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Thursday 2 March 2017


   I was listening to ‘Thought For The Day’ on Radio 4 one morning recently, and I heard the speaker say “To use a person’s name is to know him or her, it is an act of intimacy.” That struck a cord with me in regard to ‘the Prisoner,’ because to know his name would be to know him, and there might grow a kind of intimacy between us. But the Prisoner doesn’t want us to know who he is, hence his reluctance to use his own name, to give a false name to Mrs. Butterworth, but perhaps to him one name is as good as any. And yet why did he want to look at both the lease of the house and the logbook of the Lotus 7? Was it simply to check Mrs. Butterworth’s story, or did he want to see his own name on the documents as a reassurance of his former existence in the outside world!
   In ‘Do Not Forsake Me’ Number 6 went running back to the people he turned his back on when he resigned from the department, because he saw them as being the only ones who could help him in his current predicament! He went back to the office where he handed in his letter of resignation and there behind the desk sat Jonathon Peregrine Danvers whose name ZM73 is quite happy to use. Then again perhaps
Danvers isn’t important enough to have a code name! Then another chap, PR12 arrives on the scene and asks the man his name.
   “Code or real?”
   “In France Duval, in Germany Schmitt, you would know me best as ZM Seventy-three, and your name is PR Twelve.”
   So it appears that ZM73 has a code name to coincide with the particular country he’s in at the time. What’s more it appears that even a person’s real name is not used even between friends, and former colleagues. They are very careful types in British Intelligence! And between lovers? Even Janet Portland didn’t use ZM73’s name, not even when she realized who the man was after the man he gave her that special message and she held him in her arms.
   “Who else could have given you that message?”
   “Nobody but…..”
   “Wouldn’t you say nobody but you? I need your faith.”
   “Nobody but you.”
   I would have thought Janet would have used his first name during that scene of intimacy……but no. Whether or not she went on to use his name we shall never know because the camera fades out!
    It appears that even with his mind wrongly housed in the Colonel’s body ZM73’s handwriting remains the same. And so it appears that in the tender love scene, ZM73 still kisses as himself!

    Footnote: Further to the non use of the Prisoner’s name, in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ he is quite happy to use the Colonel’s first name James, and Thorpe’s surname, Thorpe who doesn’t use his ex-colleague’s name at all. And although the Prisoner considers himself to be on first name terms with the Colonel, the Colonel gets away with not using his ex-colleague’s name by calling him Number Six by way of a black joke!

Be seeing you


  1. Mind you, not every German is called Schmitt. Some are even called Schmidt, Schmied or Schmitz... ;-) I for one - oh, my name cannot be disclosed here, Call me Nobody. - BCNU!

  2. Hello Arno,
    Yes indeed I had not precluded anything like that, I was merely quoting ZM73.
    When it comes to names, Nemo is an excellent one, its Latin for "nobody!"

    Have a good evening
    Best regards