Thursday, 30 June 2011
The meeting continued through the evening, talking about all things Prisoner, at one point discussing our favourite episodes, and those which were not so favourite. In fact we both came to the same conclusion, that the Prisoner would have been better if the series had stopped at seven episodes! Tommy remarked that originally there was to have been twenty-six or even thirty-six episodes for the series. I said they struggled to produce seventeen, so what price all those others? No price at all!
Then we came to No.2, who was the best and worst. We both agreed that lLo McKern made the best No.2, and that perhaps that Clifford Evans or David Bauer made the worst No.2. Tommy said that he felt sorry for No.2 of Hammer Into Anvil, after all had he trusted in those about him more, then No.6 would never have got the upper hand, and put the question of what might have happened to that particular No.2? I said that it seems likely to me, that No.2 having reported the breakdown in control, in all probability, spent the rest of his life in the psychiatric ward of the hospital, before being retired into the Old People's Home!
I'm Johnny Prisoner
Thursday, 23 June 2011
The nastiest, possibly scariest Number Two in the Prisoner, was played by John Sharp. When Number Two said to Number Six I'm not angry with you dear friend. That is just the way things seem to be to you, because your new world is so quiet by contrast, the way Number Two whispers those words to Number Six always sends a chill down my spine.
I suppose that there could be the chance that the first Number Two could be Colonel Ross from the film The Ipcress File, highly unlikely of course, but possible. After all Guy Doleman does play the two roles in much the same way. Well he did until he got kicked off the production of Arrival........well that's why you don't see the face of Number Two, hidden behind the loud-hailer when Number Two is directing the Prisoner to the labour exchange, it's because it's not Guy Dolman!
Anyway, I can't sit here all day typing words to you like this. I have things to do, places to be, and people to see. Because next Tuesday is the last Tuesday in the month, and that means a meeting of The Prisoner Local Group at the Goat And Compasses public house to start organising. There are just two members of the group, myself and Tommy Moke. I suggested to Tommy that we hold a marathon screening of the 2009 series of THEPRIS6NER, like we did last year for the original series. But Tommy isn't interested in the new series. I think he was disappointed in the fact that it wasn't filmed at Portmeirion, plus the fact that Patrick McGoohan had had nothing to do with it. I bet Tommy, and all the other fans of the original series would have been all over THEPRIS6NER had Patrick McGoohan been in it, and praising it to high heaven. I found THEPRIS6NER a real breath of fresh air. Just like the music video by Sophia Cacciola, have you seen it? I found it awesome, and brilliantly filmed, and executed. I was pleased not to see Portmeirion in the music video, filmed as it was in Boston, and around New England. All the detail that Sophia, her band Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling had put into the video, it's quite astounding really. And to achieve a shot by shot replica opening sequence to the Prisoner, is quite marvellous to see. And you can see it, by clicking on the link below. Then you can compare the music video 'Episode 1 Arrival' to the opening sequence to the Prisoner. It's great!
I'm Johnny Prisoner
Thursday, 16 June 2011
So I settled myself into my self-catering cottage, prepared to be a prisoner for one teeny weeny week! And as I began to explore the Village in ernest the next day, following in Patrick McGoohan's footsteps for the very first time. But I found much of the Village seen in the Prisoner, not to exist at Portmeirion. Especially what we see in The General, Hammer Into Anvil, and It's Your Funeral.
I quickly found out that rushing about, trying to see everything in Portmeirion at the same time, doesn't work. You have to sit down and just look, drinking the whole atmosphere from a bench. And on Sundays, there's the Brass Band Concert to attend, the Band even played the Prisoner theme music, very atmospheric.
Oh I was dressed in full Village attire. Turtle neck jersey. Beige trousers, deck shoes, and piped blazer. No.6's house being the Prisoner shop run by Max Hora at the time, whom I had met the previous day. But the next day, when I went to purchase merchandise, I found the Prisoner shop to be closed!!! I looked at my watch, the time was ten thirty, and the Prisoner shop, as I was to learn, didn't actually open until after eleven O'clock!!! I've known people go to Portmeirion for just a few hours, as part of their holiday in North Wales, only to arrive and find the Prisoner shop to be closed. And having only a few hours in the Village, they leave never having been able to step one foot in the Prisoner shop, and having left disappointed!!! Then again the shop can be closed for five minutes, when that happens, there's a scribbled note on a Prisoner shop paper bag, stuck on the shop door. Well there was in those days.
But boy oh boy, when the shop was open, and you stood there in what was the Prisoners house, for the very first time, it was quite amazing. And to be in the Prisoner shop, always well stocked with all mammer of merchandise connected with the series, and I bought something of each item, to take home with me after my holiday.
There's a quirkiness about Portmeirion, with it's arches which you can only just walk through, even though from afar they look huge. And the Fire Station, marked on a pair of doors. There is no Fire Station, because it is just as you see it, two doors marked Fire Staion in red lettering on two doors simply attached to the wall of the Hercules Hall.
