Thursday, January 15, 2009

"The Prisoner"--Episode Four

The Prisoner

Episode Four

"Free For All"

The man whom we will call "the Prisoner" resigns and is gassed exactly as before. He wakes up in the Village.

The following conversation accompanies a similar miscellany of images.

Prisoner: Where am I?

Number 2: In the Village.

Prisoner: What do you want?

Number 2: Information.

Prisoner: Whose side are you on?

Number 2: That would be telling. We want information. Information...Information...

Prisoner: You won't get it.

Number 2: By hook or by crook... we will.

This Number 2 is a affable-looking fellow in his fifties.

Prisoner: Who are you?

Number 2: The new Number 2.

Prisoner: Who is Number 1?

Number 2: You are Number 6.

Prisoner: I am not a number. I am a free man!

It is early morning in the Village, and the Prisoner's "6" phone is beeping noisily. The Prisoner emerges from his bathroom, pulls on his jacket and answers the phone.

Prisoner: What do you want?

Operator: Number 6?

Prisoner: I said, what do you want?

Operator: You are Number 6?

Prisoner: That is the number of this place.

Operator: Call from Number 2.

Number 2 appears on the Prisoner's television screen, holding an L-shaped phone.

Number 2: Good morning, good morning. Any complaints?

Prisoner: Yes. I'd like to mind my own business.

Number 2: So do we. Do you fancy a chat?

Prisoner: The mountain can come to Mahomet.

He slams the phone down and stomps off towards his kitchen. But his front door opens almost immediately and Number 2 walks in. He wears a Number 2 badge on his left lapel and a large Number 2 rosette on his right.

Number 2: Mahomet?

Prisoner: Everest, I presume?

Number 2: I've never had a head for heights.

Prisoner: How's Number 1?

Number 2: At the summit.

Prisoner: Play it according to Hoyle?

Number 2: All cards on the table, you may rely on that.

The Prisoner laughs doubtfully. They proceed into his kitchen.

Prisoner: Um, whose move?

Number 2: Yours only. Confide... and we concede.

He leans his shooting-stick against the wall and picks up two mugs.

Number 2: Breakfast?

The front door opens again, and a young dark-haired maid enters with a breakfast tray.

Number 2: Ah, Number 58! Allow me to introduce you to Number 6. Don't be shy, my dear.

She curtseys nervously and puts the tray on the worktop. Number 2 addresses the Prisoner again.

Number 2: Keep up your strength. She may be a mere Number 58, but she used to work in records. She has a great variety of information, haven't you my dear? Animukat ta inen zabot, mm?

Number 58: Ona! Njav ta ist japuk zaborta.

Number 2: Zabot, vi.

She curtseys again and leaves. Number 2 and the Prisoner sit down to breakfast; Number 2 serves.

Number 2: Wonderful gift. Photographic memory, you know. She's done well. I don't think she'll be with us for long.

The Prisoner puts some food in his mouth and smiles.

Prisoner: Nicely done.

Number 2: International cuisine, the best.

Prisoner: French.

Number 2: International.

Prisoner: Toast.

He picks up the toast rack and offers it to Number 2. The radio bursts into life.

Radio: Good morning! Congratulations on yet another day. It will be fine and dry, some cloud perhaps, but dry. Enjoy your day.

Prisoner: Marmalade?

Number 2: Thank you. What a piece of luck: we start our election campaign today.

The Prisoner looks up, disbelieving.

Number 2: Showery outlook is very depressing, don't you think?

Prisoner: Elections? In this place.

Number 2: Of course. We make our choice every twelve months. Every citizen has a choice. Are you going to run?

Prisoner: Like blazes, the first chance I get.

Number 2: I meant, run for office.

Prisoner: Whose?

Number 2: Mine, for instance.

Prisoner: You have a delicate sense of humour.

Number 2: Naturally. Humour is the very essence of a democratic society.

They both smile. Inspiring brass-band music suddenly blares out of the radio. They cross to the window, pausing only to glance at the television screen which shows the profiled head and shoulders of a man in silhouette.

There's a large crowd of Villagers outside. In addition to their usual colourful umbrellas, they also have huge placards showing Number 2's face with the words "Vote No 2". As Number 2 appears on the Prisoner's balcony, they cheer, raising and lowering their umbrellas in time with the music. Number 2 waves in acknowledgment as they parade past, chanting "Number 2... Number 2..."

Number 2: Exactly, that's what's worrying me. Very bad for morale. Some of these good people don't seem to appreciate the value of free elections. They think it's a game.

Prisoner: Everyone votes for a dictator.

Number 2: Not at all, just that their resistance is low. Frankly my dear fellow, you are just the sort of candidate we need.

The Prisoner stares at him for a few seconds.

Prisoner: What happens if I run against you? I might as well, while I'm waiting.

Number 2: Delightful.

Prisoner: What physically happens if I win?

Number 2: You're the boss.

Prisoner: Number 1's the boss.

Number 2: Join me.

He steps back inside and stands in front of the television screen, still showing the silhouetted figure.

Number 2: If you win, Number 1 will no longer be a mystery to you, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I'll introduce you properly, and we'll see how you feel after assessing the madding crowd.

They go out through the front door. Villagers line the streets, and as one they abruptly cease their chant. The Prisoner looks slightly unnerved.

