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Tuesday 30 July 2019

The Village

    I asked “What are we doing here?”
    “Why, don’t you like it here?”
    It was okay I thought, quiet enough, secluded, a little out of season in late October. It had been raining, it had rained yesterday, and the day before that. It’ll probably rain tomorrow, when didn’t it rain in 
North Wales? It was the mountains I suppose.
    I sat at the window looking out. There was no-one much about, and yet there was this figure standing on top of the stone Bandstand, he was…..he was staring right back at me! The rain stopped, I said I was going out for a walk. The voice from the kitchen said lunch would be in half an hour. I replied that I wouldn’t be long.
    I walked down the wooden steps and stood gazing into the water of the pool and at the fish swimming about. Then there was a splash and I saw two men in the water, they were fighting. Two other men in greyish overalls got into the water and hauled the other two off and marched them away.
    “Disgraceful behaviour” said one woman.
    “Shouldn’t be allowed” said her companion.
    “It isn’t” said the other, and together they continued their walk.
    I noticed that there was something lying on the grass. I walked over and picked it up. It was a white disc, about two inches in circumference. On one side was a pin. On the other a Penny Farthing bicycle with a canopy and a red numeral in the penny wheel, 42.
    “What you got there?” a man asked.
    “I just found it” I said holding out the badge, and noticed that the man was wearing the same badge, but with a different number.
    “What’s your number?” the man asked me.
    “I haven’t got a number” I replied.
    “I can see that.”
    “What do you mean by that?”
    “You’re not wearing a badge. Dropped off did it? You had better pin that badge on. You don’t want to be going about here wearing no number.”
    I pinned the badge onto the lapel of my jacket.
    “That’s better lad. Now no-one would think you were not one of us.”
    “One of us? Where is this place?”
    “You know where you are, you’re in The Village.”
    “The Village? But that’s not possible!”

    Just at that moment two burly-set men in red jerseys came along and manhandled Forty-two into the back of a taxi, and was driven off. Eventually the taxi pulled up at the bottom of a set of steps. Forty-two was then manhandled out of the taxi and up the steps to the Green Dome. Through the opening front door, into and through the foyer where a diminutive man in black tails bowed. Then through a pair of open French doors, and a pair of opening steel doors, and into the domed chamber, and pushed roughly into a leather chair. A lean man wearing a plain double breasted blazer and grey flannel trousers sat in a black spherical chair behind a curved desk.
    “Look Forty-Two, we’ve had just about enough of you. I have had just about enough of you. If you’re not ready to talk we’ll make you, I shall see to it personally that you talk.”
    “Look I’m not Number Forty-Two. This badge, I found it lying in the grass, I picked it up and pinned it on.”
   “Why did you do that?”
   “There was this old man…….”
   “I’m not interested in the old man. I’m interested in you Forty-two.”
    “Look I don’t know what’s going on here, I came here for a holiday. Now something’s happened………….”
    “You came here for a holiday, that’s a good one!”
    “You can’t hold me here, I’ve done nothing wrong.”
    “Of course you have Forty-two, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, we’re all prisoners!”
    “I am not a prisoner, I am a free man!” 

    Suddenly he was no longer in the domed chamber. He stood in what had been the foyer. But which was now a plain room, with paintings set along the walls, and picture card filled racks.
    “Are you alright?” the sales assistant asked.
   He went running outside onto the balcony, then down the steps, across the street and into the cobbled square. Looking up at the Green Dome, he saw that it was brown!
    “There you are Timothy” said a woman’s voice “what have you been doing?”
    “Nothing, I was just…….”
    “Well never mind. Look what I’ve bought you, they sell them there in that shop over there. I know how much of a fan of the series you are.
    Timothy took the gift out of the brown paper bag, it was a ‘T’ shirt with the design of a Penny Farthing with a canopy. Two words blazoned across it ‘the Prisoner.’ He put the ‘T’ shirt back in the paper bag, and dropped it into a litter bin!
    “Let’s go and listen to the Brass Band concert dear.”
    At the concert a middle aged woman, wearing a red trilby hat, and colourful striped cape came and sat next to me.
    “I want to help.”
    “I know a way out” she said.
    I was taken aback, this couldn’t be right. I glanced around for the cameras. The woman opened the book she was holding.
    “In here you have only so much time to give them what they want before they…take it from you. Can you fly a helicopter?”
    “Do I look as though I can fly a helicopter?”
    “Pity” said Number 9 getting up out her deckchair and walking away, I must have the wrong man!” and hurried away.
   “Where are you going?” I shouted after her. I knew of course, but followed her anyway and watching from the top of the steps, as Number 9 made her way to the Green Dome. The dome was green again. Well I say green it was more of a turquoise colour.
    “Who was that you were talking to?”
    “No-one really dear. Who‘s anyone here?” I couldn’t believe I had just said that. All I could think about was Saturday, when we would be leaving this Italianate village called Portmeirion. Once I’d swept the dust from this place, wild horses wouldn’t drag me back!
   My wife passed me my jacket, and went back to the Brass Band concert. Later that day 
Sofia and I sat together by the pool and fountain in the Piazza, while a gentleman took our picture together.
Be seeing you

It’s Ambiguous!

    Alison-No.24 of ‘The Schizoid Man’ is as ambiguous as ‘the Prisoner’ itself can be. The question of why Alison was brought to The Village in the first place is a question which also hangs over most citizens in The Village. Does she work for The Village, and assigned to Number 6 as Nadia Rakovski had been? Whatever it was that brought Alison and Number 6 together, indeed how they discovered they shared a mental link will be forever unknown. Perhaps Alison had been brought to The Village because of her mental powers, to be able to read people’s minds, and to have that mental power enhanced. Thus Number 6 had become unwittingly involved in an ESP experiment. After all Number 58 had been brought to The Village because of her photographic memory. Yes she turned out to be the next Number 2, but originally she might have been brought to The Village because of that photographic memory.

