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Sunday, 5 April 2020

B

    Whatever was ‘B’ doing hiking across the mountains to Switzerland? Obviously attempting to avoid capture by her enemies. ‘B’ is the first woman Number 6 feels at ease with, except perhaps for Nadia, but then he was using her so that he could achieve his own aims, that of escape. ‘B’ on the other hand, which side do they represent to each other? Number 6 and ‘A’ for example used to work on the same side, they were once friends. But now ‘A’ does the same job but on a different side to that of his former friend and colleague. But ‘B’ Number 6 knows a good deal about her, that she has a son, and her son’s name although he did not utter it. They dance together, Number 6 plays a kind of “handy-pandy” with her, and even has his arm round her waist, he seems very relaxed in her company. Yes he does get close to Nadia in one scene, but then that’s not the actress Nadia Gray playing Nadia Rakovski!


Be seeing you

In The Village!

    Why have the cemetery on the beach, perhaps it was just to be eccentric, or simply because it’s the village. And there’s no accounting for anything they do in the village. But why the need for a second cemetery somewhere in the woods as seen in ‘Hammer Into Anvil?’ Simply, because they have to have a cemetery somewhere and they are no longer in the village, but somewhere behind the back lot at MGM film studios!


Be seeing you

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Tales From The Village

    There was an air of excitement in the village, because of the forthcoming village regatta.
    “Good morning, good morning and what a lovely day it is. The spell of fine weather is due to last at least another month” the cheery female voice announced “Ice cream is now on sale, vanilla is the flavour of the day. There are just 7 days before the village regatta. Don’t forget, if you wish to take part in the regatta you must register your boat within the next three days.”
    When No.9 had heard the announcement he was sat at a table on the patio of the café enjoying afternoon tea. The announcement puzzled him, and turned to two chaps sat at another table, they had ‘Village Yachting Club’ on their jerseys.
    “You look like two likely chaps to tell me about this village regatta.”
    No.213 and No.267 looked at each other “What do you want to know?”
    “You’re allowed boats?”
    “Why yes” 213 said.
    “Otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a regatta would it!” 267 said.
    “And you’re members of the village yachting club?”
    “He’s sharp” 213 said.
    “You thinking of joining the club?” 267 asked.
    “I might, have you got a yacht you can lend me?” No.9 asked.
    “Haven’t you a yacht of your own?”
    “No, I didn’t know we were allowed them, that’s why I want to borrow one.”
    No.213 rubbed his chin “Well the committee likes members to own their own boats.”
    “That’s right” 267 said “particular about that the committee is, beside members don’t like to lend their boats to people, not even to a fellow members of the club.”
    “And Number 2 is alright about you having boats is he?”
    “Why shouldn’t he be, he himself is a member of the village yachting club.”
    No.9 stood up and joined the two men at their table and drew near to them, so as not to be overheard.
    “Tell me, if you all have boats, why don’t any of you try and escape? If I had a boat I wouldn’t hang about this place for more than it took me to set sail!”
    No.’s 267 and 213 looked at each other quizzically.
    “If I had a boat I could take part in the village regatta, and when it was in full swing I could slip quietly away and make for the open sea.”
    No.267 and 213 still looked at each other then at No.9.
    “Well at least take me to your boathouse” No.9 pleaded.
    No.267 and 213 looked at each other.
    “Well I suppose we could take you to the yachting club” 213 finally said.
    “Yachting club, well that’s more like it” said No.9 eagerly “Say when shall it be?”
    It was then that they were joined by two more men sporting a Village Yachting Club jersey and they were each carrying something which made No.9’s heart sink.
    “Wh…..what are those?” No.9 asked.
    “Pond yachts” No.59 said enthusiastically
    “Mine is called Northern Star” No.104 said.
    “And mine’s Southern Star” 59 said “Mine has the blue and white paint, and Northern Star has the green and white paint.”
    “You mean……you mean your yachting club sails pond yachts?”
    “That’s right” 267 said “we’ll be sailing our pond yachts in the Free Sea in the Piazza for the village regatta. It should prove very spectacular.”
    No.9 made his excuses and left the group with No.267 shouting after him about going to the yachting club.
    In the control room the supervisor-No.56 bald-headed man wearing a dark green polo neck jersey and single breasted dark blue blazer stood with No.2 looking at No.9 pictured on the wall screen.
    “He looks disappointed” said the supervisor.
    “He has every right to be” said No.2, who was a man in his late forties, with black hair wearing steel rimmed spectacles.
    “As if we would permit the ownership of any kind of boat to ordinary citizens” said the supervisor.
    “Indeed to any citizen” No.2 said still watching the wall screen as No.9 made his way to the Piazza.
    There was the red and white striped awning of a kiosk where a variety of pond yachts were for sale. No.9 paused and looked at the tidy vessels. Then his attention was drawn to No.66 the ex-Admiral, who was with a fellow boating enthusiast.
    “Hello” No.9 said “Not sailing today?”
    The ex-Admiral looked up, he held a small control box in his hands, a small aerial protruded from the box.
    “Well yes and no” he said “allow me to introduce you to my first officer Number 1.”
   The first officer also held a control box and was concentrating very hard as he pressed a number of buttons. No.9 stood looking at the two men, then turned his attention to the Free Sea, there was a yacht towards the farther end of the pool. Suddenly there was a minor explosion, a spout of water, the yacht heeled over and began to sink. He saw a man step into the water in order to retrieve the stricken yacht and began to study it. The ex-Admiral and No.1 looked at each other, a final press on the two control boxes and two miniature submarines broke through the surface and made their way to the side of the pool.
    “You, you pair did this” the owner of the stricken yacht shouted “you sank my yacht!”
    No.9 stood watching as the ex-Admiral and his first officer retrieved the two submarines from the Free Sea and made off with them in somewhat of a hurry, with the owner of the yacht shouting and shaking his fist.
    “Curious that they should sink 81’s yacht like that” the supervisor said.
    “Curious indeed” said No.2 “that they should have working models like two submarines in the first pace. I wonder how they came by them? Put a watch on the ex-Admiral and his first officer. I want to know where they go, and whom they meet.
    “Yes Number 2” the supervisor said, and gave orders to that effect to the Observers.
    Almost every day there were a number of the Village Yachting Club members sailing their pond yachts in the free Sea, No.9 had to admit it looked quite impressive. No.81 had purchased a new pond yacht called Northern Star from the kiosk, this to replace the one that was sunk by the rogue submarine. He immediately carried the yacht over to the Free Sea, set her sails and jib and put her in the water. There was a gentle breeze which made it perfect for sailing. There were yachts of all kinds and sizes, and everyone was honing their sailing skills, getting the most out of their vessels. The promenaders were most interested in the activity, and many stopped to watch and admire the yachts. Then the ex-Admiral and his Flag officer appeared carrying a large ship, it was a model of a pocket battleship about three feet in length. The members of the yachting club all turned and stared.
    “That’s enough Admiral” No.199 said “this is a yachting club, that hardly constitutes a yacht.”
    “Tell me why a pocket battleship cannot take part in the regatta?”
