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

Friday, 15 July 2011

The Prisoner - A Form Of Escapism!

    No.6 wants what we all want escape! But I bet he would never have thought that there are those who want to escape to the Village, to have one taken out of oneself, in the name of escapism, even if only visually, not to experience the Village for real. Which is probably just as well, because not many of us would have survived many of the ordeals which the good citizens of the Village are put through each and everyday.
    I believe that there is a reality Prisoner game on the World wide Web, where you can create your own character in the Village, I'm not sure if the reality game still exists or not. But even then it's not the same as experiencing the Village first hand. So we are happy to sit in the comfort of our own home, and watch No.6 being put through the ringer, in the full and happy knwoledge that they are not doing it to us!
    No.6 was brought to the Village because 'they' wanted to know the reason behind his resignation. His predecessor Six, was brought to the Village because Two saw him as being his successor, in wanting to hand over the Village to him. That's perhaps how it could have been in the original series, each No.2 handing over the Village to his or her successor. But in both cases No.6 was seen to have a future with the Village.......I wonder what both their predecessor was like.........well you didn't think that No.6 of the original series was the first did you? After all the Village has been going for a very long time, since the war in fact, possibly before  the war, the only question is, which war!
    I have stayed at Portmeirion. I have followed in No.2's footsteps..........many say they have followed in No.6's footseps, or even those of Patrick McGoohan, but I like to be a little different. And if I was going to be anyone in the Village, it would have to be No.2. But would I be allowed to smoke my pipe? Few, if any people are seen actually smoking in the Village. No.6 is a smoker, yet only once do we see him smoking a cigarette, when he rolls his own cigarette in a cell in the Jailhouse in Living In Harmony. Some fans of the Prisoner believe No.6 rolls his own cigar in that cell in the Jailhouse, but it is a cigarette, because No.6 is using a brown liquorice paper! No,.24-Alison is also a smoker, as is Curtis of The Schizoid Man. Mrs Butterworth smokes Cigarilos which are a cross between a cigarette and a cigar, each comes with it's own holder, but there appears to be no pipe smokers in the Village...........pity.
I'm Piet Hein

Friday, 8 July 2011

Information - Information - Information!

      Information is the most valuable commodity on the planet, well apart from gold, platinum, silver......Information is one of the most valuable commodities on the planet.........there have been situations where a man's life may depend on a mere scrap of information, or money exchanged for the information on a micro film, or micro dot. But that was in the good bad old days of the Cold War...I don't think they use micro dots any more..........................The Village was keen on collecting information, information which was filed away in those grey filing cabinets we see during the opening sequence of the Prisoner. And talking of information, I understand that a Mini Moke used in the Prisoner has been found in my native country the Netherlands. That's really quite incredible. I thought that the Prisoner had no further surprises, that everything had been discoverd about it, with nothing else to find...........But I was wrong, as I would imagine many fans of the series were wrong, and surprised to read about such a discovery. Here is the is Mini Moke.
I can remember a time when the society of Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society would have been the first to report such a discovery, the first to tell the story. But that was in the hayday of the society, which today is a mere shadow of it's former self. And HTL 709C has a story to tell. Of who purchasd it after the conclusion of the production of the Prisoner, and did that person then take it to Holland? Or was it sold a second time before crossing the English Channel? And how did it end up being left in a barn? The word barn suggests a farm, and judging by the state of the vehicle, it could have been used as a farm runabout, before being discarded in some quiet corner of a barn, as suggested by J.P.
But there is the promise of restoring the Mini Moke to it's former glory, and that is very pleasing. This particular Moke appeared in the Prisoner episode Living In Harmony. And perhaps one day, she might see a return to the Village, if indeed she was ever in the Village in the first place, on location I mean. Because when seen complete with her license plate, HLT 709C is being driven into the late 1800's American frontier Town of Harmony on a back lot at the MGM film studio, by No.2, David Bauer.
This is not particularly valuable information, but it is very exciting information to any fan of the Prisoner, reported on the World Wide Web, and probably before Six of One. Certaily it would be reported in their society magazine, but that does not reach the numbered membership it once did. Perhaps they will put it on their website, if they don't, they should do. And that's my point. Six of One once prided itself on gaining such information first, but that was before the advent of the Internet, where information is sent out there by the click of a mouse. And besides, to be able to gain such information, you had to be a member of the society, for such information rarely got out of the society itself. There used to be another society linked to the Prisoner, Once Upon A Time - previously the Sussex Group, a former breakaway group from Six of One. I have no idea if Once Upon A Time still exists today, I know there was a website linked to the society.......................I don't belong to any club or society. But I gain all the information on the matter of the Prisoner I need by a few clicks of a mouse, as do the vast majority of fans all around the wold. Perhaps they will read this piece of blog in the next few days.....I wonder if Patrick McGoohan would have joined a club? Certainly he was the honorary President of Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society, although he never actually contributed anything to that society. I wonder if, after the passing of Patrick McGoohan, Six of One appointed a new honorary President? I shouldn't think so.
I'm Piet Hein.

