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Monday 30 October 2017

Village Life!

    “They’ll be in need of that!”
    “Who will?”
    “Those people who will try and fathom the depths of ‘the Prisoner.”
    “Why should they do that?”
    “Because they must, they’ll not be able to stop themselves. But with Speed Learn and a three year course in three minutes, they’ll know as much as I do about it!”
    “That’s not saying much!”
    “I know what happens to you in the end.”
    “Only because you’ve read the script! But tell me, do I die in a desperate attempt to save the Professor, or is it merely an act of suicide?”
    “You see, you need a dose of Speed Learn yourself!”
    “I was asking a question.”
    “Well ask me another.”
    “Can I trust you?”
    “Can I trust you?”
    “Is that the way it’s going to be?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Avoiding the question?”
    “It’s not for me to answer questions, but for people to make up their own minds.”

    “So who is Number One?”
    “Who do you think?”
    “It wouldn’t be you would it?”
    “Now who’s asking the questions?”
    “I could always ask the General.”
    “The trouble with the General is, it has to be programmed with the answer before it gives it!”
    “So what’s the answer?”
    “Speed Learn, a three year course in three minutes!”
    “Who will write up the lectures?”
   “I know a chap who could.”
   “Who?”
   “Divad Nospmits.”
   “Sounds like a Russian dissident!”

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A Favourite Scene in Many Happy Returns

   Number 6 having jumped out of the back of a moving vehicle finds him sprawled out in the road in Park Lane, lucky not to have been run over! He crosses the road and eventually finds himself at Marble Arch.
    “Hold it!” a voice is heard to say.
    Our friend Number 6 spins round, perhaps thinking that the game is up for him. But it’s only some chap taking a photograph of his daughter in front of the Royal Artillery Memorial. This in much the same way Number 6 went about taking photographs of The Village!
   Now back in London Number 6 seems subdued, almost as though he can hardly believe he’s actually there. Perhaps it all seems a little unreal to him after being away so long, certainly
London would be a noisy place after the peaceful atmosphere of The Village!

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The Prisoner

    “That’s what the theme of The Prisoner is, the individual in revolt against bureaucracy. That sort of rebellion is in everyone, isn’t it, in one way or another?”  {Alex Cox “I Am Not A Number – Decoding The Prisoner”}
   Is it, or is it simpler than that? Not so much one man’s revolt against bureaucracy, perhaps it’s more to do with his anger at having been abducted from his home, and imprisoned in The Village. His fight against the bureaucratic administration is a fight against those behind his abduction. After all in his previous employment ZM73 was part of a bureaucratic system. Yes from which he resigned, but he hardly rebelled, he might just have become fed up, disillusioned even by the kind of work he was doing. And was going to find some peace of mind!  That hardly makes him an individual in revolt against bureaucracy.


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Saturday 28 October 2017

Tea Break Teaser

  Who in ‘Free For All’ is 6h?


BCNU

The Therapy Zone

    ‘The Prisoner,’ action, adventure, with danger lurking in every episode. A man abducted to The Village.......The Village? Whatever do they want? Information, information, and by hook or by crook they will get it you know. Look at the way Number 2 got the Prisoner to give up the time of his birth, clever aren’t they, damned clever!
   We don’t know the Prisoner’s name, but then we don’t really need to, he’s Number 6, and as we know names are not used in The Village. Where is The Village, that’s not important, nor is the identity of Number 1 or Number 2 for that matter. It doesn’t matter which side runs The Village, because Number 6 is going to be betrayed by those he worked for and with, beginning with Cobb and possibly ending with Sir Charles Portland, but if not then most certainly by another third Colonel!
    The Prisoner tries to escape, well who wouldn’t, but that was a nasty experience with the Guardian, and it’s not everyone who can pilot a helicopter. So really Number 6 has more ways to try and escape than most. Not that that matters, because he failed anyway! But that won’t deter our old friend Number 6, I say old friend because that’s just what he is. I and many like me have been watching Number 6’s adventures for the past 50 years, and we still marvel at them. Even if we already know the plan behind ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ is a put up job. I know that Nadia {that probably is her name because spies and secret agents usually use their own first names, it stops mistakes being made on their part} betrayed Number 6, but I cannot help but like her. I like Number 2 as well, he has an infectious laugh, especially during ‘Fall Out.’
    One extremely un-likable chap is ‘A,’ he used to be on the same side as ZM73 {for want of a better name} they used to be friends once, they do the same job, but on opposite sides. And he’s not above a little kidnapping, driving ZM73 into the night! So then he went and resigned and ‘A’ though of kidnapping his opposite number, little good it did him. Now he’s on a permanent holiday wondering what to do with himself.
    Number 6 attempts a few escapes, but none as dramatic as when he’s overpowered by two motor mechanics, and is escaping in a jet boat. It’s really like the time when the Prisoner overpowered two men and went driving off in a Mini-Moke. Only this time it’s on water, and a helicopter is giving chase, its action with a capital ‘A.’
    ‘Many Happy Returns’ is pure adventure with bouts of action thrown in. The same can be said of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ ‘Living In Harmony, and most certainly ‘The Girl Who Was Death.’
   Espionage, intrigue, acts of sabotage, action, adventure, and high drama ‘the Prisoner’ has it all. There’s conflict too, all good drama has conflict, not conflict between Number 6 and Number 1, but between Number 2 and Number 6. Because as far as the viewer is concerned Number 2 is the main protagonist, not Number 1 who is merely a voice we do not hear on the other end of a, more often than not, red telephone. And really we cannot be sure that that’s Number 1, only someone who is superior to Number 2, who we imagine to be Number 1.
    The conclusion to ‘the Prisoner’ is pretty dramatic, and seemingly final as that rocket blasts off out of its underground silo. It looks like some Doomsday device, but it’s not a missile, it’s meant to be a rocket capable of carrying up to four people in suspended animation. For many ‘Fall Out’ might well be an allegorical ending. But for me it seems there’s been a falling out amongst old friends, which leads to violent and bloody revolution, well violent at least, that amounts to action, adventure, escape James Bond John Drake style.....well it is to me, and has been for many years now.


