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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

MindGames!

    No.6’s costume came, he doesn’t get a choice because other people choose, it’s a game people play. It wasn’t anything exotic because it happened to be No.6’s own suit which was specially delivered for the occasion of Carnival. I like to think that it was No. 2 who chose No.6’s own suit for him to wear. No.6 interpreted that as meaning that he is still himself. Well he would have been wouldn’t he, had ‘Dance of The Dead’ retained its original position of 2nd in the screening order! So with the arrival of his own suit, why didn’t No.6 wear it instead of hanging it up in the wardrobe? After all other citizens were out and about wearing their costumes for Carnival. Perhaps No.6 felt more at home in his Village attire. And No.6 was not alone in not having an exotic or garish costume for carnival, the Butler obviously preferred his own clothes to that of dressing up!


Be seeing you

Watching The Prisoner – Free For All

    Continuing the screening of ‘the Prisoner,’ it has been 39 days since No.6 arrived in the village. During that time Cobb, having returned to London as a Civil Servant, has been busy working for his new masters. While in the village several No.2’s would have come and gone, most probably there would have been new arrivals from time to time, builders reconstructing a cottage in readiness for such a new arrival having turned it into a citizen’s home from home. As for No.6, he would have been finding his feet in his new surroundings, perhaps attempting an escape during that time, or having been put through a number of different “ways and means” as No.2 attempted to extract the reason behind his resignation along with other information. And there would be time enough for No.6 to counter No.2’s machinations, or simply to poke his nose into business that was none of his concern. Then again, there must have been times when nothing much happened to No.6 at all during those 39 days, because it’s difficult to think that any incumbent No.2 was brought to the village simply to deal with No.6. And even if he or she were, there would be times when No.6 would have to be given time to recover from any ordeal, and the end of ‘Free For All’ is a good demonstration of this. No.6 having stumbled into a cave is faced with the same two motor mechanics he had encountered during his earlier escape attempt by jet boat. They were allowed to extract their revenge on No.6 in treating the Prisoner like a human punch bag. No.6 still refusing to talk is returned to his cottage on a stretcher, battered and bruised he would presumably have been given time to physically recover before any No.2 would be allowed to put No.6 through another ordeal. Besides which No.2 is Chairman of the village, Chief Administrator and there would be the day to day running of the village to oversee, as well as other such Prisoners to deal with. Roland Walter Dutton for example who according to him had been in the village a couple of months by the time he encounters his old colleague No.6. In my screening order of ‘the Prisoner’ ‘Dance of The Dead’ follows ‘Free For All’ after about another three or four weeks, give or take. Which means Dutton is already in the village by the time of ‘Free For All,’ perhaps his arrival coincided with that of Cobb, Chambers, and even that of No.6!
   Also there would be other business which takes place in the weeks between episodes, such as the acquisition and the implementation of the Seltzman machine which would have to be brought to the village at some point. And the arrival of the ‘Fall out’ rocket transported to the village on the back of the Scammell Highway transporter.
    However for the time being its election time, and No.6 is just the kind of candidate the village needs to stand for election against No.2. What kind of candidate might that be, one who’s outlook is particularly militant and individualistic, and that is demonstrated in No.6’s first electoral speech.
    “I am not a number, I am a person! In some place, at some time, all of you held positions of a secret nature, and had knowledge that was invaluable to an enemy. Like me you are here to have that knowledge protected or extracted. Unlike me, many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment and will die here like rotten cabbages. The rest have gone over to the side of our keepers. Which is which? How many of each, who’s standing beside you now? I intend to discover who are the prisoners and who the warders.”
   And yet later in the episode No.6 conducts a political broadcast on television, “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.”
   No.6 stands looking at himself on television, he seems very pleased with himself, and tells the housemaid No.58 “obey the rules and we’ll take good care of you.” His attitude is assured, he’s positive, and he already begins to sound like No.2, talking about the community’s interests being very much his own, and the security of the citizens being his primary objective. What’s more when has he ever been one for the rules? That doesn’t sound like No.6 at all, must be to do with the brainwashing. Even when he’s floundering in the water having been attacked by the Guardian and half drowned he can’t help himself from spouting that speech “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……be seeing you….!”


Like the man said be seeing you

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Schizoid Man – No.12

    I wonder how Curtis must have been feeling on his first day in the village, possibly like the Colonel did in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ And I imagine in the same way with the Colonel, it was left to No.2 to brief Curtis on his assignment, as in the scene played out between No.2 and No.12 {No.6} that morning of ‘The Schizoid Man.’
   Unlike the Colonel, they had to pull out every string they could to second Curtis back to them in the village. Seconded from where, and had Curtis been in the village before? Certainly No.2 had had previous and personal knowledge of Curtis. The assignment might have begun well for Curtis, and he did seem very much at home as No.6, in fact he made a better No.6 than No.6! But it all ended very badly for Curtis, an agent brought to the village, who was to remain there, buried in the graveyard. It was much the same with the Colonel in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ Just as well Susan died a year ago, otherwise there might have been some embarrassing questions asked!


Be seeing you

They Come For You In The night!

