Thursday, January 15, 2009

"The Prisoner"--Episode Three

The Prisoner

Episode Three

"A, B and C"

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 youngish chap with a moustache and glasses.

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 another morning in the Village. Number 2 is pacing round his circular office. A huge red L-shaped phone on the desk suddenly emits a loud repeated beeping noise. Number 2 turns, startled, and approaches worriedly. He picks up the phone.

Number 2: Number 2 here... Er, yes sir, I am doing my best -- he's very difficult... I know it's important, sir---... He's no ordinary person, sir, but if I had a free hand---... I know, sir, yes... I know I'm not indispensable.

He puts the phone down and slowly pours himself a glass of milk from a jug on the desk. He drinks, and recovers some dignity. He picks up a smaller, yellow phone.

Number 2: Get me Number 14... Number 14? The experiment must come forward.

He drinks another mouthful of milk. The voice of Number 14, a woman, is heard at the other end of the line.

Number 14: Impossible! I need all of a week.

Number 2: I haven't got a week.

He is about to take yet another gulp, but Number 14's next words stop him.

Number 14: I haven't even finished testing it on animals, let alone people.

Number 2: Then now's your chance.

Number 14: When?

Number 2: Tonight.

There is a sudden thunderclap, and a fork of lightning illuminates the night sky. A metal door slides open at the end of a corridor, revealing two men and a trolley, lit up by further lightning flashes. The men are in oilskins, soaking wet. Number 14 is waiting for them at the far end of the corridor. She wears a white lab coat and speaks authoritatively.

Number 14: Stop! Don't bring that wet in here! Take your macs and boots off!

The men comply as the thunderstorm continues. They then wheel the trolley down the sloping corridor and into a large laboratory full of strange equipment. Number 2 stands at the back of the room, watching as the men take the coverings off the trolley. Underneath is the blanketed form of the Prisoner; he is in a deep sleep, apparently induced by a circlet on his forehead. The men lift the Prisoner onto a table that Number 14 has prepared, and then exit with the trolley.

Number 2: This brainchild of yours had better work -- for your sake.

Number 14 clamps a cable to the Prisoner's right wrist, and attaches an electrode to his right temple.

Number 2: If this man is damaged, I shall hold you responsible.

Number 14: You know I haven't had a chance to prove the drug.

Number 2: Just get it right, or I'll see that it's proved on you.

Number 14 follows a cable back from the Prisoner to a device resembling an oscilloscope. She turns it on; it emits a warbling whine. Number 2 comes and looks at its screen, where vertical bars are flickering across from left to right.

Number 2: What's all that about?

Number 14: Energy from his brain. Thoughts, like sound waves, converted into electrical impulses, and finally...

She turns to a device on a trolley and adjusts its dials and switches. A large screen in front of them, above the Prisoner's unconscious form, shows a loop of the Prisoner resigning (as in the title sequence).

Number 14: ... into pictures.

Number 2 watches the images.

Number 2: Extraordinary... How very single-minded.

Number 14: He's not conventional.

Number 2: I sometimes think he's not human.

Number 14: It's an anguish pattern.

She moves forward to the Prisoner, and to a small box containing three syringes -- labelled 1, 2 and 3 -- full of a red liquid.

Number 2: So this is your wonder-drug?

Number 14: Yes. Three doses -- and that's the absolute limit.

Number 2: Why?

Number 14: Three's dangerous enough. Four would kill him.

Number 2 wanders away and starts examining a file while she prepares to inject the Prisoner with the contents of the first syringe. The Prisoner opens his eyes and looks at her, holding the syringe. What he is seeing appears on the large screen. She gently shuts his eyes by passing her hand over his face. She then injects him with the drug.

Number 14: His mind is now yours. What do you want from it?

Number 2 steps forward again.

Number 2: Why he resigned. I believe that he was going to sell out. I want to know what he had to sell, and to whom he was going to sell it. We've researched and computed his whole life, and it boils down to three people...

He walks back to a table on which stand three box-files, labelled "a", "b" and "c" in the Village typeface. He taps them in turn.

Number 2: A... B... and C. He must meet each one of them. We shall then know what would have happened if we had not got to him first.

He picks up a small reel of tape from the table and walks back to Number 14.

Number 14: Where do you want them to meet?

Number 2: Paris. They have one thing in common. They all attended Madame Engadine's celebrated parties. Here's some film of the most recent.

He gives her the tape. She walks over to another machine and sticks the tape onto one of three upright capstans. She presses some buttons, and on a small monitor screen nearby there appears an image of couples in evening dress strolling in an elegant garden.

Number 14: Ah! Nothing like a good party. I'm sure he'll welcome the change of environment.

