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Monday, 17 February 2020

Caught On Camera!

    As the Prisoner walks across the lawn, and through the Piazza, the village bell tolls, it tolls the hour of 11 o’clock. 11 o’clock in the morning and the café is only just opening for breakfast! But more than that there is something blatantly missing, where are the citizens? 11 o’clock in the morning and there are only three people up and about at that time of the morning and one of those is a bit dodgy. The man seen up in the Bell Tower who doesn’t appear to have been there at all, the waitress busy setting out the tables on the café, and the gardener swilling down the patio using a hosepipe. There is no-one on the lawn of the Old People’s Home, no-one in the swimming pool, and no-one promenading in the Piazza, why? Perhaps the answer is to do with production, that if there had been people mingling about the village; promenading in the Piazza etc it would have taken the television viewers attention away from the Prisoner! So why have the village bell chime 11 when they could have so easily have it chime seven or eight times suggesting it’s early in the morning!

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Cobb’s Funeral!

   I always think it is such a pity we do not get to see the hearse in the funeral cortège, a white Mini-Moke with its black and white striped canopy. However it is possible to glimpse a small piece of the canopy through the brass band. 
   And yet we do get a much better glimpse of the hearse, with its black and white, possibly dark blue and white canopy, as it passes by in the background in a scene in ‘The Schizoid Man.’ Someone has failed to secure the canopy properly, as the wind lifts it off the frame, as it passes by!

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Friday, 14 February 2020

The Guardian

   The Fall Out rocket blasts off out of its silo, and suddenly the Guardian is there, have you ever wondered what it was doing there, and how it managed to get there? I have absolutely no idea why its there, that’s just another of those imponderables that plague ‘the Prisoner.’ However I can shed a little light on how the Guardian may have got into the cavern, along that tunnel leading from the Rover cave we see in ‘Free For All.’ Okay they wouldn’t have thought about that during the production of ‘Fall Out,’ but fictionally how the Guardian managed to get to the cavern works for me.

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A Favourite Scene In Once Upon A Time

    In which No.2 as the father takes No.6 the child, for a ride around the village in a wheelchair, or perhaps that should be pushchair, pushed by the diminutive butler. That probably makes the butler a childminder. On their promenade around the village No.2 bought No.6 an ice cream cone. 
    Here they are, having returned to the Green Dome. It looks like vanilla is the ice cream flavour of the day for a change, I wonder if it was a ’99?’ If it was the ice cream would have had a chocolate flake.   
    Although ice cream is sold in the village, you will recall how in ‘Arrival’ “Strawberry was the flavour of the day,” this is the only time in the entire series of ‘the Prisoner’ that we see anyone actually eating an ice cream!

