodes. But if it’s enough time for Number 2, it has to be enough for the viewer.

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Tuesday 19 July 2016

The Tally Ho

   Two issues of The Tally Ho from ‘A Change of Mind,’ we can read the headlines, but there is no accompanying main article. Therefore we are left to imagine that somewhere amongst that small text is the story that accompanies the headlines and photograph. But the text and headlines are not attributed to our own reporter as other articles have been in the past issues of this broadsheet. Nor does it seem that Number 93 who confesses disharmony warrant a photograph. It is the same with the issue in ‘A B and C,’ however I should have thought that Number 2 warranted a photograph on the front page!
   But I suppose a photograph on the front page would have spoilt the broadsheet, as this issue serves two episodes, ‘A B and C’ because of the headline, and for ‘The Schizoid Man’ because of the date Feb 10th. Any photograph on the front page would have possibly rendered it useless for ‘The Schizoid Man,’ mind you the headline is a bit of a giveaway anyway!
   In the election issue of The Tally Ho of ‘Free For All,’ Number 6 apparently speaks his mind, the headline and photograph accompanied by a main column attributed not to Number 113, but to our own reporter, whoever that is, probably wrote both main articles for this broadsheet, and that of ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’
   The matter of security is dealt with in an article to be found on the front page of The Tally Ho in ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ although this is unattributed, not even to our own reporter!
   Whoever was responsible for producing the issues of The Tally Ho for The Village, went to more trouble with two issues, whereas with the others, although pertinent to each episode, or episodes in one case, they have no main article. Perhaps it was thought the headlines were enough in other cases, after all who was going to read them outside ‘the Prisoners’ cast and production crew?

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Caught On Camera!

    What’s this, the first time, second, or perhaps there are now three puncture marks on your wrist Number 6. It’s like that you see, they come for you in the night, well you’re off your guard then, especially when you’re heavily sedated! What’s more this may be the first time, but it will not be the last. But you’ll get used to it, it’s all part of the test you see, and the more times you survive the more important you’ll become to them, don’t you see? You’ll live a charmed life in The Village, because whatever they do to you, nothing really bad happens. You’re still you at the end of the day. And that’s another point, whatever you are put through, nothing changes you. You’re just as stubborn, obstinate, and rebellious as you were when you first arrived in The Village!

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A Directive On Dutton!

    That directive turned out to be a termination order against Roland Walter Dutton. But as it happened that directive came too late, even if it had reached Number 2 at all. As it happens the doctor-Number 40 had gone too far, such was his enthusiasm for human experimentation. In Dutton’s case, the doctor didn’t go as far with him as he had with another of his victims, who ended up being buried in secret. This was a scene edited out from the finished episode. Although Dutton would have been better off dead!
    But who issued that directive against Dutton, and why use his name on the termination order instead of his number 42? Well the last bit’s easy. To use the number 42 instead of Dutton’s name, the television viewer might not have realised who Number 42 was! Who issued the termination? As far as can be said Number 1, who else would there be? Which is strange as it happens, Number 2 receiving an instruction like that, and via a doctor too. Because she has been receiving instructions via a teleprinter, and as far as we know this Number 2 is the only one to do so. Her predecessors always spoke to Number 1 on the telephone. Yes she did speak to Number 1 once on the telephone, but that was merely to chat about Number 6, the Carnival, and Ball, not to gain any instructions. It would be interesting to know who was on the other end of the teleprinter. It might well have been those “masters” within British Intelligence perhaps, the Colonel maybe, or some higher authority.