Number 2: Go on, feed it into him.

She looks hesitantly at Number 2, but then proceeds to adjust the setting on the oscilloscope and connect another cable from it to the Prisoner's left wrist and temple. She turns away. The Prisoner emits a sudden grunt of pain. Number 14 turns back and hurriedly checks his heartbeat with a stethoscope.

Number 2: Is he all right?

Number 14: So far.

She walks back to the device on the trolley. Still hesitating, she turns up the setting on its main dial.

Number 14: The moment of truth...

An image of the Prisoner in black tie fades into view on the large screen. Number 2 and Number 14 look at each other, pleased. Gradually the garden scene materializes behind him. He turns round and walks out into his dream, as his real-world body continues to lie unconscious in front of the screen.

A waltz is being played at the party. As the Prisoner journeys through the garden, he greets several acquaintances with a hearty "Good evening!". He ascends a flight of stone steps and enters the house. He greets a few more people, then suddenly turns round as an elegant French lady in a red and white dress enters. A couple of lackeys close a pair of doors behind her.

Prisoner: Engadine!

Engadine: Darling!

Prisoner: Aha! How are you?

He kisses her cheek.

Engadine: I am so happy you are here.

Prisoner: You look as wonderful as ever.

Engadine: I should -- what it cost! Oh, aïe aïe aïe! Uh-uh, you look tired, darling. Things are bad?

The Prisoner looks suspicious for a second, then switches the charm back on.

Prisoner: No, not now. I'm starting a holiday.

Engadine: Oh! The English holiday? Big boots and fishing sticks?

Prisoner: Not quite like that.

Engadine: Where then?

Prisoner: Somewhere different, somewhere quiet, where I can think.

Engadine: Oh, there is no quiet anywhere!

The Prisoner laughs. She catches sight of someone over his shoulder.

Engadine: Hello!

The Prisoner turns politely but briefly.

Prisoner: Hello.

Engadine: Sorry darling. I'll come back soon.

She starts to move off into the crowd.

Prisoner: Of course, yes.

Engadine: Uh-uh, and remember -- you're mine.

Prisoner: Oh yes.

Engadine: Be horrible to other women.

Prisoner: I promise.

Engadine: Oh, thank you!

She makes a kissing noise with her lips, and departs to mingle.

Prisoner: See you anon.

In the laboratory, Number 2 opens box file "a". It contains a reel of tape and a photograph of a dark-haired man with a moustache.

Number 2: I think it's time we introduced A.

He hands the tape to Number 14. She attaches it to the capstan machine, and a colour image of A appears on the monitor.

Number 14: His face looks vaguely familiar. What's his real name?

Number 2: I'm surprised you don't remember him. He made world news a few years ago.

Number 14 makes further adjustments to the controls, and A appears in black tie behind the Prisoner at the party. The Prisoner concludes a conversation ("... I'll be immediately back") and turns round the long way to face A -- who hands him a drink. A holds a drink of his own and a cigarette.

Prisoner: I'm surprised.

A: Not unpleasantly, I trust.

Prisoner: I knew you came to these parties.

A: And wondered why we never had met? She's a tactful lady -- she's kept us apart, I think.

Prisoner: Till tonight.

A: Perhaps tonight is spécial...

Prisoner: ... I feel it to the special core.

They smile politely.

A: To us.

Prisoner: As we are -- or as we were?

Number 14: Oh, I remember him. He defected about six years ago.

A keeps his eyes on the Prisoner, while the Prisoner's eyes roam around the room.

A: It's been a long time.

Prisoner: Not long enough.

A: We used to be friends.

Prisoner: Once.

A: With a lot in common.

Prisoner: That's in the past.

A: Then let us think of the future. We're still the same people.

Prisoner: Working for different sides.

A: Sides don't matter. Only success.

Prisoner: In that case we should have a great deal in common.

A: We do the same jobs.

Prisoner: For different reasons, yes.

A laughs slightly.

A: I see you still overrate absolute truth. Whatever way you look at it, we both want to conquer the world. I hope you're, er, happy in your new life.

He sips his drink.

Prisoner: New life?

A: Well, news of old friends travels quickly.

Prisoner: In a few hours.

A: To you and to me, news is like air. So we breathe it deeply, we draw it from far and wide.

The Prisoner whispers his next two utterances.

Prisoner: If it's interesting.

A: What are you going to do with your freedom?

Prisoner: Go fishing.

Again, A laughs slightly.

A: ... Perhaps you're fishing now. What's your price?

Prisoner: What am I selling?

Both A and the Prisoner whisper their next exchange.

A: I'm anxious to find out.

Prisoner: Madame's wine... it's always... excellent.

