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Friday, 31 January 2014

THEPRIS6NER

   There is one thing about this series, it's all tied up with a nice pink bow! But there are yet certain questions I'd like to ask the producers of the series, like how did they arrive at the new logo for The Village? And scriptwriter Bill Gallagher said that he'd jokingly come up with the idea of "pig breath" as being a stabiliser for the weather anomalies in The Village, the appearance of those holes. And two years later the world is in panic of Swine Flu! Well I have to say that I see holes appearing almost everywhere, most recently holes in the World Cup! Then there are all those huge sink holes appearing in China a few days ago. The holes in this series, or rather The Village, are in the same regard as the number Six. How many times in the news have you heard that "Six die in road accident." Or that "Six charged and taken to court, Six arrested for murder, Six accused of fraud........." Its six this and have a dozen of that, but almost always "Six." They say that things may come in three's, but things more often than that, happen to Six!
    There is something which this series shares with the original series of ‘the Prisoner,’ Six, like his predecessor, was brought to the Village for a reason. Both No.6 and Six are seen to have a future with the Village, and during the process no harm must befall either one of them.

  The scene in the episode Schizoid is set, Two goes into the "Go-Inside" Club looking for his son. As Two passes through the club, there is a Penny Farthing bicycle suspended from the ceiling, and Two looks up and pays homage to that which has passed in the Village, in his own inimitable way.
   But if the production of THEPRISONER had not moved from Swakopmund in Namibia to Cape town in South Africa, and able to turn a museum into the "Go-Inside" Club, then this scene of homage paid to the logo of the original series, may not have taken place. Because when the production team found the museum in Cape Town, they found all kinds of old bicycles in the museum, including a number of Penny Farthings.
      We realise, those that stuck with the series, that this series is all in the mind, well M2's mind actually, and to be carried on in the mind of 313, with the help of the new Two's help. I recall a number of theorists in Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society, who wrote in the society magazine in the 1980’s, or was it the 90’s, about how ‘the Prisoner’ was simply all in the mind of Number Six. That the whole series is a persecution complex, brought about by the Prisoners own resignation. That in end the Prisoner, being faced with himself, had to face up to that which he fears more then anything.....himself! In this series it's Two who tries to get Six to face up to his fears, because Michael/Six resigned because he found out what he was doing. His fear that he had helped in the creation of The Village, which is after all, all in the mind.

        Village history can be a very contradictory thing. If you will recall, those readers who have actually watched this series, how 1,100 stated that "There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there never will be." But there was One, for Six is the One, who became the new Two. You see Mister Gallagher, there's still something to be squeezed out of this series. Not all the loose ends were tied up in a nice pink ribbon I'm pleased to say.

I don't know quite what to make of 313. She is a doctor, assigned to Six. And she obviously works for Two, yet she took the sketches out of Six's pocket, and kept them for herself, why? 313 told Six that she likes the idea of "Another place," but why? If all 313 has known is The Village. Perhaps she is beginning to wonder.
    I know one thing, I wouldn't mind a fortnights leave in "Escape Resort." I thought it was a curious name to give a holiday resort, "Escape Resort." But of course it's like the "Therapy Zone" in the original series. Escape Resort is a place one can go to escape The Village for a short time, before rejoining the flock.
    At the Clinic, Six under went the "speak cure," to find the Six within. Then Two turned up, and decided to undergo the cure himself, not that he believes in such therapy. Two went on about having been placed on the potty sideways when he was a toddler, and how he wants to sleep with his mother! If that's the case, then that would explain a lot, and why Two is the way he is! Two asked 70 if he had had sex with his mother. 70 replied that he hadn't. To which Two said "Well don't!" I wonder if that's Two's trouble, and the reason why he turned out he way he did, because he slept with his mother? It wouldn't surprise me if he had!!!
    Two spoke of the "Two inside." 70 said that Six is resistant to revealing the Six inside, that he feels his roots. Two said that Six's roots are here, in The Village he meant. So Two gave Six his roots, he tried to make him feel like he belongs. By giving him his brother, and his brothers family. My roots are in Holland, although I haven't seen my family in years. And I've sometimes been in touch with my feminine side. But I've never tried to find the Hein within!
    That folly in the desert puzzles me. Why a ships drift anchor? Is it simply there to become a fixation in Six's mind I wonder, to do with the ocean I mean. 16 told Six that the anchor is just a desert folly, it's a nothing. But Six sees it differently, "It means escape!" That's as maybe, but escape to what?

Village is best for us……be seeing you

Teabreak Teaser

    What is the purpose of the Village?

BCNU

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

From my black and white period

                                                    "The Lotus Position!"

BcNu

Escape The Fall Out!

   London - 1968 and the arrival home after the evacuation of the Village.
 

