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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.

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