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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Village Life!

    “Nice day.”
    “Yes, it will be nice again tomorrow, where are you going?”
    “I’m on my way home.”
    “Aren’t you stopping for lunch?”
    “Why should I do that?”
    “It’s lunchtime.”
    “Yes, that’s why I’m going home.”
    “Well there’s no need to be like that, its people like you who’ll put me out of business!”
    “Ooooh so you say!”
    “Coffee’s on, at least stop for a coffee.”
    “What, when I can make my own coffee at home?!”
    “I can make you a Latte.”
    “Yuck! It’s all milk!”
    “What happened in Eighteen-thirty?”
    “How should I know!”
    “Didn’t you catch the Professor’s latest lecture?”
    “I was watching ‘
Danger Man.
    “Oh I missed it. What happened this week?”
    “Drake had to infiltrate Colony Three, somewhere on the Steppes of Russia.”
    “That’s the one where Colony Three turns out to be a typical English town.”
    “That’s right.”
    “A bit like The Village wouldn’t you say?”
    “Not really, it’s more Italianate.”
    “The Professor’s next lecture is on architecture.”
    “I’m only perpendicular when I’ve had a few in the Cat and Mouse!”
    “Where are you off to now?”
    “To begin writing my next book.”
    “You’re a writer I never knew that!”
    “Well my name is Ian Flemming.”
    “What James Bond?”
    “Shhhhhhh, don’t let everyone know, they’ll want a free signed copy of my books!”
    “What’s your next book about?”
    “Bond resigns his job from British Military Intelligence, and then he’s abducted from his home in
London and wakes up in some isolated village where everyone is a prisoner!”
    “It’s bound to be a best seller. Stop for a coffee, and I’ll make sure it’s shaken and not stirred.”
    “Yes that’s what the other waiter said yesterday, and there was more coffee in the saucer than in the cup!”
   

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        The ARRIVAL
BcNu


You Won’t Find It There Pat!

      The answer is not at the bottom of a glass! Mind you I suppose when dealing with a series like ‘the Prisoner’ it’s as good a place as any to look! Perhaps that’s where he found the idea for that most surreal of sports Kosho? If he did well all hats off to him, much better than the original idea of Judo. Perhaps he found Number 1 at the bottom of the glass. I suppose it’s a sign of one’s over-sized ego, or monomania for a man to make himself Number 1. But then logically who else could it have been? Yes there are those “masters” we hear so much about, even those delegates of the Assembly could be a collective one. But like the end of any good thriller, there has to be the final confrontation between the hero and the villain, and ‘the Prisoner’ is no different. It’s just so happens that in this case, both the hero and the villain are one!


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Face Unknown

    Did he, did ZM73 recognize the face staring back at him in the mirror? Is that why he punched the glass with his fist, because he recognized the face of the Colonel? The original title of this episode ‘Face Unknown’ would suggest he did not. So it must have been simply because of what they had done to him! But certainly that’s why Vincent Tilsley had to create Sir Charles Portland, because this time there was no Colonel for Number 6 to go running back to as he had twice before, as this time he was effectively the Colonel! But I don’t see why ZM73 had to be engaged, Janet Portland does appear to be somewhat superfluous. And yet to cut her out of the script would have taken a good deal away from the episode, and someone had had to keep that roll of film safe for him. Mind you, it might well have been equally secure in that wall safe hidden behind the television set! Or stowed away in a locker at Victoria railway station for example, after all that’s what Number 6 did originally in a scene in ‘Many Happy Returns.’ He jumped out of the back of the lorry in Piccadilly Circus, when he paused to look at the statue of Eros, opposite Lillywhites, an elderly gentleman pressed a two shilling into his hand, saying he hoped things get better for him. He looked at the coin in his hand, and the film he had taken of The Village and made his way to the underground, there he deposited the roll of film in a locker. ZM73 could easily have done that with the receipt for the role of film he left at World cameras. It might have been safer there!


Be seeing you

Thursday, 29 March 2018

60 Second Interview No.2

    “How did you two get in here?”
    “The door opened and……..”
    “And you thought to come in here, why?”
    “Let me explain. I am Number One, one three, and this is my photographic colleague Number one, one three b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    No.113b “Smile!” Click goes the camera.
    “Members of the press!”
    “And you are Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up!”
    “And you will soon wish you never came into this room.”
    “I have to say that you’re looking very impish!”
    “That is the least of your worries!”
    “What are you going to do with us?”
    “Nothing.”
    “Nothing?”
    “You are already in Never-Never-Land, I would have thought that would be enough.”
    “Never-Never-Land, not The Village?”
    “It amounts to the same thing ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.”


Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    The first person, or the first Number 2 to speak to Number 1 is Colin Gordon’s 2 on that ridiculously over-sized, curved, red telephone. The new Number 2 in ‘Arrival’ makes a report via a telephone about Number 6 before an interview with Number 9.
    “He has not volunteered any information so far, but appears to be settling down. He even attended the regular brass band concert today.”
    Number 2 does not have the ‘L’ shaped turquoise telephone to his ear, so he is not listening to anyone, he is simply talking into it. It might be interpreted that this particular Number 2 is apparently using the telephone as a recording machine. Or he is dictating his report to someone who is listening, perhaps a typist in the typing pool, and that person is physically typing up that report as he speaks. It seems unlikely that he is speaking to Number 1.
   Of course one must not forget the advent of ‘Fall Out,’ that according to Patrick McGoohan Number 1 is the alter ego of Number 6, and vice versa. So perhaps it could be argued that it was the first Number 2 in ‘Arrival’ who actually spoke to Number 1 first on the telephone, that time when he invited the Prisoner to join him in the Green Dome for breakfast!
  Other than that, had the screening order of ‘the Prisoner’ adhered to the library order of the series, then Number 2 {Mary Morris} would have been the first to speak to Number 1, when she’s talking about Number 6 being no trouble. That it’s just a matter of time. And about the preparations for Carnival, along with the Ball in the evening, to which Number 1 expressed his wish that he could be there. To which Number 2 wished he could be there also. But unlike her predecessors, of ‘A B and C’, and ‘Free For All, and successor in ‘Once Upon A time,’ Number 2 of ‘Dance of the Dead’ uses a turquoise coloured ‘L’ telephone, instead of red {red’ generally being the hot-line to someone in ultimate command}. So is it the case that Mary Morris uses the wrong coloured telephone? Well not in the case of the Interim Number 2 of ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ He always uses a yellow telephone when speaking to Number 1. In the Control Room, when the call came through from Number 1, it did so via a yellow telephone. You will recall that it was the Supervisor-Number 26 who answered the phone. Perhaps, the colour of the telephone doesn’t matter at all. 

