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Monday, 30 September 2019

Life In The Village!

    “I hear that Number Seventy-three attempted to take her life the other day.”
    “She didn’t succeed then?”
    “No, it’s been busy enough recently, what with the old woman pegging out, I mean passing away a month ago.”
    A sudden piercing scream.
    “Did you hear that?”
    “Sounds like Number Seventy-three has finally succeed in her attempts to escape.”
    “Escape?”
    “Yes, death is a form of escape.”
    “That’s a bit deep for a Wednesday.”
    “We had best make our way to the hospital.”
    “I’ll fetch the hearse!”


Be seeing you

The Tally Ho Appreciation Day!

    You will have read what follows in a previous piece of blog, however bear with me, as this is by way of an update.
   During the daily prognosis report gathered on No.6 in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ he leaves the café and goes to the kiosk where he buys a copy of The Tally Ho. Sadly it’s impossible to read the headline of the broadsheet. However the headline is made up of three words which excludes it from being one of the earlier editions seen in previous episodes. So it is one produced for ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ But whether or not the headline has anything to do with Appreciation Day is impossible to say not being able to read it. Also we don’t know how far back the daily prognosis goes, as there is no indication of when No.6 bought that copy of The Tally Ho, it might have been a day ago, it might have been weeks. If we consider the café for a moment, where No.6 has been drinking tea or coffee, before he goes to the kiosk, that café is first seen in ‘The General.’ So the headline might have absolutely nothing to do with Appreciation Day, and could be anything at all. It’s also intriguing that an edition of the Tally Ho was produced especially for ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ and yet the television viewer doesn’t get to see the headline! What was there to hide?
   Below is my idea of how the headline of The Tally Ho seen in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ might run judging by the number, and length of the words
   I could be completely wrong of course, but that would be my personal guess. One further observation, the issue of The Tally Ho seen in ‘It’s Your Funeral’ is the odd one out! I say that because all the previous issues of the village broadsheet seen in ‘A B and C,’ ‘Free For All,’ ‘The Schizoid Man’ ‘Many Happy Returns,’ ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ and that of the two editions in ‘A Change of Mind’ all have received close-ups of at least the headline. Yet that is not the case in ‘Its Your Funeral.’


Be seeing you

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Someone Call Security!

   No.2 is about to uncover one of those dissidents No.12 mentioned when he was interrogating No.6 in the board room!
   “Who were they Number Six, who let you in, what are their names {surely he means “what are their numbers”} there’s an organization isn’t there, dissidents. Who’s the head man?”
    “Santa Clause!”
    “Who’s the head of the organization, you’d be wise to tell us.”
    But No.6 won’t tell him anything, he’s a trained conspirator, a very hard man!
    No.6 had to work fast in order to stop No.12 from being revealed as one of those dissidents, and through some very quick thinking suggested to No.2 that there is a question that can’t be answered.
    “What’s that?”
    “There is a question the General cannot answer.”
    Impossible!”
    “Allow me to ask it?”
    “No!”
    No.2 seems to be afraid, but tells No.6 to go ahead.
    No.6 moves to the type writer, removes the typed written notes the Professor had been making, inserts a new sheet of paper and types WHY? Removing the sheet of paper without allowing No.2 to see what it was he typed, he feeds it into the machine for processing. The returned strip of metal he hands to No.2, who passes to the Professor and the Professor feeds it into the General. The General blows a fuse because it cannot answer the question, there being insufficient basic facts. The Professor turns and twiddles knobs in an attempt to save the computer by turning it off, but is electrocuted in the process. No.12 rushes forward to try and save the professor, while No.6 battles with the two security guards. But No.12 by grabbing hold of the Professor to try and drag him away from the General is, in turn, electrocuted to death. No.2 does dash forward but by then it’s all too late. The General has gone up in smoke, and the Professor and No.12 lie dead on the floor. But what does No.2 care? All he wants to know is what was the question? According to No.6 it’s insoluble for man or machine WHY? As for security, they are no match in a duel using truncheons with No.6!


Be seeing you

Playing Cat And Mouse

    No.2 likes to play games, he was playing a game with No.48 then he went and gone, 48 not No.2. He was with us this No.48, for a while he was No.8 who had devised a very special technique by way of extracting information from prisoners. In short is was called virtual reality, in which a prisoner was placed in a dangerous environment, give the prisoner love, then take it away, make him kill. It might have always worked before, but the one time it failed it cost two lives, and No.2 his position!
    But then this former No.8 turned up again, as a cockney fashion photographer at a funfair, taking photographs of a model in a white skirt and chiffon blouse. Mister X thought she was the Girl Who Was Death, No8 said in a friendly cockney accent “Ere what’s your game Sherlock Holmes? I’ll spread your nose all over your face, I’ll hump you up and down this fairground, you’ll never pick up your teeth with a broken arm, I’ll tear off your leg and I’ll beat you over the head with it!” The last time we see this former No.8 is when he is by a roundabout taking more photographs of the girl in white, when Mister X is just about to lay his hands on the Girl Who Was Death, but upon seeing the cockney photographer, and probably recalling his earlier threat, backed away. Had Mister X pressed his move he would have laid his hands on the girl. But instead it was the fashion photographer who received the kiss of death!
   Now we have come full circle with the former No.8 now No.48 and about to be put on trial, but allowed to wear his own clothes. Mind you prisoners are allowed to do that are they not. Go to court wearing their own clothes rather than their prison clothes. Well all except the “late” No.2, but mind you he hadn’t had time to change into mufti!


