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Saturday 29 August 2020

The Therapy Zone

“Even as a child there is something inside your brain that is a puzzlement.”

     "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
                                                                {Corinthians 1 verse 25}

    And it was as a child that I first discovered the Prisoner, at the tender age of 12 years in fact. But what it was that first drew me to the series, well that was probably Patrick McGoohan as Danger Man John Drake. But what made me remain with the series to the end, is not so clear, unless at that time it was simply that I wanted to learn whether or not the Prisoner-No.6 managed to escape in the end. Which of course he didn't, not even John Drake was that good!
   So, as we become adults, we are expected to put away childish things. But there is many childish things about the Prisoner, such as the use of nursery rhymes, in both speech and music "Pop goes the weasel" in Arrival, Once Upon A Time, and even No.8 in Checkmate is pompom Ming the same nursery rhyme as she makes No.6 a cup of hot chocolate as his night-cap. And there are actual children in a nursery to who No.6 is telling, amongst others, his blessed fairy tale of The Girl Who Was Death.
   To my way of thinking, the Prisoner was and is, far more understandable through the eyes of a child, than it is as a grown-up. Patrick McGoohan didn't put away such childish things with the Prisoner, so perhaps its best we don't either. Then we'll all understand what was in Patrick McGoohan's mind at the time - won't we?
   Anyone for a game of marbles round the back of the school bike shed?

    I get the impression that the Prisoner known as Number 6, is a man who is not at peace with himself. It is suggested by a doctor-Number 14, that Number 6 is suffering an anguish pattern. He appears to be going though his act of resignation over and over, repeatedly in his mind, as demonstrated in ‘A B and C.‘ Almost as though he is tormented by the act of his resignation. Something drove the man to take the decision to resign, a man who was loyal, dedicated to his work, a man who suddenly resigns, perhaps even prematurely. Possibly he had become disillusioned with the kind of work he was doing, or had become unhappy, was being used by others so they could achieve their own ends. Perhaps the man, was fed up with cleaning the mess left behind by other people. So surely after resigning he should be happy in himself.
    So what kind of work did this man do before he resigned his job? Well lets face it, he was an actor by the name of Patrick McGoohan, who had become a household name through ’Danger man’ John Drake for seven years. And as an actor he took on the role of ‘the Prisoner,’ having resigned from his previous role. It has been a myth for almost 46 years, that we do not know the name of the Prisoner. Well we’ve known it all the time!
    Patrick McGoohan had become disillusioned with ‘Danger Man,’ the scripts had become repetitive, he had become tired of John Drake. Besides McGoohan had an idea which had been going round and round in his head for sometime, about a man in isolation. Now having resigned he was afforded the chance to create something which would bring him notoriety. Patrick McGoohan had something he wanted to say, he had a message for all of us. And so he used ‘the Prisoner’ to tell it.
    It must have been a painful wrench for Patrick McGoohan to have resigned from the role of ‘Danger Man’ John Drake, after all the role had been a big part of his life. It must have taken a great deal of thought, as he had been loyal to Lew Grade in all that time. A man dedicated to his work, and had become the best paid television actor of his day, and there he was, about to throw all that success away.
    Once upon a time, the Prisoner told No.2 that he had resigned for peace of mind. It doesn’t seem to have done him much good!

    I wonder what made No.2 think that it must have been a bomb inside that Cuckoo Clock? Okay No.2 came to the conclusion that No.6 was a plant, sent here by his masters to spy on them, but a bomb? I don't think that assassination was on No.6's mind, simply to play on No.2's growing paranoia!
   Yet the alert went out and the bomb squad sent for, and they carefully, and with some amount of trepidation, packed the Cuckoo Clock into a green litter bin. the two bomb disposal men's only protection from a possible explosion, were the two hard hats they wore!                                                   
   The device having been packed in the green litter bin, was then carefully carried down the steps of the Green Dome by No.35 and No.61, the Cuckoo Clock having been left at the foot of the front door of the Green Dome by No.6.
    It was the two on-lookers who contacted the Tally Ho after watching the bomb disposal team carrying out their work. The green litter bin containing the suspect device was carefully driven away in a taxi to be deactivated by Bomb disposal expert No.243, pictured here.                                                     
    In a sand-bagged area No.243 carefully dismantled the suspect device, the Cuckoo Clock. And after several careful minutes, that is exactly what No.243 found it to be, and demonstrated his feelings to No.2, by tilting the wooden Cuckoo at him! Cuckoo, Cuckoo, Cuckoo!                        
  I tried to get a comment from No.2, but he simply swept past myself and my photographic colleague No.113b, "Oh get out of the way!" was No.2's passing comment!
    Needless to say the bomb threat was not real, and turned out to be a waste of Village resources, as well as wasting the time of the members of the bomb disposal team. Why The Village should actually have a bomb disposal team in the first place is a wonder?!

    The Prisoner In Depth Tape 2, a Steven Rick's production. It was very near to the end of an interview with camera operator Jack Lowen that my ears pricked up at something he said. I rewound the tape and listened again to what Jack Lowen had to say on one aspect of the Prisoner. That in turn, began to make me think and inevitably put pen to paper {well finger to keyboard as I do these days}. A question began going around and round inside my head: "Is ‘the Prisoner’ really all in the mind?
   The Prisoner has often been described as "a prisoner of himself", "a Prisoner of his own mind, "a man fighting the evil side to his nature, his evil self, that being his evil side which manifests itself as No.1. A man who cannot escape his own "Id." But is that really the case? Is ‘the Prisoner’ simply all in the mind? Well I suppose it all comes down to interpretation, one man's meat being another man's poison so to speak. Logic would dictate however, that this is not the case, nor could it be so, that it simply just isn't possible.
   There is the question of "actuality" within ‘the Prisoner’ series. No doubt there are many who would argue against this. However if we are to suppose that the Prisoner is all in the mind of No.6, actuality would dictate that you could only have things happen in the series/village which No.6 actually took part in, or is seen to be taking part in, or had prior knowledge of. For example, the Prisoner handing in his letter of resignation, No.6 and his escape with Nadia-No.8 during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben,’ the fight scene between No.6 and No.14 of ‘Hammer Into Anvil.’ And of the same episode, No.6 in the General Store, his Kosho practise with No.14. As the white Queens pawn in the human chess match of ‘Checkmate.’ And such a list could go on, but on the other list might be scenes and sequences which No.6 could know nothing about. Scenes which does not contain No.6, such as various scenes in the control room. The meeting of the educational board in ‘The General.’ No.2's interrogation of No.72 in ‘Hammer Into Anvil,’ the conversation between the doctor-No.40 and No.2 in the Town Hall during ‘Dance of the Dead.’ the discussion between No.2 and No.100 in the office of the Green Dome of Its Your Funeral, and again the list could be endless, but you get the general idea. These are scenes and sequences which do not have No.6's participation, which could not, and indeed should not exist in the mind of No.6. Oh, I suppose he could have imagined such scenes in his mind, but that then would not be "actuality."
   Allow me to demonstrate. take a moment or two to think about the scenes that are happening in the flat or house next door, or in the office along the corridor. Think of the people acting out scenes therein, what they are doing, what they are saying to each other. You can't, can you, because you are not there. You are not taking an active part, and therefore can only imagine what is taking place. You can try to imagine what is taking place, but in actuality those living next door, or working in that office along the corridor might have gone out, and so are not there at all. It's all in your imagination after all, and therefore didn't really happen at all!
   "Actuality" only allows us only to see the things in which No.6 takes an active part in. It does not permit us to see the scenes in which he does not appear, for he cannot possibly know of them. For that reason we should only see the scenes in which No.6 took an active part, not the scenes he did not.” That is what cameraman Jack Lowen had to say, and what my ears pricked up on hearing.