   "You can't go about dressed like that you know.”
   "Why not?"
   "Well you stand out more dressed like that here, than I did on the day of my arrival in the Village!"
    "We're both free men, we can do and dress as we like, eh Number Six!"
    "I'm not Number Six or a number of any kind, just as you're no longer Number Two. You're number nothing!"
    "Well it has been fun, but I've got to go now. People are waiting."
   "If I decide to do a second series......." McGoohan asks.
   "Don't call me whatever you do!" Leo replies.
   "Was it really that bad?"
   "Remember in that embryo room scene...... you nearly strangled me to death. If it hadn't been for Angelo bashing you over the head with that truncheon...!"
    "We both got carried away" Patrick pleaded.
    "With our characters?"
    "What else?"
    "Yes, well that's as maybe, but you were playing it for real. A second series, count me out! But I’ll be seeing you the next time around!" said the ex-No.2.
    "Next time around what?" asked the Prisoner.
    "What are you going to do now?"
   "Go home" the Prisoner replied.
   "And take our little friend there with you I suppose" said the ex-No.2.
   "Well yes, I thought I might…..”
   “What resign? Take care, that's my warning to you my boy. What’s more, watch out for a black hearse, that's my advice to you.”
    The ex-No.2's then crossed out of Parliament Square, across the road. The Prisoner stood and waved as his old friend entered the Houses of Parliament through the Peers entrance.
    Having caught a bus, and upon returning home back along Buckingham Place, standing outside his house by his car, the Prisoner is passed by a slowly moving black hearse, possibly lurking, waiting to pick up its next victim!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

Why the Prisoner?
"Well if it hadn't been, it would have been something else."
    Having been a fan of Danger Man as a boy, and John Drake having been my childhood hero, it was inevitable that I should take to the Prisoner, seeing as how it's a follow-on series to Danger Man. Well that's how I saw it anyway, and that the Prisoner-No.6 is John Drake, simple and fool-proof in the mind of a child.
   Back in 1968, having seen the prisoner for the first time, there was no-one I could talk to about the series. None of my school friends liked the series, neither did my father, and mother, well it went completely over her head! And I had difficulty in recalling what was in each episode, not Rover, I could never forget Rover, nor the opening theme music and opening sequence which remained in my mind. Well it had to, because it would be nearly ten years before I was to see the Prisoner again, and gain some answers to my questions. But with the second viewing, third, and fourth the Prisoner became simple in my mind, even Fall Out, which I saw as a James Bond style of ending to the series. What's more my questions of the Prisoner were answered - the only trouble being that more viewings of the series threw up more questions than I had actually wanted answering. But that was in the days before I heard the dreaded word allegorical, and since I began mixing with people of the Prisoner Appreciation Society who were banding the word allegorical around since Patrick McGoohan had been heard to use it - I quite deliberately dismissed that particular word and refused to have anything to do with it, because I am more of a goat than a sheep!

"If it hadn't been the Prisoner, what else would it have been that has withstood the test of time?"

A Sense Of Humour
    Even in the bleak episode that is The Schizoid Man as Number 6 fights to maintain his identity, there are moments of humour. For example when Number 6 meets his doppelganger for the first time "Are you one of those double agents we hear so much about?" And again "Where'd they get you? A people's copying service?"  And prior to visiting Number 12 after he has regained "himself" Number 6 asserts "I think it's time we paid ourselves a call."
   Number 6 has a ready wit, and a dry sense of humour, and as we know "Humour is the very essence of a democratic society."

All At the Village Hospital!
   No.6 is supposed to have undergone the process known as Instant Social Conversion, the isolation of the aggressive frontal lobes - in other words a leucotomy. Well this is all nice a civilised, not a patch on the blood and guts operations which preceded this new technique.
   There was a new television series on BBC2 back in 2009 called ‘Blood and Guts: A history of Surgery.’ I didn't watch it myself, well I had researched the subject, and knew what I would be letting myself in for!
   Such techniques of isolation of the aggressive frontal lobes, a Leucotomy, was never 100% successful, and operations such as these are still performed today - in extreme cases. Either the Leucotomy worked or id didn't, and in many cases the patient simply lost their minds! so if the doctors were to have performed such an operation on No.6, they might have lost him forever, do you understand, lose him!


What's Your Poison?
   There has often been the question as what tipple Mr. X enjoyed at his local public house. Certainly its a dark ale, which had the suggestion put forward that it is a pint of brown ale, possibly Guinness, or a stout ale. Sadly it is none of these, because brown ale is a bottle beer, and Mr. X's pint is drawn from pump. As for Guinness, or a stout ale, well the head is not thick enough to be either of those. One other suggestion might be "old and mild," which is a blend of mild and bitter beer. However seeing as the pint of dark ale is drawn from one pump, and not two separate pumps, that clearly makes Mr. X's drink, a pint of "mild" ale.

Who's Side Are You On?
   Well No.9, played by Virginia Maskell, appears to be on anyone’s side! He's No.2's puppet, first assigned to Cobb, who was using her, and then to No.6. No.6 uses her to get what he wants, the Electro Pass, and No.9 allowed herself to be used by the helicopter pilot, so as to attain the Electro Pass in the first place!
   Perhaps No.9 decided not to escape, not because he never intended to without Cobb, but because she probably decided that she had been used enough. As the No.66 told here "We're all pawns me’ dear!" I think No.66 the Ex-Admiral knew more than he was letting on!

