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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Smoking In The Village!

    Although we never really see smoking in The Village, apart from Number 6 trying to smoke a cigar of his favourite brand, the fact that there are some Russian cigarettes in a box, Number 6 lights Alison’s cigarette, and The Man With No Name rolls, and smokes, a cigarette using brown liquorice paper, it must have occurred. When Number 36 attempts to buy a bag of sweets from a kiosk in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ when her weekly credit allowance had been all used up, originally it was a packet of cigarettes she was trying to buy!
   Alison was a smoker and must have bought her cigarettes from either a kiosk, or the General Store, because on the wall just inside the door there is a cigarette machine. And Number 6 was supposed to smoke a particular favourite brand of cigar. Perhaps as being their “prize prisoner,” as Number 2 once described him, they indulged Number 6 by importing his favourite brand of cigar specially for him even though we never see him actually smoking them!

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Village Life!

    “You’re safe protected by the Queen.”
    “What I mean is, you won’t be caught L.B.W like I was yesterday.”
    “Leg before wicket!”

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The Therapy Zone

    Number 6 has escaped The Village by use of a sea-going raft. He struggles with gun runners, and is forced to jump overboard and swim for it, well that’s not the first time he’s had to do that. Then he’s washed ashore, at Beachy Head scales the cliff, and travels inland. He encounters a gypsy camp and it treated not only to a cup of tea or broth, but the first genuine act of kindness since his abduction to The Village.
    Eventually he returns to
London, and does a very stupid thing by leaping out the back of that Luton van and into the busy road of Park Lane. And just because he heard a police siren which is instinctive of an escaped prisoner to run away from the police! But Number 6 gets lucky, and isn’t run down by the passing traffic. He makes his way across London on foot, eventually arriving in Buckingham Place. On the doorstep of what used to be his home, he encounters Martha, a housemaid who looks down her nose that the raggedy man stood making the doorstep look untidy. And has no sympathy for this apparent vagrant! Mrs. Butterworth however is a different matter. She takes pity on this “exile,” and invites him into her home and leads him into the study. After a few moments Mrs. Butterworth  leaves Peter Smith, a name he adopted on the spur of the moment {well I think it was, even after 50 years it’s still uncertain either way, whether Peter Smith is his real name, or that he was simply unwilling to give even that piece of information away} alone in the study. After all that has happened to him since escaping The Village some 25 days ago, he’s still uncertain of his surroundings. Because standing there in that study that was once his own, he could still be in The Village. Perhaps his feeling of uncertainly stems from the fact that once before he was supposed to have returned to London, to find himself in an office he knew very well, only to discover that he had been in The Village all the time. So he looks for reassurances in order to convince him of place of being, the dialling tone of the telephone, the view from the window. The patch of dry rot behind the bureau which he had made good about 6 months ago, and the hot and cold taps of the shower which had been put on the wrong way round........I wonder if that’s how they were fitted to the shower in the bathroom back in his cottage in The Village?
    Mrs. Butterworth said he didn’t need to convince her, but it wasn’t for her benefit, it was Number 6 convincing himself. After all Number 2 and the administration of The Village are damned clever. Everything which had happened to Number 6, between his escaping The Village to arriving back to his former home, could all have been induced to take place purely in his subconscious, and as he stood there in the study he could still have been in The Village for all he knew. But then if it had been that way, what could they possibly have achieved, what did they achieve anyway, except for the teaching Number 6 another lesson! If only Number 6 or Peter Smith, had gone away and forgotten all about it, he might have finished as a free man! But then as the newly retired Number 2 said in ‘It’s Your Funeral,’ “They’ll find me eventually, wherever I go.”

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Tonight I Am Mostly Watching Anvil