Be seeing you

Sunday 28 July 2019

Once Upon A Time

    Number 2 of ‘It’s Your Funeral’ made the claim that the Observers do see and hear everything. The Village is a small enough community I suppose, but I find it difficult to believe that 7 Observers see and hear everything that takes place. 
There is one Observer who has attracted my attention for years.
   This is the chap, one of the 5 Observers who in ‘Once Upon A Time’ are released by the Supervisor as subsidiary personnel. Do you recognize him? He is a former interim Number 2 from ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ so now we know what happened to him after that, {this actor is named in my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down} demoted to an Observer. And yet on the other hand, he might have been an Observer who was chosen to act as an interim Number 2 before the camera in that episode, perhaps because of his resemblance to a previous Number 2 of ‘Chimes’ who was brought back for this episode. 
   That rocking horse, how is it perpetually moving? I guess an unseen member of the production crew has to give it a shove to make it rock before filming a scene, possibly during the scene.
      “We shall need the body for evidence.” Evidence for what? Was the Prisoner to be put on trial for the death of Number 2? Or was it a question of verification, evidence that Number 2 was in fact dead. As it happens Number 6 is taken to Number 1, while Number 2 is resuscitated and became like a new man, re-born one could say. Number 6, well he was faced with the truth, forced to confront himself with the realisation that he had been Number 1 all the time, and therefore responsible for the village and everything that takes place therein.
   But what if the canvas deck shoe had been on the other foot, that it had been Number 2 who had survived the ultimate test and not Number 6, what might have been in store for Number 2? Would he have been taken to meet Number 1, or simply have been put on trial for the death of Number 6, whose body would have been required as evidence!

Be seeing you

Quote For The Day

    “You expect me to believe that” No.2 growled.
    No.14 “But that's what happened. He came over........”
    “And asked if you'd slept well!”
    “Yes Sir.”
    “The waiter said you were whispering.”
    “I wasn't, but he was.”
    “What about?”
    “Well he talked a lot of rubbish. Then he said the waiter was watching us.”
    “Why did Number Six say that?”
    “I don't know Sir.”
    “Don't you. You're working with Number Six!”
    "Me Sir?”
    “And I thought you were the one man I could trust.”
    “But you can. I'm loyal.”
    “Traitor! Traitor! Traitor!”
    Number 2 accused Number 14 of being a traitor, he was anything but. Number 14 was loyal, Number 2 should have put his faith and trusted him more. After all Number 14’s job was supposed to assist Number 2, but he kept his assistant at arms length when it came to the important things. Like keeping that message from D6 to XO4 to himself, and showing him those blank sheets of paper he found in the envelope. Number 14 is merely used for the strong arm stuff. But a few words from Number 6 was enough to put the poison in, and Number 2 chose to believe Number 6, and not his assistant. Number 14 was finished, and decided to take out his vengeance on the cause, that of Number 6. But really Number 14 wasn’t much good at the “strong arm stuff” either. Did Number 14 survive the fall after being thrown out of 6 Private through the French window by Number 6? I like to think so, but he probably died of a broken neck!

Be seeing you

Friday 26 July 2019

The Prisoner

    Here the atmosphere is much the same as anywhere else, the day to day living of life in The Village, unless of course you fall under the gaze of Number 2, or worse one of the doctors from the hospital. They just love to experiment, to find a man’s breaking point, and they go to any lengths. Me? I told them everything I knew on the first day, well why delays matters, why put myself through the agony when everyone talks on the third day. I’m actually rather pathetic, it was so deplorable that I should have resisted for so short a time. What they will do with me now I know not. They did suggest that I might be released, to be sent back, but to work for them like some sleeper to be woken at their bidding. Actually I think I should rather remain here in The Village. Now that I have told them everything they won’t bother me much, if at all. I’m of no further importance to them, so I can live out the rest of my life in the peaceful atmosphere of The Village. They look after you, you see, for as long as you live, for however long that might be. I have my books, my music, I play chess, I shall be fully occupied.
    “All he does all day, all week, is play his records, read his books, plays chess, and visits the library twice a week.”
    “He’s a model citizen.”
    “Yes Number Two.”
    “And none of the Observers have noticed anything untoward?”
    “He hasn’t done anything out of character?”
    “No Number Two.”
    “He has not had contact with jammers?”
    “No, he is behaving perfectly.”
    “Yes too perfectly, he’s feeling far too much at home, I don’t like it!”
    Then one morning.
    “Number two here what is it, what’s the matter?”
    “The Observers cannot find Number Ninety-nine!”
    “What do you mean they cannot find him?”
    “He isn’t anywhere, he’s gone!”
    “He can’t have just gone, order a yellow alert, all posts.”
    “I have already done that sir, there’s still no sign.”
    “Then perhaps we should look a little closer to home.”
    “He’s not at home Number Two, the Observers would have noticed.”
    “Tell me, isn’t it a fact that for several hours last night there was a power cut to the cottage of ‘Ninety-three Private?”
    “Yes sir, we never did trace the reason.”
    “Supervisor, I want you to put a search team together.”
    “Yes sir, and send them into the woods and countryside. Along the cliffs and beach.........”
    “No, arm them with pickaxes, crowbars, and sledgehammers.”
    “For what purpose?”
    “They are to go to Ninety-nine’s cottage and take it apart, brick by brick if necessary.”
    “To what purpose?”
    “You are looking for Number Ninety-nine if you haven’t forgotten.”

