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Wednesday 10 July 2019


    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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