He samples the wine's aroma.

A: If you haven't got a price, you must have a reason.

The Prisoner whispers patronisingly.

Prisoner: They're not always the same thing. Excuse me.

He walks off into the crowd.

In the lab, Number 2 gestures wildly to Number 14.

Number 2: He's going, and we haven't found out a thing -- he must not go!

Number 14: He's only doing what he would have done. I can only create the situation.

Number 2: Get him back.

Number 14: It's his dream -- it must take its course.

On the screen, A has wandered off, and the Prisoner is about to leave. A lackey helps him into his grey overcoat, and he and another open the door for him. A stands there in a black coat, clearly barring the way.

Prisoner: You never could take a hint.

A: I don't want a hint. I want you.

He motions to the lackeys, his henchmen, who escort the Prisoner out.

A: I'm saving myself money.

The Prisoner is travelling in the back of a car, sitting between A and one of his men.

Prisoner: Paris hasn't changed much, has it?

A tries to suppress a smile.

Number 2: Where are they going?

Number 14: I don't know. But it's what would have happened. That's what you wanted.

The car stops in front of a country house at the end of a long driveway. The three back-seat travellers get out, A's henchman holding a revolver and the Prisoner adjusting his cuffs. The driver of the car vanishes into the house.

A: Well, you're in my country now.

Prisoner: Oh, diplomatic immunity, ha! I like travel. It broadens the, um... MIND!

He suddenly punches A who staggers backwards. The Prisoner turns to A's henchman.

Prisoner: You there, excuse me.

The henchman tosses his revolver and catches it in a different grip.

Prisoner: Oh, that's wonderful...

The henchman tries to hit the Prisoner in the face with the butt of the revolver, but the Prisoner catches the man's arm, twists him round and punches him in the face. But a punch from A sends him reeling over the car's bonnet. He recovers quickly.

Prisoner: Let us stay... on different sides... please---

A lunges for him again, but the Prisoner steps to one side, hurling A over the bonnet. The henchman is getting to his feet again, but the Prisoner easily knocks him unconscious. The Prisoner straightens his bow tie.

Prisoner: Be seeing you.

In the laboratory, Number 2 looks resigned.

Number 2: At least I know it wasn't A he was selling out to.

Number 14 walks over and starts to switch the machine off.

Number 2: No. Let's try the second dose. Let's get on to B.

Number 14: He must rest first.

She continues switching things off.

Number 2: How long?

Number 14: Twenty-four hours.

Number 2: Why?

Number 14: It's a very dangerous drug. He must have time to readjust.

Number 2 concedes, but reluctantly. He stares warily at a huge red phone, identical to the one in his own office.

It is the next morning and Number 6 is getting up. As he stands, he winces at a pain in his back. He puts on his dressing gown and wanders out of his bedroom, rubbing his head as if it is sore. On some instinct, he opens his front door: a woman in a brightly coloured cape is buying flowers from another woman at a stall.

Stallholder: I meet everybody. I know everything: who is sick, who is getting better.

Woman: Be seeing you.

She turns round and briefly makes eye contact with the Prisoner before walking away. It is Number 14. He stands deep in thought for a few seconds, then suddenly looks at his wrist. It bears an injection scar...

Once dressed, the Prisoner seeks her out and finds her reading the Tally Ho newspaper at a parasolled table on one of the Village's lawns. He sits down beside her.

Prisoner: My handbook on social etiquette doesn't deal with this. How does one talk to someone that one has met in a dream?

She lowers the newspaper.

Number 14: Look, er, Number...?

Prisoner: 6?

Number 14: 6. I'm usually a social animal, but not now. Another time?

She turns back to her paper.

Prisoner: Last week, Number 14 was an old lady in a wheelchair. You're new here, and you're one of them.

She folds the paper up and picks up her flowers.

Number 14: Your nonsense bores me.

Prisoner: Oh, my mistake.

Number 14: Oh, don't worry. We all happen to make mistakes. Sometimes we have to.

They depart in different directions. He glances up at the Green Dome.

Number 2, seated in his spherical chair, answers a phone.

Number 2: Yes?... Oh really? Send him in.

He smiles. A moment later, the metal doors to his office slide open, revealing the Prisoner -- escorted by the little butler, who bows as the Prisoner steps through.

Number 2: Come in, my dear fellow. Come and sit down.

The Prisoner strolls down towards Number 2's desk.

Prisoner: I'm not tired. I slept well.

Number 2: Good! We don't seem to have seen a lot of each other.

Prisoner: I haven't seen very much of you.

Number 2: I don't spend all my time spying.

Prisoner: Don't you? Your predecessors did.

