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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

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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