Be seeing you

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Tales From The Village

    A black spherical chair rose up through a hole in the floor behind a grey curved desk. No.2 held a sheet of paper in his hand, a latest instruction he had received a few hours ago via the teleprinter in a room in the Town Hall. He sat down in the black spherical chair contemplating the instruction. The steel doors to his office slid open and the tall figure of No.37 walked smartly down the ramp, the steel doors closing behind him with a resounding clang! He had under his arm a black leather document case.
    “What have you there 37?”
    “This just arrived by courier sir” he said handing over the case.
    No.2 unzipped the case and took out a number of documents and photographs and spread them out over his desk.
   "Him, of all people!"
    No.37 unfolded a plan of the interior of a room, a lounge, possibly that of a study. There were also a series of photographs of the room taken from a number of angles, along with every item within the room. Of furnishings, furniture, ornaments, pictures, light fittings, table lamps books, the television set everything. There was also a dossier on the subject of a man which No.2 was reading.
   “This coincides with an instruction I received only this morning. What cottages do we have available?”
    “There’s the Round House sir.”
    The next day builders moved into the Round House and began the conversion work of the cottage interior. A new floor for the study was laid, and at the back of the cottage the floor was built up necessitating the need for the addition of four steps. A round arch leading into what would be the bedroom was constructed, a shower room was added between the bedroom and a dinette, the door to the shower room sliding to the left. A false wall was eventually added to act as the back wall of the study making the room a “Home From Home” when the new occupant first wakes up, but which when raised would lead to the rest of the cottage. The Round House was completely re-wired with electrics, and hidden surveillance cameras would eventually be fitted.
    The tall frame of No.37 stood framed in the door of the Round House “How are things going?” he asked.
    “Fine so far, we have just installed the false wall” No.146 said.
    “Does it work” 37 asked.
    “If you mean does it cut the cottage in half, then yes.”
    “I mean does it roll up into the roof area?”
    “I don’t know, we haven’t tested it yet.”
    “Then this might be the time to do so” 37 ordered.
    No.146 went outside and picked up a headset from the Mini-Moke and went back into the cottage “Site construction to control, activate the false wall in the Round House.”
    A moment later the wall was raised by electrics control, but the motor working the wall jammed as did the wall.
    “Get that sorted out, we don’t want any unwarranted surprises on the day” said 37 taking his leave of the cottage.
    “Who was that?” 83 asked.
    “Just a small cog from administration, now lets get that wall down, and a stronger motor fitted.”
    The bedroom was eventually decorated, and the dinette decorated and fitted out with a sink unit, cupboards, an electric cooker, and refrigerator and a large worktop which would also be the breakfast table. A rack for hanging saucepans and utensils were fitted in front of the two windows. The shower room was fitted out with wall mirror, sink unit, toilet and shower.
    146 popped his head round the shower room door as the plumber was fitting the shower “make sure those hot and cold taps are put on the wrong way round!”
    “Righto!” 77 replied.
    In the study work continued as it had to look exactly like the occupant’s own study, that was most important especially when he was to wake up for the first time.
    No.215 was fitting the fire place “Can anyone tell me why we should fit this fireplace when the Round House doesn’t have a chimney!”
    “The room has to look authentic to the original plans” 146 replied.
    No.263 was studying a photograph “Does that mean I’ve to cut a square hole in the wall here?”
    “What do you mean a square hole, what for?”
    “The wall safe hidden behind the television set” 215 said handing 146 the photograph.
    No.146 studied the photograph “Well I suppose so, I’d better check.”
    No.2 sat looking at the photograph then at his assistant “I didn’t know about the wall safe.”
    “No sir.”
    “Do our people know what was in the safe?”
    “Money sir, American Dollar bills” his assistant confirmed.
    “And we have the combination to this wall safe?”
    “We do sir, it’s in the dossier” No.37 confirmed.
    “Good. Then have an identical safe fitted.
    Work on the Round house continued apace, the false wall now worked smoothly, two alcoves were created, one either side of the fireplace. These were painted white and fitted out with shelving. With the decorating completed, carpets were laid throughout the cottage and light fittings were fitted.
    The steel doors slid open and No.37 walked smartly down the ramp, the doors closing behind him. No.2 sat in his chair a cup and saucer in his hands.
    “Elevenses already Number 2, it’s not yet
ten o’clock” 37 said looking at his watch.
    “It’s always later than we think” No.2 replied “how is the work going on the Round House?”
   “As you know the plumbing is finished, the builders moved out yesterday, painters and decorators will be finished today, carpets laid. The cottage has been completely re-wired, hidden surveillance cameras have been fitted, although they are not yet working, electrics control assure me they will be working by the end of the day. All that is required is for the fitting of fixtures and fittings, and furnishings.
    “Good” No.2 said “our new friend will be with us soon.”
   All the time while the work was being carried out in the Round House, in the large warehouse personnel had been given a list and photographs of properties which were necessary to complete the fitting out and furnishing. The content of the warehouse was extensive from furniture of all kinds to pottery, mirrors, carpets, fixtures and fittings. To all forms of art, statuettes in bronze, porcelain, paintings, knickknacks, books, table lamps, ornaments. If items were needed to fit out a cottage in a particular style then the warehouse personnel could supply it, even if something had to be either copied by a number of gifted craftsmen, or sourced and brought in under the canopy of “special imports.”
   And so it was that the Round House was finally fitted out to the smallest detail.
    “That’s not right” 88 said picking up a statuette “it should be gilt not silver, have it replaced that would be a dead giveaway!”
    “Right away” 91 said taking the statuette and hurrying away.
    The false wall was lowered into place and three pictures, three Vanity Spy prints were hung on that wall. Then one final touch, a Peg wooden doll was placed upon the desk flap of the writing bureau with a card which read “Welcome to your home from home.” While outside a black and white striped sign post with an orange and white canopy was placed by the door.
    The steel doors of No.2’s office opened and No.37 walked smartly down the ramp and approached the desk.
    “Well Number 37.”
    “Yes thank you for asking sir.”
    “No, I meant what have you to report?”
    “Oh, sorry sir, the conversion of the Round House has been completed. It’s a perfect likeness to that of the original.”
    “Good, now I can alert our masters in
London that the arrival of our new friend can take place any time of their choosing. Well done 37.”
    “Thank you sir.”