Be seeing you

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Prisoner Under The Spotlight!

    ‘Fall Out What was the motivating force behind the episode?
   Probably to get the episode completed and in the can! After all the Prisoner the screening of which had already begun and people were screaming for an ending which Patrick McGoohan had long since promised. Screening of the Prisoner had already been interrupted because of production hold ups. The gap was actually filled with the screening of the only two colour episodes of ‘Danger man’ episodes ‘Shinda Shima’ and ‘Koroshi.’
    What do you think Patrick McGoohan expected to achieve?
    I think he achieved it, whatever it was he wanted to achieve. There, that's an enigmatic answer to an allegorical question! Otherwise one could say that McGoohan wanted to make people angry, to sit up, take notice and ask questions and not to simply accept things as they are!
    Well McGoohan achieved that okay, the telephone lines into the television studios of ATV were jam packed with irate viewers wanting to know what that rubbish called Fall Out was all about?
So yes, McGoohan did achieve what he set out to achieve, to make people angry!
    Did the episode work?
    Well I suppose it all depends on how you look at it! McGoohan once said of Fall Out that it is an allegory, an allegorical ending to an enigmatic series. Well that's all well and good, but I think that's all a bit of a 'cop-out' by McGoohan really. After all calling Fall Out an allegory means that the subject in hand can mean absolutely anything. And if it is an allegory, then it still works because you can do anything and get away with it!
    However there is another way to see ‘Fall Out’ and that is with the eyes of James Bond. Because if you do that then ‘Fall Out’ instantly becomes a James Bond film style of ending to the Prisoner and that puts a whole new completion on things.
    You have the good guys in the guises of Sir, an ex-No.2, No.48 and the Butler who never had a number in the first place! The bad guys, the assembly, armed security guards, The President and of course No.1 and there's a rocket being prepared for launch.
    Sir and his confederates over power armed guards, there is a fire fight where all the guards are killed. A mass evacuation of the installation known as the village, with citizens running in all directions, Mini Mokes speeding this way and that with helicopters taking off from all points of the Village.
    No.1 is confronted and heads up into the nose cone of the rocket, and Sir seals No.1 inside after which he sets the countdown in motion, resulting in the launching of the rocket as our four intrepid heroes escape aboard the Scammell Highway Man Transporter. Rover, the Village Guardian comes to a nasty end and supposedly the Village is destroyed, because there is no actual proof of this.
    The rocket is seen by some as a nuclear missile, well if it’s a missile {which it really is} there wouldn’t be enough room for people in it. Also it is thought that the Village is destroyed by that rocket, I see no evidence for this.
    I don’t see ‘Fall Out’ having anything to do with nuclear missiles, otherwise the title would read ‘Fallout.’ For me the episode is more about a “falling out” between friends, that is the interpretation I personally place on the title of the episode. But as well as that it all reads very much as a James Bond film style ending. In any case it reads much better than the allegory that McGoohan liked so much. Mind you he never did try to explain ‘Fall Out’ which to him probably made no sense to him as it didn't to many at the time, and for many still doesn't today! So I hope I have helped clear the allegorical mists away, if only just a little!
    One final word about Fall Out, even if you don't fully understand it, I think the Prisoner would be a poorer series without Fall Out. Somehow its right even if many find it difficult to see the reason behind it, and certainly its the right style of ending to the Prisoner, did I say ending, I meant beginning. Because with the ending comes the beginning, and in the end is my beginning! Oh heck, don't start all that again!
    Anyway for me ‘Fall Out’ is the perfect ending/beginning to the Prisoner and really I cannot see how the series could end/begin any other way.

Be seeing you

He's Coming Along Nicely!

   Yes, but coming along nicely to what?
   If you think the Prisoner had it bad, just look what they are doing to this chap!
But for the life of me I cannot figure out why they gave him the Prisoner's suit of clothes to wear!
   He's sat in front of a small fountain of water behind a square of glass, and a small white ball balanced on the spout of water. The man is making a series of, well I don't know how to describe it really, but there he is wearing the Prisoner's suit of clothes! Why? One interpretation might be, that the man is halfway to being amended. He's already been conditioned, now wearing the Prisoner's suit of clothes, now he's having his voice trained, and all that remains is for the man himself to be amended, to look like the Prisoner! Of course he needs to grow some hair first, or perhaps he's going to be fitted with a toupee! But to what purpose? Well your guess or interpretation is as good as mine! It could be that they are getting ready to replace the Prisoner in the outside world, or at some point in the future...to face the Prisoner with himself! It's both inexplicable and surreal, and is completely unexplainable!

Be seeing you

Caught On Camera!

