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Friday 29 November 2019

Caught On Camera!

    It looks like a number of people, dressed in mufti, have been hanging about awaiting the arrival of the helicopter so that they can all leave the village! On the other hand they are members of the production crew just hanging around watching the Alouette helicopter land. You would have expected the cameraman to have his eye on the ball and therefore to notice that sort of thing through the camera lens wouldn’t you!

Be seeing you

Harmony Posters

    A framed portrait of Annie Oakley hangs on the wall of the Sliver Dollar Saloon in ‘Living In Harmony’ She was born Phoebe Ann Mosey on August 13th1860 in Darke County, Ohio. She died on November 3rd 1926 aged 66 in Greenville, Ohio.
    She was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. In 1885 she joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. Annie also was variously known as “Miss Annie Oakley.” “Little Sure Shot,” or “Little Miss Sure Shot,” At five feet tall, Oakley was given the nickname of “Watanya Cicilla” by fellow performer Sitting Bull, rendered “Little Sure Shot.”
   She earned more than any other performer in the show, except for “Buffalo Bill” Cody himself. She also performed in many shows on the side for extra income. In Europe, she performed for Queen Victoria of Great Britain, King Umberto I of Italy, President Marie François Sadi Carnot of France and other crowned heads of state. Oakley supposedly shot the ashes off a cigarette held by the newly crowned German Kaiser Wilhelm II at his request.
   She promoted the service of women in combat operations for the United States armed forces. She wrote a letter to President William McKinley on April 5, 1898, offering the government the services of a company of 50 “lady sharpshooters” who would provide their own arms and ammunition should the United States of America go to war with Spain. The Spanish-American War did occur, but Oakley's offer was not accepted. Theodore Roosevelt, did, however, name his volunteer cavalry the “Rough Riders” after the Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World where Oakley was a major star.
    Throughout her career, it is thought that Annie Oakley taught more than 15,000 women how to use a gun. She believed strongly that it was crucial for women to learn how to use a gun, as not only a form of physical and mental exercise, but also to defend themselves. She said “I would like to see every woman know how to handle guns as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”
   Annie never failed to delight her audiences, and her feats of marksmanship were truly incredible. At 30 paces she could split a playing card held edge-on, she hit dimes tossed into the air, she shot cigarettes from her husband's lips, and, a playing card being thrown into the air, she riddled it before it touched the ground. She playfully skipped on stage, lifted her rifle, and aimed the barrel at a burning candle. In one shot, she snuffed out the flame with a whizzing bullet. Sitting Bull watched her knock corks off bottles and slice through a cigar Butler {her husband} held in his teeth.
   She continued to set records into her sixties, and also engaged in extensive philanthropy for women's rights and other causes, including the support of young women she knew. She embarked on a comeback and intended to star in a feature-length silent movie. She hit 100 clay targets in a row from 16 yards (15 m) at age 62 in a 1922 shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
   Her health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anaemia in Greenville, Ohio at the age of 66 on November 3, 1926. Her body was cremated in Cincinnati two days later and the ashes buried at Brock Cemetery, near Greenville.

Be seeing you

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Tally Ho

    “What do you mean by shouting that?”
    “Shouting what?”   
    “You know.”
    “Oh Taïaut it’s French.”
    “Oh if you like, but we are chasing a story.”
    “Of course, it’s the local election and there’s bound to be a story somewhere.”
    “This Number Six chappie who’s standing for election, what do we know about him?”
    “He’s an unknown quantity, and that’s most likely where the story will be.”
    “I can take his photograph.”
    “The candidate’s of course.”
    “There’s no need the editor will have got a picture from Visual Records, besides you never have any film in your camera. In fact the article has already been written and printed in The Tally Ho!”
    “Then what are we doing?”
    “We are doing what all good journalists do, we are chasing the story.”
    “How are we doing that lurking by this stagecoach?”
    “Look, the speeches have already begun. When the parade continues after those speeches, the candidate’s taxi will come passed here.”
    “When it does I jump into the back of the taxi, and you leap onto the bonnet.”
    “Who leaps onto the bonnet?”
    “You do.”
    “While the taxi is moving!”
    “Then what?”
    “I get an interview with the candidate.”
    “And what am I doing?”
    “You’re pretending to take the candidate’s photograph.”
    “How many photographs?”
    “As many as you will.”
    “While holding onto the windscreen for grim death!”
   “Is all this palaver really necessary?”
    “We are members of the press, we have our integrity to uphold. We are the guardians of free speech.”
    “Yeah that would be right. I don’t have any film in my camera but I’ve still got to take the candidates picture as many times as I will, and you are about to conduct an interview in which you’ll write nothing down in your notebook because the article is already written and no doubt published in the next edition of The Tally HO. Where is the integrity in that?”
    “Here we go, look lively there’s the taxi.”  
    No.113 jumps into the back of the taxi, and 113b leaps onto the bonnet.
    “Come again?”
    “Allow me to introduce myself, I am Number 113, and this is my photographic colleague Number 113b.”
    113b “Smile” click goes the camera.
    “We contribute to the local newspaper The Tally Ho you know.”
    No.6 “Drive on.”
    “This is red hot stuff you know, haven’t had a candidate of your calibre for ages.”
    “How are you going to handle your campaign?”
    “No comment.”
    “Intends to fight for freedom at all costs” 113 pretends to write.
    “Smile” click goes the camera.
    “How about your internal policy?”
    “No comment.”
    “Will tighten up on village security.”
    “Smile” click goes the camera.
    “How about your external policy?”
    “No comment.”
    “Our exports will cover every corner of the globe. How do you feel about life and death?”
    “Mind your own business!”
    “No comment!”