Be seeing you

A Change of Mind

    Number 2 wants to steal the citizen’s minds according to Number 6. At least one citizen has undergone the complete personality change, but did it work every time? It might not have done, it might have had no affect on the patient at all, or it might have taken away the patient’s mind altogether. Number 2 enjoys watching Number 6 as a loner, withstanding real loneliness, but for Number 6’s sake, he hopes it will not be for long. Did you hear that, not for long, and taps the side of his head.
   It was just as well that Number 86 was well sedated, and that Number 6 is a dab hand at hypnotism, that made it easy for him to hypnotize 86. It’s sickening isn’t it? Well I find it so, that there is nothing Number 6 cannot turn his hand to! But I suppose its just as well, otherwise I couldn’t see how Number 6 was going to get himself out of this one, and at the same time bring Number 2 down....... when the clock strikes four this is what I want you to do. “Number 2 is unmutual, unmutual, social conversion for Number 2.....” But he was safe from the citizens pursuing him wasn’t he? In his office, safe behind those blast proof doors.


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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A Favourite Scene In It’s Your Funeral

   Number 6 having left the Café in ‘It’s Your Funeral, he is now on his way to the kiosk to buy a copy of The Tally Ho, a bar of soap, and a bag of sweets. The scene is so Village, well, continental, or international if you prefer, seeing people eating outside which was not the norm in Britain at the time.
    The café isn’t the same café we see in ‘Arrival,’ and ‘Checkmate,’ this Café must be the improved café facilities which Number 2, who is due for retirement has organized. But when exactly was that? After all we first see this new café in ‘The General, which is 5 episodes prior to ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ So on that basis should ‘It’s Your Funeral’ appear before ‘The General’ in the series screening order? But if Number Two, who is about to retire, has been the permanent Number 2 {all other Number 2’s being interim dealing with other matters} who has been quietly working behind the scenes for the good of both The Village and its community, then it doesn’t really matter where this episodes sits in ‘the Prisoner’ series!


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                     Portrait of Martha
BCNU

Caught on Camera

   Recently I watched a couple of episodes of ‘Randall And Hopkirk {Deceased}’ on the True Entertainment television channel. I spotted one of the two air pistols used in ‘the Prisoner’ episode ‘The Schizoid Man’ being used in the episode ‘Who Killed Cock Robin,’ but with the addition of a telescopic sight. I suppose one might call it a ‘Prisonerism,’ another would be that Jane Merrow also appears in both the episodes.
   Then in the episode ‘You Can Always Find a Fall Guy’ at one point Jeff Randall goes to see a guy called Kershaw aboard his houseboat on the Thames. Curiously Kershaw offers Randall a drink saying “Gin, whiskey, or Vodka,” now if that’s not a Prisonerism I don’t know what is. But there’s more. Later in this episode both Randall takes Jeanie Hopkirk to see Kerhsaw on his houseboat. As they arrive music is playing, Albert Elms arrangement of the third movement of Vivaldi’s 1711 work ‘L’Estro Armonico, as used in a scene in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ when Number 14 pays a call on Number 6. I sat waiting for a fight to break out between Randall and Kershaw, but I was to be disappointed. Had a fist-fight ensued it would have made this Prisonerism complete, but it was too much to ask. There was a fight with a third party, but Kershaw turned the music off!!
   These Prisonerisms can be placed in the file along with an earlier discovery {previously noted on my blog} made in Randall and Hopkirk’s office. Look closely at the picture below,
     Marty Hopkirk is pictured in the office and there are three box files on top of the filing cabinet, you will observe that two of them have b and c on the spines. Whilst ‘a’ is missing there can be no doubt they are the same one used in ‘the Prisoner’ episode ‘A B and C.’

Be seeing you

It’s Your Funeral

    Well it would have been Number 2’s funeral had Number 6 not been involved. In fact that’s another plan to involve Number 6 which didn’t succeed! As it is the new Number 2 can expect some rough treatment when it comes to his turn one day, when that day comes. But I’ve never understood the need for Plan Division Q, why not just get it over and done with without a lot of rigmarole? Just round up the known malcontents and have a purge of The Village. As it is it appears to be a test for Number 6, to see if he can actually stop the execution of the retiring Number 2. Well he passed that little test if that was the case. But there’s couple of things I don’t understand, does Number 6 really buy a bar of soap every day? And when did Number 6 construct that private gymnasium in the woods? It must have been sometime between the end of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and the beginning of ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ evidence of action between the episodes to which we the humble observer are not privy!

Be seeing you





Sunday, 25 March 2018

Temperance!

