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Monday, 30 April 2018

A Favourite Scene In Chimes of Big Ben

   Number 6 has discovered that it’s all been a set up, right from the moment he met with Number 8 back in The Village. Oh but of course they are in The Village, they hardly left it really! Anyway, Number 6 leaves the office he thought he knew very well in London, but he’s been in The Village all the time during that 12 hour journey. And there they are, apparently conspiring with each other, Fotheringay and Number 2.
    “Well done Fotheringay. Well you’d better get back to
London before any embarrassing questions are asked.”
    “What’s my next assignment?”
    “The Colonel will give you your orders when he returns.”
    He’s keen that Fotheringay asking about his next assignment. Well done Fotheringay. He was only there to help dress the scene, had he not been there Number 6 may well have smelt a rat! As it is he felt nothing at having betrayed an ex-colleague, but at least Number 6 now knows where he stands. He’s all alone and can no longer trust anyone, in The Village or otherwise. As for the Colonel, did he actually return to
London? After all by the time of ‘Many Happy Returns’ there’s a new Colonel been installed, and Fotheringay has gone, replaced by Thorpe. Perhaps Fotheringay didn’t get back to London soon enough to stop those embarrassing questions from being asked!


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                    Aversion Therapy!
BcNu

Village Life!

    “Vote for me, I’m for you, you’re for me.”
    “You want to take him home miss, he’s had too many over the eight!”
    “If he has he didn’t get them here, they water the drinks down you know.”
    “I didn’t know that. So how’s he got into that state then?”
    “He didn’t….he’s playing cat and mouse with us!”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Number Six wants us to think he’s drunk when in fact he’s as sober as Judge!”
    “It’s just a game then.”
    “Yes, and we’ve been handed the short straw!”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Well we’ve been made to stand here half the night!”
    “I thought we were security looking after this local candidate.”
    “What if he wins?”
    “He’s bound to win.”
    “How do you make that out?”
    “Number Two leaves The Village tomorrow.”
    “And where do we stand?”
    “What the administration in general you mean?”
    “No, as blokes who want a decent drink but can’t get one!”
    “I know someone who brews his own.”
    “From what?”
    “Potatoes, its one hundred percent proof!”
    “Lead the way mon brave, and we’ll get rat arsed together!”


Be seeing you

The Chimes of Big Ben

    She’s here to recuperate, well that’s what Number 2 told Number 6 about the new arrival. The new Number 8 told him that she had committed no crime, all she had done was resign. Therefore she thought Number 6 would understand and sympathize.
    Number 6 wanted to know what had happened to the old Number 8, apparently he died, yet there wasn’t a funeral. That’s because you need a body. It makes me wonder what happened to the old Number 6? Well there had to have been one, more than one come to think of it, although there are those who are of the opinion that the current Number 6 is the first and last. After all The Village has been going for a very long time, even before the war, there would have been several new Number 6’s before the current one came along. More than that, think of all those interim Number 2’s over the years and decades, hundreds of them! I wonder where they all came from?

Be seeing you

Saturday, 28 April 2018

In The Village!

    A pretty spot, a mixture of architecture, Italianate it certainly has a Mediterranean flavour, what do you think Thorpe? I think I wouldn’t mind a fortnight’s leave there, isn’t it the life eh…a far cry from Sing Sing. This is not a joking matter! You could be a little sceptical, that’s what made you such a good man. Why they were sorry to lose you!
    Photographs taken at ground level of a holiday resort! The Tally Ho, a daily issue, morning or evening? Daily at
noon. What are facts behind Town Hall…Town Hall? That’s right. Town Council? Correct. Were you a member? I could have been, it’s democratically elected once a year. Democratically? That’s what they claim. And they’re all numbers, no names, no names at all? Just numbers. Numbers in a Village that is a complete unit of our own society, a place to put people who can’t be left around. People who know too much or too little, a place with many means of breaking a man. Intriguing. They have their own cinema, their own newspaper, their own television station, a credit card system, and if you’re a good boy and cough up the secrets you are gracefully retired into the Old People’s Home. But no escape? They also have a very impressive graveyard, which you avoided. The Village was deserted! Perhaps they were on the annual democratic outing! The Town Hall, Number 2’s residence my house, the Old People’s Home……my dear fellow you really mustn’t get excited. You must forgive us, we have a problem, tell him our problem Thorpe. You resign, you disappear, you return. You spin a yarn that Hans Christian Andersen would reject for a fairytale. And we must be sure, people defect an unhappy thought, but a fact of life. They defect from one side to the other. I also have a problem, I’m not sure which side runs this Village! A mutual problem!
   Number 6 might have a problem about which side runs The Village, but he’s quick enough to go running back to his old colleagues! He briefed a former Colonel once about The Village, and here he was doing it all again, but with the addition of photographic evidence. Photographs taken at ground level of a holiday resort. Thorpe hit the nail on the head there, but how many people at the time realized how factually right he was? And Sing Sing, its name changed to Ossining Correctional Facility in 1970, a maximum security prison operated by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the village of Ossining, in the U.S. state of New York. It is located about 30 miles north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River. Since 2002 there has been talk about turning part of Sing Sing into a museum.
   As for The Tally Ho being issued daily at
noon, that’s not always the case. Sometimes there are more than one issue each day. One time the same edition is on sale two days running! And as for names not being used in The Village, that’s not correct either, as peoples names are used on occasions. I can understand why someone knowing too much would be put in The Village in order to have that information protected or extracted. But why someone who knows too little? Does that mean that the merest piece of information might have some value? Finally, Number 6 had already been betrayed by the Colonel and Thorpe, or was he? It’s difficult to say one way or the other. Mind you, what I find interesting is, that when Number 6 went running back to his ex-colleagues again, how did he know he wouldn’t encounter the Colonel and Fotheringay a second time around?


