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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Thought For The Day

    “I am not a number.” Number 2 told Number 6 that for official purposes everyone has a number, but the Prisoner insists he is not to be defined by a number.
    “I am a free man,” is a person who enjoys personal, civil, or political liberty. He also has the full rights of a citizen. As well as having resigned, means he is no longer a slave to his job.
    “My life is my own,” he does what he wants, no-one owns him, no-one is going to tell him what to do, and he’s not for explaining anything about himself!


Be seeing you

Perhaps He Simply Likes The View!

   No.6 is a man of curious habits he takes an early morning stroll through the village, this generally takes place between half past 6 and 7 in the morning. Daily he climbs the Bell Tower, did he used to do this before ‘Dance of The Dead’ I wonder? Before he listened to that message over the radio, about not being able to keep the appointment, perhaps No.6 thought that someone, anyone, might be coming to the village by sea. After that No.6 was observed to be constantly watching, for what, a light, a boat, a plane? Someone from his world. Perhaps he thought the message was for the dead man he found in the water, that he might have been a plant, and that somone was coming to extract him, and pssibly take over the village by force. And thereby they woud become his recusers! That’s the result of an overactive imagination.


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Monday, 28 October 2019

A Clean Pair of Heels!

    In the Control Room the Supervisor and his assistant were watching the wall screen.
    “Who are they?” No.22 asked.
    “They are members of the village athletics club” the Supervisor explained.
    “I didn’t know there was such a thing.”
    “Oh yes, it’s been going for a while, one of Number 2’s new programmes, exercise being good to keep people fit and healthy, and while they are running about like that they are not digging tunnels and using other means of trying to escape.”
    “Digging tunnels?”
    “Oh yes, didn’t you know?”
    “The athletics club persuaded Number 2 to let them have a vaulting horse. They used to take it down onto the beach and spent half the day vaulting over a wooden vaulting horse.”
    “Used to?”
    “They aren’t allowed to anymore.”
    “Why?”
    “Because they used it as cover for digging a tunnel, now they are allowed only to run. They run circuits of the village everyday” said the Supervisor.
    “Hello what’s happened there?”
    Something on the screen had attracted No.22’s attention. Where there were 9 men and women running there were now only 8!
    The Supervisor picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped intercom “Yellow alert, all units, all posts yellow alert!”
    The man had made a sudden run for it, the few weeks training had come in handy. At first the going was good across the sand, then good to soft, and then plain soft and running became a whole lot harder and he was yet to reach midway across the estuary. Two guardians aboard a Mini-Moke had been despatched to catch him, but Mini-Mokes are notorious for not being an all terrain vehicle. And soon it was bogged down in the sand. The two guardians being unable to free the Moke from the sands grip maintained pursuit on foot.
    The Supervisor watched how things were playing out via the wall screen, he was far from impressed. He contacted Post 10, but the escaping prisoner was out of range of his rifle. There being nothing for it the Supervisor alerted all posts of “Orange alert, orange alert.”
    From somewhere at the bottom of the sea a segment of the Guardian was released from the containment area, and the white amorphous sphere floated up through the water to eventually break the surface and skim across the waves to the sand of the estuary.
    By this time the escaping prisoner, No.10, had reached the small island in the middle of the estuary. He went round to the far side where he felt he was free from surveillance. Climbing the rocks he stood upon the island, then sat down with a sense of achievement, but he did not linger. There was a ruined house, he made for it, and found sanctuary within its cold stone walls. He cowered in a corner, from one pocket he took a hip flask and from the other two sandwiches wrapped in a polythene bag. He opened the hip flask and drank of the liquid, genuine non-alcoholic whisky, then he started to eat the two sandwiches. What was that? He stopped eating, held his breath and listened…….There it was the unmistakable sound of the helicopter overhead! He looked at his watch, it was two o’clock, the helicopter was on time, and he was late, perhaps too late. The helicopter was hovering above the island, searching, searching for him!
    The helicopter circled the island; the pilot had been instructed by the Supervisor in the Control Room to make a search for an escaped prisoner. Warning that there were two guardians in pursuit on foot, also the Guardian was also on its way towards the island.
    The escaped prisoner stayed put in the ruined house, there was no way he could out run a helicopter, no doubt the Guardian had been released by now, that being the case there was the opportunity out here to get himself killed! It would seem to give himself up would be the better part of valour, all it would take would be to step outside the ruins and wave his arms in the air to attract the helicopter pilot’s attention. It was that or sit there and wait to be recaptured.
    The helicopter pilot reported back to the Supervisor that there was no sign of the escaped prisoner on the island, that there was a ruined house where he could be hiding. The white amorphous mass of the Guardian was also patrolling the area, while the helicopter hovered about a hundred yards from the island. The escaped prisoner No.10 recognised the sound emitted by the Guardian as it circled the ruined house generating fear in his heart. Afraid of such a confrontation with the thing, he looked for a place to hide, there was nowhere………then he saw the fireplace, it was just large enough for a man, so he climbed into the grate and up the chimney. By this time the two guardians on foot had arrived at the island, they scrambled up the rocks and made for the ruin. The amorphous Guardian moved away allowing the two guardians to make a thorough search of the ruins. There was no sign of the escaped prisoner, and the two men made that known to the helicopter pilot who related the report back to the Control Room.
    The Supervisor picked up the turquoise ‘L’ shaped intercom “Supervisor here.”
    “What have you to report?” No.2 asked.
    “The entire island has been searched sir, there’s no sign of the escaped prisoner No.10.”
    It was at that point the over-sized curved red intercom began to bleep. No.2 looked at it nervously before picking it up.
    The helicopter pilot widened his aerial search to the far side of the estuary, and a mile or two beyond. Somewhere on the beach the two guardians were busy digging the Mini-Moke out of the sand.
    “What we need” 256 began “are a couple of planks.”
    “We haven’t got a couple of planks. Just keep digging" 245 said busy with his shovel.
    “Or perhaps some sand to help the wheels get a grip, and you could give it a bit of a push.”
    246 looked quizzically at 256 “Don’t you think there’s enough sand under the wheels already!”
    With darkness coming on the search was eventually called off, No.10 was nowhere to be found, it was as though he had somehow vanished off the face of the Earth!
   How 10 had managed to escape remained a mystery. And yet try as hard as he may, there was no avoiding the inevitability of the situation that he was well and truly stuck fast in the chimney of the ruined house! He shouted loud and clear and kept shouting until the realization finally set in that no-one heard his shouts, and no-one was coming to set him free.