A man starts beating a bass drum and marches in front of the Prisoner and Number 2, leading them to a taxi with a big "Vote No 2" placard. There is silence. Number 2 gestures for the Prisoner to step on board, then he himself gets in and stands at the front. Number 2 signals to the drummer and the parade begins again. Everyone cheers and accompanies the taxi through the streets of the Village. The taxi stops to let its passengers off at an archway, then continues on round the corner, taking the parade with it. At the tail of the parade marches the little butler with his huge black and white umbrella.

Number 2 motions for the Prisoner to pass through the archway, and follows him through. He finds himself on the pillared balcony overlooking the fountain square, in the company of a number of men clad sombrely in black. The Villagers pour into the square, still cheering for all they're worth. Number 2 raises a hand and silence falls instantly. He address the crowd through a megaphone.

Number 2: Good people of our community...

The butler holds up a large cuecard marked "ra ra ra". The crowd responds as the drummer beats time.

Crowd: Ra! Ra! Ra!

Number 2: There is recently a lack of opposition in the matter of free elections. This is not good for our community and reflects an acceptance of things as they are. We know what we must do. What must we do?

The butler holds up another cuecard, marked "progress progress progress".

Crowd: Progress! Progress! Progress! Progress! Progress!

Number 2: Exactly. We are however fortunate in having with us a recent recruit whose outlook is particularly militant and individualistic.

The crowd cheers.

Number 2: Let us hope that he will not deny his duty to the community by refusing to take up the challenge. Good people, it is my pleasure to present to you the one and only Number 6!

The crowd cheers again. The Prisoner has his own megaphone.

Prisoner: I am not a number. I am a person.

The crowd bursts out laughing.

Prisoner: In some place, at some time, all of you held positions of a secret nature and had knowledge that was invaluable to an enemy.

By now the Villagers' laughter has evaporated, leaving them standing like soulless waxworks.

Prisoner: Like me, you are here to have that knowledge protected... or extracted.

Number 2: That's the stuff to give 'em.

Prisoner: Unlike me, many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment and will die here like rotten cabbages.

Number 2: Keep going, they love it.

Prisoner: The rest of you have gone over to the side of our keepers. Which is which? How many of each? Who's standing beside you now? I intend to discover who are the prisoners and who the warders. I shall be running for office in this election.

Number 2 brings his megaphone back to his lips.

Number 2: Good people! Let us applaud a citizen of character. May the better man win, and a big hand for Number 6!

Music strikes up and the crowd, suddenly reanimated, starts the parade once more. The Prisoner stares in astonishment at the "Vote No 6" placards that have appeared, depicting his own face.

On the road behind the archway, Number 2 steps into his taxi. He puts the megaphone to his mouth to address the Prisoner who stands in the archway looking on.

Number 2: Be seeing you.

The Prisoner is suddenly mobbed from behind by a huge crowd of people cheering and throwing confetti. It is total pandemonium. A "Vote No 6" taxi drives up and the Prisoner is jostled on board. The driver is an excited Number 58.

Number 58: Ditka pernaish gorovish! Tich!

They drive off.

Later, the Prisoner looks out from his balcony, sees Number 58 smiling inanely at him from the taxi, and hurries back inside. He phones Number 2, who again appears on the television screen.

Number 2: Don't get het up, my dear fellow.

Prisoner: She will not go away and she doesn't even speak English.

Number 2: Precisely. Knowing your, shall we say, prejudices, I thought you'd rather not have one of the regulars. She's new here and quite delightfully charming, don't you think?

Prisoner: What's the procedure?!

Number 2: Now that's more like it. The, er, buggy transport with lady driver will be at your disposal for the election period, and anything else you may desire... within reason.

Prisoner: Next...

Number 2: You'll be expected to attend the dissolution of the outgoing council in half an hour's time in chambers at the Town Hall.

Prisoner: Thanks very much.

He goes outside to the taxi. He now wears a dark Number 6 rosette on his lapel.

Prisoner: Er...

Number 58: Tika ti?

Prisoner: Yes, you will take me... take me to the... Town Hall.

Number 58: Irej ta pozna!

Prisoner: No, no, the Town Hall.

Number 58: Ah! Pozna!

Prisoner: It's all right, thank you, I'll... I'll walk. It's all right.

He sets off down a flight of steps. She pats the passenger seat and drives off at frantic speed. On the other side of the gardens, he stops to consult the map of the Village on the Free Information board. Number 58 drives up alongside and gets out. The Prisoner pushes the button marked Town Hall. Something inside the board whirrs and goes ping.

Number 58: Jota meluta?

Prisoner: Yes, that's it.

Number 58: Mjesa, mjesa!

She jumps about excitedly, thinking for a moment. Then she rushes back to the map.

Number 58: Dataj vni khalini.

She pushes the button labelled "6". Again, the map goes ping and she points at the depiction of the Prisoner's cottage.

Number 58: Perosh nogdad! Hee hee!

She claps her hands and runs back to the taxi. She beckons him to join her, and he consents. As they drive off, a reporter and a photographer jump on board too, the photographer clinging to the bonnet.

Reporter: Congratulations.

Prisoner: Come again.

Reporter: Allow me to introduce myself. I am Number 113 and this is my photographic colleague...