Be seeing you

Citizen No.56

    That chap there, in the background is a new member of the Board of Education, “Lecture approval session education, new member,” and he’s only just made it because he’s late! What’s that Number 56 reading? Has it something to do with the meeting of the Education board, if he doesn’t get a move on he’ll be late as well! But no it’s alright, it’s just Pat McGoohan checking a scene for ‘The General. Because I bet that’s what that sheet of paper is, a page from the script used as a prop for this scene. So that while Number 56 is standing there, Pat McGoohan can do some work at the same time. He might be learning his lines even!


Be seeing you

Checkmate

    Do you play chess sir? Just as well Number 6 does, otherwise it would have been no good him taking up a square on the chessboard that day. It must have been prearranged that Number 6 would be the white Queen’s pawn, otherwise someone else could have taken up that square! Come and be the Queen’s pawn! We’re all pawns me’ dear, and none of the major pieces on the board will put themselves out to protect a pawn, unless it happens to reach the far side of the board. Then a pawn can become a Castle, Knight, Bishop or even a Queen! But in general chess play a pawn is to be sacrificed for the greater good of the game. Number 6 plays a fine game, and is capable of checkmate in 11 or even 7 moves. But the game Number 6 is best at is the one he plays against Number 2, only this time Number 6 outplays himself, his natural air of authority lets him down. There was just a slight mistake in judgement on the part of the Rook, he thought Number 6 was one of them. I don’t think they could have escaped even if they had managed to board M. S. Polotska and overpower the crew. Remember the helm was still locked, and possibly the motor cruiser could have been sailed back to The Village under remote control operated by an operator in the Control Room, which I’m sure is what happened at the end of the episode anyway!

Be seeing you

Thursday, 26 April 2018

This Evening I Am Mostly Watching THEPRIS6NER – DARLING

    The ‘Modern Love Bureau’ is the modern way for couples to meet in The Village, which is an interesting commentary for today, because couples today are more likely to meet via dating websites on the Internet, rather than going out and meeting people socially. But one thing the ‘Modern Love Bureau’ has is “Blink Match” technology, in other words matched marriages! 
   Six is matched with 4-15, and they fall in love with each other. Yet the love Six feels for her has been manufactured by Two and 313 in a laboratory. This might be a new Village, a new Six, but they still come for him in the night when Six is asleep, three times in fact. Rather like the three times in the original series of ‘A B and C.’
   Six’s love is generated through gene symmetry therapy. They scanned the brains of people who were likely to fall in love, they discovered, and Two said Six would like this, that the more there was gene similarity between people, the more they fell in love. And so they replicated by transplanting 4-15’s genes into Six! His feelings for 4-15 are manufactured! 313 doesn’t like what she’s doing to Six, but lets not pretend she has any choice in the matter. 
  There’s a touch of ‘Free For All’ about this episode, when 1891 of the “Modern Love Bureau” speaks to Six through his television set. Six presses the off button. Within seconds the doorbell to Six’s apartment rings. He goes to open the door to find 1891 standing on the threshold! 
   Holes are beginning to appear in The Village, Two tells his son 11-12 that it’s something to do with the weather, an ambiance anomaly. But really they are oblivion, and beyond all hope for anyone who falls into one of the holes. And yet, for anyone courageous enough to take a leap of faith………..they mean escape!
  And so the episode of ‘Darling’ is reached in this screening of THEPRIS6
NER, and is fair to say the weakest of the six episodes, which arguably mirrors ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ for being the weakest episode in the original series. The modern Love Bureau uses "blink match" technology to find anyone in The Village a partner. 1891 appears talking to Six about the Mordern Love Bureau through his televison set. Six slams the TV and the picture goes blank. The next moment 1891 is standing on the doorstep of Six's apartment. Now where have we seen such a scene before?   Holes begin to appear in The Village!
   Six "What is it?"
   Two "It's a nothing! It's oblivion! It's beyond all hope!"
    147's daughter 832 fell down such a hole as this. Six said he would go into the hole and bring her back. But Six is weak, he has not the strength of his convictions. He is afraid to take that “leap of faith,” for if he had, Six would quickly discover that through the holes is escape! Or is there? perhaps not, seeing as when 4-15 dived into one of these holes, in
New York 4-15's counterpart Lucy Dies in Michael's apartment when it is blown up  due to a gas explosion!
  This is one anomaly that runs through the entire series. It should be Helen who is dreaming The Village, and that does appear to be the case. Lying heavily sedated in a recliner in her apartment in
New York. So why is that reflected by M2 who spends the majority of her time lying in bed heavily sedated, and can only be allowed a few minutes of wakeful time before holes begin to appear in The Village? There is no reason for M2 to be in this unconscious state, as its Helen in New York who dreams The Village, and her counterpart M2 should be free to enjoy The Village and her time with her son. After all that’s why she and her husband Curtis, volunteered for The Village experiment in the first place. So that they could have a son! M2 has never been with her son, has not seen him grow up, and relies upon her husband Two to tell her about their son 11-12 during her brief wakeful minutes. The Village was created in order to bring broken people there to be made better. Its seems that does not work for M2 and Two himself. They wanted a family, and Two places much reliance on family life, as he did in ‘Harmony.’ But in The Village M2 and Two appear to suffer as much as anyone.
   Did I say this is the weakest episode of the series, I think I've reassessed my opinion on that score! 