    Temperance, meaning the abstinence from alcoholic drink,  something which is practiced by the whole of The Village community. Well not really, temperance is enforced on the people, something on the lines of prohibition in the America of the 1920’s and 30’s. 
   Gin, whisky, vodka, looks the same tastes the same, but it won’t get you tiddley! In fact there is no alcoholic beverage in The Village whatsoever, not even being brewed in what Number 2 was pleased to call the Therapy Zone. He described it as being a place where you can be an alcoholic in perfect privacy, just as long as you rejoin the flock in good time. Well if you believe that, you’ll believe anything! In the Cat and Mouse nightclub it’s all they serve according the waitress Number 265, no alcoholic drinks are served here sir. But I tell you what, there might only be bottles of non-alcoholic gin whisky, vodka in the optics. However there are a good many different bottles of drink behind the counter, which are unidentifiable. But one thing is for sure, they are not labelled Village drink! There are bottles on a shelf that look like cordials which share a very distinctive label. While on the top shelf there are smaller bottles which could be limeade and strawberry fizz, it’s clearly difficult to say.
   So Number 6 appeared to leave the Cat and Mouse in a state of inebriation singing about voting for him then he’ll be ever so comfortee. So how did Number 6 get in such a state? If it wasn’t the drink, had it something to do with that waitress carrying about that large pot with smoke issuing from it? Was that substance something more than incense burning? If it is then no else is affected!


Be seeing you

Village Life!

    “How are you this morning?”
    “A bit fuzzy headed as it happens.”
    “How so?”
    “Well have you ever had the feeling you’ve done it all before?”
    “Déjà vu you mean.”
    “We walk this way every day to the Town Hall.”
    “That’s not déjà vu, its just habit.”
    “Then why don’t we walk to the Town Hall in another direction?”
    “Habit, besides it’s the shortest route.”
    “Why don’t we take the scenic route for a change?”
    “That means getting up earlier in the morning!”
    “See that chap there, walking with the woman.”
    “Probably man and wife.”
    “Yes, but where are they going so early in the morning?”
    “Does it matter?”
    “No, but they go passed at precisely the same time as we turn this corner!”
    “Really?”
    “Shall we ask them where they’re going?”
    “It’s none of our business, we’re not guardians!”
    “Should we report them?”
    “What for, walking by at the same time as us?”
    “At precisely the same moment!”
    “You’re becoming paranoid!”
    “Maybe so, but tomorrow at least let me walk on your right.”
    “Whatever for?”
    “A change, that’s all, for a change!”


Be seeing you

Hammer Into Anvil

    Number 6 attempts to send a coded massage by pigeon, or at least that’s what it looks like to the new Supervisor-Number 60. He ordered the deployment of the beam, set at hellfire frequency, which would have roasted the pigeon alive! But really, how far would that bird have flown, probably only as far as The Village, where Number 6 caught it in the first place! But of course the Supervisor couldn’t take that risk. Lucky for the pigeon that Number 2 intervened just in time, so the bird was only stunned. And a team was despatched to find the bird, I wonder how long that search took? Later Number 6 sent a vital message by visual signal. He was being observed down on the beach by Number 2 in the control room, the Supervisor, and the Observers. Then Number 6 began sending a message by heliograph, who could he have been signalling to? There was nothing on the radar, no plane or helicopter. Nothing at sea, and certainly no submarine, as nothing was coming through on the sonar. Who was Number 6 signalling to? Well it’s as plain as the nose on your face, although Number 2 realize it, because it was he who Number 6 was signalling to! Pat-a-cake pat-a-cake baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can, and it wasn’t a special code at all! Silly old Number 2, but then he was under the impression that everyone was against him!

Be seeing you

Friday, 23 March 2018

Bureau of Visual Records

    That was very kind of Number 8 to make Number 6 his nightcap for him, and the fool drank it! What I mean to say is, the maid usually comes to make Number 6 his nightcap of hot chocolate, she probably carries out that duty for several people before curfew. Each night the hot chocolate is drugged of course with a strong sleeping draught or sedative, that’s why one night in ‘Dance of the Dead’ Number 6 couldn’t sleep, he hadn’t drank his nightcap! But here Number 8 wasn’t to blame, she didn’t knowingly drug the cup of hot chocolate, the drug is in the tap water, and Number 6 must have figured that one out that time he collapsed after taking one sip of water from the tap. So why drink his night cap this time? Perhaps to sleep, perchance to dream!


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

Portrait of A Shopkeeper
BcNu

The Therapy Zone

    When Number 6 is declared unmutual, the entire community turns against him, no more credit, his telephone is cut off, and there are no more taxis. But when it comes to the entire community turning on Number 6, should that be right? Surely there are other unmutuals. What about Number 93, oh no, he confessed when he was merely disharmonious. There was Number 46, but he had undergone Instant Social Conversion, and so had been made docile. Number 61 showed disharmony when she ignored Number 6’s greeting after he’d left the Town Hall, but she shouldn’t have ignored him, because Number 6 had not been declared unmutual at that time. Number 42, she ignored Number 10’s greeting, her excuse being she was composing poetry at the time. But there can be no excuses, no mitigation we all have a social obligation to stand together, according to the Oriental gentleman of the social group. Number 42 is in a constant state of depression, always in tears. Certainly life in The Village doesn’t suit her, not like our friend Number 6. Mind you 42 soon pulls herself together, and finds herself amongst the ladies of the Sub-appeal Committee, and so soon!
    “Do not sneer at Number Forty-two. To volunteer for social work of this nature requires considerable moral courage.”
    “They are socially conscious citizens and are provoked by the loathsome presence of an unmutual” 42 declares, having once been one herself!
    The point is, there must be other unmutals, people who do not turn against Number 6 because they are also unmutuals, unless of course even unmutuals cannot stand the presence of Number 6! As it is, it gives the impression that Number 6 is the only unmutual, unless he is, because all the others like Number 46, have been brought total peace of mind through Instant Social Conversion!
    Strange how Number 46 stands listening to loudspeakers, but can’t hear anything. It seems 46 is different from unmutuals and other members of the community, not being allowed to listen to public announcements! Well can you hear any other kind of public information announcements in ‘A Change of Mind?’ No, neither can I!