Be seeing you

THEPRIS6NER 10th Anniversary

    November 2019 sees the 10th anniversary of THEPRIS6NER and The Tally Ho celebrates the occasion. The series isn’t for everyone I understand that, but it was for myself and Morag. I fell for the series simply by having watched ITV’s advertisement promos for it in 2010, because I knew how the series would be, the mere idea of it excited me. It didn’t bother me that the series was not filmed in Portmeirion, and no Patrick McGoohan, in fact I found it all very refreshing. And since 2010 Morag and I have watched it 11 times, and each year during the end of April into May, the way it was screened here in Britain. Although I have to say when we sat and watched the first episode Arrival’ for the first time, we were not immediately captivated by it. Not in the same way I was with the original series back in 1967. THEPRIS6NER doesn't get in your face and say “Hey, look at me” as the 1967-68 series does. THEPRIS6NER is more subtle. The truth of the matter is, and also the secret of enjoying this series is this, we videoed ‘Arrival,’ via good old VHS tape, and before we watched the second episode ‘Harmony’ we watched ‘Arrival’ a second time, and continued to do that with each of the episodes, and then we were really into the series. So I have always advocated that anyone who dislikes the series with a passion, but didn’t give it a chance, is to watch it twice and then see how you feel about it. Those who have, have since learned to appreciate the series.
   Like its predecessor the canopied Penny Farthing, this new logo is seen
everywhere in the village, and on everything from the village taxi, and public
 buses to teacups, beer and wine bottles. It's on badges, the Map of The
Village, and signposts all around the village. But there is no village salute.
   There is no question of which side runs the village, the company Summakor runs the village. And unlike the 67-68 series we have a name for the Prisoner-6, Michael. So where is the village? Why has 6 been brought there? Why is anyone there? The village is in the subconscious of everyone, but not everyone is taken to the village, those who are, are broken people, broken mentally. They are in the village to be made better before being returned to society, although most do not realize they are even in the village! As for 6, Two needs to hand the village, and the company of Summakor over to 6, Two has to make 6  accept the village. Perhaps in the end to create a better village. During the opening sequence Michael resigns his job at Summakor after realizing what the company is doing, what he has been doing as an Observer. So he resigns his job by spraying the word RESIGN on the
window of his office. But I question that, because the word RESIGN is a suggestion, Michael should have added an “I” to the single word RESIGN.
  There are echos of the 67-68 series within THEPRIS6NER which cannot be denied. They are there in the very titles of the six episodes, Arrival, Harmony, Anvil, Darling, Schizoid, Checkmate. And once again it’s a game of wits between Two and 6, except Two tells 6 that it’s a trap he has set, but wants to see if Six is clever enough to turn the situation to his advantage.

