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The Prisoner

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Prisoner: Number Two The Prisoner
Number Two
Written by David McDaniel

(Page numbers come from the 1969 paperback edition published by Ace Books)


After his previous escape and some time in London, Number 6 is returned to the Village.


Notes from the Prisoner chronology


The events of this novel take place about 5 years after the end of I Am Not a Number!. If my speculation in the study of that novel that it takes place in 1968 is correct (based on Number 6's age and birth date as stated there), then that places our current novel in 1973. The comic book mini-series Shattered Visage that takes place 20 years after the events of "Fall Out" seems to ignore the events of these two novels and the one published after this, A Day in the Life. In order to maintain these novels in the chronology, one may want to consider them to be hallucinations experienced by Number 6 after/during his ordeal in "Fall Out", as it is implied in Shattered Visage that Number 6 was at least partially "broken" by the use of drugs and psychological techniques in the final two TV episodes, "Once Upon a Time" and "Fall Out".


Didja Know?


This book was originally published in 1969 with the title The Prisoner: Number Two, a wordplay on it being the second Prisoner novel and the character of Number Two in the Village. Some later editions of the book were titled The Prisoner: Who is Number Two? I've chosen to use the original title for the study. 


The book is broken up into five sections, each titled as music markings: Section I - Introduction, Section II – Allegro, Section III – Andante Captibile, Section IV – Rondo Capriccioso, and Section V – Scherzo. Each music marking title roughly describes the tone of that part of the book: Introduction, Allegro (fast), Andante Captibile (moderate), Rondo Capriccioso (free and lively), Scherzo (lively).


Didja Notice?


The book is dedicated by the author to Dan Curtis and Art Wallace. Curtis (1927-2006) was the creator of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which aired on ABC 1966-1971. Wallace (d. 1994) wrote extensively for Dark Shadows, among other TV productions.


The beginning of the book refers to Number 6 as Drake, suggesting he is John Drake, actor Patrick McGoohan's spy character from Danger Man, as many Prisoner fans believe.


Page 7 incorrectly refers to the license plate of Drake's car as KAR 1260. In the Prisoner TV series, the plate is KAR-120C. It seems the author may have been looking at a blurred still from the series and misread the identification.


Page 7 states that Drake's car, with the license plate KAR 1260 (KAR-120C), was hand-built by him. In fact, the particular car model seen in the TV series, the Lotus Seven, is available as a kit car, for assembly by the purchaser.


Page 7 also states that Drake's flat is in Upper Berkeley Mews. Berkeley Mews is a street in London, perpendicular to Upper Berkeley street but this is a bit removed from the area of 1 Buckingham Place, where his London home is seen in the TV series. Still, this novel seems to be a follow-up to I Am Not a Number!, in which he is living a slightly different life (plus his home seemed to be an entire house inside a building, not just a flat) so this may be explained within that context. On page 9, adjoining flats are said to connect to the main hallway of his building, again different from his residence at Buckingham Place.


On page 7, Drake muses on whether to drive to Bristol or King's Lynn. These are both cities within a relatively easy driving distance from London, in opposite directions.


Pages 7-8 state that Drake is wearing a navy blue blazer with white piping, a reminder of a few hundred men and women who wore a number on their clothing (i.e. the inhabitants of the Village).


Drake seems to dwell on possibilities of where he could take a day trip, previously thinking of Bristol and King's Lynn, now, on page 8, considering Cheltenham, Lincoln, Coventry, or St. Ives. These are all cities in England. As he prepares to head out for his drive, he takes a map of Norfolk, a county in eastern England, suggesting he'd decided upon King's Lynn, which is located in Norfolk.


On page 8, the watch Drake wears is referred to as a wrist-chronometer. This may mean he is wearing a certified chronometer, which had only come into public availability in wristwatch form in the late 1960s, when this novel was written. An official chronometer must be certified to keep time within specific international standards.