    Only in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ they didn’t! Instead of going for No.6 in the night when he’s sedated after drinking his nightcap of hot chocolate, they came early in the morning when hardly anyone was out and about. And it wasn’t three medics who came for No.6, but four security guards and one medic driving the ambulance. Perhaps it was a question of time. Can you imagine the mess and chaos left behind in 6 Private, after four security guards went into the cottage? No.6 would have put up one hell of a struggle, no doubt the cottage was left in a right mess, and things have been overturned, things strewn about as he desperately tried to fight off the four security guards. But they didn’t manage to overpower No.6 because he was still struggling when it took the four guards to manhandle him out of the cottage across the square and put him into the Red Cross trailer. Finally at least one of the guards must have struck No.6 over the head with a truncheon rendering him unconscious, because the medic doesn’t leave the Mini-Moke, into which the four “Snowdrops” clamber before it drives off to the hospital.
   It seems a strange way of going about things, especially when the job could have been made so much easier in the more usual manner. Also this is the first time “Snowdrops” are seen abroad in the village. The only other time they are seen is below ground patrolling the passage ways beneath the village in ‘The General,” and latterly in the cavern during ‘Fall Out.’


Be seeing you

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Village Life!

    “What about those shenanigans yesterday!”
    “You mean at the Appreciation Day ceremony.”
    “I was officiating on the balcony at the time.”
    “I know, I saw you there.”
    “And I saw you.”
    “That was a close call!”
    “You can say that again.”
    “An attempt on Number Two’s life!”
    “A terrorist threat!”
    “The Watchmaker was mad of course!”
    “I was told he had been radicalized!”
    “By whom?”
    “Number 100.”
    “Isn’t that the chap who was suffocated to death by the Guardian?”
    “Yes, he was seen brawling with Number 6.”
    “And the Guardian stepped in.”
    “Yes.”
    “Why would anyone want to kill a likeable chap like Number Two?”
    “I can’t think….but there are several good reasons why anyone would want to blow up the new Number Two!”
    “Yes, but if that bomb had been detonated……”
    “We would have been blown up with it. And there’d have been no-one left to officiate at our funerals!”
    “I heard it was Number 6 who saved the day.”
    “Really, whatever did he do that for I wonder?”
    “There’ll be an enquiry of course.”
    “Why of course? Because officially the attempt on Number 2’s life never happened.”
    “Did my eyes deceive
me.?”
    “How do you mean?”
    “I saw the helicopter taking the retired Number 2 on his way home. But then it turned back towards the village.”
    “You haven’t heard then?”
    “No.”
    “Number 2 came back, he said he would feel safer living out his retirement in the quiet atmosphere of the Old People’s Home.”
    “Thanks to Number 6 we can all look forward to that!”


Be seeing you

A Question of Time!

    In the Control Room it’s a perfectly ordinary shift. The Supervisor maintains order through discipline, the Observers maintain the security and control of the citizens through surveillance. The yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom began to bleep, the Supervisor looked at it before crossing the floor to pick it up.
    “Supervisor…….yes Number 2…….…..Number 6………..well it will be rather late in the morning don’t you think?”
    “Listen the helicopter will be arriving later, and we need Number 6 prepared for a very special operation.”
    “I see.”
    “No you don’t. I want you to send four security officers and a medic to 6 Private as soon as you can, and have Number 6 taken to the hospital before there are too many people about, do you understand?”
    “Yes Number 2, it must be to do with a question of time I suppose.”
    “Question of time, what are you talking about?”
    “Well it’s more usual to remove a subject from his or her cottage in the middle of the night when they are sedated from having drunk their night cap.”
    “Your point being?”
    “Number 6 will be wide awake, he will resist.”
    “That’s why four security guards will be going, they should be enough to subdue him. Then the medic can administer a strong sedative.”
    “Yes sir, but if this had been done during the night………”
    “Are you questioning me?”
    “No Number 2.”
    “When the helicopter is due have a Mini-Moke waiting, and have the Colonel brought to the Green Dome.”
    “Yes Number 2.”
   It was still early in the morning when a white Mini-Moke driven by a hospital orderly with four security guards in grey overalls, white helmets, gloves, boots, and dark glasses each carrying a truncheon. In the cottage there was a right hullabaloo! Furniture and loose items were thrown all about the room as No.6 put up a fight against the four security guards who did eventually half subdue the still struggling No.6 as they manhandled him out of the cottage, to where a medic was waiting to administer an injection to sedate the patient. No.6 was then laid out in the Red Cross trailer and everyone else clamoured into the Mini-Moke which was driven to the hospital and taken to the operating theatre and the Seltzman machine. How the village administration acquired the Seltzman machine in the first place is unknown, but obviously they have had it for quite some time. After all there was already one agent in the amnesia room as having acquired certain information was brought back to the village in order to have that information extracted. I say extracted because before the agent was released back into the outside world, with a mind of their choosing, they erased all unpleasant of the village from his mind. So that when they brought the agent back to the village he had no idea where he was or why he had been brought there. Subsequently he refused to give them the required information, so they had to take it!


Be seeing you

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Who Was That On The Telephono?

    In the Control Room the Supervisor is about to read a birthday greeting to No.6 from No.113, it reads “Warmest greetings on your birthday, may the sun shine on you today and every day.” In his office No.2 is talking to someone on the yellow telephone when his attention is taken away when he hears the Supervisor’s voice over village radio beginning to read that birthday greeting to No.6. He tells the person on the telephone that he’ll call him or her later, and hangs up. So who was No.2 talking to? It’s unlikely to be No.1 because the last time, it was via that red oversized curved telephone when No.1 asked if he wanted any assistance! And I think we can discount No.14. Look at the painful expression on No.2’s face, he might have been talking to someone he felt he could confide in regarding the situation he’s found himself in, the struggle with No.6! So who was it No.2 had been talking to? Because no-one in the village telephones anyone simply to have a nice chat!