Photographer: Smile!

Reporter: Number 113B.

Number 113B takes a photo.

Reporter: We, er, contribute to the local newspaper, the Tally Ho you know.

Prisoner: Drive on.

Reporter: This is red hot stuff, you know. Haven't had a candidate of your calibre for ages.

Prisoner: Congratulations.

Reporter: How are you going to handle your campaign?

Prisoner: No comment.

Number 113 starts taking notes.

Reporter: "Intends to fight for freedom at all costs."

Photographer: Smile!

He takes another picture.

Reporter: How about your internal policy?

Prisoner: No comment.

Reporter: "Will tighten up on Village security."

Photographer: Smile!

Another photo.

Reporter: How about your external policy?

Prisoner: No comment.

Reporter: "Our exports will operate in every corner of the globe." How do you feel about life and death?

Prisoner: Mind your own business.

Reporter: "No comment."

The taxi pulls up at the Town Hall. The Prisoner gets off, followed by the photographer.

Photographer: Thanks a lot. Be seeing you!

And he takes one final photo. A loudspeaker mounted in an alcove high up on a nearby wall starts relaying the voice of Number 2.

Number 2: Calling Number 6! Calling Number 6!

A newspaper salesman pitches in.

Salesman: Read all about it! Read all about it! Get your election edition now!

The Prisoner turns in puzzlement to see the reporter and photographer running off down the road. The photographer waves at him madly.

Salesman: Read all about it! Get your election edition now!

The salesman stores his newspapers in the form of rolls of tear-off sheets on a device resembling a mangle. The upper roll advertizes the paper's content in large letters: "opinion poll, latest, freedom, security". The salesman tears off a copy of the Tally Ho for the Prisoner. The Prisoner stares at the headline "No 6 speaks his mind" and starts to read the article, when he is interrupted by the massive roar of the huge white ball as it bounces down from nowhere towards him across the Village. The loudspeakers relay the sound of Number 2 speaking and banging his gavel in the council chambers.

Number 2: Assembly is called to order!... Calling Number 6! Calling Number 6!

The Prisoner has no choice but to enter the Town Hall. In the elegant foyer he approaches a sweeping staircase.

Number 2: Not that way!

The Prisoner spins in surprise, but there's no one else there. He moves towards a set of double doors.

Number 2: Nor that. Straight ahead. Now.

He advances to another pair of doors, white ones with arched windows, opens them and stares down an immense staircase into the council chamber. The walls of this vast space are lit in red, and the top-hatted but otherwise colourfully dressed councillors standing round its circular perimeter cast huge shadows across the floor. The councillors's lecterns are labelled "2a", "2b", "2c" and so on. At the back of the room, directly ahead of the Prisoner and behind the podium where Number 2 is seated, is an enormous pulsating eye atop a pyramid.

Number 2: Good show. Come ahead, my dear fellow.

The Prisoner starts to descend the staircase. His election portrait and that of Number 2 are on the wall to one side.

Number 2: You are formally welcomed to this gathering as the prospective opposition candidate. Kindly approach the centre dais.

The Prisoner hesitates.

Number 2: Play the game!

Prisoner: According to Hoyle?

Number 2: According to the laws of a democratic society. These are designed for the protection of the citizens. You are a civilized man and would not, I'm sure, deny the right of proper procedure. Kindly approach the centre dais.

He does so. The main feature of the dais is a lectern-like structure behind the Prisoner stands.

Number 2: The final resolution of this outgoing council is a vote of thanks to Number 6. It is carried unanimously...

He bangs his gavel.

Number 2: ... and there is no further business at this time.

There is a longish pause.

Prisoner: Any questions?

Number 2: Certainly.

Prisoner: Where'd you get this bunch of tailor's dummies?

He indicates the councillors.

Number 2: They were here when I arrived. Do you wish to question them?

Prisoner: I do.

Number 2: Proceed.

He presses a button and the Prisoner's lectern starts to revolve, bringing him face to face with each councillor in turn.

Prisoner: Who do you represent? Who elected you? To what race or country do you owe allegiance? Whose side are you on?

Number 2 bangs his gavel four times in close succession and the lectern stops revolving. The Prisoner is once again facing Number 2.

Number 2: Mustn't get too personal, my dear fellow.

A bright spotlight shines down onto the Prisoner, accompanied by an eerie whine.

Number 2: Any further questions?

Prisoner: This... farce... This twentieth-century Bastille that pretends to be a pocket democracy... Why don't you put us all into solitary confinement until you get what you're after and have done with it?

Number 2 bangs his gavel repeatedly.

Number 2: Enough! I call this meeting to order!

Prisoner: Look at them. Brainwashed imbeciles. Can you laugh? Can you cry? Can you think?

Number 2 agains bangs his gavel. The Prisoner holds up his copy of the Tally Ho and displays its invented headline to all present.

Prisoner: Is this... is this what they did to you? Is this how they tried to break you till they got what they were after?

Number 2 starts banging his gavel with increasing frequency.

Prisoner: In your heads must still be the remnant of a brain. In your hearts must still be the desire to be a human being again.

The spotlight blasts down on him again, accompanied this time by a bizarre rumble.

Number 2: This is a most serious breach of etiquette. I had imagined your desire to stand for election was genuine.