Breathe in…breathe out…more Village!
Be seeing you

Dance of The Dead

    In my opinion the darkest of all the 17 episodes, death runs through this entire episode like chess runs through ‘Checkmate.’ Number 6 asked Number 2 if she was English, she never did answer, but The Village is very English, perhaps not the architecture but most people and a good deal in it are very much English.
    Supposing Number 6 doesn’t like flowers? And yet everyone has flowers for Carnival, and yet not everyone likes Carnival if we are to judge by people’s expressions. Carnival appears to be an enforced entity, as the cheers of laughter and happiness are manufactured, as there are no smiling faces. The citizens parade as though in a Zombie like state simply going through the motions.
   Number 6 makes no attempt to escape, instead he plumps for sending a message to someone, anyone who may find it. Someone did, probably the crew of M.S. Polotska, and they brought it back to The Village, to be amended so that the face would not be recognised, and the wallet amended slightly, meaning the map Number 6 drew was removed. Mind you that map seemed to have been of little use to anyone, no indication of country, latitude or longitude. I expect Number 6 imagined that the body would be found and a search for The Village made from that point. But there wouldn’t be any need for a search to be made, not now ZM73 is reported dead in an accident at sea.


Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “I’d like to know his breaking point.”
    “You could make that your life’s ambition.”
                               {Number 23 and Number 6 – Checkmate}

   In the previous episode the doctor-Number 40 said everyone has their breaking point. And during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ Number 2’s assistant suggested that Number 6 would crack, what one piece at a time? That’s the last thing Number 2 wants, a man of fragments! The thing is if an agent under pressure doesn’t bend, even a little, he will break. He didn’t though, did he?


Be seeing you

60 Second Interview With No.112

    Ting–a-ling-a-ling
    “Good day gentleman, and what can I do for you?”
    “There’s a strong market for Swiss cuckoo clocks in The Village is there?”
    “Special imports.”
    “That’s as may be, but it doesn’t answer my question. And those records, Village records are they?”
    “Who are you, two twerps carrying out a marketing survey?”
    “I am Number One-one-three, and this is my photographic colleague Number One-one-three b, we contribute to The Tally Ho.”
    “Smile” Click goes the camera.
    “Looking for a story are you? Well you won’t find one here!”
    “But the records, they indicate people who are not of The Village!”
    “What of it?”
    “Do you think that’s right?”
    “You’re a bit officious for a newspaperman aren’t you? And if they aren’t Village why have they got The Village logo on the record label?”
    “Have they?”
    “Of course they have.”
    “What about he cuckoo clocks?”
    “What about them?”
    “They come from
Switzerland.”
    “Not necessarily. If I sold Mars bars it wouldn’t mean they come from Mars!”
    “Do you sell Mars bars?”
    “No.”
    “You know what they say, a Mars a day helps you work, rest, and play. What about a Kit-Kat?”
    “No, but I bet they have something to say about that as well!”
    “Yes, have a break, have a Kit-Kat!”
    “Well I don’t sell chocolate bars of any kind!”
    “Pity!”
    “Are you two going to buy anything?”
    “Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Time for my elevenses, now gentlemen if there’s nothing else……..”
        Ting–a-ling-a-ling
    “Now for a nice cup of tea, and a Bounty bar, it’s the taste of paradise!”


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Bureau of Visual Records

   This Mini-Moke was obviously meant for Number 6 to use in his escape from The Village. True he wasn’t able to escape in the vehicle, the only track out of The Village leading to the mountains. However without it Number 6 wouldn’t have been able to haul the tree trunks he cut down in the woods down to the quayside. Also, was the General Stores left open for him, or did he have to break in? And those 964 work units, was Number 6 made to pay that I.O.U he wrote on the counter on his return?
    And what about the damage to that off-side mud guard? Looks like it’s had an accident and the repair crudely carried out! It’s reported that
HLT709C had been in an accident on the way to Portmeirion, is this Mini-Moke HLT709C? If it isn’t it means another Moke had a nasty accident!


Be seeing you

Free For All

    The members of the Town Council, can they laugh, can they cry, can they think? In their heads must be the remnant of a brain, in their hearts must be the desire to be a human being again. Brainwashed imbeciles, such is Number 6’s description, but are they? We only have his word for it, and what does he know? All Number 2 could say was the members of the Town Council were there when he arrived. And how many of them are there, because they are the members of the out-going Council, presumably to be replaced by other such former Number 2’s or interim Number 2. Is that what happens to failed Number 2s, that they end up sub-divided on the Town Council?
   According to Number 6, who explained to both the Colonel and Thorpe, the Town Council is democratically elected once a year, and he could have been a member. Perhaps he could, seeing as he was Number 2 for a few minutes. And yet by the time of the next episode democracy in The Village has been abolished, done away with because of it inefficiencies! That was quick I must say. And yet if we are to take that as gospel, and I think we must because Number 2 has no opposition, and it would have been true had ‘Dance of The Dead’ taken its originally intended position as second in the screening order. And yet that would then have made a mockery of the free local elections of ‘Free For All’ which would have followed soon after. Alright the election was rigged from the very beginning, even the result. But free elections when the citizens must all have been brainwashed into taking part. But then Number 2 was a master of manipulation of such a community as The Village, which is something Number 6 lacked. This was demonstrated towards the end of the episode as Number 6 attempted to manipulate the citizens into a mass breakout or at the very least cause enough chaos so that he could slip away somehow, unobserved.
     Vote for me and I’ll be ever so comfortee! 


See you soon

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        “What Was That?”
          Living membrane - an alien creature - a thing - or a balloon!
BcNu

A Favourite Scene In It’s Your Funeral

   Poor old Number 2, he’s returned to The Village having been away on leave, just in time for his retirement! Although I suppose he could have been on a busman’s holiday, holidaying in The Village seeing as it gives the impression of a seaside holiday resort.
    “Did you call?”
    “Yes……send someone to the bureau of visual records there’s a tape I want to review.”
    “At once….subject?”
    “Subject….warning of an assassination plot, persons Number 6 and my successor.”
    {There is a pregnant pause}
    “Well get on with it!”
    “It would be a waste of time….there is no recording of that description.”
    “How strange.”
    “You must have been misinformed!”
    “Strange although you have no duty functions in the bureau of visual records you can state instantly, and with total assurance that the records I require are non-existent……. Please explain.”
    “No Number Two I’m not able to.”
    {Another pregnant pause}
    “I understand…..the fact that you won’t explain explains everything.”
    Number 14 calmly, but perhaps with a feeling of regret, leaves the office, and Number 2 to consider his immediate future…..seeing as he hasn’t got one!
    I like the way Number 2 says to his assistant “Strange although you have no duty functions in the bureau of visual records,” Number 22 doesn’t seem to have any sort of duties at all! Having said that, it must have been singularly difficult for Number 22, being in the unique position of having to serve two masters at the same time!