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

The Village Shop


      In collaboration with The Unmutual website. 

https://www.theunmutual.co.uk

     For many years The Unmutual Website has operated a Village Shop online, offering 'Prisoner' and Patrick McGoohan books, DVDs, CDs, and merchandise, and TUW is delighted to announce that the shop has had a revamp, dozens of new items, and a new home!
https://theprisonershop.co.uk    is the new address for the shop, which serves as the ultimate resource for 'Prisoner', 'Danger Man', and Patrick McGoohan merchandise (see photo, left).

Use the code WELCOME10 at checkout to get 10% off your first order!

Be seeing you

A Favourite Scene In Hammer Into Anvil

   Having followed No.6 to the Stone Boat they discover that he has left a large white envelope under the padded seat of a bench. They then return to No.2’s office where No.14 is just as keen to see what the envelope contains, however…….
    “I shan’t need you any more, you can go.”
    “But I thought….”
    “Don’t, just obey orders.”
    “Yes sir.”
    No.14’s loyalty to No.2 is unquestionable. He only wants to serve his superior. And yet he’s advised not to think just to obey orders, and is thought to be no better than a dogsbody, only good enough to be used in simple tasks, not to be involved when it matters. But it’s just as well that he didn’t force the issue when No.2 dismissed him, that way No.2 only made a fool of himself. And yet had No.2 placed more trust in his assistant, and been more open to his counsel, No.14 might have been able to save No.2 from his downfall!


Be seeing you

The Flavour Of The Day!

    The flavour of the day, according to the announcer is strawberry, why strawberry, surely it’s not strawberry every single day of the week! Mind you this is the village, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if strawberry is the flavour of the day every single day of the year! And yet does anyone actually buy ice cream wafers or cornets? And if they do, where is the ice cream on sale? I’ve never seen an ice cream parlour or kiosk selling ice cream in the village, ah perhaps it’s sold at  the café. And yet I have not seen anyone in the village actually eating ice cream. In fact the only person seen eating an ice cream cone in ‘the Prisoner’ is our friend No.6 as he’s wheeled into No.2’s office in ‘Once Upon A Time,’ and the flavour then was vanilla! Perhaps citizens do not like ice cream, or perhaps they simply became sick and tired of eating strawberry flavoured ice cream! Perhaps strawberry ice cream being the flavour of the day might have been a form of aversion therapy. Give them too much of a good thing and they go off it, if that was the case, it certainly works!


Be seeing you

The Only Thing I Really Don’t Understand

    The new arrival wakes up in what he thinks is his London home, only to find he’s in another place somewhere else! He takes his first steps out into the village, he’s displaying the usual shock symptoms, he’s disorientated and confused. Looking up at the Bell tower seeing a man leaning out at the top, the Prisoner rushes round to the other side and climbs up the Bell Tower. There’s no sign of the man, instead there’s a stone statue of a woman!
    In the Control Room a bald-headed man wearing spectacles, dressed in a dark green polo necked sweater and single breasted plain blazer stands watching the action playing out on a large wall screen
    “The only thing I really don’t understand……” said the Supervisor-No.28
    There was a satisfying smile on No.2’s face as he too stood watching the same action on the screen “What’s that?”
    “Are we messing about with the live feed now?”
    “What do you mean?”
    The Supervisor looked No.2 squarely in the eyes and said “I mean are we watching corrective surveillance footage, because where did the man go? The Prisoner saw the man leaning out at the top of the Bell Tower, I saw the man, and so did you. There was no time for him to get down the Bell Tower and away without the Prisoner encountering the man.”
    “As I walked up the stair I met a man who wasn’t there, he wasn’t there again today oh how I wish he would go away” was all No.2 said.
    “Meaning?”
    “Perhaps he wasn’t there at all!”
    “I suppose you are getting some sadistic pleasure from this. Oh I see that’s the point of the stone statue, it was the statue the Prisoner was supposed to have seen. Pity it wasn’t leaning out of the window. The men who took all afternoon yesterday manhandling that statue to the top of the Bell Tower didn’t even put the statue facing the right way!”
    “Have the men bring the statue down from the Bell Tower when they get a minute.”
    “The things we do here never fail to amaze me.”
    “Oh there’ll be a great many things we do here that will astound you, now that he’s here” No.2 said still with a smile on his face.
    “You’re enjoying this.”
   “Can you blame me? Today’s the last day of my term in office, I think I’ll invite our friend over for a working breakfast. Then treat him to an aerial tour of the village, and a demonstration of what happens if he steps out of line.”
    “Do you think he’ll pass the aptitude test?”
    “Oh he’ll be shaped to fit given time. Just make sure the maid is in his cottage when he returns there after leaving the Labour Exchange.”
    On the wall screen the Prisoner is in the General Store trying to buy a map of the area but neither map is to his liking, well there’s no call for maps covering a larger area!
    “The maid, she’s already there!”
    “Where?”
    “In 6 Private.”
    “Get her out of there straight away, I don’t want him seeing the maid yet, It’s much too soon!”
    On the wall screen the Prisoner had just left the General Store. From the road he noticed a maid on the small balcony shaking a yellow duster. He rushed round to the door of his cottage. In the Control Room the Supervisor picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom. Inside the cottage the telephone began to bleep, the maid picked up the receiver, then put it down and dashed out of the cottage door as quick as she could, and away down the steps.
    “That was close” said the Supervisor.
    “Too close, that very nearly messed up the whole thing!” said No.2.
    “Why, I don’t understand” said the Supervisor.
    “That’s why I’m where I am and you’re in this Control Room. Just in case I cannot get our friend here to talk, then the maid No.66 is my plan b, perhaps she will be able to get him to part with the information we require.”
    “How?”
    “By employing her feminine wiles of course!”
    The Prisoner was still wondering how the maid had managed to avoid him when he noticed the Peg Wooden doll holding a little white card “Welcome to your home from home,” and then the telephone began to bleep. It was the operator asking him if he’s No.6, as she has a call for him.
    “Good morning to you, I hope you slept well, come a join me for breakfast, Number 2 the Green Dome.”
    In the Control Room the Supervisor made preparations for the forthcoming demonstration of the Guardian, for which a young man had been selected as the unwitting victim. And the maid No.66 was briefed in readiness for her possible assignment to No.6. Well it pays to be ready, just in case.