  The chap in the hat, sporting a full beard, and pink blazer stands out in the crowd. No, it's not the pink blazer that is the cause for this, it's the hat and beard! There is an episode of the BBC television series 'Dad's Army' called 'Time On Our Hands' and in the crowd scenes is a man wearing a raincoat, scarf, hat, and sporting a full beard. The man stands at the back of the crowd, he doesn't do anything, he just stands there, but once again it is the hat and beard that makes the man stand out in the crowd!

BCNU

The Trivia of The Prisoner!

   In ‘Hammer Into Anvil’ No.6 places the remnants of his ham sandwich into the box once containing the cuckoo clock. In the shot from within the box, No.6's ham sandwich remnant has become more of a sandwich with only a couple of bites taken out of it!
    The book which Alison has in her cottage is The Mind Reader.
    Both thumbprints seen on the screen in No.2's office of ‘The Schizoid Man’ as both No.6's try to prove their identity, are identical! That cannot be, nor even for identical twins it cannot be. So has science here been perverted, or is Curtis wearing a thin latex thumbprint of No.6's?
    During his time at the hairdressers, No.6 has his hair style and colour changed by three very attractive female hairdressers. The question here is, was No.6's hair dyed back to its original colour, or was the black dye simply washed out of his hair?
    No.6 was given the password 'Gemini' this so that No.2 would be able to tell the two apart, No.6's that is. But this is merely a hangover from the change of blazer from the original script, as both No.6 should have been wearing identical blazers.
    When No.6 is punched to the ground outside the recreation hall by Curtis-No.6 in The Schizoid Man. No.6 gets to his feet without any stain on his blazer, this when the ground can be clearly seen to be wet and sandy.
    The reason for Danvers being behind the desk when No.6 in the guise of the Colonel bursts in during the episode of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling.’ Is because, George Markstein, the man who originally sat behind that very same desk in the opening sequence and in Many Happy Returns had left the series after a disagreement with McGoohan.
    As the series goes on, more and more reliance is placed on painted back-drops of Portmeirion, stock footage of Portmeirion and less and less of the Italianate village itself.
    M.S. Polotska's original name was Dab II, and later renamed Breda.
    Leo Mckern had a nervous breakdown after Once Upon A Time, and did not want to work with that man McGoohan again!
    Not everyone who worked on ‘the Prisoner’ series, both production crew and cast members, did not enjoy the experience.
    When asked about his role in ‘the Prisoner actor’ Victor Madden couldn't remember doing the brass band leader scene with Partick Cargill! "Was I in the Prisoner?" he couldn't remember.

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

    Seeing as it turned out that Number 1 is the alter ego of Number 6, they must surely have shared the same thoughts. That being the case it is no wonder then, that "they" knew exactly how Number 6 would behave in any given situation. But would that work the other way round?

Tonight When The Moon Rises The Whole World Will Turn To Silver
   That is a line from the radio transmission heard by No.6 whilst sitting on the outlook atop of the cliffs. It has been assumed, by me amongst others as well as No.6, for it was that message which sent him down to the beach looking for a sign from his world. A light, a boat, a plane, that the message was meant for the dead man found on the beach. Well of course it might have been, but clearly that radio message was not meant for No.6, and perhaps it wasn't even meant for the dead man on the beach.
   Because if you look at one particular line contained within that message "If our torment is to end, if liberty is to be restored, we must grasp the nettle even though it makes our hands bleed" which suggests that the message might be transmitted somewhere within the village, as it contains words such as "torment" and "liberty." Is it not more likely that whilst No.6 was tuning in that radio, he picked up a message transmitted from a country somewhere behind the Iron Curtain, Hungary, or Bulgaria for example. Such messages were always transmitted in English to the free world, so is this such an example, a message transmitted from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain? If it is then No.6 is wasting his time down on the beach, because no-one is coming. And yet No.6 kept a daily look-out from the Bell Tower thereafter, just in case!

The Butler
   The Butler, played by the late Angelo Muscat, is a man of mystery, an enigma within a surreal series. Who moves on the fringe and yet he is always in the centre of each episode he appears in, which on the whole is 14 out of the 17 episodes of ‘the Prisoner.’ And perhaps there is much to this man which is more of a mystery than the Prisoner himself!

At Night When Everyone’s Asleep
  That's when the milk, the ice cream, the potatoes, and the aspirin arrive, and perhaps from along that fallout tunnel!

Meaningful Dialogue
Which Could Sum-Up the general public's View ‘the Prisoner’ at the time.
    "The committee are intrigued with your abstract but they're mystified... could you spare a minute to give them a word?"
    And the committee member's comment echoes the thoughts of the television viewer.
    "We're not quite sure what it means."