He sets the Prisoner revolving again, a bit faster this time.

Number 2: Personally I'm prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, believe that you were carried away by an excessive enthusiasm. Nevertheless, the rules demand that you should undergo the Test. All those in favour? Carried unanimously!

Without waiting for any votes, he bangs his gavel down, and again, and again, faster and faster, while the rumble grows ever louder and the Prisoner spins ever more rapidly... until he finally disappears through the floor into a roaring wind that leaves him sprawled in a demented red-lit corridor. It is furnished with straps as in an Underground train, and he uses these to haul himself along it.

A pair of metal doors slide open in front of him, revealing a weirdly vaulted chamber with a pleasant man in a grey tail-coat seated behind a desk at its centre. This is the new Labour Exchange Manager. He is pouring tea.

Manager: They told me you were coming. Do you take sugar?

The Prisoner falls forward and collapses onto the floor. The Manager gets up and walks over to him. The Prisoner tries to jump to his feet, but fails.

Manager: In case you're feeling violent, please let me assure you that I could be a friend.

Prisoner: Friend?

Manager: Yes indeed!

He helps the Prisoner to his feet and into a chair.

Manager: You know they're watching; I know it. It does not prove that you or I are sympathetic. But the community has to live; so must you. Come, have some tea and we'll talk.

He fetches him a cup of tea from his desk.

Manager: How many lumps?

Prisoner: No lumps.

Manager: You don't take sugar? Good, that shows discipline for a start. Of course, I knew it anyway.

Prisoner: What's that?

Manager: From your records. We have everything.

He returns to his desk and consults a file.

Manager: "Gave up sugar four years and three months ago on medical advice." That shows you're afraid.

Prisoner: What?

Manager: You are afraid of death.

Prisoner: I am afraid of nothing!

He starts to rise angrily, but restrains himself.

Manager: You are afraid of yourself. You are aware of that? Good, you're honest. That is of use here. Honesty attracts confidence and confidences are the core of our businesses. See how honest I'm being with you.

In the Village Control Room, the large screen is relaying these events in silhouette. Number 2 speaks to one of the observers on the rotating see-saw.

Number 2: Very good technique. Where did you get it?

Observer: Came from the Civil Service. It adapted immediately.

A phone rings.

Number 2: Number 2 here... Sorry, but things got out of hand. I'm aware that he's valuable to us, but I couldn't risk the entire project falling apart... Certainly I'll be more careful, but he's a very stubborn customer... Yes, right away... Certainly I'll warn them not to damage the tissue.

In the vaulted room, we therefore find the Labour Exchange Manager on the phone.

Manager: Yes? Oh yes, indeed. First stage only... Oh absolutely... Clearly understood.

He puts the phone down and, very slowly, with just the hint of a smile on his face, turns to the Prisoner, crosses the floor to his chair, takes the teacup from him and returns it to his desk. While his back is turned, the Prisoner tries to stand up, but the Manager lunges at a button on the desk and sends an electric current through the arms of the Prisoner's chair. The Prisoner judders for a few seconds. The Manager presses a couple more buttons, and a large blue screen lights up.

Manager: This is merely the Truth Test. And there's no need to be alarmed.

He starts pacing around the room. The screen shows a silhouette of the Prisoner's head with two lines entering at the left to converge at the silhouette's eyes.

Manager: Why did you wish to run for electoral office?... Why did you wish to run for electoral office?

A circle appears at the left of the upper line and, accompanied by a high-pitched tone, slides a short way along it. The Prisoner shuts his eyes for a second.

Manager: That is a lie, but won't be held against you. Everything you think here is in the strictest confidence.

A duller tone accompanies the square that now proceeds the same distance along the lower line.

Manager: That's better!... Why did you run for office?

Both the circle and the square advance, the former getting ahead of the latter.

Manager: Come, come. You thought that if you won and took over our Village, that you would be able to control an organized breakout. Correct?

The Prisoner raises an eyebrow. The square moves, overtaking the circle.

Manager: Good. But this was a mistake, wasn't it?

Now the circle overtakes the square.

Manager: You're not being honest. You are on the side of the people, aren't you?

Both advance, getting very close to the silhouette.

Manager: You mustn't think only of yourself. You have a responsibility.

Both shapes now retreat a short way. The Prisoner's face is visibly shaking with the strain. Gradually, the shapes advance until they merge with his silhouette on the screen. He gasps and lolls.

In the Control Room, the Prisoner's silhouette is limp. Number 2 picks up a phone.

Number 2: Central Area? Have Number 6 pound squad standing by.

In the vaulted room, the Manager straightens the Prisoner's head and opens his eyelids. The Prisoner gawps upwards into a bright light.

Manager: Good. Good, simply splendid.

He closes the Prisoner's eyelids and lets his head loll again. He returns to his desk and switches off the screen. Slowly the Prisoner comes round and stands up gingerly. He appears calm, but puts his hands to his head, then takes a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his brow. The Manager watches, satisfied. The Prisoner looks around him, then smiles and approaches the desk.

Prisoner: Thanks for the tea.

Manager: Any time.

They shake hands vigorously.

Prisoner: You're voting for me, of course?

Manager: Naturally.

Prisoner: Be seeing you.