    “It’s motorised and operated by remote control, just like that blasted submarine of yours which sank my yacht. How did you do that by the way?” 81 said lifting the Northern Star out of the water.
    There was a bit of an argument before the ex-Admiral and his first officer withdrew, carrying the battleship.
    “Where do you think the ex-Admiral is getting these superb models, they are complete in every detail” Number 2 asked watching the wall screen.
    No.14 stood in No.2’s office also watching the screen “I could find out for you sir, I’ll make the Admiral talk!”
    “No! We don’t want any strong arm stuff just yet. The supervisor is watching the old sea dog, he’ll give himself away sooner or later.”
    “Are you going to attend the regatta sir?”
    “Of course, I’m to award the regatta trophy myself.”
        Citizens were gathering in the Piazza, the brass band was playing, and members of the Village Yachting Club were beginning to assemble by the Free Sea with their various pond yachts. No.10 was favoured by many to win this year’s regatta with his yacht the Amis Reunis. No.2 was present enjoying an afternoon out of the office, mingling amongst the crowd with his assistant No.14 in tow. It was certainly a grand day for it, blue sky, sunshine, and a gentle breeze made for perfect sailing conditions, and it would to prove most spectacular. No.9 was also in attendance, he had bought himself an ice cream and was sat on a bench watching the proceedings. The regatta competitors were making their preparations for the first race, setting sails and adjusting the rigging.
    The course was an easy one, yachts were set on a course towards the fountain, round the fountain, and back again, each race was run in pairs. The first race would be between Northern Star with white hull and green trim, and Southern Star with white hull and blue trim. The second race was to be between Endeavour I and Pride of The Pond, and the third race between Endeavour II and The Surprise. Each yacht had a pole-person who would walk long both sides of the Free Sea prepared to push yachts into an opposite tack before collision with the edge. The Pond yachts were put into different classes according to size. There was one disqualification and that was the ex-Admirals battleship, but it was agreed that at some point between races a demonstration of the battleship could take place in order to entertain the spectators. To this the ex-Admiral reluctantly agreed.
   And so the regatta was underway much to the delight of the spectators, No.80 set the rigging of Northern Star and No.59 did likewise with Southern Star, and with both yachts in the water the race was under way. Both yachts looked good as they were carried along by a gentle breeze. Northern Star headed towards the edge of the Free Sea but No.80 eased her away with the tip of his pole, while Southern Star took an early lead along the pool towards the fountain, but instead of heading towards the side the yacht headed straight for it, making No.59 hold out his pole and ease Southern Star onto a tack which was to take the yacht round the fountain, but found difficulty in this. This gave Northern Star time to catch her sister yacht and swept passed as No.59 tried to regain the yachts course. With a prod from No.80’s pole Southern Star made it cleanly round the fountain and on a return course to finish the race. But No.59 had managed to get Northern Star back on an even course, rounded the fountain and began to catch Southern Star, however with a gentle prod from the pole man to stop her from crashing into the wall Southern Star crossed the line to win.
    In the next race Endeavour II beat the Amis Reunis. The races continued and the spectators watched with enjoyment the Pride of the Pond beat Endeavour I and Endeavour II in both her races. Southern Star went on to race Endeavour II however both yachts failed to finish. There was a collision; Endeavour II’s bow sprite became entangled in Southern Star’s rigging. Try as much as they may the two pole men could not separate the two yachts, and in the end had to wade into the Free Sea to retrieve them. The regatta continued with race after race, but the most outstanding yacht was the Pride of the Pond the best in her class.
    “Good afternoon citizens, what an exciting regatta we have, and I trust you are all enjoying yourselves” said a cherry female announcer “however the thrills are not over yet. To close the regatta there is to be a sea battle between a model pocket battleship and two D class destroyers.”
    The spectators watched eagerly as the ex-Admiral put the pocket battleship into the water at one end of the Free Sea. His first officer at other end put the two D class destroyers into the water. All three ships were motorized models and complete in every detail, there was even smoke coming out of the smoke stacks, and controlled from two control boxes. The pocket battleship set off, as did the two destroyers from around the fountain. Suddenly the destroyers parted and sailed towards the battleship from two angles, this action would effectively split the fire power of the battleship. The two forward turrets of the battleship turned, fixing her guns on one of the destroyers and opened fire, one shell went over the destroyer while another fell short, but a third found the range and a hit was scored on the destroyer who opened fire in return but falling short of its mark. Both the ex-Admiral and his first officer worked feverishly at their control panels, especially the first officer, as he had two ships to control. The second destroyer moved in on the battleship opening fire with her forward guns, then turning fired a broadside, as did the battleship scoring several hits on the destroyer. While the first destroyer fired two torpedoes at the pocket battleship, which took evasive action turning hard to starboard. Two of the torpedoes passed the ship, but the destroyer fired another two torpedoes and the battleship and the second destroyer continued their engagement. The battleship turned, but it was too late, the first torpedo struck amidships, the second hit the rudder and steering gear disabling the ship which began to list heavily to port. The two badly damaged destroyers moved in for the kill, but the ex-Admiral put up his hands indicating defeat and the battle was won.
    In No.2’s office he and the Supervisor had been observing the sea battle re-enactment on the wall screen.
    “What did you make of that?” No.2 asked.
    “I think it went rather well” the Supervisor said “everyone appeared to enjoy themselves.”
    “And what did you make of the spectacular finale?”
    “You mean the battle.”
    “Yes.”
    “Rather spectacular.”
    “Did you find have the ex-Admiral and his first officer followed?”
    “He went to see the Professor in the woods.”
    “You mean the Professor in the laboratory?”
    “Yes.”
    “What business would they have with the Professor?”
    “I really don’t know sir, there’s no surveillance in the laboratory, he’s always been left to his own devices.”
    “What about those ships, I mean they look miniatures of the real thing. The destroyers were even armed with torpedoes.”
    “And the damage to the ships looked realistic, for model craft” the Supervisor added.
    “Yes, that’s what worries me. Where are the ex-Admiral and his first officer now I wonder?”
    “No.2 leaned forward and pressing a button on the control panel of his desk changed the picture on the wall screen, then panning was able to pick up the intended targets. The ex-Admiral and the first officer were carrying the three model ships between them into the woods.
    “Perhaps we can pick them up on one or two cameras in the woods” No.2 suggested pressing more buttons.
    “The woods are not comprehensively covered by surveillance cameras, there are a good deal of blind spots” the Supervisor admitted.
    “I trust that is not widely known” No.2 said.
    “The Professor has been ordering a good deal of materials over the past few months, metals, wiring, motors, he’s very mechanically minded. May I suggest the ex-Admiral and his first officer have gone there in order to have the three boats repaired by the Professor?”
    “You may, but I want to know what the Professor has been working on all these past months with no sign of anything being produced. What’s he doing in that laboratory of his……..that’s what I want to know!”
   