Be seeing you

Thursday, 26 September 2019

A Favourite Scene In Village Day

    No.6 goes to the café for a coffee, a waitress approaches his table.
    “Yes sir.”
    “Coffee….and some information.”
    “Information sir?”
    He shows the waitress a photograph of a man, whose face is familiar. The waitress makes to go and get his coffee, but he grabs her arm and holds her back. No.6 asks about Village day, it’s a way of celebrating the village, a tradition. No.6 thinks it should be abolished.
    “The tradition?”
    “No, the village! 
    No.2 approaches the café, and goes inside.
    “May I?” indicating a vacant seat at No.6’s table.
    “Help yourself.”
    No.2 settles himself down “How are you enjoying your home from home, any problems?”
    “Yes…you, and the village as a whole really!”
    “Good, I knew you would fit right in. Luckily you’ve arrived just in time for the village fete and celebrations.”
    “Another charade, I’m fed up with it already.”
    No.2 shakes his head “Oh no my dear chap, it’s all very real in celebration of our village.”
    “How quaint.”
    “Everyone is allowed twenty-four hours to do exactly what they like.”
    “As long as it’s what you like.”
    “Recreational events and refreshments are laid on everyone has a wonderful time. You should try it, it might help relieve some of that stress you put yourself under.”
    “What happened to Number 6?”
    No.2 shakes his head again “Number 6, you are our Number 6.”
    “Your previous Number 6.”
    No.2 removes his steel rimmed spectacles.
    “What happened to him?”
    “Remember questions are a burden to others, and a still tongue makes a happy life. But I will tell you this, there is only one Number 6 and you are that chap.”
    “He’s here somewhere, I know it.”
    The waitress appears with No.6’s coffee.
    “I’ll find him, and you won’t stop me” and pays for the coffee with his credit card.
    “Don’t take life here too seriously Number 6. Relax and try and enter the spirit of the thing. We’ve got lots of special events lined up, we’ve even got Bongo Bolero and his jumping jugglers not forgetting Popsy the clown.”
    “Really!”
    “We choose a different one of our flock to portray this lively character.”
    No.6 sniggers at the idea “You must be Popsy!”
    “Splendid Number 6, still got your sense of humour, I like that. Anything particular you’d like to see planned?”
    “A firework display, the village lit up in flames!”
    No.2 runs his fingers through his hair “You’ll be the death of me. By the way I hear you’ve not been sleeping too well recently.”
    “Idle gossip. Then you should know.”
    No.2 smiles “The same nightmare night after night, it must be very disquieting for you.”
    “One of your little games Number 2, it won’t work.”
    No.2 smiles “You flatter yourself Number 6, your nightmares are of your own making, you are quick to blame others for your own failings.”
    “You’ll never win.”
    “Then how very uncomfortable for you old chap. Do you really think we would go to such extraordinary lengths?”
    “Yes if desperate enough.”
    “Now don’t forget about the ceremony tomorrow afternoon” No.2 said still running his fingers through his hair “You will be there won’t you?”
    “Can I avoid it?”
    “Oh you’ll enjoy it, I know you’ll get a lot out of it.”
    “Do you think so?”
    No.2 gets up from the table “Be seeing you” he salutes.
    No.6 returns his salute “Be seeing you.” and sits there drinking his coffee and shaking his head!

   Filmed in Cadwalader’s Ice Cream Parlour in Portmeirion as it was then, there is a similarity between this scene and the scenes with Eric Portman as No.2 in ‘Free For All,’ the fact that we had to film {Max Hora, as No.2} his lines one at a time, with several references to the script on the part of Max. Not through illness as with Eric Portman, but simply on the grounds that Max hadn’t learned his lines! That was the frustration I felt with this scene, and it shows at then end of the scene.
   I recall when setting the scene a number of day visitors to Portmemrion asked if they could appear in the film as extras. I said of course and arranged for them to be dressed in village costume and they sat at tables outside the ice cream palour.

Be seeing you

I’m Not One of Them!

    “I’m not one of them.”
    “Of course you’re not. Whoever suggested you were?”
    “It’s what they think.”
    “Who?”
    “Oh them!”
    “Who do you mean by them?”
    “Them!”
    “Where are they?”
    “Somewhere there. You ask Number 2, he knows.”
    “Knows what?”
    “That I’m not one of them!”
    “Them?”
    “The committee!”
    “You were brought before the committee?”
    “I was accused of being disharmonious, and posted as being unmutual!”
    “Your are unmutual?”
    “You see, you’re as bad.”
    “I wasn’t accusing, I was asking.”
    “What about that Number 67.”
    “What about 67?”
    “I said good morning, and commented that there’s the possibility of intermittent showers, and what didn’t that 67 do?”
    “I don’t know, what did he do?”
    “It’s not what he did do, it’s what he didn’t do?”
    “Sorry, my mistake. What didn’t he do?”
    “He didn’t acknowledge my greeting, but I bet they didn’t send him to
Coventry. I bet they didn’t accuse him of being disharmonious, and then post him as being unmutual!”


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Life In The Village!