    “Did you really think you could outwit me Ninety-nine?”
    “I gave it a damned good try!”
    “You made my men take your cottage apart, and where did they find you the false roof!”
    “I had you fooled!”
    “Fooled! You didn’t fool me!”
    “Perhaps not, but it’s been fun.”
    “Whatever did you expect to achieve?”
    “I was jamming!”
    “Jamming I........oh I see, hilarious!”
    “I’m glad you find it funny!”
    “Funny, what’s funny about it!...............I tell you what is funny, your cottage is a mess, and you have nowhere to sleep tonight, isn’t that hilarious?”
    “I’ll die laughing!”
    “Yes, well here’s the payoff, tonight you’ll spend the night rebuilding your cottage as my men demolished it, brick by brick. How do you like that?”
    “You can’t make me.”
    “Make you.....I’ll make’ll work on that cottage night and day until its right again, right and perfect as ever it was. You’ll not sleep, you’ll not eat, you’ll be crying for your mother by the time I’m finished with you, I’ll break you with work...I’ll give you jamming.....and there’ll be no bread and butter either! Hard labour won’t be in it!”
    “You can’t do this Number Two.”
    “Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do! Soft all of you, that’s what you are.....they should bring back the treadmill, if I had my way you’d all be on the crank now!”
    “Cranks about right!”
    “What did you say?”
    “Nothing Number Two.”
    “Just as well, what this place needs is discipline!”
    “Yes Number Two.”
    “I’m going...........”
    “Yes Number Two?”
    “I’m going to my room, I don’t feel well.”
    “Yes Number Two, Village life doesn’t suit everyone!”

Be seeing you


    I am resigned! Resigned to the fact that I shall never leave The Village, it’s in my mind, my psyche, I must face the fact that I am Village! But I am not Six, I am not Two, nor am I any un-number, I am not a number, I am a numberless wanderer, but I am Village. Well there is nowhere else, there is only The Village, but how I came to be here I do not know. I might have arrived on a bus with other newcomers, if I did where did I get on the bus? Why in The Village, I had arrived!
    I am resigned.........I am Village!

Be seeing you

Thursday 25 July 2019

Anniversary of An Historic Flight In 1909

    Today French Aeronautique Internataionale celebrates the 110th Anniversary of Louis Blériot’s Historic Channel Crossing
Exactly 110 years ago today, just after sunrise on 25 July 1909, the French aviator Louis Blériot took off on what was to become the first ever flight in an airplane across the Channel.
   This historic achievement allowed him to claim a £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper, which was an incentive that prompted him to attempt the journey and beat rival French aviator Hubert Latham. Flying at approximately 72km per hour and at an altitude of 76m above sea level, Bleriot piloted his 25-horsepower monoplane from near Calais in France to the English coast, arriving in Dover some 36 minutes later. He had no compass or other instruments to chart his course. He made a “pancake” landing close to Dover Castle after being slightly blown off course by the wind due to the gusty conditions. Bleriot was unhurt, and was quickly taken to Dover harbour where his wife and the world’s press were waiting to greet him. In the field behind Dover Castle, where he landed, is a memorial to the French aviator.

Louis Bleriot XI As Depicted In The Village Story Book
    The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the drawing of the monoplane seen in The Village Story Book is simply that. It is in fact a drawing of a French built Bleriot XI – 1909, dimensions of which are:
Wingspan 28ft 6in  {8.52m}    
Length   25ft 6in  {7.63m
Height  8ft   10in {2.7m}
Weight  720lb        {326kg}
Engine       25 horsepower - three cylinder – Anzani engine/upgraded to a 6-cylinder Anzani engine.
    A light and sleek monoplane constructed of oak and poplar, the flying surfaces were covered with cloth. The Bleriot Type XI was the most famous and successful of several classic aeroplanes that emerged during the summer of 1909, when all Europe seemed to be taking to the skies. Luis Bleriot, a French engineer and manufacturer of motor car head lamps and other accessories, first became interested in aeronautics in 1901, and then went onto achieve immortality in the Type XI on July 25th 1909, when he made the first aeroplane crossing of the English Channel, covering 40 kilometres between Calais and Dover in a time of 36 minutes – 30 seconds, at a speed of some 40 miles per hour and at a height of 250. Bleriot captured the London Daily Mail prize of £1,000 which had been put up by the newspaper the year before for any successful cross-Channel aeroplane flight.
    It is interesting to note that it is possible that Louis Bleriot’s crossing of the English Channel from Calais to Dover, taking The Daily Mail prize, was inspiration behind the 1965 film ‘Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines’ or ‘Or how I flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes.’ In the film a Lord Rawnsley, owner of the ‘Daily Post,’ puts up prize money of £10,000 to the winner of the Daily Post air race from London to Paris. A replica of the plane does feature in the film.
    If this way of looking at ‘the Prisoner’ appeals to you, you will find this, and much, much more Prisoner related material in my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down.’

