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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Postcard From The Village

   In the past I've been asked if Postcard From The Village is anything like A Letter From America? Well no, not really, but it has had that kind of feel to it on occasion.

    I think it was a mistake bringing No.6 to the village. If 'they' had left well alone life here would still be going on in the style it always has done. No.6 is a goat you see, and the majority of citizens here in the village are sheep. So when a goat is brought in amongst so many sheep, well, things begin to happen.
   I remember a time when No.6, pictured here in his dark blazer, started wearing a cream blazer with black piping. I asked No.6 why he was wearing it. He told me that he fancied a change. Well I can tell you this, it gave me quite a shock when one afternoon I was passing by the Recreation Hall, and outside there were two No.6's! They began to fight, and the one in the dark blazer was knocked to the ground. I thought two goats in the village, things would soon begin to happen. But as long as they cannot agree between themselves, they'll not be causing too much trouble for anyone else.
    I've never tried to escape. I have always been happy and content living here in the village. I came here of my own free will you see, to escape you might say. At least I'll never be found here, wherever here is. Oh I'm not a Guardian, or Observer, or anything grand like that. I have no authority of any kind, nor do I seek any. Oh but I do contribute to the community, unlike that idler No.6, he doesn't contribute anything. But he still expects to be looked after, for as long as he lives here. Me? I'm a window cleaner, plain and simple as that. What's more I like to mind my own business, keep myself to myself I do. I live in the village quietly and undisturbed.

             Lord Lucan!

Roland Walter Dutton....................

.............. Is A Man The Prisoner-No.6 Thinks He Once Knew.

    There is no evidence to the contrary, but that phrase "He's a man I think I once knew," has put doubt in the minds of some. Well you can work with someone every day, but never really getting to know them.
   Of course No.6 and Roland Walter Dutton were ex work colleagues, because No.6 knew his name, and said his name at their first encounter in the village, at the cave "Roland Walter Dutton!" And Dutton replied "You, of all people!" And of course Dutton went on to explain what had been happening to him, that he had 72 hours in the peaceful atmosphere to reconsider, that the Prisoner knew that Dutton didn't have access to the "vital stuff" is another confirmation that the two men knew each other, even if they didn't really know each other, if you get my meaning!
   And before all of this, Roland Walter Dutton, even in his drugged state of mind, was on the telephone speaking to No.6, about Arthur and the Colonel, and a suspected security leak, wanting to know all the files he has seen, the projects No.6 knows about. Just headings, not details. Yes, No.6 does ask "Who is that, who is that?" No.6 is simply asking for confirmation of the callers name, to which Dutton responds "It's Dutton, hello, hello are you there?"
   I've often wondered why Dutton was so surprised to meet his old colleague in such a place as the village. Perhaps he thought the Prisoner would be too clever for them to ever be taken to such a place. Or perhaps Dutton thought for a moment that the Prisoner might have been a gaurdian rather than a Prisoner.
    Dutton makes mantion of Arther and the Colonel. Well we've met the Colonel before, although Dutton could be referring to a different Colonel. But Arthur? Is he the same type of character as Fotheringay or Thorpe?

Be seeing you

The Village Library

   I came across this book only yesterday, I have not read it, as I do not have a Kindle, nor do I know anything of Joseph Dickerson apart from him being is a designer and writer, and persumably a fan of the Prisoner who has written a number of essays on the series.

    The hardcopy of this volume of essays on the classic Television series the Prisoner is published in January 2012 priced at $3.99.


Questions Are A Burden To Others - Answers A Prisoner For Onself

    So how would The Prisoner resign today, by email, text message or is he still stuck in the 1960's?
   After watching the episode Hammer Into Anvil, why would No.6 hide blank sheets of paper in the Stone Boat. And perhaps more importantly, why would No.2 believe he would in the first place?
    I could tell it was the voice of No.6 when No.2 played the tape for the doctor-head of Psychiatrics. So why couldn't they? Or was the speech pattern of No.6 simply used as concrete evidence so that the doctor could deny nothing and lie his way out of it?
   No.6 doesn't wear his numbered badge, there are at least four other citizens who do likewise, can you name them?
    Is No.2 of Hammer Into Anvil Thorpe of Many Happy Returns?
    The kiosk sells picture postcards of the village. With no external post, why should any citizen post a picture postcard of the village to any other citizen?
    At the kiosk in it's Your Funeral No.6 makes three purchases, a bar of soap, a copy of the newspaper and...................?
    What is the name of the wooden gizmo which the Manager of the Labour Exchange toys with as he puts his questions to the Prisoner and later No.2 in Once Upon A Time as the Judge?
    Is there any meaning to either the black or white badges worn by the citizens of the village, and the fact that the penny farthing faces either right or left?
    What is it that the photographer was going to do to Sherlock Holmes on the Roller Coaster?
    What was Professor Shnipps plan?
    What was it No.6 promised the children in the nursery he would do?
    In The Girl Who Was Death, what was in Potter's cricket bag?
    Where is the Funfair in The Girl Who Was Death and what is its name?
    Is that a chair with the blue flashing light in the council chamber of Free For All? If it is, then who is it for?

The Therapy Zone

Here In The Therapy Zone We Ask, the Question
                                   Did The Prisoner Actually Resign?

    I suppose this question only becomes relevant if the Prisoner-No.6 is actually employed by the village administration, by No.1 in fact. Most viewers would agree that the Prisoner was incarcerated in the village because of his act of resignation, after all many of the No.2's whom the Prisoner was to encounter who were determined to discover why he resigned. So if the Prisoner had resigned from a position within the villages administration, then the reason for his resignation would be of paramount importance to them. And seeing as how the Prisoner knows so much and cannot be left on the loose, what better place to out their ex-colleague but in the village while they discover the reason behind his resignation.
    But on the other hand, could No.2 of Hammer Into Anvil have actually got it right, that No.6 was a plant, assigned to the village to spy on them, possibly by No.1. After all John Drake had been able to infiltrate Colony 3. And if this hypothesis is correct, rather than that of the first, where does that leave the Prisoner's resignation? Well that act could have simply been a blind, if the Prisoner was in the pay of another department or Country, who wish to have their man infiltrate the village. And this still works even though the Prisoner is still working for the village's administration. If this is true, then we have to decide if we can trust the Prisoner-No.6 or not.
   There is ample evidence that the Prisoner-No.6 is an accomplished spy. He had such contacts as "A and B" in A B and C. He was used to working with codes and ciphers as he demonstrated during Hammer Into Anvil. He used a code name and pseudonyms, Schmidt, Duval, Peter Smith and ZM73 as we discover in Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.
    There is compelling evidence for the Prisoner not to have resigned at all, which lies within the dialogue of the opening sequence.