UNDERCOVERS! 909 is one such undercover who operates in the village, and 6 having been recruited as an Undercover in ‘Anvil’ gets to work with 909. That makes them a “cell,” cells can be made up of any number of Undercovers. They watch you, and you watch them, in this way all the citizens are watching each other. In other words control through surveillance. And any citizen who does anything out of the ordinary automatically becomes suspect. But this system is flawed. A schoolboy 66-16 who working as an Undercover makes a report on his mother. She goes to yoga class on Tuesdays, she hasn’t missed a class in the last 23 weeks, then she missed one. The boy found this suspicious, and automatically suspects his mother. But as 6 suggests to the boy, perhaps the mother was ill that day. The boy had not taken that into account. Of course this is nothing new, because we see underdercovers operating in the 67-68 series, one such undercover is the gardener in ‘Checkmate,’ another is the shopkeeper-No.112 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil’. You see its all relative. There is also the question of “who is Number 1?” But as the schoolgirl 1000-100 tells us “"There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there has and there never will be. The concept of Number two is an act of humility, the title reminds us all public servants.” Well if she says so!
Rover…… on the discs of the DVD box set there are sections on ‘The Making of THEPRIS6NER, they all make for interesting viewing. However I was looking forward to watching a discussion about the village Guardian. I was sadly disappointed, that no reference was made to the most iconic visualization of the entire Prisoner series. I found that surprising. I do know that the production team had discussed the idea of finding a new Rover, however any suggestions that they came up with were sadly lacking to the concept of the MKII version of Rover. So the decision was made to stick with what they knew and not go with anything else.
Except in this case Rover, as a meteorological weather balloon, has had a massive upgrade via CGI, and now can grow to massive dimensions. In regard to the 67-68 series it was suggested that the Guardian is symbolic of ones own fears. In this series Rover is conjured up mentally by 6’s own fear when he is kept prisoner, or from trying to escape, or when he is afraid he is going to lose something or someone.  Incidentally, you never see the Guardian patrolling in the village in this series as it does in the original. Rover is one constant in both series, and found to be irreplaceable!
    What do I love about THEPRIS6
NER? The way Two eats his cherry cake, digging out a cherry with a fork! That this series isn’t all about 6 for a change! The scene in ‘Schizoid’ when un-Two pays a call at the village shop and asks for cigarettes, the shopkeeper-37927 denies having a packet of cigarettes, he doesn’t know what cigarettes are, yet they enjoy an illicit cigarette together despite the dangers to health. And in ‘Arrival’ when the Prisoner goes to the village shop to buy a map, its rather small until the shopkeeper unfolds it then it’s huge, and gives the impression more of a city than a village. Mind you after the Prisoner doesn’t purchase a map, I would have liked to see the shopkeeper refold that huge map!
   Finally, the main thing with this series is there are only 6 episodes, not even matching Pat McGoohan’s original idea of 7. And each episode isn’t even 50 minutes in length, and the final episode ‘checkmate’ isn’t even 45 minutes long. And yet each episode, as with the series as a whole, I am always left wanting more, more village, more Pris6ner but that’s a good thing, because less is more      

Breathe in breathe out…..more village!

Be seeing you

Monday 25 November 2019


    “It’s funny about unmutuals.”
    “In what way?”
    “They look just like you and me.”
    “Yes, but it’s nothing to do with appearances, its people’s attitudes you judge by, people’s behaviour to one another.”
    “You judge people by their attitudes.”
    “Yes, you soon learn who’s for or against you.”
    “So if for example I ignore a person’s greeting that makes me unmutual.”
    “Yes I suppose so.”
    “If I don’t fit in, do what is expected of me.”
    “And what happens then?”
    “You’re brought before the committee; they post you as being disharmonious.”
    “Disharmonious, that’s terrible.”
    “And if you still fail to toe the line.”
    “Yes, you’re posted as being unmutual. Then it gets rough”
    “What happens?”
    “Well they take away all your privileges.”
    “I haven’t got any privileges!”
    “Well they’ll probably give you some privileges and then take them away!”
    “Then what?”
    “The whole of the community turns against you.”
    “What even the other unmutuals?”
    “I……I don’t know!”
    “So not the entire community then.”
    “The individual cannot last long without the support of the community.”
    “And what makes the community? Individuals that’s who.”
    “You’re an individual?”
    “Isn’t everyone?”
    “Every man!”
    “And woman.”
    “I don’t remember the boss mentioning every woman!”
    “Do you think in years to come ‘The Prisoner’ will be looked on as anti femininist?”
    “Could be, if the series lasts in the mind that long.”
    “You don’t think people will be discussing it like you and me?”
    “Oi come on you two, it’s time for the second woodland scene.”
    “Righto, we’re coming.”

Be seeing you

Harmony Posters

    The Framed portrait of Lillie Langtry {1912} as she appears on the wall in the Silver Dollar Saloon in ‘Living In Harmony.’

    Continuing the series of ‘Harmony Posters’ with Emilie Charlotte Langtry (née Le Breton; October 13, 1853 – February 12, 1929), known as Lillie (or Lily) Langtry and nicknamed "The Jersey Lily", she was a British-American socialite, actress and producer. Born on the island of Jersey, upon marrying she moved to London in 1876. Her looks and personality attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses, and she was celebrated as a young woman of great beauty and charm. By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays in the UK and the United States, including ‘She Stoops to Conquer,’ ‘The Lady of Lyons,’ and ‘As You Like It,’ eventually running her own stage production company. In later life she performed “dramatic sketches” in vaudeville. She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales {later Edward  VII} the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. She was the subject of widespread public and media interest.