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Tales From The Village

    It’s not easy living here in the village, especially when you volunteered and when you arrive its nothing like what you expected. Oh it’s pleasant enough on the surface, something like a holiday resort, people on the beach enjoying themselves, sunbathing, playing beach ball and the like. That’s when I got the notion of sending a message to the outside world. I didn’t mind who found the message, just as long as it was taken to someone in authority. I strolled about the village trying to come up with a way to send the message. I first hit on the idea of using a pigeon, but how far would it go, and if the pigeons were by any chance homing pigeons, well they were already home! Then one day down on the beach I saw the ex-Admiral and someone else sailing two plastic boats in the water. This made me stop and think, I had intended sealing the missive in a watertight polythene bag and attach it to an open upside down umbrella which I would set in the water, and it would look as though it had blown away in the wind, and then slowly drift away on the tide hardly noticed. But a plastic boat would be far better, so I purchased one from the kiosk on the beach. I spent time over the next two or three days sailing the plastic boat in the Free Sea in the Piazza, so that the Observers would get used to seeing me with the plastic boat. The ex-Admiral took an interest which was good as it gave me a certain kudos, especially when I joined the Admiral and who he was pleased to call his Flag officer, sailing our plastic boats in the gullies of water left by the tide on the beach. People became used to seeing us sailing our boats, as I’m sure did the Observers, and that was the main thing.
    Then the day came and I needed to write the message to someone in the outside world in complete privacy. My cottage was impossible, there might even be a camera in the bathroom. Nowhere public, the woods then, maybe not. The Observers might not be able hear you in the woods, but they can still see you. I know, the cave set in the cliffs of the cove! I gathered paper and pencil, the clear polythene bag, and the blue and white plastic boat then set off through the village, down onto the quayside and onto the beach, with my boat stuck under my arm. What could be more natural than for No.35 to be on the beach about to sail his boat?
    As luck would have it there was no-one in the cove, and I made straight for the mouth of the cave, which was little more than a slit really. Just inside I crouched down, took out my identity card, together with the sheet of paper and began to write my message which began “To whoever may find this……… I had managed to rough out a rudimentary map of the village placing it on an estuary, although I didn’t know what sea it was, I was able to give the points of the compass. Then I sealed the message and map together with my identity card in the polythene bag. Then I removed the white superstructure of the plastic boat, placed the polythene bag inside and fixed the superstructure back onto the blue hull. Leaving the cave I checked that there was still no-one about, then walked across the sand to the waters edge and threw the boat into the water, and stood watching the boat bob about on the waves knowing the tide would carry it out to sea. I stood there watching the small boat in the water, then slowly made my way back along the beach to the village.
   In the control room an Observer sat at her monitor making a sweep of the beach via a surveillance camera on the look out for any unusual activity.
   “Supervisor” said the Observer looking up from her monitor.
   “Yes what is it?”
   “Number 35 is on the beach, and he isn’t carrying his blue and white plastic boat.”
    “What of it?”
    “Well as you know he’s never seen without it.”
    “Let’s have him on the screen, put up camera 5.”
    The large wall screen suddenly pictured the scene of the beach, citizens paddling in the water, playing beach ball, building sandcastles, or simply sunbathing. And there he was, No.35 striding along, then his attention was attracted by the Ex-Admiral who was waving to him.
    “Sound” said the Supervisor.
    “Not sailing your boat today?” asked the ex-Admiral.
    “No not today.”
    “Well join us, my Flag officer and I have constructed a TEWT {a tactical exercise without troops} of a French sea port which was attacked in World Ward Two by a Destroyer.”
    The Supervisor picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped intercom.
    In his office No.2 was reading a report from the works department on the reconstruction of a cottage, when the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom began to bleep. He leaned forward in his black spherical chair and picked it up.
   “Yes what is it?”
   “Supervisor here sir, I think you ought to know something, Number 35 is without his blue and white plastic boat, which he sails on an almost daily basis.”
    “What of it?”
    “Well that’s just it, he’s hardly ever without it.”
    “And you think what?”
    “I think he’s sailed it for the last time.”
    “You mean the boat sank.”
    “No sir, I think its gone sailing on a long voyage!”
    “Then alert M. S. Polotska, and let them make a search for this vessel.”
    The Supervisor pressed the button on the bottom of the intercom to clear the call, then made another.
    “Calling M. S. Polotska, calling M. S. Polotska are you receiving me over……”
    On board the motor ship Polotska the two man crew were just having lunch when the radio suddenly burst into life.
    “Calling M. S. Polotska, calling M. S. Polotska are you receiving me over……”
    “Oh what do they want now, I’ve just made beans on toast with a side portion of corned beef for our lunch” Gunter grumbled pouring out the tea.
    “I’ll have to answer” Ernst said and picked up the microphone “M. S. Polotska receiving over.”
    “This is the Supervisor calling, this is the Supervisor calling, I want you and your crew to keep watch for a blue and white boat which put out to sea a few minutes ago, over.”
    “What is it, someone stole one of the jet boats again?”
    “Tell him we’re having our lunch!”
    “No, this is a small plastic vessel about a foot or so long…….”
    Ernst looked at Gunter “The man’s off his head!”
    “Did you receive that over?”
    “Yes, M. S. Polotska out. Pull up the anchor, we’ll search inshore first.”
    No.35 was sat at a table on the patio at the café when a Mini-Moke pulled up and two burly set guardians got out and approached him.
    “Number 2 wants to see you” 256 said.
    “What does he want to see me for?”
    “You’ll find out” said the other.
    Citizens sat looking, probably thankful that it wasn’t any of them they came for.
    The two guardians manhandled No.35 into the Mini-Moke and drove off to the Green Dome.
    The pair of steel doors closed and No.35 sat in a black leather chair looking across the grey curved desk.
    “Thank you for coming along quietly” No.2 said.
    “I didn’t exactly come along quietly as you put it; I wasn’t given any choice in the matter!”
    “Well you’re here now. I think you will recognize this” No.2 said producing the blue and white plastic boat from under his desk.
    No.35 looked at it and said nothing.
    “The curious thing about this little ship is it was carrying a cargo of sorts, including your own identity card” No.2 sat reading the message again “You intended sending this message to someone, anyone somewhere who would find it and then what? Well I can’t say as I blame you for trying, but I doubt anyone would actually be able to find the village using this somewhat rudimentary map of yours.
    “If found I expected the message to be passed on to someone in authority” 35 said.
    “Did you….did you. Well as you can see the plastic boat was found, and the message brought to someone in authority….me!” No.2 crumpled up both the message and the map and threw them in the wastepaper basket. Picking up the identity card he leaned over the desk offering it to its owner.
    No.35 stood up and approached the desk taking hold of his identity card.
    No.2 kept hold of the card “I think your sailing days are over…don’t you 35?” then released his grip.

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Sunday, 9 February 2020

Watching The Prisoner – The Schizoid Man

    “The atmosphere here is very different from what it was elsewhere.”
    Perhaps that’s one of those “in-jokes” that are supposed to plague ‘the Prisoner,’ the fact that they are not in Portmeirion, but on a set at
MGM film Studios!

    This episode has to follow both ‘Free For All’ and ‘Dance of The Dead’ in anyone’s screening order, simply because by this time the democracy is an irritation which has been dispensed with, and No.6 has found a new use for a black ballot box……as a kitchen waste bin!