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                 “You ain’t seen me, right!”
BcNu

All Art Sea With Gunter And Ernst!

    “You know me Ernest, I’m one for a life at sea.”
   “I know Gunter, we’ve served on several ships together.”
   “We’ve known storms and danger, we’ve even been shipwrecked together.”
   “I know me’ old shipmate, we’ve had our adventures together.”
   “But then we got into smuggling, that was an adventure.”
   “And profitable.”
   “And not without its dangers.”
   “The revenue men!”
   “There was that time on the Cornish coast.”
   “That was a close one!”
   “But now, we’re gun running!”
   “What are you getting at?”
   “Well if that’s the best food you can serve up I don’t think much to it!”
   “I know we’ve not done too well out of this latest enterprise.....”
   “Not done well, it’s certainly not profitable.”
   “I know, it is pretty disgusting, eating cold baked beans, cold corned beef out of tins, but there’s tinned pears for desert!”  
   “Gunter have we really been reduced to this?”
   “What?”
   “We come across an unconscious man on a raft, rob him of his provisions, and you dump the body in the water.”
   “He was dead!”
   “Have we really sunk this low?”
   “You speak for yourself, I’m a Celtic supporter!”
   “And they play
Dunfermline on Saturday. Look pass those baked beans over here.”
    “Just a minute, can you smell smoke?.......”