     The Judge of Harmony has something in common with Judge Roy Bean, who 1882, moved to southwest Texas where he built his famous saloon, “The Jersey Lilly,” and founded the hamlet of Langtry. Bean had never met Langtry, but he had developed an abiding affection, bordering on obsession, for the beautiful actress after seeing a drawing of her in an illustrated magazine.
    Whether or not the Judge and his silver Dollar Saloon and Court House in Harmony is a parody of Judge Roy Bean and “The Jersey Lillie” saloon and Court House {which still exists to this day in Langtry} is clearly impossible to say either way. After all the framed portrait of Lillie Langtry hanging on the wall of the Silver Dollar saloon might only be coincidental.

Be seeing you

Saturday 23 November 2019

A Favourite Scene In The Chimes of Big Ben

    “One egg or two?”
    “Two I think. Yes so nice, be seeing you.”
    It’s all perfectly domestic. No.6 has taken to having two eggs for breakfast, at least he did on the morning of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ and here he is again but having breakfast prepared for him by No.8, who appears to have rushed out early that morning without pinning her badge on the right way round. You would have thought continuity lady Doris Martin would have spotted that.
    In Both ‘Free For All’ and ‘Dance of the Dead’ No.6 enjoys the privilege of having his breakfast brought to him by a housemaid. Mind you I’m not so sure how privileged No.6 is, because surely by the time his breakfast was brought to him it would be cold!
    ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ is the second episode in ‘the Prisoner’ however if it was placed later in the series, seeing No.6 making his own breakfast would make sense because it gives the impression that the privilege of having a housemaid bringing him his breakfast has been removed!
    On the morning of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ No.6 becomes annoyed by the music playing through the loudspeaker, annoyed that he is unable to switch it off. Perhaps he just got out of bed the wrong side. In ‘Arrival’ he trampled the loudspeaker under foot when he found he couldn’t turn the loudspeaker off. However it’s fascinating to watch No.6 place the loudspeaker in the refrigerator in order to bring silence to his cottage. And yet on the morning Nadia pays a call and makes his breakfast for him, he’s not bothered by the music at all, he’s in a very good mood, in fact he can be heard whistling. You see, that’s all that was needed to help No.6 settle down and put him in a better mood, was the company of a good woman!

   The side-handled teapot and milk jug are Royal Worcester Fireproof porcelain with brown lustre glaze circa1960’s. Denby pottery also produced the same teapot design in their “Homestead Brown Pattern” circa 1940s -1950s. I have been unable to identify the maker of the chrome cone topped marmalade jar.

Be seeing you

In The Village!

      Have you noticed how things appear and disappear in the village for no good reason? There was that chap leaning out of that window of the Bell Tower in ‘Arrival,’ the Prisoner looks up and goes after the man, but like the man upon the stair when the Prisoner arrived he wasn’t there, oh how I wish he would go way! So here did he go? What was the reason for his having run away? Why did he hide from the Prisoner, because he must have run away, and he must have found somewhere to hide.
   And what about the Cat and Mouse nightclub, that was there for one scene only. It wasn’t there when No.2 and No.6 went to assess the madding crowd, and it wasn’t there when the two medics take No.6 lying on a stretcher, back to his cottage. So was the Cat and Mouse nightclubs existence simply to get No.6 to want an alcoholic drink? It must have been, because then No.58 takes No.6 to the Therapy Zone, where a man is brewing his brew, and No.6 wants a double, and no water! But even the Therapy Zone doesn’t last all that long. Because although the location of the cave has moved by the time of ‘Dance of the Dead’ the cave’s interior is the same as the Therapy Zone, which makes it look as though the chemist has been moved out!
    In ‘Dance of the Dead’ in the evening scene on the beach No.2 refers to No.6 as Mister Tuxedo, why? To my eyes No.6 isn’t wearing a tuxedo, he’s wearing his own two-piece lounge suit, where the white shirt and bow tie came from, I don’t know. Unless when No.6 was brought to the village they brought those two suitcases he had packed at the time of his of his abduction, with him. I have had arguments with people who say he is wearing a tuxedo. Don’t they know what one looks like? And when No.6’s costume arrived it turned out to be his own suit, the one he wears on the day of his arrival in the village, the one the doctor said had been burned, but then we saw that infantile man in the hospital wearing it! In my book I give the Prisoner a thorough “dusting down,” with my personal explanations for many things in ‘the Prisoner.’ However it is plain that there are many things in the series which cannot, and in all probability will never be explained. And why should they be? If they were, we’d have nothing to discuss.
    What do you think of our friend No.6? I call him “desktop Paddy!” I got the
picture, printed it off on stiff 300gsm card and here he stands on my desk, “desktop Paddy.” But what about his chum, Rover MKII, its like the Butler, we know virtually nothing about him. In that scene in ‘Fall Out’ to my eye Rover seems to be on a desolate alien planet. Is that what Rover MKII is, an alien, having arrived on Earth and made a prisoner in the village? Can it laugh, can it cry, can it think? Does it have even a remnant of a brain? It certainly has the attributes of a balloon, in the fact that when attacked, like a balloon, it offers no resistance. I wonder what was poking up in the sand when the Prisoner was hurled out of the Mini-Moke when it hit whatever it was in the sand? Of course there had to be something to cause the collision, because they had to get the Prisoner out of the vehicle and vulnerable on the sand. Otherwise Rover wouldn’t have been able to subdue him. In the same way No.6 had to abandon the jet boat in ‘Free For All’ in order for Rover to half drown and half suffocate its victim as he flounders in the sea. Basically it’s the same scene as the one in ‘Arrival,’ but in the sea instead of on land. 
    One of my favourite scenes takes place in ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’ No.2 is in his office listening to a birthday greeting to No.6, and feeling there was something not quite right about it, he checks up on No.113 in a file. No.113 happens to have been an old woman in a wheel chair who died a month ago. But what of his assistant No.14? Look at him, catching 40 winks! Suddenly he hears the steel doors of No.2’s office open, he quickly jumps up and stands to attention, thereby giving No.2 the impression that he’s been standing like that in the foyer all the time. Mind you it’s no wonder No.14 fell asleep, because he hadn’t assisted No.2 in any way, since that evening they followed No.6 down to the Stone Boat and found that envelope containing nothing more than blank sheets of paper! And although two interrogations had taken place involving the Head of Psychiatrics, and the conductor of the Brass Band, No.14 is not involved. Yes he accompanies No.2 to the Control Room, the only action he takes is to lead the poor Supervisor away, possibly for treatment.  