"Who are you?"
"The new number 2"
"Who is number 1?"
"You are number 6"

    So if No.6 and No.1 are both one and the same, as we observe in Fall Out then the Prisoner could not possibly have resigned, No.1 being the ultimate authority of the village. But if the Prisoner was to resign, this might be reason enough for him to do so, having put himself through so many various tortures in order to extract the secret of his own resignation. Self persecuting himself you might say.
    However if No.6 was a plant, as No.2 believed, then the Prisoner was certainly the man for the job. Fully equipped to revolt. He has resisted, fought, held fast, maintained, destroyed resistance, overcome coercion. the right to be a person, someone or individual. He has vindicated the right of the individual to be individual, the recognition of a man, a man of steel who is magnificently equipped to lead the village and its community. Thus becoming No.1, which the Prisoner instantly rejected. And having escaped, returned to London, he drove off to hand in his letter of resignation! So the prisoner did resign after all, there was no avoiding it really was there?
  It is always possible that No.6 was working for No.1 as a plant, placed in the village to spy and test the security and methods of the village. That would explain why No.2 was allowed to go only so far with No.6 in trying to extract the secret of his resignation. Why No.6 was so protected by No.1, why they must not damage the tissue, because this man has a future with us!
    Perhaps the Prisoner has been a citizen of the village all along, and that the evidence for which can be seen in Fall Out as the Prisoner returns to his home. He drives off in his Lotus Seven to set about his resignation, having rejected the offer of "ultimate power" offered to him by the President during his trial of Fall Out, just as his Butler enters his house, the front door opens automatically for him, and with a very familiar electronic hum.
   I suppose in the end its all down to personal interpretation, whether or not the Prisoner actually resigned, if he was a plant working for No.1. The Prisoner could, I suppose have actually been No.1 in the village, himself the plant! But then that would raise the question of who No.2 in Hammer Into Anvil was speaking to on the telephone when No.1 was actually sitting in a chair in his office at the time! Well at least we were able to sort that one out, and really it would have been one hypothosis too far, or would it............?
    At least Curtis-No.12, the look-a-like for both No.6 and No.1 as it happened, of The Schizoid Man  
couldn't possibly have been No.1... Rover got him. And that would really have messed things up!

Be seeing you

Friday, 30 December 2011

Quote For The Day

    "He that diggeth a pit shall one day fall into it."
                                           {Ecclesiastes 10, v8}

     "He who digs a pit will one day lie in it."   
                  {No.6 in A Change of Mind}  or indeed any number of variations.

       "He who ploughs a straight furrow need hoe for nothing"
                                               {No.2 A Change of Mind}   even this phrase makes sense if you think about it long enough, however..... "The slowest Mule is nearest the whip" {No.2 A Change of Mind} beats me, or rather the Mule!

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera

   "Look Mickey, get your hand out of the back of my trousers will you?"

    This does look like very suspicious behaviour if you ask me. Don't tell me Pat's lost his smokes again! But no, it's alright, Mickey O'Toole is only tying a balloon to Pat's belt, and it's no joke!


Arts And Crafts


    Once Upon a time, children were allowed to play on this Stagecoach. But it has long been in a state of disrepair, and was removed from it's position several years ago now. Where this Stagecoach once stood is a small childrens play area.....what a pity.