    “That was a turn up for the book.”
    “I wasn’t in favour of it as you know.”
    “Number Two took too much on herself if you ask me!”
    “I’m not asking, I’m in agreement with you.”
    “It was dangerous enough sentencing Number Six to death, but if that mob had laid hands on him they’d have torn him limb from limb!”
    “It would have been a pity had we had to bury him. He’s really shaken things up here in the village since his arrival.”
    “A goat came amongst so many sheep you might say.”
    “Oh well, at least Number Two called the mob off in time.”
    “And we were on hand to give Number Thirty-four a respectful burial at sea.”
    “The least we could have done.”
    “It was Number Thirty-four I suppose?”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Well I didn’t recognise him!”
    “Had you seen Number Thirty-four before then?”
    “I did catch a glimpse of him, sat by the
Free Sea in the Piazza, he had a young woman with him.”
    “She wasn’t at the funeral.”
    “That’s because we and the two crewmen of M S Polotska were the only ones in attendance.”
    “I didn’t like the way the body floated like that.”
    “I would have thought they would have weighted down the body more in order to make it sink.”
    “Yes, but I expect they knew what they were doing.”


Be seeing you

Today’s Prognosis On No.6

  In ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ the interim No.2 instructs the Supervisor to order today’s prognosis report on No.6 as he must find a way to make No.6 interested enough to become involved with the planned assassination/execution of the retiring No.2. In the computer room No.8 passes that order down to two computer programmers. On the screen we see No.6 exercising daily with a walk around the village at 6.30 in the morning. Daily subject climbs the Bell Tower the reason is unknown. Subject eccentric, certainly watching, waiting, constantly aggressive. Is possible the subject likes the view. At 7.30 in the morning physical workout with subject’s homemade apparatus, and at 8.15am subject cools off water skiing. At 9 o’clock subject coffee at café and buys a copy of the broadsheet at the kiosk. At 9.20 am subject will proceed on foot to Old People’s Home for a game of chess ending with an eleven move checkmate win by subject. Subject humours other eccentric resident by sitting for portrait. Or perhaps subject has an ulterior motive.
    Basically a prognosis is a forecast of the likely outcome of a situation. In this case the computer has to predict a number of No.6’s daily activities. However the computer has to be programmed with everything No.6 has done everyday since his arrival in the village before the computer can arrive at such a prognosis or prediction. One such example would be No.6 buying a bar of soap, because a number of enthusiasts for ‘the Prisoner’ did think because of that prognosis report No.6 bought a bar of soap every day. Well obviously not every day, but No.6 would have bought a bar of soap from time to time and that would have been taken into consideration by the computer with everything else.
   In order to programme the computer you would need to know everything No.6 does on a daily basis first, all the computer does is sift that list of activities and predict what No.6 is likely to do on any given day. For a man who cares little for the community he lives in, No.6 is a very active man, mainly keeping himself fit and ready for any given opportunity. While keeping a daily look out for signs of someone, anyone from his world. But how long should No.6 keep a look out for? The trouble is, a ship, or plane could pass by when he wasn’t looking. And even if he saw a ship or plane, how could No.6 attract their attention? That’s an easy one, he could use his hand mirror and using the sun flash a light, as when he heliographed that message to No.2 in the previous episode!

Be seeing you

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Thought For The day

     Sometimes I wonder if the right Number 2 was selected for the task in hand? They certainly made a mistake with Number 2 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ he was a weak link to begin with, off balance, and paranoid. I doubt very much that he would have been any better no matter the task. Number 2 of ‘Chimes’ he was more than capable as Number 2, it’s just a pity he had to give his life for the cause! Number 2 of ‘Checkmate’ was a fair administrator, and happy to let others get their hands dirty. Then there was Number 2 of ‘A B and C,’ and ‘The General’ he was guilty of one thing, underestimating Number 6, not once but twice! Perhaps if he had been given a free hand like Number 2 in ‘Living In Harmony’ he might have succeeded when another failed. But then not all Number 2’s were brought to The Village to deal with Number 6, yet they mostly fell foul of him one way or another! Only the lucky few survived with their reputations intact!


Be seeing you

Must Get On With My Work

    “Don’t disturb me please, I must get these notes completed.”
    “And so you will Professor, after a rest and some mild therapy.”
    What photograph the stuff on the blackboard, clean it all off, so that I can get to work on another lot! That’s just how I feel sometimes when I’ve been writing blog. Write a couple of pieces up, copy and paste it copy it, then clean it up so I can get to work on another lot! Mind you are the moments I feel more at home writing my fourth Prisoner based manuscript, and third novel. I would tell you all about it, but I’m not so sure my publisher would like me to do that, not even my wife would want me to do that.
    When the muse is upon me I can be confined in the village for hours at a time. Not physically you understand, but through my mind’s eye, the architecture and the colour of the buildings, the action taking place, and the faces of the citizens. The helicopter arriving and leaving, some fool attempting to escape, he’ll never make it. The ice cream flavour of the day isn’t strawberry just for the sheer hell of it, to be different. And there’s realism about the village, the population reflects the size of the place.
  And I’ve decided to have a bit of a clear out of the Prisoner archive, there are files and files of not so important material linked to ‘the Prisoner,’ it’s more Prisoneresque which isn’t so important. Its unwanted, never been looked at in years. Trivial stuff. And letters, blimey the letters, there are so many of them going all the way back to my early days in the Prisoner fan club. These will need to be shredded. Now if I had a large room filled with grey filing cabinets as seen during the opening sequence to ‘the Prisoner,’ I would have more than enough room for my Prisoner archive. But when push comes to
shove, and it’s a question of space, something has to give I’m afraid.
    I used to collect everything in newspapers and magazines even remotely Prisoneresque. Now I look back and wonder why? Probably because that’s the thing fans of ‘the Prisoner’ did, and perhaps still do today I don’t know. But I stopped, I don’t recall why, it seemed natural to call it a day. Mind you the other day when the wife and I were going shopping I suddenly had the desire to wear one of my piped blazers and deck shoes with my jeans. I haven’t worn those in a while. I even wore a black and white Penny Farthing badge. And no, before you ask, my appearance didn’t make anyone look at me from the corner of their  eye. In fact Loughborough has a very strong fan base for the Prisoner, I have met a few in my time here. Well I guess I’m as close to McGoohan/No.6 here than anywhere. Because he lived here, I walk the same streets as he did, I see roughly the same things, and when I hear the Town Hall clock strike I’m hearing the same bell as No.6 hears in the village, and that takes me closer to the Prisoner for the simple reason you can’t hear that bell in Portmeirion!


