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Thursday 16 February 2017

A Favourite Scene In The Pri50ner

   That would be in ‘Arrival,’ and it takes little describing as we know it well enough. From the moment the Prisoner takes his first steps into The Village, to the moment he goes to have breakfast with Number 2 in the Green Dome. And this is simply for the sole reason of seeing Portmeirion for the first time. Not that I have even heard of Portmeirion back in 1967 let alone know anything about the place or having been there. And of course it was in black and white, it wasn’t until 1984 that I did eventually see Portmeirion colour. What a marvellous place I thought, and four years later I eventually followed in the Prisoner’s footsteps. Of course I had seen The Village before, in a number of episodes of ‘Danger Man’ but never realized it at the time.
    The Prisoner confused, disorientated. Where is he, how did he come to be there, why is he there? Where is there a telephone? At the Cafe, but they don’t have a telephone, but there’s a phone box around the corner. He is asked for his number, he wants to know what exchange it is, because he wants to make a call to.....but again he is asked for his number. He glances at the telephone, there is no number, so no number, no call the operators tells him and hangs up!
   Aha! One of those new fangled electronic information boards, now he’ll soon find out where he is. He’s in The Village, surrounded by mountains, woods and an estuary! I suppose The Village should be called The Village-Next-The-Sea! Suddenly, and without warning, a white Mini-Moke with a candy striped canopy pulls up. The oriental driver asks him where to? He wants to go to the nearest town, but the taxi is only a local service. Well then take him as far as you can! Much to the delight of the television viewer the Prisoner is taken on a scenic tour of The Village, the impression given that the place is larger than it actually is. This is achieved by the taxi being driven along the same streets and cobbled paths both ways, and along the same roads in both directions, and more than once. And all that happens is the taxi ends up where it started, well almost, outside the General Store.
   A map of the area, colour or black and white? Oh just a map, the Prisoner isn’t fussy! And unfolding the map The Village is laid out before him, along with the mountains and sea. But this isn’t right, the Prisoner meant larger map, oh that’s fine, but only in colour and much more expensive. But that’s fine. The colour map of The Village is exactly the same as the one in black and white, only larger. But this still isn’t right, the Prisoner meant a larger area, but there’s no call for those. What’s more there are no self-drive hire cars, only taxis. Oh well the Prisoner won’t be going anywhere anyway, so it doesn’t matter. And who needs a map of The Village anyway, it’s hardly likely anyone would get lost there! Just a minute, there’s a housemaid standing on the balcony waving a yellow duster! But by the time the Prisoner returns to his cottage the housemaid has gone, the last seen of her she is hurrying away down some steps. Beep, beep, beep, beep, what’s that? It’s the telephone. The Prisoner picks up the receiver and is invited to breakfast, Number 2 the Green Dome. At that moment I imagine the Prisoner thinks Number 2 is the number of the Green Dome, seeing as someone has given his cottage a number, ‘6 Private.’ Well he’s going to be in for a surprise when he finds out that that’s his own personal number. I am not a number, I am a free man, or person. Me thinks the Prisoner doth protest too much!

Be seeing you

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