Be seeing you

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Thought For The Day

       The Prisoner demanded that he’s not a number, he’s a free man! Well I don’t know why he refuses to wear his number. He has been numbered before, with his code number ZM73! He was also defiant by saying that he will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, de-briefed, or numbered! Meaning he will no longer be pushed around by others, but unfortunately he was filed away in that grey filing cabinet marked RESIGNED in that huge room filled with identical filing cabinets. Stamped, perhaps meaning not to conform. He will not be briefed, well that one was clearly thrown out with the babies bath water, when the Prisoner was briefed on the Village during that aerial tour of said place. As for being de-briefed, well that happened when the Prisoner was asked over to No.2’s residence for breakfast. And as for not being numbered, well he was, and it was the Supervisor who first gave Six his number during that first impromptu escape attempt by Mini-Moke!
    Poor old Number Six, for most of the time he refused to wear or acknowledge his number, only doing so on the occasions when it suited him. Mind you circumstances alter cases! He might not have wanted to be numbered Number 6, but my god he soon changed his tune that time when Number Two was trying to take both his identity and number away from him. He soon began to protest that he is Number 6 then right enough!

Be seeing you

Collectors Corner

   I found the following item that purports to be from 1969.

Vintage THE PRISONER grey tee/tshirt mens s/m 1960s/Patrick Mcgoohan


   It is decribed as being vintage, and barely worn, and non-repro. If this is correct, then this is indeed a collectors item. I had no idea such 'T' shirts were being produced in 1969.

 

   Also for sale on ebay two cart wheels which are claimed to have been originally for the carts that appeared in 'the Prisoner. Apparently the pair of cart wheels were discovered in a warehouse during a clearance. The seller has no written provenance for the pair of cart wheels, no provenance makes them doubtful.

 

Be seeing you

Village Life!

    "Hello, who's this coming?"
    "He's in a hurry whoever he is!"
    "Oi, watch it mate! What's your hurry?"
    "Yeah, get to the back of the queue!"
    "Did you see that, some people just have no manners!"
    "Go on, punch him of the nose!"

BCNU

The Village Celebrates by our own reporter

    The Village celebrates the homecoming of No.6 after his spell in hospital.
  Known to have been a trouble maker in the past, an aggressive man, No.6 who under went further investigation, and was eventually posted as being "Unmutual."
   Now, having undergone the process known as "Instant Social Conversion" is a much changed and happier man. For him excitement is a thing of the past, and the citizens, who once turned there back on him - who were provoked by the loathsome presence of an Unmutual! But now No.6 is welcomed back into the fold, and is a friend to all.
   Later I asked No.6 how he felt. "Different" he told me. "And you're aggressive tendencies" I asked taking a step back as No.6 suddenly tensed with a clenched a fist. Then he smiled and relaxed "Would you like some tea?" he suddenly asked me? It was then that his doctor-No.86 entered his cottage "Please don't tire him. He is still adjusting."
   No.2 told me in an interview that it was nothing to do with him, the decision of having No.6 undergo the process of "Instant Social Conversion," himself not being a member of the committee. But No.2 assured me that the village would now be a quieter and more peaceful place. But it wasn't for long! Because this reporter can inform it's readers, that No.2 was in fact an Unmutual! Who was denounced this very afternoon at 4pm, by No.86! This had the effect of the citizens turning upon No.2, and chasing him all the way back to the Green Dome! Whether or not they actually caught up with No.2, and what they actually did to him remains unknown, as nothing was seen of him.  Mind you, No.2 was a bit nippy on his feet for a portly man of his size, the way he ran u those stone steps to the Green Dome!

Be seeing you

The Therapy Zone

That White Balloon Called Rover!
   Bernard Williams, who was the production manager on the Prisoner, said of Rover MKII "Would they buy a white balloon?" {meaning the television viewers}.
   Well you'll be happy to know Bernie, we did, we did.

Point Of Information
   Originally the episode ‘The Girl Who Was Death’ had been thought up by David Tomblin as a possible episode of ‘Danger Man.’ Terence Feely confirmed that the story had originally called for a two hour episode. But Lew Grade would not pay for it, so the episode had to be cut in half.

Hang On - Just A Minute!
   If we are to believe this cock and bull story, if we are to take this story at face value, and if only No.6 had not been so quick to grasp Nadia's story as truth. If only No.6 had not been quite so keen to escape the Village, but to give Nadia's story a little more thought. Because Nadia had said that she had a contact man, who turned out to be Karel. But how did Karel know when to expect Nadia, when she was going to escape the Village? After all there was no way that Nadia could have made contact with Karel, she being a prisoner in the Village.
   There was no-way that Karel could know that Nadia was going to escape the Village with No.6, that they would be in need of an escape route to London. Yet Karel had that escape route already worked out well in advance - first by sea to Gdansk/Danzig. By air to Copenhagen, and by air again to London.
   We know now not to take certain aspects of the episode of ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ at face value. But the first time round....... well that was a different story. We know better now....... And had No.6 stopped to think about it a little more, well the story might very well have had a different ending. So too had Karel the right time for Poland!

At Least You Know Where You Are!
    The Control Room is a curious place, a round, domed chamber, which has upon half of its wall a map of the World as seen here in the background.
  And again here in the background, upon the other section of chamber wall, an astrological chart.
    Now why such a village would require such charts upon the chamber wall of the Control Room, is quite beyond me. Especially when the Shopkeeper told the Prisoner on the day of his arrival in the Village, when he was looking for a map, "There's no demand  for any other kind."
    As far as there being both a World map together with an astrological chart upon the chamber wall of the Control Room, I can only say that this could be representative of how once upon a time "World globes" came with "Astrological globes" in order to make a pair. Hence both being upon the chamber wall of the Control Room.