Be seeing you

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Arrival

    It may not be wondered what it was that saw the need for Number 2 to be replaced, other than having Number 6 to deal with a new Number 2, which effectively placed him back at square one. Like in the game Snakes and Ladders, he’s doing pretty well, but landing on a snake’s head sends him sliding down, sometimes all the way back to square one, so that he has to start all over again!
    “Get him.”
    “I have taken his place, I am the new Number Two.”
    “Get Number One.”
    “As far as you are concerned I’m in charge.”
    Well that’s right, after all Number 2 is Chairman of The Village, Chief Administrator. So really that’s why no-one but Number 6 persists with the question who is Number One, while to others Number 2 is in charge. It really doesn’t matter who Number One is, he’s not overseeing the day to day running of The Village.
    But I suppose the first Number 2 did fail when he sent the maid to play on Number 6’s sympathies in order to extract some kind of information from him. But Number 6 didn’t show the young woman any sympathy, only the door!

Be seeing you

Village Life!

    “What’s the password?”
    “I was going to ask you that.”
    “Ask me what?”
    “What’s the password?”
    “I asked you first.”
    “I didn’t realize there was a password, is it Gemini?”
    “No, perhaps its schizoid man.”
    “It wouldn’t be that would it?”
    “No, I don’t suppose it would be.”
    “The atmosphere here is very different to what it was elsewhere.”
    “What made you say that?”
    “I don’t know, it’s just a turn of phrase.”
    “What like Jacque has a long moustache.” 
    “Does he?”
    “Who?”
    “Jacque has a long moustache, I hadn’t noticed.”
    “No, it’s a recognition code they used in the war, to pass on instructions to the French rĂ©sistance.”
    “Well in the army they would say halt who goes there friend or foe?”
    “Friend.”
    “Step forward and be recognized friend.”
    “Good, well I’m pleased we’ve sorted that out.”
    “See you later in the canteen?”
    “You bet and remember it’s your turn to pay for the teas and buns!”


Be seeing you

Call The Substitute!

    The white Queen’s Rook suddenly had a brainwave, or a sudden attack of individualism, by making a move without being told to move! Basically chess is played by two opponents who only have themselves to rely upon, unless you decide to make it interesting. By that I mean instead of two players, you have four players, two players on both sides who make a move in turn. I have played chess that way, either when the two players on the same side who confer between moves, or much more interestingly, making their moves independently of their co-player. But on the chessboard it’s much more a team game, each chess piece is dependent on the moves made by those on its side. I learned to play that way at school.
    There can be no room for individualism.
    “Check!” the white Queen’s Rook shouted.
    But it was an illegal move, no order was given for the Rook to make a move, and in any case the opposing chess player had already castled, and therefore the King was being protected by the King’s Rook. And then the call for the substitute came from the Control Room, a voice booms out across The Village through the public address system.
    “Call the substitute, call the substitute, the substitute, the substitute, call the substitute.”
   The Supervisor orders the Rook to be taken to the hospital, and is removed from the chessboard on a stretcher! Then the substitute Rook takes his place on the chessboard, standing on the square upon which the former Rook stood before he made a move of his own.
   This call for a substitute, does that mean a substitute had been standing by the side of the chessboard just in case he was needed? Why, why would they expect that a substitute chess piece would be required? Perhaps it was anticipation of what the white Queen’s Rook would do! It might be the Rook had been mentally adjusted so that he would make the illegal move he did. And then removing him from the chessboard on a stretcher it would raise Number 6’s curiosity, which it did. And the next day when Number 2 met with Number 6
    “Hallo, enjoy your chess yesterday?”
    “Don’t tell me you care?”
    “Well of course, we want you to be happy.”
    “Fine, give me a one-way ticket home.”
    “Won’t you ever give up?”
    “What do you think?”
    “You know you’re wrong, we have ways, if you drive us to them.”
    “I can imagine.”
    “It’s all done under the strictest medical supervision.”
    “I can guess that by the state of the man you took yesterday!”
    “What the Rook? Oh no, he’ll come to no harm, it’s just a rehabilitation course.”
    “You make it sound very attractive, what do you want me to do, envy him?”
    “Ha, ha, ha, like your sense of humour. But we can’t have you worrying get in.”
    “Why?”
    “I’m going to the hospital, I thought perhaps you’d like to see our friend the Rook.”
    “Yes.”
   And from that moment Number 2 had involved Number 6 with the Rook. But to what end? To accidental betrayal on the part of the Rook, I say accidental, because it wasn’t really his fault. Really Number 6 only had himself to blame!


Be seeing you

Friday, 20 April 2018

Caught On Camera!

   On the day after his arrival, when the Prisoner was being discharged from the hospital, as well as having been given new clothes, a medical orderly issued the Prisoner with a credit card, health and welfare card, and a card of identity. The only time we see a card of identity used, is in ‘The General,’ when Number 2 is going into the projection room. Why the need to show the security guard his identity card, wasn’t the badge he wears not enough to identify him? But then perhaps not, after all when Number 6 masquerades as a Top Hat official of the Board of Education he wears the number 56, but that doesn’t make him 56. So really the wearing of a numbered badge isn’t necessarily a badge of identity because just about anyone could be wearing it!