Be seeing you

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Someone Called Security!

    No.6 “You’re making a big mistake!”
    1st security guard “Haven’t you heard, we never make mistakes!”
    2nd security guard “Yeah, but sometimes we have to!”
    3rd security guard “Sometimes we have to what?”
    “Well we all make mistakes.”
    4th security guard “But Number 2 said we never make mistakes.”
    “Yeah well we all make mistakes, but sometimes we have to.”
    “Have to what?”
    “Make mistakes.”
    “That’s stupid, why would anyone sometimes have to make a mistake?”
    “Where did you hear that?”
    “Hear what?”
    “About having to make mistakes sometimes?”
    “I dunno, I just heard it somewhere that’s all.”
    No.6 “Look will you put me down, you’re all making a mistake!”
    “Look mate, if you keep on struggling like this, someone is going to get hurt, and guess who that will be?”
    “Where are you taking me?”
    “To the Cat and Mouse nightclub, seeing as it’s your stag night.”
    “Stag night, but I’m not getting married.”
    “You’re not?”
    “No.”
    “You know what lads, looks like we do have the wrong man!”
    “I’ll tell you something even weirder, there’s no Cat and Mouse!”
    “You know what that means don’t you lads?”
    “No, what?”
    “We’re in the wrong episode!


Be seeing you

In The Village!

    Cobb was supposed to have jumped out of the window, No.73 did jump out of the window but not until No.6 came bursting into the room. I wonder what made No.6 go to the window, perhaps he was just making sure, as he might have had doubts about Cobb having jumped through an open hospital window until he saw Cobb’s funeral cortège! No.6 did attend Cobb’s funeral, but did he attend 73’s funeral, it seems unlikely. However he did visit her grave, yet that might be coincidental as he searches for an old grave, and not necessarily in order to pay his respects. As for Number 73, why did she jump out of bed and leap to her death through the open window at the sight of No.6? As for No.113, did the old woman take her number with her to the grave, and therefore the number of anyone who has died is no longer used. Remember No.2 told the Supervisor-No.26, after the mistake he had inadvertently made, that number 113 doesn’t exist, the old woman having died a month ago. That in turn begs the question, what happened to the Tally Ho reporter No.113? He couldn’t have died, otherwise the number 113 would have gone to his grave with him. It’s unlikely the reporter was allowed to leave the village, so I can only assume he was given a new number, which does happen to citizens from time to time.


Be seeing you

Friday, 1 November 2019

All The Worlds A Stage……..

    The pair of steel doors slid open and the Prisoner stormed in, down the ramp, across the floor and leaning over the grey curved desk he demanded the man sat there to…….
    “Get him!”
    “Get who?”
    “Number 2.”
    “I have taken his place, I am the new Number 2.”
    “Well get Number 1!”
    “Who do you think you are? You come storming into my office making demands; you really do need to cultivate a less abrasive attitude!”
    “There has been an injustice take place!”
    “Really, how terrible. Where do you think you are, on a fortnights holiday in Butlins, or somewhere on the French Riviera perhaps.”
    “Don’t get clever with me, get Number 1!”
    “And what is Number 1 to you? You think he cares about what happens to you, because I assure he doesn’t give a fig for you. He looks after Number 1. So to you and everyone in this village I’m in charge.”
    “So Number 1 is a man.”
    “So what, don’t think that gets you anywhere, after all we’re all Number 1, each and every one of us. We all look out for Number 1, because if we don’t no-one else will. So what is it you have a grievance over?”
    “Not what, who, John Christopher Duncan.”
    “What about him?”
    “He’s dead!”
    “What, do you think I don’t know, what we do here has to be done. If it wasn’t us it would be someone else, and they play much dirtier games than us.”
    “Who is us?”
    “Does it matter? One side is much like the any other.”
    John Christopher Duncan’s funeral took place the next day, it was all carried out properly and with due reverence, the man had several mourners in attendance. Each man has his exits and his entrances and in his life he plays many parts.
    “First I’m an old colleague in the same boat as him. Then I’m made to be the traitor, now I play the part of a dead man, here at least.”
    “And now you go to play the role of double agent, back in the bosom of your department, but secretly working for us. And when we call you will come running, otherwise it will be the final curtain for you!”
    “Don’t rub it in, I feel bad enough about the girl.”
    “There is no room for sentimentality, not in our game.”
    “I didn’t realize it was a game!”
    “Go while you can, the helicopter is waiting.”
    “Be seeing you” Duncan saluted.
    “Vidět vás” returned No.2.


Be seeing you

Insoluble For Both Man And Machine!

    Near the end of ‘Checkmate’ No.6 asks No.2 what will happen to his confederates? To which No.2 responds with “They’ll be back on the chessboard tomorrow.” Except the shopkeeper No.19 isn’t, because he has been replaced as the shopkeeper by No.112. I can only assume that a proper audit of his books found there to be a discrepancy of some kind! That is no answer of course, merely a personal opinion.