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No.6 A Plant!

    The first time I saw ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ I thought No.2 had got it right, that No.6 was a plant. Mind you I also thought that No.6 and Nadia had also managed to escape during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ But of course both of these scenarios work just the first time of watching. After that we know just what Nadia is, and why she was brought to the village. That No.6 was always closer to the village than he could have imagined. It was on the whole very cleverly done, and if it wasn’t for Post 5’s wristwatch being set at the wrong time, No.6 may well have been fooled into giving away the reason behind his resignation. ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ on the other hand, could it be, that No.2 had actually got it right? That No.6 was sent to the village as a plant? After all, in the guise of Robert Fuller, Drake had previously, and successfully, infiltrated a village somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, a training school for spies in the ‘Danger Man’ episode ‘Colony Three.’ And as No.6 signed himself D6 at the bottom of that note to XO4, it has been thought, by a number of fans of the series, that the 'D' in D6 stands for 'Drake’ hence Drake 6, as in John Drake. If it were so, then it might be one of those “in-jokes” that exist within ‘the Prisoner.’


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Saturday, 26 October 2019

Village Life!


“It’s a nice morning.”
    “Is it?”
    “It will be nice again tomorrow.”
    “Will it?”
    “What’s up with you this morning?”
    “Look at them, people enjoying themselves!”
    “What’s wrong with that?”
    “People promenading about the
place. Messing about in boats.”
    “A boat!”
    “Look at those two splashing about in the water, the old ex-Admiral and No.1 about to go sailing plastic boats in the free sea, talk about second childhood!”
    “What is wrong with you, don’t you like seeing people enjoying themselves?”
    “Yes, but when do we get the chance? Whenever do we have a day off?”
    “We are Top Hat officials of Administration, we have a duty to these citizens.”
    “They’ll be on the beach later, sunbathing, playing beach ball and paddling in the water!”
    “Go on then.”
    “Go on what?”
    “We’ve got a few minutes before we’re due at the Town Hall, take off your shoes and socks, roll up your trousers and have a paddle in the free sea.”
    “Don’t be daft.”
    “I’m not, go on if you feel like a paddle.”
    “What would the Observers think?”
    “Let them think what they like.”
    “They would report me.”
    “So what?”
    “I’d be posted as unmutual!”
    “How terrible!”
    “I’d lose my position!”
    “Look on the brightside.”
    “Brightside?”
    “You’d have plenty of spare time to enjoy yourself!”

Be seeing you

The Village Was Deserted!

   No.6 must have thought something was a bit odd when he woke up that morning to find there was no water and the electricity had been cut off! Even stranger when he went outside he found the village deserted. I wonder what was in his mind at that point? He must at the very least have wondered “Where is everyone?” “What happened in the night to drive people out, and why was he left here alone?”
   Could it be that everyone, including No.2 had escaped, or been evacuated and left No.6 behind? Had there been an emergency in the night, the village suddenly evacuated and No.6 having somehow been forgotten and left behind? Well No.6 didn't hang about to find out, and after constructing himself a sea-going raft, he set sail for god knows where! But what of the good citizens of the village, where had they gone? Well they hadn't gone anywhere. They were still there in the village, kept heavily sedated all the time No.6 was building his raft, so that no-one would be seen out and about. Once No.6 had set sail, the village returned to life. And again, when No.6 was being unceremoniously returned to the village, the night before everyone was once again sedated, so that on the Prisoner’s return, the village would again be deserted, until it came, almost instantly, back to life. I mean the village couldn't be evacuated, the population held over in some other place, and then returned back to the village once No.6 had departed. That would have been too much of a logistical problem for the village administration.
   Why anyone should think that the village was actually deserted is quite beyond me. Obviously the village wasn't deserted. That the citizens were kept sedated, and all village personnel ordered to keep out of sight, until No.6 had finally set sail aboard his sea-going raft. Well there must have been one person out and about, hiding behind the balustrade, the person how smashed the cup and saucer! And then, so to maintain the illusion, once word of No.6's imminent arrival back in the village, the same effect was played out again. There's nothing complex about Many Happy Returns, except for that village cat - that's the only surreal, enigmatic thing about the episode. Because, there was the black cat sitting on a table on the lawn of the Old People's Home when No.6 set out on his sea voyage. And then when No.6 was so unceremoniously returned to the village, that same black cat was still sat in the same place some 27 days later!