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The Queens Pawn

    Number 6, the white Queen’s pawn makes but one move on the chessboard pawn to Queen four, but at least he does attack a bishop. The Bishop told the pawn that he was safe protected by the Queen, and he was right, the Bishop was moved away from the attack by the pawn. The Rook showed individual tendencies when he made that move of his without Number 14 telling him to do so. The Rook put the opposing King in check, but he didn’t, because black had castled earlier in the game, and the King was protected by the King’s Rook. But Number 6 noted this man with an independent mind, and took him under his wing. Lucky for Number 6 that Number 58 {the Rook} was an electrical engineer, otherwise there would have been no radio transmitter with which to send a mayday call. Just a minute, couldn’t Number 6 construct a radio transmitter? Seeing as he can turn his hand to most things!!! This is the first and only time Number 6 couldn’t do something for himself! Mind you there is a much simpler way to send a message...........by pigeon!


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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A Favourite Scene In Free For All

    I wonder what was going through Number 6’s mind when he left his cottage that morning to assess the madding crowd. What exactly would be wanted of him? How does the election process in The Village work? It must have been difficult for him, in that Mini-Moke listening to the cheers of Number 2’s supporters, which at that time meant everyone. It looked like Number 6 would have an uphill struggle in this election!
   Number 2’s speech, it wasn’t an election speech which one might expect from him, his speech is in Number 6’s favour. He talks about a lack of opposition in the matter of free elections, and this isn’t good for the community, reflecting an acceptance of things as they are. Number 2 knows what they must do, and so do the citizens, because the
Butler tells them, progress, progress, progress! And then Number 2 goes on to introduce a recent recruit to the electorate whose outlook is particularly militant and individualistic. Now why should Number 2 suggest such a man should stand for election against him? Number 6 has a duty to the community and it is hoped he will not deny his duty to the community by refusing to take up the challenge. It is Number 2’s pleasure to introduce to the citizens the one and only Number 6. That “One and only” makes Number 6 unique, possibly designating him a celebrity! Number 6 then goes on to make his own speech…… “I am not a number, I am a person,” ha, ha, ha, ha, laughs the crowd. Number 6 goes on to say he intends to discover who are the prisoners and who the warders {he won’t find that out until much later in the series} and states that he will be running for office in this election. So may the better man win and a big hand  for Number 6……….he wasn’t ready for that was he, when the large ‘Vote for No.6’ was revealed! They knew all the time, that Number 6 would not be able to resist taking this chance afforded to him, in fact they knew it before he did! But by that time it was all too late, and Number 6 is swept along by the electorate’s sudden enthusiasm for him. He must have been wondering what was going on, when he is showered in confetti, and all of a sudden his supporters are chanting “Six, Six, Six, Six, Six, Six,” and they are already wearing black rosettes, when only moments before everybody was wearing white rosettes! The election is rigged, and in Number 6’s favour although he’ll never be allowed to take up the office even if he wins. So what does all this prove? That Number 6 is no less being manipulated than anyone else in The Village!


Be seeing you

60 Second Interview No.46

    No.46 “Can you hear anything?”
    “Hear anything?”
    “Yes, can you hear anything?”
    “What are you listening for?”
    “I don’t know, I can’t hear anything.”
    “This man’s next to an idiot!”
    “How do you do, I’m Number Forty-Six,”
    “I’m Number One, one three, and this is my photographic colleague Number one, one three b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    No.113b “Smile!” Click goes the camera.
    “Why were you standing there with your ear pressed up against that loudspeaker?”
    “Trying to hear something.”
    “Why?”
    “Because when I was posted disharmonious, life became difficult. Then once I had been declared unmutual…….the whole community turned against me! Certain privileges which are the right of every citizen were suddenly withdrawn. My telephone was cut off, my weekly credit allowance dried up, I couldn’t buy a cup of coffee for love nor money, and no more taxis, I had to walk everywhere. And now it seems I’m no longer allowed to listen to public information announcements, not even to the local weather” forecast!”
    “So you’re an unmutual?”
    “No, not now I was saved, I’m one of the lucky ones!”
    “One of the lucky ones, yes I’m sure you are.”
    “Yes, but I still can’t hear anything!”
    “That’s lucky for you believe me!”
    “Oh well must be going. See you soon.”
    No.113b “Smile.” Click goes the camera
    “See you soon? That sounds like a salute One one-three b.”
    “It’s not the same as be seeing you is it!”
    “No, it’s another way of saying it though.”
    “There’s a story there I shouldn’t wonder.”
    “Yes, how do they filter public address announcements, including the weather forecast so that Unmutals can’t hear them?”
   

    “See you soon.”

Dance of The Dead

    The Prisoner is put on trial, as though what he has already been put through has not been a trial for him! His crime is the possession of a radio, although the Prisoner had no radio of his own, there being no radio he could have borrowed, so when acquiring one he made a positive effort against the community. But the one question the prosecutor did not ask the Prisoner is, where did he get the radio in the first place? Because no matter what Number 240 thought, someone in The Village had a radio, and that person was Number 34! Unless of course both the body and the radio were planted so Number 6 would wake up on the beach that morning to discover the body, and find the radio. But why? Was it simply part of an elaborate plan to put the Prisoner-Number 6 on trial, to what final purpose? It seems such an elaborate plan to go to. But then that’s Number 2 for you, he/she goes to such lengths just for very little gain!


