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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

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