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

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