Be seeing you

The Outsider An Unused Script by Moris Farhi

    The script for The Outsider opens with the early morning, brilliant sunshine and No.6 acting in the most peculiar way. He's on the top of the cliffs and measuring the edge with a length of string with hooks on both ends. Then jots a figure down in a note book. There is a heading in the notebook Cliffs West and below the figure a segment of a geological map is taking shape. And Beach Area 18 and a completed map of the particular section scale 1:1000 and then suddenly there is the drone of an aircraft!
   No.6 reacts instantly at hearing the drone of a jet aircraft which instantly reaches a deafening crescendo. He cups his eyes whilst trying to spot the aircraft then the drone cuts out, instead a whistling whine, and an explosion tears the air. There is a geyser of smoke and fire shoots up in the distance. No.6 pockets his notebook and runs in the direction of the column of smoke, zig zagging through the trees. He finds the pilot who ejected before the aircraft impacted with the ground.
    Finding the pilot, who's first instinct is to go for his gun, but then thinks better of it seeing as how the approaching figure is unarmed. He addresses No.6 in some indistinct language, a cross between Latin and Nordic. No.6 asks the pilot if he is the only one, but there comes no reply. He asks if the pilot speaks English, there is a moments hesitation, then his English is perfect and without any accent. A brief conversation breaks out between the two. The pilot works for an outfit The Meteorological Bureau, weather observation you know. He saw a seaside Town.......... He asks if No.6 is a Forester?
   No.6: "No."
   Pilot: "A gamekeeper?"
   No.6: "No. A prisoner."
   Pilot: "Aren't we all? On parole?"
   No.6 examines the parachute
   Pilot: "A government issue!"
    "What government?"
    "How many have you got?"
   "How’s the leg?"
    "I'll survive."
    No.6 manages to get the pilot into a cave, its mouth well camouflaged with growth and foliage. Inside No.6 checks the walls for hidden surveillance, there is none. The cave is only home to the bats who reside there. The pilot has a survival kit, compass, which No.6 instantly sees as being useful and a map. The map depicts the southern tip of America, Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands. Although the pilot is injured, No.6 ties him up in the cave, the pilot referring to himself as the Prisoner's prisoner!
    During the opening exchanges within the cave, the two men engage in a cat-and-mouse game about the supposed location of the village. The map found on the pilot suggests the southern tip of America, Argentina, Chile and even the Falklands Islands. Yet No.6 dismisses this theory by reference to the stars and specifically the Big Bear, which cannot be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. After this strange sparring, there is the odd scene in which the back of the pilot's map is rubbed on the wall of the cave to reveal a secret chart, the location is then identified as the Baltic. This was also the area identified as the village's location in The Chimes of Big Ben. It is possible that the area of the Baltic was intended to have been the original location for the village, behind the iron Curtain! in fact!
    The story  line then unfolds with No.6 determined to use the pilot to concoct an escape attempt. And the main village action of the script concerns a game of poker between No.2 and No.6, No.6's chair having been wired to a lie detector in the control room. But No.6 spots the wire and thereby spoiling No.2's plan. But this is a most interesting premise, the village could have probed No.6 for information about the crashed aircraft, and certainly about the whereabouts of the missing pilot. This under the guise of monitoring No.6's responses in a harmless conversation during the poker game.
    Then the action moves to "The Palace of Fun" which is never before used or even mentioned in any of the 17 episodes of the Prisoner, only seen on the "Maps of Your Village." In the Palace of Fun No.6 visits No.2 in the thermal baths. But No.2 confronts No.6 about the whereabouts of the pilot. But No.6 refuses to give any such information away, and is duly taken away to the hospital where he is subjected to five hours of torture in a "non-gravitational chamber". This torture would have involved in No.6 being left weightless and subjected to extreme temperatures, loud noises and psychedelic lighting effects.
    The climax of the story involves an intriguing plot which called for a helicopter to rescue the pilot using a transmitter beacon hidden in the pilot's flying suit. The transmitter having been activated and then hidden as a crafty decoy, while No.6 lights a bonfire on the hillside. However this would have been another decoy as No.6 and the pilot signal the helicopter by lamp from the beach.
    No.83 mysteriously turns up on the beach and joins No.6 and the pilot. No.83 who is said to be an undergraduate who is studying for her exams, and who has been assigned to No.6, and who he rejected in The Palace of Fun.
    No.83: "I've been searching for you, it is my duty to please you.... then I saw him" pointing to the pilot.
    Pilot: " I was outside looking for you, and there she was." Imitating No.83's voice "I have come to please you." What is she, mad?"
    No.83: "Pleasure Hostess!" Proudly.
    {This is the first insinuation of sex taking place in the village!}
    But the pilot isn't keen on taking the girl with them, in fact he wants to kill her, having taken out his gun. She's happy here, our world won't make her happy. And even No.83 wants to be killed
    "Please... I'm so happy... so happy. "Yes, kill me! Kill me! But please don't take me..."
    But No.6 is adamant that the girl goes with them. So the beacon on the beach it lit, a signal transmitted, and a helicopter despatched to make the rescue of the pilot, all carefully observed by No.2 and the supervisor in the control room. in fact the plan for the escape would have succeeded if only No.6 had not drank that cup of drugged coffee!
    It had all been one of No.2's little games. The pilot hadn't crashed at all, that had been staged, an explosion, plane wreckage scattered about. The pilots broken ankle, the cyanide capsule... all psychological warfare. The village never does anything by half measures!
   No.6: "I guessed as much. But one mustn't pass any chances. Good training. Was it worth your while?"
    Pilot: "Indeed. it should convince you there is no one you can trust, no one can help you. No way out."
    This after No.6 has awakened in the Georgian residence of No.2 who offers him tea. The pilot is now the new No.2! After a short interview No.6 leaves the Georgian house. Around him the village is coming to life. No.6 starts walking towards his cottage, a man unbroken. The camera moves to an aerial panoramic view of the village. Two prison gates suddenly clang shut in the foreground. In the centre of the screen we see a white dot coming at us like a bullet. It is the face of the Prisoner. It stops just behind the bars...... final fade out.

    There is no indication as to why this script was rejected. Indeed information has it that The Outsider was to have gone into production in January 1967. Moris Farhi was only told by script editor George Markstein at the very last minute that the proposed episode had been dropped. This on the word of Patrick McGoohan, on the premise that hero's do not bird watch. The script called for No.6 to observe the migratory birds so as to ascertain which part of the world the village might be. And during the torture scene of extreme temperatures, this would cause No.6 to sweat. As McGoohan thought it to be, heroes do not sweat!
   To my mind The Outsider would have made one of the strongest scripts for the Prisoner, a pity it was never included.


The Therapy Zone

The Rain In Your Hair, the Rain On Your Cheek –
                  So why the Lotus Elan?

    In the episode the Girl Who Was Death No.6, or should I say Mr.'X', drives a metallic blue Lotus Elan with the registration LVF 120E and you will observes the 120E being only a couple of letters, and years, from the registration of the Lotus Seven KAR 120C.
     And perhaps that is the car Mr. 'X' should have been driving, seeing as how Mr. 'X' and the Prisoner are one and the same. However this fairy tale which No.6 is telling both the children, and in which both No.'s 2 and 10 are involved as Napoleon and Josephine, is actually an unused Danger Man script, according to Prisoner legend. But John Drake never drove a Lotus Elan. He did drive various cars of the various countries he visited in line with his work, the Aston Martin DB2/4 and the Aston Martin DB2/4MkII, Mercedes-Benz 220, the Bedford Van CA MK2 and the Citroen DS being five examples. But another example would be the Austin Mini Cooper ‘S’ registration 731 HOP. This is the car which John Drake drives in several of his 50 minute adventures, it even has a GB sticker on the boot. So Drake is used to taking his Austin Mini Cooper ‘S’ car abroad with him, as he does to Spain in the episode The Man With The Foot.
   So if The Girl Who Was Death is as thought, an unused Danger Man episode, why not then the Austin Mini Cooper S? Well I suppose McGoohan had left Danger Man behind, and he had always strongly insisted officially, that the Prisoner is not John Drake. Also seeing as how it was 'Lotus Cars' who had supplied the Lotus Seven, but originally wanting McGoohan to have the Lotus Elan, then possibly saw their chance to get their car in the Prisoner series after all, if only for the episode of The Girl Who Was Death.


