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August 31, 2014

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The Prisoner: The Chimes of Big Ben

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jun 28th 2006 12:04PM

(S01E05) I've always liked this particular episode because of the excellent acting of the late Leo McKern ("Rumpole of the Bailey") as the new Number 2. Although he is doing everything "by hook or by crook" to extract information from Number 6, he seems to be doing it with a twinkle in his eye, if that makes any sense. Plus he's got a very infectious laugh, even when he's scheming against Number 6.

This is a very taut episode--not a lot of extraneous material. It's a simple storyline of Number 2 wanting to find out why Number 6 resigned. Number 6 does say that it was "a matter of conscience," but that's not good enough for Number 2. In the meantime, we are introduced to Number 8, an attractive female spy from Estonia who is a new "resident" of the Village. Number 2 then "treats" Number 6 to view some of the tactics that are used to extract information from prisoners, and it's pretty rough stuff. In fact, Number 8, who happens to be an Olympic medal-winning swimmer, attempts to escape by swimming out to sea, but the ever-present Rover reels her back in.

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