Sunday, 27 November 2011

Information And Observations

      No.2 really jumped the gun when he asked No.6 why he resigned. The trouble was you see, No.6 had been regressed back to his childhood, and when No.2 put the question to No.6 "Why did you resign?" the boy No.6 had only just graduated from school, and hadn't done anything at all. In fact the boy No.6 was some years off from resigning his job!
    Peculiar is it not, how much sunglasses are made of in the village, all of different kinds, as you can observe for yourselves. But even more peculiar is the use of  tinted "safety glasses" worn by "Top Hat" administration officials, and some technicians. These "safety glasses" are even worn in the corridors of power of the Town Hall during that episode of The General. No.2 even wears safety glasses over his spectacles!
    The Kid in Living In Harmony is the fastest on the draw the Judge has ever seen. The trouble with the Kid is, that he has to keep proving it. Where as, the stranger, the man with no name - doesn't!
   The Kid may have out drawn the man with no name in that gun fight, but it was the man with no name who fired first!
   Will, who was gunned down by the Kid in the Silver Dollar Saloon, was a rancher, not a gun slinger. Oh he wore a hand gun, but the most he would have used his hand gun for would be to scare off Coyotes and the like, or to knock a nail into a fence post with the butt of the gun. But kill a man, no. Unless it was someone rustling his cattle!
    The Judge in Living In Harmony somehow puts me in mind of Judge Roy Bean. Well Judge Roy Bean had a thing about Lilly Langtry, and there's a picture of Lilly Langtry hanging on the wall in the Silver Dollar saloon. Not conclusive by any means, but just an observation.
    It's the allegorical which make the simplicity of the Prisoner so difficult for many to understand!
    A friend of mine would call it inexplicable, the way in which the members of the Committee of A Change of Mind, vacate the council chamber so instantly the lights are turned off and back on again in an instant! Perhaps the phrase is "the Butler did it" after all he was present in the council chamber at the time, and I don't know why that was either!
    And that cave with Rover in Free For All. Those men sat around wearing tinted "safety glasses" as Rover pulsates away, what is that all about? Perhaps Rover is indoctrinating them for something, who can say, certainly not I.
   And it's strange how that cave came to be, just off the Green Dome, and connected via a revolving wall and single steel door. Another one of those inexplicable moments of the Prisoner which will never be explained, and one which we simply have to accept, and put it in a box along with all the others.
    To end on a note of technology, in the episode of A B & C, we see that three reels of film are used. One is film footage of one of Engadines celebrated party's in Paris. The second is of A, the third is B. Now there is nothing remarkable about the film footage itself, but what about that film cassette? Film is shown reel to reel, as indeed are video cassettes, and music cassettes for that matter. But the three red cassettes containing the film footage are but one single film reel. So explain to me, any of you technoids out there, just how a single film reel cassette, like the ones we see in A B & C ,work.

I'm Piet Hein

Saturday, 29 October 2011

"All That Can Be Written About The Prisoner Has Been Written"