Be seeing you.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Walk On The Grass!

    Why ever should I want to do a thing like that for? Walk on the grass, is that a mandatory instruction? Surely that is a breach of the rules, the sign should read “Do not walk on the grass,” so it’s wrong. What’s wrong with walking on the tarmac, or the flagstones, even the cobbles? If I walk on the grass what will happen to me? Perhaps men in grey overalls, white helmets, gauntlets and boots will come and drag me off to the funny farm Therapy Zone for treatment. Why should people be incited to break what is a perfectly ordinary rule? Perhaps they are looking for individualists, non-conformists, dissidents, and malcontents, and use this sign to trap unwitting people!


Be seeing you

A Favourite Scene in Village Day

   This scene was filmed along a long and quite often deserted country B road not too far from Bracknell in Berkshire.














    A long and quite often deserted road, so I was informed by one of the film crew who was local to the area. A quiet stretch of road it might have been at one time, but not on that particular day we chose to film. Because as it turned out the world and his wife wanted to drive along this particular road, just as we were filming. I couldn't believe it!!!
   First off I asked if Bill, the owner of KAR 120C could crash his Caterham 7 for me. Bill said "No problem!" I was amazed. I said to Bill I want the car to suddenly skid as the driver loses control, and crash into a telegraph pole. Or rather skid the car and bring the Caterham up as close to the telegraph pole as you can as though the car’s crashed into it. So that is what he did, the actual crash looked very realistic, and the bonnet was adjusted so as to affirm the crash for the camera in close-up shots. I sat in KAR 120C slumped over the wheel with blood oozing from my forehead, blood which was actually tomato puree which looked very realistic. It was quiet all around as a close-up was being filmed, the only sound was that of the wind. Even the cows standing in the field looking on were quiet. The whole scene looked very realistic, so much so that a white van driver pulled up and said did we want him to call an ambulance, the crash looked pretty bad. We were all amazed, and explained that we were making a film, and with that the white van driver drove off. The remainder of the location shoot was of KAR 120C being driven along the road, this way and that, from the roadside and through the back window of a car set in front.
   Once the film shoot was complete we all retired to our friends’ home for refreshments and to screen the rushes of the days filming. All was well apart from the crash scene, there were two members of the film crew standing at the side of the road in shot as the Caterham 7 crashed. “Damn and blast!” What was to be done? Go back the next day and film the crash all over again? No, because we had to be on our way to London for a location shoot in the capital. Then as we were deliberating the problem, one of the crew said he could alter the film on his computer - marvellous. So the film was taken away to be worked on over night. The next day as we prepared for the trip to London the film was brought back and screened. The few frames of the film of the crash scene with the two people standing in shot had been shrunk, and you couldn't tell the difference from the rest of the film. 


Be seeing you

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Thought For The Day

    After that piece of blog I cannot get the mental picture of No.6, cheeks puffed out wide, doing his utmost to inflate the pair of rubber air mattresses by mouth in the absence of a foot pump. Mind you he’s never been short of hot air! But I wouldn’t put it passed No.6 if he got the Rook to inflate them, had he not been still tinkering with the radio transmitter!


See you soon

A Day At The Beach!

