Friday, 19 August 2011
For me there are two things which stand out about Fall Out, one it's the James Bond style ending to the series, which isn't what McGoohan said he wanted, but its what the fan of the series got. Secondly Fall Out works better if viewed as a further manipulation of No.6. The Judge, or President, tells the gathered delegates of the Assembly, that the man brought before them, formally the Prisoner-No.6, must no longer be referred to as Number Six, or indeed a number of any kind. For 'Sir' as he was called had survived the ultimate test, and had gloriously vindicated the right of the individual to be individual.
Sir, as the Prisoner was addressed, which really doesn't mean anything in itself, because the Prisoner was addressed as Sir on the morning of his arrival in the Village by the Shopkeeper of the General Store! Anyway I digress for the moment. There are three rebels who have been brought before the Assembly, No.48 who is nothing more than a representation of rebellious youth which rebels against anything it can find, against anything which is considered to be the norm. The 'late' No.2, who isn't even allowed to rest in peace, having been resuscitated, and then feels like a new man, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, his laughter still rings richly in the ear! And Sir, who is applauded for his private war. Yet Sir is the only one of the three rebels brought before the court, who is not listened to by the Delegates of the Assembly, shouted down as he is every time he commences upon his address to the court. Yet none the worse for that, Sir is permitted to meet No.1, and that's where the ordeal gets decidedly worse. Yes Sir has been rewarded with the keys to his house, a passport valied for anywhere. Travellers cheques-a million, and a leather drawstring purse of petty cash.
Finally Sir gets to meet with No.1 in what turns out to be a rocket, and No.1 turns out to be himself, No.6's alter ego, who has been running the Village all the time, or has he? For me this alter-ego of No.6 being No.1, and vice versa, doesn't work for me in conjunction with the previous episodes. No, for me No.1 is Curtis of The Schizoid Man, who didn't die in that episode, but was resuscitated in much the same way as the 'late' No.2. Curtis could then have been kept in hospital, or isolation somewhere in the Vilage, certainly he couldn't be left to walk the Village on his own, citizens would notice two No.6's in the Village at one time. No, Curtis having been put on ice so to speak, was later wheeled out for a second confrontation with No.6. In fact Curtis having been kept isolated from the rest of the Village community for all that time, may have tilted his brain and that would account for No.1's maniacle laughter.
It is interesting to note that both No.1 and No.6 escape the Village at one and the same time. One blasting off aboard his rocket, and Six in the cage aboard the Scammell Highwayman transporter lorry. If anything can be said in its favour, I suppose it might be this, Fall Out does appear the most logical ending to the Prisoner series. Perhaps logical is not the right word. But I cannot see any other way the series could have ended, not with the hero able to escape the way he did. But is escape the right word either? Because even at the end, No.6 is just as much a Prisoner as he was at the beginning! Perhaps we're looking at this from the wrong end, it might very well be that the Prisoner begins because of the actions of Fall Out. Is that why the Prisoner resigned?
I'm Johnny Prisoner