Be seeing you 

Thursday 21 November 2019

It Means What It Is!

    “Are you sure about that?”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Can we actually be sure it means what it is?”
    “I do not understand.”
    “Saying it means what it is, well that’s just one person’s opinion. Just to say it means what it is, is all very well, but what exactly is it?”
    “An allegory.”
    “A story.”
    “ A fable.”
    “But what else?”
    “Isn’t that enough?”
    “For entertainment value yes, but there has to be more than entertainment.”
    “Some people see its deep meaningful value, for its profoundness.”
    “You go too far!”
    “Why so?”
    “Next you will be saying it’s the basis of our very existence.”
    “I wouldn’t go that far.”
    “I’m glad to hear it.”
    “Let’s face it it’s just a television series through which a man projects his worries for the future. He wanted us to think for ourselves, and not vegetate in front of the television watching soap operas.”
    “Isn’t it a soap opera?”
    “It could be described as science fiction.”
    “Certainly, because of the Rover element.”
    “Action and adventure?”
    “It’s a horror story.”
    “It can certainly be a nightmare at times.”
    “Whodunit it!”
    “Mmmmm not sure about that.”
    “Well there was a mystery of whodunit, being those who had the prisoner incarcerated in the village in the first place.”
    “There was no mystery about that, Number 6 was responsible for his own troubles.”
    “You mean he was responsible for the whole village?”
    “I do not see how one man can be responsible for so much.”
    “Number 6 turned out to be Number 1 in the end.”
    “Yes in the end, in one man’s mind. Because he couldn’t think of anyone else who could be Number 1, so he made himself Number 1!”
    “That’s the egomania coming out. The man thought himself so important that he simply had to be Number 1.”
    “Well he was the boss after all.”
    “He had one other ambition apart from wanting to be Number 1.”
    “Oh what was that?”
    “He wanted to be the first man on the Moon.”
    “It makes you wonder.”
    “Wonder whether he made it or not!”

Be seeing you

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Village Life!

      “It says here Number Six is up for further investigation, ooh look out, there he is. We don’t want to be seen with the likes of him!”

   “What are you looking at?”

    “There you are Number Six, you can read about yourself. You’re in the news again.”
    “How can that be, I only left the Town Hall a few moments ago!”
    “You know what they say.”
    “No, what do they say?”
    “News travels fast.”
    “What, even before it’s happened!”