Be seeing you

Monday, 30 March 2020

Quoit Media – Spring Sale

   Self-isolating? What better time then to visit the Quoit Media website and take advantage of their annual Spring Sale.



 Be seeing you  

Coughs And Sneezes!

   From the 1950’s during the flu epidemic, but still very much relative today during the Covid19 epidemic!

   Take care, stay safe and healthy and a very big THANK YOU to the NHS and all front-line workers, you are all doing a fantastic job. And where would people be without you all. Keep Calm And Carry on!


Be seeing you

Citizen No.38

   What a dear little old lady, and wasn’t it kind of No.6 to buy her tapestry using his 2,000 work units, that should supplement her pension quite a bit! I wonder what the reason was that brought No.38 to the village in the first place, and how long has she been a citizen. Perhaps in her younger days she was once a spy, either that or because she worked in some capacity in the Civil Service and therefore had knowledge of certain information. She might have been a code breaker having worked somewhere like Bletchley Park. On the other hand she might simply have been the tea lady. She could have come to the village voluntarily, through recruitment, or employment agency. But when exactly did she first arrive in the village, before the war, since the war, which war, and if not a Prisoner in what capacity did she work for the village? She could have had hidden depths, but was then reduced to working as a housemaid, or waitress at the café. You see there are any number of villagers who are equally as unfathomable as No.6 if not more so, but those like No.38 here go under the radar for some reason simply on the grounds that ‘the Prisoner’ is all about No.6!
   The Exhibition of Arts And Crafts was supposed to have taken place in the Recreation Hall. But looking at the picture below, clearly the exhibition took place in the council chamber, the only difference being someone has gone to all the bother of laying a wooden floor. 
Also as you look about the Arts and Crafts Exhibition it is clear that No.6 was not the only artist working in abstract art!
Be seeing you

Village Life!