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Monday, 19 March 2018

March 19th

     Monday March 19th 1967, Number 6 is unceremoniously returned to The Village back where he started, in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ almost one month since his escape. But suddenly life begins to return to The Village. The electricity and water are turned on, and Mrs. Butterworth appears in the cottage and presents Number 6 with a cake she promised to bake. He looks out of the window and sees the sudden activity down in the Piazza. The Brass Band playing as they are driven round in Mini-Mokes, the citizens parading around the pool and fountain with the Butler looking on from an Outlook. And because this self same scene takes place in the following episode ‘Dance of The Dead,’ albeit 8 minutes into the episode, I’ve tended to assume, rightly or wrongly and ignoring those first 8 minutes, that Number 6 has arrived back in The Village on the morning of ‘Dance of The Dead.’ However that assumption of mine couldn’t work had ‘Dance of The Dead’ been screened in its original intended place of second in the series. Besides the scene in question was filmed for ‘Dance of The Dead’ and not ‘Many Happy Returns’ where it’s used as stock film footage!
    Another episode which would have fitted in nicely after ‘Many Happy Returns’ is ‘The General. There’s Number 6 sitting quietly at a table at the café drinking a cup of coffee. A helicopter is flying overhead. Suddenly there’s a public information announcement from the General’s department and concerning the students who are taking the three year history course. The café is to close, and Number 6 doesn’t appear to know about the Professor as he’s not one of his students. Nor does he seem to know about the General! Why? Perhaps because he’s recently returned from a long sea voyage! The educational experiment of Speedlearn having commenced during the time Number 6 was away from The Village! Its all circumstantial evidence, guess work, and most likely misinterpretation! But nevertheless Number 6 returned home 50 years ago today!
   All that time and effort spent escaping The Village. Putting himself in a life threatening situation. To find out that someone else is living in want he thought to be his home, the lease of the house still having 6 months to run. What’s more the car he built with his own hands is no longer his! Having to allay his suspicions about his whereabouts in establishing that he really was where he thought himself to be. Then having to prove himself, and his report to ex-colleagues, only to be unceremoniously returned to The Village! Number 6 let his guard down you see, he was under the impression that he was amongst friends, and even if he was………. what marvels me is the way Number 6 takes it all in his stride. All that time and effort made, and he ends up where he began. It seems as though they will let you go as far as you like, just as long as you end up back in The Village in the end!
    But did the events of ‘Many Happy Returns really happen, might they not simply have been all a dream? There are a number of devotees of ‘the Prisoner’ who will tell you it was. Number 6 waking up to find The Village deserted, his building a sea-going raft, spending 25 days at sea, sleeping only 4 out of each 24 hours. Fighting off gun runners, jumping ship and swimming for it, being washed up at Beachy Head on the south coast of England, arriving back in London to his home in Buckingham Place, and being made to feel at home by Mrs Butterworth, who then kindly lends him his own car! He then makes two calls, one in town, the other in the country, and is assisted by his ex-colleagues in proving his report, and is then unceremoniously returned back where he started….in The Village! Some enthusiasts for ‘the Prisoner’ are under the impression that it was all a dream.
   Unlike ‘Living In Harmony’ for example, when Number 6 finds himself in an American frontier town in the 1880’s, the situation is induced, fabricated by use of hallucinogenic drugs, and is spoken to, and communicates by way of microphones. The whole thing is simulated, role played, a form of early virtual reality. In the case of ‘Many Happy Returns’ there is no visible signs of fabrication as it was during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ No indication that any hallucinogenic drug has been administered as the water supply had been turned off. I think we have to take it that the events of ‘Many Happy Returns,’ however remarkable they are, have to be real to life for Number 6. And not something dreamt up in his subconscious!


Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!

  No point looking up there Number 6, the plane has long since departed on its way to………well there’s going to be an accident somewhere at sea. I can see the headline now, ‘Plane Lost Over Sea. No Hope of Survivors.’ So to the rest of the world you’ll be dead, so live with it! But why your death should have been reported in The Tally Ho I’ve no idea, seems a bit ridiculous when you think about it. Well that’s the way of it originally, Mrs. Butterworth handing you a present wrapped up in a copy of The Tally Ho with the headline ‘Plane Lost Over Sea. No Hope of Survivors.’
    It is unknown if the headline would have been accompanied by a photograph of Number 6 along with an article. But anyone in The Village having read that would see you out and about The Village the next day, and so know you are not dead! So what would be the point in The Tally Ho printing the story?
    In that final scene, which was cut from ‘Many Happy Returns,’ it would have been better for Number 2 to have presented you with a copy of the Sunday Mirror as suggested by the following MOCK front page.
      A curious thing, the picture of the Gloster Meteor jet used in the mock front page, is of one having been refuelled at RAF Gibraltar in the 1960’s. A case of life imitating art one might say, it’s the same type of Meteor as seen in ‘the Prisoner,’ including canopy, but with the addition of long range fuel tanks!
   The story about the Torrey Canyon disaster is right for the time, March 18th 1967, when she ran aground off the coast of Cornwall that morning. Which means the English channel would have been even busier than usual when Number 6 swam part of it! In fact he was lucky not to have swum through an oil slick as it was blown by wind and carried along by currents towards France!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                                The Arrival!


BCNU

Many Happy Returns No.6!

   “You see, I kept my promise, many happy returns Number Six!”
   “There are only six candles.”
   “Well what do you expect, a birthday cake?”
   “You know what you can do with that!”
   “Don’t be like that. You only have yourself to blame.”
   “How do you make that out?”
   “You manage to escape. You even manage to return to
England, London, and your home. And what do you do almost as soon as you arrived? You couldn’t wait to leave London behind and make your way back here to Shangri-la!”
    “It’s all been a complete waste of time!”
    “Blow out the candles, and I’ll cut us both a slice of cake to celebrate your happy return, and my first day in The Village.….oh and you won’t forget you owe the General Store nine hundred and sixty-four Credit Units will you?”


Be seeing you

Sunday, 18 March 2018

March 18th?

    “Interesting fellow.”
    “He’s on old, old friend who never gives up.”

