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Sunday, 17 November 2019

THE TALLY HO

        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

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