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Thursday 26 October 2017

The Pri50ner: As Good Today As It’s Always Been

    What was it the President told the Prisoner-No.6? “Remember us, don’t forget us, keep us in mind.” That could so easily be addressed to those who were watching, the television viewers themselves. Because ‘the Prisoner’ enjoyed the most powerful and dramatic opening sequence of its day, and the television viewer was captivated from that first clash of thunder as dark clouds gathered over a long and deserted runway. At least I was. ‘The Prisoner’ stays with you, fixed in the mind, and with the occasional screening is indelibly imprinted onto the cortex of the brain, rather like the Professor’s lectures in the Speedlearn educational experiment in ‘The General.’ The series has continued to withstand the test of time because at the time, it was ahead of its time. But now time has not only caught the series up, but has over taken it, not that that makes it less relevant today. And in that time much of what ‘the Prisoner’ predicted has come to fruition. The credit card, surveillance, Britain has the most surveillance cameras of all the countries in the world. Cordless telephones have become the norm in recent decades, and the reliance on technology has grown and grown, despite Patrick McGoohan’s warning that man should slow down, and consolidate, rather than pursue greater technology. Hence the Penny Farthing bicycle seen in the series, and used as a symbol to indicate man is moving too quickly, and a warning which went unheeded.
    ‘The Prisoner’ has endured despite its flaws and imperfections. For example, what a pity that when the idea occurred to change the dark blazer worn by Curtis in ‘The Schizoid Man’ for a cream coloured one, they didn’t bother to alter the script as well. Number 24 took several Polaroid pictures of Number 6. She was practicing for the photographic competition at The Village Festival in a month’s time. It was such a Polaroid image which Number 6 {Curtis} produced from the breast pocket of his blazer in order to prove his identity as Number 6. Number 6 snatched the picture and studied it. I’ve never realized why Number 6 didn’t pick up on the evidence of that Polaroid picture when it was in his hand, and right under his very nose. Instead of proving that Curtis was Number 6, it should actually have disproved his identity! Why? Because in the Polaroid picture Number 6 is wearing a dark piped blazer, while Number 6 {Curtis} is always seen to be wearing a cream blazer! Had they not decided to change the colour of one blazer, on the grounds that otherwise the television viewer at the time would find ‘The Schizoid Man’ too complicated, then there would not be the inaccuracy in the episode. I have always been of the opinion that Patrick McGoohan seriously misjudged the mentality of the television viewer of the 1960’s. In fact had both Number 6’s been wearing identical piped blazers, the identity of the real Number 6 would not have been revealed until the very end of the episode. “Susan died a year ago Number Six!”
    A few months ago I encountered another fan of ‘the Prisoner,’ he was a complete stranger to me, and me to him, but we shared an affiliation and that made us instant friends. We still meet up occasionally and chat about ‘the Prisoner.’ I remember I asked him what his favourite episode was, he said “Fall Out.” My two favourite episodes are ‘Arrival’ and ‘Checkmate.’ I said. Then I asked him what his least favourite episode was? He said can you have a least favourite episode? I smiled, and said yes you can, and in my book that’s Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ There are more holes in that episode than there are in a wedge of Swiss cheese, from the need for a “reversal process” of Doctor Seltzman’s mind transference technique, to the moment when Number 6 wakes up and instantly knows who the Colonel is! 
And yet, for all its discrepancies, because a bad script was turned in to an incomprehensibly terrible script, then made even worse by Patrick McGoohan’s editing of the episode, ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ does have one redeeming quality, its unique incidental soundtrack music. The change in tempo as the Colonel arrives at The Village by helicopter. And the instrumental use of a traditional Scottish folk song, “My Bonnie lies over the ocean, my Bonnie lies over the sea, my Bonnie lies over the ocean, oh bring back my Bonnie to me” which refers to “Bonnie Prince Charlie” – Charles Edward Stuart after the defeat of the Prince at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and his subsequent exile. But in this instance, as far as ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ is concerned, the word Bonnie can be exchanged for “body.” “My body lies over the ocean, my body lies over the sea, my body lies over the ocean, oh bring back my body to me” referring to the Colonel’s body then occupied by Number 6’s mind, somewhere across the sea! And the use of the theme music again as the Colonel drives off in the Lotus 7. It’s dramatic, powerful, to say that the Prisoner, although his mind is wrongly housed in the Colonel’s body, he’s going to sort this situation out. “Get me Sir Charles………….I said get me Sir Charles Portland at once!”
   And then there’s the reluctance to use Number 6’s name amongst friends and ex-colleagues, even between lovers. Schmitt, Duval, XO4, D6, ZM73, PR12, and XB4 but at least we know who XB4 is, Potter by name! And Jonathon Peregrine Danvers, born in Bootle, and apparently not at all important as he doesn’t require a code name! And then there is the use of a different musical arrangement of the original theme music as the Colonel, having collected the photographic slides from the World Camera shop, drives through the streets of London to his home. Followed, not only by the undertakers in a hearse, but also by Potter XB4, to Buckingham Place. But with Patrick McGoohan, and not Nigel Stock, seen behind the wheel of the Lotus 7. It’s like watching the Prisoner returning home after having handed in his letter of resignation. Such is the use of, or reliance upon, film stock footage in certain later episodes. There seems to be an aversion throughout ‘the Prisoner,’ to use the Prisoner’s name, to the point of going out of their way not to use it. Even in ‘Many Happy Returns’ the Colonel calls his ex-colleague Number 6! Perhaps because the Prisoner is supposed to be “Everyman,” well he’s certainly an extraordinary man. Number 2 in ‘A B And C’ said he sometimes thinks Number 6 is not human! But to my mind, he will always be ‘Danger Man’s’ John Drake, my boyhood hero.
   The Prisoner’ has withstood the passage of time, and even after 50 years there still remains a mystique about it. There aren’t many television series of which can be said the same. Devotees of ‘the Prisoner’ will say that we know hardly anything about Number 6. But we know even less about the diminutive
Butler, who is an even more enigmatic character than Number 6. Also a white meteorological balloon became intrinsic to the series, appearing in 8 of the seventeen episodes, as well as in the opening sequence and after the closing credits. Symbolically The Village Guardian has been described as representing ones own fears. When someone is confronted by the Guardian they are being confronted by their own fear. On a physical level some devotees think the Guardian is a “thing” from another World, if so, that would make it just as much a prisoner as anyone in The Village! Personally I like to think of the white membranic Guardian as having been genetically engineered. Possibly “it” began life as membrane grown in a Petri dish by biologists and scientists in some laboratory somewhere in The Village. But I expect the smart money is on the Guardian simply being a meteorological weather balloon, which makes for a far superior Guardian than the original,
 which was to have been a Go-Kart with a fibreglass dome fitted with a blue light. One idea for ‘Rover’ as Number 6 once called it, was that it would have the capability of absorbing its victims, with the white membrane changing colour, taking on a reddish hue caused by the absorption of its’ victims blood. But that effect was deemed to be too frightful for the television viewer of the 1960’s.
     ‘The Prisoner’ raised more questions than it answered. Making questions a burden to others, and answers a prison for oneself. The general idea being that you find the answers for yourself, answers that suit you, but which might not suit other fans. As Patrick McGoohan once said, one thousand people can each have a different answer and everyone would be right. What’s more, questions still remain
 about ‘the Prisoner,’ questions which will now most likely never be answered. For example, in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ Number 6 has retrieved the radio detonator for the bomb in the Great Seal of Office from Number 51-the Watchmaker. But standing in his way is Number 100 who is determined to retrieve the detonator from Number 6. There follows a brutal fist-fight between the two men, which ends in Number 6 knocking Number 100 out. So why did the Guardian attack Number 100? Obviously we do not see this in the finished episode, but in ‘Arrival,’ when the young man in a striped jersey and sunglasses is attacked by the Guardian, as he is being suffocated, the scene changes to a man wearing a pink blazer. It is obviously actor Mark Eden as Number 100 wearing the pink blazer. It’s not so much the fact that a good action scene is spoilt by the insertion of a piece unnecessary stock footage film that concerns me, but the question as to why Number 100 would have been attacked by the Guardian in the first place. Especially when you recall how he was involved with ‘Plan Division Q’ and the radicalization of the Watchmaker, which was carried out on the instructions of the interim Number 2.
   Number 2 is another character whose background we know practically nothing about, except we do know the name of one, Mrs. Butterworth. And even if it isn’t her real name, at least it is a name. And that another Number 2 holds a position in the House of Lords, within the Houses of Parliament.
   As to the question of who is Number 1? It’s only Number 6 who concerns himself with that question, perhaps because he’s not an optimist! During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ Number 2 tells Number 6 that he’s an optimist, that’s why it doesn’t matter who Number 1 is. But persistently during the opening sequence the Prisoner is heard to ask “Who is Number One?” to which Number 2 replies “You are Number 6.” Of course it’s possible to make “You are Number 6” read and sound very differently depending on where you place the emphasis. But that only works after the advent of ‘Fall Out,’ because up until then we don’t know who Number 1 is, even Patrick McGoohan hadn’t decided, before he wrote the script for ‘Fall Out.’ So in Number 2’s reply to who is Number 1, he’s merely telling the Prisoner he’s Number 6. I suppose it’s all a question of interpretation, and much within ‘the Prisoner’ series is open to personal interpretation, or at times, misinterpretation. For example, when during the opening sequence of ‘the Prisoner,’ a man parks his Lotus Seven in an underground car park. Alighting from the car, he strides out and goes through a pair of doors marked 'Way Out.' This action has been interpreted by many fans of the Prisoner as demonstrating his rebellious nature by entering a building via the 'Way Out.' But the reality of the situation is, that the man is not entering a building, but is leaving the underground car park via the 'Way Out.’ If it was otherwise, the words ‘Way Out’ would be on the opposite side 
of the doors.
   ‘The Prisoner’ is a remarkable television series which many enthusiasts describe as being a work of art. It is also a window through which one can observe Portmerion as it was in the 1960’s, because in more recent years the Italianate village has changed, it has lost that “lived-in” look it once had.  Also Patrick McGoohan said of ‘the Prisoner’ that it was never meant as a children’s television series, and yet the author of this essay was twelve when he first watched it, and many of my contemporary fans were about that same age, possibly even younger. And yet for an adult series there is much childishness in it. So is it any wonder that ‘the Prisoner’ captivated the imagination of so many children, not only at the time, but also over the subsequent years and decades. That having been the case, Patrick McGoohan seems to have been the Pied Piper of his time. He called the tune, and we danced, not quite a “Dance of The Dead,” but as children we followed. He may not have taken us body and soul, but he influenced our minds, The Village Administration would have been proud of him! However it could be said he gave us something in return, in showing what it is to be an individual. To question, and not simply accept things as they are, not simply in regard to ‘the Prisoner,’ but more importantly in life. But perhaps the series is better viewed through the eyes and mind of a child. I was once told by someone, that after watching ‘the Prisoner’ for the very first time and in the company of her son, and later meeting other people who had seen ‘the Prisoner,’ she couldn’t understand what their problem was. Why they couldn’t understand the series, why they were looking for explanations, not to mention those so termed “hidden meanings.” She thought the reason why children get on so well with ‘the Prisoner,’ was that they do not expect to understand every detail, that they merely follow the story. She firmly believes that she was helped by watching ‘the Prisoner’ through her child’s eyes. It would seem that as adults we tend to overcomplicate ‘the Prisoner,’ looking to give questions complicated answers, when a far simpler reasoning can be applied. But in time all good things must come to an end. And so it is ‘Fall Out.’
   ‘Fall Out’ not from nuclear blast, although a rocket is involved, but a falling out of former friends. Such as Number 48 who had been with them, but then he went and gone, put on trial for representing rebellious youth. Rebelling against nothing it can define. And a “late” Number 2, who apparently died, but who they couldn’t even let rest in peace! And the former Number 6 is forced to witness these two trials. But at least they are allowed to state their case and address the Assembly, unlike Number 6. The delegates of the Assembly, each representative of different sections of society, are not prepared to listen to one single word Number 6 has to say. But they applaud his private war which is pure, for he has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual. High praise indeed. Besides that, he’s been given the key to his house, which has been prepared for him, as well as his car. A passport valid for anywhere, travellers cheques a million, and a leather string purse of petty cash. So now its come down to bribery has it? But in any case Number 6 has achieved  the right to meet Number 1 who turns out to be himself. Number 6 has been his own worst enemy all the time, although I personally suspect this only came about when Patrick McGoohan made himself Number 1, when he wrote the script for ‘Fall out.’ Up until then he had not decided who Number 1 would be. On the other hand, Number 1 might be the former Number 12-Curtis who hadn’t died that night in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ but had been kept “on ice” in the hospital. And now forced to impersonate Number 6 for a second time, well, it probably tilted his brain. No wonder he went berserk during that confrontation in the rocket! But that is a personal interpretation, everything in ‘the Prisoner’ is open to interpretation. However I disagree with what Patrick McGoohan said about ‘Fall Out.’ Yes it might be an allegory as he said, but that only means it’s a story or tale. He also said, he didn’t want to give ‘the Prisoner’ a James Bond style of ending. But action-wise that’s just what we did get. The finale to the series has all the qualities of a James Bond ending. Number 1 the villain in his lair, The Village, there’s a vicious fire-fight in which even the Butler gets stuck in, and who at one point can be seen strangling a man to death! The villain despatched to his fate in the rocket. The lair evacuated, there’s death, but no destruction, as The Village is not destroyed, and with the aid of four confederates the hero escapes to return to London. The End! But its not the end, ‘the Prisoner’ has no ending, no proper ending or conclusion as such, only a beginning. For in the Prisoner’s end is his beginning, as his future looks to continue the same as his immediate past.
   