Also on page 8, Drake drops three lumps of sugar into his tea and on page 9 he has another cup with 2 lumps. In "The Chimes of Big Ben" and "Free for All", his file states that he has dropped sugar from his diet on the advice of his doctor (of course, he takes three lumps in the "The Chimes of Big Ben", just to spite the information in Number 2's file!). But in "It's Your Funeral", he is seen taking sugar in his coffee. So, I guess he decided sugar is one of the things that make life worth living!


Page 9 reveals that Drake has been home for the past 5 years, indicating this novel takes place 5 years after the end of I Am Not a Number! However, statements later in the book and in the following book, A Day in the Life, suggest a much shorter amount of time.


Opening his front door and seeing the Village outside it, Drake tries the first adjoining apartment door in the hallway, to find that it is a fake door that doesn't open at all, with no room behind it.


On page 10, Drake reflects that just yesterday he had bought eggs in Covent Garden. Covent Garden is a district of London.


Also on page 10, Number 2, greeting Drake as Number 6 from the TV screen, reveals that the current view of London outside the windows of Drake's flat are merely holographic projections.


On page 11, Number 6 asks, "Who are you?" and gets the response, "I am the new Number 2." These two consecutive lines were also said during the opening titles of most episodes of the TV series.


Number 2 informs Number 6 that the Village couldn't get along without him when he walked off the job as Number 2, so he was replaced. This refers to events in I Am Not a Number!, where he became Number 2 for a time before taking advantage of the robotic Number 1's damage/injury to make good his escape.


The poem by a "great English poet" quoted by Number 2 on page 11 is the children's poem "Now We Are Six" by A.A. Milne (1882-1956), best known for his stories of Winnie the Pooh. The full poem "Now We Are Six" is:

When I was one, I was just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now that I'm six, I'm as clever as clever.
I think I'll stay six now for ever and ever.


Number 6 changes the TV channel to BBC-2 in an attempt to get rid of Number 2, but, of course, Number 2 is on every channel for their conversation. BBC-2 is one of several channels operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the UK.


On page 11, Number 2 remarks that Number 6's brief tenure as Number 2 did very little towards ensuring the mutuality of the Village. The mutuality or lack thereof of residents of the Village was a prime factor of "A Change of Mind".


Number 2 reveals that the Number 2 depicted through most of I Am Not a Number! designed and programmed Granny, aka Number 1. She was, in fact, a cyborg, not a full robot, as speculated by Number 6 and Number 14 at the end of that novel. Number 2 states that she turned out to not be worth repairing after the damage inflicted to her there, and her parts were salvaged. Does this mean the human part of Granny is also dead? Did they just let her die? If that previous Number 2 designed and programmed her, then was she not the real Number 1? How could Number 2 be the creator of Number 1? Was the original all-human Granny also Number 1, who had become feeble and was restored with a cyborg body?


On page 12, Number 6 realizes, too late, that the air does not smell like London, where he thought he was until opening his front door.


Number 6's abode in the Village has been reconstructed inside to look like his Upper Berkeley Mews flat, for his comfort. Page 13 implies that it is built inside the same cottage unit he lived in during his two previous incarcerations in the Village.


On page 13, Number 2 tells Number 6 he argues like a Scot. This may be meant to imply that Number 6 is Scottish himself, though actor Patrick McGoohan, who played him in the TV series, was American, raised in Ireland and England.


On page 14, Number 6 surmises that the interior reconstruction of his cottage must mean there is a fair amount of space in places between the inner and outer walls, probably put to good use with observation equipment and the like.


Page 14 states that Number 6's KAR is more important to him than any living human. I guess Janet Portland has been left far in the past!


On page 15, Number 2 suggests that Number 6 may even come to like it in the Village and 6 retorts, "As the bishop said to the actress." This phrase is an exclamation used in Britain, usually in response to something said by another that could be considered inadvertently vulgar or sexual (similar to "that's what she said" in the U.S.)