Be seeing you

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Thought For The Day

    “I am not a number.” Number 2 told Number 6 that for official purposes everyone has a number, but the Prisoner insists he is not to be defined by a number.
    “I am a free man,” is a person who enjoys personal, civil, or political liberty. He also has the full rights of a citizen. As well as having resigned, means he is no longer a slave to his job.
    “My life is my own,” he does what he wants, no-one owns him, no-one is going to tell him what to do, and he’s not for explaining anything about himself!


Be seeing you

Perhaps He Simply Likes The View!

   No.6 is a man of curious habits he takes an early morning stroll through the village, this generally takes place between half past 6 and 7 in the morning. Daily he climbs the Bell Tower, did he used to do this before ‘Dance of The Dead’ I wonder? Before he listened to that message over the radio, about not being able to keep the appointment, perhaps No.6 thought that someone, anyone, might be coming to the village by sea. After that No.6 was observed to be constantly watching, for what, a light, a boat, a plane? Someone from his world. Perhaps he thought the message was for the dead man he found in the water, that he might have been a plant, and that somone was coming to extract him, and pssibly take over the village by force. And thereby they woud become his recusers! That’s the result of an overactive imagination.


Be seeing you

Monday, 28 October 2019

A Clean Pair of Heels!

    In the Control Room the Supervisor and his assistant were watching the wall screen.
    “Who are they?” No.22 asked.
    “They are members of the village athletics club” the Supervisor explained.
    “I didn’t know there was such a thing.”
    “Oh yes, it’s been going for a while, one of Number 2’s new programmes, exercise being good to keep people fit and healthy, and while they are running about like that they are not digging tunnels and using other means of trying to escape.”
    “Digging tunnels?”
    “Oh yes, didn’t you know?”
    “The athletics club persuaded Number 2 to let them have a vaulting horse. They used to take it down onto the beach and spent half the day vaulting over a wooden vaulting horse.”
    “Used to?”
    “They aren’t allowed to anymore.”
    “Why?”
    “Because they used it as cover for digging a tunnel, now they are allowed only to run. They run circuits of the village everyday” said the Supervisor.
    “Hello what’s happened there?”
    Something on the screen had attracted No.22’s attention. Where there were 9 men and women running there were now only 8!
    The Supervisor picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped intercom “Yellow alert, all units, all posts yellow alert!”
    The man had made a sudden run for it, the few weeks training had come in handy. At first the going was good across the sand, then good to soft, and then plain soft and running became a whole lot harder and he was yet to reach midway across the estuary. Two guardians aboard a Mini-Moke had been despatched to catch him, but Mini-Mokes are notorious for not being an all terrain vehicle. And soon it was bogged down in the sand. The two guardians being unable to free the Moke from the sands grip maintained pursuit on foot.
    The Supervisor watched how things were playing out via the wall screen, he was far from impressed. He contacted Post 10, but the escaping prisoner was out of range of his rifle. There being nothing for it the Supervisor alerted all posts of “Orange alert, orange alert.”
    From somewhere at the bottom of the sea a segment of the Guardian was released from the containment area, and the white amorphous sphere floated up through the water to eventually break the surface and skim across the waves to the sand of the estuary.
    By this time the escaping prisoner, No.10, had reached the small island in the middle of the estuary. He went round to the far side where he felt he was free from surveillance. Climbing the rocks he stood upon the island, then sat down with a sense of achievement, but he did not linger. There was a ruined house, he made for it, and found sanctuary within its cold stone walls. He cowered in a corner, from one pocket he took a hip flask and from the other two sandwiches wrapped in a polythene bag. He opened the hip flask and drank of the liquid, genuine non-alcoholic whisky, then he started to eat the two sandwiches. What was that? He stopped eating, held his breath and listened…….There it was the unmistakable sound of the helicopter overhead! He looked at his watch, it was two o’clock, the helicopter was on time, and he was late, perhaps too late. The helicopter was hovering above the island, searching, searching for him!
    The helicopter circled the island; the pilot had been instructed by the Supervisor in the Control Room to make a search for an escaped prisoner. Warning that there were two guardians in pursuit on foot, also the Guardian was also on its way towards the island.
    The escaped prisoner stayed put in the ruined house, there was no way he could out run a helicopter, no doubt the Guardian had been released by now, that being the case there was the opportunity out here to get himself killed! It would seem to give himself up would be the better part of valour, all it would take would be to step outside the ruins and wave his arms in the air to attract the helicopter pilot’s attention. It was that or sit there and wait to be recaptured.
    The helicopter pilot reported back to the Supervisor that there was no sign of the escaped prisoner on the island, that there was a ruined house where he could be hiding. The white amorphous mass of the Guardian was also patrolling the area, while the helicopter hovered about a hundred yards from the island. The escaped prisoner No.10 recognised the sound emitted by the Guardian as it circled the ruined house generating fear in his heart. Afraid of such a confrontation with the thing, he looked for a place to hide, there was nowhere………then he saw the fireplace, it was just large enough for a man, so he climbed into the grate and up the chimney. By this time the two guardians on foot had arrived at the island, they scrambled up the rocks and made for the ruin. The amorphous Guardian moved away allowing the two guardians to make a thorough search of the ruins. There was no sign of the escaped prisoner, and the two men made that known to the helicopter pilot who related the report back to the Control Room.
    The Supervisor picked up the turquoise ‘L’ shaped intercom “Supervisor here.”
    “What have you to report?” No.2 asked.
    “The entire island has been searched sir, there’s no sign of the escaped prisoner No.10.”
    It was at that point the over-sized curved red intercom began to bleep. No.2 looked at it nervously before picking it up.
    The helicopter pilot widened his aerial search to the far side of the estuary, and a mile or two beyond. Somewhere on the beach the two guardians were busy digging the Mini-Moke out of the sand.
    “What we need” 256 began “are a couple of planks.”
    “We haven’t got a couple of planks. Just keep digging" 245 said busy with his shovel.
    “Or perhaps some sand to help the wheels get a grip, and you could give it a bit of a push.”
    246 looked quizzically at 256 “Don’t you think there’s enough sand under the wheels already!”
    With darkness coming on the search was eventually called off, No.10 was nowhere to be found, it was as though he had somehow vanished off the face of the Earth!
   How 10 had managed to escape remained a mystery. And yet try as hard as he may, there was no avoiding the inevitability of the situation that he was well and truly stuck fast in the chimney of the ruined house! He shouted loud and clear and kept shouting until the realization finally set in that no-one heard his shouts, and no-one was coming to set him free.