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Tuesday 24 October 2017

The Village Festival

    As mentioned in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ what must the Village Festival have been like? Well it wasn’t very good for Number 6, to have his identity taken away, and to wake up as someone else, and yet that happened twice to him! But The Village festival, more than a one or two day affair, after all we’re not talking about a village fete. A festival is generally a 3 day event, which probably took place not only in rooms in the Recreation Hall, but on The Village green as well. After all sports were also involved along with the photographic section, because one event Number 24 had not entered was the pole vault event. Mind you she also had her mind reading act, which either took place in the Recreation Hall, or perhaps in a small marquee, and Number 6 may well have assisted Number 24 with her act. Oh but no, he was elsewhere undergoing mind conditioning, and a physical make-over at the time of the festival. So if anyone helped 24, it would be Number 6, meaning Curtis. But of course no-one can say with any certainty, as The Village festival isn’t seen. But at the same time because of that, anyone who suggests anything about the festival activities cannot be wrong!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

               The Prisoner – It’s a living Nightmare!
BcNu

A Favourite Scene In It’s Your Funeral

    When the retiring Number 2 is giving his farewell speech, he’s nervous and there comes a point when he has to play for time, because Plan Division Q isn’t going quite according to plan! And the interim Number 2 doesn’t seem to be quite with it, that’s because he has other things on his mind! And then the moment comes when the retiring Number 2 runs out of time, his speech has run out! Then the Great Seal of Office is taken from his shoulders and placed around the new Number 2’s shoulders, now he’s the one who’s nervous. In fact he’s so nervous he cannot get though his speech quick enough, as the bomb hung about his shoulders might be detonated at any moment!
   And so the great day has arrived, in fact it went off better than planned, and perhaps they’ll organize something equally suitable for this new Number 2’s retirement when the day comes. He’s not so cocky now because things have not gone to plan at all, and he having staked his future on the success of Plan Division Q. We do not see this new Number 2 again, either he didn’t have a future, or his day came sooner than he was expecting! But I tell you what he wasn’t expecting, judging by the expression on his face at the end, that helicopter to turn back towards The Village that way it did!