Number 2: Hm-hm, I have other things to do... Now all this nonsense about why you resigned: if people can't chuck up a job, things have come to a pretty pass. Do sit down.

Prisoner: I'm still not tired.

Number 2: In that case, perhaps you'd pour me out some milk. I didn't have a very good night.

Prisoner: Oh?

He carefully adjusts his cuff, then pours a glass of milk from the jug.

Number 2: Thank you.

Prisoner: A pleasure. Your milk.

He hands the glass to Number 2, revealing the scar on the inside of his wrist. Number 2 ignores it.

Number 2: Thank you. Milk is the perfect food. It creates good temper. Would you like some?

Prisoner: My temper's fine. Anyone who had nothing to hide would ask...

He holds up his wrist.

Prisoner: ... where I got it.

Number 2: Where did you get it, Number 6?

Prisoner: In my sleep.

Number 2: Oh, you must have been restless. Perhaps you need a checkup.

Prisoner: I have a favourite doctor.

Number 2: Really?

Prisoner: Number 14.

And on that bombshell, he exits. Number 2 slowly stands up and starts to pace. Almost immediately, the huge red phone begins to beep. Warily, Number 2 approaches it and answers.

Number 2: Sir?... Yes sir, within two days, you have my word... Yes sir, I realize my future's at stake. Two days, I guarantee.

Slowly, he puts the phone down.

That night, a maid makes the Prisoner a hot drink and places it by his bed. As she leaves, the Prisoner comes out of the bathroom.

Maid: 'Night, sir.

Prisoner: Goodnight.

The Prisoner sits on his bed, stirs the drink and then takes a sip. Immediately feeling strange, he starts to put the cup down but succeeds only in spilling it and collapsing onto the floor...

In the laboratory, Number 14's hand reaches for the second syringe...

At the dream party, the Prisoner steps outside and sits on a low wall. He looks around suspiciously. Engadine approaches from another door.

Engadine: Where have you been, darling?

The Prisoner jumps up, surprised and genuinely puzzled.

Prisoner: Been?

Engadine: Oh, ho-ho! Men always evade questions! All my husbands did.

Prisoner: Ah.

Engadine: Where is my other handsome guest?

The Prisoner looks over his shoulder.

Prisoner: Who?

Engadine: Your old friend. Ah, you were talking to him.

Prisoner: Oh, he's... he's gone.

Engadine: Ah, just like that?

Prisoner: Yes.

Engadine: How very rude. Without saying goodbye? Ho-ho! Anyway I never did like that man.

Prisoner: Ah!

A lackey comes out of the house.

Lackey: Madame?

Engadine: Oui?

Lackey: Excusez-moi.

Engadine: Oui, je viens, merci.

She turns back to the Prisoner as she goes inside.

Engadine: I'll see you later, darling?

Prisoner: Yes. Goodbye.

In the laboratory, the real-world Prisoner is once again lying motionless, wired up to the machine. Number 2 closes a file he's been reading and hands another reel of tape to Number 14.

Number 2: Time for B.

She fixes the tape to the capstan and presses a button. The image of a young aristocratic-looking brunette appears on the monitor screen.

Number 14: She even looks like a spy.

Number 2: She's a very good one from a long line of spies.

Number 14 reactivates the main screen. The Prisoner is sitting alone at a table outside the party.

Number 2: He's full of the party spirit, isn't he?

Nothing else seems to be happening.

Number 2: Where is she?

Number 14: I don't know.

Number 2: She should be there.

Number 14: I think he's resisting.

Number 2: Don't you know?

Number 14: It may take longer for the drug to work this time.

She crosses over to check on the Prisoner. On the screen, the Prisoner gets up from his table and starts to walk about. Number 2 steps up for a closer look.

Number 2: Wait a minute, he's seen someone.

The Prisoner has seen a young waitress hurrying across the courtyard. Number 2 laughs embarassedly.

Number 2: No. No, that's certainly not B.

Number 14: I expect she's there somewhere.

Number 2: I very much hope so.

The waitress is carrying a note. She hurries up the steps towards the Prisoner, but Engadine suddenly emerges from the house.

Engadine: Ah, Lucette, I was looking for you. What have you been up to?

Lucette: Nothing, madame. I was helping Louis to collect the glasses.

Engadine: Ah...

She sees the note.

Engadine: What is that, Lucette?

Lucette: A note, madame. A lady, she gave it to me.

Engadine reaches for it.

Lucette: No, madame. It's for...

She indicates the Prisoner.

Engadine: Thank you, Lucette.

Engadine takes the note and hands it to the Prisoner.

Engadine: It's for you.

Prisoner: Oh? Really?