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No.6 A Plant!

    The first time I saw ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ I thought No.2 had got it right, that No.6 was a plant. Mind you I also thought that No.6 and Nadia had also managed to escape during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ But of course both of these scenarios work just the first time of watching. After that we know just what Nadia is, and why she was brought to the village. That No.6 was always closer to the village than he could have imagined. It was on the whole very cleverly done, and if it wasn’t for Post 5’s wristwatch being set at the wrong time, No.6 may well have been fooled into giving away the reason behind his resignation. ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ on the other hand, could it be, that No.2 had actually got it right? That No.6 was sent to the village as a plant? After all, in the guise of Robert Fuller, Drake had previously, and successfully, infiltrated a village somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, a training school for spies in the ‘Danger Man’ episode ‘Colony Three.’ And as No.6 signed himself D6 at the bottom of that note to XO4, it has been thought, by a number of fans of the series, that the 'D' in D6 stands for 'Drake’ hence Drake 6, as in John Drake. If it were so, then it might be one of those “in-jokes” that exist within ‘the Prisoner.’


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Saturday, 26 October 2019

Village Life!


“It’s a nice morning.”
    “Is it?”
    “It will be nice again tomorrow.”
    “Will it?”
    “What’s up with you this morning?”
    “Look at them, people enjoying themselves!”
    “What’s wrong with that?”
    “People promenading about the
place. Messing about in boats.”
    “A boat!”
    “Look at those two splashing about in the water, the old ex-Admiral and No.1 about to go sailing plastic boats in the free sea, talk about second childhood!”
    “What is wrong with you, don’t you like seeing people enjoying themselves?”
    “Yes, but when do we get the chance? Whenever do we have a day off?”
    “We are Top Hat officials of Administration, we have a duty to these citizens.”
    “They’ll be on the beach later, sunbathing, playing beach ball and paddling in the water!”
    “Go on then.”
    “Go on what?”
    “We’ve got a few minutes before we’re due at the Town Hall, take off your shoes and socks, roll up your trousers and have a paddle in the free sea.”
    “Don’t be daft.”
    “I’m not, go on if you feel like a paddle.”
    “What would the Observers think?”
    “Let them think what they like.”
    “They would report me.”
    “So what?”
    “I’d be posted as unmutual!”
    “How terrible!”
    “I’d lose my position!”
    “Look on the brightside.”
    “Brightside?”
    “You’d have plenty of spare time to enjoy yourself!”

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The Village Was Deserted!

   No.6 must have thought something was a bit odd when he woke up that morning to find there was no water and the electricity had been cut off! Even stranger when he went outside he found the village deserted. I wonder what was in his mind at that point? He must at the very least have wondered “Where is everyone?” “What happened in the night to drive people out, and why was he left here alone?”
   Could it be that everyone, including No.2 had escaped, or been evacuated and left No.6 behind? Had there been an emergency in the night, the village suddenly evacuated and No.6 having somehow been forgotten and left behind? Well No.6 didn't hang about to find out, and after constructing himself a sea-going raft, he set sail for god knows where! But what of the good citizens of the village, where had they gone? Well they hadn't gone anywhere. They were still there in the village, kept heavily sedated all the time No.6 was building his raft, so that no-one would be seen out and about. Once No.6 had set sail, the village returned to life. And again, when No.6 was being unceremoniously returned to the village, the night before everyone was once again sedated, so that on the Prisoner’s return, the village would again be deserted, until it came, almost instantly, back to life. I mean the village couldn't be evacuated, the population held over in some other place, and then returned back to the village once No.6 had departed. That would have been too much of a logistical problem for the village administration.
   Why anyone should think that the village was actually deserted is quite beyond me. Obviously the village wasn't deserted. That the citizens were kept sedated, and all village personnel ordered to keep out of sight, until No.6 had finally set sail aboard his sea-going raft. Well there must have been one person out and about, hiding behind the balustrade, the person how smashed the cup and saucer! And then, so to maintain the illusion, once word of No.6's imminent arrival back in the village, the same effect was played out again. There's nothing complex about Many Happy Returns, except for that village cat - that's the only surreal, enigmatic thing about the episode. Because, there was the black cat sitting on a table on the lawn of the Old People's Home when No.6 set out on his sea voyage. And then when No.6 was so unceremoniously returned to the village, that same black cat was still sat in the same place some 27 days later!