Friday, 1 July 2011

What's He Banging On About Now?

       Over the years and decades of appreciation, for what is basically a television series that is the Prisoner, one would think, and you would in all probability be right in thinking, that everything that could be written about the series, has by now been written. But you would be wrong, as wrong as I was when only last night I sat watching Arrival. You see I observed something I had not previously noticed, not in all my years of watching the Prisoner television series. What I had observed was this............................. as the Prisoner mounted the steps onto the central Piazza, the Brass Band stand idly by at the Bandstand, yet the music of Strauss' Radetski March still played on! But of course the members of the Village Brass Band never actually played their brass musical intruments. Only the thump, thump, thump, of the big bass drum could be heard banging out across the Village.
    The Village is a place where people turn up. People who know too much, or too little. I find it quite perlexing to think that anyone who knew too little would one day, wake up to find him or herself in the Village.
    And what is it people do with their time, once they've found themselves citizens of the Village - what do they do all day? Well many citizens are found employment, as waiters and waitresses at both the Cafe and at the Old People's Home. There are gardeners, painters, postmen, milkmen. Maids, electricians, Observers, guardians, Adminitrators, members of the Town Council. Window cleaners, doctors and nurses, hospital orderlies, Psychiatrists, scientists. Storekeepers, newspaper reporters and photographers. Refuse collectors, farmers, workers at both the sewage plant and power station, not to mention the water works and reservoir, all without whom the Village would cease to operate.
   But what about those like No.6 who contribute nothing to the Village and it's community, what do they do all day and everyday? Well they can't spend their time ceaslessly trying to escape, because there can only be few ways to attempt an escape. And then once you've found that escape is not possible - well you can keep yourself fit in the gymnasium, fence, shoot, and even box, oh and there's Kosho. Go for a swim in the swimming pool {lido}, go water skiing. Play chess, go for long walks. Paint, draw, even model in clay. There are competitions, the Arts & Crafts Exhibition. The Village Festival, Appreciation Day. Exhibitions of mime, and folk music concerts. Amateur dramatics, a social club. The Cat & Mouse nightclub. The Palace of Fun. You can get yourself a degree in History. Build sandcastles on the beach. Sunbathe, the list of activites is endless.
     So everyone in the Village can either be fully employed, or at the very least, kept busy and entertained. Just the life eh! It's no wonder Thorpe wouldn't have minded a fourtnights leave there. Certainly Thorpe {of Many Happy Returns} would have made a good candidate for No.2, seeing as how he treated his ex-colleague {the prisoner} with scorn and disdain. But whether or not Thorpe is No.2 of Hammer Into Anvil is a matter for the individual. Because as I understand it, Patrick Cragill was of thr opinion that the roles he played, Thorpe and No.2, are supposed to be entirley different characters. Well that's fair enough, but as Thorpe had no real liking for his ex-colleague, perhaps he would have enjoyed having been seconded to the Village, to take up residence as a new No.2, to be given the oportunity to break No.6. Anyway, that's the feeling I get from Thorpe, that he has nothing but contempt for his ex-colleague and the story he has to tell the Colonel about his abduction, and the Village.
I'm Piet Hein