Be seeing you

The Harmony Wild West Posters

    I understand that it was Frank Maher, Patrick McGoohan’s stunt double and stunt co-ordinator on ‘the Prisoner’ who provided all the posters and pictures for the episode ‘Living In Harmony.’ He stated that the posters are of the time, however there is a slight anomaly amongst them which we will come to shortly. It has been more years than I care to remember since I began to research the posters seen on the walls of the Silver Dollar saloon and the sheriff’s office for my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down.’ Although I’m pleased the book covers a number
of the posters. I originally began researching the posters seen in ‘Living In Harmony’ for my manuscript some 15 years ago, and have always been disappointed that I was unable to track down the rest of them, that is until now that is. However it was about four months ago that I decided to return to researching the posters once more, and managed to track down all the rest, including ‘The Bishop Is Coming,’ that particular poster was the hardest to find, and I had just about given up all hope when one day a good friend of mine emailed me saying he had managed to track down the poster for me. I was highly delighted to say the least. And this article along with the posters which will appear on my blog over the coming weeks will compliment the research I carried out for my book.
    The location of the American town of Harmony is somewhat ambiguous at best. The top poster advertises the exhibition of the head of Joaquin and the hand of “three fingers” Jack Garcia in 1853 in Stockton, the county seat of San Joaquin County, California. In fact the exhibition was staged all over the State of California, but never outside the State of California. In 1906 the exhibition went to San Francisco which was unfortunate, because the preserved head of Joaquin and the three fingered hand of Jack Garcia were lost in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. So we have a location, the State of California along with a date 1853 for the Town of Harmony. But still the poster is questionable, what would a poster presumably printed locally in Stockton be doing displayed in the Town of Harmony? If we examine the WANTED posters we have a date for Tom Nixon an outlaw and member of the Sam Bass gang that robbed a Union Pacific train at Big Springs, Nebraska, on 18th September 1877. Does that put Harmony in the State of Nebraska? Belle Starr was another outlaw married to Sam Starr.
Belle came to a violent end, shot in the back on February 3rd 1889 in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Belle associated herself with other outlaws such as the Younger brothers, and Frank and Jesse James and others. A portrait of Belle Starr denotes her as the “Queen of The Oklahoma Outlaws.” So does this wanted poster for Belle Starr place the town of Harmony in the Sate of Oklahoma? Well no, because the WANTED poster was issued in Belles home State of Missouri by Major Thomas Crail of the 8th Missouri Cavalry.
    There is a framed portrait of Annie Oakley “Little Miss Sure Shot” dated around 1894. She was born 1860 in
Darke County, Ohio, died in 1926 in Greenville, Ohio. Annie travelled widely throughout the United States of America, Canada, England {being presented to Queen Victoria}, and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Although there is no poster advertising Buffalo Bill’s Wild
West Show in Harmony, however there is a framed picture of Buffalo Bill Cody on the wall in the Silver Dollar Saloon.
     It would appear the Judge has taken time to collect wanted posters and used them to decorate the walls of his Saloon. There is also a framed portrait of the celebrated beauty Lillie Langtry dated 1912 hangs in the Saloon. As it happens the Judge of Harmony has something in common with Judge Roy Bean, who 1882, moved to southwest Texas where he built his famous saloon, the Jersey Lilly, and founded the hamlet of Langtry. Bean had never met Langtry, but he had developed an abiding affection for the beautiful actress after seeing a drawing of her in an illustrated magazine.
There is also a framed poster for The Adams Express Company which had its beginnings in 1840, and retaining its company name as late as 1871. And an unframed Chicago and North-Western Railway poster of the 1870s promoting free homestead lands in the Dakota Territory also adorns the walls of both the Silver Dollar Saloon and the Sheriff’s office. So does this poster place the town of Harmony in the State of Dakota? So far there are three such candidates!
   Two further WANTED posters can be seen, one for Jesse James has a reward of
$500 issued by the St. Louis Railroad, St. Louis being in Missouri, date unknown. While the ‘Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency’ with offices in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Kansas City etc, issued a WANTED poster for one Oliver Curtis Perry dated 1895.  Would there still be old WANTED and advertisement posters from the mid to late 1800’s adorning the walls of the Silver Dollar Saloon? I would not have thought so, unless the Judge simply used them as decoration. But that doesn’t explain them being pasted to the walls in the Sheriff’s office! There is one final poster which I have yet to mention, ‘The Bishop Is Coming,’ which also dates from the late 1800’s, the original poster having been printed in Idaho. Now why should a poster, advertising an event in Idaho, be pasted to the walls of the Saloon and Sheriff’s office? Because the Bishop is to give services in George and Human’s Hall wherever that is in Idaho! If the poster, announcing ‘The Bishop Is Coming,’ places the town of Harmony in Idaho, where might this George and Human’s Hall be? And mentioning halls, look what they have done to the Recreation Hall. They fitted it out as the Silver Dollar Saloon, and in that lies my conclusion. That the town of Harmony is not steeped in American Wild West history of the 1800’s, but is a back-lot of a film studio dressed to look like an American frontier town. And in that there lies a parallel between fact and fiction. Harmony is also part of the village which has been dressed up to look like a frontier town of the American 1800’s. I suppose Frank may not have known at the time that the picture of Lillie Langtry is dated 1912. To my eye the Town of Harmony is set sometime in the 1800’s, because it shows no attributes to a modern town in the early 1900’s.
        During the many years I spent researching material for my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down,’ it’s been quite astonishing the places the prisoner has taken me.