    To watch ‘The Schizoid Man’ is only right because the episode has to begin on Feb 10th for obvious reasons. Now I sense you are just about to ask a question, what about ‘A B and C,’ doesn’t that episode take place around Feb 10th, seeing as that’s the date of The Tally Ho. That problem comes about by using the same Tally Ho Broadsheet for the two episodes, instead of producing two separate ones. And even then the dates wrong for ‘The Schizoid Man!’
    Back in the 1980’s, because the date Feb10th appears in both ‘The Schizoid Man’ and ‘A B and C.’ one fan of ‘the Prisoner’ came up with the idea that the two episodes take place at the same time! The idea is preposterous of course. However there is one problem with this episode, the fact that it is over lapped by ‘Many Happy Returns!’ Just as this episode has to commence on Feb 10th ‘Many Happy Returns’ has to begin on or around Feb 20th depending on how many days it takes No.6 to build his sea going raft, if he is to spend 25 days at sea and arrive back in London on March 18th. Even if it takes No.6 only two weeks to grow his beard, that takes him to Feb 24th when he would probably have already been at sea on his raft for two days! You see the problem. Of course the problem could be solved by having a gap of a month between the two episodes, but that would put ‘Many Happy Returns’ into April and then the date wouldn’t be right. Remember No.6 asks Mrs. Butterworth the date “Saturday March the 18th.” To which he replies “Tomorrow’s my birthday.” The only way to solve the problem would to put a year between the two episodes, which would make ‘the Prisoner’ run into 1969, which is impossible because the Prisoner has to return to London on a specific day in December 1967. That may not be etched in stone, but it is written on a wall!
    No.6 is conditioned to smoke Black Russian cigarettes, so why doesn't he? Mind you he’s also conditioned to like pancakes, and to eat them on sight, but then in No.2’s office he doesn’t do that either, he simply picks at one!
        Alison-No.24 is as ambiguous as ‘the Prisoner’ itself can be. The question of why Alison was brought to the village in the first place is a question which also hangs over most citizens in the village. Does she work for the village, and assigned to No.6 as Nadia Rakovski had been? Whatever it was that brought Alison and No.6 together, indeed how they discovered they shared a mental link will be forever unknown. Perhaps Alison had been brought to The Village because of her mental powers, to be able to read people’s minds, and to have that mental power enhanced. Thus No.6 had become unwittingly involved in an ESP experiment. After all according to No.2 No.58 had been brought to the village because of her photographic memory. Yes she turned out to be the next No.2, but originally she might have been brought to the village because of that photographic memory.
    After sharing a final goodbye with Alison No.6 attempts a daring escape by impersonating Curtis. But Alison knows who he really is, and No.2 has his doubts, while No.6 Curtis has forgotten security regulations, meaning the wearing of a blindfold. And yet, are we really to believe that No.2 would have allowed Curtis to leave the Village looking like No.6? I should have thought Curtis would have had to spend a little more time in the Village before being allowed to leave, if only for a final make-over, if not to be given time to grow his moustache again!

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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Living In Harmony!

     I have never understood why people have symbolized the Man With No Name who refuses to wear a gun in ‘Living In Harmony,’ to the “draft dodgers” who refused to pick up arms and go and fight in the Vietnam War. Perhaps the episode itself isn’t enough for most people causing them to make more of it than there is. There is another way of looking at it, a far simpler and more mundane. One thing which must be remembered was that before this Man With No Name who became a drifter, was once a Town Sheriff of an American Wild west frontier town. It was a job from which he eventually resigned, handing in both his badge and his gun. But why did he resign? That’s easy to answer, a town Sheriff would be open to many dangers as he tried to keep the peace, aided sometimes by deputies. There might be a gang come riding into town, say the James gang, the Dalton boys, the Youngers, or the Clanton gangs, to rob the Bank. And the Sheriff would have to try and stop them, and if he couldn't, then he'd have to form a posse and go after the Bank robbers.
    A Sheriff, worth his salt, would have to be fast on the draw; otherwise he wouldn't last very long. But then the faster on the draw the Sheriff was, so much greater his reputation, and that in turn would attract every two-bit gunslinger out to make a reputation for himself. And the Sheriff, who got paid very little for being a peace officer, a few dollars a month, would have to stand up to every gunslinger who came to town, and then would have to face up to him in front of the whole towns people in order to face down the gunslinger or be forced to take him on in a gun-fight. In time this can wear a man down, the killing, having to put his life on the line every time a gang or gunslinger came to town. Perhaps that’s why the Sheriff handed in both his badge and gun, it had taken its toll on him, worn him down, he had had enough of killing. And after that he simply refused to wear a gun again.
    Many of my favourite American Westerns are in black and white, ‘High Noon’ being very near the top of my list. Marshal Will Kane hands in his badge and gun, as he prepares to retire and leave town with his new bride for Mexico. Well he would have done, had it not been for Frank Miller and his gang…… there’s always one last gunfight, one last badman to face down. Kill or be killed! And so it is with a Sheriff who agrees to wear the badge but not the gun in the town of Harmony. But there’s always that one last gunfight, one last gunslinger to face down in the street that of the Kid…….
   For the 50th anniversary of ‘the Prisoner’ I watched ‘Living In Harmony’ for the first time since 1967 in black and white, and I enjoyed the episode more on that occasion. Probably because watching the episode in black and white did make it look more like a Western, and made it more believable.

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The Prisoner According To Halliwell!

    A few days ago I purchased, for a mere 50 pence, a copy of ‘Halliwell’s Tele Guide’ first published by Granada Publishing in 1979. Leslie was a programme buyer for the ITV network and for Channel 4 until his retirement in 1986. He spent several years as film reviewer for ‘Picturegoer’ and ‘Sight and Sound’ as well as contributing to other national publications including ‘The Spectator’ and ‘Films and Filming.’ Halliwell was also the author of several standard reference books on cinema and television including ‘the Fimgoer’s Companion,’ The Film Guide, and was co-author of ‘the Clapperboard Book of the Cinema.’ 
   Basically the book is a Television guide of TV programmes and series of yesteryear from both sides of the
Atlantic. So what did Mr. Halliwell have to say for himself on the subject of ‘the Prisoner?’

The Prisoner 17x50m colour
ATV {Patrick McGoohan}
    “An ex-secret agent is captured and brainwashed in a curious Shangri-La civilization from which he finds he can never escape.
    Downright peculiar, sometimes fascinating, often irritating and trendy melodrama in which episodes, though well made and acted, tended towards repetition. The much awaited final episode explained nothing and fell apart almost completely, the intention apparently being to make a statement about

Patrick McGoohan

   “Revived in 1976, the show turned into a minor cult, and Portmeirion, the private welsh village in which it was filmed, again attracted unwelcome hordes of tourists.”
   Note: When I watched ‘the Prisoner’ in 1967-68, and even when I watched the series again in 1976 and again in 1977 I had no idea that symbolism was mixed up in the series. This was probably because I was watching ‘the Prisoner’ as a straightforward action adventure series. It was not until over a decade later that I learned of the symbolism that could be found in the series. And how in ‘Living In Harmony’ the way the Man With No Name refused to carry a gun, was being symbolized in America with the “draft dodgers” who refused to pick up a gun and go and fight in the Vietnam War. That never once occurred to me when I first watched ‘Living In Harmony,’ nor again in 1976 and 77 probably because I watched the episode as a straightforward Western!