Also on page 15, Number 2 muses that they could have converted the KAR to a nuclear-fusion engine. This is another example, if true, that the Village has access to higher levels of technology than is generally known to exist during the time of the novel (and even now!).


On page 16, Number 2 refers to the KAR as a long-ton of metal which was difficult to bring to the Village. A long ton is a unit of weight from the British measurement system, equal to 2,240 pounds.


Also on page 16, Number 2 says, "The impossible is simple; the inconceivable may take some thinking." This is a play on the idiom, “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer." Another irony in Number 2's version is that that which is inconceivable is, by definition, unthinkable!


In speaking to Number 6 about working on the KAR and getting it running properly, Number 2 says, "I expect you'll find the altitude necessitates careful tuning and adjustment." But, the Village exists on the ocean shore from all accounts, so it is essentially at 0 feet elevation. And London, the KAR's former home, is only 115 feet in elevation! So the altitude difference is negligible.


The tune Number 6 whistles on page 17 is from "Botany Bay", a song from the 1885 musical burlesque, Little Jack Sheppard, with music by Wilhelm Meyer Lutz.


The Butler is not mentioned as Number 6's servant as he was at the end of "Fall Out" and in I Am Not a Number!. In fact, he does not appear to be present in the Village either. On page 19, Number 6 remarks that butlers are out of fashion, "even short, silent ones." He is obviously referring to the Butler seen in the TV series episodes and in the aforementioned novel. So, what happened to him? Did he eventually leave Number 6/Drake to live his own life? Did he die?


On page 20, Number 2 tells Number 6 that the Village Entertainment Committee has organized a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. This is an 1881 satirical opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, with the full title being Patience; or, Bunthorne's Bride.


Before the title of the opera is revealed to him, Number 6 tries to guess it, guessing Yeomen of the Guard, an 1888 Gilbert and Sullivan opera. On page 83, Number 6 sings a few lines from "Alas, I Waver To and Fro" from the opera.


After mentioning the opera, Number 2 asks if Number 6's tastes run more toward Shakespeare and the Greeks. William Shakespeare, of course, was an English playwright and poet of the late 16th and early 17th Centuries, usually considered the greatest writer in the English language. "The Greeks" refers to the classic playwrights of Ancient Greece.


Page 20 reveals that the Village has a hardware store, run by Number 26. In the TV series, Number 26 was the Supervisor, but this seems to be a different man here. I wonder what happened to the Supervisor we all knew and loved? Did his number get changed? Did he get assigned elsewhere? Did he die?


On page 21, Number 26 tells Number 6 he'll need to fill out forms 739/H-F for hydrocarbon fuel and 8704/S for clearance for storage of dangerous materials. On page 22, he states that Form 2246 is for the burning of large objects.


The clerk at the stationery shop is Number 48. Different Number 48s appeared in "Dance of the Dead", "Fall Out", and I Am Not a Number!.


Page 23 mentions Number 11, one of the councilmembers at the Village Hall. His secretary is Number 18. A Number 18 is also head of the Committee in "A Change of Mind".


Number 35 sells Number 6 some petrol on page 23.


The proprietress of the Artist's Shoppe is Number 40. Other Number 40s were a maid in "A, B, and C" and a male scientist in "Dance of the Dead".


A black cat becomes Number 6's frequent companion throughout the novel. Is this the same black cat seen in "Dance of the Dead" and "Many Happy Returns"? Oddly, no mention is made at all by either the author or Number 6 of these earlier black cat appearances, even though they should be memorable ones for Number 6. There is a passage on page 28 where he is examining the cat, with "uncertain memories of mechanical devices in the guise of living things, guided to work secretly against him." It's possible he has never regained all of his memories of his past experiences in the Village before I Am Not a Number!, in which his memory has been wiped by an unknown party and only bits of it are seen to tickle his recall.