Be seeing you 

Bureau of Visual Records

    After Number 6 had finished telling his fairytale, Number 2 switched off the wall screen and discussed the disappointment of this latest failure with his assistant Number 10. “Oh well, it was worth a try Number Two” she told him. Then suddenly Number 6 is pictured on the wall screen with a toy clown.
    “Goodnight children, everywhere.”
    So who turned the wall screen back on?


Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    Number 6 is a prisoner of his past, of what he once was, and no longer wishes to be. He resigned, and yet his past remains with him, it’s why he’s in The Village. Why when he escapes, or thinks he’s escaped, he goes running back to his ex-colleagues because he considers them to be the only people who can help him!
    It must have taken a great deal of thought, and courage to resign from a job he was so good at. Such was his ability, and loyalty to the job. He may well have anguished over the decision he was about to make for a long time. He was about to throw away his life, what he was, deciding it’s not what he wanted to be any longer. But what of his immediate future, a holiday, to go somewhere different, somewhere quiet where he can think? What future can an ex-Secret Agent have? He could sell out, or he could make a profession for himself as a private detective, selling himself for a few bucks a day, while travelling the world living out of a suitcase! If “they” would let him. Ex-Secret Agents are generally kept on a long leash, because of the information they have, and perhaps with the option that one day they might be returned into the fold. But not Number 6, he’s far too valuable to be left at liberty, he has information which needs both protecting and extracting. First why did he resign? Secondly of all the files he’s seen, the projects he knows about, just headings, not details, oh yes, and does he know where Seltzman is? Its details in Number 6’s past that makes the man so important, and because he refuses to give any information away is why he will remain a prisoner!


Be seeing you

This Evening I Shall Be Watching THEPRIS6NER - ANVIL

    Tonight 'Anvil,' and the question of surveillance. And it would seem that surveillance cameras have taken a big step backwards since the days of the original 'Prisoner' series. Because "Undercovers" have to go and physically install what are called "Roach Cams." And then two "Undercovers" have to sit on places like roof tops, and record the surveillance film footage on a lap top! What's more "Undercovers do not even try to blend in. 909 and Six while working together as "Underovers," go the to swimming pool. They are wearing ordinary clothes, instead of swimming trunks, and they both stick out like sore thumbs!
   We also learn that there is no Number 1. There has never been a Number 1, and there never will be. This according to Village history, as told by schoolgirl 1,100.
   Two offers Six the opportunity to work against him as an “Undercover,” and Six will do anything to work against Two. It is a trap set by Two, but Two wants to see if Six can turn the situation to his own advantage!
   Anvil questions surveillance, which is part of our everyday lives today. No-one knows who is watching who in the Village. "Undercovers" themselves may be under surveillance by other "Undercovers." So much so that everyone in the Village could be watching everyone else, and everyone is suspect!    
    Six is recruited by Two to work as an Undercover, to work with 909 who is Two’s best undercover, he thought Six would have noticed that! Would Six really work for Two? Oh no, no, no, not for him, but for the people he would be watching. Six pronounces so loudly his opposition to Two, his disbelief of everything Two and The Village stands for, people might trust him. Two already has his suspects, and he knows that Six wants to meet with dreamers. So Two offers Six the apparatus and expertise of their highly trained and well financed undercover operations to do just that. 
  Six “Why would you give me all that, if it wasn’t a trap?”
  Two “My dear Six, it is a trap. You have such a high opinion of yourself. I wondered if you would be clever enough to turn this opportunity to your own advantage. Still….”
  “Everything you say is a trap. Alright lets do it.”
 Cue opening credits……………….. 
    In THEPRIS6
NER-09 scriptwriter Bill Gallagher employed this idea in the episode ‘Anvil.’ When Six, working undercover as a school teacher, he asks the pupils in his class the oldest question in Village history. 1,100 replies “There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there never will be." The concept of the Number Two is an act of humility. The title reminds us all that we are all public servants, even Number Two.” As for Number Two, it was Number 2 the 14th who oversaw the reformation of The Village. As for the first woman Number 2, well it wasn’t Lady Two the Great, as suggested by one pupil. I thought it was Mary Morris! But as for there being no Number 1, that that there has never been a Number One, and that there never will be, what about Six being the One, as suggested by Two and proclaimed by both 147 and the people of The Village? Perhaps 1,100 got it wrong, and Six was the first Number 1!


“Breathe in.......breathe out......Village life goes on.”
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Escape

    It’s what we all want ultimately, to escape. Well some of us, because for the vast majority escape is not on the cards. In any case is the grass really greener on the opposite side of the fence? And where are you going to escape to? Take Number 6 for example, he took any opportunity that came his way to try and escape The Village. But escape is not possible, two days running he tried to escape, and look where it got him! And when one morning when he woke up to find The Village deserted Number 6 made his escape while the going was good. I wonder if he stopped for one minute to think and consider what might have happened to all the citizens. Where were they, where had they all gone? Did he once pause to consider the possibility that he was being set up by Number 2? Well if he did he didn’t think twice about it. And yet after all he had gone through from the moment he set sail aboard his sea-going raft to the moment he found himself in the study of what used to be his own home, he still couldn’t leave it alone. He had to escape back to The Village! Perhaps it was the only place he could ever go. After all what was he, back in the outside world? A nobody, a nameless exile, a homeless vagrant, a raggedy man without two pennies to rub together. A man without position and influence, having resigned them both!