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Thought For The Day

    After handing in his letter of resignation, the Prisoner returned to his home to collect two suitcases, his passport, and airline ticket. The question is, when did the Prisoner purchase that airline ticket? At least by the day before he resigned, which makes his act of resignation one of predetermination, and not a spur of the moment thing.
    In Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling the Prisoner is returned to London the day before he was to have resigned his job, and sometime after he was to have attended his fiancees birthday party, that of Janet Portland, which is what was supposed to have happened had the Prisoner not been abducted to the village. But then would it? I don't think the Prisoner had any intention of attending his fiancees birthday party, simply because of what we witness in the opening sequence, together with the evidence of the Prisoner's passport and airline ticket which is compelling, together they are conclusive. He was on his way to London Airport, but whether or not the Prisoner would have called to see Janet Portland before he left is unknown. But seeing as the Prisoner was in a hurry, I would suggest that going to see his fiancee was the last thing on his mind!

Be seeing you, if I don't resign first that is!

Caught On Camera

  No.6 couldn't say how the black cat got to the village, or the milk, the potatoes, nor the aspirin for that matter. But I do know how the ice cream came to the was delived by Walls Ice Cream as demonstrated in the two pictures above.

Teabreak Teaser

   During the Prisoner's de-briefing in Arrival with No.2, we discover that the Prisoner had been under close surveillance in London. So the question is why, and by whom?


Rafts And Crafts

     "This Atlantic raft race is all well and good" Number 6 told this reporter "but I didn't think I would have to build the damned thing as well!"

     Number 6 was induced into making his raft, unable as he was to resist the attempt of crossing the Atlantic in the 'Trans Atlantic Raft Race' of 1967. Never the less it was hard work right from the beginning, chopping down trees, clearing them of branches, then chopping them into the right length of log. Finding and emptying oil drums for buoyancy tanks, not too sure about emptying their contents down the drain though! It was a race alright, a race against time for Number 6. But yet he did find time to take snap shots of our quaint, picturesque, Italianate village as a momento of his stay here. Then once provisioned Number 6 set sail upon his raft, the only creature to see him off.... a black cat, probably for luck!

     Sadly sometime after the 18th day into the race Number Six collapsed aboard his raft and M.S Polotska, a support boat to the Atlantic raft race, pulled along side the raft and Number Six was able to scramble aboard, and was eventually returned here to the village by air. Yet we applaud Number Six's gallant attempt, and wish him better luck next time.

Reporter No. 113
Photographs from The Department of Visual Records.

The Therapy Zone

“We’re All Pawns Me’Dear

    Is that what the white Queen of Checkmate is, a pawn in the doctor-No.22's game of psychology? Is there nothing more to this woman, who has been hypnotised into thinking that No.6 is in love with her, and she with him. And in doing so has been turned into some kind of stooge, sent to protect No.6, to save him from his own folly! This in the fact that her emotions will send an alarm to control, if No.6 is going to try and escape, if she thinks she is going to lose him, via the 'reaction transmitter' in the locket about her neck.
   No.8 volunteers herself to help No.6 with his plan, if its a good one, after all everyone tries to escape when their spirits broken. Which bodes the question, of who was it that broke their spirit in the first place? And besides she can be of use to No.6, at least she can tell him what not to try. This because she has often helped other people with their plans. But none of them ever succeeded, coincidence or something other than mere coincidence? Had No.8 been assigned to them, as she has been hypnotised into believing that No.6 is in love with her?
   In her mind No.8 makes an honest attempt to gain No.6's trust, but is only scorned for her efforts. She is programmed to protect No.6, just in the same way the white Queen protected her pawn on the chessboard. Which is reason enough for the original title for this episode The White Queen's Pawn.
    So we must ask ourselves why was No.8 in the hospital and in the hands of the doctor in the first place, and why was she picked for this experiment? Perhaps No.8 had been put through other such experiments by the doctor, and would be again.
   If No.8 had not previously been some kind of stooge before, the doctor had certainly turned her into one by the time she had finished with her. If No.6 is the white Queens pawn, what then must I ask, does that make No.8?
   As the Admiral-No.66 told No.9 in Arrival "We're all pawns m' dear."

The Reason Behind The Prisoner’s Resignation
   It was stated in ITC's publicity notes for the hour Danger Man series that there was a change in John Drake's character, in his attitude towards women. Previously in the 25 minute episodes, his attitude towards women was guarded.
He was not afraid of women, but afraid of falling in love. A man of his character would never treat romance in a light-hearted manner. He avoided entanglements because he felt that the dangerous life he led would make it unfair to expect any woman to suffer the anxieties of being married to him. Marriage would also be unfair to him too. With the responsibility of a wife and family, he would inevitably feel more cautious in risking a life which was otherwise entirely his own, no-one left to suffer if he were killed. Marriage would ultimately affect his work.
   "John Drake realises that he is getting older and is not yet married", McGoohan's own words, "Basically he would like the security of a home, marriage and a family, and he is beginning to feel that the time is approaching
when he must consider this before it is too late. He intends, however, to give {Janet portland - was she             up his job before he takes this step."
the reason why the Prisoner resigned?}     
    "He intends, however, to give up his job before he takes this step."
    A very telling sentence, but I suppose, you would have to be of the opinion that the characters of the Prisoner and John Drake are one and the same, before you decide to take this seriously. However I am of the opinion that they are, and there are those who worked on the production team of the Prisoner, who have confirmed as much.
   John Drake was getting older and wanted the security of marriage and a family before it was too late. The Prisoner, we discover in the episode of Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling is engaged to Janet Portland. The daughter of Sir Charles Portland, the direct superior to the Prisoner in the secret service, in better days of course. You will recall how it is described when the Prisoner asked Sir Charles Portland for the hand of his daughter. Sir Charles was pruning his Baccara roses down by the little goldfish pool. Sir Charles dropped his secateurs, although it could not have been all that much of a surprise. Perhaps it was shock, shock that anyone would wish to marry his daughter, this together with the thought that here was a man who was prepared to take his daughter off his hands.... at long last!
   So the Prisoner resigned, he had given up his job just as John Drake had eventually intended to do. But was it for the woman he was engaged to? Janet Portland, a one time debutante, and now with a fiance in her grasp.  Middle aged man, strong, handsome, worldly. A man who would love her, take care of her, and perhaps above all, give her a secure life. And once her fiance had given up his job as a security agent, he would take a safe desk job, and be at home with her in the evenings, all nice and cosy. But there would be the round of social parties of course, which Janet would be used to, in her society circle of friends, but would her friends be those of her fiances?
   Of course the Prisoner was used to parties, he regularly attended Madam Engadine's celebrated parties in Paris, and would have met all kinds of people, including women. After all he was very friendly towards "B" in A B and C you will recall. And then there was Nadia-No.8 in The Chimes of Big Ben, with whom No.6 was beginning to get close. Nadia is much more the Prisoner's type I should have thought, rather than Janet Portland.
   However, there could be hidden depths to Janet. And I'm sure that once she had her fiance within her grasp, she would not be a woman to let go of her prize that easily. But did she actually know that her fiance was going to resign his job? She probably didn't, as they could have discussed it.
    Was she actually going with her fiance, wherever it was he had packed his suitcases to go?
    Was the Prisoner going to take his fiancee Janet Portland with him? Somehow I doubt it.
These are questions which only two people can answer I'm afraid. For the rest of us, the situation between the Prisoner and Janet Portland, after their engagement, can only be a speculative one.