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Sunday 17 July 2016

The Prisoner – It’s Childs Play! IV

    ‘Once Upon A Time’……..traditionally most every story or fairy tale nearly always begins with the words “Once upon a time” and the 16th episode of ‘the Prisoner’ is no different, at least as far as the title of the episode is concerned!
   Number 6’s mind is regressed back to his childhood. However it’s not all child’s play for Number 2, who spends the night reciting nursery rhymes to the slumbering Number 6 with the pulsator just above his head.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,   
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again!”
    Humpty Dumpty was a colloquial term used in fifteenth century England describing someone who was obese. This gave rise to various but inaccurate theories surrounding the identity of Humpty Dumpty. The image of Humpty Dumpty was made famous by the illustrations included in the ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ novel by Lewis Carroll. However Humpty Dumpty was not a person pilloried in the famous rhyme.
    Humpty Dumpty was in fact a large canon! It was used during the English Civil War {1642-1649} in the siege of Colchester {June 13th 1648-August 27th 1648}. Colchester was strongly fortified by the Royalists and was laid to siege by Parliamentarians {Roundheads}. In 1648 Colchester was a walled town with a castle and several churches and was protected by the city wall.
     Standing immediately adjacent to the city wall, was St. Mary’s Church. A canon, colloquially called Humpty Dumpty, was strategically placed on the wall next to St. Mary’s Church.
    June 15th 1648 – St. Mary’s church was fortified and a large canon was placed on the roof which was fired by ‘One-eyed Jack Tompson’.
July14th/15th 1648 – The Royalist fort within the city walls at St. Mary’s Church was blown to pieces and their main canon battery {Humpty Dumpty} was destroyed.
    August 28th 1648 – The Royalists laid down their arms, opened the gates of Colchester and surrendered to the Parliamentarians.
    A shot from a Parliamentary canon succeeded in damaging the wall beneath Humpty Dumpty which caused the canon to tumble to the ground. The Royalists or Cavaliers, ‘All the King’s men’ attempted to raise Humpty Dumpty on another part of the wall. However, because the canon, or Humpty Dumpty, was so heavy ‘All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
This had a drastic consequence for the Royalists as the strategically important town of Colchester fell to the Parliamentarians after a siege lasting eleven weeks. Earliest publication was in1810.

“Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.               
Up got Jack, and home did trot
As fast as he could caper.
He went to bed and bound his head,
With vinegar and brown paper.”
    The roots of this story, or poem, of Jack and Jill lay in France. Jack and Jill referred to, are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack who was beheaded {who lost his crown} followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill, {who came tumbling after}. The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending! The actual beheadings occurred during the ‘Reign of Terror’ in 1793.
    The first publication date for the lyrics of Jack and Jill poem is 1795 – which ties in with the history and origins. The Jack and Jill poem is also known as Jack and Gill – the miss-spelling of Gill is not uncommon in nursery rhymes as they are usually passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth.
    It was the device known as the Guillotine, or Madame Guillotine which was used extensively during that ‘Reign of Terror’ in 1793. Yet the origins of the Guillotine are to be found here in England, contained in the following nursery rhyme.

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
    And pretty maids all in a row.”
    This nursery rhyme doesn’t appear in ‘the Prisoner’, but bear with me for a moment, as it does demonstrate the origins of the Guillotine. Mary of course is Mary Tudor the daughter of Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the protestant faith – protestant martyrs.
    The ‘Maiden’ shortened to ‘Maids’ in the nursery rhyme was in fact the original Guillotine. The ‘silver bells’ were in fact thumbscrews! And ‘cockleshells’ are believed to have been instruments of torture, which were attached to the genitals!
But that’s another story………..

“The Grand of Duke of York he had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.
   When they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only halfway up
They were neither up nor down.”

    The words of “The Grand old Duke of York” are believed to date back to the Plantagenet dynasty in the 15th century and refer mockingly to the defeat of Richard, “The Grand old Duke of York in the wars of the Roses {1455}, the war between the house of York {whose symbol was the White Rose] and the house of Lancaster {whose symbol was the Red Rose}. The wars of the Roses lasted thirty years and were equivalent to a Civil War.
    The words of the nursery rhyme are believed to refer to Richard Duke of York, claimant to the English throne and protector of England and the Battle of Wakefield on December 30th 1460.
The Duke of York and his army marched to his castle at Sandal where Richard took up a defensive position against the Lancastrian army. Sandal castle was built on top of the site of an old Norman Motte and Bailey fortress. Its massive earthworks stood 33 feet {10m} above the original ground level. The Duke of York “he marched his men to the top of the hill”. In a moment of madness he left his stronghold in the castle and went down to make a direct attack on the Lancastrians “he marched them down again.” His army was overwhelmed and Richard Duke of York was killed.