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A Favourite Scene In Hammer Into Anvil

    Numbers 2 and 14 had been following Number 6 down to the Stone Boat. After Number 6 had left they moved in, and under the padded seat of a bench in the main cabin they find the white envelope Number 6 had left there. Then they hurry back to the Green Dome when Number 2 is about to open the envelope.
    “I shan’t need you any more Fourteen, you can go.”
    “But I thought…..”
    “Don’t….. just obey orders.”
    “Yes sir.”
    Number 14 leaves the office, and Number 2 opens the envelope alone, to discover what he may. And as it so happens, well we know what he discovered. And I try to imagine the anticipation shown on Number 2’s face as he tears open the envelope, puts his hand inside and then pauses before pulling out the pages. And then comes the disappointment as he examines each of the 3 blank sheets of foolscap paper, followed by bewilderment, why should Number 6 hide blank sheets of paper in the Stone Boat? But are they blank sheets of paper? Number 2 instructs a laboratory assistant to test the papers for whatever is written on them, words figures, anything. And Number 2 will not be argued with!
   I always feel sorry for Number 14 he always does his best for Number 2, yet is always kept at arms length. If only Number 2 had put more trust in his assistant. Perhaps he saw 14 as being good at fetching and carrying out menial tasks, a bit of a dogsbody, the junior in the office!


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The Great Silence

   ‘The Great Silence’ is a 1968 revisionist Spaghetti Western film directed and co-written by Sergio Corbucci. The plot takes place in Utah prior to the Great Blizzard of 1899, pitting a mute gunslinger fighting in the defence of a group of outlaws and a vengeful young widow against a group of ruthless bounty killers led by “Loco” and a corrupt banker and justice of the peace.
   The mute gunslinger goes by the name of ‘Silence,’ who works on a principle whereby he provokes his enemies into drawing their weapons first so he can kill them in self-defence with his Mauser C96. At one time Silence leaves for the town saloon, and attempts to provoke Loco into drawing. Instead, Loco savagely beats him before Silence fights back. Angered, Loco attempts to shoot him, but he is stopped by Sheriff Burnett, who arrests him for attempted murder and prepares to take him to a prison in Tonopah. Meanwhile, a woman called Pauline becomes romantically and sexually involved with Silence while tending his wounds. There is a final duel between Silence and Loco outside the Saloon. Silence stands outside the saloon, a killer shoots his left hand, greatly impairing his speed and marksmanship. Loco then stands in the doorway, ready to face the weakened Silence. As Silence begins reaching for his Mauser, Loco reaches for his Colt Single Action Army, but as Silence draws, another wounding shot is fired. Loco fires at Silence's head, killing him. Such is a brief synopsis of the film.
   There are a number of parallels between ‘The Great Silence’ and ‘Living In Harmony.’ The mute gunslinger for one, perhaps the fact that the Kid and Silence are both shot dead in the street outside a Saloon my well be coincidental. Both the episode and the film have a corrupt Judge, a girl who becomes romantically involved with the hero, Cathy in the one case, and Pauline in the other. And finally the Kid tries to provoke those who stand in his way into a gunfight, as Silence tries to provoke his enemies into drawing their weapons in the film to make it look like self defence.
   I have recently been given a copy of ‘The Big Silence,’ and am looking forward to watching it at a later date.


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Monday, 16 April 2018

Village Life!

    “Well we’ve just about tried everything.”
    “The fumes test didn’t bring about a result.”
    “Neither did the density test!”
    “And the indented impression experiment didn’t work either!”
    “The lemon test we tried was a complete failure as well!”
    “I even put the sheets of paper through the Electrostatic Detection Apparatus.”
    “To what result?”
    “Nothing, except it showed there is absolutely nothing written on these sheets of paper.”
    “Yes I know, they are completely blank on both sides!”
    “What about the old school boy test?”
    “Do you think he would be prepared to do it for us?”
    “Why don’t we do it for ourselves……got a pencil?”
    “What are you doing?”
    “I’m going to use the lead of this pencil to shade in all the sheets of paper, and if there is any writing the lead will fill in the indentations.”
    “Now what are you doing?”
    “Putting the sheets of paper through the photocopier!”
    “How will that help?”
    “He won’t like that, you rubbing graphite lead all over the papers, this will save us having to rub it all out!”
    “Good idea!”


Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                        The Prisoner
                         It’s a storm in a teacup! 
BcNu

Quote For The Day

    “You receiving me?”
    “Loud and clear.”
    “Quite a beautiful place really isn’t it……… almost like a world on its own.”
    “I shall miss it when I’m gone.”
    “Oh it will grow on you. We have everything here, water, electricity. There’s the council building. We have our own council democratically elected, we also use it for public meetings, amateur theatricals.”
    “Fascinating.”
    “Yes indeed. There’s the restaurant. Now did you know we even have our own little newspaper?”
    “You must send me a copy.”
    “Ha, ha you’ll be the death of me. We also have our own graveyard. But you’d be more interested in our social club I think. members only, but I’ll see what I can do for you.”
    “You’re too kind!”
    “Now if you have any problems there’s the Citizens Advice Bureau, they do a marvellous job. Everybody’s very nice. You might even meet people you know.”
                                 {Number 2 and the Prisoner – Arrival}

    Is every new arrival treated to an aerial tour of The Village, or was it simply for the benefit of the Prisoner, and if so why? And while we’re about it, why is the Butler piloting the helicopter, and not the usual helicopter pilot? As for missing The Village when he’s gone, well that used to be true of me, it did grow on me so much so that I would go back at least once a year, but I’m long over it now!
   As for the Prisoner having problems, of which he’ll have several during his time in The Village, but whether or not the citizens advice bureau will be able to help him with his problems is another matter! A social club, members only, might that be the Cat and Mouse nightclub seen in ‘Free For All,’ that has a sign saying “Members Only.” Number 6 spent an evening drinking there during the election, he must have joined as a member. Well Number 2 did say he would see what he could do. The Village also has its own little newspaper, little news paper I like that. It’s hardly the parish newsletter, it’s a single sheet broadsheet. A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages (typically 22 inches or 56 centimetres). The term derives from types of popular prints usually just of a single sheet, sold on the streets and containing various types of material, from ballads to political satire. The first broadsheet newspaper was the Dutch Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. published in 1618


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In The Village!