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Sunday 22 October 2017

Thought For The Day

    ‘The Prisoner’ it means what it is, probably what we make it out to be, an adventure to be enjoyed for that alone, escapism perhaps, The Village not to escape from, but to escape to! Or a conundrum perhaps, an enigma which many have tried to fathom by plumbing its depths as they seek answers to questions. An allegory, a parable, a story to be told and perhaps in the telling of it there is a lesson to be learned.
    If ‘the Prisoner’ means what it is perhaps it should be left alone, something not to be tinkered or trifled with, but where would the fun be in that? Half the fun is trying to fathom what it all means, “What’s it all about?” as Number 6 once demanded to know. The trouble is that if we don’t know after 50 years, we’re never likely to know. Perhaps it’s not important to know the answers, but to have asked the questions, just as long as they are the right questions. We all make suppositions, interpretations, we speculate, and surmise in order to come up with the answers which suit each other. We arrive at different answers, but are we asking the same question? What’s that white Guardian when it’s at home? It’s a metrological weather balloon. Sometimes the simple answers are the best answers as I’ve found. Oh I could say, and have, that it’s an extra terrestrial being which found itself on an alien planet called Earth. Or it’s a genetically engineered membrane created by chemists and biologists in a laboratory. Membrane which began life in a petri dish, which of those do we know to be correct? Who is Number 1? Number 6, but only when it comes to ‘Fall Out,’ and then we come to the over elaborate explanations as to why Number 6 has been Number 1 all the time, but to put it simply, the reason is he’s his own worst enemy. Personally I liked it better when we didn’t know who Number 1 was. But then ‘Fall Out’ isn’t like the preceding episodes, it stands alone in that regard.


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Village Life!

    “I take it you warmed the pot first.”
    Now he’s trying to teach his mother to suck eggs!
    “Last time you made something resembling oxtail soup.”
    He was lucky to get that!
    “Did you say something?”
    If I ever say something it will be something worth saying!
    “I have your personal file here, It’s says you strangled a man to death with your bare hands. I wonder how you managed that?”
    I was standing on a stepladder at the time!
    “My god, you’re the
Dorset strangler!”
    That’s my cover blown! I only came here to escape the law.
    “None of us will be safe in our beds. You don’t expect me to drink that do you”
    I’m a strangler that’s why I always wear my gloves, I’ve never poisoned anyone. Now drink your cocoa before it gets cold.


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Sometimes We Hardly Know Ourselves!

    The first time I saw Number 2 unmasked in 'A B and C,' I could see instantly it was Colin Gordon. I couldn't understand his shock at seeing his own face on the screen when Number 6 turned him round to face the camera. But then, I suppose we as individuals, are the only people not to recognize the backs of our own heads.

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Friday 20 October 2017

Why Does He Care?

   You know our friend Number 6 can be really very kind at times. Remember when he bought Number 36 a bag of sweets because all her weekly credit allowance had run out. Poor Number 36, she simply couldn't go a day without her sweets. Well it was much the same with Number 38 who had created a tapestry for the Exhibition of Arts and crafts, and with it had won the over 60's special award. Number 6 won the prize of prizes, the special merit award of two thousand work units for the best work in any of the five groups. The Awards Committee awarded it to Number 6. Number 6 thinking that he wouldn't be needing those two thousand work units thought that someone else might put them to better use. He felt that the special merit award should not have gone to him, but to someone whose work, and long life in The Village, had been an example to them all...Number 38. It's not for Number 6 to reverse the decision of the Committee. However he uses those two thousand work units to buy Number 38's tapestry to hang in his own home. I thought that was a nice gesture on Number 6's part. That night he and Nadia prepared the boat for their escape, having taken the components of Number 6's abstract sculpture from the Recreation Hall, after all Number 6 could have simply taken the tapestry he used as a sail. So there was no need for him to have bought it, but it was a kind gesture on Number 6’s part!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                   “You ain’t seen me, right!”
BcNu

Page 6

    Beautiful day, and it most certainly is, another sunny warm day in the charming and picturesque Village, which even the Prisoner had to admit is charming. Strange then that he couldn’t wait for the opportunity to try and escape. When it came he made his way through the woods and down onto the beach. I wonder where he thought he was going, and how far he would get? Even behind the wheel of a Mini-Moke he didn’t get that far, not even as far as the outer perimeter! Had he managed to remain in that vehicle and not have become mesmerized by the fast approaching white membranic Guardian, he might have swerved round it and carried on to the end of the beach and on his way to the next town! Well you can see the next town in some of the aerial shots when Number 6 attempts to escape in the helicopter. Number 6 a man in isolation! Isolation? He’s hardly alone in The Village, and The Village is hardly isolated and by what I can see from aerial pictures, when Number 6 is attempting to escape by helicopter, it seems the next town’s only about 3 miles away! It that where the milk, the ice cream, the potatoes, and the aspirins comes from? If I’m not very much mistaken Number 8 in ‘Checkmate’ takes the road in that direction in a stolen taxi, well at least she should find her way there from the end of the drive, the main road........ but she turned back before she reached it. Because the next thing we know is she’s back in The Village still looking for Number 6!


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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Speed Learn!

    What was it Number 12 said about Speed Learn? A University level degree in three minutes, it might be improbable, but not impossible, nothing is impossible in The Village! That’s all very well, but what would anyone in The Village do with a University degree once they’d got it?


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Page 1

    Back to the beginning. No not along some airfield under dark clouds, no sound of thunder only that of machine guns! The coming together between Number 6 and Number 1 had not gone well, in fact the falling out had begun long before that. I hadn’t realized you see, that it had been me all the time, me the Prisoner! I knew what was going to happen, I knew to resign, that The Village wasn’t right, but to resign was the next logical step, to tell them what they could do with The Village. I never imagined I would find myself back there. I will not be pushed filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. You won’t hold me! Won’t we? Come, let me show you that we will...................


