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Saturday 3 September 2016

Seeing Double!

    Is that what ‘the Prisoner’ is really all about, doubles, doppelgangers, identical twins, mirror images, look-a-likes, and dress-a-likes?    
    The outstanding pair of doubles is Number 6, 12, and 1, which makes a set of triplets, but only two at any one time! Then there’s the electrician and his twin the gardener. It’s difficult to weigh up if they were actual twins, or merely doppelgangers. Well they say everyone has a double somewhere in the world, but it’s a bit of a coincidence that they both turn up in The Village. And the same can be said for Numbers 113b and 113c, which makes three pairs of doubles or twins so far with 6 and 1. I’m not counting Number 12, he’s merely a look-a-like for Number 6, because he underwent a makeover to make him look like Number 6, and the same with Number 6 to make him look like Number 12. And yet Number 12 in his latter state was also a look-a-like for Number 1! But we have jumped the gun slightly. If we go back to the scene in ‘Arrival’ when Number 2 points out the Stone Boat, you can see two men on the quayside who do not look alike, but they are dressed identically! Then there’s the ex-Admiral sitting at a table waiting for someone to play chess with. Before we see him, the Ex-Admiral can be seen walking with a woman in the same scene by the Stone Boat! And then again sitting by the
Free Sea, they must be the same character, seeing as both wear a badge denoting the number 66. But before all that, what about the chap riding by on a bicycle as Number 2 and the Prisoner were entering the Labour Exchange. He’s dressed in a dark piped blazer and beige trousers, identically to that of Number 6 and the new Number 2. So this is another case of “dressing alike.” Obviously it cannot be Number 6 riding the bike, and if it were the new Number 2 it seems a bit previous, seeing as Number 2 is still on the job so to speak. Later, when Number 6 goes to pay a call on Number 2, we see the new Number 2 is dressed identically to Number 6, why? Certainly it has the effect of making him stand out from all the other Number 2’s, and is suggestive of something, but I cannot for the life of me think what. Unless it’s to try and confuse Number 6 in regard to who is really in charge!
   Of course there are many “dress-a-like’s” in The Village, but these stem from administration officials, medical staff, motor mechanics, painters and gardeners, the majority of Number 2’s, waiters, waitresses, house maids, all of which are wearing uniforms. Number 14 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and Number 22 of ‘It’s Your Funeral’ have the fact that they are both assistants to Number 2. They also bear a resemblance to each other, hair colour, as well as being dressed identically. In fact they could change places with each other, and visually very little would change in their relative episodes. The chess champion Number 14 in ‘Checkmate’ has a dress-a-like, he can be seen sat reading at Madam Professor’s art seminars. Although there is no reason why it could not be the same character, because you cannot see the man’s face.
    Number 8 of ‘Its Your Funeral’ has a look-a-like, the young woman {I cannot make out her number, but she wears a negative badge} who hands her Number 6’s daily activity prognosis. Her facial features are similar, but it’s the hairstyle which is distinctive between the two ladies.
   I wonder if Number 20, the manager of the Labour Exchange in ‘Arrival,’ and Number 2’s assistant in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ could be construed as doubles? Although fictionally I suspect they are the same person, considering that by the time of ‘Free For All’ Number 20 has been replaced as the manager of the Labour Exchange, by Number 20. In this case there is a change of manger at the labour exchange, but the number 20 seems to go with the job. That’s something in common with Number 2!
    Number 6 appears to be the only person who comes face to face with himself, first as the Schizoid Man, then in art form, as a tailor’s dummy, and finally as Number 1. Except Number 113c must catch sight of his identical twin Number 113c. Watch Number 113b give his twin a cheery wave before dashing away. Two people sharing a sub-divided number because they are both related, and as work colleges working for The Village broadsheet The Tally Ho. And that’s where Number 113 comes in, as a work colleague!

Be seeing you

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