   In ‘Arrival’ Number 2 makes his progress report on the newly arrived prisoner, by speaking into a red ‘L’ shaped telephone. Report on Number Six, normal classification, on arrival subject showed shock symptoms. Followed by accepted behaviour, pattern, since then has been uncooperative and distinctly aggressive, attempted to escape. Subject proving exceptionally difficult, but in view of his importance no extreme measures to be used yet. It is not understood whether he is speaking to someone who is listening to the report, possibly Number 1 if the colour of the telephone is anything to judge by. On the other hand the report might have been recorded because Number 2 does not have the telephone to his ear. During ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ Number 2 uses a small square metal box in order to update Number 6’s file. File Number Six, section 42 subsection 6 new paragraph 5, overweening sense of self importance. While here his ego mania has if anything, increased! And towards the end of the episode, File Number 6, section 42, subsection 1, paragraph one, back to the beginning! It strikes me that at this point The Village has gone digital, or at least Number 2 seems to be using a digital recorder in order to update Number 6’s file. It’s the only way I can describe that small metal box. Perhaps he’s testing it!


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Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Prisoner

    You have him Number Two, he will be here within a matter of hours, everything is prepared, his cottage has been fitted out as a home from home. Never has any Number Two been as successful as you. You instigated it all, because you know him, all your life you have known him, congratulations Number Two. Let me shake you by the hand. If you must. You are calm, like him, he is calm, calm and calculating, you are like him. You are opposites, on different sides, I am so excited, but pleased for you. This will lead to promotion. I don’t think I want promotion. You might not, but it wouldn’t do you any harm. He’s got to talk first. Oh he’ll talk. You’ll have him in here, in your office, home ground. You’ll press a button and a black leather chair will rise up through a hole in the floor, he’ll be impressed by that. He’ll sit down, you’ll take off your glasses, clean them, and slowly slip them on, he’ll start talking at that point. He’ll spill his guts Two, he’ll want to talk so badly, so much, he will unburden himself, you won’t be able to shut him up! I wish you would! What me, oh I talk when I’m excited, oh Number Two what a pinnacle to rise to. How will you go about it? Rubber hoses? The strong arm stuff, get two guardians to beat him up? I think I’ll sit him in a chair.... That’s right, the comfy chair treatment. Offer him a cup of tea, a cigarette maybe, he lights it, and you smack it out of his mouth.....you’ll tell him when he can smoke! Give him the full treatment, offer him breakfast...... What at three in the afternoon? High tea then, whatever. He’ll talk, one way or another he’ll talk. And he has much to tell us. Perhaps he’ll want protection, possibly asylum, well we will make him very welcome, and he can stay with us. Our security is one hundred percent. No-one is escaping, and there’s no way in unless one is due to come here. He will end his days here in The Village. Attending brass band concerts, drinking coffee at the cafe, playing chess, taking long walks along the beach, attending concerts, The Village festival, modelling in clay for the arts and crafts exhibition. Getting himself involved with all manner of activities, finally to retire to the Old People’s Home. Listen, is that the helicopter? He’s here, he’s arrived earlier than expected. Are we going to meet him? No, let them take him to his home from home, and wait for him to wake up. That’s the start of it. He wakes up in what he thinks to be his own home, but no, he’s here in The Village! The surprise, the shock. What has happened, how did I get here? Where is here, The Village? Is that how it was for you the first time Number Two? That’s how it was for me, how it is for every new arrival.

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Tea Break Teaser

    In ‘A B and C,’ why is there the need for a secret laboratory in the woods, when all other human experiments are generally carried out at the hospital?


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Bureau of Visual Records

    A special delivery for Number 6. Sign your number here Number 6! Just a minute, he’s wearing a grey polo neck jersey, just like the one Number 2 wears. This postman isn’t a previous Number 2 is he? Demoted and forced to act as a postman?!
   I have seen this actor, George Merritt, before in the 1941 film ‘The Ghost Train’ Arthur Askey as Tommy Gander a comedian and entertainer, and Richard Murdoch as Teddy Deakin. George appears in the film as a ticket Inspector not on the ghost train, one travelling to
Truro. And continuing the railway connection, in the Will Hay film ‘Oh Mister Porter,’ another favourite film of mine.


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Thought For The Day

    Number 2 said “I don’t mind telling you we had to pull every string we could to get you {Curtis} seconded back to us.” I take it that means seconded back to The Village. Perhaps Curtis is one of those people who had been brought to The Village, turned, then released to carry on his work, but being in the pay of those behind The Village. Presumably that was long before the current Number 6 had been brought to The Village. Back then of course they could not have known what a valuable property they had in Curtis. Not until someone had come up with the idea of having someone impersonate Number 6, using a perfect double to take away Number 6’s sense of reality. Hence Curtis being seconded back to The Village, in the same way as both the Colonel and Fotheringay for example.