    A day at the beach is a wonderful thing, sunshine, sand and a “99” ice cream cone! Oh look there’s No.8 she’s been for a swim, and a group are playing beach ball. And here’s the Admiral with his flag officer, looks very much like they are re-enacting another naval battle. Pity they only have ordinary plastic boats, and not those of battleships. Young women in swimsuits or bikinis lounge about on the rocks, or on rubber air mattresses sunbathing. Other people sit at tables being waited on as drinks are brought to them. It must be a real chore for the waiter to fetch and carry drinks all the way from the Old People’s home! Other citizens are paddling in the water, and the more energetic beach goers are playing beach ball. There’s No.58 what’s that he’s carrying? A basket, perhaps he’s going on a picnic, that’s nice. He’s walking towards that red and white striped bathing tent. He was with No.2 a moment or two ago by the kiosk, I wonder what they were talking about? No.2 looked to be lurking on the beach, half expecting to meet someone, and yet not really dressed for the beach. And there’s No.6, what’s he up to? He’s walking across the beach. I like the way they’ve laid wooden planks out across the gullies of water, so as people don’t get their feet wet! There’s a taxi, probably picking up a fare to take them back to the village. No.6 is heading towards that same bathing tent that No.58 went into, I don’t think he’s going for a swim he’s not carrying any trunks, he might be joining No.58 for a picnic! Oh he’s come out, going back across the beach.
    Oh look there’s No.8 drying herself off, now she’s accosted that No6, look at her flaunting herself. No.6 has sat down on the rocks next to her, they’re talking. Now she’s taking something off, looks like a necklace, no it’s a locket, and she’s given it to No.6. He’s taken it, opened the locket now he’s said something, and he’s walked off keeping the locket! Where’s he going? He’s on the beach now, heading back toward that same bathing tent, he’s gone back inside. Just a minute, there’s an open upside down umbrella floating away in the water, that looks suspicious, someone could be using that to send a message to someone in the outside world. On the other hand perhaps it’s just blown away, there are another three open umbrellas lined up on the sand. Why I’ve no idea why. The message, if there is a message in that umbrella perhaps its being sent to someone along the coast living in that fishing village, I forget its name for the moment. No.8 is paddling in the water now, she looks like she’s lost something, she certainly doesn’t look very happy. Someone has been building sandcastles. There’s No.6 again, he’s buying something at the kiosk….he’s purchased two inflatable rubber air mattresses. What does he want those for? Perhaps more to the point, how did he manage to inflate them and in so short a time? I am reliably informed that the pillow of an inflatable mattress has its own valve, and each other section also has independent air valves. This enables the mattress to be inflated by mouth, so I am informed, but here we have two such mattresses and that would seem to be too much like hard work for No.6. So I expect he stole a foot pump from one of the taxis at the same time he broke an aerial off one! Now he’s rushing off again, wonder where he’s rushing off to now? He’s always on that go that No.6, he can’t seem to relax for more than five minutes! Someone had better tell Control……
    ”You tell Control, after all you’re the Observer!”
    “I’m on my lunch break! Just a minute, see that chap with the beard wearing a red cap.”
    What about him?”
    “Is he wearing a dress?”
    “The trouble with being an Observer you’re never off duty are you. Give me another of those cheese and tomato sandwiches.”

Be seeing you

Monday, 16 September 2019

Caught on Camera!

    PMcG “And what do you two think you’re doing?”
    “We’re film extras dressing the scene.”
    “You’re what?”
    “The director told us to stand here as though we’re watching the
human chess match.”
    1st woman sat on a bench “That’s lucky, I thought he was talking to us for a moment!”
    2nd woman “So did I, we’ll just sit here and enjoy the scene.”
    PMcG “Well watch the chess match then, if that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. And no shouting come on you whites when we’re going for the take, like you did during the rehearsal of the scene.”
    “So we’ll just stand here on this balcony.”
    “Yes, and for pity’s sake do try and look interested!”
    “Sure thing Pat!”

    “And don’t call me Pat!”

    “And you two, what are you supposed to be doing?”
    “The same as them over there.”
    “We’re acting as film extras.”
    “Well act like it, watch the chess match, and try not to look quite so bored about it!”
    “Well sitting on a wall is boring.”
    “So is leaning on it!”
    “Well at least try to look interested.”
    “Righto!”
    “That was clever of you.”
    “What was clever of me?”
    “You didn’t upset him by calling him Pat.”
    “I heard that!”
    “Sorry!”
    “Well buck your ideas up, we’re going for a take.”
    “Well ready when you are Mister McGoohan!”


    See you soon

The Tally Ho

    During the daily prognosis report gathered on No.6 in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ he leaves the café and goes to the kiosk where he buys a copy of The Tally Ho. Sadly it’s impossible to read the headline of the broadsheet. However the headline is made up of three words which excludes it from being one of the earlier editions seen in previous episodes. So it is one produced for ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ But whether or not the headline has anything to do with Appreciation Day is impossible to say not being able to read it. Also we don’t know how far back the daily prognosis goes, as there is no indication of when No.6 bought that copy of The Tally Ho, it might have been a day ago, it might have been weeks. If we consider the café for a moment, where No.6 has been drinking tea or coffee, before he goes to the kiosk, that café is first seen in ‘The General.’ So the headline might have absolutely nothing to do with Appreciation Day, and could be anything at all. It’s also intriguing that an edition of the Tally Ho was produced especially for ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ and yet the television viewer doesn’t get to see the headline! What was there to hide?


Be seeing you

Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Girl Who Was Death

     You know there’s more to this episode than first meets the eye, and I’ve never really thought about it in this way before, but then it didn’t really occur to me until the other week. Okay if you want a childminder, one who will read your child a gentle bedtime story, perhaps the last person you should ask is our friend No.6! So why allow someone who was only recently a grumpy old disharmonious unmutual, to lull your children to sleep with a story? An action and adventure story commencing with a cricket match and exploding cricket balls, together with all the fun of a funfair, and a car chase which would only stimulate and excite the child’s mind so the child would not be able to go to sleep. More than that, such a story about a psychotic murderess, sex, death traps, a poisoning, drink abuse, and vomiting, not to mention the planned destruction of a city, along with the mass murder of millions of people would only bring about nothing but nightmares to young impressionable minds!

