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Tuesday 1 September 2020

The kandersfeld Times

    There is one thing about Kandersfeld, it stands out on the map!
    They dared to make an episode without Patrick McGoohan, no wonder he went ballistic after returning from America, and tore Vincent Tilsley’s script apart, making a bad script into an incomprehensible one. I bet McGoohan thought I’ll teach them!
    By this time script editor George Markstein had left the production of ‘the Prisoner,’ had he not done so he could have reprised his cameo role again as the nameless bureaucrat to whom ZM73 handed his letter of resignation in ‘Arrival,’ and then again in ‘Many Happy Returns’ when the Prisoner returns to that same office. There would have been the opportunity for George, had he remained with the production, to play that cameo role a fourth time as the Marshall in ‘Living In Harmony,’ However, as it is its probably just as well George had left the production by the time of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ as I couldn’t see George Markstein allowing himself to be manhandled out of his chair by Nigel Stock. So instead it was actor Patrick Jordan to be roughly manhandled, but luckily for him it was at the hands of Nigel Stock and not Patrick McGoohan!
    This episode gives some insight into the Prisoner’s previous employment, as now ZM73 is back on familiar ground, albeit in the guise of the Colonel, but at least we hear No.6’s thoughts via a voice over by Patrick McGoohan.
    So ZM73 was engaged to the boss’s daughter Janet Portland, there’s a photograph on a table in his study. But just a minute, why isn’t that framed photograph of Janet on that same table during the opening sequence of ‘Arrival?’ Simply because Janet Portland was a contrivance on the part of the scriptwriter Vincent Tilsley. We do see a different side of ZM73, in a tender love scene between Nigel Stock and Zena Walker. I wonder if he told her about his abduction, about the village? And did ZM73 know the Colonel?
    As the episode progresses the Prisoner almost becomes his normal self, and we begin to forget that he is still the previous prisoner. But no, it’s the Colonel who changes out of ZM73’s clothes of charcoal grey suit and black polo shirt, and becomes his normal self in white shirt, tie and double breasted blazer. Perhaps Nigel Stock felt happier as himself and not as Patrick McGoohan, after all Nigel didn’t really get under the skin of the Prisoner’s character, and never even attempted to play ZM73 as McGoohan would have done. So yes watching Nigel Stock as the Prisoner it very easy to forget the character of the previous captive who was incarcerated in the village.
    ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ is a marker which divides ‘the Prisoner’ into two series, because the remaining 5 episodes are basically “Out of Village” experiences because the village hardly features at all. It is possible to see ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’’ as being the first chapter in a second Prisoner series which takes the Prisoner out into the world, as a more basic action and adventure series.
    And yet even in the outside world there is no getting away from the village completely. Having arrived in the Austrian town of
Kandersfeld ZM73 stops at a café, he is greeted by a waiter in Austrian costume “Oh welcome to the village sir.” An in-joke no doubt on the part of the scriptwriter, more to give the television viewer a slight jolt, rather than to have any effect on ZM73, because Nigel Stock doesn’t react to the phrase’s previous connotation!
    Travel Log, there are James Bond connotations in ‘The Girl Who Was Death,’ and during the journey to Kandersfeld by car there is the twisting winding road which is reminiscent of the film ‘Gold Finger.’
    Mystery, who is the mysterious Mr. Carmichael to whom the photographic transparencies had been signed out to previously? It’s quite on the cards that he worked for Sir Charles Portland, seeing as he was in possession of the slides. 
    In-Joke, “
Portmeirion Road” part of the address on the envelope address to Saltzman.
    Fact, the original script has the Professor’s name spelt Saltzman, as seen written on the envelope addressed to Professor Saltzman in Scotland. But later it was changed to Seltzman for the code breaking scene using the photographic transparencies 
      This frame of film on the left, is taken from that of the Prisoner/Colonel driving into Kanderseld along the main street of the Village. Then after a shot of the Prisoner.Colonel in his Lotus, and then the film in Kandersfeld continues, from which this next frame is taken. And no, before you ask, I've not been messing it about!

    Pictorial, I'm sure you will have noticed that as the Colonel drives into Kandersfeld we are presented with the following shot. 
   Yet when the waiter at the café points the way to the barber’s shop the same shot is shown, although a couple of fames on, is “mirrored!”
    This is yet another hole in the low budget production of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ Perhaps they thought no-one would notice, and even if they did who cares.
    Fact, ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ begins with an opening scene before the opening sequence, it is the only episode to do so. Plus being the 14th episode, the first 13 having been completed by this time, gives colour towards the idea of a second series opening with ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ as ‘the Prisoner’ heads out of the village into the outside world.

Be seeing you


  1. Hello David

    I trust you are keeping well.

    You make some interesting observations in the above post. I must admit to having a sort of affection for “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling”. It’s likely due to being allowed to experience something of The Prisoner on a personal level, which serves to point out the emotional cost of his resignation. This episode gives opportunity to dwell on tender moments, with the professional persona briefly taking a backseat.

    I was about to comment that “Living in Harmony” also begins with an opening scene before the opening sequence. Upon reviewing that episode I see that it goes straight into the opening scene and does not subsequently use the opening sequence. You are quite correct.

    “Living in Harmony” is, of course, the only episode to not use the opening sequence at any point.

    Mike Maher

    1. I should add that "Fall Out" does not use that opening sequence either. It has its own sequence of overlay titles of location, actors and such.

    2. Hello Mike,
      All is well with me thank you for asking, and I trust the same can be said of yourself.
      I'm not so keen on the episode, however I love the music, which we wouldn't have had, had 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling' not been produced.
      You might be aware that 'Living In Harmony' did once have the addition of the regular opening sequence plus the opening sequence unique to the episode. This If I remember rightly was when 'the Prisoner' was screened by Channel 4 in 1984 {or was it 1992?}. Someone thought the regular opening sequence had been left off the film!
      and you are quite right, 'Fall Out' also enjoys an opening sequence all of its own.

      Your very good friend

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