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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Thought For The Day

    If the local election was a real election, and not just further manipulation of the citizens, I wonder if citizens discussed the two candidates amongst themselves and who they were going to vote for. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there hadn’t been a certain amount of therapy, in that citizens were pre-programmed to vote unanimously for No.6, otherwise the citizens might simply have all voted for No.2 and the old regime forever! And then No.6 wouldn’t have made it into the Green Dome as the new No.2, and that would have prevented No.58’s little scene, as well as stopping the two motor mechanics from extracting their revenge on No.6! Oh the citizens were enthusiastic enough, but it seems they were simply going through the motions so to speak. There appears to have been no interaction between citizens leading up to polling day, most seemed to be of one mind. It would have been nice to have at least heard some political discussion in the Cat and Mouse nightclub. But there were no re-actionists, no-one heckling the candidates on the hustings, just everyone happy to vote for No.6 or so it seems as when No.6 is voted in as the new No.2 the citizens look upon him with distrust!

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The Rover Cave!

    In ‘Free For All’ after telling the citizens they are free to go, free to go, free to go, the two motor mechanics turn up in No.2’s office. They attempt to restrain him, but he breaks free and makes a dash to the pair of steel doors which open, the wall revolves and he is faced with a single steel door. The door opens and No.6 stumbles into a cave. Four men dressed in what looks to be flying suits and dark glasses, sit round a pulsating Guardian. Why? Is this the real Therapy Zone? It has been suggested that the four men are undergoing some kind of indoctrination. If the Guardian is man-made and has a mind its mind will not be its own, and they could have been using the Guardian as a process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs. 
    I used to think the only way into the cave was through the pair of steel doors and the hidden single steel door which affords the cave extra security. But why have this as the only way into the cave through No.2’s office? Upon further examination there appears to be another way in and out of the cave.
   There appears to be an entrance to a tunnel which gives the impression that there could be an underground network of caves, and the tunnel might eventually lead into the underground cavern seen in ‘Fall Out.’ And yet the cave No.6 stumbles into is on ground level, not underground. But there is no indication of the possibility of a cave from outside the Green Dome! This is what I am pleased to call another imponderable!

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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Making A Better Village!

    On Thursday January 30th, I read on the ‘Red Button’ the BBC television digital service, how the new Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsey Hoyle, declared an end to all bullying in Parliament. He said he wished for everyone working on the Parliamentary estate to be respected. “I want to make this a better village for all of us” he said.

   The Speaker’s words made me instantly think of 6’s final words in THEPRIS6NER “It has to be possible to do this the right way, yeah? Make a good village. I think I could do it.” Of course in Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s reference to the village he means Westminster village. And in that there is another reference to the episode ‘Free For All’ because from now on, it appears members of Parliament will be playing the game according to Hoyle!

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Tales From The Village

    It was late morning, the village was its usual self as a number of citizens occupied themselves by promenading around the pool and fountain in the Piazza, while others enjoyed themselves on the beach. The café was doing its usual daily business, citizens were either enjoying an early lunch, a late breakfast, or a simple cup of tea.
    Customer “Good morning, nice day for it.”
    Waiter “It will be another nice day for it tomorrow.”
    “Oh you think so?”
    “Well according to the weather forecast it will be.”
    “Have you noticed anything different about today?”
    “No should I have done?”
    “You haven’t noticed?”
    “Alright, I’ll buy it, noticed what?”
    “There haven’t been any announcements about the Professor’s lectures!”
    “Now you come to mention it……….”
    “Look at the people, all going about their daily business as though nothing’s happened.”
    “Well nothing has happened.”
    “Precisely my point.”
    “Do want tea or coffee?”
    “You don’t miss it?”
    “The Professor’s lectures. They do tell me that Madam Professor’s art seminars have also stopped.”
    “Who told you that?”
    “I was talking to Number 34 in the General Store.”
    “Perhaps Madam Professor and her husband have left the village.”
    “Well the house is closed up.”
    “Well there you are then.”
    But of course that does not take into account the two fresh graves in the cemetery, and standing at one grave the grieving widow.
    “Did you know that a new No.2 arrived today?”
    “No, but then I’ve been busy here.”
    “I saw the helicopter arrive the other day, and I saw who got out.”
    “What’s he like this new Number 2?”
    “It’s not a man, it’s a woman, slim, attractive, elegant. She wore a dress made up of different coloured diamond shapes.”
    “Sounds like Pierrette has dropped by!”
    “I’ll tell you something else as well, she had her own maid with her.”
    “What was she like?”
    “Oh you wouldn’t look at her twice. Here have you heard?”
    “I’ve got work to do, I’ve no time to bandy words with you, heard what?.”
    “They say there’s no sign of Number 6, they say he went and gone!”
    “Gone, gone where?”
    “I saw workers down on the quayside this morning, busy removing rope, long logs, and black steel barrels.”
    “What do you think’s happened?”
    “I think Number 6 built himself a raft and put to sea on it!”
    “You do talk rot!”
    “I’m not in the habit of talking rot. He’s not been seen about, and if he’s not here where is he?”
    “Yes sir I’ll be with you in a minute, look I’ve got customers to serve.”