Be seeing you

Sunday 17 November 2019


        No.2 Unfit For Purpose

                   by our own reporter
   Poor old chap! What does it matter which came first, ‘The General’ or ‘A B and C,’ I have nothing to add to that age old question, except that I think we have to take both episodes as they appear in the series. And yet there’s something wrong in that, because during the opening sequence to ‘The General’ No.2 in his responses to the Prisoner says “I am the new Number Two”. While in the opening sequence to ‘A B and C’ he tells the Prisoner “I am Number Two,” what’s more he is the only No.2 to say that, and cannot be denied. Certainly in ‘The General’ No.2 is extremely enthusiastic about the Speed Learn experiment, and has great confidence in the General. And now we come to another quandary. No.2 told No.6 that it was the Professor who created the General, and loves it with a passionate love. However, the Professor said in his talk to the students about Speed Learn that he was introduced to the General. Now which is it to be? No.2’s confidence in the General was so great that he proclaimed that there is no question from advanced mathematics to molecular structure, from philosophy to crop spraying, given the basic facts. While No.12 said “Speed Learn is the outcome of the General’s prolific knowledge. And yet all that prolific knowledge had to be first programmed into the computer by the Professor after he had first written up each of his lectures. It’s the fact that No.6 was aware that computers have to be first programmed with information, after all you can’t take out what you don’t put in! Hence No.6’s question WHY? The General couldn’t answer because the computer had not first been programmed with the basic facts, and because it couldn’t answer it had a tantrum and blew a fuse! No.2’s confidence in the General was his own downfall, more than that he underestimated No.6. In ‘A B and C’ he is given the opportunity to redeem himself, and effectively get his own back on No.6, through the use of a new wonder drug developed by a chemist No.14. It’s a pity 14 cannot do something about No.2’s peptic ulcer, the poor chap is still suffering from it, and will suffer even greatly as this episode progresses. Is No.2 taking an extreme measure with No.6 in allowing 14 to prove her new drug on him? In treating No.6 as a guinea pig. Three doses were bad enough, a fourth would kill him! But what does No.2 care about No.6, after all it was through his interference that the Speed Learn experiment failed. Now it was boom or bust, as No.2 set about extracting the reason behind No.6’s resignation. And will push this latest experiment to its limits in order to find out what the Prisoner had to sell, and to whom he was going to sell it. He said that they had researched and computed No.6’s whole life. Was it the General who did the computing, arriving at the conclusion that No.6 was selling his country out? If it was, the General got his computations wrong, his wires crossed, and this would not be the only time {putting ‘A B and C’ before ‘The General’ as in the screening order} No.2 would be let down by his confidence in the General, while at the same time underestimating No.6! Whichever way you look at it, both episodes ended in complete failure for this No.2, which makes it strange that he was brought back to the village for a second term of office. Yes he was not the only one, his predecessor was also brought back for a second term, but the failure of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ was not his. He was simply there to bring the agent known as Nadia Rakovsky and No.6 together, and see that their escape from the village went unhampered. In ‘The General’ there was an air of confidence about No.2, he was confident in speaking to No.1 on the telephone, almost his match. Whilst in ‘A B and C’ there was a nervousness about him, and when speaking to No.1 on the telephone he was more subordinate. And as the experiment began to fail he was afraid that the curved red, oversized telephone might start bleeping at any moment. And in the end it did, sealing the fate of this No.2, who was the only No.2 to fail so dramatically twice! I suppose you have to feel sorry for the poor chap, he’s not the first, well as a matter of fact he was the first No.2 to experience real defeat by the intervention of No.6. The first No.2’s were good enough to see the Prisoner settled into the village, the other in a demonstration that escape is not possible. The third has already been noted here, and the best one can say about this No.2 is, he was unfit for purpose. And yet he was not alone in that!

Be seeing you


    Readers of my blog will no doubt remember this previous entry, although the two images have been better manipulated for clearer clarity.
    What’s that sign doing there, it reads HALT. The sign is seen a little way on the bend in the road, for a couple of seconds in ‘Arrival’ after No.6 is being driven away from the hospital. And can be seen again in ‘Checkmate’ when No.8 is following No.6 and the Rook in a taxi. It suggests that taxis are not permitted passed that signpost. Not that any notice was taken if that’s the case. The sign doesn’t appear as other signposts about the village. So is it a production sign to do with filming of ‘the Prisoner’ if so the Mokes didn’t stop at the HALT sign. So the signpost might have nothing to do with the filming, but more to do with Portmeirion itself, although it doesn’t have a permanent look about it.           

