They say that the Prisoner plays with the mind, and to some extent that is perfectly true. And yet isn’t it more often the case that we play the mind games with the Prisoner? We think about the series, we theorise, interpret. One day we follow one avenue, a particular train of thought, and arrive at a conclusion. And another time we take another look, and arrive at a completely different conclusion. The Prisoner can be like a maze, and the way to the centre of any maze is to keep turning left whenever you can. But that’s not easy, one gets distracted something interesting turns up and you find yourself turning right, and end up following your nose until you are completely lost, and cannot find your way back. And there are blind alleys, and you have to go back on yourself. And then the moment comes when you finally stagger out where you came in, and have to begin all over again. There’s nothing wrong with the Prisoner apart from the continuity errors, and the slapdash editing. But then those also help make the Prisoner what it is. Even ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ plays its part, even though aspects of it are somewhat contrived. But there’s always the consolation of the music. No, basically the Prisoner is a fine piece of television art work, its only ‘Fall Out’ that’s the main problem. It’s the odd episode out, its stands by itself without proper relevance to the previous 16 episodes. Number 1 was okay as a man of mystery, but once revealed, well okay Number 6 turned out to be Number 1. However I have come to the notion that it might have been better had Number 1’s identity not been revealed. ‘Fall Out’ seems to make a mockery of what has taken place before. 16 episodes of action and adventure, of mystery and intrigue, we’re dealing with a physical Village, but ‘Fall Out’ deals more with the metaphysical. It gives you James Bond, when perhaps it should be John Drake but then he’s been here before, twice he dealt with a rocket in the series. But that made fans think Number 6 was a rocket scientist! Perhaps Number 2 got it right after all, that 6 was a plant, perhaps Number 34 was a plant, and the prisoner simply means what it is. And that it is we who play mind games with the Prisoner, and not the other way around. For example perhaps Number 6 resigned because he was fed up with working for The Village, and he was brought back there because something had gone wrong with one of their agents. They had to know why he resigned because something must have gone wrong with their indoctrination technique. Perhaps they had never had an agent resign before!
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