    “You see Supervisor people are asking questions, they want to know why there are no more of the Professor’s lectures.”
    “What is the official line?”
    No.22 “There isn’t one. You know what happened, the General destroyed. Both the Professor and Number 12 dead. And already this new Number 2 has been flown in, and then gone back to London!”
    “She was here just long enough to oversee Number 6’s escape from the village. Then she left and an interim Number 2 was put in place.”
    “So what do we tell the students whose education has been left incomplete, and who will not now get there university degree?”
    “Think about it 22, even if the students had attained a university degree, what possible use would they have for that here?”
    “So where’s Number 6?”
    The Supervisor turned and looked up at an area of the World map, then pointed “His last reported position was just about there.”
    “Reported position, you’re having him shadowed?”
    “You didn’t think Number 2 would simply let Number 6 set sail on the open sea all alone did you?”
    “I’d best be on my way, and see if I can be of any assistance to this new interim Number 2.”
    “He’ll be gone soon enough” the Supervisor said “I give him three days!”
    Number 22 departed the control room through the opening steel doors, leaving the day shift to its business.
    “Supervisor, Number 81 acting suspiciously, he’s just stolen a screwdriver from the electrics truck.”
    “Right, let’s have him on the screen, put up camera twelve sound and vision.”

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Thursday, 30 January 2020

Insoluble For Both Man And Machine!

    No.100, he was the interim No.2’s assistant in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ He was involved with Plan Division Q, and radicalized No.51 the watchmaker. So at the end of that fight with No.6, when 100 had been attempting to retrieve the remote detonator, what would have made the Guardian attack No.100? The original script has the Guardian suffocating No.100, this was actually filmed, but never used in ‘It’s Your Funeral.’ However part of the scene was used in ‘Arrival’ when the young man in the sunglasses and striped jersey is being suffocated by the Guardian. So I feel the question is still very much relevant, why would the Guardian have attacked No.100 when he was the interim No.2’s assistant? I can only surmise it was to protect No.6, but that seems an odd thing for it to do!

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Quote For The Day!

    “Its not often one gets a second chance.”
    “There are no second chances.”
    “There are sometimes for the lucky ones.”
                             {Curtis No.6 and Alison-No.24 ‘The Schizoid Man}

   Three No.2's are given a second term of office, No.2 of ‘A B & C,’ who was returned for a second term of ‘The General.’ He saw Speed Learn as being the most important human experiment ever to be conducted. During this episode he placed his trust in technology namely the General. And yet he allowed No.6 to get the better of him, just as he had allowed No.6 to out manoeuvre him in ‘A B & C’ when he had placed his trust in the doctor-No.14 and her new wonder drug. Such was this man's over confidence in both cases, and his underestimation of No.6. And yet had ‘A B and C’ and ‘The General’ run consecutively, or possibly the other way around, then this No.2 would have had to leave the village simply to be brought back at a later date. It would also have proved to have given the series a slightly different aspect, to have one defeated No.2 still to be in office in the following episode. And that might have been the original idea, after all in the opening sequence of ‘The General’ it goes that he is the New No.2, when in the opening sequence of ‘A B and C’ Colin Gordon tells the Prisoner he is No.2.
    No.2 of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ was to be brought back to the village for a second term of office, and he was far from happy about it. He told them the last time that No. 1 was using the wrong approach, this time they do it his way, and that there is no other way. He was a good man, is a good man but if they get No.6, he will be better. Such was Degree Absolute, it had to be either one of them, and No.2 put his life on the line for the cause. But perhaps there are better causes to die for!
     What of the third No.2 who was returned to the village? Well not exactly for a second term of office, but for the role of a High Court Judge, he was brought back to oversee three court cases against three individuals, and resolve the question of revolt in ‘Fall Out.’ And perhaps, depending on how you look at it, to have a final throw of the dice against No.6 in a final attempt to manipulate the Prisoner by first praising him for his private war against the village, then offering him ultimate power. Finally they faced No.6 with himself, as they had once before when they took away his identity in an attempt to break him. In ‘Fall Out’ they faced the Prisoner with himself again, in order to show him that he has been responsible for his own predicament and therefore responsible for the village all the time. Well I suppose it was worth a try. Anything is worth a try once.

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Monday, 27 January 2020


    16 is the number, or it could be 1-6, perhaps 1 and 6, that’s one and sixpence in old money, or 18 pennies, 36 half pennies. Either that or 1 and 6 different sides of the same coin, added together they make 7. Perhaps No.7 is the boss, after all 1 and 6 cannot both be the boss, and yet they are both prisoners. Although it appears to me that 6 as a prisoner enjoys a certain amount of freedom in the village, unlike his other self who is a prisoner cooped up inside that rocket day and night. 1 doesn’t even get to go out into the village like No.6 does. I’m surprised 1 didn’t try to change places with No.6, to put the cowled robe on 6 and see how he likes it being cooped up in that rocket. But perhaps that might be too dangerous, we saw what No.6 attempted to do soon after assuming the role as the new No.2, imagine what he might try to do as No.1 in that rocket!

Be seeing you

A Right Pair of Six’s!