   So why repeat this entry? Because of the following amendment.    Quite recently my wife and I were watching episode 3 of ‘Lord Peter Wimsey – The Unpleasantness At The Ballona Club,’ and in a scene in which a Rolls Royce is being driven along a country road a signpost suddenly at a 3-way intersection loomed up at me on the television screen…….a HALT sign! 
    The sign cannot be a proper road sign because it doesn’t look like one and has the same temporary look as the one in Portmeirion, and besides as the Rolls Royce drives passed, the driver has the right of way, so there is no reason for the car to have to stop. So I can only imagine such signposts do have something to do with filming after all, because this cannot simply be a coincidence, and in both cases the directors seem happy to have the signpost in camera shot. Probably they think such a signpost would go by unnoticed. The signpost speaks for itself, but what its significance is concerning filming I have absolutely no idea. Perhaps someone can say. If it means simply stop, do not go beyond this point, well the car didn’t, it drove straight passed the sign and carried on its way, just as the two Mini-Mokes did in ‘The Prisoner.’

Be seeing you

Saturday 16 November 2019

Goodbye Angela

     I learned yesterday via The Unmutual website that Angela, the eldest of the Candy Sisters (pictured above} had passed away on the 7th of November. At the time of filming ‘the Prisoner’ at Portmeirion in September 1966, the then Blackpool-based cabaret act were performing at Butlin's in Pwllheli in North Wales. Patrick McGoohan asked them to be part of the 'Dance of the Dead' episode in which they appeared in two scenes.
   I extend my sincerest sympathies to Angela's family and friends.


Friday 15 November 2019

No.1's The Boss!

    No.6 “It looks like a unanimous majority.”
    No.2 “Exactly that’s what’s worrying me, very bad for morale. Some of these good people don’t seem to appreciate the value of free elections, they think it’s a game.”
    “Everyone votes for a dictator.”
    “Not at all, it’s just that their resistance is low. Frankly my dear fellow, you are just the sort of candidate we need.”
    “What happens if I run against you? I might as well while I’m waiting.”
    “What physically happens if I win?”
    “You’re the boss.”
    “Number 1’s the boss.”
    “Join me.”
   “If you win Number 1 may no longer be a mystery to you, if you know what I mean.”
   That’s the problem, we don’t know what No.2 means or in what context he meant his remark. What’s more, to make matters worse No.6 doesn’t ask him, he might have said “What do you mean by that?” But no, the remark is let ride.

Be seeing you

Bureau of Visual Records

    After watching his own political broadcast on the television No.6 tells the housemaid No.58 that although she has been in the village for a short time, there is one thing that can be learned very quickly, obey the rules and they will take good care of her. Then over a cup of tea he asks No.58 to “Try it.” Not the tea, but to try and say the phrase “Be seeing you” in English. And he gets angry when she doesn’t. Then something inexplicable happens, he says the phrase “Be seeing you” in 58’s own language!!! “Lye eezeet zoon,” then No.58 understands. For some reason, perhaps because of 58’s enthusiasm, No.6 comes to his senses, tearing off the rosette from his lapel he runs out of the cottage and drives off in a Mini-Moke with No.58 pursuing him on foot. Eventually the road ahead is barricaded outside the Town Hall by No.113c and his Tally Ho dispenser, a garden tractor, along with a number of No.6’s enthusiastic supporters brandishing placards. This effectively stops him from reaching the beach in an attempt to escape in the Mini-Moke as he did on the day of his arrival in the village. Mind you, the tide being in at the time would have stopped him dead in his tracks anyway.
   No.6 then abandons the Mini-Moke and runs off. By this time No.58 has caught up with him and chases after him. In his attempt to run away from her No.6 runs down a set of steps leading down to the waterfall. No.58 stands at the top and waves at him enthusiastically, this makes No.6 looks as though he can’t get away fast enough, but his way is barred in two directions, the one way being barred by the diminutive Butler together with the hovering helicopter, the other by more of his enthusiastic supporters blocking his escape towards the Old People’s Home.
   This leaves No.6 only one direction in which to run, down to the slipway and steal one of the two Jet boats if he is to escape. What follows is a desperate struggle with the two motor mechanics, and a chase scene between boat and helicopter piloted by No.2. And just when No.6 was doing so well, now he was being foolish. This won’t get him anywhere, he had better go back before it’s too late!
    It wasn’t until I watched ‘Free For All’ quite recently, I realised that in this scene No.6 is being “herded” down to the slipway. Perhaps I’m a bit slow on the uptake! This in turn gave me the idea that it was No.2’s intention that No.6 should try and escape by using one of the jet boats. Otherwise why is he already waiting close by, piloting the hovering helicopter himself, in order to give chase when No.6 makes his move to escape?

Be seeing you