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Thursday, 24 October 2019

The Undertaking

     “Here Fred” Mrs. Blakely said looking out of the front window
    “What’s up, I’m finishing my breakfast, I’ll be late for work.”
    “I didn’t know that Mr. Harris had gone and died.”
    “What are you talking about, I saw him only last night.”
    “Yes I know, but there’s a hearse parked outside his house, there’s two undertakers sat inside it.”
    “Well there would be if it’s a hearse.”
    Mrs. Blakely being something of a curious nature kept watching through the net curtains.
    “This is the house then” said the first Undertaker.
    “This is the address written on this piece of paper, 21 Crawford Avenue” the second undertaker replied “You have the key?”
    “In my overcoat pocket”
    Both opened their doors and stepping out of the hearse put their Top Hats on. The one went to the front door, and taking a key out of his overcoat pocket put the key in the lock of the front door. The other undertaker went round to the back of the hearse and opened the rear door and pulled the oak coffin out. The first undertaker having opened the front door returned to the hearse and helped his colleague carry the coffin across the pavement and into the house, as observed by Mrs. Blakely from over the road.
    Once inside the house the undertakers closed the front door. Mr. Harris was in the kitchen, the door closed, busy making his breakfast, bacon, two eggs, baked beans and fried bread. On the opposite side of the door one undertaker quietly removed the lid of the coffin which had been laid on the floor in the hallway, whilst the other produced a curious looking gun from his overcoat pocket. The kitchen door was fortunate enough to have a keyhole, against which the undertaker placed the curious gun and pressed the trigger. This released a cloud of nerve gas into the room on the other side of the door. In the kitchen the man paused in making his breakfast. Suddenly the room began to spin, dropping the spatula he put a hand to the worktop to steady himself just before he passed out falling backwards to the floor.
    The two undertakers gave it a few moments for the nerve gas to dissipate before they entered the room. One checked the man lying unconscious on the kitchen floor, the other turned the oven off and helped himself to the bacon, eggs, and fried bread in the frying pan.
   “Coffee on the table, you know what Number 2 always says, waste not want not.”
    Breakfast over, the undertakers carried the body into the hallway and placed it in the coffin, replacing the lid they carried it out into the street and put in into the back of the hearse. While one undertaker locked the back of the hearse, the other returned to the front door and closed it, remembering to lock it.
    “They’ve just brought the coffin out of the house.”
    “Who have?”
    “The two undertakers” said Mrs. Blakely who had been watching the street through the net curtains all the time “funny how they let themselves in though.”
    “I expect they had a key” said her husband “blimey, look at the time, I’m going to be late!”
    “Whoever heard of the undertakers having a key to someone’s house?”
    “I’ll see you tonight” he said kissing his wife on the cheek.
    “It just didn’t look right that’s all.”
    “She’s still there” said the first undertaker.
    “I know, a right curtain twitcher!” said the second trying not to look across the road.
   Mr Blakely passed by on the opposite side if the road, and removed his hat.
    “What do we do about it?”
    “Nothing, we’ve got to get this chap to the coast by late afternoon. Just get in and drive away nonchalantly.”
    “Mrs. Blakely watched the two undertakers get into the hearse, and the hearse pull away from the kerb and drive away, unbeknown what she had been witness to.
    It was two days later when two men from Special Branch called and stood questioning Mrs. Blakely on the doorstep. They told her that the man at number 21 had failed to turn up for work for two days running, and asked if she had seen Mister Harris recently?
    “I think it must have been the two undertakers” she said.
    “Undertakers madam?” said the detective inspector.
    “Two days ago, in the morning, two undertakers went to number 21. I thought it funny at the time, because my husband, mister Blakely had only seen him the night before, as large as life he was. Anyway I thought it funny at the time when they let themselves in.”
    “They had a key to number 21?” asked the sergeant.
    “Must have done, no-one let them in, yes they definitely let themselves in.”
   “Can we come in Mrs…..?”
   “Blakely, Mrs Blakely, perhaps you and your sergeant would like some tea, I’ll put the kettle on.”

    “Well you two made a fine mess of that”
    “I’m sorry Number 2” 256 said.
    “And so you should be. A right pair of undertakers you are!”
    “We couldn’t help it if that nosy old woman couldn’t keep her nose out!”
    “As undertakers you are supposed to operate without being noticed. No-one should look twice at two undertakers going about their lawful occasions.”
    “Not that they were very lawful!”
    “The woman wasn’t to know that was she. You must have drawn attention to yourselves in some way.”
    “We didn’t, we went about our business with the greatest care and decorum.
    “This is your next assignment, you’ll find the man we want at this address” No.2 said handing the 1st Top Hat official a slip of paper “and whatever you do, don’t draw attention to yourselves!”
   A green yellow nosed Lotus 7 pulls up outside No.1 Buckingham Place, a black hearse turns into the road, the driver of the Lotus 7 gets out and goes into the house. The hearse stops behind the Lotus, and the two undertakers get out, one goes to the rear of the hearse, the other goes to the front door and let’s himself in with a key. Then the two undertakers carry a coffin into the house. At the door to the study one undertaker takes a curious gun from his pocket and putting it to the keyhole pulls the trigger injecting nerve gas into the study. The man had collected his passport and airline ticket from his desk, two suitcases, and the travel brochures. He suddenly felt strange, he pulled on the cord of the blinds which fell down blocking out the window, as the man fell back onto a couch unconscious! The two undertakers waited for the nerve agent to disperse before going into the study, the body placed in the coffin was carried out of the house and put into the back of the hearse. The two undertakers got back into the hearse and drove off, and without drawing attention to themselves, no fuss, no bother…….but what about the Lotus?


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Insoluble For Both Man And Machine!

    Why “Free Sea”? The sea is free to everyone, so why the need to advertise the fact? Why walk on the grass? Usually it’s “Do Not Walk On The Grass.” Inviting people to “walk on the grass” seems to me its inviting the breaking of a rule. But that’s merely a personal opinion.