Be seeing you

Wednesday 24 July 2019

60 Seconds With No.22

     Do you know what, you are the day time Supervisor, I wonder where Number 28 is, he has been the day time Supervisor until now. You are the first female Supervisor. So what’s happened to Number 28? Perhaps he’s on the annual democratic outing; sorry that was rather flippant of me. Or he may be away on leave, or perhaps he simply didn’t fit in with this episode. That they conjured you up simply to give the episode a more female orientation, is that it? Mind you that doesn’t take into consideration the good doctor Number 40, or the male night time supervisor. If they really wanted to make ‘Dance of the Dead’ female orientated, then they should have made them women. The doctor Number 23 in ‘Checkmate’ for example, she would have dovetailed quite nicely into ‘Dance of The Dead,’ after all there is little to chose between the two, professionally speaking that is. 
    Anyway, you’re a stern one, telling Number 240 of Number 34’s death like that, and that although No.240 was getting to know 34 quite well, he didn’t know her! Cold and unfeeling, that’s you. Oh yes, observers of life should never get involved, I expect you were jealous, of the working relationship between Number 2 and 240? If I didn’t know better, I would say Number 240 was Number 2’s assistant, wouldn’t you?
Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

    Here’s another elaborate plan, make the village look as though the village is deserted, that everyone has left leaving No.6 behind. Let him discover for himself that the only way out is by sea. Leave a Mini-Moke with the key in the ignition, he’ll need it to haul the logs, and carry the oil drums for his raft down to the slipway. It’s just as well they had the faith in No.6 to not only be able to construct his raft, but also to navigate the craft. Not everyman could do that, but perhaps they researched and computed the Prisoner’s whole background in assessing his skills and abilities in order to come up with this plan. Had it been anyone else but No.6, I think the plan would have been doomed to failure from the beginning. On the other hand had it been anyone other than No.6, then I don’t think such a plan would have been suggested in the first place!

Be seeing you

Monday 22 July 2019

Village Life!

    “What do you mean what shall I do when I leave this place? Leave this place, I’ve not been in office five minutes!”
    “I only thought……”
    “Well don’t, let me do the thinking. What have you got against Number Six anyway?”.
    “I was the Colonel’s bag man once.”
    “You mean you did the Colonel’s fetching and carrying.”
    “Yes I suppose you could put it like that.”
    “What other way is there to put it?”
    “I watched his back.”
    “You were not watching his back when the Colonel “bought it” at the wicket were you?”
    “You were watching a very shapely pair of legs at the time, when you should have been alert to any danger.”
   “They put me out in the cold!”
   “And you blame that on Number Six?”
   “We had met before, in
Tokyo, I was an official at the British Embassy then. I had to contact him at a record shop. I knew he didn’t like me then, and he looked down on me when I was transferred to the same department as his.”
    “Really Potter, you wanted a transfer from the Labour Exchange, and now you’re my assistant you’re still not happy!”
    “What will you do when you leave here?”
    “Go back to the House of Lords I expect.”
    “Me? I’ll be staying I’m sure of that.”
    “Is that why you are here, because of Number Six?”
    “Well there are methods we haven’t tried yet!”
    “You really don’t like him do you Potter? I don’t want a man of fragments, I want him with a whole heart, body, and soul.”
    “And me?”
    “I think a sideways move for you Potter. You can go and help the Supervisor in the Control Room.”
    “Oh goody.”
    “Life here in the village doesn’t suit you does it Potter?”
    “Does it really suit anyone?”
    “Why did they bring you here I wonder. I bet he doesn’t know you are here.”
    “He shouldn’t be surprised by anyone he meets here!”
    “Shall I arrange for him to meet you?”
    “No, no. I’m on my way to the Control room.”
    “And I’m going to meet a new arrival, whom I’m sure will prove to be an attractive diversion.

Be seeing you

2 Times 6 Equals 12!

    Two times 6 equals 12, and two times 12 equals 24, and 24 equals Alison, numbers are all relative you see. We have a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Number 6, and even more so after a makeover. A man by the name of Curtis who was seconded back to The Village, seconded back to The Village, it makes one wonder why and when he was previously in The Village. Perhaps he was a former Prisoner who like Cobb was seconded back to The Village because they had a mission for him involving Number 6! And Alison, she appeared to have a genuine mental link with Number 6, just how and when was this mental link made apparent? Was Alison planted on Number 6 on the instruction of Number 2. She might have been, but one thing Number 2 could not have done, was to fake that mental link. Perhaps it was after this mental rapport between Alison and Number 6 was first demonstrated that he then assigned Alison to Number 6. But when exactly was that, and why should he want to help her? Some things in ‘the Prisoner’ will forever remain a complete mystery! But then that’s what helps make the Prisoner the Prisoner, wouldn’t you say?

Be seeing you

Saturday 20 July 2019

Village Project Moon!

    “The whole Earth, as the village,” such is No.2’s hope. As for No.6 he would like to be the first man on the Moon! Such is this man’s desire to get as far away from the village as possible, certainly the atmosphere there would be very different to what it was elsewhere! Or perhaps he simply has the desire for his own company and no-one else’s. Well he got that in ‘A Change of Mind’ when the people of the village turned their back on him. We may like to think No.6 is a lone wolf in society, but he isn’t, because he needs the interaction with other people. We all enjoy our own company from time to time, but as the English 17th century author John Donne said in one of his sermons “No man is an island. No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.”
Number 1 Given A Rocket?
    Why was there a rocket in the village in the first place? No doubt it arrived on the back of a Scammell Highwayman Transporter {see my book the Prisoner Dusted Down} but why was it needed? The Blue Streak rocket which we see superimposed onto the piece of film in ‘Fall Out’ suggesting it was a missile carrying a nuclear payload which No.6 launched in the episode. And yet the rocket had no warhead, because No.1 was sealed in the nose cone, and there were four Orbit Tubes {life support tubes} inside the rocket, suggesting when eventually launched, the rocket was bound for somewhere or something beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Whether the rocket was capable of reaching the Moon is doubtful, and even if it was there was no indication that the rocket was capable of landing on the Moon’s surface. Neither is there any indication of the rocket containing a Moon Lander, nor for that matter was there any sign of spacesuits! Perhaps the intention was to fly a manned rocket around the Moon without the capability of making a landing.
   Nevertheless the rocket was launched by No.6, which has suggested to some enthusiasts of ‘the Prisoner’ that No.6’s previous employment was as a rocket engineer. Nonetheless for that, remembering No.6 did show the desire to be the first man on the Moon, he did launch the rocket in full knowledge that his other self was firmly secured inside the nose cone of the rocket. Thereby at least giving himself the opportunity of attempting to reach his goal! Certainly No.1 achieved escape velocity.

