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Wednesday 6 March 2019

A Favourite Scene In Hammer Into Anvil

    Having watched this episode last night, simply on the grounds of the time of the year and the daffodils seen in this episode, giving Hammer Into Anvil the connection with spring. This suggests to me that this episode should appear much earlier in the series than it does. Also the final scene, this one-to-one between Number 6 and Number 2, is one of my favourites.
   Number 2 wanted to know what Number 6 was doing there. What kind of attitude was that, he had only gone to keep him company after all his friends had deserted Number 2, he cannot trust anyone any more. All that power at Number 2’s disposal and yet he’s alone, no longer the hammer, but the anvil! Number 6 went to talk, to listen, but Number 2 has nothing to say, well that’s not like the old Number 2 at all, where is the strong man, the hammer?
   Number 2 knows who Number 6 is, D6, sent to the village by their masters to spy on Number 2 who had been on Number 6 right from the beginning. All those messages Number 6 sent, people he recruited, he knew Number 6 was a plant sent to the village by XO4…..XO4 to which Number 6 agreed, to check on village security, to check up on Number 2 the trouble is Number 2 didn’t know he was actually talking to ZM73!
    Number 2 was a weak link in the chain of command and any chain is as strong as its weakest link. Poor old Number 2 accused of sabotage! Like Number 6 and Number 2 in Once Upon A time Number 2 and Number 6 change places, Number 6 is now the interrogator.
    “Who are you working for Number Two?”
    “For us, for us!”
    “That’s not how its going to sound to XO4.”
    “I swear to you…..”
    “You could be working for the enemy, or you could be a blunderer who’s lost his head. Either way you’ve failed, and they do not like failure here!”
    This hurts Number 2, you can see the mental pain on his face.
    “You’ve destroyed me!”
    “No, you’ve destroyed yourself, a character flaw. You were afraid of your masters, a weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken.”
    “Don’t tell them, don’t report me” is Number 2’s plead.
    “I don’t intend to, you are going to report yourself.”
    Number 6 hands Number 2 that curved, red, over-sized telephone, and from the relative comfort of his chair, Number 2 reports to Number 1 that there has been a breakdown in control, that Number 2 needs to be replaced.
    I think there was no need for Number 2 to have reported himself, I feel sure Number 1 was all too aware of what had been taking place between Number 2 and Number 6. I get the impression that Number 1 was happy just to let the both of them get on with it simply to see which one would emerge the victor. And it was probably payback for Number 2’s show of arrogance towards Number 1 when he refused the offer of help. I also like the way the code names of D6 and XO4 are akin to ZM73, PR12, and XB4 thereby linking the two episodes of Hammer Into Anvil and Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling. If XO4 was a real person that person might be Sir Charles Portland, who sent ZM73 on a secret mission to the village, to check on security, to check on Number 2! Well when I watched Hammer Into Anvil for the first time in 1967, I did think Number 2 had got it right, that Number 6 was actually a plant sent to the village. But then I was also fooled into thinking Number 6 had actually escaped the village during The Chimes of Big Ben! Certainly had Number 6 been sent to the village to check on security his failed escape attempts were proof that security was 100 percent. And had that actually been the case, they could have done a whole lot worse, and they did, than promote ZM73 to the position of Number 2. Perhaps XO4 could fix that for him!

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