The delivery man in the Village is Number 94.


The Village butcher is Number 61 (until he disappears and is replaced by a citizen of unrevealed numerical designation). In "A Change of Mind", an old lady is Number 61.


On page 31, Number 6 comments to the butcher that the veal might be a bit a dry, "but a touch of Marsala should do it." Marsala is a type of wine produced in the Italian city of Marsala. It is frequently used in cooking.


On pages 31-32, Numbers 2 and 6 speak of deQuincey and his remarks that incivility is the first step on the last. Number 6 quotes Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) more accurately as, “If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination,” from "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" (though he incorrectly refers to the essay as "Murder as a Fine Art".)


Several times in the book, Number 2 refers to Number 6's past as his being a killer before his retirement and Number 6 does not deny it. However, the character of John Drake in Danger Man rarely killed anyone in his secret agent assignments, so the implication of the use of the name Drake at the beginning of the novel may be more of a wink to the reader by the author than a clear-cut statement that Number 6 is John Drake; after all, only the name Drake is used on page 1, not "John Drake".


When Number 2 shows Number 6 the location of the new driving track in the woods and the shelter built there for his KAR on page 33, Number 6 remarks he wouldn't want to spend the winter in it, to which Number 2 responds, "If you wish a furnished pied-a-terre you'll have to build it yourself." A pied-à-terre is a small living unit used as a temporary home away from home.


The young man who waves the red flag to warn of Number 6's approach through the narrow streets of the Village in his KAR is Number 213.


Page 37 describes the woods in which the driving track is located as made up largely of Mediterranean pines and cypresses. These trees are typically known to grow in England, but do grow in the Mediterranean region of Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This would tend to suggest that the Village is located in that area.


On page 38, Number 6 spies several Guardians in the woods.


On page 39, Number 99 brings Number 6 a grease gun and performs a free mechanical inspection of the KAR, of which she is quite impressed. It would seem 99 is a Village mechanic.


On page 42, Number 6 mentions having known a man who had worked on the St. Lawrence Seaway construction project.


On page 43, Number 2 ascribes the Village motto to be The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number. This is a phrase usually used to sum up the philosophy of utilitarianism.


On page 44, Number 6 observes as a Guardian chases the black cat in the woods when it goes beyond the prescribed boundaries. Number 6 seems to think the Guardian was not one of the dangerous ones. In I Am Not a Number!, the Guardians are said to come in different colors and that only the fawn-colored one, called Rover, is deadly. Page 79 describes the Guardians as 8-foot spheres; in the TV episodes, Rover has been seen at variable sizes, but usually seems to be around 5 feet in height. On page 107, Number 6 sees a Guardian in the distance of the murky twilight, unable to determine its color and, therefore, whether it was a herder or a killer.


The men who assist Number 6 with clearing the woods to extend his track are Numbers 55, 92, and 84. In I Am Not a Number!, Number 84 was a woman who was responsible for stocking the kitchen in Number 6's new cottage.


Several times in the novel, Number 6 has an alcoholic drink. "Free for All" implied that no alcohol is available in the Village (just non-alcoholic tastealikes) except in a cave near the beach where illegal alcohol is sold.


On page 51, Number 6 listens to Bach. This refers to Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), a renowned German composer.


On page 52, Number 6 compares Number 2's fascination and study of him as something like an entomologist. An entomologist is one who studies insects.


Throughout this novel, Number 2 conspires and argues with Number 4 on their plans for Number 6.


Page 55 reveals there is a Village library.


On page 57, Number 2 notes to Number 6 that "idle hands are the devil's playground." This is an idiom which has its roots in Biblical scripture, such as 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, Psalm 28:4, and Isaiah 1:1-31.