See you soon

A Favourite Scene In Village Day

    The Prisoner having woken up in his cottage, takes his first tentative steps out into the village, and encounters two gardeners busy working in a flower bed. His foot accidentally kicks a couple of plant pots.

    1st gardener “Watch out sir, don’t damage the plants!”
    Prisoner “Sorry.”
    2nd gardener “You alright?”
    “Looks lost doesn’t he.”
    “I’m a little confused, I don’t know where I am.”
    1st gardener “I was right, he’s lost, a new arrival. Spot em’ a mile off I can.”
    2nd gardener “Yeah, a new arrival” he laughs.
    “Where am I, what is this place?”
    2nd gardener “The village.”
    “Doesn’t it have a name?”
    1st gardener “A name? Of course it has a name, everything has a name, it would be silly if it didn’t have a name.”
    “What is it then?”
    Gardeners in unison “The village.”
    “Can you direst me to the nearest bus stop?”
    1st gardener “No buses come through here.”
    “A railway station then.”
    2nd gardener “There is no trains either.”
    “Taxi?”
    “Oh yes you can get a taxi.”
    “We’ve got taxis alright. Up the steps through the archway and round the corner” the second gardener said pointing the way.
   The Prisoner dashes off leaving the two gardeners to return to planting the new plants. But not without watching the Prisoner go on his way, with knowing looks.
   The two gardeners were played by Dave Barrie and Chris Riley, it wasn’t a difficult or testing scene which had to be filmed early one morning before the village woke up for the day’s Prisoner convention in August 1998. We did one rehearsal of the scene and then went for a take and the scene was played out perfectly. The way the dialogue was delivered, and little things taking place between the gardeners helped make the scene, especially when they give each other knowing looks at the end. Again very little direction was required, Dave and Chris played their roles perfectly.


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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Top State Secret and Confidential

    Perhaps that's the reason behind the Prisoner’s resignation - is that a state secret? It seems improbable, but then most things are possible and cannot be ruled out.
    I suppose that is the most permanent question in the minds of fans around the globe "Why did he resign?" A question certainly on the lips of most No.2's who are brought to the village. Yet No.2 of ‘A B & C’ seemed somewhat sympathetic towards No.6's situation "If someone can't chuck up a job things have come to a pretty pass!"
   All No.2 wanted to know was why No.6 resigned, that's not so difficult is it? Ah, but No.6 realised early on, that if he gave away the reason behind his resignation that would simply be the tip of the iceberg, and then all the rest would follow!
    But if No.6's resignation did happen to be a state secret, then he wouldn't be able to tell anyone would he, not even his fiancée Janet Portland, and then of course working for her father, Sir Charles Portland, well then he wouldn't be able to tell his daughter anything either, under pain of treason perhaps! Ah, now that does begin to explain something, because Sir Charles did tell his daughter that he had not sent her fiancé on a mission, that even he doesn't know where her fiancé is. And even then Sir Charles was telling his daughter more then he should!
   Top state secret! And it is a singular fact is it not, that No.6 during his interrogation in the embryo room during Degree Absolute of ‘Once Upon A Time,’ that No.6 did admit that he was on a mission, after being caught for speeding, it was a mission of life and death, whose life or death No.6 was not willing to divulge. However it was secret business, top secret, state secret business of the highest order. And what's more No.6 couldn’t tell the judge what it was all about, because such business is above the law! And what's more you will recall how No.6 had been recruited into the banking business, but how it was a cover for secret work, a top secret and state confidential job.
    If the village is run by those on the same side as that of No.6, "I'm on our side" No.6 informs the new No.2 during ‘Arrival,’ who wants to know where No.6's loyalties lie? "You know where they lie!" No.6 tells him. So that being the case, given No.6's unusual qualities and the extent of his knowledge, it is not then at all surprising that his own people would wish to keep such a man on a short leash, and what better place to keep him, but in the village, and a prisoner for life. Because such a man as No.6 might very well be extremely dangerous to national security, another reason to keep him - confined, for his own good as well as the well being of the nation.
    Yet it was all a bit of a trial for No.6, and having survived he was acquitted at his final trial during ‘Fall Out,’ and given the opportunity to go and leave the village! The only question you need to answer here, is "Was No.6 deserving of his acquittal?"


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Thought For The Day

    Towards the end of ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ when Number 2 had completely lost the plot, as well as his reasoning, he accused the Butler of being in on the conspiracy against him. So he told the Butler to get out of this house, meaning the Green Dome, not that the Green Dome is a house, it’s more a glorified office really. However that aside, the Butler packed his suitcase and left, I wonder where he went? Wherever it was it was the second time he had had to leave the Green Dome, as well as his position. What I mean is, when Mrs. Butterworth took up her position as the new Number 2, she might well have brought her housemaid Martha with her. And knowing Martha she wouldn’t put up with our diminutive friend for very long, and certainly would never share the annexe with him. For she and she alone would expect to serve her mistress. So where did the Butler go during that time? Thinking about it it’s a wonder the Butler was about in ‘Dance of The Dead’ seeing as this episode gives the impression of being female orientated.


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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Life In The Village!

