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Saturday 12 January 2019

A Brief Encounter!

    There he is, Number 6 washed up on a beach on the south coast of England, although he didn’t know that at the time. Just off shore a red and white striped lighthouse. Exhausted Number 6 pulls himself together and gets to his feet, the shingled beach is deserted, the lighthouse appears to be an automatic one and unattended {although in reality the lighthouse at Beachy Head wasn’t fully automated until 1983} Walking along the beach Number 6 gazes up at the chalky cliffs, as it happens there has been recent cliff erosion which makes it easier for him to scale the cliff face. Once reaching the top of the cliff he walks inland and come across a rough looking man with his whippet. Number 6 follows the man to a Romany gipsy camp. There he is treated to the first genuine act of kindness since his abduction to the village, when an attractive young Romany woman who smiles warmly at him, gives him a cup of tea or broth. He asks her where is there a road. She replies pointing {and forgive the spelling as its unsure} “Don deron doy doy.”
   Towards the end of last year I was very kindly given copies of all the Prisoner scripts. And so I thought to work my way through them as there were a few things I wanted to check out in the scripts against what takes place in the finished episodes. Number 6’s encounter with the Romany’s was one of them. It was with eager anticipation that I turned the pages of Many Happy Returns to the required scene. Imagine my disappointment when I read that in the script the young woman doesn’t say “Don deron doy doy” at all, but speaks with a broad cockney accent! The Prisoner says he’s a long way from home, and that he wants to get to
England, “I…have……get…to…England. England? Inglaterra? Grande Bretagne? I…have…to…get…to…England.”
    “Just as well the, nt it? That’s where you’re at.”
    Number 6 asks where about he is,
Kent is the woman’s suggestion. Number 6 then asks how he gets to London. The woman replies “Dunno. Never go there. There’s a road that way” and she points the way.
   It’s not the same as pointing and uttering the incomprehensible “Don deron doy doy,” and to be quite honest I’m not sure which version I prefer. But I was interested to see how Don deron doy doy would have been spelt, that interest soon turned into disappointment!
   I suppose the change in dialogue for that scene must have been at the last moment because there is no indication of the change in dialogue on the page in the script. Perhaps it was thought that giving the location in
Kent was giving away too much information. And yet Beachy Head lighthouse is a well recognized landmark, and really that should have told Number 6 instantly where he was. However I soon recovered from my disappointment and turned my attention to the rest of the script for Many Happy Returns, and found that Number 6 had a much……… well for those who have read the script you will already be aware. However for my own satisfaction, and that of those who have not, I shall tackle Number 6’s sea voyage of discovery another time soon.

Be seeing you

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