On page 58, Number 2 remarks to Number 4 that only once has Number 6 ever committed a totally unsupervised escape. It would seem that he actually managed two such escapes, at the end of "Fall Out" and the end of I Am Not a Number!. However, he escaped with the Butler, Number 48, and Number 2 in "Fall Out", and only with the Butler in I Am Not a Number!. So, it may be that either Number 2 or Number 48 (or both) was still under the thrall of the Village during the earlier escape.


Also on page 58, Number 2 remarks upon escape fiction available to Number 6 in the Village library, from Erech to Barsoom to Coventry. "Escape fiction" refers to fiction which provides a psychological escape from everyday life. The ones mentioned here are references to fictional locations in such stories, in this case, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Burroughs' John Carter of Mars, and Heinlein's "Coventry".


On page 59, Number 2 refers to the Village as "Shangri-La by the seashore." Shangri-La is the name of the lost utopian city in Tibet in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon.


As Number 2 tells of Number 6 having made acquaintance with the proprietress of the Artist's Shoppe, the Chemist, and the Butcher, Number 4 finishes for him, "...the Baker and the Candlestick Maker." Number 4 is making a joking reference to a line from the nursery rhyme "Rub-a-Dub-Dub", which goes:

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they were?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,

They all sailed out to sea,
'Twas enough to make a man stare.


On page 60, Number 2 tells Number 4 that they wanted the cat to be friendly with Number 6, but did not want the cat to react to Number 6 as if he were catnip. Catnip is a plant, Nepeta cataria, whose oil has a mildly "recreational effect" on some felines.


On page 62, Numbers 2 and 4 remark upon the unlikelihood of Number 6 joining a Fraternal Organization unless it suited some plan of his own. Fraternal organizations are social clubs for men to bond in intellectual, moral, religious, or societal interests.


Also on page 62, Number 2 describes a time when Number 6 wore his badge upside-down, so that he could pass as Number 9! Eventually, someone noticed that the Ordinary was upside-down. "Ordinary" is another term used for a penny-farthing bicycle, the symbol of the Village. The incident described here does not seem to be one that has been chronicled in the TV series or elsewhere.


On page 63, Number 2's comments on Number 6's dossier reveal that he's never been prone to warm, normal human relationships and he has not had a pet since childhood. No mention of fiancé, Janet Portland, is ever made, however!


On page 64, Number 2 states that the introduction of the cat as a semi-pet to Number 6 allows him to use his suppressed instincts of warmth towards others without damaging the essential BGR patterning. I have been unable to determine what "BGR patterning" is; possibly a reference to the "background" pattern of his psyche?


Also on page 64, Number 4 argues against Number 2's attempts to make Number 6 happy in the Village, making statements that Number 2 attributes to Bernard Shaw about marriage. They are probably referring to events in George Bernard Shaw's 1866 novel Cashel Byron's Profession, about a man and woman in different social positions who marry for their own reasons.


On page 65, Number 6 has a Gregorian highboy next to his worktable. A highboy is a chest of drawers; presumably Gregorian here refers to the furniture maker of that name.


Also on page 65, as he works on his KAR, Number 6 muses that he's willing to play Stirling Moss for the Village cameras. Moss is a former English Formula One race car driver.


On page 68, Number 18 mentions Number 8. A number of different Number 8s have appeared in various Prisoner stories.


A couple of times, Number 18 seems to have knowledge of what Number 6 is trying to do, or pretending to do, in his plans for escape. On page 69, she seems to "accidentally" guess that he is building a boat from his KAR and on page 149, she makes a remark about a balloon, suggesting knowledge of his misdirection that he is planning to fly out of the Village on his next escape attempt. It seems likely that she is a plant of Number 2's.


On page 70, Number 6 remarks that he's been swotting up on aerodynamics. "Swotting" is a British slang term for intense short-term study of material, similar to the American slang term "cramming".


On page 74, Number 6 finds that the computer terminal loaned to him has most of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and the Encyclopedia Britannica. The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has been published and updated almost every year by CRC since 1914.