He makes the "Be seeing you" sign and walks to the door. The Manager proudly pins a Number 6 rosette to his own lapel. At the door, the Prisoner turns once more.

Prisoner: Be seeing you!

Smiling, the Manager removes his spectacles.

The Prisoner emerges into the reception area of the Labour Exchange, through a door marked "private, managers only", be-seeings the receptionist (who is preparing Number 6 rosettes), and strolls outside into the midst of a jubilant crowd.

He raises his hands in victory, then makes his way through the throng of press and public to his taxi, where Number 58 is waiting for him.

Number 58: Evaz dai! Tich ti!

He finds himself being interviewed by a reporter.

Reporter: What do you think of your chances now?

Prisoner: I have every confidence!

Reporter: Number 2 has said that he considers you a worthy opponent. What are your feelings?

Prisoner: Er, yes, yes, very kind of him to say so. I'll do my best to give him a run for his money.

And the parade goes on, the Prisoner acknowledging the crowd with waves. Later, in his cottage, the Prisoner watches himself giving a monotonous wooden speech on television.

Prisoner: The Community can rest assured that their interests are very much my own, and that anything I can do to maintain the security of the citizens will be my primary objective. Be seeing you.

The Prisoner in his cottage makes the "Be seeing you" gesture in precise sync with his image on the television. The picture changes to a silhouette, but now a two-faced one composed from the profiles of the Prisoner and Number Two.

Announcer: That was the lunchtime news on this election day. It looks as though it's going to be neck and neck. Stand by for our next bulletin on the hour, every hour.

The Prisoner and Number 58 stop watching and wander over to the kitchen. Number 58 pours some tea.

Prisoner: You see, although you've only been here a short time, my dear, there is only one thing to learn and it can be learned very quickly: obey the rules and we will take good care of you.

He suddenly sounds a little doubtful.

Prisoner: Try it.

Number 58: Mm? Mm, daj pozna.

The Prisoner smiles politely.

Prisoner: Be seeing you.

Number 58: Daj pozna.

Prisoner: TRY IT!!!

Number 58: Daj pozna?

Prisoner: ... Laj... izit... zoon.

As he works out this last phrase, he makes the "Be seeing you" sign. She shrieks in joyful recognition, then repeats the action over and over again.

Number 58: Ah! Laj izit zon. Laj izit zona! Laj izit zona! Laj izit zona!

The Prisoner starts to tremble.

Number 58: Laj izit zona! Laj izit zona! Laj izit zona! Laj izit zona!

She comes round the worktop towards him. He jumps up suddenly and collides with a lamp. He notices the rosette he's wearing, tears it off and runs outside. Number 58 follows him but stops when he drives off in the taxi at breakneck speed. He soon finds the road blocked by another taxi, the newspaper seller and his mangle and a small group of people with placards chanting "Six... Six... Six..."

He stops the car and runs off through the gardens, closely followed by Number 58 who waves at him excitedly. The Prisoner dashes ahead. On the waterfront lawn his route is blocked by a helicopter on one side, his advancing troop of election campaigners on another, and the butler with his umbrella on a third. The only way he can go is to the sea, so he jumps onto a motorboat that's moored close by. As he starts the engine, a couple of mechanics notice him and just have time to leap aboard.

The helicopter keeps pace with the boat as it heads out to sea. The mechanics put up a good fight, but the Prisoner soon sends one of them flying off the stern. The other picks up a pole and manages to use it to knock the Prisoner into the water. He lifts the pole high in the air and is about to bring it down on the Prisoner's head when he is distracted by the amplified voice of Number 2, who is piloting the helicopter.

Number 2: Don't do anything rash. Give him time.

The Prisoner hurls the man overboard, then clambers back into the boat himself. Number 2's amplified voice addresses him.

Number 2: You were doing so well. Now you're being simply foolish. It won't get you anywhere, you know. Go back before it's too late. Go back before it's too late.

But the Prisoner doesn't deviate from his path. In the helicopter, Number 2 picks up a phone that relays his voice to the Control Room.

Number 2: Southern perimeter alert. Southern perimeter... alert.

The Supervisor watches a diagrammatic representation of the white ball as it speeds out in pursuit.

Supervisor: Now approaching.

The ball reaches the surface of the water.

Supervisor: Contact imminent.

Number 2 puts the phone down and sadly turns the helicopter back towards land. The Prisoner is now heading straight for the ball; he spins the steering wheel furiously but to no effect. At the last minute he throws himself into the water; the ball bounces over the boat, which then returns itself automatically to land. An ambulance is dispatched; the Prisoner attempts to strike out for shore, but is too weak to avoid being suffocated by the ball and its two smaller companions. He ends up floating between them, repeating his lifeless political speech.

Prisoner: The Community can rest assured that their interests are very much my own, and that anything I can do to maintain the security of the citizens will be my primary objective. Be seeing you... Be seeing you...

As the ambulance takes him to the hospital, a satisfied Supervisor watches the ball return to its watery home.