Engadine: A woman's hand.

Prisoner: Mm-hm?

Engadine: I'm jealous.

The Prisoner extracts a letter-opener from his pocket and opens the note.

Engadine: What does she want?

Prisoner: I dare not tell you.

He lets her see the note instead. The resulting conversation is sarcastic.

Engadine: To meet her in the arbour. Oh, ha-ha! My guest at my party... in the arbour!

Prisoner: She's an old friend.

Engadine: Oh, there is no name!

Prisoner: Old friends don't need names.

Engadine: Then, you prefer her to me.

Prisoner: Yes. Maybe.

Engadine: All right, all right, I shall go. The party's finished, finished!

She strides away, but then turns with a broad smile.

Engadine: Enjoy yourself!

The Prisoner's face gives nothing away. He wanders down the steps and crosses the courtyard, pocketing the note as he goes. Once in the arbour, he peers cautiously down various pathways before hearing a champagne cork pop. B is seated at a table, pouring herself a glass. Numbers 2 and 14 look on.

Prisoner: I'd recognize that signal anywhere.

B: Let's get distressed together.

Number 14: There we are.

The Prisoner approaches, and B pours him a glass too.

Prisoner: You are still the most intriguing spy... I have ever met.

B: It's taken a lot of thought and experience.

Prisoner: Last I remember, you were hiking across the mountains to, er, Switzerland?

B: I got sore feet.

Prisoner: You should have stayed.

The Prisoner comes round to her side of the table, and she hands him his glass.

B: I have no friends there.

Prisoner: Your enemy is a very bad loser. He was here earlier. Does he know you're back?

B: His chums are all over the place.

Prisoner: He and I had a little ride together. I left him in a most unforgiving mood. He may return.

B: Oh, being killed is an occupational hazard.

Prisoner: Like a sitting duck?

B: Don't worry. Tonight's a party.

Soft music starts up. The Prisoner smiles and takes B's hand.

Prisoner: You used to be... a very good dancer.

B: I still am.

Prisoner: Are you?

B: Mm-hm.

Prisoner: This side...

They begin a complicated slow dance.

B: Where are you going for your holiday?

The Prisoner laughs out loud.

Prisoner: Ah, so you've heard! I, er... I don't know yet.

B: A long one?

Prisoner: Oh, a very long one.

B: Why?

Prisoner: I need time to think.

B: Ha! I can't bear to think. I can't bear to be alone.

Prisoner: Can't you?

B: That's why I like parties. I drown myself in chatter.

Prisoner: Tonight there is no need for that. Just... dance.

In the laboratory, the Prisoner is grunting.

Number 2: He's far too relaxed.

Number 14: He may be there, but he's not here.

The bars on the oscilloscope are in rapid motion.

Number 14: With this kind of resistance he'll burn up the drug in no time. We haven't got long.

Number 2: Then you'd better do something about it.

She wanders over to look at the main screen, where the Prisoner and B continue their dance. She absent-mindedly holds the earpieces of her stethoscope to her mouth as she paces and ponders.

Number 14: The only way to manipulate his dreams is to get into them.

Number 2: Is that possible?

Number 14: I was wondering...

Number 2: What?

Number 14: ... if I could put words into her mouth.

Number 2: Go on. How?

Number 14: We've fed him with pictures... Why can't we feed him with sound?

Number 2: But the voice... Would he hear yours or hers?

Number 14: That's the danger. If he hears my voice and recognizes it, the shock'll wake him, he'll see everything... we'll have failed.

Number 2: We must make the most of this chance or we'll never know if it was B.

Number 14: This is the worst time to try anything. Just look at the state he's in.

Number 2: Where's your scientific enthusiasm?

Giving in, she picks up a phone and plugs it into the dream machine. Then she hesitates.

Number 14: What shall I say?

Number 2: Anything. Try it... Go on!

Number 14: Shall we have some more?

B: Shall we have some more?

Prisoner: ... More?

Number 14: Champagne.

B: Champagne.

Prisoner: Not yet.

Number 2: Now get to the point. You said we hadn't long.

Number 14: I wonder if they will kill me.

B: I wonder if they will kill me.

Prisoner: I thought you didn't care.

Number 14: I do.

B: I do.

Prisoner: I'll help you, you know that.

B: They are here to kill me. They want me to make a deal with you. They want to know why you've resigned.

The Prisoner's expression freezes.

Number 2: Go on.

Number 14: If you'd just talk about it, they'd let me off the hook.

B: If you'd just talk about it, they'd let me off the hook... Are you shocked?

Prisoner: I'm surprised. I can't believe it's you.

B: I'm such a mess. I need something to swap. Will you meet them? They're here now.