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Village Life!

    Number 42 is very diligent, when approached by Number 6, his authoritative attitude persuades him that Number 6 is a superior. So much so that if something’s wrong, and he is not satisfied, he said he’d paint it again! It makes me wonder that something was wrong with Number 42’s brushstrokes that his painting was not up to specifications. In fact he had actually been told to paint the wall again. How do we know this? Because later in the episode when Number 6 finds Number 42 the next day in order to give him the password “Tonight at moonset, Pawn to Queen’s Pawn Six check,” 42 is still painting that same wall. Unless of course Number 42 is either working to rule, or simply “spinning” the job out! Personally I like to think that soon after Number 6 and the Rook had come by inspecting his work, a proper foreman came along to inspect 42’s painting of the wall, and finding it unsatisfactory was instructed to paint it again. That really would have confused Number 42, to have had his work inspected a second time, and so soon after the first!


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Quote for The Day

    “I hate to disappoint you, but the Polotska’s our ship.”
                                            {Number 2 – Checkmate}
  
Well it’s nice of Number 2 to confirm that for us, now we know that she’s the gun-runners’ vessel in ‘Many Happy Returns.’ After all there cannot be two vessels like her. But she has had a change of crew, perhaps Ernst and Gunter were enjoying a spell of shore leave in The Village at the time. Mind you, a different crew they maybe, but it’s the same motor yacht, and the same desperate struggle for freedom!


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Monday 16 October 2017

Thought For The Day

    For years there have been devotees of ‘the Prisoner’ who thought, and probably do still think ZM73 lived in a flat. And yet here is one of the delegates of the assembly holding up the key to ZM73’s house, its irrefutable proof that cannot be denied, also the fact that when Janet Portland came looking for her fiancĂ©, due to the fact that his car was parked outside the house, she went upstairs looking for him. There are two questions, who purchased the said house on behalf of Number 6, and why? And who put the house on the market in the first place? Lead us or go the President said, were they really prepared to let Number 6 go just like that if that’s what he wanted? They must have been to have purchased the house in Number 6’s name, and to have his car made ready for him. If so then all that has gone before has been a complete and utter waste of time! So either No. 1 Buckingham Place is to become Number 1’s town house hence the automatic electrically operated front door, or symbolically the Prisoner had been in The Village all the time!


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Interior Design

    What was it Engadine said about ‘C’ he likes impressive offices! Well you cannot get more impressive than the interior of the Green Dome! Here is ‘C’ pictured in his inner sanctum. The office is a huge domed chamber, with minimalist furnishings, very modern, even futuristic looking, but with a single touch of bygone times. Its purple decor has a subtle visual effect, although the steel framework does give the impression that Number 2 is imprisoned in his own personal cage! With its blast proof doors Number 2 takes no chances, he is safe and secure, and a large wall screen allows him to observe any part of The Village, both exterior and interior. His desk has a control panel, and any function such as surveillance can be obtained at the touch of a button. Communication is ultra modern, cordless telephones which are far ahead of their time.
    How ‘C’ arrived in The Village is anyone’s guess, it may be supposed that they took him there instead of
Engadine, who wasn’t all that important. With his anonymity blown, that rendered ‘C’s’ effectiveness less than useless. So the best place to put him was in The Village, and now here he is working for its administration! Nice work if you can get it, if you can keep hold of it!


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Teabreak Teaser

    What are the facts behind Town Hall? That is the headline of an edition of The Tally Ho, don’t tell me that the freedom of the press has finally arrived in The Village, this with an article on the workings of the Town Hall! And yet where is the mystery in it, as surely any Town Hall works much the same as any other I should have thought, even in The Village!

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Saturday 14 October 2017

No.269

    We have met the likes of Number 269, he assists the Supervisor Number 56 in the Control Room.
    Supervisor “There it is.”
    {The distress signal}
    269 “Very close.”
    “Let’s try a radar search.”
    {They move to the radar screen}
    “Nothing!”
    “That’s twelve miles, try six.”
    {269 operates the radar}
    “That’s six. Not much hope of finding them, unless the aircraft is still floating.”
    “Can’t you get a signal off a dinghy?”
    “Ooh doubtful.”
    “Could be more than one, they didn’t say how many passengers they’d got onboard.”
    “Only one distress signal.”
    “Might be saving their batteries. Search in closer.”
   “We’ll start getting readings from the high buildings in the village.”
   “What’s that?”
   “The mountains to the north of us.”
   “Better see if the radio station on the tower can give us a cross bearing. This is control calling the tower, control to the tower are you receiving me over?”
    Number 2 During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ had an assistant Number 10, who may have overstepped the mark when he made the suggestion that there are methods they haven’t used {against Number 6} yet. He ended up working in the Control Room. Mind you it’s possible he was really excess to requirements, and it may well have been the same with Number 269. Number 2 does appear to be a most capable administrator, so much so that it might well be imagined that he would not be in need of an assistant. So reduced 269 to working in the Control Room assisting the Supervisor! It isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last as in the case of Number 22 of ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ Mind you he does know about operating the radar equipment, so at least he made himself useful, unlike Number 10 and Number 22 who didn’t appear to do very much at all! What about Number 60 I hear you ask. Yes he was assisting the Supervisor-Number 26 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’, he may well have been an exception, not that Number 26 appeared to require an assistant, and not appearing to be a former assistant to Number 2, that was Number 14’s job. Number 60 may well have been a contrivance on the part of the scriptwriter Roger Waddis, otherwise Number 2 would have had no-one to promote as Supervisor having removed Number 26 from that position.