Be seeing you

In The Therapy Zone!

    “Why am I here?”
    “Don’t you know?”
    “Well it’s a cave.”
    “Yes a cave, it’s the Therapy Zone.”
    “What’s that noise?”
    “What’s what noise friend?”
    “That sound like a cross between someone breathing through an aqua lung, Gregorian chant, and a bicycle pump.”
    “Ah, no-one has told you then?”
    “Told me what?”
    “Do we tell him lads?”
    “Look all I know is, I was dragged from my home, forced to wear these overalls, and dumped in this cave, then you three arrived.”
    “He had better put these goggles on.”
    “Oh yes he had better put the goggles on.”
    “Here put these goggles on.”
    “Why, to protect your eyes.”
    {Suddenly the noise became louder and suddenly there is was, this white pulsating membranic thing appeared at the far end of the cave, placed around it were four plastic chairs.}
    “What do we do now?”
    “Sit down of course.”
    “What’s going to happen?”
    “You are to be indoctrinated.”
    “This is the Therapy Zone?”
    “Aren’t we going to get drunk?”
    “Listen to the man, soon you will be intoxicated with such knowledge............”
    “Oh no, it can’t be, but it is, Roveroids travelling on hover discs, a city of Roveroids, the light it’s so strong.....a vision of a world in perpetual light, no dark, no night.......its beautiful, I want to see, show me!”
    “Control yourself, it’s always like this the first time. It will show you, it will show you everything. It will show you its world, a dead world, that’s why they came here, to survive.”
    “In The Village?”
    “Their trajectory was some degrees out, The Village was made their home.
    “And the indoctrination?”
    “It wants you to learn, to implant its memories within us.”
    “To survive through us.”
    “You mean to make us the Roveroids..........oh God nooooooooooo!”
Be seeing you 

Thursday 18 July 2019

The Therapy Zone

    I suppose one of the doctors would have carried out a psychological assessment of Number 6, well they could hardly have him wandering about the village shouting his head off about the desert and another village! Well there he was you see, our friend Number 6, well not so much of a friend because I don’t really know him. But nevertheless, there he is going about his daily business of pocking his nose in where it wasn’t wanted, countering the machinations of Number 2 against the village. Causing trouble, and generally not doing anything to benefit either the village or its community, and that’s when he wasn’t coming up with different ideas and schemes to try and escape!
   Then one day he wakes up and things are not as they might be, but there’s a familiarity about his cottage, and yet there’s a difference. And his piped jacket……since when was he 93? * Would Number 2 necessarily know what the old man would be raving about? As for the village, well how did he get there, this village in the middle of a vast desert? An old man he might be, but there must be a way out. Its no wonder 93 turned to drink, and in that was his mistake. A drunken old man who goes about shouting of another place, another village and before that…..
London. But Two told him there is no London, only the village. More than that, there’s nowhere to escape to, because there’s nothing to escape from!
    But that didn’t stop the old man from repeatedly trying to escape, then one day when being pursued by guardians in the desert and the mountains beyond, 93 found himself in a cave. There was a young man who told him he wasn’t from the village, that he didn’t know where he was or how the came to be there. 93 saw the man as a bloody miracle, and to tell 554 that he found a way out………….be seeing you.
    The old man died in that cave, and the man buried him in the desert by an old dead tree. Imagine then, Number 6 waking up in the village and storming, well perhaps not storming not at his age, into Number 2’s office demanding to know what has been going on? Telling him, or anyone in the village about the other place, the other village in the desert, that he had been there. They would think he had gone completely tonto, and before Number 6 knew where he was he’d be in the hospital undergoing a number of psychiatric tests!
    But how came the former Number 6 to the village in the desert as 93 in the first place? Generally its people who live in
New York who find themselves waking up in the village, or having arrived there by bus. People who have psychological problems, mental problems, who are sent to the village to be made better people so they can be released back into society. But Number 6 is the odd man out, he’s already in the village. The question is how is the company of Summakor able to bring Number 6 from the village situated on an estuary in Portugal, to the village in the desert? Its difficult to get one’s head around that, because although the village out in the desert has the feel of the 1950’s about it, there are certain aspects which place it firmly in the 21st century. This is confirmed by scenes taking place outside the village in New York City. So it’s possible for the former Number 6 to have been taken there, for whatever reason, but he would have to have been in his late 80’s or early 90’s.
    When people die in the village, they usually die in the outside world. Like Lucy, as 45 when she threw herself into one of those dark holes, her other self, Lucy, was dead in a gas explosion in
New York when Michael’s flat exploded. So when 93 died in that cave, did Number 6 die in the other village at the same time? And why was he sent to the other village, the one in the desert in the first place? To see if 2 could extract the reason behind his resignation, surely they were well past that after all these decades. Besides 2 never once asked 6 why he resigned from summakor! That leaves Number 6 with psychological problems, to be sent to the village to be made better.
    *the old man 93 is a representation of the former Number 6.