    ‘Boys and Girls come out to play’ is a tune played during the episode of ‘Once Upon A Time’, and previously to be hummed in the outer office of the Labour Exchange in ‘Arrival,’ the lyrics of the nursery rhyme are;
    “Boys and girls come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day,
Leave your supper and leave your sleep.
And come with your play fellows into the street.
    Come with a whoop, come with a call,
Come with a good will, or not at all.
    Up the ladder and down the wall,
A halfpenny loaf will serve us all.
    You find milk, I’ll find flour,
And we’ll have pudding within the hour.”

    This nursery rhyme probably dates back to the middle 17th century, when all children were treated as small adults and would therefore often be found playing outside in the moonlight.

“Seesaw Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
He shall earn but a penny a day
Because he can’t work any faster.”

    The seesaw is the oldest ride for children, easily constructed from logs of different sizes. The words “see saw Marjory Daw” reflect children playing on a seesaw and singing this rhyme to accompany their game. There is no such person that can be identified who had the name Marjory Daw and so we can therefore make the assumption that it was purely used to rhyme with the words ‘seesaw’.
The last three lines of “Seesaw Marjory Daw” seem to reflect the use of child labour in workhouses where those with nowhere else to live would be forced to
work for a pittance “a penny a day” on piece work “because he can’t work any faster”
The words of “Seesaw Marjory Daw” might be used by a spiteful child to taunt another implying his family were destined for the workhouse.
    It is interesting at this point to note that during ‘Once Upon A Time’ when Numbers 2 and 6 recite “Seesaw Marjory Daw” between them, the name Johnny is substituted for Jackie;
Seesaw Marjory Daw
Jackie shall have a new master
Marjory Daw
Jackie hall have a new master
A new master
New master
   So why the substitution, perhaps because if the original name of ‘Johnny’ had been used by both Number 2 and Number 6, it would have given the impression of ‘Johnny’-John-John Drake as in fact the Prisoner being John Drake and with the possibility of now having a new master!
So substitute Jackie for the original Johnny and you have…….
See saw Marjory Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
Marjory Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
A new master
New master
………. Takes on a different meaning, wouldn’t you say?

“Half a pound of tu’penny rice,
half a pound of treacle,
that’s the way the money goes,
pop goes the weasel.
Up and down the city road
In and out of the Eagle
That’s the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel.”
    Pop means to pawn, and it is quite possible, even highly probable that weasel has, over the years, been corrupted from Whistle, which would be cockney rhyming slang for suit, whistle and flute. Father’s best suit was pawned on Monday to pay for food for the week because he had drunk all his earnings in the Eagle public house over the weekend. His suit would then be redeemed on the Friday so that he could go out for a drink over the weekend! A never ending circle of poverty, all because of drink!
    From Charles Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’ we know that Scrooge’s counting house is in the city, near Cornhill, and that Bob Cratchit runs home to Camden Town, where Dickens lived as a boy. The walk is uphill but not uplifting, and he probably cut up City Road, passed the infamous Eagle slum dwellings, that gave us the nursery rhyme “Half a pound of tuppeny rice, half a pound of treacle! That’s the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel.”  
The next verse, busy with its “in and out of the eagle”, ends with the same “popping,” or pawning that poor Bob must have had to do once a week on his dismal 15-shilling salary.

    And so it is that ‘Once Upon A Time’ closes with the gentle tune of;
 “Twinkle, Twinkle little Star, how I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.
When the blazing sun has gone, when he nothing shines upon
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all night
Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ‘till the sun is in the sky’.
As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are - twinkle, twinkle little star.”

    The beautiful words of Twinkle, twinkle little star have been immortalised in the poem and music has been added thus increasing its popularity. The simile ‘like a diamond in the sky’ teaches children how words can be used to paint a picture in the imagination. The words create a comparison between the twinkling of a star and a sparkling diamond thus providing a perfect illustration of clever imagery and excellent used of the English language.
It was first published in 1806, its joint authors Ann Taylor {1782-1866} Jane Taylor {1783-1824}.

   I hope you have enjoyed this excursion into the childishness of ‘the Prisoner,’ although I think you will agree that nursery rhymes in themselves are not quite child’s play! As far as I am aware it is an aspect of the series which has never been touched on before. And now all I am left to do is wish you, as Uncle Mac used to sign off on ‘Children’s Favourites’ and ‘Children’s Hour;’

Good night children everywhere.

Be seeing you