I would go running about on the beach shouting 'I am not a number. I am a free man.' And go in search of the cave of the Therapy Zone. There is a cave, just round the headland from where the graveyard in on the beach in Arrival, the lighthouse on the headland, there's no bell, there's no light!! But there is a small cave, in the cove where No.6 found that body washed up on the beach in Dance of the Dead.
I used to got to Portmeirion at least twice a year. Once for a holiday, and again for the Prisoner convention held there annually. And there would also be the occasional day visit. It was always like coming home, going to Portmeirion. and when I arrived there, it felt as though I had never been away. A real home from home.
Have I been back to Portmeirion in recent years? No. I have to say I haven't. Why? Well, it' not the same somehow. The last time I was in Portmeirion, was when I was getting ready to leave Six of One: The Prisoner Appreciation Society, and somehow things there didn't feel the same. I suppose in my early days of visits to Portmeirion, it was like going there on a pilgrimage. Oh I still hold Portmeirion in my heart, and have many happy memories of my times there. These days I'm no longer the Pilgrim that I once was. Besides which Portmeirion has been 'messed about with,' and is no longer, for me, the place it once was. Besides it's so damned expensive to actually stay there now, and my purse in not as full as it once was.
I'm Johnny Prisoner
Thursday, 9 June 2011
On his arrival home, and finding soeme woman now in possession of his car, he wanted to ask her a few questions about it, this in order to prove that it was actually his car, and that he had built it with his own hands. What's the number of that car? he asked Mrs Butterworth, and told her KAR 120C. Well that's an easy one, after all he'd just stood there and watched Mrs Butterworth drive up and park outside 1 Buckingham Place. What's the engine number? The Prisoner then told her 461034TZ. The Prisoner then went on to explain that he knew every nut, bolt, and cog, because he had built the Lotus 7 with his own hands. And this demonstrates two things. Firstly that the Prisoner had purchased the Lotus seven in kit-car form, and that he is an accomplished motor mechanic. And thirdly, having built the Lotus kit-car the Prisoner would have had to have known every nut, bolt, and cog, and have to have the all the receipts to prove it, in order for the car to have a "year" license plate, otherwise it would have been registered as "Q" instead of "C", as "Q" denotes a year which cannot be proved. Then the Prisoner would have had to present the built Lotus for a road worthiness inspection, by some official inspector, possibly from the Department of Transport, but don't quote me on that.
How long does it take to build a Lotus/Caterham Seven? Well a pal of a chum of mine built his Caterham Seven kit-car over a weekend, that does not include the spraying of the body-work. I think he sold it in the end. Well the Caterham Seven, formerly the Lotus 7, is a car for the purist, the wind in your hair, the rain on your cheek, the freedom of the open road and all that. There's no radio, not heater, but then you can't drive the 7 in the winter anyway. My pal, of a chum of mine, had to garage his Caterham Seven during the winter months, so having a heater wasn't really a problem!
One time, I was taken for a long ride in a Caterham Seven..........I remember I had a problem in keeping my eyes open against the wind, and it was bloody cold I can tell you. What's more, I can see why a tall man like Patrick McGoohan would have to lean out of the side of his Lotus 7 in order to see the road ahead, as he does in Many Happy Returns. A man over six foot like McGoohan, would have the top of the windscreen at eye-level!
I'm Johnny Prisoner
Thursday, 2 June 2011
I suppose you could call the stranger on the right the Man With No Name, because if he has a name no-one ever uses it throughout the entire series of the Prisoner, although in his time he has been known as Duval, Schmit. ZM73, and he once called himself Peter Smith, and the Colonel in Many Happy Returns called him Number Six, to which the Prisoner took great offence! So, in the Village he goes by the name of Number Six. Yet in Living In Harmony even this name is taken away from him, and truly becomes the Man With No Name , a 'drifter,' a 'high plains' drifter!
But before this Man With No Name became a drifter, he was a Town Sheriff of an American Wild west frontier Town in the late 1800's. It was a job from which he resigned, no letter of resignation, but simply signified by the handing in of both his badge and his gun. But why did he resign? A town Sheriff is open to many dangers as he tries to keep the peace. There might be a gang come riding into town, say the James gang, the Dalton boys, the Youngers, or the Clanton gangs, to rob the Bank. And the Sheriff would have to try and stop them, and if he couldn't, then he'd have to form a possy and go after the Bank robbers. A Sheriff, worth his salt, would have to be fast on the draw, otherwise he wouldn't last very long. But then the faster on the draw the Sheriff became, so much greater his reputation, and that in turn would attract every gunslinger out to make a reputation for himself to Town. And each time the Sherrif, who got paid very little, would have to stand up to each and every gunslinger who came to Town, and more than likely would have to face him, or them in a gun-fight. In time, this sort of thing can wear a man down, the killing. Having to put his life on the line every day, for little pay, a few dollars a month. So perhaps this one time Sheriff was fed up with the killing he had to do. Fed up with having to get up every morning, to face having to put his life on the line became too much for him, as it did for many of the time. So it could be as simple as that, as to why the man With No Name resigned!
I'm Johnny 'two guns' Prisoner