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October 10, 2015

The Prisoner: A Change of Mind

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Aug 9th 2006 5:41PM

Number 6 plots his next move(S01E11) Say what you will, but Number 6 is a tough son of a bitch. He's been subjected to all sorts of tactics by the Village leaders in order to get him to talk about his resignation, but he has not cracked -- not even a little bit.

This time around, Number 6 is found to be anti-social by the Villagers. In fact, the term they use is "disharmonious", and his attitude toward his fellow citizens as well as his relationship with the new Number 2 are being called into question. He's brought before a committee to explain his actions and confess to his belligerence, but, as usual, Number 6 remains defiant.

Best line of the episode was when Number 6 was told that he should act more like the rest of the Villagers, he responds "They're all sheep."

The latest scheme to get Number 6 to talk involves him being shunned by his fellow Villagers, with even headlines in the Tally Ho! newspaper denouncing him. Number 2 engages the help of Number 86, an attractive female psychologist who devises a plan to get him to conform. That plan includes medical testing, the administration of mind-altering drugs, and aversion therapy. (Think A Clockwork Orange and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.)

After Number 6 is shuttled to the infirmary, he undergoes a procedure whereby his frontal lobes are adjusted so as to alter his behavior. In other words, "a change of mind". He then is welcomed back into the Village with open arms, and Number 86 visits him in his flat in order to check on him as well as slip a pill into his tea. Number 6 feigns feeling cold, and as Number 86 gets him a blanket, he dumps the tea into a vase.

Number 2 then drops in for a talk, and begins to inquire as to why Number 6 resigned. (Haven't the Village leaders realized that his will is incredibly strong?) We later learn that the "procedure" may not have been what we thought it was, but in any case, the goal of ascertaining Number 6's resignation is foremost in Number 2's mind.

Later on, we see Number 6 triumphing and foiling another plot against him. Who knows what is in store for him next. Guess you'll have to keep watching.

Until next time

Be seeing you!

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Actually, I believe the term the Villagers use is "Unmutual."

August 11 2006 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not that "They're all sheep" is such a great line it itself. It's McGoohan's delivery, in that wonderful clipped, quietly explosive voice. He was a real talent--a shame we didn't get to see more of him.

August 09 2006 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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