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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Le Parisien


  Madame Engadine is to hold another of her celebrated parties in Paris, where the rich and famous can be seen, a place where old friends can meet, and mix with the influential, the renowned and the infamous. It is rumoured that Madame Engadine’s fortune stems from her previous husbands.
    ‘AB and C’ is another of those episodes which give an “out of village” experience, one it is thought No.6 would enjoy. Although at one point he hardly looked the life and soul of the party. But perhaps that can be put down to his encounter with ‘A’ who had once been a friend and colleague, but who having made world news a few years ago, now does the same work, but for the “other side.” Another old friend is ‘B’ with whom he does feel relaxed with, so much so that the pleasantness of this part of No.6’s dream means he’s using the doctor’s drug up far too quickly. This forces No.2’s hand, as well as for No.14 to take drastic action, and put words into ‘B’s mouth. However does this also afford the doctor the chance of giving the game away to No.6, by using a phrase she had use before “We all make mistakes, sometimes we have to.”
   ‘C’ I would have thought was Madame Engadine, although to protect her No.6 creates the situation that even she works for someone, that someone is a man of mystery, who hides behind his anonymity which is often the best disguise for the most important people…. ‘D.’
    As easy as A B and C,  It is often the case that none of us have control when we are dreaming, or indeed of what we dream, perhaps least of all the outcome. Our fears are often uppermost in our minds
when we dream, and can quickly turn into our own worst nightmares.
    There is something unusual in this episode, No.6 meets No.2 only the once, although in ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ he doesn’t meet No.2 at all!

Description, A, is a completely drug induced dream, while B, is diluted by No.6’s suspicion of being manipulated, and C, is back in control, turning the tables on No.2 because he was able to dilute the drug and consequently the potency of the drug. Although that can be a danger in itself!

This episode is perhaps the most surreal of the entire series. We watch No.2 and the doctor watching themselves on the large screen, as the pair of steels doors slide open and No.6 comes striding into the laboratory, and yet when No.2 and the doctor look the steel doors are still closed. And then on the screen No.6 makes his apologies because he forgot to give No.2 the white envelope, with No.2 in the laboratory urging his counterpart on the screen to open the envelope. But then disaster, the envelope is full of holiday leaflets, No.6 was going on holiday, he wasn’t selling out!
Fact, Colin Gordon died within 5 years of his 2 time appearance in ‘the Prisoner,’ he said “Playing No.2 is one of the most dramatic roles I have ever undertaken.” He went on to describe No.2 as “ruthless and determined, and yet at the same time he’s afraid, frightened.” This is the first time I have played a part quite like this.”

The Three Circles of ‘A B and C,’
Through the Prisoner’s dreams we see the kind of circles he moved in, all those who attended Madame Engadine’s celebrated parties were either rich or influential, or both. Professional people, with perhaps a few unseemly characters thrown in for good measure. It is a place to see and be seen, a place to meet people. When the Prisoner first arrived at the party, many people knew him, they warmed to him and smiled, others, to whom he does not speak, point him out. So is it pure pleasure that brings the Prisoner to attend Engadine’s parties, or is there a professional reason? How often Engadine holds her parties is unknown, but certainly she and the Prisoner are old friends. Both he and ‘A’ do the same job, but now they are on different sides. This is the first time they have met at Engadine’s parties, she a tactful lady, and managed, up until now to keep them both apart. ‘A’ made world news when he defected, and since then No.6 has turned his back on his old friend. They had a great deal in common once, but now that’s all in the past, and now No.6 despises ‘A’, and looks upon him with derision. I imagine ‘A’ wasn’t all that important, otherwise they’d have had him brought to the village when he was about to defect. That having been the case with ‘C’ – Chambers! As for ‘B,’ she is a very good spy, from a long line of spies, no doubt produced from a School for spies somewhere on the Russian Steppes! The last No.6 remembers of her is how she was hiking across the mountains to Switzerland, she got sore feet. I guess by the conversation that he was somehow involved at the time. She was also involved with ‘A’ who is a very bad loser, and no doubt it was ‘A’ and his henchmen who ‘B’ was trying to escape from across the mountains into Switzerland! Being a very good spy, ‘B’ sees death as an occupational hazard. She’s cool, self-assured, confident in herself and her abilities. Its only when No.14 puts words in ‘B’s’ mouth that her character changes, turning her into a weak and feeble woman, who is afraid, and desperate to make a deal in order to save her own life. As a matter of fact, women make better spies, and survive longer than male counterparts. Certainly Engadine’s celebrated parties might well attract the wealthy and influential, but also the nefarious types!

     Katherine Kath was a French prima ballerina at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, who became an actress after suffering from an injury which destroyed her chances of continuing her career. Kath was born Berck, Pas-de-Calais, France, where she also died, at age 92 in 2012 from undisclosed causes.  


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