    Dark clouds, the sound of thunder, a long runway and looming at speed out of the distance a green yellow nosed Lotus 7. The driver’s face has the expression of determination; he is a man on a mission. He drives over London Bridge, turning left driving passed the Houses of Parliament. He parks his car in an underground car park which he leaves via a dimly lit corridor. Somewhere in a building in Whitehall the man storms into an office, he rants and raves at a man sat behind a large oak desk on which he slams down a letter marked personal, private, by hand and stamping his determination by banging his fist so forcefully on the desk that he upsets a cup in its saucer and breaks a tea plate in the process. Then he storms out of the office returning to the car park and drives out to be followed by a black hearse. At one point the lotus is behind the hearse and overtakes it, and then is followed to Buckingham Place. The driver of the Lotus parks outside No.1 and goes inside the house while the hearse pulls up outside. He collects two suitcases which have already been packed, his passport, and airline ticket. A gaunt looking undertaker dressed in black suit, overcoat, white shirt, black over coat, tie and top hat gets out of the hearse, and with a key lets himself into the house closing the front door behind him. The man gathers up two holiday brochures and puts them in a suitcase as the undertaker puts a gas gun to the keyhole of the study door and squeezes the trigger sending nerve gas into the room beyond the door. Suddenly the man feels strange, the view of sky scrapers spins and he falls back onto a couch unconscious, paralysed by the effects of the nerve gas. While this was taking place a second undertaker goes round to the back of the hearse and opens the rear door and pulls out the oak coffin. He is joined by his colleague and together they carry the coffin across the pavement and into the house.
    Once inside the house the undertakers lay the coffin down in the hallway and close the front door. They remove the lid of the coffin and gave it a few moments for the nerve gas to dissipate before entering the room. One checks the man lying unconscious on the couch, then carries in the coffin and places the body of the man inside before replacing the lid. Then they carry the coffin out into the street and put in into the back of the hearse. While one undertaker locks the back of the hearse, the other returns to the front door and closes it.

   The sliver grey Alouette helicopter circled the village before landing on the lawn by the sea wall. There was a white Mini-Moke towing a Red Cross trailer parked on the lawn as two medical orderlies waited for the arrival of the helicopter. They waited for the rotors to stop turning before they approached, carrying a stretcher between them. The pilot opened the cabin door and the medic in the helicopter helped take the unconscious body of the Prisoner out of the helicopter and place it on the stretcher. The two orderlies then carried the stretcher over to the ambulance placing the patient into the Red Cross trailer before driving up the hill into the village eventually arriving at the Round House. The patient was taken inside and laid on an identical couch as the one in his London Home.
    Lying on the couch the Prisoner stirred, he opened his eyes and slowly sat up in what he thought to be his own home. He sat for a moment or two felling a little groggy wondering what had caused him to collapse so suddenly. Slowly he stood up and went to the window, pulling the Venetian blinds open. The view outside the window was not one he was expecting to see. The view of the house across the street had gone, replaced by a colourful vista of lawn, a piazza, bandstand, and numerous Italianate buildings. Turning away from the window shock and bewilderment began to set in. He was in his own home, and yet not in
London, the view outside was alien to him. He found the door and stepped out into the village and then he began to feel disorientated, confused, where…..where was this, and how did he arrive in such a place? He took in the view, looked through an archway then saw someone in the bell tower……… “as I went up the stair I met a man who wasn’t there, he wasn’t there again today, oh how I wish he’d go away,” and yet from the top of the bell tower he could see the café was opening. Descending the tower the prisoner made his way along a cobbled path, across the lawn, through the piazza to the café as bell tolled the hour of eleven.
    “We’ll be open in a minute” the waitress tells him.
    “What’s the name of this place?”
    “You’re new here aren’t you.”
    “Do you want breakfast?”
    “Where is this?”
    “The village”………