Be seeing you

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Quote For The Day

    "It's not often one gets a second chance."
    "There are no second chances."
    "There are sometimes, for the lucky ones. If I had a second chance, I want you to know I wouldn't do it again."
                                    {No.24 and No.6 The Schizoid Man}

    Pity No.24 betrayed No.6 in the first place. But then again if she hadn't, No.6 wouldn't have been given that opportunity for the chance to escape!
    As for second chances, I'm not so sure that No.2 of 'The General' and 'Once Upon A Time' would deem themselves to be two of the "lucky" ones for having been given a second chance!

Be seeing you

Exhibition of Arts and Crafts

  From my black and white period

                                             "7"

bCnU

What's that No.6 Been Up To?

                        
    "I don't understand they sound identical"
    "Yes sir."
    "And you say he was timing them?"
    "Yes sir, I'm positive. There was one in particular."
    "I don't suppose you know which one?"
    "Oh I, I, I've no idea sir. He kept looking at his watch, and then he wrote something down on a piece of paper."
    "Did he now. The sleeves are all the same....................no variation in tempo........what was Number Six listening for, what makes one of these records different?"
    "I've no idea sir. Oh and that's not all sir. He left his Tally Ho behind."
    "And?"
    "Well look at the front page sir."
                         
   Of course the shopkeeper doesn't know which record No.6 was listening to in particular, or what it is that makes one of them different from the others. Or what No.6 was listening for, he just a weasel who goes running off to No.2 to report the least bit of activity that is different from the norm! He doesn't know which particular record, or even what No.6 was listening for, because he wasn't listening for anything because he was Jamming. And even if he wasn't, the result appears to be very much the same.....No.2 wasting the best part of the morning listening to six records for something that doesn't exist! Just a minute! That's not No.6's Tally Ho! No.6's Tally Ho newspaper was folded length ways, this Tally Ho is folded into an oblong! What's this No.112 up to, is he Jamming or what?

Be seeing you

A Light, A Boat, A Plane..... Someone From My World

    It appears that No.6 was expecting someone during, 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.’ And perhaps he was still expecting someone from his world, hence the Prisoner climbing the Bell Tower on a daily basis!
    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 was conscious lying on that operating table. So it was the water after 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 affiances."
  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.

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The Therapy Zone

Merry Quips
   No.6 is tied with securely with mountaineering rope, "This rope will hold an Elephant" the Girl tells him. "I must remember that next time I go climbing with one" he quips.

A B & C
   Well was there something in the water?
    No.6's personal maid brought him his nightcap of hot chocolate, which No.6 poured down the sink. Then picking up a glass, he duly filled it with water from the cold tap. Having taken a sip of water, No.6 turned to retire for the night, however on his way to bed No.6 collapses on the floor.
   I cannot see No.6 feigning unconsciousness, having presumably drunk the drugged hot chocolate, as the doctor-No.14 would surely have noticed that No.6 wasn't in fact unconscious.
   So whatever drug it was in the tap-water, it was highly potent, as No.6 only took a sip of the water!

Colin Gordon - The General
   I suppose Colin Gordon really has no right to be playing the ruthless, yet frightened Number 2 in a series like the Prisoner where the character of No.2 changes with each episode.
   "I've never been so flattered" was Colin Gordon's comment "Especially as this is the first time I've played a part quite like this."
   Although screened after ‘A B and C,’ ‘The General’ in which Colin Gordon plays Number 2, was in fact filmed before ‘A B and C,’ so that he makes his return appearance five weeks before his debut!
   The story-line of ‘The General’ was altered so as to allow for this, although the provision was not needed as the episodes were screened in the reverse order to their filming. Number 2 in ‘The General’ was originally to have met his death at the end of the episode, a victim of "the Generals" short circuiting, and explosive self-destruction. But Colin Gordon's performance as Number 2 was admired so much, that he was reprieved, simply to pave the way for his appearance in the later episode of ‘A B and C.’

Number 2
   Number 2 is portrayed as being very English even when played by Australian actors Guy Doleman and Leo McKern. However they did get it right with Living In Harmony with American born actor David Bauer as the Judge/No.2.
    If there is one thing which stands out in the Prisoner it's very Englishness. It is thought that the Prisoner-No.6 is English. But he isn't. Not having been played by Irish-American born Patrick McGoohan. The Village maybe an International community, yet in this cosmopolitan village it is it's very Englishness which make you think that the installation known as the village is actually run by the British. But if that it the case, why should the village be thought to be behind the Iron Curtain in the episode ‘The Chimes of Big Ben?’ Well simply going by the information given by Nadia, which if true, makes both the Colonel and Fotheringay as having gone over to the other side. But of course the village is nowhere near the Iron Curtain, let alone behind it. Those 25 days the Prisoner spent at sea, on a north-easterly course, during the episode ‘Many Happy Returns’ goes to prove that much.
    As Prisoner production manager Bernard Williams once said "Perhaps it would have been better if we'd used other, non-English actors as Number Two." Well that would certainly have added to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Village