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Thursday, 24 October 2019

The Undertaking

     “Here Fred” Mrs. Blakely said looking out of the front window
    “What’s up, I’m finishing my breakfast, I’ll be late for work.”
    “I didn’t know that Mr. Harris had gone and died.”
    “What are you talking about, I saw him only last night.”
    “Yes I know, but there’s a hearse parked outside his house, there’s two undertakers sat inside it.”
    “Well there would be if it’s a hearse.”
    Mrs. Blakely being something of a curious nature kept watching through the net curtains.
    “This is the house then” said the first Undertaker.
    “This is the address written on this piece of paper, 21 Crawford Avenue” the second undertaker replied “You have the key?”
    “In my overcoat pocket”
    Both opened their doors and stepping out of the hearse put their Top Hats on. The one went to the front door, and taking a key out of his overcoat pocket put the key in the lock of the front door. The other undertaker went round to the back of the hearse and opened the rear door and pulled the oak coffin out. The first undertaker having opened the front door returned to the hearse and helped his colleague carry the coffin across the pavement and into the house, as observed by Mrs. Blakely from over the road.
    Once inside the house the undertakers closed the front door. Mr. Harris was in the kitchen, the door closed, busy making his breakfast, bacon, two eggs, baked beans and fried bread. On the opposite side of the door one undertaker quietly removed the lid of the coffin which had been laid on the floor in the hallway, whilst the other produced a curious looking gun from his overcoat pocket. The kitchen door was fortunate enough to have a keyhole, against which the undertaker placed the curious gun and pressed the trigger. This released a cloud of nerve gas into the room on the other side of the door. In the kitchen the man paused in making his breakfast. Suddenly the room began to spin, dropping the spatula he put a hand to the worktop to steady himself just before he passed out falling backwards to the floor.
    The two undertakers gave it a few moments for the nerve gas to dissipate before they entered the room. One checked the man lying unconscious on the kitchen floor, the other turned the oven off and helped himself to the bacon, eggs, and fried bread in the frying pan.
   “Coffee on the table, you know what Number 2 always says, waste not want not.”
    Breakfast over, the undertakers carried the body into the hallway and placed it in the coffin, replacing the lid they carried it out into the street and put in into the back of the hearse. While one undertaker locked the back of the hearse, the other returned to the front door and closed it, remembering to lock it.
    “They’ve just brought the coffin out of the house.”
    “Who have?”
    “The two undertakers” said Mrs. Blakely who had been watching the street through the net curtains all the time “funny how they let themselves in though.”
    “I expect they had a key” said her husband “blimey, look at the time, I’m going to be late!”
    “Whoever heard of the undertakers having a key to someone’s house?”
    “I’ll see you tonight” he said kissing his wife on the cheek.
    “It just didn’t look right that’s all.”
    “She’s still there” said the first undertaker.
    “I know, a right curtain twitcher!” said the second trying not to look across the road.
   Mr Blakely passed by on the opposite side if the road, and removed his hat.
    “What do we do about it?”
    “Nothing, we’ve got to get this chap to the coast by late afternoon. Just get in and drive away nonchalantly.”
    “Mrs. Blakely watched the two undertakers get into the hearse, and the hearse pull away from the kerb and drive away, unbeknown what she had been witness to.
    It was two days later when two men from Special Branch called and stood questioning Mrs. Blakely on the doorstep. They told her that the man at number 21 had failed to turn up for work for two days running, and asked if she had seen Mister Harris recently?
    “I think it must have been the two undertakers” she said.
    “Undertakers madam?” said the detective inspector.
    “Two days ago, in the morning, two undertakers went to number 21. I thought it funny at the time, because my husband, mister Blakely had only seen him the night before, as large as life he was. Anyway I thought it funny at the time when they let themselves in.”
    “They had a key to number 21?” asked the sergeant.
    “Must have done, no-one let them in, yes they definitely let themselves in.”
   “Can we come in Mrs…..?”
   “Blakely, Mrs Blakely, perhaps you and your sergeant would like some tea, I’ll put the kettle on.”

    “Well you two made a fine mess of that”
    “I’m sorry Number 2” 256 said.
    “And so you should be. A right pair of undertakers you are!”
    “We couldn’t help it if that nosy old woman couldn’t keep her nose out!”
    “As undertakers you are supposed to operate without being noticed. No-one should look twice at two undertakers going about their lawful occasions.”
    “Not that they were very lawful!”
    “The woman wasn’t to know that was she. You must have drawn attention to yourselves in some way.”
    “We didn’t, we went about our business with the greatest care and decorum.
    “This is your next assignment, you’ll find the man we want at this address” No.2 said handing the 1st Top Hat official a slip of paper “and whatever you do, don’t draw attention to yourselves!”
   A green yellow nosed Lotus 7 pulls up outside No.1 Buckingham Place, a black hearse turns into the road, the driver of the Lotus 7 gets out and goes into the house. The hearse stops behind the Lotus, and the two undertakers get out, one goes to the rear of the hearse, the other goes to the front door and let’s himself in with a key. Then the two undertakers carry a coffin into the house. At the door to the study one undertaker takes a curious gun from his pocket and putting it to the keyhole pulls the trigger injecting nerve gas into the study. The man had collected his passport and airline ticket from his desk, two suitcases, and the travel brochures. He suddenly felt strange, he pulled on the cord of the blinds which fell down blocking out the window, as the man fell back onto a couch unconscious! The two undertakers waited for the nerve agent to disperse before going into the study, the body placed in the coffin was carried out of the house and put into the back of the hearse. The two undertakers got back into the hearse and drove off, and without drawing attention to themselves, no fuss, no bother…….but what about the Lotus?


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Insoluble For Both Man And Machine!

    Why “Free Sea”? The sea is free to everyone, so why the need to advertise the fact? Why walk on the grass? Usually it’s “Do Not Walk On The Grass.” Inviting people to “walk on the grass” seems to me its inviting the breaking of a rule. But that’s merely a personal opinion.


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Life In The Village!

