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Sunday 24 September 2017

Fall Out

   In an interview with Mike Smith during the television programme ‘TV’s Greatest Hits’ in 1982 Patrick McGoohan claimed the telephone lines at ATV were jammed by angry viewers after the screening of ‘Fall Out,’ just when was that? Because the screening of ‘Fall Out’ was staggered over ITV’s regional television network, which commenced on Scottish Television on the 1st of February 1968.
February 2nd – ATV Midlands and Grampian.
February 4th ATV London, Southern Television, Tyne Tees, Westward, and Channel. February 9th Border
February 10th Anglia {which is when I saw it}.
March 1st Granada
   I cannot imagine that each screening in turn brought about the jamming of telephone lines by angry television viewers. If what McGoohan claimed was right, then it would have been the Scots who became angry after watching ‘Fall Out’ as they saw the conclusion to ‘the Prisoner’ first. But perhaps it was the viewers in
London who became angry at what they saw in ‘Fall Out.’ Another claim of McGoohan’s is that his children were attacked in the street on their way to school, and that he and his family had to go in hiding in Wales! Really? Me’ thinks he did protest too much! But all the same this would suggest that it was the viewers in London who became angry because they felt cheated by ‘Fall Out’ {if it happened at all} which means the viewers in Scotland, the Midlands, and Grampian area were not angered by ‘Fall Out’ enough to jam the telephone lines at ATV, and probably all those that followed.
    When I first watched ‘Fall Out’ I didn’t understand what had gone on at all. It being an allegory never occurred to me because I’d never heard the word before, being but 12 years of age at the time. Yes I saw the action and adventure, which seemed more to do with James Bond than the Prisoner. Yes I saw Number 6 reveal the face of Number 1, and yes they escaped The Village, only they didn’t, the automatically opening door of the Prisoner’s house was enough to prove that. The trouble was it was all over far too quickly, and I wanted to watch ‘Fall Out’ again but there was no chance of that, not until 1976! So all I could do was live with the memories I had retained, and there were few of them from ‘Fall Out.’ I wasn’t angry, but there was the feeling of having been cheated. ‘Fall Out’ was supposed to have answered all the questions of the previous 16 episodes, which at the time to me it hadn’t! But I never felt like telephoning ATV in order to complain, besides I couldn’t even if I wanted to, we didn’t have a telephone!

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