The Prisoner lies in his hospital bed as recent sights and sounds drift through his dreaming mind: Number 2 saying "You are just the sort of candidate we need"; the parade marching past; the Prisoner himself announcing "I am not a number, I am a person" to general merriment; his placard being raised; him being showered with confetti to a chant of "Six! Six! Six!"; Number 2 declaring "The final resolution of this outgoing council is a vote of thanks to Number 6"; the Prisoner being whirled round to more cries of "Six!" and the beating of Number 2's gavel; him staggering through the red corridor; him emerging jubilantly to the waiting crowd; his own voice yelling "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

He wakes up suddenly, but is soon lulled back to sleep by the pulsating light and tone above his head.

Later, we find him campaigning in a thoroughly brainwashed way. He stands with Number 58 on top of the stone boat and addresses the crowd through a megaphone.

Prisoner: There are those who come here and deny that we can supply every conceivable civilized amenity within our boundaries. You can enjoy yourselves... and you will. You can partake of the most hazardous sports and you will. The price is cheap. All you have to do in exchange is give us... information. You are then eligible for promotion to other and perhaps more attractive spheres. Where do you desire to go? What has been your dream? I can supply it. Winter, spring, summer or fall, they can all be yours at any time. Apply to me, and it will be easier and better.

Elsewhere, Number 2 is also in rhetorical mood. He stands, megaphone in hand, on a stone balcony overlooking the gardens; the butler holds the black and white umbrella over him. The crowd here are much more sombre.

Number 2: There are those who come here with a fresh face, with an enthusiasm that cannot be denied. Beware, be careful. Their promises ring richly in your ears. Our friend Number 6 has a splendid record, has adapted himself admirably to our procedure, but he has no experience whatsoever of the manipulation of such a community as ours. Beware! Has he got the administrative ability to implement his policies? Can you trust him?

The Prisoner is now haranguing the Village from a moving taxi.

Prisoner: Place your trust in the old régime: the policies are defined, the future certain. The old régime forever... and the old Number 2 forever? Confession by coercion, is that what you want? Vote for him and you have it! Or, stand firm upon this election platform and speak a word without fear! The word... is "freedom". They say "six of one and half a dozen of the other"... not here. It's "six for two and two for nothing" and six for free... for all... for free for all! Vote! Vote!

His boisterous parade winds its way into the garden below Number 2, chanting "Six! Six!" and waving placards. Suddenly everything stops, including the brass band. Number 2 shouts down through his megaphone, and the Prisoner's amplified voice floats back.

Number 2: You seem to be doing pretty well.

Prisoner: Far be it for me to carp, but what will you do in your spare time?

Number 2: I cannot afford spare time.

Prisoner: Do you hear that? He's working to his limit! Can't afford spare time! We're all entitled to spare time! Leisure is our right!

His crowd wave their placards and chant "Six for Two! Six for Two! Six for Two! Six for Two!"

Number 2: In your spare time, if you get it, what will you do?

Prisoner: Less work... and more play!

Crowd: Six! Six! Six! Six!

Later, at the Cat and Mouse nightclub, a waitress brings a tray of drinks over from the bar to the table where the Prisoner is sitting with Number 58. Like everyone else in the bar, she wears a Number 6 rosette.

Waitress: Sir, non-alcoholic gin, whisky, vodka. Looks the same and tastes the same.

Prisoner: Bet you can't get me tiddly.

Waitress: No alcohol here, sir!

Prisoner: You going to vote for me?

Waitress: You and only you.

Prisoner: Go away.

Waitress: Gin, whisky, vodka. Looks the same and tastes the same.

Prisoner: GET OUT!

Scared, she runs away. Behind them a woman dances oddly to the jolly music of the mechanical band. The Prisoner points a finger at Number 58.

Prisoner: You're spying on me, aren't you?

Number 58: Ik...?

Prisoner: Get me a drink.

He holds up a glass. Number 58 whipers agitatedly.

Number 58: Kokazi trak ozamuk ni, tak ta.

Prisoner: Alcoholic drink.

Number 58: Kokazi trak ozamuk ni, nas ta.

Prisoner: A DRINK!

He hurls the glass violently to the floor. Number 58 quickly leads him out, collecting her coat in the foyer. He mumbles at passing customers as though drunk.

Prisoner: Vote for 6... vote for 6... vote for me and a drink... vohhhhte for 6...

Number 58: Ibazka!

Prisoner: Vote for me... six... vote...

Number 58: Ibazka!

Outside the club, she leads him to their taxi.

Prisoner: I'm for you... let me be... ever let me go... ever let me go...

They drive to the outskirts of the Village, where they get out and walk through the grove of statues.

Prisoner: Vote for me...

Number 58 points to the concealed mouth of a cave and mimes drinking.

Number 58: Eng brifti nakh, abartuk. Sluch! Sluchje...

She starts to run back the way they've come, but the Prisoner grabs her, smiling stupidly.

Prisoner: Spying on me, aren't you?

Number 58: Ag... sluchje! Sluchje!

She escapes his clutches and flees in terror. The Prisoner stares after her for a moment, then wanders into the cave.

Prisoner: Vote for me... I'm for you... let me be... let me be...

Inside the cave, a middle-aged man in an apron throws a bit of wood onto a roaring fire, then walks over to tend to a still in the corner. There is little else in this seedy drinking establishment apart from a hooded figure boozing on his own at one of the few tables. The aproned barman steps towards this figure, failing to notice the Prisoner in the entranceway.

Barman: Large or small, sir?

Figure: Massive.

The Prisoner suddenly steps forward.