    Number 6 whistling, I wonder what has put him in such a good mood?
    “Yes good morning, you’re early.”
    “I’ll do that…one egg or two?”
    “Two I think.”
    “Here you are.”
    “That’s so nice…so you are the cook!”
    “What do you mean by that?”
    “Well you’re obviously not the maid.”
    “Who made the toast and tea?”
    “I’m not completely useless in the kitchen you know.”
    “I take it by your smile you enjoyed last night.”
    “I did, didn’t you?”
    “I did…be seeing you.”
    “Yes almost all of me!”
    Naughty, naughty!


Be seeing you

Friday, 27 March 2020

Watching The Prisoner - Hammer Into Anvil

    It has been 8 days since the Prisoner was unceremoniously returned to the village. Seasonally it is another episode which takes place during the spring simply on the grounds of the daffodils in 73’s hospital room, and later the bunch of daffs left on her grave by No.6. Well who else could it have been?

   It’s impossible to say how long this No.2 has been in the village by the time of this episode, although the article in The Tally Ho would suggest he has been in 
office long enough to question the “security of the community.” And we must question how this man attained the position of No.2 in the first place, because he’s clearly not up to the mark!
     Apparently there are “enemies,” “conspirators” in their midst, those who look the other way and do not report their suspicions. He doesn’t necessarily know who they might be. But it is the duty of everyone to be constantly on the look out against the traitors.
    It would be easy to say life in the village has not necessarily suited this No.2 at all, that it turned him into a paranoid sadist. Or did it? Basically No.2 is a bully, and in all probability no-one has stood up to No.2 before. Stand up to a bully, like No.6 did, and No.2 was turned into a picked balloon!
    Not sure what he was getting himself into, it’s no wonder he smuggled that sword shooting stick into the village, he has a strong sense of self-preservation.
No.6 accused No.2 of murdering No.73, but did he…..did he? No.73 had attempted suicide before by slashing her wrists because she didn’t like being in the village. Mind you she was only there because they couldn’t find her husband who had some work to finish somewhere over there, presumably behind the Iron Curtain. No.73 didn’t leap to her death through the open hospital window until No.6 forced himself into the room!
    At one point No.6 attempts to send a coded massage by pigeon, or at least that’s what it looks like to the new Supervisor-No.60. He ordered the deployment of the beam, set at hellfire strength, which would have roasted the pigeon alive! But really, how far would that bird have flown, probably only circled The Village and then flown back, where No.6 caught it in the first place! But the Supervisor couldn’t take that risk. Lucky for the pigeon that No.2 intervened just in time, so the bird was only stunned and not fried to a crisp! And a team was despatched to find the bird, I wonder how long that search took? Later No.6 sent a vital message by visual signal. He was being observed down on the beach by No.2 in the control room, the Supervisor, and the Observers. Then Number 6 began sending a message by heliograph, who could he have been signalling to? There was nothing on the radar, no plane or helicopter. Nothing at sea, and certainly no submarine, as nothing was coming through on the sonar. Who was No.6 heliographing to? Well it’s as plain as the nose on your face, it was No.2.
    All of No.2’s colleagues deserted him, he could trust anyone. So No.6 thought to pay No.2 a call and keep him company. All that power at No.2’s disposal and yet he’s alone, no longer the hammer, but the anvil! No.6 went to talk to No.2, to listen, but No.2 has nothing to say, well that’s not like the old Number 2 at all, where is the strong man, the hammer?
   Number 2 claims to know who No.6 is, he’s D6, sent to the village by their masters to spy on them, No.2 had been on No.6 right from the beginning. All those messages Number 6 sent, people he recruited, he knew No.6 was a plant sent to the village by XO4…..”XO4” oh very well,” to check on village security, to check up on No.2 the trouble is No.2 didn’t know he was actually talking to ZM73!
    “Who are you working for Number Two?”
    “For us, for us!”
    “That’s not how it’s going to sound to XO4.”
    “I swear to you…..”
    “You could be working for the enemy, or you could be a blunderer who’s lost his head. Either way you’ve failed, and they do not like failure here!”
    This hurts Number 2, you can see the mental pain on his face.
    “You’ve destroyed me!”
    “No, you’ve destroyed yourself, a character flaw. You were afraid of your masters, a weak link in the chain of command waiting to be broken.”
    “Don’t tell them, don’t report me” is Number 2’s plead.
    “I don’t intend to, you are going to report yourself.”
    Number 6 hands Number 2 that curved, red, over-sized telephone, and from the relative comfort of his chair, Number 2 reports to Number 1 that there has been a breakdown in control, that Number 2 needs to be replaced.
    I think there was no need for No.2 to have reported himself, I feel sure No.1 was all too aware of what had been taking place between No.2 and No.6. So why didn’t No.1 intervene at some point? Probably No.1 was happy just to let the both of them get on with it simply to see which one would emerge the victor. And it was probably payback for No.2’s show of arrogance towards Number 1 when he refused the offer of help.
    When I watched ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ for the first time in 1967, I did think No.2 had got it right, that No.6 was actually a plant sent to the village. But then I was also fooled into thinking No. 6 had actually escaped the village during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben!’
   ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ has a connection to ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ in the way both episodes contain the same format of code names D6 and XO4 are akin to ZM73, PR12, and XB4. If XO4 was a real person that person might be Sir Charles Portland, who sent ZM73 on a secret mission to the village, to check on security, to check on No.2. Had No.6 been sent to the village to check on security his failed escape attempts were proof that security was 100 percent. And had that actually been the case, they could have done a whole lot worse, and they did, with this No.2, than to promote ZM73 to the position of No.2. Perhaps XO4 could fix it for him!
    Fictionally it makes sense for ‘Hammer into Anvil’ to follow after ‘Many Happy Returns,’ as I can imagine Thorpe taking to the idea of being recruited as No.2. It would have afforded the opportunity for him to hammer him! Yes I realize No.2 doesn’t have the character of Thorpe, but clearly life in the village has not suited this No.2 at all, judging by his paranoia!


