Search This Blog

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

No comments:

Post a Comment