Be seeing you

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Thought For The Day

He’s Having a laugh!

     No, No,6 is not being visited by the ghost of Christmas past! But h
ave you observed how in No.6's nightmare in The Schizoid Man, Curtis's laugh is just like the manic laugh of No.1? Well it would be - wouldn't it.


Lava Lamps - Or Something More Malevolant?

    There are a number of different Lava Lamps or 'Astro Lamps" to give them their original name, produced by the Mathmos Company today, which come in all shapes and sizes. There are also a number of Companys which also produce Lava Lamps which are perfectly adequate, but it is Mathmos which produces the original Lava Lamp, which originally had copper tops and bottoms, which is the best.

    It was Edward Craven-Walker, pictured on the left, who invented the Lava Lamp around 1963 under the name "Astro Lamp". He sold it at various trade shows until 1966 when he sold the rights to manufacture the product in the United States to the company Haggerty. Later the rights to manufacture the lamp in Great Britain as well as other parts of Europe were sold to the company Crestworth, which in 1992 changed its name to Mathmos.
   But this was never meant to be a history lesson, but to concern ourselves with the iconic 1960's visualisation of the "Astro Lamp" - Lava Lamp if you prefer, to that cult 1960's television series the Prisoner. For in the village the Astro Lamp can be seen in many of its administrative buildings, not to mention cottages such as '6 Private', the home of No.6 which has two Astro Lamps in it. In the bedroom and the landing area between the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
   In the office of No.2 during Arrival there are two tall Astro Lamps, the one situated on top of another. And on many occasions when we visit No.2's inner sanctum of his office, there can be seen upon the large screen the very effect which the Astro, or Lava  Lamp creates. But that which is seen on the screen is the image of the containment area somewhere out at sea, the containment area in which the membranic form of the village guardian is contained.
   But why exactly is the image of the membranic form of the village guardian, or Lava Lamp effect if you prefer, seen so often on the screen in No.2's office? To describe the form of the village guardian contained thus on the screen, as being malevolent, that it looks as though it would do harm to someone if released, would I feel, not be too far from the truth. And that has proved to be the case on more than one occasion. So is there another reason why there are Lava Lamps placed in various rooms of administration buildings and the cottages of the citizens of the village? Perhaps they too are symbolic of that containment area to be found somewhere out at sea, the segment of village guardian being a warning to the citizens in is malevolent state. It cannot get out, unless of course the lava Lamp is smashed, but merely serves as a warning to all citizens of the village, of the thing which they might one day be faced with!
   Or perhaps there is a more simple reason, that to watch the lava Lamp effect is soothing, relaxing, relieving stress, which could explain why we see the lava Lamp effect so much on the wall screen in No.2's office!
   It was Mr. Edward Craven-Walker who developed an idea he had had in a country public house. The public house had on display, a contraption which fascinated Craven-Walker and he vowed to expand upon it.
    The contraption had been made by one of the pubs regulars who had since departed and was a one-off homemade device consisting of an egg-timer and a light bulb. While the device itself was fairly rudimentary, Craven-Walker saw it's potential and set about perfecting it.
   He set up a laboratory in a small shed where he mixed together various ingredients in bottles of various shapes and sizes, looking for the ideal solution. He discovered the best container for the job was a Lucozade bottle and it is that shape that has defined the shape of the "Astro” or Lava Lamp.
   The lamps were a massive success through the 1960's, becoming symbolic of psychedelia. Craven-Walker said that it mesmerizing motions "If you buy my lamp, you won't need drugs. I think it always will be popular. It's like the cycle of life. It grows, it breaks up, falls down and starts all over again." Which could be one description of the Prisoner. No wonder it fits in so well with the vicious circle that is the Prisoner!

I'll be seeing you

Lotus Cars

   Lotus Cars played a large part in the Prisoner, the Lotus Seven of course being the Prisoner's car which Patrick McGoohan saw as a car for the individual, a car with a rebellious nature. The Lotus 7 being Lotus Cars demonstrator which was originally in black livery, but which was re-painted in what we are now

 pleased to call Prisoner livery.
    And in the episode The Girl Who Was Death Mr X got behind the wheel of a Lotus Elan, which is strange because when Graham Nearn first pointed out the Lotus Elan for the Prisoner, McGoohan rejected the little car in favour of the Lotus 7, which he found under a tarpaulin. Of course it was the Lotus Elan which was driven by Mrs Peel in the television series The Avengers

But before that in Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling Potter was seen to be driving a white livery, with green flash, Lotus Cortina.
    The Lotus Cortina saw a collaboration between Lotus and Ford. in 1963, in order to produce an updated version of the Cortina MK1 with the engine rated at 105bhp and there was  a 'racing' version with 145bhp.The resulting hybrid was very successful with 3301 being produced, however the MK1 was discontinued in the summer of 1966. Lotus had no production involvement in the MK2.


Caught On Camera

   I think, as I cannot be certain, that the man climbing into the Village Guardian is none other than a young Production Manager Bernard Williams, who was almost affixiated by the fumes coming from the Go-Kart's engine!


