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The Prisoner
Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Prisoner: The Prisoner's Dilemma The Prisoner
The Prisoner's Dilemma
Written by Jonathan Blum and Rupert Booth

(Page numbers come from the 2005 paperback edition published by Powys Media)


Number 6 meets the woman Number 18 who may be his best chance of escape. But is the Village manipulating him? And should he trust her or destroy her?


Notes from the Prisoner chronology


The events of this novel take place shortly before "Once Upon a Time" according to an interview with the authors at the Internet Archive.


Didja Know?


The title of the novel is based on the game theory of Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher of the RAND Corporation think tank, about the possible benefits/repercussions of two isolated prisoners who may or may not betray each other for the reward of a reduced sentence. The theory is discussed on pages 32 and 85 of the book.


Co-author Jonathan Blum is known for writing or co-writing several Dr. Who novels. Co-author Rupert Booth is an actor and writer and has appeared on the Dr. Who TV series.


The forward of the book is by J. Michael Stracynznski, creator of Babylon 5.


The book makes numerous oblique references to "modern" events and innovations, placing them in the 1960s milieu of The Prisoner as if they were prescient foreshadowings of what would later occur in the outside world, such as home-based personal computers, the internet, cell phones, terrorism, reality television, etc.


The book skips numbering chapters 7, 17, and 27, due to the mysterious absence of the numeral 7 generally in episodes of the TV series, first noticed in the pilot episode, "Arrival".


Didja Notice?


Number 6's cottage is depicted slightly differently in Allan Bednar's cover illustration than it is in episodes of the TV series, even ignoring the desert landscape around it. Notice also that the cover subtly depicts Number 6 standing at the railing of the cottage above the statue alcove. This scene of the cottage in the middle of desert sands is depicted in prose on page 180 of the novel.
The Prisoner's Dilemma Number 6's cottage


In the Forward of the book by J. Michael Stracynznski, he uses the phrase plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. This is French for "The more things change, the more it is the same thing," a saying published by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”). The common translation in English is "The more things change, the more they stay the same."


The book's prologue is a retelling of the opening credits sequence of most of The Prisoner TV episodes (and in the beginning of "Arrival"), in the form of a dream of those events Number 6 has every night in the Village. The opening pages of the Prisoner novel A Day in the Life also retell the same scenes.


On page 11, during the dream/credits sequence, as Number 6 packs his bag with his things and island brochures, "the photo on his desk stays behind." This is probably a reference to the photo of his fiancé Janet Portland, seen on his desk in "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" (though it was not seen "Arrival"). He thinks of Janet on page 233, normally not allowing himself to think of her, as it's too painful.


Page 14 reveals that when Number 6 awakes in the morning, he checks his body and his face in the mirror for any signs of overnight tampering done to him and also reviews his recent memories for the same reason. He also checks his food for signs of drugs and restores the locations of small items that the powers-that-be have taken to moving around in Number 6's cottage at night so that he has to put them back in the morning into his precisely preferred amount of disorder.


As Number 6 prepares to step out of his cottage for his morning routine, he puts on his black blazer with white piping. In the TV series, his blazer often appeared black and sometimes dark brown. Looking at the cleaned-up, sharp prints of the Blu-ray episodes, it actually seems dark brown more often than not.


Page 15 explains that Number 6 capitalizes the "V" in Village, but the powers-that-be do not; they consider it a generic, all-pervasive place, while he prefers to think of it as a place with a name that can be told.


As Number 6 gazes down upon the Village from the bell tower as part of his morning routine, he thinks of the Village as a place "tightly folded, like an Escher postcard." This is likely a reference to M. C. Escher (1898-1972), a Dutch graphic artist known for his finely detailed printed works of impossible architecture and shapes. 


Number 6's morning routine as described in Chapter 1 is similar to his predicted daily routine by the computer in "It's Your Funeral".


Page 15 mentions the green Georgian dome of Number 2's domicile. Georgian architecture is a style used commonly in Great Britain and its colonies from 1720-1830 during the reigns of kings George I-IV.


On page 16, Number 6 notes that the Village P.A. speakers are playing a syrupy distillation of Vivaldi. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian composer, priest, and violin virtuoso. The speakers themselves are described as cherry-red, but in the TV episodes, the Tannoys were white.


Also on page 16, Number 6's cottage is described as terracotta. Terracotta is an earthenware, clay-based ceramic most commonly used worldwide for making pottery and bricks.


