Day: April 21, 2018

The Prisoner – tape 1403

Here’s some more episodes of The Prisoner. First, The Schizoid Man. It’s an evil twin episode. Number six wakes up with a moustache, and the new Number Two tells him he’s Number 12 and is there to confuse the real Number Six into breaking. Possibly. Frankly I haven’t got a clue whats going on.

Neither has Number Six, which is obviously the intention. There’s a nice beat where he works out he must have been being brainwashed for a long time because of the position of a bruise on his fingernail.

This reminds me of a similar moment in Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge where our hero has a traumatic experience in custody, and is told that he was unconscious for months, but he realises they must be lying because he still has a hangnail he’d bitten just before the experience.

In this episode, the part of Number Two is played by Anton Rodgers. I really can’t reconcile him with the Anton Rodgers in Fresh Fields. He looks like a different person. Perhaps he’s an evil twin too.

The next episode is The General. Number Six appears to be being watched by Christopher Nolan.

There’s a speed learning course, run by The Professor, which promises a three year course of learning in three minutes.

The eponymous General turns out to be a supercomputer (well, a 60s supercomputer). And like all 60s supercomputers, it’s defeated by Number Six asking it an insoluble question: Why? At which point it blows up.

The next episode is Many Happy Returns. Number Six wakes up to find the village deserted, with absolutely nobody around. He gets busy with an axe.

After a trip on his raft, then commandeering a boat, then getting to shore and climbing in the back of a lorry, he actually makes it back to London – Marble Arch to be precise.

He makes his way to his house, to find a woman living there, and driving his car.

She’s remarkably helpful, giving him a change of clothes and even letting him borrow the car. He drives back to his old spy headquarters. There he tries to persuade his superiors of where he has been. They are Donald Sinden.

And Patrick Cargill.

He persuades them he’s telling the truth, and embarks on a surveillance mission in a jet, flying over the rough area he estimated the village to be. But of course, the pilot is in on it, and pulls the ejector seat when he’s over the village, so he’s back there. And look who’s there to greet him with a birthday cake.

The last episode on this tape is Dance of the Dead. Number Two is played by Mary Morris.

There’s a body washed up on the beach.

There’s a typically outlandish trial. This is part of the show I found a bit tiresome. Dressing up for its own sake.

Aubrey Morris plays one of the trial judges.

After this, recording continues with an episode of The Steve Allen Show. There’s an introduction by the modern day Steve.

Guests include Jane Russell. Allen’s introduction is extremely disparaging about her although probably not intentionally. He describes her as an example of “a young woman who does not have any serious claim to be an actress but gets by really on her physical charms.” Ugh.

Also on the programme is Jerry Lee Lewis.

The tape ends just after this programme.

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