   
Certainly an interesting fellow from Thorpe’s point of view, if one takes the fictional line that Thorpe is an eventual Number 2. Which is possible if both he and the Colonel are in the pay of The Village, as were the previous Colonel and Forthingay.
  I’m surprised that Number 6 went running back to his old colleagues after his experience during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ as he knew that the Colonel and Fotheringay were in the pay of The Village.’ After all it might well have been those two Number 6 encountered on his return to the office. That brings me to the question, when Number 6 went running back to his ex-colleagues for a second time, how did he know he would encounter this pair, and not the Colonel and Fotheirngay as he did during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’ Because there is no way he could have known it would have been a different Colonel and Thorpe, having been prisoner of The Village for the passed few months. So what happened to both the previous Colonel and Fotheringay?


Be seeing you

Is He Back?

   Well his cars parked outside the house!  So Janet Portland just happened to be passing by were you when you saw your fiancés car parked outside his house? Just as well you were not just passing by on Saturday March the 18th, you might have seen something worth seeing! Like your fiancé walking along Buckingham Place, all dishevelled, almost threadbare like some vagrant, a raggedy man. More than that you would see him approach his house, knock on the door to be met on the doorstep by a housemaid. Did your fiancé have a housemaid, or housekeeper? No, of course he didn’t, what he did have was a Lotus 7, but that’s now driven by a woman. That’s something else you would have seen had you just happened to be passing by on that particular day. As it is, you have a man, a stranger living in your fiancés house, and of the man you love there is no sign. He’s been away from you a year now, you don’t know where he went. You probably don’t even know that he resigned his job. I bet your father didn’t tell you that. What are the odds your fiancé didn’t tell you he was going to resign and then disappear, but one thing is for sure he wasn’t taking you with him! You asked this man who opened the door to you if he’s here, meaning your fiancé, to which the man replied “Yes.” Well in a way the man is right. You had best prepare yourself for a shock! It must have been a shock, to discover your fiancé in so much trouble, his mind wrongly housed in another man’s body. Now that’s something hard to take in and that’s a fact. And then what, after he attended your birthday party, and having retrieved the receipt from you, there he was gone from your life again. To lose a fiancé once is unfortunate, to lose him twice is rank carelessness! I wonder, after your fiancé gave you that message that only he could give you, did he........did he sit you down and tell you of what had befallen him? About where he had been, of The Village and everything that happened to him there, and who he suspected was behind his abduction a year ago? Because any woman would be desirous of an explanation, unless working for your father as he did.....ah but he didn’t, did he tell you of his resignation? But no, if I have this right, your fiancé was brought back to London on the day he was due to hand in his letter of resignation, all unpleasant memories of the past 12 months erased from his mind. So because of the sudden turn of events which had overtaken him, he never got around to resigning his job. So at this point he does still work for your father. I’m sure that he will be delighted to see his future son-in-law, or is it the Colonel returned?


Be seeing you

March 18th

   I like to think of Number 6 having been washed ashore on the beach at Beachy Head wakes up to see the lighthouse, even if it was 51 years ago. The chalky cliffs appear to be a barrier to him, but lucky for him the cliffs at Beachy Head are prone to cliff erosion, and a collapsed part of the cliff allows Number 6 to scale to the top. From there he heads inland, where he encounters a man with a dog, a whippet. Instead of asking the man where he is, Number 6 follows him and is led to a Romany camp where a young, and not unattractive Romany woman gives him a cup of tea or both of some kind. He asks the girl where there is a road, and she directs him on his way. Moving swiftly across ground Number 6 soon comes to the road, where a policeman is directing traffic. In fact there is a police roadblock. I’ve sometimes wondered why Number 6 didn’t approach the police officers, to perhaps ask where he was, to ask for directions, or indeed assistance of some kind. But then in his raggedy man state, the police might have mistaken him for that escaped convict the Colonel mentioned. And that wouldn’t have suited Number 6 at all. It would have meant more questions and a good deal of explaining from him regarding his current situation. It might well have meant he would have had to prove his identity, but he had no papers, certainly not his passport, not even his driving licence. He might well have found himself arrested on a vagrancy charge! On the other hand, it could be that as Number 6 was completely disorientated by now, he may have thought the roadblock was set up to catch him, perhaps by word from ‘The Village!
   Any way Number 6 breaks from cover and runs after a large Luton van. Clambering into the back of the van he covers himself with sacking and falls asleep. But he is woken abruptly by the sound of a siren. He gets up and leaps instantly, and unthinkingly out of the back of the van and into the busy traffic of Park Lane. He could have been run over by a bus, taxi, lorry, or bounced off a driver’s car!
   Eventually he makes his way back to his house in Buckingham Place. He walks up and down the street, probably checking his surroundings. Eventually he climbs the steps of his house and knocks on the door. Who does he think is there to open the door for him? He certainly hasn’t got the key to his house, so if the housemaid had not opened the front door perhaps Number 6 would have had to break in!
   Mrs. Butterworth is a merry widow who has a taste for a little speed. The thing is she’s having trouble with over the overheating of the engine of KAR120C. Well that’s easy enough to resolve, just take the front license plate off the grill and let the air flow cool the engine! It was very kind of her to water and feed Number 6, mind you there was nothing to those dainty triangular sandwiches, with all their crusts cut off. It’s no wonder he ate the plateful. And that was the best fruitcake he had ever tasted. More than that Mrs. Butterworth allowed Number 6 to prove to her that he knew details of the house no-on else could possibly know. But it was to himself he was proving things, the patch of dry rot made good about 6 months ago, and the hot and cold tap put on the shower the wrong way round. The six months Number 6 refers to, did he mean it was made good six months before he was abducted, or he thought he’d only been away six months?
   Then it was time for Number 6 to be on his way, he had two important calls to make, one in the country, and one in town. But Mrs. Butterworth couldn’t let him go like that, not without a wash shave, and a change of clothes {clearly “dear Arthur” was exactly the same build and height as Number6!}.  And she was good enough to lend him his own car. In fact it must have felt good for Number 6 to be behind the wheel of his car again, the freedom of the open road and all that.
   Anyone at home? Number 6 was back in the office where it all began, where he handed in his letter of his resignation. But apparently it being Saturday the Colonel was at his country residence, hence the call to be made in the country. But then Number 6 knew that he would have to make that call before he went back to that office. Probably from prior knowledge when the Colonel was his superior.
    “What are facts behind Town Hall?” ran the headline of The Tally Ho, on the back of which Number 6 had kept a school boy navigational log of his sea voyage. And having made his report to the Colonel and Thorpe, every aspect, except for the gun runner’s boat is checked and found to be true. So with the dice heavily loaded in Number 6 ‘s favour, and with the help of a Naval Commander, and an RAF Group Captain calculations are made, and a search area of 1,750 square miles is established, somewhere in which is The Village!
   A Gloster Meteor jet is quickly requisitioned, and permission gained for refilling at RAF Gibraltar. Both Number 6 and the Group Captain are kitted out for the long flight with the Colonel in attendance. A milkman arrives driving a milk float as the Colonel and Number 6 leave the kitting out room, but the Group Captain lingers while putting on his boots. As Number 6 goes to get into the jet aircraft he gibes a cheery wave to the Colonel and Thorpe as they look on. Meanwhile the milkman has gone into the kitting out room, from which a few minutes later a figure emerges, wearing his helmet and the tinted visor is down so to hide his face.
   The Meteor jet is cleared for take off, so with Number 6 on his way, the Colonel and Thorpe go theirs. How long it takes for Number 6 and the pilot to find The Village is clearly unknown. And yet they must have rested and slept at RAF Gibraltar overnight because it isn’t until the next day, being March 19th, when Number 6 actually finds The Village.


