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The Prisoner
Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Prisoner: It's Your Funeral The Prisoner
"It's Your Funeral"
TV episode
Written by Michael Cramoy
Directed by Robert Asher
Original air date: December 8, 1967


When the permanent Number 2 returns, Number 6 tries to prevent his assassination.


Read the complete story summary at Wikipedia


Didja Notice?


At 3:25 on the Blu-Ray, the "ground" under Number 50's feet wobbles a bit. That's because it's not the real ground of Portmeirion, but a mat of false ground on a soundstage.


    The young woman who seeks Number 6's help in preventing an assassination is Number 50. Her father, the watchmaker, Number 51, calls her Monique later in the episode. It's interesting to note that Monique and her father have consecutive assigned numbers, but hers is a black badge while his is white. Are consecutive numbers the norm for relatives who are consigned to the Village?

    Two different Number 50s appeared in "The Chimes of Big Ben" and "Hammer Into Anvil". A different Number 51 is a nurse in "Checkmate".


At 5:49 on the Blu-Ray, notice that Number 6 has to pull open the front door of his apartment himself to show Number 50 out. Normally the door opens for him automatically. Actually, as witnessed in previous episodes, it seems the door reacts or doesn't based on the drama of any given scene!


Number 2 states that Number 50 was given one of the new moprobomate drugs which remains dormant in her until triggered by her nervous system to make her pass out. Moprobomate appears to be a fictitious drug.


Number 8 is the woman who appears to be in charge of monitoring Number 6's daily activities and providing daily activity prognoses on him. Numerous other Number 8s have appeared in past episodes. The one seen here is played by Wanda Ventham, who is also known for her portrayal of Colonel Virginia Lake on UFO.


This episode reveals that Number 6 takes a daily walk around the Village for exercise.


In this episode, Number 6 again makes use of his own makeshift workout area in the woods, as he did in "A Change of Mind". The man twirling around on the high bar is obviously a stand-in for Patrick McGoohan, however! In fact, there appear to have been a couple different stand-ins in this scene!


Apparently the residents of the Village are allowed to go water skiing should they desire, as seen at 12:40 on the Blu-ray. During this scene, all sorts of homes and other sturctures are visible across the bay. 


When Number 6 stops to pick up the Tally Ho near the cafe, magazines called Village Mercury and Tally Ho Journal can also be seen. Village Mercury and Tally Ho Journal


The old man who paints Number 6's portrait is Number 118. The prognoses of Number 6's activities for the day says he is humoring another Village eccentric or, perhaps, he has an ulterior motive. When we see the actual sitting for the portrait, it seems that he did have an ulterior motive: to learn something about the jammers. The old man explains Number 50's use of the term "jammers", residents who spread stories of plots they're allegedly hatching for escape or plans of mischief to confuse and mislead the observers. Two different Number 118s appear in "Arrival" and "The Schizoid Man".


The man who gathers the ticker tape readout of the prognoses of Number 6's activity for the day appears to be Number 212. The woman who hands off the ticker tape to Number 8 appears to be Number 241.


Number 2 speaks to Number 100, who is in the process of prepping Plan Division Q. Plan Division Q turns out to be a plot to stage the real Number 2's execution as an assassination by individuals within the Village. A different Number 100 was a technician in "The Schizoid Man".


At the kiosk where Number 6 gets a paper and a bar of soap, an old woman wants to get a bag of candy, but the clerk won't give it to her, telling her her week's credit allowance is all used up and she should come back "tomorrow". Does this mean she'll have more credits tomorrow? Later in the episode, we learn that the day after tomorrow is Thursday, so the tomorrow the clerk speaks of is Wednesday; does this indicate that the citizens' weekly credit vouchers are handed out every Wednesday?


The old woman for whom Number 6 buys a bag of candy is Number 36. The same actress (Grace Arnold) also played Mrs. Butterworth's maid, Martha, in "Many Happy Returns". Considering Mrs. Butterworth turned out to be the new Number 2 at the end of that episode, are Number 36 and Martha intended to be the same person?


The man Number 6 plays chess with at the old people's home is Number 82.


As he did in "Hammer Into Anvil", Number 6 engages in a kosho match at the Village gym.


At 18:41 on the Blu-ray, a Village sign in the gym entranceway reads, "of the people, by the people, for the people".


At 18:44 on the Blu-ray, it can be seen that a number of lockers in the gym are assigned to Village residents, including Number 6. Others seen are: 45, 68, 23, 89, 113, 85, 71, 47, 11.


At 20:21 on the Blu-ray, a plastic tarp is seen on the floor around the kosho water tank that is not there when Number 6's opponent in the match falls into the tank at 21:05.


The watch Number 6 wears in this episode is not the same one he wore (and used to hypnotize Number 86) in "A Change of Mind". I can't quite make out the brand name. Presumably, one of the watches is the one he was wearing when he was abducted to the Village in "Arrival". Did he purchase the other one in the Village?


The cafe waitress at 24:20 on the Blu-ray appears to be Number 225. In "The General", a different Number 225 was the host of the Professor's televised speed learn class.


When Number 6 angrily stalks out of the watchmaker's shop at 26:27 on the Blu-ray, he pulls the door open and closed with such force that the hanging "Open" sign flips over to "Closed"!


