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October 8, 2015

The Prisoner: A, B and C

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jul 5th 2006 11:30AM

Will Number 6 tell why he resigned?(S01E06) Despite their best efforts so far, the powers-that-be at the Village can't seem to break Number 6 and ascertain the reason as to why he resigned from being a spy. In this instance, the new Number 2 gets a call from (presumably) Number 1 who implores him to get information from Number 6. We see a clearly agitated Number 2 acknowledge to his boss that he "is not indispensable", so it would be safe to assume that more drastic measures will be taken to get Number 6 to talk.

We are then introduced to Number 14, an attractive female doctor who has developed a means to get Number 6 to talk via the combination of mind-altering drugs and dream analysis. In other words, Number 6 is knocked out and then placed on a table with electrodes hooked up to his head and the doctor administers a shot whereby we see his dreams on a television screen. Number 2 hopes that he can get the answer he is looking for so he can get Number 1 off his back.

While Number 6 is unconscious, we are taken to a dream sequence where he is at a fancy party where he encounters people from his past "spy life" who try subtlely (and not so subtlely) to get him to talk. Of course, Number 14 is doing her best to manipulate his dreams so that he can spill the beans as to why he resigned, but Number 6 has a strong will, and it won't be easy.

Eventually, Number 6 finds out what is being done to him, and he devises an ingenious way to get back at Numbers 2 and 14 and foil their plans. Will it succeed or will he give up the goods? Guess you'll have to watch and find out.

This is another taut episode. There isn't much character development, and viewers don't get much of an opportunity to find out what makes the new Number 2 or Number 14 tick. In any case, we get more evidence that Number 6 must have had a damn good reason why he resigned or else he wouldn't fight so hard to keep it to himself.

Until next time

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Toby OB

It should be noted that Peter Bowles ('Rumpole Of The Bailey', 'To The Manor Born') made a great guest star in this episode as one of the dream contacts.

My favorite scene is when Numbers 2 & 14 are watching 6's dream play out on the screen. When he approaches the door to Number 2's office in the dream, the two of them turn to look at it as if his dreamform is actually going to walk in.

Another good example of how you can take a very constrictive format and still find the freedom to go in all sorts of directions with the narrative.

July 05 2006 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love both the show and your reviews of each episode. Unless I'm mistaken, however, the word is "subtly," not "subtlely."

July 05 2006 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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