By the time this novel takes place, the powers-that-be seem to have accepted Number 6's reason for resigning as stated by him in the series (a matter of principle and conscience) and no longer confront him about it. I suppose that five years in the real world, as revealed at the beginning of the novel, have proven that he has no intention of taking his talents to the other side.


On page 85, Number 2 reveals that just before Number 6 resigned, he was to have been ordered to Argentina, complementing his sense of self-preservation. This would imply that Number 6 would have been in extreme danger in that assignment; this presumably refers to the ongoing crisis in Argentina that began in 1966 (and lasted until around 1976) when the elected president of the country was overthrown by the military in a coup d'état.


Also on page 85, Number 6 tells Number 2 that portions of his own life story have been somewhat confused since last summer. I'm not sure what this is referring to. Possibly, "last summer" is when he awoke back in the Village at the beginning of the novel; but is there anything particularly confusing about his most recent stay in the Village? It doesn't seem so, as far as Village events go. Is he referring to the memory erasure that took place in I Am Not a Number!? But that seems to have happened five years ago, if I have read the intent of page 9 correctly (as stated earlier in this study).


After a Village coup d'état, Number 2 becomes Number 100 instead, while Number 4 declares himself Two Prime, or Number 2', until the trial of the former Number 2 can take place and an official Number 2 declared. Two different Number 100s are seen in "The Schizoid Man" and "It's Your Funeral".


On page 90, the head of the Rescue Unit is Number 77.


On page 91, Number 100 states there is a ring of submerged stations in the sea around the Village (island?) that produce Guardians when needed.


On page 93, Number 2' tells Number 6 he ought to behave himself because, with only the slightest effort, he could be converted to Number 406 with his entire personality "reduced to so much suet". This seems to imply that the higher number designations are reserved for those citizens less capable of functioning on their own; note that Number 213 is said earlier to have been a bit slow-witted (and in I Am Not a Number!, Number 189 is also described similarly).


While diving in the bay to recover his sunken KAR, Number 6 finds that the floor of the bay is devoid of any plant or animal life and almost as smooth and clean as that of a swimming pool. This suggests an artificial bottom to the bay, probably to keep anything from infiltrating the Village. The bay is implied to be kept clean in some way by the Guardians.


Page 112 refers to SCUBA diving. SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.


On page 119, Number 18 refers to an announcement that afternoon about the hearing for Number 100 from the Village Voice. This is the first mention of something called the Village Voice. It may refer to the verbal announcements occasionally made by a female voice over the Village Tannoy P.A. system, as seen in episodes of the TV series (voiced by actress Fenella Fielding). It's possible she's referring to the newspaper, but that was always called the Tally Ho in the TV series.


On page 121, Number 2 exclaims to Number 6, "You are the Elephant's Child with your questions!" He is referring to the story "The Elephant's Child" (also known as "How the Elephant Got His Trunk") which appeared in the 1902 collection of children's short stories by Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories.


Also on page 121, Number 6 muses on how the Village has more than once reminded him of Dodgson's Wonderland, but he had never met the White Rabbit (Number 100) before. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is the real name of writer Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. The White Rabbit is a character that appeared in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Number 6's comparison of the White Rabbit to Number 100 is apt in that both are concerned with making it to a meeting at an appointed time.


On page 122, Number 2 quotes, "No man who lives can be said to be free." This seems to be a paraphrasing of verses from the Bible, Psalms Chapter 43.


On pages 122-123, Number 6 asks, "Where am I?" and Number 100 responds, "In the Village." These two consecutive lines were also said during the opening titles of most episodes of the TV series.


On page 123, Number 100 tells Number 6 that the Village is on the western shore of one of the Balearic Islands and if he sailed 300 north, he'd hit Barcelona. The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. However, if this is where the Village has always been located, how did Number 6 and his friends manage to escape and drive to London in a truck in "Fall Out"? And how did he parachute to the Village off the coast of Morocco earlier in "Many Happy Returns"? The Village seems to have been located in different locations, judging from information provided in various episodes, almost as if it jumps occasionally from point-to-point on Earth!