The villagers are described in a somewhat daunting manner on page 16, more than just the common civil servants that might be assumed of most of them based on the TV episodes: war criminals, radical scientists, agitators, spies, all next-door neighbors "brought to heel through fair means and foul". It some ways, it makes the Village sound like the most threatening place on Earth! If these people were to combine their knowledge and ambitions...


Number 109 rides a penny-farthing past Number 6 on page 16.


On page 17, Number 6 reflects that he's heard that those who cooperate and disappear from the Village "have their minds wound back to before any memory of this place, or even the acts which brought them here." This is similar to the temporary mind-wipe he received in "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling".


Also on page 17, a P.A. announcement tells Number 156 that the umbrella he's picked up belongs to Number 62 and to please put it back immediately. A Number 62 was seen in "Checkmate" and "A Change of Mind".


Page 18 mentions a bust of Napoleon III maintaining video surveillance of the Village. Napoleon III (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, 1808–1873) was the nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon I) and assumed leadership of France from 1852-1870, during the Second French Empire.


Number 6's cohort in this novel is Number 18. Two seemingly different Number 18s were the head of the Committee in "A Change of Mind" and a secretary to one of the councilmembers in the novel Number Two.


On page 20, Number 18 tells Number 6 that she left herself notes of the "misdeeds" done to her by her Observer so she would still know of them after he used the Village's resources to wipe her memory of the events. Possibly, the authors borrowed the "notes to self" idea from the 2000 film Memento, in which a man with an inability to create new short-term memories leaves notes for himself (in the form of Polaroid photos and tattoos on his body) to inform him of what has happened in the past.


Number 6 had an Observer in "Dance of the Dead", Number 240.


On page 22, the Village P.A. system is playing "Night on Bald Mountain" in the style of "Holiday for Strings". "Night on Bald Mountain" is a series of musical compositions by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). "Holiday for Strings" is the theme song for the Red Skelton Show, an American variety TV show from 1951-1971.


Also on page 22, Number 6 reflects on the Village's use of classical music as being, apparently, perfect for pacification, though presumably Anthony Burgess hadn't been consulted. Anthony Burgess (1917-1993) was an English literary writer and musical composer. The reference here is probably to his 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, in which a violent young man who loves classical music is conditioned to feel sick whenever he thinks violent thoughts or hears classical music.


Number 184 is the Village postman.


Page 23 hints at untold violence and mutilation upon residents of the Village with descriptions of a man touching up paint over what may be a splatter of blood on a balcony and what looks like a screw-top lid on the head of a balding man humming dreamily to himself at the cafe.


Page 23 reveals that one of the Village guards has said that people in his position prefer the term "Guardians".


Number 6 thinks of Rover as having a sound of breathing backwards and that it smells of sour milk and engine oil. Later, on page 146, Number 18 thinks it smells of ammonia and sees its white, quivering skin veined with blue. The descriptions make it sound like something half-living and half-machine.


Page 25 describes the view of Number 2's round chair as filling in the large front wheel of the penny-farthing bicycle behind it, though Number 1 is the driver, not 2.


The police detective that works the case of the murder of Number 18's Observer is Number 54. Several other Number 54s have been seen in various episodes.


On page 27, Number 6 wonders about how the Alice-in-wonderlogic of the Village having a justice system will work in the murder investigation. This is, of course, a reference to Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


As 6 and 54 descend to the levels beneath the Village for 6's interrogation, 6 can't help but have visions of Dante. This is a reference to the classic 14th century epic poem The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, an allegorical tale of Dante journeying through the nine subterranean levels of Hell.


On page 28, Number 54 chastises Number 6 for his superior "I'm always in the right" attitudes, telling him, "You think it's all about you. But you don't stop to see the fall out. Who gets killed along the way." This may be a subtle reference to the final episode of the TV series, "Fall Out".


On page 34, Number 54 tells Number 6 he's going to get the answers in the investigation because there's no hope of justice without them. Number 6 retorts with one of the Village's own idioms, "Answers are a prison for oneself." The idiom was first seen in the labour exchange office in "Arrival", "Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself."


On page 37, Number 18 is reading the morning's edition of the Tally Ho. The Tally Ho is the Village newspaper, seen in several episodes of the TV series.


Number 18 writes for the Village Weekly and one of her contacts for Village gossip is Number 238. A copy of Village Weekly was seen on the newspaper rack at the general store in "Hammer Into Anvil" (Number 6 claims never to have heard of it before!). The cover of the latest issue asks, "Will Number 39 come clean?" and "24 and 68, arguing in the square" and Number 238 reads inside that Number 89 did something on the beach where any could see, lamenting there are no photos of the incident. A Number 39 was seen as a psychologist in "Checkmate". Different Number 24s have appeared in various other Prisoner stories and a Number 68 was thrown off a boat by Number 6 in "Free for All".