    “Have you heard the latest?”
    “Depends on what the latest is!”
    “To make the Piazza a shared space.”
    “What’s that when it’s at home?”
    “To make the piazza available to pedestrians..........”
    “Yes, citizens do love to promenade around the pool and fountain. It’s a place to meet people, but more importantly a place to be seen.”
    “Yes, but the idea now is to open it up to cyclists.”
    “Well that’s not so bad, there aren’t that many cyclists about.”
    “And then taxis!”
    “Taxis, but that’s ridiculous, they’d be a danger to pedestrians, and cyclists as well it would be chaos!”
    “My point entirely.”
    “This isn’t another of those experiments is it, I mean like Speed Learn?”
    “And we know how that ended.”
    “This village is just a large experimental laboratory. They get these crazy ideas and think they know where they can get this tested, on the inmates of the village!”
   “The cordless telephones are a good idea.”
   “Yes, but have you tried carrying one about with you all day. They need to be more mobile orientated, small enough to put in your pocket.”
    “So where do you stand on this shared space of the Piazza?”
    “I don’t know, it seems all too continental for my liking.”
    “International!”
    “Cafe at lunchtime?”
    “Do we sit inside or out?”
    {Suddenly the sound of a taxi’s horn Dad da de da da de da}
    “Oi, get out of the road mate, want to get yourselves run over?”
    “Did you see that, damned pedestrians shouldn’t be walking in the road like that. Did you read in The Tally ho that they’re planning to make the Piazza a shared space? It’s bad enough trying to miss people walking in the road, but in the Piazza it’s going to be carnage. Here we are love, that’ll be two credit units if you please. Here, don’t I get a tip?”
    “Yes, keep your mouth shut, and your eyes on the road!”


Be seeing you

Murdered One Run Short of His Century!

   Murdered at the wicket, now that certainly wasn’t cricket. As for Colonel Hawke-Englishe he was playing a different game. On the face of it he wasn’t aware of the village, and even if he was he wasn’t involved with it at the present time. But he is the second Colonel to come out from behind his desk and go out into the field. Perhaps that’s why he had a bag-man in Potter to watch his back. But if only Potter had been doing that, keeping his eye on the ball, instead of on a particularly pair of shapely legs, then the Colonel might still have been alive. So Potter was put out into the cold, the English form of Siberia. But what then, a transfer to the village, or was Potter sent there simply to keep him out of the way? And what had Potter against his old colleague to suggest to No.2 that there are methods they haven’t used against No.6 yet! And even in the village they kept moving Potter about, he was the manager of the Labour exchange, but he seemed more bothered about tinkering with that wooden construction set, than actually doing his job! And when he was moved to assist No.2, he didn’t last too long in that position, I might hazard a guess that it was his suggestion about the methods they had not used against No.6, No.2 not wanting a man of fragments, that got him moved on to assist the Supervisor in the Control Room. Poor old Potter, and rest in peace Colonel Hawke-Englishe.

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Sunday, 20 October 2019

Living In Harmony

    The Judge runs the town, and as long as you toe the line, then the Judge will look after you. He runs Harmony with a rod of iron, and there's his "boys" who enforce the Judge’s rules. In fact when it comes to the Judges ruling in Court, he puts me in mind of that other self appointed Judge, Judge Roy Bean who had a thing for that actress Lillie Langtry. Because there is a picture of Miss Lillie Langtry on the wall of the Silver Dollar saloon.
   No-one knows who the man with no name is, a drifter on the plain, a high plain’s drifter you could say! He was brought off the plain and into town on the back of a horse by the "Judges Boys." It took some persuasion on the Judge's part, to make the stranger see that the wisest thing to do was to stay in town. But he couldn't leave town even if he wanted to. The Judge’s Boys would see to that! And the Sheriff also took some persuading to "Get some guns on!" But even without guns, this man with no name can sure handle himself, as Zeke also doesn't carry a gun, but then he doesn't need to. During that fight when Zeke and the 'boys' are teaching the Sheriff that it's not safe to go about without wearing a gun, I think of the Prisoner fighting with Zeke. Reacting to blows to the face, fighting, and rolling about on the ground against an imaginary foe!


Be seeing you

Thought For The Day

   The doctor No.40 used Roland Water Dutton as a communications medium in attempting to extract information from No.6. Apparently there’s been a security leak and the committee want a breakdown of everything they know, No.6, Dutton, Arthur, the Colonel, everybody. They want to know all the files No.6 has seen, the projects he knows about, just headings not details….. Just a minute, that’s rather strange isn’t it? The doctor is using a technique which he knew would work, but he only wants headings of files and projects No.6 knows about, but not any details. It seems an awful lot of trouble to go to just to try and extract mere headings but no details from No.6!


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Friday, 18 October 2019

Someone Call Security!

    “You know we should have a radio in this thing!”
    “Yes, then we could listen to some music as we speed through the village!
    “What? I’m talking about a two-way radio, what are you talking about?”
    “Picking up radio Jolly Roger, I hear they’ve got a new disc jockey, Johnny Drake. How does it go now? JD the DJ of the JR.”
    “What are you jabbering on about?”
    “Where are we going anyway?”
    “Someone called security, and we have to get there pronto!”
    “Well I think we should have a better siren, a more manly siren instead of this whining thing. And a blue light.”
    “Blue light?”
    “Yeah, then we could put the blue light on the roof.”
    “What roof?”
    “Ah, hadn’t thought of that. Anyway where are we going?”
    “Hark at him! Does he think I’d go careering around the village without knowing where we’re going…….we’ll stop at the telephone kiosk and call control!”


Be seeing you

ESCAPE!