    “What do you think about this latest experiment?”
    “You mean Speed Learn.”
    “Yes.”
    “It’s a great experiment, you can learn a lot.”
    “Who told you that, Number Two? Well history isn’t really my subject.”
    “Isn’t it? When was the treaty of Adrianople?”
    “September eighteen twenty-nine.”
    “What happened in eighteen-thirty?”
    “Greek independence was assured and guaranteed.”
    “By whom?”
    “Russia, France, Britain.”
    “Who was Bismarck’s ally against the Danish Prince of Glucksburg?”
    “Frederick of Austenburg he like the German Bundestag had never accepted the treaty of London in eighteen fifty-two. Bismarck wanted war but he wanted it waged by Prussia, Austria in alliance and not by the whole German bunt. He realized that a successful war against the Danes in eighteen sixty-four would serve the same purpose as Cavour of Italy’s entrance into the Crimean war” {and spoken in unison} “namely that it would indicate future leadership and would at the same time raise Prussia’s prestige.”
    “You see, isn’t Speed Learn the most marvellous thing?”


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Why Am I here?

    “Tell me why you are here.”
    “You tell me, after all who would know better?”
    “You don’t like it here do you?”
    “Given my position, would you?”
    “No, probably not.”
    The village is a place where people turn up, people who have a certain kind of knowledge which is of great value to one side or another. Information which is to be protected, or extracted, if the latter then by fair means or foul. And there’s no escape, and if you give them what they want then they’ll look after you for as long as you live, for however long that is. It’s a picturesque village, giving the impression of being a holiday resort, which hides a much darker underside.
    “You’ve never really settled in have you?”
    “I was supposed to?”
    “In your position yes, it was expected.”
    “Well it would appear you picked the wrong person for the job!”
    “Yes, we don’t usually make mistakes like that, we misjudged you.”
    “So now what happens?”
    “To a former Number 2?”
    “Yes.”
    “A former Number 2 with a conscience?”
    “Yes?”
    “Well we can hardly let you leave.”
    “What then?”
    Number 2 stood at his desk, considering his options for a few moments. Then he turned and faced his predecessor.
    “Get out.”
    “What?”
    “You heard me, get out.”
    “And go where.”
    “I do not care, just go, go anywhere you like.”
    “As long as it’s with the confines of the village.”
    “Not necessarily. You can go and live in the woods.”
   Number 2 returned to his seat behind the desk.
    “And live how?”
    “Live as you will. You can become the wise-woman in the woods.”
    “The wise woman!”
    “Yes, you’re into herbs and all that kind of thing.”
    “You’re casting me out.”
    “Lady you didn’t want “in” in the first place!”
    “Very well.”
    The now former No.2 rose out of her chair and crossed the floor to the ramp leading up to the ramp and the steel doors. The doors slid open, she halted framed in the open doorway.
    “I curse you for this, one day you will pay.”
    “Yes I know, I won’t die in my own bed, let alone with my boots on. Just get out oh wise woman!”
    The former No.2 drew provisions from the General Store. She stole tools from the maintenance workshop, and placed them in a wheel barrow and pushed it along one of the paths deep into the woods where she knew there to be a cave. She had brought candles, a lantern, and matches with her. Lighting the candle she went into the darkness of the cave. It was cold and damp, but served as shelter. She would make it her home.
    This former No.2 made a life for herself living off the land and the woods. Yet availed herself of the General Store when need be. No-one from the village bothered her, and she them. And yet in time her reputation grew, as she had the knowledge of a nurse, she helped people with herbal remedies, help and advice. She would talk with those who came to see her, this wise woman of the woods. And they brought things which she might need in payment for her help. She called her cave the Therapy Zone, a place of peace and protection for those who came. Then one day…………
    A man came stumbling through the woods, he hid in bushes, and when he thought it safe he stumbled on, finally tripping over a tree root he fell to the ground. He lay there for a few minutes expecting his pursuers to be upon him at any moment. Then a shadow was cast over him, he looked up to see a woman standing there looking down at him.
    “Have you hurt yourself?” she asked in friendly way.
    “Y….yes, I’ve twisted my ankle” he told her.
    “Do you think you can make it to my cave, it’s only a few yards away.”
    “Yes I think so” he said struggling to his feet.
    The woman helped the man back to her cave, and sat him down inside. She made him a hot drink, and bathed his swollen ankle.
    “Who are you?” she asked casually.
    “I could ask you that same thing” he said sipping his hot drink.
    “They call me the wise woman.”
    “And are you?”
    “In some ways, I can fix people, make them better.”
    He looked at her, and about the cave.
    “So” she began, “you haven’t told me who you are.”
    “You’re the wise woman, you tell me” he said standing up.
    “You’re a goat” she told him.
    “A goat, whatever do you mean?”
    “You’ve come amongst us to cause trouble” she said accusingly.
    “I came to find you” he told her.
    “Me, why?”
    “There’s a submarine lying at the bottom of the sea, its waiting there for a signal from me. In two hours time the submarine will surface for 15 minutes and wait for that signal. Then a boat will come for us. I’m here to take you away Helen.”
    “Just who are you?”
    “I am Commander John Fielding, I work for British Military Intelligence, or if you prefer 006.”
    “You said a submarine is on the seabed!”
    “Yes.”
    “Oh no!”
    “What’s the matter?”
    A submarine sat on the bottom of the sea, the Captain checked the time and gave the order to blow main ballast.
    “Surface” came the command, and a klaxon was sounded.
    The crew worked as part of one great machine, the submarine rocked but failed to lift off the seabed.
    “Blow main ballast” the Captain ordered.