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                     “WHY?”
BCNU

Quote For The Day

    “Beautiful day.”
    “They didn’t settle down for ages, now they wouldn’t leave for the world!”
                                       {Two citizens and Number 2 - Arrival}
    I wonder just how long that old couple have been in The Village, before the war, since the war, which war? And why were they brought to The Village in the first place? Did they go of their own volition, not realizing what they were walking into? Or perhaps they were abducted together, as man and wife, but who were they and why are they in The Village? Don’t you wonder? I sometimes wonder, and perhaps a short story could be woven around them. They are obviously too old for escape, and perhaps they no longer have anywhere to go even if they could. Number 2 said they didn’t settle for ages, so they resisted but were eventually brought round to Number 2’s way of thinking, oh not this one, but one of his predecessors. Perhaps they were like the Professor and his wife in that they went to The Village voluntarily, and when they got there it wasn’t at all what they expected! On the face of it The Village is well presented as a charming, peaceful, and picturesque place. But beauty in only skin deep and it’s what lies beneath the surface that matters.


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Thursday 12 October 2017

The Village Concert Hall!

    The Concert Hall is where a folk music concert was once held, according to the poster in 'The Schizoid Man.' But is this Concert Hall the original Concert Hall, or the new Concert Hall Number 2 had built? Or the Concert Hall to be demolished in order to make way for the new Concert Hall that is to be built as laid down in the plans of the retiring Number 2?


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Caught On Camera!

    “We both stood on this spot and watched Number 6 walk along that path with Number Eight following him.”
    “You’re right, we did!”
    “So Rosalie Crutchley is going to be in the Chimes of Big Ben as well as Checkmate?”
    “Looks like it.”
    “But it’s the same scene!”
    “Don’t worry about it, they know what they’re doing.”
    “And you know what that means don’t you?”
    “No.”
    “So will we!”
    Director “Look, I won’t tell you two again. Quiet, we’re filming. Re-set, go again everyone.”

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Village Life!

    It’s not all work you know, there is some rest and play as the Mars bar adverts used to say, “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.” Here Number 2 relaxes by playing his Prisoner soundtrack music LP. It’s a particular favourite piece in his collection, his pride and joy. There’s not a scratch on the record, the sleeve is perfect, itself contained in a clear plastic sleeve to protect it. And it’s not allowed to be left in the sun for fear of fading by sunlight. And how did Number 2 come by this record? It I was of course a special import. In fact the record is so special that Number 2 ordered 6 copies, and told the shopkeeper to hurry over to the Green Dome the moment they arrived.
     So Number 2 sits quietly in the comfort of his spherical chair listening to the Prisoner theme music, and accompanying incidental music and the closing credits. You might well be thinking how is this possible? After all the first Prisoner soundtrack LP wasn’t produced until 1984. Well The Village has been going for at least 50 years, and one must expect special imports of various kinds to find their way into The Village from time to time!


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Tuesday 10 October 2017

Page 9

    I’m really 6 in disguise, but don’t tell anyone, not that 9 is a number to be proud of. That Number 9 in ‘Arrival,’ you can’t tell me that she had intended to escape with Cobb, Cobb was one of them! He was using Number 9......yes why was Cobb planning to escape with Number 9 when he had been working for The Village all the time? Unless he hadn’t, and it wasn’t until his staged suicide that he came to his senses and saw a way out by deciding to work for The Village, that was a good plan to get free of The Village. Those masters Cobb talked about will be disappointed in him! As for Number 9 she’s just a pawn who doesn’t know how to play the game. The Number 8 was to have been Number 9, only it wouldn’t have looked too clever to have two women betraying Number 6 to have the same number, so 9 was exchanged for 8. Anyway better to be 9 or 8 rather than 7, as 7 no longer exists in The Village, why? Because 9 8 7! But generally speaking it is Number 8 who betrays Number 6, and generally 8 is a woman except when 8 was once a man. But on one occasion it was 9 who betrayed 6, on another it was 12, but then there was a mathematical reason for 12, 2 times 6 equals 12. Numbers you see, they’re all relative. 1 might be the boss, but as it turned 6 is 1 and 1 is 6, 1 plus 6 equals 7! I once wrote that the unseen 7 could well be the boss behind The Village, and not Number 1 at all!


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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                      “You aint seen me, right!”
BcNu

A Favourite Scene In The Girl Who Was Death

    The boxing scene between Mister X and the Polish giant Killer Kaminski who turned out to be Irish! A favourite scene perhaps because I took part in a re-enactment of the boxing match as Mister X, twice at Prisoner Conventions. The first time the ring was set up on the chessboard, hundreds of people stood watching. It was the first time the re-enactment had been performed. On the second occasion it rained heavily on the Sunday, and the re-enactment was performed in Hercules Hall. After the bout I remember meeting up with Frank Maher, Patrick McGoohan’s stunt double. Frank and I put an arm round each other’s shoulder, Frank said that was the first time he’d done that for a photograph. Frank was a true gentleman, and a gentle stuntman, he certainly enjoyed watching the re-enactment.


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Sunday 8 October 2017

Fall In The Prisoner 50th Anniversary Event Caught On Camera!

https://youtu.be/1umloBsGMKI

https://youtu.be/tOEqDwNz1B4

https://youtu.be/HXLE6l086WY

https://youtu.be/2vc7ptJpIUA

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Thought For The Day

    ‘Fall Out’ isn’t like any of its 16 predecessors, yet it is understood to be the conclusion of ‘the Prisoner.’ Number 6 hasn’t really escaped The Village, that much is demonstrated by the automatic opening of the front door to No. 1 Buckingham Place, that same electronic hum of the door to ‘6 Private’ we had become so used to hearing in The Village. ‘Fall Out’ isn’t the ending, it is merely the beginning. As ‘once Upon A time’ is the prequel to ‘Fall Out,’ in turn ‘Fall Out’ is but the prequel to ‘Arrival................