    “And these are what you call the events of ‘Fall Out.”
    “Yes.”
    “Well that’s what you almost caused, by the launching of that rocket. When you go rouge there’s no half measures is there, not with you!”
    “Ask the honourable gentleman in the House of Lords.”
    “Oh yes we will, and he’ll corroborate all of this will he?”
    “Yes.”
    “And the hippie?”
    “We dropped him off somewhere along the M1.”
    “So he could be anywhere now.”
    “The rocket.”
    “What about it?”
    “Where did it come down?”
    “Bennett.”
    “According to reports it crashed into the Irish sea.”
    “There were no survivors?”
    “You mean there were people aboard that rocket?”
    “One person.”
    “The pilot you mean.”
    “There was no-one.”
    “And now you must go back!”
    “I must what?”
    “Go back to this Village.”
    “Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back there, not after all I’ve been put through.”
    “I escaped once before, I risked my life to come back here and......”
    “Yes, yes.........”
    “............And you sent me back then. I want some answers!”
    “Oh I don’t think so....what do you think Bennett?”
    “Wouldn’t be right would it sir.”
    “Listen, Colonel James, Fotheringay, and as for Thorpe he turned out to be Number Two!”
    “Number Two?”
    “Now don’t you start!”
    “You know what you have to do now don’t you?”
    “Find the answers!”
    “Answers?”
    “There are some questions I have, and then there’s the question of compensation.”
    “Can there be a question of compensation, you resigned remember?”
    “I resigned?”
    “See…you admit it. And now you have to go back.”
    “Back, back where?”
    “To The Village of course.”
    “But there’s nothing there, the place is deserted.”
    “According to you Number Six, it had been deserted before, but you still went back.”
    “I didn’t……..and don’t call me Number Six……….”

    “Good morning Number Six, and what a beautiful day it is.”
    “I’ll take your word for it.”
    “My, we did get out of bed the wrong side this morning didn’t we!”
    “Just put the breakfast tray down and go!”
    “I’ve a good mind to report you. You should try and get along.”
    “I’m sure you get along with everyone!”
    “I shall report you!”
    “Go on then, see if I care!”
    {The telephone bleeps impatiently}
    “Yes.”
    “Is that Number Six, you know it is, otherwise you wouldn’t be calling!”
    “I’ve a call for you from Number Two.”
    “And he knows what he can go and do……”
    “I can, can I. Look Number Six you play the game or you become an outsider. You wouldn’t want to become an outsider would you?”
    “Look, I was playing the game long since before you turned up. So you can go and get……..
    {The cottage door opens, a figure stands framed in the doorway}
    “You, it’s you, it’s been you all the time!”
    “You only have yourself to blame!”


Be seeing you

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Pinta Man Is Strong

    No.6 gets his pint of village milk delivered, we know that because there’s an empty milk bottle on the doorstep on the morning of ‘Many Happy Returns, so that equates to there being a milkman in the village who does a milk round delivering milk and probably other dairy products door to door. So I wonder what the village milk float looks like? I bet it’s not like the one in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ “Pinta Man Is Strong,” I suppose the village milk float could be a white Mini-Moke towing a canopy covered trailer. On the other hand it might well be on one of those garden tractors towing a small trailer, as with the Electric’s truck in both ‘Arrival’ and ‘The General,’ all that would be needed is to change the sign ‘Electrics’ to a village slogan or simply the single word ‘Milk.’


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Cottage Conversion

    “Is this it then?”
    “Yeah, this is the place.”
    “The round house.”
    “That’s what they call it.”
    “It’s that Number 6’s old place.”
    “According to the work sheet it will be again, but we’ve got work to do. Hope that 77 and 78 get here soon with the tools and materials.”
    “You’re keen to be getting on with it.”
    “It’s not that, the flask of tea’s in the trailer!”
    “Got the plans with you?”
    “Yeah, I’ve got the plans.”
    “Well let’s go in and see what it’s like.”
    No.35 opened the door and he and No.234 stepped inside.
    “Blimey, it’s a pokey little place. Who would want to live here?”
    “I’ve no idea, but looking at the plans we’ve got to fit a study, shower room, dinette, and bedroom into this tiny space.”
    “Well I’ll tell you what.”
    “What?”
    “Someone’s having a laugh, we’ll never fit all that into this tiny cottage! What’s that marked on the plan?”
    “The back wall to the study.”
    “There’s no door, how’s the occupant supposed to get from the study to the dinette, shower room and bedroom?”
    “That’s the clever bit the wall is supposed to roll up into the vacant roof space.”
    “Blimey, they don’t want much do they!”
    “Well we’d best get the trailer unloaded, and get the lads in, we’ve only got three weeks to get this conversion completed.”
    “Here, what happened to the bloke who used to live here?”
    “I heard he got run over and killed in an accident.”
    “What by a taxi driver?”
    “No, by that Rover mark one thing, someone said it lost control of itself and ran the poor bloke over!”
    “What happened to it?”
    “Lost in the depths of the estuary I heard. Right, we need to put a fire place in there, either side of that we need two alcoves with shelves.”
   “Here it doesn’t say anything there about putting in a chimney does it?”
    “No, the fireplace is just for show, the study has to look like a home from home. We need to fit an arch there leading into the bedroom, and we need to raise the level here with a set of four steps.”
   “Here, I tell you what, I was on that job conversion of the Green Dome when Number 2 said he wanted a bigger office. We had to put in a foyer, a pair of French doors, behind them a pair of thick steel bomb proof blast doors, and the biggest domed office you ever did see. And you know how poky the Green Dome is, but we managed it.”
    “You know what?”
    “No what?”
    A Mini-Moke towing a trailer pulls up outside.
    “77 and 78 are here with the tools and materials. Put the radio on and we’ll have some music while we work.”
    “Hello there landlubbers welcome to Jolly Roger your friendly pirate Johnny Drake on the bridge or to use surf site syllables JD the DJ of the JR, I’ll be with you till the dog comes on watch. Request time will be with you fifteen minutes from now, meanwhile let us go with a new one from the Copperfield’s John Hardy.”

