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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Citizen 51

    Number 51 is a watchmaker and it’s quite possible that that is precisely why he was brought to The Village. For that reason and that reason alone. Possibly he went to The Village of his own free will. However by the time he found out what it was like, there was no leaving The Village, he had effectively become a prisoner, without having had committed a crime. Judging by his accent it’s possible that he was either Austrian, or of Swiss nationality, and may have at one time been employed by a watch making company in Switzerland. He might well have carried out the work on that wristwatch in ‘Arrival,’ the Electro Pass!
   Number 50 {Monique} is his daughter, but she does not have the same accent as her father, so its quite on the cards that Number 51’s daughter was born in The Village. That in turn would suggest that the Watchmaker arrived in The Village with his wife. But there is no sign of 51’s wife, only his daughter, so perhaps Number 51 is a widower and relied upon his daughter to look after him.

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Caught On Camera!

   Observe if you will the mouth to a tunnel, circled in red in the picture, and seen in the enlarged section, which has been bored into the cliff. Is this a link leading into the countryside? A possible way of escape, like the tunnel in ‘Fall Out?’ Or is it more likely a boathouse built into the cliff, where the motor cruiser M.S. Polotska is moored when not in use? If it is, I can see one huge disadvantage to that, when the tide is out, and at certain times of the year that could have lasted for days on end, so the crew of the motor cruiser would find it impossible to put to sea!

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The First Cut

    ‘Arrival’ was originally to have been ninety minutes in length, which means 40 minutes of film, and original unwanted scenes, ended up on the cutting room floor. Well, not all of it apparently. Take the episode of ‘Its Your Funeral’ for example. Number 2-the heir presumptive and Number 100 are awaiting a visit from No.6, who is about to warn Number 2-the heir presumptive of an assassination plot against him.
    Number 6 leaves the Watchmaker’s shop, and makes his way along a cobbled path, through an archway, crossing the chess lawn he goes up the steps and across the central piazza. In this scene Number 6 can clearly be seen wearing the charcoal grey suit he wore in ‘Arrival.’ And so clearly this scene was cut from the opening sequence of ‘Arrival,’ because it is clearly obvious that in ‘Its Your Funeral’ Number 6, wearing his arrival suit is on his way to the cafe, not the Green Dome!
   And also in the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ Patrick McGoohan is in this episode more than you first might imagine. The Prisoner can be seen driving his Lotus 7 through London on his way to his home in Buckingham Place - more cut film footage from ‘Arrival's’ opening sequence, kept and later used as stock footage in ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ which gives the impression that you’re watching the opening sequence again, twice for the same episode!
    ‘Fall Out’ also contains stock film footage from ‘Arrival's’ opening sequence. After the Prisoner drives away from No.1 Buckingham Place, the Lotus 7 is seen turning onto Mill Bank from Westminster Bridge, passed the Houses of Parliament, and so it is quite clear that the Prisoner is driving towards the turn off to
Abingdon Street car park, as he does in the opening sequence of ‘Arrival.’
   Had all the extra stock film footage had been used, it would have made the opening sequence extremely long……too long! 

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Friday, 13 January 2017

A Favourite Scene - When No.6 Isn't So Full of Himself!

    In ‘A Change of Mind’ when Number 6 returns to him gymnastic apparatus, even though he has avoided two further doses of the sedative Mytol, he’s still not feeling quite himself. He pulls the climbing rope, looks up at the high bar, and for a moment thinks about jumping up but doesn’t. Then he turns his attention to the punch bag. Clenching his fist he makes to punch the bag…..but he can’t. Number 6 has had all the aggression taken out of him, he’s not so full of himself, not so much punch in him this time. Number 10 and Number 16 are back to pick another fight with Number 6. The first time he vanquished the pair, now they have returned to seek their revenge on a more placid Number 6. But even then they are not up to the mark, vanquished for a second time, and left lying unconscious on the forest floor, Number 6 is now like his old aggressive self once more.
   Still in the woods, Number 6 comes across Number 86 who is picking flowers. 86 has to report to Number 2, she wants to make him happy. She also claims to be higher than Number 2, that’s probably the Mytol talking! Anyway she has to report, but first Number 6 has something to show 86…………his wristwatch! I used to think that the watch Number 6 uses to hypnotize Number 86 with was the
Electro Pass given to him by Number 9 in ‘Arrival.’ But that was a Hamilton automatic, Number 6’s wristwatch in this case is a Tissot. Hypnotism, is there nothing Number 6 cannot turn his hand to? Mind you the sedated state of Number 86’s mind did make the task that more easier for him!