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Monday, 27 January 2014

A Favourite Scene In The Prisoner

  In 'Dance of the Dead' when No.54, No.6's personal maid, has had her dress taken away because she's promised something special for the Ball. While No.6 has had a special delivery for the occasion,
                       
   his own suit {I thought they burned that} perhaps because he is still himself! "Luckyyou!" says the maid. No.56 is a flighty piece, and quite No.6's type I would have thought.

BCNU

Thought For The Day

   In 'Dance of the Dead,' No.6 wrote a short letter, and taking a photograph of himself taken from his card of identity, and a hand drawn map, he put them altogether in the dead man's wallet. The wallet in a polythene bag, which he then put in a pocket of the dead man's trousers. The dead man tied to a lifebelt, be set adrift into the estuary in the hope that it would be carried far out into the sea, to be picked up by some passing ship. Which presumably that vessel was M. S. Polotska!
    The thought did occur to me the other day, why it is that No.6 didn't try this before, but using a bottle. The same items sealed in a bottle, and the bottle thrown into the water, in attenpt to get a message to the outside world. But then again he might have tried something better, taking a leaf out of the people of the Scottish Islands of St. Kilda, who used a mail boat.
   "By the late 1890s a unique system of mail dispatch had developed on the remote Scottish islands of St Kilda: letters were enclosed in a waterproof receptacle attached to a homemade buoy or buoyant object and launched into the sea in the hope that they would wash ashore and be forwarded on by whoever chanced upon them.
    The idea had been developed by John Sands, a journalist who found himself stranded on the islands in 1876. In the years that followed Sands experiments the St Kilda “mail boats” were regularly used by the islanders. An article in The Sketch in 1906 recorded that during the longer winter months when vessels did not call at the islands, letters were dispatched by placing them in a waterproof, buoyant case and cast upon the waters. Usually this remarkable mail-packet is picked up on the coast of Norway, to be forwarded later to the Foreign Office. Four packages out of six reach their destination." Pictured here is one such mail boat.
   I'm sure No.6 with his woodworking skill could soon knock one of these mail boats up, seal the letter, photograph, and map in a watertight receptacle, then cast the mail boat into the sea. He could even carve an address on it, to where he wanted the contents delivered, in the hope that someone would find it, much in the same way as the body carrying the message in 'Dance of the Dead,' in the hope that someone would pick up the boat and then pass the contents on. Certainly such a little wooden boat would have a greater success of surviving than a bottle.

Be seeing you

What's That No.6 Up To?

    He came in here for a copy of The Tally Ho, asked for a small notebook, and then asked for all six {I hope there nothing in that} copies of Davier's recording of Bizet's L'arlesienne. I told him they were all the same, but he said he doubted it! So there he is at the record booth listening to the first few seconds of two of the records, no three, what's more he's timing them. Now why would he want to go and do a thing like that? I wonder if, no, well I'm not sure........I suppose he could be jamming, and now I don't know whether to call No.2 or not!
   Don't know what he meant by not being a very good recording, I thought it was excellent! Hello, what's this? He's left his Tally Ho behind. Just a minute, he's written a question mark over the word security..........now I really had better call No.2!

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Caught On Camera!

    Mary Morris "It says here in my script that my carnival character is Robin Hood -woman in tights."
    Norma West "Surely not."
    "Well that's what it says here."
   "Well why don't you ask Pat."
   "I don't like to, he's got a lot on his plate."
   "Well ask him anyway."
   "Shall I?"
   "I would in your place, he's got the script."
   "Pat, it says here in my script that my carnival character is Robin Hood-woman in tights."
   Pat McGoohan ""What about it?"
   Mary Morris "Well I don't think I'm right for the part."
   "Doesn't the costume fit?"
   "Yes."
   Pat McGoohan "Well there you are then. Robin Hood or Peter Pan, it's all the same to me."
The conversation died down to a silence.
   Mary Morris "Then there's this line I have to say Norma - then how very uncomfortable for you old chap."
   Norma West "What's wrong with that?"
   "Bit masculine wouldn't you say?"
   "Perhaps. Ask Pat about it."
   "Should I?"
   "Well he's sat here isn't he, go on, he won't bite."
  "Pat, about this line....."
   McGoohan "What line?"
   "Then how uncomfortable for you old chap."
   "What about it?"
   "It seems,,, a bit masculine. As though it were written for a man."
   "It was, Trevor Howard. He couldn't do it in the end. So we got you for the part instead."
   "Yes, but the line."
   "What's the matter with it?"
   "Well, nothing really. Thinking about it, it works quite well, the sort of thing No.2 would say."
   "What the hell are you going on about then. haven't I got enough to be getting on with. Give me a cigarette."
    Norma West "You've smoked 4 packets already, and we've only been shooting half  the morning!"
   "Shooting? Yes that bloody damned director over there wants shooting!"
Mary Morris "Why, what's Don Chaffey done wrong?"
   "Don, oh I must have been thinking of someone else. Coat hangers!"
   Norma West "What about them?"
   "Symbolic wouldn't you say?"
   "I've never really given them much thought."
   "Fine, that's decided then."
   Mary Morris "What's decided?"
   "We'll get some coat hangers from wardrobe, and go with Peter Pan then."
   Norma West "And I'm little Bo-Peep."
   "Who always knows where to find her sheep!"
   "It's a wonderful costume."
   McGoohan "Well you're alright then. Come on Don, get that bloody scene set up, we're behind time as it is! If you can't get it right I'll do the **!?/" myself!"