On page 38, Number 238 mutters something that sounds like "kozonom". She may have been using the Hungarian word for "thank you".


On page 40, the P.A. system announces a program on television tomorrow, The 42s, with special musical guests, the Primes. Page 221 reveals the hosts of the show are Numbers 42a and 42b (in "Free for All", a reporter and photographer are Numbers 113a and 113b). A few different Number 42s have been seen in episodes of the TV series, though whether they have anything to do with the Village TV program is unknown. There was a band called The Primes (also known as The Cavaliers) in Detroit, Michigan from 1955-1960 (with a couple members going on to become part of The Temptations), but it's unlikely this is intended to be the same band referred to here (though, who knows? In A Day in the Life, four young men who may be the Beatles are playing in the Village!); the name "Primes" is probably a reference to prime numbers, any natural number that is divisible only by 1 and itself.


Number 6 and Number 18 meet at the sea wall at the edge of the Village on page 40, where they can see an island in the distance which 6 has always wondered how far away it is. Possibly this is the prison island seen in A Day in the Life.


On page 42, Number 18 mentions a past photo-essay in the Village Weekly about Number 181's matchstick battleship.


Number 314 is known as the Fish because he used to do wetwork, taking to it like a fish out of water. "Wetwork" is a common euphemism for assassination or the spilling of human blood for a covert agency. Number 6 mentally traces the Fish's working-class accent to somewhere between Newcastle and Zagreb. This doesn't narrow it down much, as Newcastle is in England and Zagreb in Croatia! Number 6's thoughts here are likely meant to refer to a statement earlier in the novel that Village residents tended to gain a mixed accent during their stay due to the international makeup of their neighbors.


When the Fish indicates he has seen Number 6's file (138 pages!), 6 tries to confirm it by asking how many sugars he takes in his tea. Fish answers, " many sugars as you think will throw whoever you're talking to." In "Arrival", his file indicates he takes two lumps. In "Free for All", it is stated that he has eliminated sugar from his diet on medical advice. In "The Chimes of Big Ben", he walks to the serving table and puts three lumps in his tea, just to be contrary to what Number 2 has in his file.


On page 43, Number 18 tells Number 6 that Fish is trying to set himself up as a one-man mafia for the Village, "Dirty deeds done at a discount." A mafia is a syndicate of organized crime in nations around the world. Number 18's use of the phrase "Dirty deeds done at a discount" may be a reference by the authors to the 1976 song, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by the Australian rock band AC/DC, about a hit man.


On page 45, Number 6 meets with Numbers 96 and 208 as part of his new assignment as a reporter for the Village Weekly. A Number 96 is a technical nurse in I Am Not a Number! Number 6 recognizes Number 208 as a German who once designed rocketry components at Peenemunde for the V-2 missile; in fact, the V-2 was developed by the German Army Research Center in Peenemunde in 1944. There are a few instances in the novel in which Number 6 is said to recognize some of the Village residents from his work in the outside world.


Number 101 is a mathematician who wrote most of the algorithms for the Village's new Juliet computer system, capable of predicting the actions of an individual even more accurately than the unnamed computer seen in "It's Your Funeral". According to co-author Jonathan Blum in an interview with the authors, "101" was chosen as the programmer/mathematician's number because it looks binary and as a reference to George Orwell's 1984. In 1984, Room 101 is a torture chamber in which a prisoner is subjected to his or her worst nightmare. Number 101's skill with numbers, mathematics, programming, experiences in WWII and personal traits such as running and having faced morals charges by Her Majesty's courts for "unnatural love" suggest that Number 101 is actually the real world British computer scientist Alan Turing (1912-1954). Turing was pivotal in cracking German codes for the British during the war, but afterward, in 1952, he was convicted for engaging in homosexual acts, was chemically castrated, and committed suicide by arsenic poisoning two years later. It seems that in the Prisoner universe, his death was faked, and he was placed in the Village. (In the real world, in 2009, Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, apologized publicly for the British government for "the appalling way he was treated" and Queen Elizabeth II granted him a pardon posthumously in 2013.)