Be seeing you

Sunday 23 August 2020



                                        by our own reporter
    Today No.6 was brought before the welfare committee because a complaint has been lodged against him. Because of his liking for his privacy, which in itself can be construed as being anti-social, he constructed his own gymnasium in the woods, instead of using the village gymnasium. Then instead of sharing his private gymnasium with a couple of chums, he carried out a vicious attack on No.53 and No.16. No.6’s defence is that he was provoked, and was only protecting his own property saying “The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.” But
No.’s 53 and 16 saw it differently, and so made their complaints to the welfare committee, and it is the duty of the welfare committee to deal with complaints. As it happens No.6 has several complaints himself, but a serious charge has been levelled against him, one regarding his attitude to his fellow citizens by means of physical assault. No.6’s spirit of disharmony is deplored. But who is saying this, man or the machine? Because when No.6 is seated before the welfare committee it’s a voice on a tape recorder which reads out the complaint against No.6, and not the Chairman of the committee No.18. In fact this so called welfare committee seems just as effective as the local town council was; in fact there is a distinct similarity between the two! There is also a question appertaining to the voice heard on the tape recorder and that of its origin, because the village bell can also be heard playing on the tape recorder at the same time as the voice is heard. So does this mean the recording was made by person or persons unknown somewhere outside in the village? The sound of the bell has to be on the tape recorder because it’s not possible for it to be heard in an underground chamber!
   ‘Your Community Needs You!’ It’s just a pity the welfare committee of this community doesn’t stretch to taking more care of the individual, but then after all it is merely a tool by which No.2 can carry out what is nothing more than a witch hunt! It was reported that No.2 had a list of all known malcontents and intended to purge the village of those malcontents; it was a purge which was never carried out. But now it appears No.2 has found a new way of dealing with malcontents or unmutuals as they are now known, who are now being made docile by a brutal method which has been medically improved upon by Number 86, the operation known as Instant Social Conversion.
   It appears No.2 has the idea of having the citizens living in harmony with each other. To create this he deliberately isolates the subject from the rest of the community, and if this isn’t enough then he takes the subject’s mind and isolates a person’s aggression, taking away a person’s will, thereby rendering him or her docile.
    No.6 isn’t what would be termed  a “social animal.” It was Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who strongly stated about the social nature of the man being a social nature a social animal, an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. I would not say No.6 is anti-social, but he is certainly an individual who likes to mind his own business. He doesn’t openly seek the company of others, except when it suits his own purposes, it generally does suit his own purpose. Yet when isolation is forced upon him by declaring him unmutual, he’s angry at having been made an outcast, no more taxis, the telephone is cut off, and he’s refused custom at the Old People’s Home. He suddenly feels lonely and craves inclusion. No.6 is a loner, yet cannot withstand real loneliness, as it appears the entire community has been turned against him. But does that include “Unmutuals” and those who have undergone the ordeal of social conversion? In the village neglect of social principles can easily get citizens into trouble with the welfare committee. No.42 was reported for failing to heed No.10’s greeting, but she was preoccupied composing poetry at the time. The same should apply to No.64 when she quite deliberately ignored No.6’s friendly greeting. They do say confession is good for the soul, just as No.93 who confessed his inadequacies and disharmony. No.6 has never been one for confession; all No.2 wants to be is No.6’s father confessor about that little incident that has been causing him such absurd distress, his resignation!

Be seeing you

Thursday 20 August 2020

The Witchwood Times

Upset Tummy?   
   ‘The Girl Who Was death’ has something in question with ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Fall Out,’ “Was it the drink?” Had No.6 a cocktail of drinks on hand in that Embryo Room he might have been able to save No.2 in much the same way he appears to save himself in ‘The Girl Who Was Death.’ Except I believe No.2’s death was brought about by a heart attack, brought on by the pressure of the situation.
   So was it the drink? I ask the question because there is absolutely no evidence that Mr. X’s pint of mild beer was laced with poison. A young, beautiful woman in white goes into the bar of the Thatched Barn. She produces a pint glass with the word ‘You have just been poisoned’ etched on the bottom of the glass, and tells Doris that she would like to play a practical joke on a friend. And being girls together Doris agrees, so that when Mr. X comes into the bar for a quiet pint, Doris pours the mild beer into the glass the Girl gave her. If the pint of beer had been poisoned then Doris would have had to put the poison into the glass of beer, and I’m not so sure she would have been up for that. The glass might have been laced with poison before hand by the Girl, and Doris wouldn’t have known about that. But certainly Doris must have been knowingly involved, unless the Girl got the glass behind the bar without Doris knowing, but then she could have given that particular glass to any customer!
   YOU HAVE JUST BEEN POISONED, that must have come as a shock to Mr. X, but he did not panic, instead he drank a cocktail of drinks in order to make himself sick. But then the effect would have been the same, whether or not the pint of mild beer had been poisoned, Mr. X in the Gents throwing his stomach up in one of the toilet! The question remains, was Mr. X poisoned or not? Personally speaking I don’t think he was, but then he simply couldn’t take that chance. And of course the Girl knew, after all she knew what would happen, otherwise why write that message on the towel in the Gents toilet? She didn’t want Mr. X dead, where would the fun be in that?
   Did you know? ‘The Girl Who Ws Death’ has been shown more times on British television than any other episode! Apart from the ITV regional network screenings, ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ was chosen for two special screenings, as an example of the “Best of British” in 1982, and as an entry for TV Heaven in 1992. Chosen possibly for its more simplistic, Avergeresque style of action adventure content rather than the other surreal and somewhat bizarre episodes.
   The village of Witchwood has certainly seen better days, now left abandoned, uncared for, and probably due for demolition any day. But why was it abandoned in the first place?
    The village is Italianate, its population International, but ‘The Girl Who Is Death’ with the cricket match, public house, and funfair all go to make this episode quintessentially English. As for the lighthouse it couldn’t be anywhere other than at Beachy Head, so when No.6 saw that same lighthouse in ‘Many Happy Returns,’ he must have known exactly where he was, and so I expect would a large number of television viewers!
   X Meets Death!   Mister X combats the Girl who was Death. She is a trained killer, while Mister X is a born survivor. He is called Mister X because either no-one knows his name, or his anonymity must be preserved. The man behind the big door in ‘A B and C’ once said that anonymity is the best form of disguise, and is often the way with important people. So is Mister X an important person?
    Indeed the Prisoner can be regarded as Mister X all through his ordeal in The Village, and although for official purposes Mister X is given a number, he has no name. He may use false names, such as Peter Smith, Schmitt, Duval, but he still maintains his anonymity. Even his fiancée Janet Portland didn’t use his name, not even in a tender moment between them.
    There was even a Mister X behind the village, who also maintained his anonymity right up until his mask of disguise was removed by the former Number 6. Mister X being the one and the same person, who would have thought that?  It had to be I suppose, no-one was as important as Patrick McGoohan. After all he was the boss!
   Fact, Both the underground tunnel and the cavern will be revisited in ‘Fall Out,’ as will the interior set of the rocket, with the addition of a number of large world globes on the table in order to disguise the map of London.
   Fact, The name of the bowler in the cricket match is actually John Drake as credited in the closing sequence, is a reference to ‘Danger Man,’ seeing as how the original idea for this episode was meant as an episode of ‘Danger Man,’ is that why his cameo role is purposely credited when so many others are not. Frank Maher for example didn’t get a credit for ‘the Prisoner’ until ‘Living In Harmony.’ And of course there is the other connection between the two series, Christopher Benjamin as Potter whether or not the character is meant to be the same, the name is still the same. Although there is another Potter played by Frederick Abbot, in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ but of course XB4 is not meant to be the same Potter as Christopher Benjamin.