Prisoner: I'll have a double!

Barman: With or without water, sir?

The figure leaps up and pulls the hood from his head. It is Number 2. He focuses groggily on the Prisoner. The Prisoner simply smiles back in acknowledgment.

Prisoner: ... Without.

Barman: Please take a seat, I'll be right with you.

The Prisoner wanders over to Number 2's table, but neither of them sit down yet.

Number 2: Little drop now and again keeps the nerves steady.

Prisoner: ... You're scared, aren't you?

Number 2: Frankly, yes.

Prisoner: Of what?

Number 2: It may seem improbable to you, but I'm wondering what's going to happen to you.

He pokes him drunkenly. The barman brings them each a beaker. The Prisoner glances behind him suspiciously.

Number 2: Don't worry. There's no surveillance here. This is the Therapy Zone.

They sit down together.

Prisoner: Clever, aren't they? CLEVER, AREN'T YOU?!

Number 2: They are, damn clever. Think of it: if you want to be an alcoholic, you can be one here in perfect privacy, so long as you rejoin the flock in good time.

Prisoner: You don't approve?

Number 2: Of the Village?

Prisoner: Yes.

Number 2: ... To hell with the Village. Cheers.

The Prisoner blinks.

Prisoner: ... Cheers.

They drink. Number 2 puts his hand on the Prisoner's shoulder, then indicates the barman, now busy again at his still.

Number 2: See him?

Prisoner: Yes.

Number 2: Cheers.

Prisoner: ... Cheers.

Again they drink.

Number 2: He's a brilliant scientist. Just does that for a hobby. Come with me. I'll show you something.

Number 2 leads the way into a small dingy chamber at the back of the cavern, containing chemical equipment and a blackboard covered in diagrams.

Number 2: We leave him here in peace, he brews his brew, plays with his chalk; we come down once a week, photograph the stuff, clean it up for him so that he can start on another lot.

He laughs and the Prisoner joins in. They both drink.

Prisoner: Clever as hell!

Number 2: Cheers!

Number 2 starts singing; the Prisoner again joins in. Number 2 absently wipes some of the writing off the blackboard.

Number 2: Vote for me...

Prisoner: Vote for me...

Number 2: And I'll be...

Prisoner: And I'll be...

Number 2: Ever so comforty!

They drain their beakers. Number 2 giggles. The Prisoner teeters and topples onto the floor, out cold. Number 2, completely sober, removes the tatty shawl he is wearing and regains his normal composure.

Barman: Quicker than usual.

Number 2: I warned you not to make it too strong. We mustn't damage the tissue.

Barman: You needn't worry. There will be no remembrances. The portions were exact to take him right through the election.

It is voting day, and the parade continues, marching right through the polling station. The cry is unanimous: "Six for Two! Six for Two! Six for Two!..." Inside, the Prisoner and Number 2 stand behind their respective ballot boxes as the people vote with their rosettes. The Prisoner's box is overflowing; Number 2's is completely empty. Number 2 picks up one of the Number 6 rosettes and tosses it back onto the pile.

Number 2: I don't think we shall need a recount.

Prisoner: Sorry... Sorry.

Number 2: Don't mention it.

Outside, the crowd's chant has changed to "We want Number Two!" The Prisoner picks up the rosettes that have spilled out of his ballot box.

Number 2: Looks as if they want Number 2. Well, I haven't cast my vote.

He takes the 6 rosette from the Prisoner's lapel, tosses it onto the huge pile and replaces it with the solitary 2 rosette that identifies his own ballot box.

Number 2: Come with me. I'll show you the ropes.

As they emerge, the crowd falls totally silent. There is triumphant music, but it soon turns into a sinister parody of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow". The Villagers stare blankly at the Prisoner as his arm is held victoriously aloft by the former Number 2. They climb aboard the taxi, driven as always by Number 58, and set off through the streets. Bizarrely, the Prisoner continues to acknowledge the motionless uninterested crowd.

The taxi draws up at the foot of the steps that wind up to Number 2's house, the Green Dome. The former Number 2 takes the Prisoner's hand and leads him up the steps. Number 58 follows behind. The Prisoner hesitates at the entrance, but the former Number 2's arm beckons him in. He enters the hallway like a robot, while the other two stare at him strangely.

Number 2: No point in going into detail. Anything you want to know, press a button. You're the boss.

The white double doors leading into the heart of the Dome open automatically. The former Number 2 takes off his scarf of office and lays it on the table next to his shooting-stick. He picks up an attaché case and puts it under his arm.

Number 2: Well, I'll be on my way. Thanks for everything.

He shakes hands with the Prisoner, then turns to Number 58 and makes the "Be seeing you" sign, which she reciprocates.

Number 2: Laj izit zona.

Number 58: Laj izit zona.

And the front door, marked "2", shuts itself behind him. Number 58 approaches the white double doors and the metal doors beyond slide open to reveal Number 2's vast circular office behind.

Number 58: Oj!

She beckons delightedly for the Prisoner to join her. Slowly he walks over; she takes him by the arm and leads him down to the centre of the room. The chamber is empty, except for the chairless desk, a penny-farthing... and the large screen, which is showing a swirling mass of lights. Somewhere, something is emitting a reassuring beep. They look around, then come to the desk.