    Now that title is one hell of a statement to make, but it was made by one 'DL' several years back now, in another decade, another century in fact. But that was before new discoveries were made about the series by one David Stimpson, who for the time being is keeping those fresh discoveries to himself, and I can't say as I blame him. I can only hope that he gets around to having those new dicoveries published soon, as I'm aware of a large number of fans of the Prisoner who are waiting to read them.
    But there is another aspect to the Prisoner, questions which defy explanation, questions which will never be answered, no matter how much in-depth research is carried out into the subject. Questions which will forever remain a mystery. For example, that cave in Free For All, no not the Therapy Zone, the one in which No.6 stumbles into through that open steel door, which in turn is revealed by a revolving inner wall of the Green Dome. And just what are those men doing sitting round a "pulsating" Village Guardian, what is 'it' up to? And looking round the exterior of the Green Dome, just where is that cave situated?
    In a different situation, we have a retiring No.2 who is escaping the Village by helicopter. The question is, why does the helicopter turn back towrds the Village? Was it on order of the Supervisor in the Control Room? Or was it a voluntary action on the part of the ex-No.2 to have the helicopter pilot take him back to the Village? In a similar situation, we have Professor Jacob Seltzman escaping the Village by helicopter. Why doesn't No.2 act, and give the order that the helicopter pilot is to return his passenger to the Village? What's more, how does the Colonel know about No.1? Surely he could be a traitor, as one of  his predecessors, the Colonel of Many Happy Returns doesn't appear to know anything of the Village, or at least he feigns not to know what his ex-colleague is talking about! We can never be sure you see, that's the problem, and also what keeps us interested. It's not what we know, its what we don't know, and that leaves room for plenty more to write about the Prisoner. And scope, there is still scope to make more deductions, to theorise, debate, and to discover. I mean why does one man need such a large house as 1 Buckingham Place? Surely a single man would live in a flat! Who was living in that house at the time of filming the Prisoner? Who decided that that was the house for the Prisoner in the first place, is its location important to the character? Questions you see, but I don't have the answers!
I'm Piet Hein

Saturday, 22 October 2011


    It was once said of the Prisoner, that everything that can be written about the series, has been written. Well I'm not so sure about that, not even after these past fourty-four years. But it would seem that everything that has been written about THEPRIS6NER has been written, and perhaps even forgotten about. Because the 2009 series does appear to have been forgotten by the majority. So I thought it high time they were reminded, and perhaps might revisit the series, or if they failed to give THEPRIS6NER a fair trial, they might be tempted to give him a second chance. So here is the first in a series of articles which I wrote at the time of the British premier of THEPRISONER09.
I'm Piet Hein

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Death Is An Escape!

    The Village has two cemetaries, one on the beach, that can't be real, can it? The other is somewhere in the woods, yet there is no church in the Village! What's more there is no priest presiding over Cobb's funeral, just an Undertaker and a group of professional mourners, professional mourners because they could not all have possibly known Cobb, not like No.9 claimed to have done. In any case Cobb wasn't really dead. He hadn't really jumped out of that hospital window, that was just for the Prisoner's benefit. So that to the Prisoner, Cobb would be dead, much in the same way that to the rest of the world in Dance of the Dead No.6 would be dead!
    There being no body in the coffin at Cobb's funeral, makes me wonder if anyone is buried in that graveyard down on the beach at all! Because the sea comes in right up to the base of the cliffs. The sands move, and the waves wash away.
   It was said of Cobb, by a hospital orderly, that he jumped out of a window having committed suicide. If Cobb had, who would not be the last, for Nadia Rakovski-No.8 was questioned about whether she was attempting suicide during The Chimes of Big Ben, and tried it again by electrocution in the Interrogation Room that time.
   No.73 was another, but she did jump through a hospital window, but it was not the first time she had attempted suicide. 73 had tried that earlier by slashing her wrists! I don't know why 73 jumped through that hospital window. True No.2 had threatened her, he even approached her bed, but he had not physically harmed 73. In fact if you watch the film of that scene in Hammer Into Anvil, 73 doesn't throw herself out of the hospital window until No.6 suddenly bursts in on the scene! So the question is, who was it who put that bunch of daffodils on 73's grave? Surely Not No.6, but then who else was there in the Village who was close to 73 to have done it, her husband perhaps? No, he was still somewhere over there! Perhaps it was No.6 who laid flowers on 73's grave, who no doubt regretted her death, and possibly seeing seen himself as some sort of avenging Angel!