    “Well you seem pretty pleased with yourself, that’s not like me at all! What’s put you in a good mood?”
    “I’ll be damned!”
    “Yes, you probably will be.”
    “I suppose you’re supposed to be me!”
    “There’s no supposed about it.”
    “You’re the goodie Number 6 who is supposed to be proving me wrong.”
    “That’s right.”
    “Well how do you propose to do that? Oh don’t tell me, you work on the principle that the good cowboy wears a white hat, and the baddie a black hat.”
    “Something like that.”
    “Well you’ve got off to rather a bad start, looking at the colour of your blazer.”
    “Its brown, what’s wrong with that?”
    “Nothing, except in a certain light it looks black!”
    “Well I’ve certainly never worn a white blazer like that before!”
    “Well you know what they say.”
    “No, what do they say?”
    “A change is as good as a rest!”
    “I’d never go about wearing a badge like that. So that’s twice you’ve got me wrong!”
    “You mean you would refuse your identity?”
    “I am not a number……..”
    “I am a free man!”
    “You mock me!”
    “Not at all, it’s just that acceptance makes life here a little more worth living.”
    “You’ve never tried to escape?”
    “Yes several times.”
    “Then why are you still here?”
    “That’s because you have never succeeded!”
    “What do you mean by that?”
    “Well if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here, it’s as simple as that!”
    “You expect me to believe that I’m you and you are me?”
    “The sooner you come to terms with that, the easier it will be for the both of us.”
    “You, you’re nothing like me!”
    “I should take a look in the mirror if I were you mate!”
    “Look I know who I am, Number 2 knows who I am, I just don’t know who you are!”
    “There’s an easy way to settle this.”
    “How do you mean?”
    “Show me your bruised fingernail!”
Be seeing you

Friday, 24 January 2020

In The Village!

    In the Village there are times when people genuinely appear to be enjoying themselves, mostly down on the beach, either sunbathing, playing beach ball, building sand castles, or sailing plastic boats. Not like that time during Carnival when there was nothing but blank expressions on people’s faces. The brass band played, but the cheers of the parading people were fake, piped over the Village via the public address system! Well no-one truly enjoys Carnival do they, and those that do are simply an annoyance to those who do not. And yet there was the Mardi-Gras atmosphere in the Village at the time of Speed Learn dashing about, brandishing placards “No home work with Speed Learn” and wearing masks of all kinds. I think that was truly the one time when the citizens were enjoying themselves, as they celebrated the joys of Speed Learn. Yes the students were being force fed knowledge, but there didn’t seem to be any use of drugs, merely hypnosis as they sat staring at television screens.

Be seeing you

Life In The Village!

    “222 I’m just about fed up with your continuously playing “sailing by!”

    “It was composed by Ronald Binge in 1963. Where are we by the way? This isn’t the village.”
    “No, we’re in the
Atlantic ocean.”
    “What are we doing here?”
    “Having a nice little sea voyage.”
    “What are you doing now?”
    “You have one component I need.”
    “I’ve warned you before, deliberate damage to official property will result in a fine or imprisonment.”
    “Tell it to the Judge!”
    “You can’t take me to pieces like this, you’ll be all alone!”
    “That’s no bad thing!”
    “Look I warn you if you don’t sto…………..”