Also on page 123, Number 100 claims that there is no longer a Number 1. The founder and first administrator of the Village was Number 1; when he "left" the number was retired and the chief administrators have been Number 2. If this explanation is true, then the Number 1 cyborg seen in I Am Not a Number! must have been merely a placeholder of sorts for coercing Number 6 into becoming the permanent Number 2. Regardless, if, again, Number 100's statement is true, what happened to Number 1? Did he die? Was he actually Number 6/Drake all along? Number 1 having "left" may be a reference to Number 6's escape at the end of "Fall Out". Of course, that still leaves plenty of confusion about how Number 1 could also be Number 6!


Number 100 goes on to claim that the Village is administrated in the name of her Royal Majesty, Elizabeth Regina. Elizabeth Regina is Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of the British Commonwealth of Nations (since 1952).


After explaining that the Village is administered under the name of Queen Elizabeth, Number 100 mocks Number 6 by stating, "Surely you don't think the Mongolians had built and peopled this place!" Mongolia is a country in east-central Asia.


After explaining the existence of the Village, Number 100 says, when the "Other Side" retires their code clerks, they run away to Canada. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. He goes on to say that "we" offer ours a comfortable, secure resort (the Village). This implies that the "Other Side" (the Soviet Union and its allies at this point in time) do not offer such a promising "retirement".


Number 100 tells Number 6 that he had been under scrutiny for some time before his resignation due to evidence of his dissatisfaction with the job.


On page 125, Number 100 reiterates how Number 6 resigned from his job because, "Too many people know too much. Too many people were being killed." In "Once Upon a Time", Number 6 does say, in regards to his resignation, that too many people know too much, but he does not mention anything about people being killed.


Also on page 125, Number 100 says that his upcoming hearing is a farce orchestrated by Number 2' and that Number 6's testimony there will be cut back to a Meccano set. Meccano is a toy model construction system made of metal and plastic sold in Europe. In the U.S. it is known as Erector Sets.


On page 126, Number 100 tells Number 6 that the Rubicon is crossed. "Crossing the Rubicon" has become an idiom standing for "point of no return", in reference to the crossing of the Rubicon River in Italy by Julius Caesar's army in 49 B.C., launching the Great Roman Civil War of 49-45 B.C.


    On pages 128 and 129, Number 100 tells Number 6 that the Guardians are designed upon the principles of the science of fluidics (the flow of liquids) and Colloidal Mechanisms. The science of fluidics is as described. A colloidal mechanism is one made up of a stable system of two phases of a constituent, liquid, gas, solid.

    Number 100 goes on to say the Guardians are partly self-programming, but not self-aware. The Village receives them when they are the size of soccer balls and they are trained with basic maneuvers in conditioning rooms. They grow and are self-repairing unless severely injured. In The Prisoner's Dilemma, some egg-sized "baby Rovers" are sold as Home Security Systems at the Village general store.


On page 129, Number 100 compares his difficulty in explaining technological concepts to a Hottentot attending a Peace Corps school, getting the equivalent of a Primary School education, going home with a transistor radio and trying to explain how it works to his tribe. The Hottentots was the Dutch name for the Khoekhoe people of southern Africa.


On page 130, Number 6's Hock sauce is a hit at dinner with Number 18. "Hock sauce" probably refers to sauce made from German white wine, referred to in England as Hock.


On page 135, Number 100 tells Number 6 of information he received from Number 15 about the upcoming hearing.


Number 100 is wearing a white ice cream uniform from the Village Neatness Committee on page 135.


On page 138, Number 6 mentions the Andromeda Galaxy. Andromeda is a galaxy about 2.5 million light years from Earth.