    The Rook in Checkmate saw death as being an escape. 'One day I'll die and beat you all' he told No.6. this idea is played out in THEPRIS6NER09, where suffering a Village death does mean escape, escape to that 'other place,' their former lives outside the Village. For people like 455, 909, 832, and 415 it means back to their life in New York. But what of the 'old man' 93, who suffers a Village death in Arrival? The Prisoner buries the old man whom he encounters in the first few minutes of Arrival in THEPRIS6NER09, and after the old man dies the Prisoner buries the body somewhere out there in the desert, or does he? Later in Arrival, a funeral is held for the old man 93, Two claiming that 93's body has been found, which is something Six refutes, having supposedly buried 93's body in the desert. But he didn't you see, because like at Cobb's funeral before him, 93's coffin is empty. 93, who is a representation of, if not actually the former No.6, suffered a Village death. The only question remains, to which former life did he return? To that in London as the Prisoner, or that of the former Village as No.6?
I'm Piet Hein

Friday, 19 August 2011

Where Do Your Sympathies Lie?

    Well I felt sorry for No.2 of A B & C, it wasn't his fault that No.14's drugged failed, it was hers, and perhaps that's where the Doctor-No.14's sympathies lay, with her patient No.6. After all, if she had told No.2 that No.6, while lying on the operating table, had opened his eyes and seen No.14, putting her on the wall screen, then the out-come might have been very different. In fact at the end No.14 seemed pleased that No.6 had succeeded!
    We don't see No.14 again, well not in the form of the doctor at least, but we do see No.2 again, when he's given a second term of office. Perhaps because it was seen not to be all his fault the failure of A B & C, and seeing as how with the General and Speedlearn, No.2 would not have direct contact with No.6, then he could not fail this second time. Well perhaps he would not have done, had it not been for No.6 poking his nose in where it wasn't wanted! In the end The General could not have been a worse disaster if it had tried. The discovery of a possible traitor in the Village. The destruction of a super computer. The death of the Professor, and that of No.12, although I'm not sure if No.12 was trying to be a hero in attempting to save the Professor's life, or clung onto the Professor in an act of suicide! Which do you think it was?
    There has always been a question hanging over the two episodes of A B & C and The General, the question of which of the episodes is suppose to appear before the other in the screening order of the Prisoner? During the opening sequnce of The General we hear No.2's voice in the opening dialogue tell the Prisoner 'I am the new Number Two,' which would suggest that the General does predate A B & C in the screening order, because in the opening dialogue No.2 tells the Prisoner 'I am Number Two.' meaning that he's been in the Village before. Yet in The General No.2 tells Madam Profssor that he and No.6 are old friends, suggesting that they have met before in the Village, putting The General before A B & C in the screening order.
    Am I sympathetic towards No.6's confinement in the Village? Well not really, because No.6 is too good to be true. He doesn't bend, not even a little, and if you don't bend, even ever so slightly, you'll break. But No.6 doesn't show any signs of breaking, well perhaps once did he show such a sign, towards the end of that episode with The Schizoid Man. But I found the way in which No.6 returned to his old self, via the short circuiting table lamp, a little too easy for me. All that conditioning carried out on No.6, so ealily undone, no I don't go for that myself. I know that's what happened in the episode, but I still don't have to accept it!
   Then one minute No.6 doesn't give a fig about the good citizens in the Village, as he likes to mind his own business, and expects other to mind theirs. He also prefers his own company to that of others, which is anti-social. Then before you know where we are, No.6 is coming to the rescue of the citizens of the Village, by stopping the assassination/execution of the retiring No.2 in It's Your Funeral, he wasn't minding his own business then was he? And so by the time of the next episode A Change of Mind, No.6 is back to his old self again, minding his own business, keeping himself to himself, none of which actually makes any sense!
   I don't like No.6. He uses people, gets what he wants from them, like Nadia-No.8. I'm not sure if he would even make a good next door neighbour!
I'm Piet Hein

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Who Is Flajack Charlie?