Be seeing you

Saturday, 17 March 2018

March 17th

   Today is No.6’s last day at sea, which is just as well seeing as he has collapsed from exhaustion! He has done well to last this long, 25 days at sea, sleeping only 4 out of each 24 hours. And yet there has been no sign of his clothes sticking to his skin, no salt water sores. But I suppose we have to ignore that lacking piece of realism. But the adventure is not yet over.


   Sometime today he encounters gun runners, who ransack his raft, stealing what possessions he possess, and tipping the body of the seafarer into the water. The sudden immersion in cold water revives No. 6, and he manages to get aboard the gun runners boat. Eventually he overpowers them, he takes over their boat, and taking the helm steers it towards a far off light. But the two gun runners revive themselves, escaping both their bonds and the cabin they had been locked in. What follows is a vicious fight, resulting in No.6 having to jump ship.
   He is forced to swim for it, swim part of the English Channel, as one of the gun runners fires off his gun at him. Tomorrow morning he will wake up having been washed ashore at Beachy Head.

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!

    I know what you mean Number 6, I was wondering the same thing!

   Where did all these people come from all of a sudden? After all through that portal is but a small balcony, and the only way onto that balcony is through that very same portal!


Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “That I’m still myself.”
    “Lucky you.”
            {Number 6 and the maid-Number 54 – Dance of The Dead}

    Yes lucky Number 6, he’s had his own suit specially delivered for the occasion of Carnival and he sees that as him still being himself. Lucky him? Yes when you think about it, because he’s one of those prisoners who have their breakfast brought to them by their personal maid! Mind you by the time it gets there the breakfast would be cold anyway, so perhaps he’s not so lucky to enjoy such a privilege. In a later episode it looks like that privilege has been taken away from him, because he’s either having to make his own breakfast, or he puts up with having a sandwich and cup of tea. Mind you there’s one thing to be said about Number 6, he knows how to make a decent cup of tea, and gives us a lesson in such. Number 6 is nothing if not domesticated, but I cannot see him flicking a feather duster about the cottage or doing the vacuuming, can you? As for his suit of clothes they must have allowed Number 6 to keep them a while, as they can be seen hanging up in his wardrobe when its being searched in ‘The General.’ It must have been sometime after that they took his suit away and put it on his effigy in that cloakroom! I wonder who modelled that effigy, perhaps it was the Professor’s widow!


Be seeing you

Many Happy Returns

    Mrs. Butterworth gives the impression that she, like Number 6, are recent arrivals in The Village, because she is still wearing the same dress she did the last time we saw her back in London. But there is no indication of the duration of time between the moment Number 6 drove off in his Lotus 7, and the moment Mrs. Butterworth walked in through the door as the new Number 2. It is clearly impossible to say with any certainty when Mrs. Butterworth arrived in The Village. But I should imagine it was a good deal sooner than Number 6. Well she would have to have taken up office, and given time to settle in, not to mention the baking of the cake!
    During this episode Number 6 was treated to the first genuine act of kindness since his abduction to The Village, by a young Romany woman, who gave him a hot cup of tea, soup, or broth. Her act of kindness was probably brought about by meeting someone worse off than she, this raggedy man. Then later this raggedy man shows up on the doorstep of what had once been his home. Mrs. Butterworth takes him into his home, although Martha the housemaid looks down her nose at him. Mrs. Butterworth feeds and waters the man, but as he’s about to leave the house, having two calls to make, she shouts at him, with some feeling I might add, that he mustn’t go like that. She then invites him to wash and shave, and borrow some of her late husband’s clothes. And if it wasn’t bad enough to be entertained in what was your own home, the merry widow allows him to borrow his own car to aid him in being able to get about!
    Yes Mrs. Butterworth turned out to be another of those working for The Village, but back in London Number 6 wasn’t to know that. However, this would be the last act of kindness Number 6 would receive from a woman for quite some time, because next up is ‘Dance of The Dead,’ a seemingly female orientated episode.