Also on page 138, Number 100 quotes lines from a poem. The lines are from an untitled four-line verse by Persian scientist, philosopher, and poet Omar Khayyám (1048-1131). The full verse is:


And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
 Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help—for It
 Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.


On page 142, Number 2 suggests that Number 6 make an entry in the Village Summer Art Festival and 6 responds he tried it before and didn't like it; Number 2 recalls that Number 6 had offered his prize money to one of the other entrants, whose number he forgets. This refers to events in "The Chimes of Big Ben"; in the episode, Number 6 uses the work units he's won to purchase a tapestry made by an old woman, Number 38.


Also on page 142, Number 6 speaks sotto voce. Sotto voce is Italian for "under voice" and is often referred to as a "stage whisper", a lowering of the voice to give the impression the words are meant to be whispered, but can be heard nonetheless.


After being asked to plant and activate a smoke bomb in Number Two Prime's office on page 143, Number 6 comments that he's the one being asked to beard the lion and bell the cat. The full idiom of "beard the lion" is "beard the lion in his den", meaning to confront the enemy in his own environment; the phrase comes from the 1808 epic poem Marmion by Walter Scott. "Belling the cat" is an idiom meaning to complete an extremely dangerous or difficult task, originating from the European fable "Belling the Cat".


On page 144, Number 100 tells Number 6 he'll be provided the infernal machine to place in Number Two Prime's office. An infernal machine is an explosive device, in this case, the smoke bomb.


On page 147, Number 6 wonders why the penny-farthing is used as the symbol of the Village. The producers of the series have said that, as the symbol of the TV series, it represents technology and how human society continues to add to it, for better or worse.


On page 151, Number 6 asks Number 100 what's new with the Underground, referring to Number 100's network of conspirators plotting to depose Number 2'. But Number 100 sarcastically answers the question by telling him of a Southern Extension that has opened, making commuting from Bromley much easier. He is referring to the London Underground, also popularly known as the Tube, the mass transit subway system currently used in London and its environs and has been in operation since 1863. However, an extension of the Underground to Bromley has never occurred in the real world.


Page 153 reveals that the Village now has flying Guardians as well, though none are actually depicted in the novel.


Page 154 describes Number 6's latest jury-rigged boat made from his KAR as similar to a catamaran, a two-hulled watercraft with parallel hulls.


On page 155, Number 6 makes his latest bid for freedom aboard his catamaran KAR, knowing he'll either be vindicated or returned to his Lifelike Habitat. The term "lifelike habitat" is often applied to zoos and nature sanctuaries, implying that the artificially-created habitat for the animal life within is similar to how they would exist on their own. Obviously, this suggests Number 6's opinion of the citizens' existence in the Village.


Also on page 155, Number 6 muses on his belief that the powers-that-be in the Village had used radio frequency induction to stop the KAR's internal combustion engine during his first attempt to escape by sea, as had been successfully proven early in WWII. I think this is historically accurate, but I've not been able to confirm it from the books and web.


Making his way across the nighttime sea on page 155, Number 6 sees the Great Bear and Polaris in the sky. The Great Bear refers to the constellation of Ursa Major; the fact that it is visible strongly suggests that the Village is, indeed, located in the northern hemisphere, as implied from the various locations suggested for the Village in TV episodes and other Prisoner stories, as the constellation is visible throughout the year in most of that hemisphere and rarely in small portions of the southern. Polaris is the North Star.

Unanswered Questions

How did Number 6 wind up back at the Village during his escape by sea in the KAR-catamaran? He sailed outward and even used the stars and constellations of the night sky to guide himself away from the Village's location. Yet, he suddenly finds himself approaching the Village the next morning and is captured by several launches sent by Number 2. No explanation of how this could have occurred is given. In fact, even the book's author doesn't know! McDaniel was asked by friend and fellow writer, Larry Niven, about it and he admitted he didn't know!

Did Number 6 get to keep the KAR with him in the Village after his two attempts to convert it into a boat for escape?

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