Be seeing you

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Tales From The Village

    “Did you just plant these?”
    “Yes sir, Delphiniums.”
    “They’re new aren’t they, who told you to plant them?”
    “The head gardener sir, if they’re not right.”
    “Yes?”
    “I’ll dig them up and plant them again.”
    “I don’t think there’s any call for that 42. What about roses?”
    “Roses sir, what about them?”
    “I can see there’s mildew on that Betty Uprichard over there.”
    The gardener rose to his feet and walked over to the rose garden.
    “Just there” the man said pointing.
    “That’s a shame” the gardener said “It won first prize in the gardening competition last year.”
    “Oi what are you doing with those roses, have you got the Lobelia in?”
    “We were just discussing the roses, this Betty Uprichard has got a touch of mildew.”
    “Well what are we going to do about it?”   
    “Well a one to one thousand sulphuric wash should put it right in no time.”
    “Who told you that?”
    “This gentleman here.”
    “And what’s this got to do with you, are you a gardener?”
    “No sir.”
    “Well clear off out of it!”
    No.50 turned and walked away, leaving the gardeners to their gardening. He met No.119 by the pool and fountain in the Piazza.
    “Did you see what I did there?”
    “No.”   
    While their attention was diverted I stole one of their trowels.
    “And where does that get us?”
    “A step closer to digging the escape tunnel!”
    “I’m a bit worried about this tunnel, it’s a long way to dig out under the estuary.”
    “Yes but only to the Island in the middle, once on the other side we are effectively screened from the village by the Island itself.”
    “Yes but where do we put all the sand dug out of the tunnel?”
    “We back fill as we go.”
    “Say again?”
    “As we dig the tunnel we back fill, that way there’s no danger of the tunnel collapsing.”
    “But won’t we suffocate to death that way?”
    “No, because I have a series of steel tubes which we push through the top of the tunnel as we go and they provide us with breathable air!”
   In the Control Room both the Supervisor and his assistant No.20 were watching No.2’s 50 and 119 on the wall screen.
    “You see what he did there” said the Supervisor.
    “He distracted the gardeners and stole a trowel.”
    “Yes.”
    “And we are going to let him get away with that?”
    “I shall of course inform Number 2” the Supervisor said picking up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom.
   “Really, well I think we can allow Number 50 to keep the trowel” said No.2,    
“After all while he and 119 are busy digging their tunnel, they’re not doing anything else. I mean how long will it take two men with only one trowel to dig an escape tunnel, and where will they put the sand?!”


Be seeing you

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Free To Go!

    In ‘Free For All’ No.6 attempts to incite the citizens into a mass breakout by telling the citizens they are “Free to go” over the public address system. What did No.6 expect to gain by organizing a mass breakout? Perhaps he expected to slip away in the confusion! But as it is not one citizen takes the slightest notice of No.6 as his words boom out across the village. Instead the pair of steel doors slide open and a medical trolley rolls down the ramp, and the two motor mechanics rise up through holes in the floor on platforms. They attempt to take No.6 by force, but he breaks free of them and dashes up the ramp. The wall of No.2’s office revolves, revealing a single steel door. The door slides open and No.6 stumbles into a cave. Where exactly is the cave situated in terms of the Green Dome? Perhaps it’s an allegorical cave!
 

Be seeing you

Tales From The Village

    “Good morning.”
    “What’s good about it?”
    “You are in a grumpy mood this morning!”
    “I have good reason.”
    “Why?”
    “I bet my breakfast’s cold!”
    “Why should you think that?”
    “Because my breakfast was cold yesterday!”
    “It’s a privilege you know, I don’t do this for everyone!”
    “It’s a privilege I can well do without!”
    “Well you know what you can do don’t you.”
    “No, what can I do?”
    “Make your own breakfast from now on!”
    “What is for breakfast?”
    “Tea, toast, butter, and a glass of orange juice.”
    “Your predecessor once brought me some International cuisine, egg on a piece of quiche.”
    “Do I look like the cook?”
    “I wouldn’t like to say what you look like!”
    “I’ve a good mind to report you!”
    “I’d best eat my toast, drink my tea before they get warm!”
    “I shall report you!”
    “And while you’re about it, tell them the prisoner ate a hearty breakfast!”