Be seeing you

Monday 17 August 2020

Tales From The Village

    It had been a long hike across the hills only to be met at the end of it by a stone wall. On the other side was a dense wood, he stood there for a few moments, his arms wide, his hands on the stone and wondered what to do. In the end he did the most sensible thing he could do, he sat down with his back to the wall, opened his haversack and ate his packed lunch.
    The stone wall was strong, well kept, and quite obviously a boundary wall to some estate. He climbed the wall and sat on it staring into the dense wood, then back over his shoulder before examining the ordinance survey map he carried. According to the map there were cliffs and the sea on the far side of the woods, which were shown on the map to be crisscrossed by a number of paths. He decided to chance it, gauging that the sea was closer than the cosy Inn that had afforded him shelter only the night before, meaning if he was to spend the night out of doors, he might find shelter under the trees. Throwing his haversack over the wall he climbed over, dropped to the ground, picked up the haversack and whistling a tune he began to make his way through the woods. The dense wood seemed to bring night on sooner than expected, and he searched for somewhere to spend a comfortable night. Ahead was a rocky outcrop, bushes at its base looked to make a cosy place to spend the night. He gathered some large stones; put them in a circle, filled them with twigs and dry moss and with the aid of his matches soon had a blazing campfire. He took out the remainder of his packed lunch and the now half filled flask from which he filled the tin cup with coffee, and heated up by the fire.
    It was about 5 in the morning. The fire had burned itself out, and he was just wondering what to do next whilst studying his ordinance survey map, when he noticed there was a cottage marked on the map. A cottage on the mouth of the estuary, he decided to make for that, perchance he might obtain food and a hot drink after a night in the woods. Slinging his haversack over one shoulder he set out with a firm tread and a merry heart to make his way through the woods. He followed a wide path in the general direction he wanted to go, a path which eventually led him out of the woods and onto a cliff top. He stood there for a moment looking out across a large expanse of sand, out across to the far side of the estuary. A gentle sea breeze wafted his hair, and salt air filled his nostrils, he took a deep breath and it filled his lungs. He turned and saw the small lighthouse; he didn’t recall a lighthouse being marked on the ordinance survey map, unfolded the map and studied it. He was right; no lighthouse was marked on the map, but then it really wasn’t that much of a lighthouse. On closer inspection it had no light, only a single bell hung inside the metal domed structure.
    Turning away from the lighthouse he clamoured down the rocks to the beach and strode out across the sand looking out towards the mouth of the estuary, then turned and walked in the opposite direction. A few yards on he came across a number of headstones in the sand, “a curious place for a graveyard” he thought, what’s more the head stones had no names, no inscriptions, only numbers! Walking on he saw ahead of him a white cottage, this was indicated on the survey map but there was no indication of the attached square squat tower. Apparently he had taken the wrong path through the woods but had only taken him a little out of his way…….And then he saw it, the village marked on the map that he had been looking for. He walked on, and saw there was a large dome and a tall tower what he took to be a bell tower. And there a sailing vessel, he could see its sail plain. Taking his telescope from the haversack he pulled out the four drawers and placed it to his eye. The sailing vessel was strange, unless his eye was deceiving him; it looked to be part of the quayside, but the black sail was set. There was a large building set some distance from the village itself, and yes the tower was a bell tower. He stood openly on the sand studying what other buildings he could make out. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the sun was bright, and there was a sudden bright glint off the glass of the telescope, just before he closed it.
    One of the Observers attracted the Supervisor’s attention.
    “Yes what is it?”
    “I’m not sure sir, just for a moment there was a dazzling light, as though the sun was reflecting off something for a second.”
    “Is it still there?”
    “No sir, it’s gone” the Observer reported.
    “Well perhaps it was a trick of the light…..but on the other hand. Put up camera 34 on the screen” ordered the Supervisor.
    The large wall screen came into life and displayed the expanse of sand.
    “Scan” ordered the Supervisor.
    The surveillance camera scanned the beach, and then as large as life a figure was walking along the beach towards the village.
    “Zoom in” the Supervisor ordered.
    The camera zoomed in on the subject.
    “Get him as close as you can” the supervisor said staring at the screen.
    “Who can he be?” asked one of the Observers.
    “He’s not wearing village clothing” observed another.
    The man was tall, lean, he wore hard wearing dark green trousers and a matching jacket and had a haversack slung over one shoulder.
    The Supervisor picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom “Get me Number 2 quickly.”
    In the Green Dome the grey ‘L’ shaped intercom bleeped, a man sat in a black globe chair leaned forward and picked up the intercom.
    “Yes what is it, what’s the matter?”
    “Supervisor here sir, I have to report an incident.”
    “What kind of incident?” No.2 asked.
    A white Mini-Moke with No.21 at the wheel and two guardians in the passenger seats sped down the slipway and onto the beach, making a beeline for the figure walking towards the village. The sight of the vehicle heading at speed towards him was somewhat alarming, but he felt sure that whoever was in the vehicle meant him no harm, perhaps they were merely curious, at worst they would no doubt warn him that he was trespassing.
    The Mini-Moke stopped and three men alighted and approached the solitary figure.
    “Who are you?” asked the dark haired figure of No.21.
    “I’m on a hiking holiday” the man replied.
    “Where did you come from?”
    “From the other side of the woods.”
    One of the guardians grabbed the haversack and tipped out its contents onto the sand,
    “Those are mine” the outsider protested.
    “You won’t be needing them” said one of the guardians.
    The two of them bundled the outsider into the Mini-Moke while No.21 got in behind the wheel and drove the vehicle back into the village, coming to a stop at the steps of the Green Dome. The pair of steel doors slid open and the outsider was manhandled into the purple walled office, and unceremoniously dumped into a black leather chair. The two guardians withdrew through the opening steel doors, there came a pregnant pause in the proceedings, then…….. 
    “How did you come to be here?” No.2 asked from the comfort of a black spherical chair.
    “It’s like I told those men, I hiked across the hills, climbed over a stone boundary wall, and through the woods and there was the village” the man said.
    “Yes it would be” No.2 said considering the situation.
    “Well it’s on my old ordinance survey map.”
    “Map?” No.2 asked.
    “He had this on him sir” 21 said handing No.2 the said map.
    “Let me see this map” No.2 said, and unfolding it he made a close examination “I don’t believe it!” he exclaimed.
     “I had some other things, they were tipped out onto the sand, if there is somewhere I could replenish my supplies, perhaps have something to eat I would gladly get on my way” the man said.
     No.2 and No.21 simply looked at their guest.
     “If it’s a question of trespass I assure you……”
     No.2 put the map down on the desk “I’m afraid it’s a little more serious than a question of trespass. Outsiders do not simply walk here and stumble across the village by accident. You claim you came here from over the hills that you climbed over a boundary wall, and walked through the woods. You didn’t find your way here by sea?”
    “By sea…”
    “You don’t have a boat then?”
    “A boat, why should I have a boat, I don’t have a boat. I told you…….”
    “Yes you told us” No.2 said “you were not sent here?”
    “No-one sent me here, why should anyone send me here, what should I do here?” the outsider protested.
    “What are we to do with you now, that is the questions, isn’t it?”
    “Do with me, what do you mean do with me?”
    “And there’s another problem you see, we are an isolated village, people do not just walk here.”
    “I did” the man said.
    “So you say” No.2 said again considering the seriousness of the situation.
    “You know what this means don’t you Number 2” 21 said quietly in his ear.
    “Yes I do, this man, this outsider simply strolled in here right through the outer zone security precautions!”
    “Precisely sir.”
    “You are head of security Number 21, tell me how he managed to do that?”
    “I can’t sir.”
    “Someone was sleeping on the job; I’ll have his head for this. Find out who it was 21 and bring him to me” No.2 ordered.
    “Yes sir, but in the meantime sir, we can’t simply let this outsider go” 21 suggested.
    “I realize that.”
    “There’s nothing for it sir, we’ll have to keep him here!”
    “You can’t keep me here” the outsider protested.
    “Be quiet” No.2 said sharply “I haven’t made my mind up about you yet. You could be telling the truth, or you could have been sent here in order to infiltrate the village. Did he have a radio on him, 21?”
    “No sir, we didn’t find a radio.”
    “What are your names?” the outsider asked.
    “I am Number 2, this is Number 21.”
    “We do not use names here in the village” 21 said “But while we are on the subject we do not know your name.”
    “My name is Black, John Black” the outsider told them.
    “Well Mister Black, we’ll need to know slightly more about you than that” No.2 told him “perhaps we should leave him to consider his position in the peaceful atmosphere of the village, what say you 21?”
    “Or we could simply hand him over to the doctor, you know how he loves to experiment” was 21’s suggestion.
    “I don’t think we have to be so extreme just yet, what say you Mister Black?”
    “I work as a cartographer, and I study old maps in my spare time.”
    “Well what of it?”
    “I found a German World war two map of this area used by the Luftwaffe, it had this village marked on it” Black began to explain.
    “Why, why should a German World war two map used by the Luftwaffe have this village marked on it?” No.2 asked.
    “I don’t know, it raised my curiosity and I compared that map to earlier maps of this area, and no such village was marked.”
    No.2 and 21 looked at each other “And you expect us to believe that?”
    “It’s the truth. So I took a fortnights holiday to come hiking in this area.”
    “In order to find this village?”
    “Have this man put through administration, give him a new suit of clothes, issue him with the usual papers of identity and the like, and give him the number……6d.”
    “6d sir is such a number available?”
    “I neither know nor care, that is to be his number” No.2 said insistently.
    “Very good sir.”
    “A cottage will have to be prepared for our….new arrival to the village. And you 21………..”
    “Yes sir?”
    “Can attend to your security details.”
    “Yes sir.”
    “You mean you intend to keep me here?” the outsider said.
    “You can’t do that!”
    “I think you’ll find we can” No.2 informed the outsider.
    “And what’s all this about a number?”
    “For official purposes everyone has a number, yours is 6d.”
    “6d, that’s sixpence” 21 said smiling to himself “that makes him not quite the full shilling!”
       6d sat in the chair mulling over his situation, not wanting to remain a prisoner in this village, or even to have some doctor carry out experiments on him, he decided there was only one option open to him. As No.2 was conferring with No.21 he got out of the chair and dashed across the floor, up the ramp, through the opening steel doors, brushing passed the diminutive butler in the foyer with No.21 giving chase. He didn’t pause on the balcony, but dashed down the steps from the Green Dome and into the road. The driver of the taxi sounded the horn but for 6d it was too late to avoid the collision.
    A crowd of onlookers had gathered, and No.21 arrived on the scene to be greeted by a very apologetic taxi driver.
    “He just ran out into the road, there was no time to avoid him. I did sound the horn…….”
    No.21 knelt by the body lying in the road, he felt for a pulse, he could not find one “Perhaps it’s for the best” he said quietly to himself, and stood up.
    “Who was he?” a voice asked.
    No.21 turned to the man standing next to him “He was an outsider, like you were once upon a time Number 6, he would never have settled down to life here!”