The Therapy Zone

 “A Light, A Boat, A Plane….Someone from my World”
   It appears that No.6 was expecting someone, or a sign of some kind, people from his world. This resulting from the message he heard on that radio he was listening to on the outlook on top of the cliffs in Dance of the Dead.
    Of course No.6 gained that radio from finding that body washed up on the shore, that through spending the night on the beach. But eventually he went home, as there's no other place he can go. It seems that No.2 allows No.6 to get away with some things, I suppose that is born out of the fact that there is no escape, and that he must return home to his cottage sooner or later. Anyway they know where he is, and there was no harm he could possibly do spending a night on the beach.
    Not like that time when No.6 followed the doctor-No.14 in A B and C to that laboratory somewhere in the woods. He actually gained entry without being observed, checked out what was happening, figured out that third and final syringe, diluted the solution therein and departed without leaving a trace of him ever being there. So was it the water which was drugged, or was No.6 feigning it? If he was, that means he wasn't unconscious at all on that third occasion when he was taken the that laboratory. And the doctor, surely she would have detected that No.6 wasn't conscious lying on that operating table. So it was the water after all which had been drugged. But due to the diluted solution of the third syringe No.6 was able to manipulate his own dream, "Its dreamy, this is a dreamy party!"
    But he really was going on holiday, those important papers being nothing more than various travel brochures. There was no indication of exactly where he was going on holiday, Italy, France or Greece were three such possibilities.
   But of course this is purely incidental to the matter in hand, in that No.6 is allowed to get away with things "Don't worry my dear" No.2 began at hearing the report that the observer-No.240 who couldn't find No,6 "Its will test our effiances."
  Is that what No.6 could have been doing in those escape attempts of his? And what about those dependable men he recruited in Checkmate, but then they were put back on the chessboard. The Shopkeeper certainly got his back up when No.6 asked to inspect his books "They've never been inspected before!" "Always a first time, isn't here!" No,6 tells him with authority.
    So why hadn't the shopkeepers books been inspected before? Perhaps the General Store accounts didn't really  mean anything. After all everything sold there was on account, on credit if you prefer. But the strange thing is there is a till on the counter, perhaps this to keep the clippings he had taken from customers credit cards. This in the same way that 'ration cards' and coupons were clipped for their points during the war, and for a time after. Into the early to mid 1950's in fact when things were still on ration in Britain.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Village Is Not So Very Different

   I am reminded by an old friend that the village is not so different from the capital of London after all. With its dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, or even that of the Old Bailey, St. Stephens Tower where the bell "Big Ben" is housed, and somewhere in between the Prisoner's home of
No.1 Buckingham Place
   So where do these structures fit into the village? Well quite obviously they wouldn't, not being of the scale of buildings that they are. However the village does enjoy their equivalents, the Green Dome for example, the Bell Tower and somewhere in between there is  '6 Private', although this cottage contains only the study room of No.1 Buckingham Place. So using a little imagination the village can be a real "home from home" but with more pleasant architecture, and a more pleasing atmosphere for the majority of its citizens. It's really only those of No.6's disposition who take against it!
    You see all you want is here, and all they want you to be, is happy!

I'l be seeing you

Arts And Crafts

  Oh look.... A Bendy Copter!


Caught On Camera

   At the far end of this underground passage is a plain wooden door, which leads through into a large underground cavern. Between here and there are a number of alcoves, each containing a Juke Box and each playing the same record The Beatles song All You Need Is Love. But originally each of the Juke Boxes were to play a different record creating a "wailing cacophony" of sound! Why so many Juke Boxes, well that is  about as inexplicable as the question of how the Butler obtained the key to that door at the far end of the underground passage. I didn't see the Supervisor hand the Butler a key. Although it's possible that he had had the key in his pocket all the time. On the other hand, this key might very well be the same key that unlocked the bars of the cage back in the Embryo Room, it being some master key to fit all locks in the village!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone.

    You will be pleased to know that the office is open once again. Yet to say that there have been those who have still needed their daily dose of Prisoner blog over Christamas and Boxing Days, well good for you. And so we contiue as usual here in Therapy Zone.

Patrick McGoohan Before The Prisoner

    I have been asked in the past "Are you a fan of Patrick McGoohan?" Well to be perfectly honest, no I am not, not so much a fan of McGoohan, but rather of his character Danger Man John Drake, and that of the Prisoner, as he became after he had resigned.
   However despite having said that I am not a fan of Patrick McGoohan, I have enjoyed his acting in other roles, as Jones for example in the film Ice Station Zebra, probably because McGoohan's Jones is on a parallel with his character of Drake! Then there's the Columbo episode with Peter Falk, Identity Crisis. This episode was made not too long after the Prisoner, and I think that McGoohan had still not got the Prisoner out of his system by this time. This because of his using the phrase "Be Seeing you" "Well, I'll be seeing you." Plus he wears an anorak similar to the one he wore during The Chimes of Big Ben.
    The film Silver Streak is another McGoohan film I like, but before that there's Hell Drivers, as he plays Red, a real tough foreman keeping the rest of the lorry drivers in line. And there's the 1950's BBC play This Day In Fear in which McGoohan plays Irishman James Coogan, who is really an ex-IRA man who betrayed them, and who is now up for execution. A quite brilliant play. I did have occasion to see part of McGoohan's Brand, but I fell asleep, at that point Patrick McGoohan was ranting on about something, and when I woke up half an hour later he was still ranting one, it was like I had not missed any of the play. I hasten to say that I did not take against Brand because of McGoohan, whose performance as Brand was not even enough to keep me awake, but because Ibsen's plays are dark and depressing.
   To end there is All Night Long in which McGoohan plays a Jazz musician Johnny Cousin, the leader of a small Jazz band, which I found entertaining, not only because of the acting, but for the Jazz the music in its own right. And The Man In The Iron Mask, in which McGoohan plays Fouquet, but not wholly because of McGoohan, as I like costume dramas anyway, and The Man In The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas is a particular favourite of mine, as is Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, which McGoohan isn't in, but Rosalie Crutchley who was the white Queen in Checkmate, is!


Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's Christmas Eve - Even In The Village

    Well dear readers, no, dear friends, for that is what you are, each and everyone of you, honestly. And seeing as how it's Christmas Eve this will be my last posting for two days, well you've got better things to do than to sit there reading my blog on Christmas Day and Boxing Day...........haven't you? Well you would be surprised, some people haven't, or certainly they feel the need for a little diversion.
   So I shall return on Tuesday with more words from the Village, keeping up the information, with the desire to exchange information, ideas, theories, and interpretations which will continue in 2012.

    If I'm lucky Father Christmas with bring me a present to do with the Prisoner. Last year he brought me a few model cars to add to my collection of cars seen in THEPRISONER09 series, along with the cd soundtrack of that series.




Teabreak Teaser

    The Fall Out suddenly hits the fan - there is revolution in the air - a savage fire-fight - the Village is being evacuated - there is escape - but where do you think the Number 1 rocket was destined for? What might have been the fate of No.48 and the 'late' No.2? And was that spare Orbit Tube meant for No.6?


Thought For The Day

   In a past blog, I've written about the fact that no-one in the Prisoner uses the Prisoner's name, and strangely enough that includes the Prisoner-Number Six which is odd when a man like Number Six is so determined to maintain his identity and not to become a number. Take a look at No.8 in The Chimes of Big Ben when he invited her into his cottage for a night-cap.

    "Genuine non-alcoholic Whisky sixteen work units, or if you prefer genuine non-alcoholicVodka twenty-four work units."
    "Yes, I would prefer that Mister........
    "Sorry no names. I am Number Six, you are Number Eight.'"
    After Number Eight informs Number Six that she is Estonian and not Russian, she intemates that Number Two is a very charming man, and that she would expect his assistant to be the same.

    "What about you Number Eight?"
    "I am no Number Eight or no number anything else. My name is Nadia Rakovski, and I've ben interrogated enough for one day!"

   And in truth that is how I should have though the Prisoner to have behaved when given his number, saying that he's no Number Six, my name is.......... But instead he gave the line "I am not a number, I am a person." Oh by the by, did you notice for a man who rejects his number, he's quick enough to tell Number Eight that he's Number Six when she said the line "Yes, I would perfer that Mister........" That was quite deliberate on the Prisoner's part I thought, so not to give his name away. It might be that Number Six was ashamed of his name, that it was something perculiar extraordinary, or embarassing because he had been named after someone or something, which might be the reason the Prisoner uses Number Six as his name in the Village because it's preferable to his own. After all, the Prisoner has been known to adopt different names in the past.

I'll be seeing you

Madame Engadine Stargazer Extraordinaire

 Aquarius {Jan 21-Feb 19}
    You are set on act of betrayal. Someone close to you with who you have a genuine mental link, someone who has been kind to you, has helped you develop your skill. Think twice before you let another persuade you on this course of action. There are no second chances.

Pisces: Feb {20-Mar 20}
    You have become dissatisfied with your position. Can no longer live with your conscience, you need time to think and the action you are about to take will see you embarking on a long journey. there will be new horizons, new opportunities for you.

Aries {Mar 21-Apr 20}
    There's been a cock up along the way. A mistake made by you has let another down. But don't worry, he will get a second chance, another bite of the apple.

Taurus {Apr 21-May 21}
    There's someone nasty just arrived in the village. But you can see that he will not last any longer than those who came before him. bide your time, do his bidding and all will be won in the end.

Gemini {May 22-Jun 21}
    That's not the password, its Schizoid Man. There's a tough time, and dangers ahead. Here you are with another man's face, deposited here in the village not at all to your liking. But the pain will end, although the air you find is suffocating.

Cancer {Jun 22-Jul 23}
    You are going to celebrate someone's birthday. You will bake a cake with six candles upon it. Although you will not be long here amongst us, you will have been successful.

Leo {Jul 24-Aug 23}
    You like to do things your way. Like another before you, you now have a second bite of the apple. But beware, its going to be either one of you, yourself or another, although you will begin to like someone who might be a better man than you.

Virgo {Aug 24-Sep 23}
    You're in love, but your love is not reciprocated. But perhaps he could learn to love you. But beware a man in a piped blazer, he wears an old school scarf about his neck. And there's a woman in white who means you ill. Follow your man and your hearts desire.

Libra {Sep 24-Oct 23}
    Its later than you think. Your health is not what it was, what with all that stress you are under, its no wonder you have an ulcer. Try to relax more, after all if someone can't chuck up a job, things have come to a pretty pass.

Scorpio {Oct 24-Nov 22}
    You came here as a maid to No. 2, having seen an opposite number expelled from his home. Soon you will be left here all alone. My advice to you would be to seek out employment. Make a list of what you are good at, making sandwiches is one, so a job at the cafe perhaps.

Sagittarius {Nov 23-Dec 21}
    You are the man behind the power. But sometimes you feel that your talents have not been fully recognised. Don't worry, after a short spell away, due to no fault of your own, you will once again return to your domain and receive the respect of all about you.

Capricorn {Dec 22-Jan 20}
    You are a natural voyeur, an observer of life with which you may never get involved. Someone you got to know very well will die, but then he never knew you did he. Surely there must be more to life than this. A man is soon to come into your life, get to know him, watch him and have nothing to do with his questions. Remember that questions are a burden and answers a prison for oneself.

Madame 'E'.