Be seeing you

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Citizen No.66 The ex-Admiral

    In ‘Arrival’ there two ex-Admirals, why? In one scene when No.6 is on his way to the Labour Exchange there’s No.66 the ex-Admiral sailing plastic boats in the Free Sea who goes unaccredited. And then in a later scene set on the lawn of the Old People’s Home there’s the ex-Admiral also No.66 played by Fredrick Piper who is playing chess with No.6.
    “Come along young man, we haven’t got all day!”
    During a later scene, when No.6 it trying to escape the village in a helicopter, Frederick Piper appears with Virginia Maskell No.9.
    “Game of chess me’ dear?”
    “I don’t play.”
    “You should learn……….we’re all pawns me’ dear…..your move.”
    My question would be, if the two ex-Admirals No.66 are supposed to be the same person, why isn’t it Frederick Piper sat by the Free Sea sailing plastic boats? It seems to me to be ridiculous to have such an actor of Fredrick Piper’s experience spanning over 40 years, having appeared in more then 80 films and many television series, not be used in the scene by the Free Sea? But perhaps Fredrick’s appearance in ‘Arrival’ was confined to the Old People’s Home as an habitual chess player for a reason. One might think that the Ex-Admiral was going a bit senile when he suggested to No.6 to try the boat, telling him that the Stone Boat is great in any weather, that he has sailed her many a time. But there’s a hidden meaning in that {see my book The Prisoner Dusted Down}, and he certainly gave No.9 something to think about.  
    

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They Tried To Kill Six Off…Twice!

    This is one of those, what I am pleased to call, imponderables, when it comes to ‘Do Not forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ Why is it that Sir Charles Portland and his daughter Janet were unaware that ZM73 was supposed to have died in an accident at sea a number of months ago. Remember how Janet became excited when she saw his car parked out his house.
    “His car” nodding in the direction of the pavement “is he back?” And she goes running upstairs looking for her fiancé.
    No mention of ZM73 being dead is made at all in the episode, but then perhaps scriptwriter Vincent Tilsley wasn’t made aware of this fact, and yet Patrick McGoohan and David Tomblin should have remembered. Scriptwriter Anthony Skene knew, he tried to have No.6 killed off twice, the first attempt was in the final scene at the end of ‘Many Happy Returns’ when the original script called for the front page of The Tally Ho the headline to read “Plane Lost Over Sea No Hope of Survivors,” so to the rest of the World No.6 would be dead, however as we know this was not used in the actual episode. But Anthony Skene was not a man to be put off from a good idea, and when he wrote the script for ‘Dance of The Dead’ he had a body lying in the morgue, a corpse which was to have been amended slightly, along with the amended wallet in his pocket. Then taken out and dumped in the sea for anyone who might find it. Presumably the body was never found, if it was actually amended and put in the sea in the first place that is!


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Sunday, 15 March 2020

Tales From The Village

    “It’s your move young man……..we haven’t got all day.”
    “Why haven’t we got all day, what’s so important we should be doing?”
    “I have just moved Queen’s Knight to King’s Bishop 4.”
    “Yes so you have. You said we haven’t got all day, why haven’t we got all day?”
    “Are you going to make your move?”
    “Yes any day now, I have a plan!”
    “You have a plan, tell me your plan?”
    “Why should I tell you?”
    “Because I once had a plan, a good plan it was” and there came a faraway look in the Naval Commanders eyes.
    “There was a chap who had a small dingy, it floated in the Free Sea and he sat in it for most of the morning. It was ridiculous really because the water was far too shallow at one end for the dingy to be rowed about. So another chap pulled the dingy on a length of rope. About mid day the two young men became fed up with messing about in a dingy, and they went for a walk, possibly calling in at the café for lunch. I sat on a bench in the Piazza wondering if I could not make better use of the small dingy, when an idea struck me.
    A few days later I was clever enough to obtain a workman’s overall and peaked cap. And one day about mid morning I sat in the Piazza watching this same chap messing about in the dingy in the Free Sea. After a few minutes I stood up casually and walked away, making my way back to my cottage. Inside I changed into the pair of overalls and the peaked cap, then went outside again and made my way towards the Piazza.”
   “And where are you going?” a voice suddenly demanded to know.
   I stopped and turned round.
    The man wearing the same coloured pair of overalls as myself looked me up and down. “Well 42, that’s a nice clean pair of overalls you’re wearing, how about getting some paint on them. You see that wall with the arch?”
    I looked at the said wall.
    The man pointed at the tins of paint and the ladder at the base of the wall “I want you to paint that wall yellow, and don’t be all day about it!”
    The man turned out to be a foreman from the Works Department. So what else could I do……I commenced painting the wall. Besides I needed time to think. I had intended posing as a workman who had been ordered to take the boat to the maintenance shop on the grounds that the dingy needed work doing to it. But it was a long way through the village to the beach without being noticed, and the shortest route was not without its hazards! But as it worked out I wasn’t to need the dingy.
    I had been working on the wall for a couple of hours when I was approached by two men. One was about 6 feet tall and dressed in a brown piped blazer. The other was shorter in height, stouter, and wore a brown and white striped jersey.
    “What do you think?” the man in the brown blazer asked.
    “Something wrong sir?” I asked.
    “Did you paint this?”
    I thought that a bit of a stupid question seeing as I was holding a paint brush “Well yes. If it’s not satisfactory…….”
    “Yeeeessss.”
    “I’ll do it again.”
    “Ah I’m satisfied, are you?” he said, asking his colleague.
    “Yes.”
    “”Carry on 42, we’ll be in touch with you.”
    “Very good sir” I said.
    The two men walked off leaving me wondering what it was they wanted. Little did I know at the time, that I was about earmarked to become involved with a more elaborate escape plan than my own!
    Anyway as it turned out the Works foreman wasn’t satisfied with my painting of the wall, and so it was when I was painting the wall again the next day that No.6 approached me with the recognition password “Tonight at moonset, Rook to Queen’s pawn 6 check.”
As it turned out the man in the brown piped blazer was No.6 who had come up with a plan to get a group of reliable men together in order to form an escape group. Mind you it was No.6 who carried out much of the plan, although No.53 was a large part of that plan. It was he who stole the surveillance camera, the telephone from the telephone booth, screwdriver and electric components from the electrics truck, and who constructed a radio transmitter. Myself, the shopkeeper-No.56, and another chap were part of the gang to supply muscle should we run into trouble.
   Basically the escape plan was to transmit a distress call from an aircraft in trouble which is down in the sea. Then for No.53 to paddle a raft just offshore transmitting an automatic distress signal in order to bring rescuers in and that way affect an escape. It was a good plan, and I bet no-one had thought of it before. While No.53 was at sea transmitting his distress call, the rest of us went to the Green Dome and tied No.2 up to prevent him taking action against us.
    “What happened then?” the young man asked eager to know more.
    The distress signal stopped! No.6 rushed off to see what had gone wrong. While he was away No.53 turned up. The thing was No.6 had avoided selecting guardians as members of the group by detecting their subconscious arrogance. No.53 applied No.6’s own test to him. When No.6 took command of the escape venture his air of authority convinced No.53 that No.6 was one of them, and he convinced the rest of us. So we released No.2.
    “And you have been here in the village ever since.”
    “Well it was worth a try, but if there’s one thing I have discovered since my arrival here, escape is not possible. I know that because I’ve tried and tried again. I’ve even had that Number 8 tell me what not to try. So if I can’t escape no-one can. Oh look you have left your King exposed….checkmate!”
    The young man stood up to leave “Just one more thing, the number on the badge on your naval cap.”
    “You’ve noticed.”
    “It’s rather unusual.”
    “I first worked for Naval Intelligence before moving on to British Intelligence. So when I arrived here they decided to give me a number deserving of my rank, 007!”