BCNU

The Therapy Zone

A Question Of Interpretation
   At her art seminar Madam Professor describes a man sat tearing up a book as "creating a fresh concept. Construction comes out of the ashes of destruction." And then there's a woman standing on her head "She's developing a new perspective." And the man's asleep in the chair simply because "The mind learns only when it wants to."
  Well to me the man's simply tearing up a book, the woman's standing on her head, and the man's asleep in the chair simply because he's tired!
   Well I think this is a case of madam Professor seeing one thing, where the rest of us see something else, much like the Prisoner, its all to do with interpretation.

   Talk about taking advantage of your opportunities! Number Six only called Roland Walter Dutton as a character witness at his trail, because he knew the man was scheduled to die, so knew that whatever Dutton had to say, he had nothing to lose by saying it! Which is all very well, but I wonder what Roland Walter Dutton would have said, had he been able to?

Number 2 - Leo McKern
   A "late" Number 2 looked into the all seeing stainless steel eye and said "Look me in the eye, whoever you are, whatever you are." Well that's all fine and dandy, but which Eye?
   Previously during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ when Number 6 was busy in the woods hollowing out the hull of his boat.
   Number 2 remarked upon the home-made tools "Axe, stone chisels, even these are outside the pale of the law you know, technically speaking." To which Number 6 replied "I'm sure you can wink a blind surveillance eye. "Yes, but which one?
   Because Leo McKern actually has a glass eye. And by the look on Patrick McGoohan's face, I believe he's enjoying a private joke, poking a bit of fun at Leo McKern.

What Will They Do To Me?
   These words might have crossed the Prisoner's mind whilst on his way to meet No.1. Change me utterly, I might even come out as someone quite new, as myself, but who am I? I seem to have spent my whole life being other people; a Priest, an astronaut. Lorry driver, Gypsy, a Secret Agent, an IRA man, Kings and desperate men. But with Prisoner in his end is his beginning. And as for the future, the future which shows every sign as being exactly like his past!

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Village Weekly

      No.6 Wins A Landslide
              Victory!
                     by our own reporter
   No.6 was elected as the new No.2. However it was perhaps the shortest term of office of any No.2, and yet the even newer No.2 didn't last that much longer! That of the former No.58.
    Apparently it was No.2 himself who made the suggestion to No.6 that he might run for public office, stand for election as the new No.2 in fact. But was this a mistake? It might be that No.2 underestimated the popularity of No.6 as a candidate, presenting himself as a fresh face, and running on the "Six for Two, and two for nothing" ticket. He saw that a vote for No.2 would be a vote for the old regime No.2 and the old regime forever! No.6 promised that he would discover who the Prisoners and who the warders. He wanted to see everyone enjoy themselves, and they will. Citizens can take part in the most hazardous sports, and they will whether they like it or not. And the price will be cheap, all everyone has to do is give us information! Isn't that No.6 already talking like No.2, and he hadn't won the election by that time. So in other words if the citizens give him information, and then they will be eligible for promotion to other and perhaps more attractive spheres. He went on to ask where the citizens desired to go, asked what has been their dream, and No.6 said he could supply it!
    No.6 certainly had an enthusiasm that couldn't be denied, and that his promises rang richly in the ears of the
electorate. But No.6 was simply telling the electorate what it was they wanted to hear, and there is no guarantee that those words were his own! However No.6 had been elected by the good citizens of this community, even though some did look upon No.6 with suspicion when the new No.2 was presented to them on the steps of the Town Hall.

   But as it was, as No.6 once said "Everyone votes for a dictator!"
Because in the end the new No.2 turned out to be nothing more than a dictator. His words of being "free, free, free to go, free to go" ringing out all over the Village. But the thing was, no-one was listening! No-one took the least bit of notice of the new No.2's voice, his order. Not one single solitary citizen was interested in being free. Which was just as well, and is a demonstration of the control over the people the Village Administration has, otherwise there would have been a riot, a mad stampede for freedom!
   And so it is, that the Village Administration decided to dispense with democracy in the Village. No such local elections are ever to be held in the Village again, thus preventing prisoners like No.6 from ever again attaining a position in public office!

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