The Girl Who Was Death

    There have been those who have seen the episode The Girl Who Was Death as being somewhat contrived, that it may actually be an indication what the people behind the Prisoner were thinking about when they were changing the creation of twenty-six episodes.
   It might appear that ideas within the village were being exhausted, and that there was a new but unsatisfactory emphasis on episodes such as this, that were being used outside the village. This then has something in common with Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, although having said that, there is more of the village in the latter episode, than that of the former. But not of Living In Harmony, because although there is the American pioneer town of Harmony, No.6 never actually left the village. Not with Harmony actually being part of the village, you will have noticed the Recreation Hall in both Living In Harmony, The Chimes of Big Ben, and The Schizoid Man
   But if Living In harmony is the most American of episodes, then the Girl Who Was Death is quintessentially English. No.6 in the guise of Mr X takes his place in the batting order at the wicket in a game of cricket. He enjoys a quiet pint at his local public house, and even takes to the ring in a bout of the noble art of pugilism.
    The Girl Who Was Death for me is an enjoyable break between the mind change No.6 went through during Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and what was to come, the ultimate test sealed in that Embryo Room of Once Upon A Time. A fairytale, all be it a dangerous fairytale, which takes us back to the days of John Drake and Danger Man. Something to be taken for nothing more than what it is, pure escapism to be enjoyed between two torturous episodes. The one not knowing if he would be restored to the man he was, and the other having to be the one or the other, which could result in the death of either one of them. And believe you me, there won't be much fun in that!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

Under Surveillance – “She’s One of Our Best Observers”
     When does an Observer herself become the observed, or rather who observes the observers?
    In Dance of the Dead Number 240, who is one of the village’s best Observers, allows herself to be followed to the Town Hall by Number 6, which is strange, she being his observer!
    "Observers of life should never get involved" Number 2 tells us, well certainly that can be said of Number 240, she gets to know those she is assigned to observe, but they don't get to know here, and being an observer she and her like can never get involved, otherwise they fail in their objective if they become known as observers to other citizens, they would shun her and her kind, surely.
    So exactly who is watching who? Well the observers watch the more fractious citizens, like Number 6, and in the Control Room there is the big stainless steel electronic eye which orbits the Control Room and who so ever is behind that keeps an eye on Control Room personnel. The all seeing eye of Number 1!
    And just how good are these observers, well if they were any good at all Number 6 for example would not be allowed to get away with half the things he does;
Pouring away a cup of drugged tea in A Change of Mind into a flower pot.
    Number Six took a length of rope and life belt from the stone boat during Dance of the Dead. Being able to follow the doctor-Number 14 and then entering the laboratory in A B and C
    In Checkmate the stealing of a surveillance camera by the Rook, and electrical equipment and a screwdriver form the electrics truck, not to mention Number 6 stealing an aerial off one of the taxis!
    But then in Hammer Into Anvil Number 6 knows he is being observed and turns that to his advantage, as well as Number 2's paranoia!
    Being under surveillance, one does tend to forget the cameras are there and act naturally. Also they make one act accordingly all the time if one knows one is constantly under surveillance, peoples behaviour changes. The trick is to know when and when not one is actually under surveillance and when one is not.

Observers of Life Should Never Get Involved
  So with the observers busy watching the more fractious children, as No.2 in Dance of the Dead puts it, which means not every citizen has his or her own personal observer, who is it then who observes the observers themselves?
   In the control room there is a round steel shell which orbits the Control Room. Inside is a closed circuit camera, it also has what appears to be, steel eyelids, as indeed does the steel closed circuit cameras housed in the blue steel of the No.1 rocket in Fall Out. So I think it's safe to say that it is No.1 who is keeping an open surveillance eye on the observers, the Supervisor and all Control Room personnel. Just as he was watching the proceedings of the three trials during Fall Out.                                 
   So its a case of the observers becoming the observed, a demonstration that no one is beyond surveillance. So with that thinking, had No.1 actually seen for himself just what No.6 was up to during the episode of Hammer Into Anvil? If he did, then he was simply throwing No.2 to the wolves, such was the weak link in the chain of command just waiting to be broken. A test which No.6 passed with flying colours, I should imagine, from No.1's position, and who would have been very happy with the result. If it is as I imagine, the Prisoner being a series of tests for No.6 to pass. And if No.2 of Hammer Into Anvil was actually Thorpe of Many Happy Returns, he wasn't as strong as he might have imagined himself to be, mentally that is. And if that were the case, then No.6 actually knew who this particular No.2 is.... Thorpe, an ex-colleague who treated him with scorn and contempt as he sat listening to his ex-colleagues report along with the Colonel.
    Thorpe then having heard this story about the village from his ex-colleague, might, just might have done some digging of his own. Perhaps through this, his position and knowledge of his ex-colleague No.6, he would be the ideal man to break No.6 once and for all. He would really enjoy that I should imagine, just as No.14 would enjoy 'dusting No.6 down!'


Friday, 23 December 2011

Arts And Crafts

    The Prisoner-No.6 captured during my 'Chalk & Charcoal' period.


Village Pin-Up

   The delightful, delectable Denise Buckley whose role in the Prisoner is No.56, one of No.6's personal maids. She is a flighty young woman, one who is always impatient to wear a new dress. More than that, No.56 is a stickler for the rules. Other than that, Denise can come and flick a feather duster around my study anytime she likes!


Secret Agent Man

Danger Man – Truth Behind The Fiction

The episode Under The Lake sees John Drake employed by Colonel Keller of US Intellegence to track down a counterfeiting gang who have flooded the capitals of Europe with forged American banknotes to the value of $25 million. His only clue is an ex-Nazi, General Gunther Von Klaus and Kellers top suspect as the man who is distributing the forged banknotes.
    The trail leads Drake to a lakeside hotel, the grounds once used to house a German concentration camp. To cut a 25 minute story short, Drake manages to round up the counterfeit gang and when he orders the lake to be dragged it reveals millions of counterfeit dollar banknotes, each commissioned by Himmler during the war.
   The first two pictures are taken from the Danger Man episode, but is actual film of the search of Lake Topliz, note the diver and the floating platform in the second picture, and measure them againt pictures three and four. 

  In July of 1959 divers retrieved a large number of boxes of counterfeit £5 notes from the bottom of Lake Toplitz in the Austrian Alps. What's more a second diving expedition to the Lake has been undertaken in recent years, with the result that even more forged bank notes were retrieved from the bottom of the lake, sealed in boxes.

    The notes from Lake Toplitz had been printed by the Nazis during World War II as part of a plan to destabilize the British economy, but had to be dumped in the lake by the retreating Nazis to keep the counterfeit banknotes out of the hands of Partisans and the ensuing armies! The German produced film The Counterfeiters {2007} is another link to this fact.
    It is easy to see the comparisons between fact and fiction here. And this is just one example, because there are more Danger Man episodes steeped in factual stories, such as Don’t Nail Him Yet, and Colony 3. But they are two other stories, and perhaps for another time.

I'm Obliged.