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Friday 14 August 2020

A Quiet Chat!

    No.2 is talking to the supervisor in his office about No.6 when the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom bleeps.
    “Yes…….is he, right” and orders the supervisor out of his office.
    This could be another of those occasions when the butler calls No.2 on the intercom to inform him that No.6 has called to see him, and that would have been the case, except No.6 has yet to arrive at the Green Dome!
    The pair of steel doors open as the butler shows No.6 into No.2’s office, he salutes the supervisor on his way out.
    “My dear man how kind of you to drop in.”
    “I thought we might continue that little chat we were having.”
    “Why yes, clearer in your mind now?”
    “Much clearer and happier I want you to know that, such peace of mind.”
    “That’s only to be expected.”
    “And I resisted, to think I resisted for so long, extraordinary isn’t it.
    “That’s alright, understandable, a man of your training, but now you errrr……”
    “Yes everything is clear cut now, its quite simple.”
    “They stand together at the Penny Farthing bicycle, No.6 takes hold of the handlebars.
    “Quite so, no more problem eh, and now at last we can have our little chat.”
    “I hope so, bu..but…”
    “Well there’s, I feel that I ought to tell everyone.”
    “Ah you need only tell me, just me.”
    “Yes of course but there must be people who’ve got things, secrets that you want to know and if I was to speak out publicly I…I might,”
    “Ah yes inspire the others to speak out also.”
    “Yes exactly.”
    “What a good idea Number 6 highly recommendable, and be assured that I shall record all this in my report.”
    “I shall be able to thank everyone the committee the ladies appeal for their help…for bringing to me total social conversion.”
    “Now what could be more natural?”
    No.2 picks up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom and breaks into the public address system “Your attention please here is an exciting announcement. Following his successful social conversion Number 6 has expressed the touching desire to address you all in person. All of you who are not otherwise occupied should come immediately to the village square thank you for your attention.”
    “There is a proverb, that he who ploughs a straight furrow need hoe for nothing, come and just remember no over excitement please eh.”
    And another, “He who digs a pit for another, may one day lay in that pit himself!” No.2 was so keen to hear No.6’s confession, by which he looked to gain the reason behind his resignation that he left himself wide open to No.6’s manipulation of both himself and the situation. How stupid of No.2, he ruined everything!