Prisoner: Are you asking this?

B: Don't hate me. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we have to.

Prisoner: Have you the feeling that you're being manipulated?

B: Manipulated?

Prisoner: WHO ARE YOU?!

B: They're here!

A thug in black tie has appeared from a pathway.

B: If you don't tell them, they'll kill me!

Prisoner: You are not who you pretend to be. Excuse me.

He turns to leave, but the thug blocks his way. Another thug appears from a path to the Prisoner's right, but the Prisoner throws him to the ground. He then ducks and the first thug falls over him. A punch to the second thug's face sends him sprawling into a hedge; the Prisoner then ducks a blow from the first thug, and concludes by punching him to the ground too. Unfortunately a third thug has appeared -- with a gun, which he points at B's head.

B: Tell him! He'll kill me!

Prisoner: ... I don't believe in you.

B: He'll kill me!

Prisoner: How long has your husband been dead?

She looks blank. So does Number 14.

Number 2: Four years.

Number 14: Four years.

B: Four years.

Prisoner: How old is your son now?

Number 2 leafs through the file.

Number 2: Son?... Husband, yes... But there's no son.

Number 14: Help me, please.

B: Help me, please!

Prisoner: WHAT IS YOUR SON'S NAME? That's an easier question.

She says nothing.

Prisoner: Thought you couldn't answer.

He turns and walks briskly away.

B: Come back! Don't leave me! Come back! I can explain everything! PLEASE!

Number 14 gives up. Number 2 is about to hurl the file to the floor, but he stops when he once again catches sight of the big red phone...

The next morning, the Prisoner wakes up to the sight of an unspilled cup on his bedside table. He shuts his eyes, but it's still there when he opens them. He grabs his wrist: it now bears a second scar.

Later on, when Number 14 in her multicoloured cape emerges from her house, the Prisoner is watching. He follows her through the Village into increasingly thick undergrowth. She looks back a couple of times, but he evades detection. A metal door grates open; the Prisoner races forward, but by the time he gets there the door has sealed itself shut again. Unable to move it, he starts to climb up the surrounding rockface.

Number 14 enters the laboratory as the Prisoner reaches the top of the rockface and discovers the entrance to a ventilation shaft. He climbs down the shaft while Number 14 makes adjustments to the laboratory equipment. The shaft brings him to a grille in the corridor outside the laboratory. He is about to push the grille off the wall when Number 14 passes through on her way out; he ducks back to avoid being seen. Once all is clear, he kicks the grille away, emerges and carefully replaces the grille.

He steps through into the laboratory, wary of the doors that close automatically behind him. He explores, following a cable from the trolley to the various bits of the dream machine. He flicks a switch, and the sights and sounds of Engadine's party appear on the monitor. Gradually he starts to piece everything together.

His eye is caught by the three files "a", "b" and "c" He grabs file "c", but it contains only a sheet of paper. File "b" contains a picture of B and a reel of tape. He attaches the tape to the capstan machine, but nothing changes on the monitor. Learning from this, he looks briefly into file "a" and finds a photo of A and another tape. He takes care to replace the files exactly as he found them, and then turns off the monitor.

He finds the third syringe, now alone in its box, and looks once again at the marks on his wrist. Glancing about to check there are no hidden observers, he empties the syringe into his handkerchief and refills it from a nearby jug of water. He then puts everything back as he found it and leaves.

Later in the day, the little butler brings Number 2 a fresh jug of milk as his spherical chair rises swiftly out of the floor. Number 2 is in his dressing gown, and his hair is dishevelled.

Number 2: I couldn't sleep. What's that Number 6 doing?

He stands up, flicks a switch and walks over to the big screen on the wall, which shows the Prisoner wandering around the Village.

Number 2: Ah, he's always walking! Irritating man!... DOESN'T HE EVER GET TIRED?

On the screen, the Prisoner turns to the camera that he knows is there, makes the "Be seeing you" gesture and indeed says "Be seeing you".

Number 2: NO! I'll be seeing you!

That evening, the Prisoner emerges from his bathroom to find the usual hot drink waiting for him. He stirs it and wanders into his kitchen with it, where he pours it down the sink. He fills a glass with tap water, checks it's clear, and sips it contentedly. Finally he turns back to his bedroom, and totters around for a few seconds before falling flat on his back.

In the laboratory, Number 14 in her lab coat prepares to inject the Prisoner with the contents of the third syringe.

Number 14: Right.

Number 2 activates the dream machine while Number 14 adjusts the oscilloscope. But the image of the party that appears on the main screen is unbalanced, wobbling about between the guests as though inebriated. The music is also more upbeat and jangly than usual.

