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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Prismatic Reflection

     After making a call somewhere in the country, a man driving a Lotus 7 returns to London, he has one more call to make. Driving through the streets of London, over Westminster Bridge, passed the Houses of Parliament the car turns left then right , and down a ramp into an underground car park. He storms out of the car park and along a dark corridor. In an undisclosed building, but probably somewhere along Whitehall, the man storms into an office, he’s angry, in a rage. He paces up and down shouting the odds at the man sat passively in the chair behind his desk. A letter marked personal by hand is slammed down on the desk, along with his fist as though to forcibly make his mark, and with so much force that he upsets a cup in its saucer, breaking a tea plate, and then the man storms out, returns to the car park and drives home. The letter, we presume, is a letter of resignation, but the man works for the British Military Intelligence on top state secret confidential work, a man like him wouldn’t be allowed to simply resign. But at the same time he couldn’t be permitted to roam free at large. So what to do with him? Put him in a place of security until he’s cooled his heels. Once there it would be productive to find out what has gone wrong with one of their top men. Why did he resign?
    Number 2 is a very sympathetic man, but then he’s paid to be, he knows how the Prisoner feels, and they have taken quite a liberty. A lot of people are curious about what lies behind the Prisoner’s resignation, he had a brilliant career, his reputation is impeccable, they want to know why he suddenly left. Personally Number 2 believes the Prisoner’s story, that it was a matter of principle, but then what Number 2 thinks doesn’t really count does it? One has to be sure, that that gives them the right to poke their nose into the Prisoner’s private business! Its Number 2’s job to check the Prisoner’s motives….. “They’ve been checked” protests the Prisoner. Who checked his motives and when, there wasn’t time surely? Well at least not after he had handed in his letter of resignation. The Prisoner asked “What people?” Obviously those for whom he previously worked, the Colonel and people higher up, those “masters” we hear so much about in The Village.
    And besides The Prisoner’s file needs to be brought up to date, because if there’s one thing those working for The Village are keen on its information, and the more information the better. And no piece of information is too small, that’s why even people who know too little are also brought to The Village, why the doctor-Number 40 pressed on with experiments against Dutton, so to squeeze every piece of information out of him he knew! Why Number 2 was keen to see the Village scientists to put the Seltzman machine into operation, to use unsuspected agents to gather information. Because information is power, and the more you have of it, the more power you can impose on governments, Kings, Princes of many lands. Policies can be defined, and revolutions nipped in the bud. So its no wonder that one day Number 2 would wake up amongst them, since he wielded a not inconsiderable power. A man like that could be of use to those behind The Village, a man in his position would be perfectly placed to use certain information at a propitious time.
    A lot of people have certainly been interested in why the Prisoner resigned. But as Number 2 once said “If one can’t chuck up a job things have come to a pretty pass.” But who was it who actually resigned? John Drake, or Patrick McGoohan? A case can be made for both of them. John Drake probably became disillusioned with the kind of work he was doing for British Military Intelligence {MI9}. Patrick McGoohan had certainly become fed up with his role as ‘Danger Man – John Drake,’ when considering the restiveness and staleness of the scripts. So the scene in which the Prisoner hands in his resignation on the one hand is action adventure, and on the other symbolising McGoohan storming into Lew Grade’s office one morning telling him that he’s had enough of ‘Danger Man,’ and how he has an idea for something new. But even then the secret agent remains in the mind of Patrick McGoohan as Number 6. He was made a secret agent, and so could easily be John Drake, a man who has resigned his top secret confidential job, a man who could not be left to roam free at large. When really there was the opportunity for Number 6 to be made to be anyone, just as long as he’s in some way important. After all Number 6 was to be the central character in The Village, and if not a secret agent then what, or who?............ I suppose really Number 6 had to be an ex-secret agent, because it made the character better suited to resist interrogation techniques, to survive the ordeals he would be forced to face. Ordeals which would eventually break a lesser man than Number 6!                


See you soon 

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