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Friday, 13 April 2018

FRIDAY This Evening I Am Mostly Watching – THEPRIS6NER Harmony

   Having been attacked by the Guardian {I do not write Village Guardian, as the Guardian never appears in The Village in this series} at the end of ‘Arrival,’ Six is left unconscious in the desert! Then there is another remembrance, Michael returning to his New York apartment with Lucy. While as a boy he is on the beach looking for  his brother, as 16 is in the desert looking for his brother Six!
  Six didn’t recognise 16 as his brother, because his bother was lost at sea on one of their trips to the beach when they were boys. 16 is not Six’s brother. Two gives Six his brother back, and a family. Family is important to Two, its just a pity that Two’s own family is so disjointed!
   Two recommends Six undergo some therapy, The Talking Cure. Unless Six is afraid that Two will mess with his mind, or that Six will discover that he is the problem after all!
   Six spends time with 16 and his family, discovers that he’s a bus driver, learns that he does like pork after all. He also learns about Wonkers, the television serialisation of the book Wonkers, about life in The Village. One of his “nieces” explains the current storyline Six……….okay, so, 765 is in love with 23-30, but 23-56 is pregnant to 46-5, and 9-13 had an affair with 23-30. So 765 is jealous of 23-30, and so she, like, took her revenge by sleeping with 46-5. While on the television screen……………
   765 “I’m leaving you.”
   “No.”
   “Yes.”
   “Oh no! Why?”
   “I love your brother.”
   “Oh.”
   In Palais 2, Two’s residence,11-12 sits on his mother’s bed as she sleeps on, dreaming The Village, and then spies on Two as he feeds his wife, M2, three more pills. And Six helps 16 with a bicycle repair, before he goes to the Clinic for his first therapy session with the brothers 70. For Six The Village is a dark place, his home is not his home, his brother is not his brother, nothing’s real!
But at least Two got Six to admit to who he is, Six. And we learnt a little more about Michael, that he worked for a company called Summaker, and was connected to surveillance as an observer, watching people, writing reports about people living in New York. And he once had a brother, no I don't mean that impostor in The Village. A brother who was lost at sea, drowned, well you saw that for yourself. But how Six knew where that buried tin was, well is that simply a memory?
   Nice to be seeing a pair of twins in The village, 70, who tried talking things out with Six. Two doesn't believe in this sort of therapy, but then it's not important for Two to believe, just as long as Six believes! But did I say there was something dark and dangerous about Two, if I did, then I left something out, he's also twisted. I mean keeping his wife drugged like that, then sleeping with her!
    Most of what we see takes place out in the desert, looking for the ocean this week. An ocean through which the Village guardian comes along and takes 16 into the depths. A terrible way to die. But then, if the ocean was never there in the first place, when you think about it, 16's death was even worse for him than we saw on the screen.
   I think it was very clever of Two to give Six a family, through which Two hoped to see Six accept his situation through his brother, and finally settle down. It appears that Six used to work at the bus depot, as a bus driver!
   Harmony I found to be a surreal episode, with a surreal ships anchor in the desert, along with a long abandoned railway halt! It's all to do with the mind isn't it, and that takes some getting my mind round. 16 was never Six's brother, and people go on the bus tours of The Village day after day, seeing the same old thing, described in the same old way. And what about that Solar Cafe, rebuilt, as though the explosion in Arrival never took place. What's more there's something very 1950's about The Village. What with the Bubble car, and the black 
Bedford van. They come for you see, and in broad daylight, just like they came for Six, those men in their white suits and black Bedford van. They come for you, and take you to the clinic. I wonder what they'll do to Six?
    So surreal, with so much happening, I'll really have to watch this episode a second time before I can really get into it. Because I was determined not to give up on the series. And that was a brilliant Village guardian effect, the way it moved though the water, which really wasn't water, but sand.....poor 16!


Breathe in…breathe out…more Village
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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Collectors Corner

   Yesterday my wife and I had a day trip to Nottingham, and spent three hours at the Hopkinson Vintage, Antiques & Arts Centre. Amongst our purchases were the three fridge magnets. The top one, if I remember correctly, is from a design on an early ‘Prisoner’ DVD box.
   The middle one is the design for the 1998 calendar. That was the time when someone decided to “jazz up” ‘the Pris6ner’ logo, as in the VHS video box set of around the same time, as seen below. The box set came in two parts, which both fitted the accompanying box, in which there was also a set of postcards, and a No.6 bottle opener.
   The fridge magnets cost a mere £2 each, and were the last thing I envisaged finding in a cabinet marked “RETRO.” There was also a large pile of enlarged production photographs from numerous television series, but none of ‘the Prisoner.’

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60 Second Interview No.22

    “Just a minute Number Fourteen.”
    “Who did you call me?”
    Number Fourteen……oh, you’re not Number Fourteen!”
    “No, I’m Number Twenty-two.”
    “Two little ducks twenty-two…..bingo!”
    “What did he say?”
    “He didn’t say anything. 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.
    “Why did you call me Number Fourteen?”
    “Because that is who we thought you were.”
    “Why?”
    “Well you dress the same. Are of roughly the same height, have similar hair colouring and style.”
    “I haven’t the foggiest idea who you are talking about.”
    “And why should you. What is it you do again?”
    “I’m Number Two’s assistant.”
    “Ah, so was Number Fourteen.”
    “Was?”
    “Sorry?”
    “Was, you said was?”
    “Well he’s dead, he was found at the foot of 6 Private with his neck broken!. It appears he fell over the balcony to his death.”
    “You thought I was a ghost!”
    “Well we are investigating paranormal activity in The Village.”
    “Paranormal activity, is there any?”
    “No! Number One-one-three-b has set up a number of trip cameras, but without result. But one thing is becoming clear……this Village is full of doubles, doppelgangers, and look-a-likes, and dress-a-likes. He’s one of them.”
    “Is he?”
    “And you are another, that’s why we made the mistake.”
    “But you said Number Fourteen died of a broken neck.”
    “Yes.”
    “When?”
    “When Number Six threw him out of his cottage through the French window.”
    “So I am no longer a double, look-a-like, or dress-a-like for anyone. I am unique!”
    “Ah!”
    “So you are clearly wasting your time, now buzz off!”


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The Tally Ho Opinion Poll!

    That’s a good one, The Tally Ho carrying out an opinion poll. One can only speculate about what it was The Tally Ho was seeking the citizens’ opinion about. Mind you, I didn’t think the citizens were allowed opinions unless of course they are first told what that opinion is!  

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Exhibition of Arts And Crafts

                   “You ain’t seen me, right!
BCNU