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

A Badge For All!

    I was browsing a few old Prisoner based magazines a while back. In one copy there was a letter/article in which it stated that its only unmutuals and deviants who refuse to wear the Village symbol. Although it’s true that Number 6 refuses to wear his numbered badge, and only does on one occasion when it suits him to do so. But there are a number of other people who do not wear their badges. Amongst them, the butler, the doctor in ‘Arrival,’ as well as the medical orderly, the photographer for The Tally Ho, and his twin who operates the Tally Ho dispenser in ‘Free For All.’ And then there’s the Professor and Madam Professor in ‘The General,’ although they hardly need wear a numbered badge, being confined to their house the way they are. But they all have one thing in common, they are quite happy to serve, with the possible exception of the Professor and his wife.
   Number 93 who is unmutual and disharmonious wears a badge. Also Number 53, the Rook, who demonstrated his rebellious nature by making a move of his own while on the chessboard, and yet he never refused to wear his badge. And the same can be said of Number 14 the chess champion. He might be too old for escape, but he could still show resistance by refusing to wear his badge! A more active dissident was Number 51, the watchmaker, who was at the heart of an assassination attempt against Number 2. He was far from happy with his existence in The Village. He was not afraid to speak out, because he had met no-one in The Village who had committed a crime. Yet he still wore his numbered badge! So it might be the case that only citizens loyal to The Village are permitted not to wear their number, but the majority of people do. Otherwise no-one would know who anyone was. Because in ‘A B and C’ when Number 6 sat down at a table with Number 14 on the lawn of the Old people’s Home, he had to tell Number 14 who he was, because he wasn’t wearing his badge!

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Saturday 8 August 2020

Tales From The Village

    Citizens promenaded along the quayside on a warm afternoon, others clamoured about the Stone Boat, some climbed up the rigging while the ex-Admiral stood on the quarterdeck as the helmsman steered a course of north by northwest. But not No.21, who stood on the edge of the quayside gazing out across the wide expanse of sand between the village and the far side of the estuary. He noted the island which might afford a brief sanctuary and from where he might set out from the far side of that island unseen. No-one took the slightest interest in the young man who curiously had a number of suckers attached to his hands.
   No.21 bided his time; he was not ignorant of the fact that the Observers could be watching, he was aware that anyone passing by on the quayside could be a guardian. And so he stepped forward and descended the steps from the quayside down onto the sand. He stepped out casually across the sand, as though he was out for an afternoon stroll on the beach, taking in and enjoying the scenery about him. At first the going was good, the sand hard under his deck shoes. But further out into the estuary the sand was soft sinking up to his ankles, but he pressed on. It wasn’t until he was about halfway between the village and the island that he drew the attention of one of the Observers in the control room.    
   The supervisor was adding something to his report on a clipboard “Yes what is it?”
    “Number 21 is taking a long walk out across the estuary.”
    “Really, let’s have him on the screen, put up camera 34” the supervisor said.
    At the press of a button and the large wall screen showed the beach, and a figure walking towards the island in the middle of the estuary.
    “Closer” the supervisor ordered.
    The camera zoomed in on the subject.
    “Closer, get him as close as you can” supervisor said studying the screen “what’s he up to?”
    “He can’t possibly think he can simply walk away” No.60 suggested.
    “If he does he has another think coming. Despatch two guardians in a Mini-Moke to bring him back” ordered the supervisor.
    “If he carries on like that he’ll reach the island soon” No.6 told his supervisor.
    “Not if you get a move on and pass on that order!”
    “Yes sir” No.60 said picking up the ‘L’ shaped telephone.
    Within minutes a white Mini-Moke shot down the slipway and onto the sand speeding out across the beach towards the island, its two tone siren sending a loud and clear warning to the escaping prisoner. No.21 turned and saw the white vehicle behind him, turning again he hurried on although the going now was much softer, it would not be long before the guardians caught up with him.
   The Mini-Moke cannot be described as an ideal all terrain vehicle, and although the sand is solid enough inland close to the village, further out it was not long before the vehicle became stuck in the sand, right up to its axles! The driver revved the engine, engaging a low gear the wheels spun sending sand into the air, selecting reverse gear was no better.
    “Better get the shovels” No.256 said stepping out of the Mini-Moke.
   No.265 gave a queer look to his comrade “Shovels, where am I likely to get two shovels?”
    “You didn’t bring the shovels?”
    “No-one said anything about bringing shovels!”
    “Then we’d best be using shanks’s pony!”
    “Shank’s ponies there are two of us!” No.265 said following behind.
    “Oh come on or we’ll never catch him!”
    The supervisor, who had been watching the action on the wall screen, had come to the same conclusion as No.256. He picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped telephone.
    “Orange alert……orange alert. Number 21 heading across the estuary towards the island.”
    Somewhere on the seabed something stirred, a large mass of membrane from which a large piece is detached, distorted by the sea pressure, it slowly floats up to the surface. Breaking through the surface the white amorphous Guardian quickly skims across the waves towards the beach. Rolling and bounding across the sand, emitting a sound rather like the cross between a bicycle pump, someone breathing through an aqualung, and Gregorian chant, towards its intended victim.
   At hearing this No.21 stopped dead in his tracks, he could see the two guardians making heavy going in the soft sand, but the Guardian simply rolled across the soft sand getting closer with every passing second. He ran on as fast as the soft sand beneath his feet would allow, but it was not enough with one blood curdling roar the Guardian bounced and knocked No.21 to the ground. Getting to his feet the Guardian came at him again, but this time he had a trick of his own. He took a flying leap at the Guardian attaching himself to the membrane using the sucker cups attached to his hands, this allowed him to get a grip, climb on top, and ride the creature.
   In the control room the supervisor and his assistant stood watching the scene play out on the wall screen.
    “What does he think he’s doing?” The supervisor asked astonished by what he was seeing.
    “It’s certainly original” No.60 said “do you think he’ll get away with it?”
    “Number 21 has to release himself sooner or later, and when he does…..” the supervisor said picking up the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone.
     The white sphere began to quiver and tried to shake off this sudden appendage. But the suckers were well attached, and No.21 found he was able to control the Guardian with the force of his hands, turning it this way and that, then towards the island and the far side of the estuary. But the Guardian was still a dangerous creature, that would not allow itself to be controlled in such a way. It began to bounce violently; No.21 found he was forced to hang on like hanging onto a bucking bronco if he was to survive.
    “No, no, no, no, oh no, help me someone help me…..!” he screamed now struggling to pull his hands free!
   No.21 could do nothing but watch as his hands sank into the membrane that felt like soft wax, he feared at that moment that his entire body would be completely absorbed by the Guardian. But no, instead it began rolling across the sand with him now strongly attached to it, and as it rolled he was forced to roll headfirst with it, or even around it depending on the Guardian’s attitude. Then it took one, two, three bounces and bounced high into the sky, with him screaming at the strain now placed on his wrists. Oh how he wished his wrists would crack and break so he could fall to his death. He screamed, and screamed, but his screams were carried away on the wind.
    The Guardian eventually floated back down to the ground and on contact began rolling and bounding across the beach towards the sea. No.21 tried digging his heels into the sand so as to act as an anchor, to try at least to slow the Guardian’s progress. But to no avail, and he finally realised his mistake in attaching himself to the Guardian in the first place. Although bruised and battered, he found he could still move his hands within the membrane, and instead of a final desperate struggle to free himself, he slowly twisted his wrists this way and that to try and ease his hands free of the membrane that gripped him with the force of a vice. In his struggle he allowed himself a glance ahead; the sea was growing ever closer, as panic was growing inside him.
    “Someone, anyone, help mmmmmeeeee, for God’s sake, will no-one help me?”
    The two guardians who had been giving pursuit now stood on the sand transfixed by what they were seeing, as were the Supervisor and his assistant in the control room.
    The supervisor picked up the grey ‘L’ shaped telephone “Deactivate the Guardian…..I said deactivate it.”
    No.2 sat watching the action on the large wall screen; he picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone.
    In the control room the yellow ‘L’ shaped telephone began to bleep No.60 picked it up.
    “Number 2 here what the Devil’s going on? Deactivate the Guardian immediately”
    “We can’t sir” No.60 told his superior.
    No.21 strained to pull his hands free, then the cold water hit him, he was upside down, the Guardian was pressing him down in the water, drowning him. Struggling he kicked out with his legs but the Guardian offered no resistance it seemed it was his own weight that was holding him down in the shallow water. But worse was to come, his face was covered by the suffocating membrane, but then a sudden release, but not for long as the Guardian began to move away from the shore line and out to sea, then it submerge below the waves taking the unfortunate No.21 with it.