    The command was repeated by the first lieutenant, but again the sub failed to rise off the seabed. Then came a report of the engine crew being attacked. The Captain and first lieutenant went to the engine room to investigate. The bulkhead door was closed and sealed. The Captain give the command to open the door, it was his last. As the door was opened white membrane ooze out of the engine room and into the next compartment suffocating every man inside. It spread throughout the boat, what was left of the crew took up arms, but weapons had no effect on the thing. The final refuge of the remaining members of the crew was the forward torpedo room, and one bulkhead door stood between the five men and it!
    “What the hell is this thing, and how did it get aboard the boat?” asked one of the ratings.
    “By one of the propeller shafts I shouldn’t wonder” said the Boson.
    “What are we going to do Boson?” asked one of the ratings.
    The Boson looked at his four companions, they were afraid, and he was scared witless! There was nowhere to go, nothing had the slightest effect on this creature that has invaded the submarine suffocating the crew in its path.
    “What about the torpedo tubes?” suggested the second rating.
    “What about them?” the Boson asked.
    “They are a way out.”
    The Boson studied the six torpedo hatches. He looked at the three escape suits. “It’s possible, but we have only three escape suits, and there are five of us.”
    The other four men looked at each other, three of them were armed with hand guns.
    “So it’s us three that escape” said the third rating.
    “Now lads let’s not be hasty” said the Boson slowly reaching for a release leaver “all I have to do is pull this and the torpedo room floods and we all die.
    “That bulkhead door should hold it a while” said the second rating “let’s draw cards for the three suits” and he produced a deck of playing cards from his pocket.
    “No” said the first rating “I think the three youngest should be the ones to go.”
    “I can’t” said the third becoming erratic “I hate those suits, you can’t make me go, you can’t, you can’t!”
    The second rating turned to his other three comrades “So, now there are four of us!”
    The bulkhead door began to give, and a little of the membrane could be seen.
    “There’s not long, we must be quick” said the first rating grabbing one of the pressure suits.
        The Boson decided that he would remain. The three remaining ratings made to suit up. The job was not to panic because of the pressure, and to breathe normally during the assent to the surface. When ready an inner hatch was opened on one of the torpedo tubes. The first rating climbed inside, the inner hatch closed and the tube flooded, then the outer hatch was opened and the fire button pressed sending the rating shooting out of the tube at immense speed. And it was with the second and third ratings, propelled from the submarine to eventually emerge on the surface. That left the Boson and one of the ratings. The bulkhead door was under pressure from the thing on the other side. The two men looked at each other.
    “We can sit and wait” the Boson said.
    “Or?”
    “We can end it now. All we have to do is leave the outer hatch open and open the inner one.”
    “Flood the compartment” the rating said.
    The bulkhead door gave a little more.
    “And we take this thing with us.”
   The Boson nodded.
    It was a terrible death, the inner hatch of the torpedo tube was opened and water shot into the compartment just as the bulkhead door gave way and the white membrane poured into the compartment. The men both drowned and suffocated, the village Guardian entered back into the sea via the open torpedo tube.
    The motor cruiser M. S. Polotska was on night patrol when the crew saw the three men in the water wearing orange pressure suits. The cruiser stopped to pick up the men who were grateful to the crew. With the three men below, M. S. Polotska headed back towards the estuary and the village.
    “I don’t know what they’re going to make of this” Gunter said.
    “What were we supposed to do, leave them?”
    “Well where did they come from, answer me that?”
    Ernst thought for a moment “They’re wearing deep sea pressure suits. If you ask me they’ve escaped from a submarine.”
    “What would a submarine be doing here?”
    “That’s what Number 2 will want to know” Ernst said “I’d better tend to our guests.”
    “Yes, and while you’re about it…..”
    “Bring you some tea.”
    “And see what you can get out of them!”
    Meanwhile on the cliffs the wise woman was with 006 who was signalling with his torch, but to no avail.
    “She must have dived I’ll have to wait and try the same time tomorrow. Just a minute, what’s that?”
    “A patrol boat” said the wise woman.
    006 began to signal the boat with his torch.
    “Put that out!” the woman told him.
    “Why?”
    “Because M.S. Polotska is our boat!” No.2 told.
    The two security guards in grey overalls, white helmets, gauntlets, and boots rushed forward taking the man in hand.
   No.2 stepped forward, there was a smirk on her face “You have now been stripped of your double zero ranking, you are now merely citizen Number 6.”
    No.6 looked out into the night as the lights of the motor cruiser drew closer inshore.
    “I’m afraid there has been an accident, a submarine lost at the bottom of the sea.”
    The Guardian left the submarine by the open torpedo tube, and returned to the confinement area, and No.2 to the Green Dome

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

A Favourite Scene In Village Day

     The moment No.6 finds himself! He thinks he has found his long lost brother and Janet’s fiancé. But in fact he finds himself, and comes round in the hospital just in time. The patient is going to be alright of course, he’ll be taken to somewhere quiet where he can recuperate from the car accident. And he’s in safe hands, as his fiancée, being an agent working for the village sees to it personally that he arrives in the Italianate village in good order!
   Mind you the scene in which when No.6 eventually finds himself, he does so with a penny and a penny-farthing coins on his eyes. This was a particularly difficult scene to shoot, because the coins on my closed eyes kept falling off sideways. When I sat up they were supposed to fall forward from my eyes in a certain way. It took several takes to get it right.


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