Number 2: What's happened? What's gone wrong?

Number 14 comes over and alters the settings on the dream machine.

Number 14: The strength's too much for him. I'm going to stop it!

Number 2 holds her back.

Number 2: No! This is our last chance. It's now or never.

Number 14: On your head.

Number 2: I'll worry about that later.

The Prisoner appears at the party, which continues to pitch and yaw. Smiling strangely, he walks behind a woman who looks like B.

Prisoner: Haven't they killed you yet?

The woman turns round. It is not B at all.

Prisoner: Sorry. Must have been thinking of someone else...

He wanders off into the milling crowd. Engadine approaches.

Engadine: It is so wild, darling. It will end in tears.

Prisoner: All the best parties do.

Engadine: Oh, it's terrible! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

The Prisoner makes a strange sprinkling gesture with his right hand.

Prisoner: Terrible? It's dreamy! THIS IS A DREAMY PARTY!

Feeling disoriented, he puts his fingers to his temples and staggers over to a mirror that hangs extremely crookedly on the wall. Using all his strength, he starts to straighten it. From the mirror's point of view, it is the party that straightens up.

Number 14: We'll have to hurry. Get me C's picture.

Number 2: There isn't one.

He takes the sheet of paper from file "c".

Number 2: This is all we have on him: known to be French, known to have attended Engadine's parties, probably disguised; known to have been in contact with Number 6.

Number 14: How do you expect me to bring them together if there's no picture?

Number 2: It's a process of elimination. C's the only one left. He'll find him.

Number 14: Well... he'll have to hurry.

At the party, Engadine is tipsy.

Engadine: Champagne? We all need more champagne!

She leads him over to a blonde lady.

Engadine: Watch him for me, will you darling? He's the last sane man in the world.

She moves away.

Blonde: I like sane men. Are you in business?

Prisoner: I was.

Blonde: You're young to retire.

Prisoner: Age is relative.

Blonde: Meaning you're free?

Prisoner: ... Possibly.

Blonde: I know something, and the pay is very good.

Prisoner: I'm free.

She removes one of her diamond earrings and hands it to the Prisoner.

Blonde: Number six. I'm sure it's your lucky number.

Amused, the Prisoner takes the earring to the roulette table and places it on the six.

Croupier: Les jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus.

The blonde lady looks on as the croupier spins the wheel, then wanders away.

Croupier: Six, noir, pair et manque.

The Prisoner looks around, but the blonde is nowhere to be seen. The croupier puts down a large key and holds up the diamond.

Croupier: Pour le service, monsieur.

A little perplexed, the Prisoner takes the key and walks away from the gaming table, gently tapping the key. A woman's hand suddenly holds out an identical key.

Number 2 is astonished.

Number 2: It can't be her! She can't be C...

It's Engadine herself.

Engadine: It takes you a long time to sell yourself, darling.

Prisoner: It took a lot of thought.

Engadine: Come on. This way...

Number 2: She's fooled us for years! But not any longer.

Number 14: You'll be bringing her to the Village?

Number 2: Yes...

Sedately Engadine leads the Prisoner outside, through a line of people doing the conga.

Engadine: You are sure? No change of mind?

Prisoner: No change of mind.

Engadine: And no doubt?

Prisoner: Not any more.

Engadine: It's a one-way journey. You have a veil?

Prisoner: Yes, these... papers from London.

He takes some papers out of his pocket and briefly shows them to her.

Engadine: If you want to go back, you can. Back to the party, back to your life. But once through this door, you can never return.

He holds up his key. She holds up hers. They approach the door.

Number 2: This is what I've been waiting for...

As they insert their keys, the image on the screen begins to sway and spin. The Prisoner grunts and gasps; Number 14 adjusts his electrodes, but his head suddenly lolls. The image vanishes from the screen.

Number 2: It's gone dead. What's happened?

Number 14: He's collapsed!

Number 14 gives him oxygen.

Number 14: That's it. We've pushed him as far as we dare.

Number 2: No, I must have that dream back.

Number 14: You know who C is.

Number 2: Yes, but I still don't know what he was selling.

Number 14: And if it kills him?

Number 2: ... I shall have to take that risk.

Number 14: ... I'll try a hard stimulant. Hold this.

Number 2 takes over with the oxygen mask.

Engadine and the Prisoner swim into view, driving down the Champs Élysées.

Prisoner: Where are you taking me?

Engadine: To the summit. To hand over your papers.

Prisoner: Not to you?

Engadine: Even I work for someone.

Number 2's jaw drops and he speaks in an awed whisper.

Number 2: Someone else?!

Prisoner: Who?

Engadine: I've never seen him. No one has ever seen him.