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Thursday, 12 March 2020

The Aftermath – Concerns For No.1 Grows!

   After the rocket had re-entered Earth’s atmosphere it was tracked by ground control, and after the rocket impacted with the ground a reach team, in a specially converted Land Rover is dispatched to search for the remains of No.1!


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Fallout!

  The first Blue Streak rocket called Red 1, re my book 'The Prisoner Dusted Down, is being prepared for its journey, to be transported to the village on a Scammell Highwayman transporter. Red 1 in its underground silo prior to its launch.           The rocket is prepared for launching by scientists and technicians in protective white robes. A four man crew has been selected from village personnel. Then at T-minus 14 minutes something goes wrong. Technicians are attacked, security guards are overpowered. Fuel is suddenly injected into the rocket. No.1 is lost. Maximum held is set at 2. Guidance is set at high, boost set, and countdown is switched on. The three crewmen abandon the rocket, with No.1 accidentally trapped in the nose cone of the rocket. An evacuation of the village is implemented as the clock counts down. The rocket blasts off out of its silo with a rocket, its two Rolls-Royce RZ.2 rocket motors generating a thrust of 68,000 kg. Having achieved a high orbit around the Earth, eventually the orbit deteriorates and the rocket, uncontrolled, re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. Surviving the tremendous heat caused by friction, the rocket finally impacts with the ground. There is concern for No.1 by the ground crew as he has not been seen since the rocket blasted off.


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Monday, 9 March 2020

A Favourite Scene In The Chimes of Big Ben

    “Switch off, switch off!”
    That could have been a nasty moment! Nadia is a very good agent, I suppose she could be described as a “plant,” assigned to No.6 as she was. From the moment she sprinkles water on the floor, discovering the alternating electrical current running through the floor {4 seconds on four seconds off} and begins to count. It takes just three seconds to reach the door; she has confidence in her counting and in making a dash for the door Nadia is placing her trust in No.2 to have the electrical current switched off at the right moment. By the time Nadia has decided to try and leave the room No.6 has turned away, perhaps because he cannot stand to watch a woman being put under this form of torture. Did you hear the panic in No.2’s voice, he must have been relieved!


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That’s A Funny Thing To Do!

    One evening, a little before curfew, No.6 left the comfort of his cell cottage and made his way down to the stone boat. Entering the cabin he hid a large white envelope under the padded seat of a bench. He had been followed by No.2 and his assistant No.14. They let No.6 go and No.2 met his assistant at the stone boat. Once in the cabin it didn’t take No.2 a moment to discover the hidden envelope, and with it clutched in his greedy little paw he, followed by No.14 couldn’t get back to the Green Dome fast enough. He dismissed his assistant telling him he shan’t need him any more, that he could go. That must have been something of a disappointment for No.14, because he was as eager to see what was in the envelope himself! What was in the envelope were four sheets of blank paper, which he had the lab technicians test for words figures whatever’s written on them. But try all the tests they may, all they were was four sheets of blank paper. No.2 asked himself “Why should he {Number 6} hide blank sheets of paper in the stone boat?” Another question he might have asked himself is “Not why, but who did Number 6 hide that envelope for in the stone boat?” In having discovered the envelope in the stone boat he could have taken another tack, thereby leaving the envelope hidden and have the stone boat put under close surveillance in order to see who it was who would come and find the envelope! But then it would have been a long wait, seeing as the person for whom the envelope was intended had already found it! A game of cat and mouse, wouldn’t you say, with an act of jamming thrown in!