Be seeing you

Monday, 14 October 2019

Life In The Village!

    “That was a quiet funeral yesterday.”
    “Yes, no brass band, the usual mourners absent.”
    “Just you, me, and the four pall bearers.”
    “Not forgetting the two gravediggers.”
    “Just who was it we buried?”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Well I was on special assignment in Kandersfeld.”
    “Where’s that?”
    “In
Austria, anyway I was following this Colonel chap who led me to that Professor Seltzman chap, who I had to bring to the village.”
    “And did you?”
    “Yes, along with the Colonel, and a guy called Potter.”
    “Who’s he?”
    “He was following this Colonel chap as well as me.”
    “You were both following this Colonel through
Europe?”
    “I eventually caught up with them, they were having a fight in the basement of the barbers.”
    “The barbers shop!”
    “The barber turned out to be Professor Seltzman.”
    “And it’s him we buried, a white haired man.”
    “Yes, that’s the appearance he gave. Have you heard the rumour going about?”
    “What rumour?”
    “Concerning Seltzman’s last words.”
    “What were they?”
    “You must contact Number One, and tell him I did my duty.”
    “How would this Professor Seltzman know about Number One?”
    “That’s right……..although we buried Professor Seltzman he must have been the Colonel, which means it must have been Seltzman who left in the helicopter in the guise of the Colonel!”
    “Well I heard there had been some sort of a cock-up, but at least you’ll know what he looks like when you’re sent on assignment to bring him back again!”


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Someone Call Security

  1st snowdrop “What’s this guy done to warrant as much security as this?”
    2nd Snowdrop “We’re close security protection.”
    “Yeah I understand that, but why so many of us?”
    “This guy has just returned from
Britain, he has the launch codes for the rocket.”
    “We’re going to launch the rocket then?”
    “Yeah Number 1 wants to be the first man on the Moon!”
    “I don’t blame him, I bet the atmosphere there is better than it is elsewhere!”
    “Stop that chatter, smartly now lads.”
    Top Hat official “I don’t know why they’re bothering with all this security, I’ve only got my cheese and tomato sandwiches in this document case!


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Saturday, 12 October 2019

A favourite Scene In The Schizoid Man

   Numbers 12 and 6 emerge from the Recreation Hall.
    “You still claim to be Number 6?”
    “This is beginning to get on my nerves a little bit.
    Number 6 12 supposes that his counterpart is also an Olympic boxer as well. So put up your dukes Number 6, are you orthodox or southpaw? And a bit of a fist fight takes place on the steps of the Recreation Hall. But Number 6 cannot seem to make up his mind whether or not he’s orthodox or southpaw, and is eventually knocked to the ground. Never mind, when Number 6 gets to his feet his blazer isn’t all messed up, my point is that someone must have noticed that two Number Sixes were fighting it out on the steps of the Recreation Hall. After all there were enough passers-by at the time. They might not have done anything to stop the fight, but people would have at least realized that there were two identical Sixes in the village. But then again identical twins, look-a-likes, and doppelgangers are not so rare in the village. The way things are, and using a bit of imagination, Number 6 could easily have been one of triplets. After all what chance there being three such identical looking men in the village?