At 26:50 on the Blu-ray, the Control Room schematic drawing of the Village, zoomed in on Number 6's apartment, does not really seem to conform correctly with the interior layout of the place. Also the red dot of Number 6's progression from his apartment does not match the course we see him taking in the next shot.

Village schematic


At about 28:58 on the Blu-ray, Number 2 says, "It's the little watchmaker that concerns you," but it's clear he goes on to say something further and it has been dubbed out.


The Village's P.A. system announces, "...Thursday, the day after tomorrow, as Appreciation Day." This indicates the current day was Tuesday. When Appreciation Day takes place on that Thursday, Number 100's watch shows the date is the 16th. In "The Schizoid Man", we speculated that the series takes place in either 1965 or 1971, in order to conform with the Wednesday, February 10 date given in that episode. If the year is one of those two years, Appreciation Day must be on September or December 16, the only two months in which the 16th falls on a Thursday in those years.


At 31:16 on the Blu-ray, one of the multitude of clocks on display in the watchmaker's shop is actually a scale! 


In this episode, we see Number 2's seal of office. The main medallion reads, "Number 2 Chief Administrator". Though the main medallion is the same, the decorated chain is different when it appears later at the Appreciation Day ceremony!
Number 2's seal of office different seal of office
Number 2 seal of office Different Number 2 seal of office


For some reason, the shot of Number 2's chair rising up from the floor of his office at 31:58 on the Blu-ray is a low-quality, fuzzy image. It looks as if it was borrowed from the series' opening titles sequence, but filmed directly off a projection screen or something!


The Number 2 who shows up in the final act of the episode (actor André van Gyseghem) seems to be the real Number 2 of the Village, and those we've seen rotated through in all the episodes until now were filling in while he was on an extended leave. He announces he is back just long enough to retire!


The interim Number 2s seen on the display starting at 33:09 on the Blu-ray are not people that we saw in the course of the series. Presumably they were actual Number 2s who were in office "between episodes".


Number 2's assistant in this episode is Number 22. Several different Number 22s have been seen in previous episodes.


On the phone with a superior, probably Number 1, Number 2 explains that the plan is going "like clockwork". This is likely intended to be a pun based on the watchmaker's role in the assassination plot. It's possible that Number 2's superior even compliments him on the pun, for right after he says it, he pauses for moment, listening, then smiles broadly and says, "Oh, thank you, sir!"


When Number 6 tells the real Number 2 that innocent people of the Village will be blamed for the man's planned assassination, Number 2 says he knows, and seems to have a genuine moment of sorrow about the blame that will be placed on them, but he doesn't think there's anything he can do to prevent his assassination.


The man who announces the ceremony at Appreciation Day is Number 245. Another, top-hatted, man at the Appreciation Day ceremony is Number 246. Since these are consecutive numbers, might it indicate they are related, as speculated above? The two men appear close to the same age; possibly brothers?


At the Appreciation Day ceremony, we see that heir-presumptive Number 2 has a two-way radio built into the left end piece of his eyeglasses. Maybe that's why his frames are so thick!


At 40:48 on the Blu-ray, Number 100 is seen to wear a Jaeger-LeCoultre watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre is a luxury watch and clock manufacturer in Switzerland. The close-up of the watch shows a different watchband from the distance shots (brown versus black).

Unanswered Questions

What happened to the retired Number 2? Did he manage to find a means to escape safely or hide from the powers-that-be? And why was he on leave for so long in the first place? Some fans have speculated that the interim Number 2s were all there with the assignment of trying their hand at breaking Number 6, he being a special case even for the Village (this explanation is also hinted at in the Shattered Image comic book mini-series published in 1989 by DC Comics).

For that matter, what happened to the new permanent Number 2? He is not seen in any future episodes, with a rotation of temporary Number 2s continuing through the remaining episodes. Was he immediately demoted or killed for his failure to execute the retiring Number 2?

What was the purpose of the elaborate plan to trick Number 6 into believing in an assassination plot so that he could try to convince the retiring Number 2 of it, who was not supposed to believe it, but who winds up believing it anyway? And if the heir-presumptive Number 2 knows that Number 6 believes the plot, why does he allow Number 6 to remain free during the induction ceremony where he is likely to attempt to thwart it (which he does!)? The whole thing seems needlessly complex and ultimately pointless.

Why did the powers-that-be want the retiring Number 2 killed?

Why do the Village computers return no data when asked how reliable their own data is in regards to the daily activity prognoses of the citizens, as explained by Number 8 to Number 2?

Memorable Dialog

I'm a number, just like you.wav
the door was open.wav
go to the town hall.wav
they do it to confuse the observers.wav
I have met no one here who has committed a crime.wav
the entire Village will be punished.wav
I have seen the list of malcontents.wav
Appreciation Day.wav
I am Number 2.wav
perhaps they're trying to save a pension.wav
the fact that you won't explain explains everything.wav
it's going like clockwork.wav
for "assassinated" substitute "executed".wav
you never understood us, Number 6.wav
why should you care what happens to me?.wav
better causes to die for.wav
dead on schedule.wav
I'm sure they'll arrange something equally suitable for you.wav
be seeing you...won't I?.wav

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