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Friday, 6 March 2020

Tales From The Village

    It was mid morning when a Mini-Moke towing a trailer parked next to the lawn. Four men in overalls got out of the vehicle and stood looking at the lawn getting the lie of the ground.
    “I suppose we should have a quick measure up first” said No.254 taking the large leather tape measure out of the trailer.
    No.187 looked at him “Measure up, why should we need to measure up?”
    Numbers 256 and 234 began to off-load white squares out of the trailer and began to lay them on the lawn.
    “We don’t need to measure anything” 187 said “all we need to do is position the first square then lay the second square diagonally opposing tip to tip to the first square.”
    “Are we going to lay out this oversized chessboard” said 256 “or are you two going to stand there all day chin wagging!”
    So the four gardeners began laying down the white squares so that they were interspersed with green squares of lawn.
    “Whose idea was it to have a giant chessboard in the first place?” 187 wanted to know.
    “Orders of Number 2” 254 replied “Apparently an ex-Count wants to re-live the good old days.”
    “Whose good old days?” 176 asked.
    “His good old days” said 254 “they do say that his ancestors played chess using their retainers as chess pieces, who then had their heads chopped off as they were removed from the board!”
    “You don’t say!”
    “I tell you what lads” said 187 “I can’t wait to see the size of the chess pieces!”
    “They’re not using ordinary chess pieces.”
    “What then?”
    “Not what, who, they say they’re using real people as chess pieces.”
    No.234 glanced about him.
    “What are you looking for?” 256 asked.
    “The axe man!”
    “Get the pegs from the trailer someone, and we’ll secure these squares down properly” 254 said.
    “Who put him in charge?”187 grumbled as he went to the trailer “And what about these poles?”
    “We need to lay those out on the steps of the Piazza each one represents a chess piece” 254 shouted.
    Suddenly there was a blood curdling roar as the white membranic Guardian came rolling and bounding along the road. Pedestrians stepped lively to the side of the road, cyclists demounted their bicycles. No-one was moving, even the water spout of the fountain stopped working, but not the four gardeners. They simply carried on laying out the white squares of the chessboard, taking no notice of what everyone else was not doing! Then the Guardian had gone, everyone returned to normal and music began to play over the public address system. The four gardeners were just putting the finishing touches to the chessboard laying white tape around edge of the board, and placing two high chairs opposing each other on opposite sides of the board. And people began to gather, each helping themselves to a chess pole and began taking their squares on the chessboard. As the gardeners cleared away their tools and returned to the Mini-Moke, one chess player took his seat at the top of one of the high chairs as the citizens each took their square on the chessboard. Then a man with a walking stick turned up, he conversed with the white Queen, and as the four gardeners looked on they seemed to be a chess piece short.
    “Here” said 187 “how do they know which are the blacks and which the white pieces?”
    “How should I know” 254 said “come on, we’ve got work to do in the woods.”
    “I wonder” 176 said “just how long they propose to keep that chessboard laid out on the lawn?”
    “Why?” 234 asked.
    “I was thinking of the grass under those boards, with the sunlight cut off it will go yellow and begin to die. Take the boards up and you’ll still see the chessboard that’s all.”
    “It wouldn’t surprise” 187 began “that it turns out to be a two day wonder!”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Well there I was, just two minutes away from a university degree in horticulture when they pulled the plug on that Speed Learn!”
    The three other gardeners looked at their workmate quite astonished.
    “You won’t need no university degree to help you trim that hedge this afternoon” 254 said.
    “No” said 176 “Just a pair of shears!”
    Then they all four jumped into the Mini-Moke and drove off…… while back on the chess lawn
    “Sir, do you play chess sir?”
    “Yes.”
    “Come and be the Queen’s pawn.”
    “Certainly.”
    The white Queen and her pawn take their places on the chessboard, as No.14 takes to his hight chair.
   “Pawn to Queen four.”
    “Pawn to Queen four.”
    “Who’s he?”
    “I can answer that as we play.”……………….
   

   BSEENU

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Quote For The Day

    “Vital message tomorrow, 0:600 hours by visual signal….visual signal.”
                                        {No.2 – Hammer Into Anvil}

    At 5 and 20 minutes to 6 o’clock No.6 prepares to leave his cottage and make his way through the village down to the sea wall, then along by the stone swimming pool and onto the beach. While in the control room No.2 is waiting, ordering the Observers to stand-by as he watches No.6’s progress on the wall screen.
    “Standing by sir.”
    Camera 8 is ordered and the view is displayed on the wall screen as No.6 walks down the steps onto the beach.
    “Switch to camera 5, then camera 13.”
    No.6 is now a long way out across the beach and crouching down takes the hand mirror from blazer pocket and begins to send a message via heliograph. No.2 orders someone to get the Morse code message taken down, and for the cameras to get in closer, to zoom in on No.6 as much as they can.
    “Who can he be signalling to?” the supervisor asks.
    “We’ll find out” No.2 replies
    There’s nothing on radar, not at sea, there’s no ship. No.2 insists there must be an aircraft, helicopter….something, but there’s nothing. Ah, under the sea…try the sonar. But there’s nothing coming through! So who was No.6’s signalling to? Well it’s as plain as No.2’s nose on his face…..it was him!


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