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Living In Harmony!

    As a general rule, they do say that a murderer always returns to the scene of his crime. But I don’t know the ruling on a murderer returning to the scene before the crime has actually been committed! So it may be wondered that they would say in this particular instance, yes an act of murder was committed in the Silver Dollar Saloon, the perpetrator was the Kid a psychotic gunslinger, the victim Cathy a saloon who was strangled to death. But the murder never physically took place, it wasn’t real, although to Cathy it might have seemed perfectly real at the time. Because some time later, Number 22 {Cathy} returned to the scene where she had been strangled to death by the Kid {Number 8} in the Silver Dollar Saloon. But Number 8 {the Kid} was already there waiting for her, such was his obsession with Cathy that he carried out the murder for real, and strangled Number 22 to death with his bare hands.

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Bureau of Visual Records

    It seems to me that this Undertaker is in the right place, but at the wrong time, because this image is taken from ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’ and not the opening sequence to ‘the Prisoner.’
   The Colonel has just parked his Lotus 7 outside number
1 Buckingham Place, and has gone inside. However that is not the man the Undertakers followed from the car park and through the streets of London. Not the man we see driving the Lotus, or the man they expected. Hence the Undertaker referring to his instructions, possibly to a description of the man they were supposed to abduct, or making sure he has the right address!
   Doesn’t the Undertaker realize that we’ve been here before, that they have already abducted the man living at
1 Buckingham Place? This isn’t the opening sequence to ‘the Prisoner,’ not even the opening of ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ seeing that at this moment we are 22 minutes 11 seconds into the episode. And yet we have seemed to witnessed the opening sequence all over again within the episode itself. The reason for that is because much of the scene from the car park to this moment, a full 2 minutes and 9 seconds, contains too much film stock footage from the opening sequence to the series with Patrick McGoohan behind the wheel of the Lotus 7! Unless of course they are about to abduct the Colonel, in which case going by appearances they have the wrong man!

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The Therapy Zone

    It’s been a long time since I last portrayed Number 6. That was during a performance at the 100 Club on Oxford Street London back in 2000, with Ed Ball and The Times for the set of the song ‘I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape.’ I forget just how it came to mind, perhaps  in conversation, or it might have been in discussion about re-enactments at the Prisoner Conventions. I was reminiscing about the re-enactment of the Appreciation Day ceremony. I said I’m too old now to play Number 6 again being in my early 60’s. I was told that I wasn’t too old for the role. And of course thinking about it rationally, bringing a touch of realism to ‘the Prisoner,’ I’m not. Because if Number 6 were still alive today he would be in his eighties, and that would make me twenty years younger. When I portrayed Number 6 in a re-enactment at a Prisoner Convention in 1994 I was 38 years of age, precisely the right age, the same age Number 6 was when he was abducted to The Village. So really I’m not too old to play the Prisoner again, not that the chance is ever likely to arise, I’m certainly not expecting it to. But of course it would be a different Number 6, still defiant, but too old for escape. After all, if he failed to escape The Village during the past 50 years, he’s not likely to be able to escape it now. What’s more it’s highly likely that he would have had to give up his cottage, to reside in the Old People’s Home, I bet that wouldn’t have gone down well with our old friend Number 6!

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