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Wednesday 5 August 2020

An Interim No.2?

In ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ is actress Ruth Trouncer the face of an interim No.2?

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Watching The Prisoner - The Girl Who Was Death

                                         {The kiss of Death!}

     This is chiefly an “out of Village” action adventure episode commencing at a cricket match, and mainly takes place on August 5th 1966, this according to the newspaper Mr. X is reading outside the Betting shop. A sports headline reads “Only Fowler Unfit as Commonwealth Games Open,” the games took place in Jamaica between August 4th -13th, which places this episode as an assignment which takes place before No.6’s abduction to the village.
    We are given a glimpse into No.6’s former life working as a secret agent for British Military Intelligence who is given an assignment to find Professor Schnipps “Mission: Impossible” style, while combating the Girl who was Death along the way. She is a trained killer, while Mister X is a born survivor. Mister X is called Mister X because either no-one knows his name, or his anonymity must be preserved. The man behind the big door in ‘A B and C’ once said that anonymity is the best form of disguise, and is often the way with important people. The definition of Mister X is “Mister X or Mr. X is commonly used as a pseudonym for someone whose name is secret or unknown. So is Mister X an important person, or is it just an excuse not to give his name away? Mind you the only person to call Mister X Mister X is the referee in Barny’s Boxing Booth.
   ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ is a bit of light relief really, not really to be taken seriously; one could say it’s something in the guise of a script for ‘The Avengers.’ Light relief from what No.6 has been put through and of what is yet to come. This episode, based on an idea for a ‘Danger Man’ script gives a glimpse of Patrick McGoohan’s former employment as John Drake from which he resigned because he wanted to do something different having become bored with ‘Danger Man,’ and unsatisfied with the scripts which had become stale and repetitive. However that idea that No.6 is John Drake might stick in anyone’s throat who didn’t grow up with ‘Danger Man,’ or hasn’t seen it. Even so, ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ does give an incite into No.6’s former occupation as a secret agent or some kind of law enforcer.
    In this episode Mister X being given the instruction of going to the Magnum Record Shop, the chief will speak to him there.
    At the Magnum Record Shop, Mister X gives the shop assistant a signal with his tie, and is handed a record. He then goes to a booth, where he places the record on a turntable, and we hear the voice of the chief giving Mister X his briefing, and instructions of how to act next. This might seem a bit comical, especially when Mister X makes the comment 'Thank you very much' to which the voice on the record replies 'What was that?' 'Nothing' Mister X replies. Yet getting instructions from a record is nothing new. Dan Briggs, of the first season of Mission Impossible on occasion, would go to a record store, and gain instructions for his next mission via a voice on a record. 
   Whoever it was who thought No.6 would lower his guard with children wasn’t thinking straight, but I suppose “it was worth a try Number 2” as No. 10 said. Anything is worth a try once I suppose! But really they were scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one. Entertaining enough as ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ is it was never going to reveal the reason behind No.6’s resignation, all he did was to reveal the kind of work he used to do. And the symbolism behind the toy clown? Well No.6 knew all the time, he was playing with them, perhaps he wanted them to know not to fool around with him!
   However there’s more to this episode than first meets the eye, and I’ve never really thought about it in this way before. If you want a childminder, one who will read your child a gentle bedtime story, perhaps the last person you should ask is our friend No.6! So why allow someone who was only recently a grumpy old disharmonious unmutual, to lull your children to sleep with a story? An action and adventure story commencing with a cricket match and exploding cricket balls, together with all the fun of a funfair, and a car chase which would only stimulate and excite the child’s mind so the child would not be able to go to sleep. More than that, such a story about a psychotic murderess, sex, death traps, a poisoning, drink abuse, and vomiting, not to mention the planned destruction of a city, along with the mass murder of millions of people is not really a suitable bedtime story, which would only bring about nothing but nightmares to young impressionable minds!

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