Be seeing you

Thursday, 15 March 2018

60 Second Interview No.54

   “What are you doing here?”
    “I’m Number One, one three, and this is my photographic colleague Number one, one three b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    No.113b “Smile!” Click goes the camera.
    “You seem happy in your work.”
    “What’s it got to do with you?”
    “Don’t be like that, we’ve got our job to do.”
    “Well want do you want?”
    “My photographic colleague has come up with a new concept.”
    “Oh, what is it?”
    “Page Three.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Well basically it means you being photographed topless to appear on page three of The Tally Ho.”
    “But there isn’t any page three of The Tally Ho!”
    No.113b “Smile.” Click goes the camera.
    “Mind you there’s no film in his camera either!”
    “Oh get out of here.”
    54 chases 113 and 113b out of the cottage with a flick of her feather duster “You’re just two dirty old men, and what you are suggesting is against the rules!”


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                 A Portrait of Herr Hallen
BcNu

A Favourite Scene In Fee For All

     “The community can rest assured that their interests are very much my own, and that the security of the citizens will be my primary objective. Be seeing you.”
    Number 6 seems very pleased with himself, no doubt because he has appeared on television before the entire community. Which I suppose can be described as a party political broadcast, but who watches those? I always turn the television off, or change channels! Number 6 is their local candidate standing for election as the new Number 2. He certainly has a knack for it. His attitude is assured, he’s positive, and he already begins to sound like Number 2. Talking about the community’s interests being very much his own, and the security of the citizens being his primary objective. That doesn’t sound like Number 6 at all! He’s been brainwashed, either that or he has some ulterior motive!


Be seeing you

The General

    Report to the General, that’s a new one! But it wouldn’t be the first time Drake has reported to a General. There was General Carteret in the ‘Danger Man’ episode ‘The Black Book,’ Sir Noel Blanchard, the General’s brother-in-law was being blackmailed. In that case Carteret was using Drake to achieve his own ends. Drake doesn’t like being used, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t like Generals. So hearing the Professor’s message on his tape recorder saying the General must be destroyed was like a red rag to a bull!
   But really was there any reason to destroy the General? After all it was only a computer, it wasn’t the actual process by which Speed Learn operates that was destroyed, surely another computer could be sourced and another Professor to programme it with lectures. The Sublimator, in the projection room, which projects the Professor’s lectures onto the cortex of the brain, was still intact at the end. There is really no reason why the educational experiment of Speed Learn could not be resumed. And what about the students, when the next day there were no further lectures, wouldn’t they have missed them? Or was it a case of the citizens simply going about their daily lives as though Speed Learn had never existed?

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Man In The Mirror

    So how does one get to meet one’s alter ego, your other self? Number 6 had earned the right to meet Number 1, that meeting no matter how fleeting, was with his other self. And we know how that turned out. For Jeremy Dilke it was ‘The Man in the Mirror,’ a 1936 British comedy film, directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Edward Everett Horton. The film concerns a withdrawn Jeremy Dilke, a meek, mild-mannered businessman who allows everyone to use him for a doormat. One evening Dilke is surprised when his reflection in the mirror, not only speaks back at him, but actually steps out of the mirror and telling him he is his brusque assertive alter ego. “I am the man you have always longed to be.” Armed with his newfound confidence, Dilke becomes a go-getting dynamo, much to the delight of  Helen Dilke, who knew he had it in him all along.


Be seeing you

Village Life!

    “Oh well, another day.”
    “Another credit Unit!”
    “What’s on the agenda today?”
    “Biscuits!”
    “Biscuits?”
    “Number Two ordered tea and biscuits for his elevenses the other day. The
Butler brought in the tea, and two digestive biscuits.”
    “What’s wrong with that?”
    “Number Two asked the
Butler if there were no proper biscuits.”
    “Proper biscuits, what did Number Two mean by that?”
    “Biscuits with the cream inside.”
    “Oh. And what did the
Butler say?”
    “You know the
Butler, he never has much to say for himself.”
    “And now we have to sit on a Committee to discuss the question of biscuits!”
    “It’s more serious than that.”
    “How so?”
    “Biscuits could be but the tip of the pyramid. Biscuits today, our jobs tomorrow!”
    “A question of Government funding!”
    “If they can no longer provide proper biscuits with our tea, bigger and larger cuts will follow.”
    “They wouldn’t close The Village down?”
    “It might come to that one day.”
    “It’s a beautiful day in The Village, lets not spoil it.”
    “Let’s not waste it!”
    “Tea and toasted tea cakes at the café at lunchtime.”
    “Can we afford tea cakes, if we can’t afford biscuits?”
    “Yes, I’ve just had my weekly allowance made up!”


Be seeing you

The Schizoid Man

The Schizoid Man

    The password is Gemini, only it wasn’t, well it was as far as Number 2 was concerned because when it all starts even he won’t be able to tell the two 6’s apart. What, not even when one of them is wearing a white blazer!
   Gemini the sign of the twins, and twins figure large in ‘the Prisoner,’ I won’t bother to list them, you know who they are. But with Number 6 it appears The Village is dealing with triplets for possibly the first time, Number 6, Curtis, and Number 1! Okay Curtis is the odd one out who just happened to bear a remarkable resemblance to Number 6 that’s all. After all we all have a doppelganger somewhere in the world, how would you feel if one day you found that someone resembling you was impersonating you, slowly but surely taking over your life to the point that your friends and family no longer recognize you. In fact there comes the point when they consider you to be the impersonator, and cast you out, your life, your identity, gone forever because no-one will believe who you really are. There would be only one thing to do, to take the place of your impersonator. In other words do to him what he has done to you and get your life back!


Be seeing you