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Tales From The Village

    As No.9 arrived on the quayside she could see a day on the beach was out of the question, seeing as the tide was in, in fact the tide had not gone out for three whole days! Then she noticed the two motor mechanics working on a speed boat, she made her way to the slipway and approached the two men.
    “Waterskiing miss?” the first mechanic asked “not sure about that.”
    “Has she got a chit?” the second mechanic asked busy working on the engine.
    “A what?” No.9 asked.
    “A chit from No.2 authorising you to go swimming.”
    “I had no idea I needed a chit” she told them.
    “Well if you go and get the proper permit, me and my mate here will be more than happy to take you water skiing.”
    They watched as the girl in the white bathing costume made her way back to the road.
    “I didn’t know you needed a permit” No.251 said.
    “Perhaps by the time she comes back, you’ll have that engine fixed.”
    “A what?” No.2 asked.
    No.22, his assistant simply stood and shrugged his shoulders.
    “I was told” the girl began “by one of the motor mechanics that in order for me to go water skiing I would need a chit signed by you.”
    No.22 grinned.
    No.2 shot 22 a disparaging glance “Well my dear that is quite correct” and he searched for a piece of paper “ah yes, here we are” he said producing a note pad. If you would do the honours 22.”
    No.22 stepped forward and took the accepted note pad and pencil “How would you like the permit phrased Number 2?”
    “I hereby give Number 8 permission to go water skiing, signed Number 2.”
    “I hereby” No.22 said as he wrote “give Number 9 permission to go water skiing, signed Number 2” then tearing off the top sheet handed the permit to No.9.
    No.9 accepted the permit then asked “Who do I give it to?”
    No.22 looked puzzled “That’s a good question…..I suppose you had better give it to me” he said.
    “There you are then, you see I like to obey the rules” she said handing back the permit to No.22
    No.9 left the Green Dome, crossed the street, went down the steps and walked along the cobbled path. There was another set of steps just before the Pink pavilion, No.9 descended the steps until she stood at the foot of the waterfall, then made her way to the slipway.
    “Look out, she’s back!” said one of the motor mechanics.
    “So she is, come water skiing then miss?”
    “She’s come water skiing, but has she got the permit?”
    “Did Number 2 give you a permit to go water skiing?” asked the second motor mechanic.
    “He authorised it, but it was his assistant Number 22 who wrote out the permit, although Number 2 signed it” she told them.
    “Can we see the permit?”
    “I gave it back to Number 22.”
    The two motor mechanics looked at each other.
    “Why did you do that?” asked the first motor mechanic.
    “I asked who should I give it to, and 22 said I should give it to him.”
    Again the motor mechanics looked at each other.
    “I can’t help but think there’s a flaw in that somewhere” said the first mechanic.
    “You should have brought the permit to us.”
    “So that we can see you have a permit to go water skiing!”
    “Well I don’t really care whether I go water skiing or not now!” she said.
    “She said she doesn’t care whether or not she goes water skiing or not”
    “I know, I heard!”
    “I think I’ll go for a paddle in the free sea!”
    “Yes I should, instead of bothering the likes of us, we’re busy you know, we’ve not got time to go water skiing, or paddling in the free sea!”
    It was some little time later that No.9 found herself in the Piazza where a number of citizens were promenading; after all it was the place to be seen. There was a chap wearing a straw boater trying to paddle about in a small dingy, but with little success. No.9 laid a towel on a bench then walked casually across to the pool and fountain. She stood there for a moment or two looking into the water.
    Two men sat on a nearby bench watching Number 9, she was attractive, tallish, with a trim figure, and auburn hair.
    “What do you think she’s going to do Number 52?”
    “Go for a paddle I expect 46.”
    “She’s rather attractive don’t you think?”
    “Yes rather, she’s just my type.”
    “You don’t think……..”
    “I don’t think what?”
    “That she’s going to dive in do you?”
    “Course not, anyone with an ounce of sense can see that’s the shallow end!”
    No.9 moved along more towards the fountain still gazing into the water.
    “She is you know, she’s going to dive or jump in!”
    “She’ll do herself a mischief if she does!”
    No.9 stepped up to the very edge of the pool, now other people stopped their promenading and watched the young woman. A woman stepped forward.
    “I wouldn’t do that if I were you miss, you’ll hurt yourself.”
    But she wasn’t listening, and dived headfirst into the free sea, and was gone!
    “What!” shouted No.2 into the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom “She can’t be, it’s impossible!”
    “But sir” said the Supervisor “there are witnesses to swear to the fact that Number 9 dived into the free sea.”
    Two frogmen were duly sent to the Piazza, they stood on the edge of the pool looking into the water.
    “This is daft, it’s impossible!” said one.
    “Someone’s off their head” said the other
    No.22 was close by keeping the situation under observation “Are you two ready?” he asked.
    The two men in wetsuits looked quizzically at No.22.
    “Look it’s as shallow as shallow can be” said the first.
    “Why don’t you simply have the pool drained?” asked the other.
    “Get your breathing apparatus on and get into the water” 22 ordered.
    One of the frogmen turned and picked up an oxygen tank and strapped it on, his diving buddy did likewise.
    “You know what?”
    “Yes I think I do, we’re going to look a complete couple of idiots flapping about in the shallow water!”
    “I couldn’t have put it better myself!”
    Each diver dipped his face mask in the water, spat on it and put it on. Then tested their mouth pieces, and jumped into the water……………
    Much to the two diver’s surprise the water was deeper than expected, and the deeper they dived the darker the water became. They switched on their torches and swam on, a little way ahead rock walls made a narrow underwater passageway, the divers looked at each other, both perplexed as to what had happened. Checking their air gauges they saw they had about twenty minutes of air left in their tanks, which meant they had five minutes before they had to turn back. They went on along the underwater passage way which eventually led them upwards, but by now they had passed the point of no return, with less than fifteen minutes of air left they swam on. Eventually they broke the surface of the water to find themselves in an underwater cavern. They shone their torches about the cavern, then lying on some rocks on the further side, was a body in a white bathing costume. The two frogmen emerged from the water, removed their air tanks and went to the body of the woman known as No.8, she was dead. Then two glowing spheres appeared, two amorphous membrane beings…..Guardians! The two frogmen stood perfectly still, then one made a sudden move for his air tank, one of the Guardians was on him before he reached it. He struggled against the thing that was trying to cover his face, he clawed at the membrane, he screamed, and screamed again as the membrane covered his face, his lungs bursting for air as he was slowly suffocated falling back on the sandy floor of the cavern……dead! The second frogman took his chance and dived into the water, the two Guardians returned to the dark depths of the underwater cavern. It was some two days later, and the good citizens in their brightly coloured clothes were promenading in the Piazza. When suddenly there came a large water spout, and the body of the frogman shot up and floated in the free sea. An ambulance was called for, and the body taken to the hospital, the man had drowned. During the ensuing days the pool of the free sea was drained, there was no sign of a hole or any other portal through which three people could disappear. The base of the pool was solid concrete, and just to make sure, another two inches of solid concrete were added. No-One goes paddling in the free sea any more, however the ex-Admiral and his flag officer can be seen sailing their plastic boats in the water. Despite the fact that a small Guardian has been known to make an appearance via the fountain from time to time.

Be seeing you

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Die 6 Die, Diiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee

   The television viewer is told, as No.2 told No.1, that he must risk either one of them. Meaning that with Degree Absolute it must to be one or the other of them, No.6 or No.2, that only one of then can leave the Embryo Room….alive! That being the case, No.2 foresaw the real possibility of his own death. And in reality Patrick McGoohan almost did kill Leo Mckern, at least that’s how it looks on the screen, and such was Leo’s experience at the hands of McGoohan!
   No.2 is a good man, he was a good man but the failure of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ was not his fault as he told them earlier they were using the wrong approach, and yet it was he who ultimately carried the can, no matter how much Nadia expressed it in her report how No.2 had done his best. But there seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to why No.2 should have to die, but then it was he who suggested that it had to be either one of them. I realize that Degree Absolute is a recognized method used in psychoanalysis, or at least No.6 recognized it as such. But having one of them die does seem rather extreme. But was it No.2 who died in that embryo room? I only ask in recalling the words of the Prisoner “Die Six….die….die…diiiee!”
Because it must not be forgotten that at some point in their deliberations, the patient had changed places with the doctor, and it was No.6 that the Prisoner wanted dead!


Life In The Village!

    “222 what’s the time?”
    “Its ten minutes to curfew. If Number 8 doesn’t leave soon she will be locked in.”
    “Don’t you mean locked out?”
    “No, 8 Private isn’t fitted with an electronic door!”