Be seeing you 

An Interim No.2

    I don’t know why they brought me back here really, didn’t they realize what bad memories, no, nightmares, being back in the village would revive? Perhaps they did, perhaps they do not care. It’s not as though I’m under any remit. You will be sent to the village to take up your position as an interim No.2 they said, but do nothing, let the village run itself and have no truck with someone calling himself  No.6. Just sit in No.2’s chair and wait. Wait, that’s sprightly, wait for what and for how long?
    Well here I have been not doing very much at all, my assistant Number 14 is a very capable chap, as is No.28 the Supervisor, and they do most everything. I’ve even a
Butler, a diminutive chap who never utters one single word, but he cooks for me, acts as my personal gentleman’s gentleman, brings me my elevenses and such like. Then one day this No.6 comes bursting into my office………………
    “Get him!”
    “I…I have taken his place, I am the new Number 2.”
    “Get Number 1!”
    Well I had no idea what to say, but this man I knew to be No.6, a man I was told to have no truck with, so I played it off the cuff so to speak.
    “I am Number 2, what do you want?”
    “The girl!”
    “What girl?”
    “The girl who threw herself off the cliff, don’t tell me that Scottish doctor had gone too far again, trying to find a poor girl’s breaking point!”
    “I’m sorry I’m not with you.”
    “Never mind, I can see I’m wasting my time with the oil rag, it’s the engineer I need to talk to.”
    And he stormed out. Later I informed my assistant of what had happened, and asked him if there is a Scottish doctor, a gaunt looking man, at the hospital conducting experiments? He told me yes, I told him I wanted to see the doctor in my office first thing in the morning.”
   No.14 thought I was taking too much upon myself for an interim No.2 who was no better than I thought myself to be. They might not have bothered to bring me back here in the first place, they might have saved themselves the time and effort, any damned fool can sit here and do nothing.
   The steel doors to my office slid open and my
Butler came in pushing a trolley. He approached my desk and I watched him put the tea things on my desk. I looked at my watch it was precisely eleven o’clock and therefore time for elevenses. The Butler bowed and began to push his trolley, when I looked at the tea plate.
   “I say, where are the proper biscuits?”
    The
Butler stopped and turned, I held up the tea plate with two plain rich tea biscuits upon it “Haven’t we got any proper biscuits, the ones with the cream inside?”
   The
Butler simply shrugged his shoulders and pushed the trolley up the ramp and through the opening steel doors, leaving No.2 to his elevenses.
    A little later the red ‘L’ shaped intercom began to bleep, No.2 wasn’t at all sure whether or not he should pick it up. He sat looking at the telephone for a moment or two, then deciding he was after all an acting No.2 he could and probably should answer the intercom, so leaning forward in his black spherical chair he picked up the intercom.
    “Number 2 here……..yes sir……I am managing very well…….well I do have assistance Number 14 helps me…….Number 6, no he’s been no trouble…….well he did once burst into my office shouting the odds about some girl who was under the doctor’s supervision……..well apparently the doctor went too far in his experiments again………well he has been warned………what am I going to do about it? Well I could reprimand him…..I should do what sir?............wire his private parts up to the mains and turn on the lights! A bit extreme don’t you think sir……………..I’m sorry sir, well I could demote him, he’d make a great undertaker with his gaunt stature with that miserable expression. I think he would make a far better undertaker than he does a doctor………….well he was caught on camera burying one of his failed experiments in the woods……………….what was that sir……….my replacement arrives tomorrow, well that is extremely good news.”
   No.2 put the telephone down as a warm glow came all over him, this time tomorrow he would shake the dust of the village from his feet and never darken its doors again!
    The helicopter approached the village from the far side of the estuary, then circled the village a couple of times allowing the passenger to get a good clear view of it.
    “We should have blindfolded you by rights” said the pilot.
    “Don’t be daft, I’ve been here before don’t you know.”
    “There’s a Mini-Moke by the lawn, they must be expecting you, there’s someone standing there, must be Number 2” the pilot said.
    “Can’t be, I’m Number 2.”
    “Your predecessor then” the pilot suggested.
    The helicopter flew a short distance out across the estuary before turning back towards the village in order to land on the triangular lawn by the sea wall. Once the rotor blades began to slow, the cabin door opened and a figure stepped out onto a float, then down onto the lawn. The figure of a man carrying a suitcase walked towards him with a hand outstretched.
    “You must be my replacement” the man said.
    “And where do you think you’re going?”
    “My term in office is over, I’m leaving.”
    “Really, but you are forgetting security measures!”
    “Security measures?”
    “Must be obeyed.”
    “What security measures?”
    The new No.2 held up the black silk scarf “The one I’ve just introduced!”
    The outgoing No.2 climbed into the helicopter and tied his blindfold as the new interim No.2 closed the door and took a few paces back. The engine of the Alouette helicopter started and the rotor blades began to spin faster and faster until the helicopter lifted off the ground and took to the air. It flew out across the estuary, then turned and circled the village before turning out again across the estuary to descend and land on the lawn by the sea wall once more. Two men in red and black striped jerseys stepped forward and opened the cabin door, the man was helped out of the cabin and the blindfold was removed. He stood there for a moment while his eyesight cleared, and there stood the figure of No.2.
    “Why?”
    “Orders from our masters, you are to be co-opted onto the Town Council.”
    “No, they wouldn’t!”
    “When I looked down from the helicopter I thought something had gone wrong, that it was I who was being brought to the village to be greeted by Number 2. But then I saw it was you waiting for me. You could let me go, who’s to know?”
    “I’m afraid I can’t do that” the new No.2 said indicating the waiting Mini-Moke.
    The both climbed into the vehicle and as the driver drove the vehicle up the hill towards the Town Hall, there was a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach, that one day he himself might be taking this very same ride to the hospital!


Be seeing you

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Citizen No.53

       Oh yes, you’re the chap who made a move all on your own on the chessboard. Well it wasn’t a legal move, because black had already castled on the King’s side! Then those nice men in white coats came and took you away for treatment, and what did that barbaric doctor do? She had you dehydrated and treated you like a dog!
    I suppose you can’t be blamed for the way you feel, an electrical engineer who developed an electronic air defence system. Your only fault was you thought all nations should have it because you believed it would have meant world peace. But then what happened, some petty bureaucrat let his bag, containing the plans, get swiped! Well one of the Top Hats from Administration did the swiping and brought the plans back here to the village. Of course the village administration isn’t open to let things get wasted, waste not what not to coin a phrase. So against your will they made you work for them, that’s why you were brought to the village, not because your high-minded treasonous thoughts on a much smaller scale of course, but to work on reducing the size of your electronic air defence system you fabricated the Beam as a defence system for the village. The first time we see it deployed it was used to bring down a pigeon! Never mind, the work kept your mind occupied, and you out of trouble. But then you allowed yourself to get mixed up with that No.6, and his cunning plan to escape the village, by telling the difference of prisoners from the warders judging by their attitudes. Didn’t you know that any plan involving No.6 never succeeded?!

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Quote For The Day

    “That one wouldn’t drop his guard with his own grandmother!”
                                       {No.2 The Girl Who Was Death}
   
I really don’t know why they bothered to bring this No.2 to the village at all, after all it would have been just as easy to have brought back No.2 in order to carry out Degree Absolute, the ultimate test. It strikes me that the episode with the Girl Who Was Death was simply filling in time, waiting I suppose. And yet it was handy to have that No.2 still in the village in order to oversee the procedure during ‘Fall Out.’ That way, as the High Court Judge No.2 who was forced to listen to No.6’s fairytale, to have a second chance of manipulating the former No.6 with the offer of ultimate power, the choice to lead them or go. And then facing him with himself to demonstrate to No.6 that he himself has been responsible for his current situation all the time. Then he’ll break. But we know what happened don’t we. Such are the plans of mice and men that something is always bound to go wrong, especially if it involves No.6!