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Thought For The Day

    Unmutualism, its nothing but a witch hunt! In the Village it’s easy to become suspect, and for the slightest misdemeanour you can be seen as disharmonious, and unmutual. The hunt out of unmutuals is rather like the days of McCarthyism in America and the Red scare of the 1940’s and 50’s, in making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. Just like Number 42, who was accused of being disharmonious by ignoring Number 10’s greeting when she was composing poetry. As for Number 6, he was brought before the Committee on a trumped up charge. It was the two bully boys who were no doubt sent by Number 2 to provoke Number 6 to attack them, and thereby able them to have Number 6 sent before the Committee. And these other complaints against Number 6 as suggested by the Committee Chairman? Were there in fact any other complaints laid against him? ‘A Change of Mind’ is another demonstration of how the community is manipulated. The first time the community couldn’t get enough of Number 6 as every man Jack of the people voted Number 6 as the new Number 2. But this time its different, they all stand against him as one……Number 6 the unmutual!

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

The Chimes of Big Ben

    A Little while ago, my wife and I were listening to a Sherlock Holmes story from the BBC Radio Collection, on good old fashioned cassette tape, called ‘The Second Stain.’ The story began with the chimes of Big Ben which Holmes described as “What a magnificent sound that is, the sound of tradition and stability.” If there’s one thing No.6 has lacked since his abduction to the village its stability, and under normal circumstances that stability would have been restored with the traditional and familiar sound of the chimes of Big Ben. For Nadia we are supposed to believe that for her the chimes of Big Ben means safety, that’s why she was so keen to project the need to hear the chimes. But it was all a clever scheme, the chimes are false and misleading. The Prisoner isn’t in London, the apparent stability and familiarity washed away as he discovers there is no-one he can trust, not even his surroundings. And so No.6 returns to the familiarity and stability of the village. For at least here he knows where he is, and where he stands.

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The Village Shop

    The village shop is a general store much like the good old fashioned corner shop, but sadly few exist today. A shop that sold everything from flowers to saucepans, bread, eggs brussel sprouts, potatoes, milk. Tinned goods, sweets, household goods, brooms, carpet beaters, ladles and plastic laundry baskets. as well as special imports of blue and white Cornish ware pottery, and as it happens Portmeirion pottery their Penny Plain pattern. Oranges, tomatoes, pineapples, to provide a full list would be almost endless. Now the village shop is a reflection of a past world, of paper bags and food items wrapped in greaseproof paper by the shopkeeper and not plastic. 
    And yet by the time of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ something else “olde worlde” has been added to the village shop, an old fashioned cash register! These date from the 1940’s.
   A large cash drawer with scooped change compartments, and a spring clamps for notes. It has a bell which ‘dings’ every time the cash register is opened. The measurements of the cash registers are around 7.5" high, 9.5" wide, and 18.5" front to back. These cash registers were fitted with a receipt roll, the only thing is each purchase had to be hand written on the receipt as it was dispensed.
   The question is, why in a cashless society as the village, did the new shopkeeper-No.112, feel the need to have an old fashioned cash register? Perhaps he thought it added a little more ambiance to the olde worlde atmosphere of the village shop. And yet he had to put the clippings from credit cards into something, as they were proofs of sales.

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Sunday 14 July 2019

Who’s That On The Telephono?

    “Yes I’m looking at his file now…….telephone sir? I’m on red, he could prove to be difficult…….but I do have a plan. Yes I bicycled to work this morning, I saw my predecessor taking the Prisoner to the Labour Exchange……..well perhaps finding him employment would help him to adjust. I’ve been reading his file. I see he built a Lotus kit car with his own hands. It states that he knows every nut, bolt and cog, so I think we should find him employment in the motor pool as a mechanic maintaining the fleet of Mini-Mokes…………Yes I read he can fly a helicopter……that would make him ideal for the task, the test has been timed for later this afternoon………well it is a risk using Number Six as a guinea pig, but what have we got to lose? All I have to do is make sure Number Nine gives him the Electro Pass………..and Number Six can unwittingly take it from there!”

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60 Second With No.2

   “You seem to have enjoyed your terms in office Number Two.”
    “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
    “What’s so funny?”
    “Nothing, just my sense of humour.”
    “Which is strong an unimpaired?”
    “Now you’re talking about Number Six.”
    “Well let’s talk about you. It didn’t go so well for you.”
    “Didn’t it?”
    “The plan to make Number Six bend, to get him to talk.”
    “Give away the reason behind his resignation.”
    “I did try and tell them.”
    “But you did your best.”                                                            
    “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, I died!”
    “Did you?”
    “Well apparently I did.”
    “Not quite the same is it, apparently dying.”                                                                
    “It could have been the drink.”                                                                                      
    “It didn’t effect Number 6, did it? He did drink from the same bottle.”                                 
    “One week, one teeny weenie week, and I almost had him.”                                            
    “He’s a good man.”
    “I am a good man, I was a good man…….!”
    “But he was better.”
    “Well of course it had to be.”
    “His reward?”
    “The throne.”
    “And yours?”
    “Apparently this Perspex orbit tube!”
    “And then what?”
   It was at this point that Number 2 fell silent with a far away look in his eye. I turned and walked away, leaving a “late” Number 2 to his thoughts before I got put into one of these Perspex tubes!