   Just who is Flapjack Charlie? Well obviously he's Curtis-No.12. During his conditioning No.6 states that flapjacks are his favourite dish. Well I can tell you this much, those which No.6 tucks into during his conditioning are not flapjacks, they are pancakes! Flapjacks are flat biscuits, what No.6 eats are pancakes made from batter cooked in a frying pan, and here in England are tossed in the frying pan on Shrove Tuesday!
   So did Curtis undergo plastic surgery? If he did it was very good. Other than that he would have to be an exact look-a-like for No.6, which he might have been, as we all have our doppleganger. It has also been suggested in the past by fans of the Prisoner that Curtis might have been a clone of No.6. But then such a contingency would have had to have been carried out at birth. Because a clone would first have had to have been created, then be allowed to grow and develop like any other human being. You just can't clone someone as an exact double of someone aged 38, it doesn't work like that, only in films. I recall how in The Boys From Brazil doctor Joseph Mengele tries to ressurrect Adolf Hitler through creating a number of clones. A number of boys are born, but only one of cloned boys has the traits of Adolf Hitler, and he turns the dogs on Mengele. So you see it would have had to have been a long process for the Village to have created a clone of No.6, it would have taken 38 years to get an exact double for No.6!
    On another matter, do you know how many No.2's actually took up office in the Prisoner? 32, and that includes No.6 being elected as the new No.2 in Free For All, along with each of the sub-divided No.2's of the Town Council! Is that what happens to past No.2's I wonder, they end up as brainwashed imbiciles, standing on the Town Council? If so No.6 had a lucky escape!
    Fans of the Prisoner have often asked the question, what if Clough Williams-Ellis of Portmeirion said no, you can't film here? In other words, what if Portmeirion was not available, for whatever reason? Perhaps somewhere different. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere exotic.................yes, a Butlins Holiday Camp, that's where! Certainly somewhere different. Yet not so quiet, and definately not in the least bit exotic! And that's official from a member of the production crew at the time.
    In the Cat & Mouse nighclub only non-alchoholic Gin, Whisky, and Vodka are sold. They look the same, taste the same. So the Village is teetotal, with a law of prohibition. And the Cat & Mouse nightclub a Temperance bar, serving only non-alcoholioc drinks. But no non-alcoholic beer or wines? Even Temperance bars had a drink which looked like a beer, made from a cordial, with raisins, and a secret ingrediant. It looked like a dark beer with a head on it. Me, I'll have a double, with no ice or water!
I'm Piet Hein

Friday, 29 July 2011

Map Of Your Village

   I have been making study of the Map of Your Village, as used in the 1960's television series the Prisoner, and I've noticed one or two things that do not quite sit right. Firstly the hospital, one of the most important buildings in the Village does not appear on any Map of Your Village! Yet, a building, which as far as I can tell is never used, that of the Palace of Fun, is marked on the map! Also, the Recreation Hall used in both episodes of The Chimes of Big Ben and The Schizoid Man is also not on the map. Could it be that the Recreation Hall stands in for what would have been the Palace of Fun - a place where you could gamble in the Casino, put on Amateur dramatics, musical concerts, exhibitions, and entertainment of all kinds - a place where citizens can go and enjoy themselves, that's according to the original brief on the Village.

    What's more, on the black and white map, none of the buildings are denoted by script, only on the colour map, which is technically no more detailed, yet larger and much more expensive. I have observed, in the past, how a black and white map has been reproduced which has text denoting all the major building in the Village. This is a mistake, and not accurate. In more recent years two attempts have been made to reproduce the colour Map of Your Village, once by one Roger Langely, and the second for the Prisoner part-work produced by De Agostini in 2004, a copy of both dwells within my collection. I much perfer the De Agostini Map of Your Village, because it's not been done in water colour like Langley's, who on the back of his map reproduction goes into great deal in describing just how he produced his Map of Your Village, which I have to say I found to be most tedious, and could see no reason for it. Best would it have been to just leave the back of the map blank, as in with the original.
   Back in the 1980's, when I first stayed as a guest at Portmeirion, I purchased a map of Your Village, a black and white one, which bore some resemblence to Portmeirion in some areas. On the back of that black and white map, is an ordinance survey map of the woodland area of Portmeirion which is very accurate indeed.
I'm Piet Hein