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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Life In The Village!

    “Have you heard the latest?”
    “Depends on what the latest is!”
    “To make the Piazza a shared space.”
    “What’s that when it’s at home?”
    “To make the piazza available to pedestrians..........”
    “Yes, citizens do love to promenade around the pool and fountain. It’s a place to meet people, but more importantly a place to be seen.”
    “Yes, but the idea now is to open it up to cyclists.”
    “Well that’s not so bad, there aren’t that many cyclists about.”
    “And then taxis!”
    “Taxis, but that’s ridiculous, they’d be a danger to pedestrians, and cyclists as well it would be chaos!”
    “My point entirely.”
    “This isn’t another of those experiments is it, I mean like Speed Learn?”
    “And we know how that ended.”
    “This village is just a large experimental laboratory. They get these crazy ideas and think they know where they can get this tested, on the inmates of the village!”
   “The cordless telephones are a good idea.”
   “Yes, but have you tried carrying one about with you all day. They need to be more mobile orientated, small enough to put in your pocket.”
    “So where do you stand on this shared space of the Piazza?”
    “I don’t know, it seems all too continental for my liking.”
    “International!”
    “Cafe at lunchtime?”
    “Do we sit inside or out?”
    {Suddenly the sound of a taxi’s horn Dad da de da da de da}
    “Oi, get out of the road mate, want to get yourselves run over?”
    “Did you see that, damned pedestrians shouldn’t be walking in the road like that. Did you read in The Tally ho that they’re planning to make the Piazza a shared space? It’s bad enough trying to miss people walking in the road, but in the Piazza it’s going to be carnage. Here we are love, that’ll be two credit units if you please. Here, don’t I get a tip?”
    “Yes, keep your mouth shut, and your eyes on the road!”


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Murdered One Run Short of His Century!

   Murdered at the wicket, now that certainly wasn’t cricket. As for Colonel Hawke-Englishe he was playing a different game. On the face of it he wasn’t aware of the village, and even if he was he wasn’t involved with it at the present time. But he is the second Colonel to come out from behind his desk and go out into the field. Perhaps that’s why he had a bag-man in Potter to watch his back. But if only Potter had been doing that, keeping his eye on the ball, instead of on a particularly pair of shapely legs, then the Colonel might still have been alive. So Potter was put out into the cold, the English form of Siberia. But what then, a transfer to the village, or was Potter sent there simply to keep him out of the way? And what had Potter against his old colleague to suggest to No.2 that there are methods they haven’t used against No.6 yet! And even in the village they kept moving Potter about, he was the manager of the Labour exchange, but he seemed more bothered about tinkering with that wooden construction set, than actually doing his job! And when he was moved to assist No.2, he didn’t last too long in that position, I might hazard a guess that it was his suggestion about the methods they had not used against No.6, No.2 not wanting a man of fragments, that got him moved on to assist the Supervisor in the Control Room. Poor old Potter, and rest in peace Colonel Hawke-Englishe.

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Sunday, 20 October 2019

Living In Harmony

    The Judge runs the town, and as long as you toe the line, then the Judge will look after you. He runs Harmony with a rod of iron, and there's his "boys" who enforce the Judge’s rules. In fact when it comes to the Judges ruling in Court, he puts me in mind of that other self appointed Judge, Judge Roy Bean who had a thing for that actress Lillie Langtry. Because there is a picture of Miss Lillie Langtry on the wall of the Silver Dollar saloon.
   No-one knows who the man with no name is, a drifter on the plain, a high plain’s drifter you could say! He was brought off the plain and into town on the back of a horse by the "Judges Boys." It took some persuasion on the Judge's part, to make the stranger see that the wisest thing to do was to stay in town. But he couldn't leave town even if he wanted to. The Judge’s Boys would see to that! And the Sheriff also took some persuading to "Get some guns on!" But even without guns, this man with no name can sure handle himself, as Zeke also doesn't carry a gun, but then he doesn't need to. During that fight when Zeke and the 'boys' are teaching the Sheriff that it's not safe to go about without wearing a gun, I think of the Prisoner fighting with Zeke. Reacting to blows to the face, fighting, and rolling about on the ground against an imaginary foe!


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Thought For The Day

   The doctor No.40 used Roland Water Dutton as a communications medium in attempting to extract information from No.6. Apparently there’s been a security leak and the committee want a breakdown of everything they know, No.6, Dutton, Arthur, the Colonel, everybody. They want to know all the files No.6 has seen, the projects he knows about, just headings not details….. Just a minute, that’s rather strange isn’t it? The doctor is using a technique which he knew would work, but he only wants headings of files and projects No.6 knows about, but not any details. It seems an awful lot of trouble to go to just to try and extract mere headings but no details from No.6!


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Friday, 18 October 2019

Someone Call Security!

    “You know we should have a radio in this thing!”
    “Yes, then we could listen to some music as we speed through the village!
    “What? I’m talking about a two-way radio, what are you talking about?”
    “Picking up radio Jolly Roger, I hear they’ve got a new disc jockey, Johnny Drake. How does it go now? JD the DJ of the JR.”
    “What are you jabbering on about?”
    “Where are we going anyway?”
    “Someone called security, and we have to get there pronto!”
    “Well I think we should have a better siren, a more manly siren instead of this whining thing. And a blue light.”
    “Blue light?”
    “Yeah, then we could put the blue light on the roof.”
    “What roof?”
    “Ah, hadn’t thought of that. Anyway where are we going?”
    “Hark at him! Does he think I’d go careering around the village without knowing where we’re going…….we’ll stop at the telephone kiosk and call control!”


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