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!
Be seeing you