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Tuesday, 8 October 2019

A Favourite Scene in Village Day

    The day came during the Portmeirion shoot when filming took place on the beach with the Guardian as No.6 was trying to make his way over to the island, and would have made it had it not been for the intervention of Rover.
   It should have been a pleasurable scene to shoot, but what I had not bargained for was the mud beneath the layer of sand, yes filthy muck! I don’t recall the beach being in such a filthy state before, but there wasn’t a thing we could do about it. 
   I had expected the sand to be at least hard under foot in some places, but no, we were leaving footprints all over the sand while filming which was unavoidable. And both myself, the film crew, and Rover were getting covered in the filthy mud, but the scene had to be filmed.
And at least now I know how Patrick McGoohan felt with a meteorological weather balloon tied to his waistband! In fact in the scene we shot on the beach it’s virtually impossible to see the length of fishing line between myself and Rover. At one point when the Rover was herding me back to the village it began to overtake me forcing me to walk quicker so to keep the balloon behind me!
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Caught On Camera!

    Having been discovered in the projection room, sitting at a periscope, No.2 calls security. Two security guards manage to creep up on No.6 one of them bashes him over the head with his truncheon. It’s a very curious way for the two guards to lift No.6 out of that chair in the sitting position which looks completely unnatural. The easiest and simply way would have been for the two security guards to take an arm each round their shoulders and simply drag him off that way with feet trailing on the floor!
   No.6 had been dealt a heavy blow to his head, rendering him unconscious. We see later that the wound to his lower arm had been treated by medics, but that blow to his head could have fractured his skull, yet there’s no bandage wrapped round his head!


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Sunday, 6 October 2019

Life In The Village!

    “Did you hear that birthday greeting from Number One-one-three to Number Six read out over village radio?”
    “Yes, I thought at the time there was something wrong about it myself.”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Well we buried One-one-three a month ago, an old woman in a wheelchair.”
    “You didn’t bury the old woman in her wheelchair did you?”
    “Don’t be daft.”
    “Well I didn’t know, you get some peculiar requests at times. There was this chap once who loved his car so much he wanted to be buried in it!”
    “Saved on buying a coffin I suppose!”


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Met In A Dream!

    No.6’s book on social etiquette didn’t cover how to talk to someone that one’s met in a dream! No.14 feigned not knowing the identity of the man sitting opposite her at the table, No.6. What, No.6 recognizing his number for a second time No.2 must have been pleased! And yet No.6 didn’t meet No.14 in a dream, the dream hadn’t started at that point. I have to say they do rather make things easy for No.6 at times, he just happens to open his eyes and sees No.14 in the laboratory. Wasn’t he supposed to have been heavily sedated? Had No.6 put No.14 in his dream, she should have been an old lady in a wheelchair! So he instantly knew that this No.14 was new and one of them!
And when he woke up the next morning he just happened to go to the door of his cottage, what to fetch the milk in? And there was the flower seller, and who do you think was buying a bunch of flowers? None other than No.14. If that flower seller had set up her barrow outside the hospital where she should have been, or in any other part of the village, No.6 would never have seen No.14 and thus be unable to make the connection!
    If you want “Met in a dream,” what about that Mrs. Butterworth who hands No.6 one of her diamond earrings, is that Mrs. Butterworth or not? It’s an age old question. One generally puts people one has met, or know. But ‘A B and C’ takes place before that of ‘Many Happy Returns’ in the screening order, meaning No.6 and Mrs. Butterworth have not yet met. So personally I don’t think that woman at the dreamy party is Mrs. Butterworth.


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Saturday, 5 October 2019

Time To Watch The Prisoner!

   October 5th and it’s time to begin watching ‘the Prisoner,’ not to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of series or anything like that, but to carry out an experiment at the same time. But why on October 5th, because that’s the date on which ‘the Prisoner’ is abducted to the village. This screening of the series will be rather unorthodox, in that it will be in accordance with my own particular screening order as conveyed in my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down’ and taking place over a 15 month period. A screening order that takes into account dates, seasons of the year, certain external events which happened outside the village, and the relationship between certain episodes.
   So tonight it begins with ‘Arrival,’ then the next three episodes ‘Free For All’ ‘Dance of The Dead’ and ‘Checkmate’ will take place sometime time over the following three moths in order for ‘The Schizoid Man’ to be screened on Feb 10th. Some would argue the point that ‘A B and C’ should be watched on Feb 10th simply on the grounds of the date of the edition of The Tally Ho seen in ‘A B and C.’ But I would argue that the date is coincidental, that it’s the headline “Is No.2 Fit For Further Term?” which is the important thing in ‘A B and C’ and not the date. The fault being that the same copy of The Tally Ho having been used in both episodes, and has in the past led to the idea that both episodes take place at the same time, a scenario which I never subscribed to. So, ‘the Schizoid Man’ is soon followed by ‘Many Happy Returns’ watched at some point between February 20th and March 19th, because it would have taken No.6 a couple of days to construct his sea-going raft after having woken up on Feb 20th to find the village deserted, and putting to sea on February 22nd if he was to spend 25 days at sea to be washed up on the shore at Beachy Head on the south coast of England. Then add on March 18th when No.6 finally arrived back in London, and March 19th being the Prisoner’s birthday. And the screening will continue in that vein until it reaches its inevitable conclusion in December 2020.


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