    Tonight 'Anvil,' and the question of surveillance. And it would seem that surveillance cameras have taken a big step backwards since the days of the original 'Prisoner' series. Because "Undercovers" have to go and physically install what are called "Roach Cams." And then two "Undercovers" have to sit on places like roof tops, and record the surveillance film footage on a lap top! What's more "Undercovers do not even try to blend in. 909 and Six while working together as "Underovers," go the to swimming pool. They are wearing ordinary clothes, instead of swimming trunks, and they both stick out like sore thumbs!
   We also learn that there is no Number 1. There has never been a Number 1, and there never will be. This according to Village history, as told by schoolgirl 1,100.
   Two offers Six the opportunity to work against him as an “Undercover,” and Six will do anything to work against Two. It is a trap set by Two, but Two wants to see if Six can turn the situation to his own advantage!
   Anvil questions surveillance, which is part of our everyday lives today. No-one knows who is watching who in the Village. "Undercovers" themselves may be under surveillance by other "Undercovers." So much so that everyone in the Village could be watching everyone else, and everyone is suspect!      
    Six is recruited by Two to work as an Undercover, to work with 909 who is Two’s best undercover, he thought Six would have noticed that! Would Six really work for Two? Oh no, no, no, not for him, but for the people he would be watching. Six pronounces so loudly his opposition to Two, his disbelief of everything Two and The Village stands for, people might trust him. Two already has his suspects, and he knows that Six wants to meet with dreamers. So Two offers Six the apparatus and expertise of their highly trained and well financed undercover operations to do just that.
  Six “Why would you give me all that, if it wasn’t a trap?”
  Two “My dear Six, it is a trap. You have such a high opinion of yourself. I wondered if you would be clever enough to turn this opportunity to your own advantage. Still….”
  “Everything you say is a trap. Alright lets do it.”
 Cue opening credits………………..
NER-09 scriptwriter Bill Gallagher employed this idea in the episode ‘Anvil.’ When Six, working undercover as a school teacher, he asks the pupils in his class the oldest question in Village history. 1,100 replies “"There is no Number One. There has never been a Number One, and there never will be." The concept of the Number Two is an act of humility. The title reminds us all that we are all public servants, even Number Two.” As for Number Two, it was Number 2 the 14th who oversaw the reformation of The Village. As for the first woman Number 2, well it wasn’t Lady Two the Great, as suggested by one pupil. I thought it was Mary Morris! But as for there being no Number 1, that that there has never been a Number One, and that there never will be, what about Six being the One, as suggested by Two and proclaimed by both 147 and the people of The Village? Perhaps 1,100 got it wrong, and Six was the first Number 1!

“Breathe in.......breathe out......Village life goes on.”
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Friday, 21 April 2017

Village Sports!

   When Number 6 was standing for election against Number 2, in that speech he gave from the forecastle of the Stone boat he tells the electorate “You can partake in the most hazardous sports and you will,” perhaps Kosho is one such dangerous sport he had in mind. It certainly looks pretty dangerous! I recall when I used a trampoline at school many of my classmates used to have to stand around the trampoline in case if an accident. But it’s not just the danger of falling from one of the trampolines, one could lose ones footing and slip off the top of the wall. There might be a handrail, but the top of the wall has a slope to it. One wrong slip, lose grip of that railing...... And then there’s the water tank. When you have your opponent at your mercy you’re supposed to dunk him into the tank of water. It’s no wonder they have to wear crash helmets, without one you could crack your head open if it hit the side of that tank. Death could be instantaneous! Health and Safety today would have a field day if they saw anyone taking part in this outlandish and dangerous sport!

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There’s Nothing No.6 Cannot Do!

    Thinking about it, Number 6 built himself a sea-going raft, survived 25 days at sea on it, in all elements, spending only 4 hours out of each 24 asleep. And during that time he fought off the two gun runners, and swam the best part of the English Channel! He wasn’t aboard his raft in the English Channel, he was picked up by the gun runners in the Atlantic Ocean. He then jumped overboard and swam for it, towards the light in the distance, which turned out to be the lighthouse at Beachy Head, where Number 6 was washed ashore. So it stands to reason that he swam perhaps the greater part of the English Channel between England and the French coast, depending on where that motor cruiser was in the Channel. The light from the lighthouse can be seen 26 miles out at sea, and it was a small dot of light when first seen. So it’s possible that when Number 6 jumped overboard he was some 20 miles from the south coast of England. Plus the English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. You see there is nothing Number 6 cannot do, as The Girl Who Was Death said “You’re a born survivor!”

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What’s Number Six?

    “What’s number six?” When originally I heard Sir Charles Portland say that I thought what does he know about Number 6? Yet in this instance its a photographic slide he’s talking about, but perhaps in Sir Charles saying those words they are designed to put the viewer on the alert, to expect a little more than just a change in photographic slide! It could be one of those “in jokes” Patrick McGoohan wasn’t so terribly keen on, unless it was one of his! After all its a bit of a coincidence that Sir Charles should say those exact words “What’s number six,” when the main character’s number in ‘the Prisoner’ is Number 6. But in that may lie the design. If Sir Charles had said “What’s number eleven, or what Number twenty three” any number other than 6 it wouldn’t have been so noticeable.
   Did Sir Charles know of The Village, and if he did did he know his future son-in-law had been abducted there? If not then he was telling his daughter the truth, and yet even after 50 years its still not clear either way. Don’t forget ZM73 had handed in his letter of resignation, but his fiancee Janet Portland was still under the impression that her finace was still working for her father. So her fiance had not informed her of his decision to resign his position in her father’s department, and if Sir Charles was aware he certainly kept it to himself! And if he didn’t know, then either the Colonel or that bureauocrat to whom ZM73 had handed in his letter of resignation, had not passed it on. And yet that cannot be right, as the two previous Colonels knew of their ex-colleagues resignation, one even attempted to extract the reason behind it from Number 6 during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben.’ Oh well it is ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ after all.
    But I digress, what’s Number 6? It’s a badly under-developed picture of Doctor Seltzman!

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