Number 14: I thought you'd boiled it down to three.

Number 2: I had. I didn't know about this one. It's great!

Number 14: You'll have to call him D.

The car drives under a low arch and draws to a halt outside a remote mediaeval building.

Engadine: We're here.

Prisoner: Are we?

Engadine: Oh yes! He likes impressive offices. Good luck.

Prisoner: Aren't you coming?

Engadine: I must go back. I can't leave a party so long. People will talk.

The Prisoner gets out, then hesitates.

Prisoner: How will I know him?

Engadine: He will know you.

She reverses under the arch, as the Prisoner crosses the courtyard and ascends the steps to a huge pair of Gothic doors.

Number 2's eyes are glued to the screen.

As the Prisoner opens the doors, the sound of an express train fills the air. On the other side it is night-time in a deserted echoing town square. The Prisoner wanders out, as D's slightly French accent booms from nowhere.

D: I am glad you could come.

Prisoner: WHERE ARE YOU?

D: It doesn't matter.


D: It won't make any difference.


A church bell chimes as a shadowy figure in hat and red-lined cloak emerges from the shadows at the far end of the square. The man's face is masked.

Number 2 continues to watch avidly.

Prisoner: I didn't know you existed.

D: It is often the case with really important people. Anonymity is the best disguise.

Prisoner: You are afraid.

D holds out his hand. Simultaneously, the Prisoner reaches into his pocket and pulls out an envelope.

Prisoner: This is very important to me.

D: It is only a commodity.

Prisoner: No. It's my future.

D: You belong to me now. You were told there was no return.

Prisoner: Not until I know who you are. I've never liked secrets.

Number 2 can barely contain his eagerness. He scurries up to the big screen for the closest possible look.

Number 2: Nor have I. I want to see him!

D: No one will ever see me.

Prisoner: I will. I want to know who I'm selling out to. We must all know.

D: All? Aren't you alone?

Prisoner: No... But you are.

He advances towards D.

D: Violence will do you no good.

Prisoner: It relieves the feelings.

He reaches for D's mask, but D pushes the Prisoner's hands apart.

D: Does it matter?

Prisoner: ... It does to them. We mustn't disappoint them, the people who are watching.

He grabs D's hat, turns him so his back is to us and unmasks him.

In the laboratory, Number 2's eyes are practically popping out of his head.

Prisoner: I knew of course. Now... show them!

He spins D round. The masked man is Number 2.

Number 14 gasps; Number 2's face registers pure shock. He staggers away from his own face on the screen. The Prisoner walks back up the square as the doors creak shut in front of him. He pushes them open again to reveal a view of the Village: he is even wearing his white-trimmed Number 6 jacket once more. He turns back to look straight at the watchers in the laboratory, before walking on.

Number 14: He knew all the time. He was playing with you.

Number 2: Your drug failed.

Number 14: No. He... succeeded.

On the screen, the Prisoner has walked through the Village and reached the metal door in the rockface. It opens for him and he walks down the corridor. Startled, both Number 2 and Number 14 look round at the real door to their laboratory as the Prisoner on the screen enters a copy of it that also contains them. The real door doesn't move.

Prisoner: (On the screen) I owe you an apology.

Number 2: An apology?

Prisoner: Yes. I forgot to give you this.

He walks into the room and hands the all-important envelope to Number 2.

Prisoner: (On the screen) A bargain's a bargain.

The real Number 2 is furious.

Number 2: Open it, you fool! Open it! I must see what's in it.

Number 2's dream counterpart unseals the envelope and takes out a selection of travel brochures.

Number 14: He was going on holiday.

Prisoner: (On the screen) I wasn't selling out. That wasn't the reason I resigned.

He lies down on the table, thereby mirroring his real-world body. The image on the screen fades to black, and is then replaced by the original dream loop of the Prisoner resigning. Number 14 finally detaches the Prisoner from the machine, as the huge red phone starts beeping noisily. Number 2 stares at it in horror...

Prison bars slam shut on the Prisoner's face.

Next episode: Free For All

Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

Guest Stars:
Katherine Kath as Engadine
Sheila Allen as Number 14
Colin Gordon as Number 2
Peter Bowles as A

Angelo Muscat as the Butler
Georgina Cookson as the Blonde Lady
Annette Carrell as B
Lucille Soong as the Flower Girl

Bettine Le Beau as the Maid at the Party (Lucette)
Terry Yorke and Peter Brayham as the Thugs
Bill Cummings as the Henchman

Episode written by Anthony Skene

Executive Producer: Patrick McGoohan

Director: Pat Jackson

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

Assistant Director: Gino Marotta
Sound Editor: Peter Elliott
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!"