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Friday 12 July 2019


    A pair of steel doors slid open and three men in grey suits stepped into the grey cabinet filled warehouse of the archive. The doors closed and at the far end of the long aisle was a figure dressed in a brown smock.
    “Excuse me, you shouldn’t be in here you know” the man shouted.
    The three men started to walk towards the figure.
    “Who are you, what do you want?”
    The three men each drew their revolvers. As they drew closer they each fired their guns, and the figure dropped to the floor in a hail of bullets. Blood seeped from the wounds and flowed across the floor in tiny rivers, massing together in pools of red liquid. The three men set about looking for a particular filing cabinet and ransacking it when they found it. It was a thin blue file credited as highly confidential – eyes only. With the file obtained there was no reason to remain, and the last man to leave switched off the lights, and the pair of steels doors closed with a resounding clang.

    The silver grey Allouete helicopter approached the village, it circled twice before landing on the lawn by the sea wall. A white Mini-Moke taxi was waiting. A man dressed all in black stepped out of the cabin of the helicopter and down to the ground. He put on his black top hat, and he carried a black leather document case under his arm.
    In the Green Dome the grey ‘L’ shaped telephone began to bleep, No.2 picked it up.
    “Yes what is it?”
    It was the Supervisor in the Control Room “I thought you would like to know the helicopter has just arrived.”
    “Good, and the courier?”
    “He was met by a taxi and is on his way to the Town Hall” the Supervisor reported, watching the progress of the Mini-moke on the wall screen.
    “Very well….just a minute, not the Town Hall, have him brought to the Green Dome.”
    “The instructions are to admit him to the Committee room in the Town Hall” the Supervisor insisted.
    “Are you questioning my authority?”
    “No Number 2.”
    “Very well then, have the taxi driver bring her passenger to the Green Dome.”
    “Yes Number 2.”
    The Supervisor relayed No.2’s instructions to the taxi driver “The Committee isn’t going to like this” he told his assistant.
    “Thankfully that’s not our problem” No.60 replied.
    “Too right” agreed the Supervisor looking at his watch and announced it was time for their elevenses.
    The taxi passed the Town Hall and turned right at the top of the street.
    “I was told to report to the Committee in The Town Hall back there” the courier told the driver.
    “You heard the radio message sir, my instructions have been changed” the driver told her passenger “I’m to deliver you to Number 2 the Green Dome.”
    The taxi came to a stop at the steps leading up to the Green Dome.
    “We’ve arrived” the driver told her passenger.
    The passenger alighted “Up the steps?”
    “Yes sir, Number 2 will be waiting for you, be seeing you” the driver said.
    The taxi sped off leaving the courier standing in the street. A passing cyclist rang her bell ting-a-ling-a-ling. Curiously the bicycle had a tall canopy, which must have made the bicycle a little ungainly to ride.
    The Courier started to climb the steps as he looked at the imposing green domed building, well not so much green, as a turquoise colour. On the balcony he took a moment to look out over part of the village, people going about their daily lives, a little old lady emerged from the General store, he could hear a brass band playing. Turning he faced the large double archway, he stepped into the arch and facing the door pulled on the wrought iron bell pull. From somewhere a deep tolling of a bell, and the front door opened automatically with the sound of an electric hum. A diminutive butler dressed in black tails stood on the other side of the door inviting the man in black to step inside the foyer with the gesture of a hand. He did so, and the door closed behind him. The foyer was nicely decorated, a vase of flowers stood on a round table, and paintings of sailing vessels decorated the walls. The butler led the way passed a large fire place, a pair of french doors stood open, and beyond those a pair of steel doors opened at their approach.
    Both the butler and the courier stood in the open door way.
    “Ah there you are do come in and sit down” No.2 gesturing with a wave of his arm from a black globe chair.
    The courier walked down the ramp, crossed the floor and looked at the vacant black chair, he sat down.
    “You’ve had a long journey, would you like some tea, or coffee?”
    “No thank you, I have something to pass on to the Committee then I must be on my way” the courier informed the man in the chair.
    “If I can see the Committee…..”
    “Oh I see, no there’s no need, you can give the file to me” No.2 said holding out his hand.
    The courier felt reluctant to do so, after all he had been given his instructions.
    “Please, I am Number 2 Chairman of the village.”
    Reluctantly the courier opened his black leather document case and removed the thin blue file “If you are sure.”
    “I’m positive” No.2 told him.
    The courier stood up and approaching the grey curved desk handed over the file “Now if you could arrange for me to leave the village.”
    “Leave?” No.2 looked up as though surprised “Oh I’m sorry the helicopter has already left, and will not return until two tomorrow. It looks very much like you’ll be staying.”
    “You can’t keep me here.”
    “Oh I think I can.”
    “Why?” the courier demanded to know.
    “To bring me this file of course” No.2 said “You know this file is like the old empty barn.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “What’s the point in an empty file?”
    “To put things in, now let us begin to fill it out, name, time of your birth, age, what you were, what you want to be. What you like to read, to eat, loves, hates, family illnesses, politics, I want to know everything about you.”
    “You have been selected” Number 2 told him.
    “Because I have a problem and you are the solution. How do you feel about becoming the new Number 1?”
    “New Number 1?”
    “Mind you I only ask out of courtesy, you really don’t have any say in the matter.”
    “Then I’ll be the boss.”
    “In a manner of speaking….yes I suppose you will” No.2 said thoughtfully
    “Then I will be able to leave this place, just a minute…….what happened to the old Number 1?”
    “Why do you ask?”
    “Did he chuck the job in?”
    “In a way.”
    “In what way?”
    “He left the village.”
    “So you can leave!” said the courier eagerly.
    “He left somewhat involuntarily.”
    “How do you mean?”
    “He departed the village, and most probably this life, in a rocket. You see he had this desire to be the first man on the Moon.”
    “And me?”
    “Like your predecessor, your desire may very well be the death of you” No.2 said then asked “where do you desire to go?”
    The new No.1 was installed in his inner sanctum without ceremony, dressed in a white robe and black and white theatrical mask, because no-one was to see 1’s face. In fact he is to be completely isolated from the village and its entire community. His identity to be kept a closely guarded secret. He will be a kind of observer of village life, but never to be involved. A figurehead through whom instructions and orders are implemented. If he thinks he’s the boss, he is deluded, the “masters” back in London are the boss. They pull the strings and No.1 must dance to their tune. However he is No.2’s immediate superior, but has no pleasure in attaining the position of No.1, its lonely at the top being in command. What’s more there’s the village, and No.1 unable to enjoy any of its benefits, sealed away, isolated hoping his counterpart makes no attempt to escape or it will be all the worse for him!