Number 58: Ona movetje bojda!

She presses a button on the desk, and Number 2's circular chair rises out of the floor.

Number 58: Ah!

The Prisoner smiles at her stupidly. She presses another button, and the screen starts showing various images of the Village.

Number 58: Hi tatu!

The Prisoner's own face appears in one of the scenes. Number 58 shrieks joyfully, claps her hands and runs about. Between them they call up more pictures. Suddenly she pushes a button that makes one of the L-shaped phones on the desk ring. She hands it to the Prisoner.

Number 58: Ta ku! Parje tusti!

Prisoner: Mm?

Number 58: Tusti!

The Labour Exchange Manager answers at the other end.

Manager: Anything I can do for you?

Prisoner: Just checking... Be seeing you.

Manager: And you.

He hands the phone to Number 58, who places it back on the desk. They start pushing every button at once, Number 58 repeating the word "Bojda!" excitedly. Various chairs bob up and down through holes in the floor, the lights on the screen swirl faster... and a bright lamp casts its pulsating light down onto the Prisoner, as during his brainwashing. He stiffens. All trace of joy has vanished from Number 58's face. Very quietly she says "Tik... tik?" and manoeuvres him to a position in front of the screen where he stands staring into the hypnotic patterns.

After a while she turns him to face the other way, steps in front of him and removes the Number 2 rosette from his lapel.

Number 58: Tik... tik?

She clicks her fingers in front of his eyes. He remains in his trance.

Number 58: Tik tik?

She slaps him hard across the face four times until he snaps out of it. She continues to slap him and say "Tik tik" until he stumbles back into the spherical chair. He revolves in it once, then leaps to his feet, grabs a pair of phones from the desk and shouts into them urgently. A stretcher rolls down the ramp behind him.

Prisoner: This is our chance! This is our chance, take it now! I have command!

He starts adjusting switches on the desk.

Prisoner: I will immobilize all electronic controls. Listen to me, you are free to go! You are FREE TO GO!

His voice echoes out of every loudspeaker in the Village.

Prisoner: FREE TO GO! FREE TO GO! You are free to go! You are free, free, free to go! You are free to go!

But the Villagers just continue about their normal business.

Prisoner: I am in command! Obey me and be free! You are free to go, you are free to go, you are free to go!

A couple of grey-clad guards rise up through the floor on platforms and grab him. With a mighty effort and a final yell of "FREE TO GO!" he throws them both off and dashes past the stretcher and up the ramp to the metal doors.

The doors slide open but beyond them, instead of Number 2's hallway, there is a cave strewn with straw. The Prisoner stumbles in surprise, picks himself up and turns to see four men in coloured overalls and dark glasses sitting, arms folded, round the huge white ball, almost as if in worship. A bust like those in the grove stands on a nearby plinth. The men turn as one; unnerved, the Prisoner backs away and finds himself confronting the grey-clad guards again. After a short fight, the Prisoner is knocked down by a savage blow to his back.

The men in overalls drag him upright and hold his arms and legs while the guards punch him a dozen times in the stomach. Then they carry him back into Number 2's office and stand him up in front of Number 58, who stands behind the desk, wearing Number 2's scarf and the Prisoner's Number 2 rosette. She addresses him in perfect English.

New 2: Will you never learn? This is only the beginning. We have many ways and means, but we don't wish to damage you permanently. Are you ready to talk?

The battered Prisoner says nothing. The guards lay him on the stretcher and carry him to his cottage. Meanwhile, the former Number 2 is conversing with the new Number 2 (the former Number 58) by phone from his helicopter.

Former 2: Just on my way. Everything go according to plan?

New 2: Don't worry. All will be satisfactory in the end. Give my regards to the homeland.

The former Number 2 pilots himself away from the Village as prison bars slam shut on the Prisoner's face.

Next episode: The Schizoid Man

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

Guest Star:
Eric Portman as Number 2

Rachel Herbert as Number 58
George Benson as the Labour Exchange Manager

Angelo Muscat as the Butler
Harold Berens as the Reporter
John Cazabon as the Man in the Cave (Barman)
Dene Cooper as the Photographer
Kenneth Benda as the Supervisor (Observer)
Holly Doone as the Waitress
Peter Brace and Alf Joint as the Mechanics
Peter Swanwick as the Supervisor (only in shots from "Arrival")

Episode written and directed by Paddy Fitz (i.e. Patrick McGoohan)

Executive Producer: Patrick McGoohan

Production Manager: Bernard Williams

Director of Photography: Brendan J. Stafford B.S.C.

Art Director: Jack Shampan
Camera Operator: Jack Lowin
Editor: Geoffrey Foot

Theme by Ron Grainer
Incidental Music by Albert Elms

Cameraman (2nd Unit): Robert Monks
Assistant Director: Gino Marotta
Sound Editor: Wilfred Thompson
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Music Editor: Eric Mival
Casting Director: Rose Tobias-Shaw

Continuity: Doris Martin
Set Dresser: Kenneth Bridgeman
Make-Up: Eddie Knight
Hairdressing: Pat McDermot
Wardrobe: Masada Wilmot

Made on Location
and at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Borehamwood, England

An ITC Production
Incorporated Television Company Limited MCMLXVII
by Everyman Films Limited

"I am not a number, I am a free man!"