Be seeing you

Friday, 17 January 2020

Watching The Prisoner – Checkmate

    It has now been 3 months and 6 days since the Prisoner’s abduction to the village and yet we have witnessed a mere 3 hours and 20 minutes of those 3 months and 9 days. During which time at a secret establishment an electronic engineer invented an electronic defence system. A problem developed, he thought that every nation should have it, because in his mind it would have meant world peace. Such thoughts were seen to be treasonable, so presumably he was put under close surveillance. But then some petty bureaucrat let his bag, containing the plans for the electronic defence system, get swiped by an agent working for the village. Once the plans had arrived in the village scientists began to work on them in order to implement an electronic defence system for the village. However problems probably developed in trying to reduce the system to a workable size, and so seeing as the inventor was being brought to the village anyway for expressing treasonable thoughts, No.2 forced No.53 {the Rook} to work with scientists and eventually his electronic defence system evolved into the Beam which is deployed in a later episode, ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ to bring down a pigeon!
    In an earlier episode No.6 questioned how many of each, who is standing beside you now? He went on to say he intended to discover them, who the prisoners and who the warders. In this episode No.6 is given a lesson in learning who is for him or against, the way it is in life, you judge by people’s attitudes. And so armed with knowledge No.6 sets about discovering people he can trust.
    No.6 organises an escape plan, but alone on the raft the Rook has time to think and puts to No.6 his own test. You see there’s been a slight misunderstanding.
   “You, you’re one of them!”
   “I’m not, you are! You deliberately tried to trap me.”
   “I did what?”
   A slight misunderstanding, when No.6 took command of the escape venture his air of authority convinced the Rook that he was one of them. Then he rowed the raft back to shore, made his way to the Green Dome, convinced the rest of No.6’s confederates, who released No.2.  No.6 asked what will happen to them? No.2 said they would be back on the chessboard the next day as pawns. But we never see No.56 the shopkeeper again, he’s replaced by No.112, a weasel type of character. The white Queen is never seen again after being seen down on the beach, neither is No.53 {the Rook}.
    Who says people do not enjoy themselves in the Village? Down on the beach citizens spend time sunbathing, playing beach ball, building sandcastles, sailing plastic boats, or simply relaxing in the sunshine giving the village an almost holiday resort atmosphere. Less work and more play you might say.
  There might be the enjoyment of a car chase in ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ when Mister X is the hunter on the trail of the Girl, there is also a car chase of sorts in ‘Checkmate,’ and for once No. 6 is the hunted! No. 8 is put on the trail of No. 6 by the doctor who has had her hypnotized into believing she is in love with No. 6 and he with her. No. 6 steals a taxi and No. 8 steals another and goes after him but how she manages to lose him I don’t know seeing as the village is small enough, you’d think it would be difficult to lose anyone. At one point No. 6 takes a side road and No. 8 drives on seemingly out of the village and along the driveway towards…..towards where? But there’s no danger of interference as No.2 wants this new device {the reaction transmitter} to have a proper test. There is also the question of love, No.8 declares her love to No. 6 and sees how they could be happy together. Whilst the Girl in ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ having declared her love for him, would probably love him to death!
   Whereas ‘Free For All’ has an election for its theme, ‘Dance of the Death’ is wrapped around death, ‘Checkmate’ has technology and experimentation as its theme. Adaptation of Pavlov’s experiments with dogs, and Naval experiments using Dolphins to detect submarines. The doctor No.23 sees the citizens of the village only as experimental subject matter. It doesn’t take her long to size up No.6 wanting to know his breaking point. The doctor-No.40 of ‘Dance of The Dead’ saw how every man has his breaking point, but then he went too far with Dutton. No.6 on the other hand is put through a number of severe word association tests, and it’s in a couple of scenes we see the psychologist No.39, who we shall see again in ‘The Schizoid Man’ to be watched on Feb10th.

Be seeing you

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Quote For The Day

    “One likes to know everything.”
                                  {Number 2 – Arrival}
    That being the case, No. 2 had better read my book ‘The Prisoner Dusted Down!’ And that’s the rub you see, might it not be a simple case of No. 6 having been brought to the village in order to have his personal file brought up to date? The one piece of information lacking was the reason behind his resignation. And yet there was no lawful reason they should need to know, no lawful reason why he should tell them. But had he told them what then? Would they simply let him go? Not likely, not with the knowledge of the village inside his head. The moment the Prisoner woke up in the village, and the attitude he displayed made him a lifer, with no hope of parole!

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Sunday, 12 January 2020

No One Will Be Any The Wiser!

    “I’ll know.”
    “That’s as may be, but will you tell?”
    “Number 6 is dead.”
    “Rover got him.”
    “Yes funnily enough I’ve been keeping up with current events.”
    “What’s to be done?”
    “I’m thinking.”
    “What’s to think about, and isn’t it time I was leaving?”
    “What, yes, well perhaps a word with the girl Alison before you go.”
    “What for?”
    “Our masters think she might have some insight into Number 6’s motivations.”
    No.12 made to leave No.2’s office, the steel doors opened then closed. No.12 spun round.
    “I have had an idea.”
    “Number 6 is dead, and they’ll blame me for it.”
    “Yes most probably. Can you open the doors?”
    “I don’t think I can allow you to leave the village.”
    “Yes why not?”
    “You can help me resolve this situation.”
    “How can I do that?”
    “It’s Number 12 who died. Rover attacked him and its 12 who is lying on a slab in the mortuary!”
    “Now let’s not get excited!”
    “While you can live out the rest of your life in the peaceful atmosphere of the village as Number 6!”
    “You’ll never get away with it!”
    “Because I’ll tell, I’ll tell everyone I’m Number 12 not Number 6.”
    “Who is going to believe you? All that’s needed is a change in blazer, put it on!”
    No.2 threw a brown blazer to No.6.
    “Put it on!”
    No.6 removed the cream blazer and let it drop from his hand, and donned the brown blazer.
    “There now you are our Number 6 and no-one will be any the wiser!”

Be seeing you