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If I Am 1 You Must Be 1 Two!

    1 and 6 different sides of the same coin, the tormentor and the tormented, no one any better or worse than the other. Number 6 made a prisoner of himself because he chucked in his job, and Number 1 didn’t want him to and there’s the conflict, the anguish pattern. And in the mind the Village is created, he has made his own prison, and there’s no escaping that. Each and every day he has to live with the fact that he resigned from a perfectly good job, and his conscience will not let him live with it and it is that which Number 6 wrestled with each and every day. We all want to be Number 1, but not Number 6, he rejected the Village. He wanted out, but there is no out, there is only in. Number 6 isn’t the problem, he’s the solution seeing as they want to carry out something of a coup in order to replace Number 1 with Number 6! That would suggest to me that they have had enough of this Number 1, but have no idea of 1’s identity. It would have been a dangerous move. Because Number 6 as Number 1 would have carried out the plan he tried in ‘Free For Fall,’ an organized mass breakout of the village, which he indirectly caused in ‘Fall Out.’

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Wednesday 10 July 2019

Echoes of The Prisoner

  Last Sunday, July 7th,  my wife and I sat watching the final episode of ‘Man In A Suitcase’ called ‘Night Flight To Andorra,’ and it wasn’t long before I was having another of those “echo’s of the Prisoner” moments. 
    No, it has nothing to do with the fact that John Maxted, his girlfriend, and henchman are sat watching a series of slides, although that in itself could be considered to be an “echo” of ‘the Prisoner.’ It’s that fancy frilled shirt worn by Maxted played by Peter Woodthorpe which instantly caught my eye. It looks very like the shirt as worn by the Judge {David Bauer} in ‘Living In Harmony,’ then Mister X {Patrick McGoohan} in ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ and No.48 {Alex Kanner} in ‘Fall Out.’
    What compounded my suspicions about this shirt is the jagged piece of cloth at the end of the cuffs as seen in the above picture. To my eye it suggests there used to be frills at the end of the sleeves, which had been cut off! So is this shirt, worn by actor Peter Woodthorpe in ‘Night Flight To Andorra,’ the same as worn in 3 episodes of ‘the Prisoner?’ I wouldn’t like to say it is, but it’s always possible, those jagged edges at the end of the cuff are certainly suggestive.
   Perhaps actor Peter Woodthorpe took a particular liking to that shirt, because in every scene in which he appears in ‘Night Flight To Andorra’ he’s seen wearing that shirt. Perhaps that’s why Mister X wears the frilled shirt in ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ having seen David Baur wearing it in ‘Living In Harmony,’ he fancied wearing it himself, along with the tie. And the shirt certainly goes well with No.48’s other clobber!

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    There is a song about a secret agent having his name taken away and being given a number. “Secret Agent’ being the American title for ‘Danger Man.’ But I don’t recall John Drake having had his name taken away and his having been given a number, but he did work under a number of different aliases from time to time. The only way the secret agent could have had his name taken away, and his having been given a number, would be if it were John Drake who was abducted to the village. Although I realize that idea is not everyone’s cup of tea. And besides ‘the Prisoner’ didn’t exist at that time.
    But the village is not the only organization to operate through numbers. ‘The Men From U.N.C.L.E were given Numbered badges, although the U.N.C.L.E agents were not known by their number, and the badges were only worn when they were in any U.N.C.L.E headquarters.
    The 1960’s television series ‘Get Smart’ Max Smart works for a secret U.S. government counterintelligence agency based in Washington, DC which uses code numbers for its agents. Smart’s code number is agent 86, his female partner is Barbara Feldon agent 99.
    Then there’s the1977 - 81 ITV television series, ‘The Professionals,’ Bodie and Doyle both have numbers or call signs 3-7 and 4-5 respectively, although they are known by both their names, they seem to be known more by their call signs. They communicate using these to their CI5 boss, George Cowley, also calls them by both their names and numbers, and he being the boss is Number 1, or to use his call sign Alpha-1. It has been wondered how the Prisoner was given the number 6. I wonder how Bodie and Doyle ended up with call signs 3-7 and 4-5?
    An earlier piece of detective fiction by the pen of
Agatha Christie would be “The Seven Dials Mystery,’ the Seven Dials is a group of criminal-catchers and people who do secret service work for their country. Each member of the group is known by a number, however Number 7 is always missing at meetings. It is not until an emergency meeting of the Seven Dials is called, which Number 7 attends, is the identity of Number 7 is revealed. One might expect that Number 1 of the Seven Dials is the boss, but that is not that case, Number 7 turns out to be the boss! And that got me thinking. On the basis of the Seven Dials, the fact that Number 7 never attends their meetings, and the fact that Number 7 is always vacant in The Village, I came up with the idea that somewhere the mysterious unseen Number 7 is the boss behind the village not Number 1!

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