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Bureau of Visual Records

    Having won his game of chess, and Number 6 is congratulated for playing a fine game {nothing to do with the chess match} Number 14 suggests they go for a walk. During that walk he explains to Number 6 how to distinguish between the prisoners and the warders, its simple psychology, you judge by people’s attitudes.
   Might it be that Number 14 tried this once himself, and for some reason it failed, just like it will fail for Number 6? And yet Number 6 having been given the knowledge has to try for himself, otherwise he’s likely to see his own future in Number 14. Having been in The Village too long, and grown too old to escape!
   Just a minute! Wasn’t that what Rover did in ‘The Schizoid Man,’ it judged by Number 6‘s and Curtis’ attitudes towards it?


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Village Life!

   No.269 “There’s nothing coming through!”
   No.56 “Well you’ve got to let the valves warm up first you know.”
   “Has this been authorised by Number Two?”
   “Look, what Number Two doesn’t know about won’t hurt him.”
   “We haven’t even got a television license!”
   “What does that matter?”
   “They send television detector vans……!”
   “What all the way out here?”
   “It’s possible.”
   “Well there’s a chance I suppose. But they won’t be here in the next fifty minutes or so will they?
   “Shouldn’t think so.”
   “Well what are you worrying about then?”
   “I’m looking forward to watching this week’s episode of
Danger Man.
    “Why?”
    “Because I’m in it.”
    “Are you?”
    “I play a passenger in a taxi driven by John Drake.”
    “Just a passenger.”
    “Oh course not, they wouldn’t have an actor like me playing a mere passenger in a taxi. I play Drake’s boss, and give him his instructions to go to
Switzerland.”
    “Why did you send him there?”
    “Well if you shut up you’ll find out, the programme’s starting.”
    “Were you ever in Danger Man?”
    “No. Do you think Drake would be able to escape from The Village?”
    “Of course not, but then he’d never be stupid enough to get himself abducted in the first place. Oh look, there I am, about to hail a taxi……”
   “What are you doing coming out of a shoe shop?”
   “I didn’t come out of the shoe shop, I was just standing in the doorway.”
   “Where to sir?”
   “
Switzerland…….”
   “Why?”
   “You’ve never met Hagan have you?”
   “Who’s Hagan?”
   “A rather dubious character.”
   “Should that concern me?”
   “As a freelance agent he’ll work for any side providing the money’s alright. We never trusted him too much although mind you he’s been extremely useful to us in a number of instances.”
   “And now he’s not quite so useful!”
   “We’ve lost contact, we don’t know what’s happening to him. Maybe he’s gone over one hundred percent to the opposition, which could be uncomfortable. That’s for you to find out.”
   “Perhaps he’s just decided to retire.”
   “Retire?”
   “Perhaps they brought Hagan to The Village!”
   “Don’t be silly.”
   “You’re here…….”
   “I…….well being a middle ranking Civil Servant why shouldn’t they find a use for me here?”
   “Not good enough to be Number Two then?”
   “But good enough to be your superior.”
   “I was assistant to Number Two.”
   “What happened?”
   “I took a sideways promotion, and found myself working with you.”
   “For me, you work for me, you’re my assistant now.”
   “Alright, don’t rub it in. I’m just glad we’re working together.”
   “But in just the one scene don’t forget.”
   “I think it’s awful when people get above themselves!”

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Friday 6 October 2017

A Favourite Scene In Arrival

    When on the day of his arrival the Prisoner goes into the General Stores.
    Ting-a-ling-ling
    The shopkeeper No.56, or 19 because he wears two different numbered badges in the same scene, is talking to a woman in an indistinguishable language. But then he sees his next customer….
   “Would you help yourself to a pineapple madam.”
   She does and the shopkeeper clips her credit card and places it in the white paper carrier bag.
   “Thank you, good day.”
   “Thank you” the woman says picking up her shopping.
   “Be seeing you.”
   Ting-a-ling-ling
   “Good morning sir, what can I do for you then?”
   “I’d like a map of this area.”
   “Map, colour or black and white?”
   “Just a map”
   The shopkeeper appears to be thinking, thinking where he keeps his maps. Then it comes to him
   “Ah!” and goes to a cabinet to collect a map “black and white” and returns to the counter “here you are sir, I think you’ll find that shows everything.”
   The customer opens the black and white map showing noted buildings in The Village, the beach, the sea, and mountains.
   “I,I, I, I meant, I meant a larger map.”
   “Only in colour, much more expensive.”
   “That’s fine.”
   Having produced a colour map from the cabinet it shows exactly the same, some noted buildings in The Village, the beach, the sea and mountains but on a larger scale.
   “That’s not what I meant, I meant a larger area.”
   “No we only have local maps sir, there’s no demand for any others. You’re new here aren’t you?”
   “Where can I get a hire car, self-drive?”
   “No self-drive, only taxis.”
   “I’ve tried those.”
   Ting-a-ling-ling sounds the shop bell as a customer enters the General Stores.
   “Well I look forward to the pleasure of your custom sir, be seeing you.”
   Certainly the general stores has everything for sale from brussle sprouts, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, to oranges. Perishable foods such as bread, eggs, bacon, pork pies, cheese, and a variety of sausages. Plus all manner of tinned Village food, large jars of sweets. A large variety of household goods which include carpet beaters, brooms at 4 units each, plastic laundry baskets, pots and pans, pizza cutters. Large rolls of cloth for making clothes. And earthenware, salt and pepper pots denoting the
Penny Plain pattern - so specially imported from Portmeirion. Another special import would be the distinctive blue and white striped pattern of Cornish wear crockery, as well as brown coffee pots at 17 work units a pot. Everything a general stores is likely to stock.
   It’s strange how the shopkeeper was speaking in some indistinguishable language, but then when the Prisoner enters the emporium he immediately begins talking in english. Did the shopkeeper simply assume the man was English, in the same way the taxi driver spoke to him in french thinking he might be Polish or a Czech? 

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