On page 48, Number 101 says, "Any sufficiently advanced computer is indistinguishable from chaos." This is a play on the third law of Clarke's Laws, predicated by master science-fiction author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008), "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


Also on page 48, Number 101 plays with a contraption constructed from various parts, including those of a pachinko machine and a glockenspiel. Pachinko is a game invented in Japan involving numerous small balls that drop through a maze of obstacles and holes in a gaming machine, usually for purposes of gambling. A glockenspiel is a musical instrument similar to a xylophone.


On page 51, Number 18 contemplates the statue of Hercules supporting the world, in place of Atlas. A bronze Hercules from 1850 by Scottish sculptor William Brodie (1815-1881) is seen in several episodes of the TV series and is an actual statue at Portmeirion. It depicts Hercules supporting the weight of the world on his shoulders, a depiction of the Greek mythological story of Atlas and Hercules exchanging the weight between them in a contest of gullibility and betrayal.


Page 52 describes the stone boat in front of the Old Peoples' Home as a gentle reminder that none of the residents will ever leave.


Number 13 is the assistant manager of the Old Peoples' Home and is often referred to in the novel as the Minister, as it seems likely he was a political minister in his prior life outside the Village. Number 6 punches him in the face, recognizing him as a traitor of the UK to a communist country.


On page 54, the Minister is described as having an Oxbridge voice. "Oxbridge" is a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, the two primary English universities catering to the rich and those of high status families.


As Number 6 denigrates the reliability of the Minister on page 55, Number 18 counters that she would work with Stalin himself if it meant she could escape the Village with her mind intact. Joseph Stalin was the totalitarian leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s through 1952.


On page 56, Number 6 stands up from his chair after his confrontation with the Minister. But then, a few paragraphs later, Number 18 tugs him to his feet, even though he should already be standing.


On page 58, Number 6 tells Number 18 that the Préfargier was the asylum where the lobotomy was pioneered. This is true; Préfargier was an asylum in Switzerland.


At the Village carnival on page 59, Number 18 begins to succumb to the hip-shaking rhythms of the music, but Number 6 remains neither shaken nor stirred. The shaken/stirred reference is probably to the James Bond franchise, in which the world-famous spy enjoys his vodka martinis "shaken, not stirred". Number 6 actor Patrick McGoohan was offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No (he turned it down, the role going instead to Sean Connery and the rest is history).


On page 59, Village Guardians toss Number 18 into a Mini-Moke. The Mini-Moke is a utility vehicle made 1964-1993 by the British Motor Corporation, seen in use as taxis, security vehicles, and ambulances in the Village throughout the series.


Page 61 describes the Village hospital as existing inside an old castle. In fact, the exterior of the hospital as seen in televised episodes of The Prisoner was the real world Castell Deudraeth, in the woods near Portmeirion. It was originally built in 1188 before falling into ruin over the centuries. It was rebuilt in the Victorian era and has served various functions ever since. It is now a hotel.


Breaking into the more secretive floors of the hospital, Number 6 bypasses the circuit of an electropass scanner. As early as the premiere episode, "Arrival", the powers-that-be in the Village carry an electro-pass that allows them to bypass alarms, operate certain machinery, such as the helicopter, or to evade or quiet Rover.


On page 63, Number 54 tells Number 6 that the Juliet computer runs rings around the Village's old prognosticator thing. This refers to the predictive computer seen in "It's Your Funeral".


Page 68 reveals that Number 6 knows how to jam the levers of the windows in his cottage to fool them into thinking they're still shut so as not to tip off the powers-that-be that he is outside at night, prowling around the Village.


On page 69, Number 18's panic is counteracted by benzodiaprenes in her system. Benzodiaprene is an anti-anxiety drug and tranquilizer.


On page 72, the Supervisor observes Numbers 6 and 18 from the Control Room. The Supervisor is Number 26, seen several of the TV episodes, as played by Peter Swanwick.


On page 77, the Minister reveals that the man who used to file Number 6's reports as an agent back in the outside world is in the Village as Number 28. In I Am Not a Number!, Number 28 is the assistant to Number 14, the blond, female doctor who manipulates dreams and memory in the episode "A, B, and C", though whether this is the same Number 28 is unknown.


When Number 6 tells the Minister he wants Juliet, the Minister responds, "Didn't exactly end well the last time, did it?" This is probably a reference to Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which the star-crossed lovers both wind up dead.


The Minister says to Number 6 on page 77, "Quid pro quo". This is Latin for "something for something" and a fairly common way of asking a favor for a favor in Western countries.


On page 77, the Minister tells Number 6 that they are truly the oldest profession, ever since that serpent incident. Historically and figuratively, the "oldest profession" has been said to be prostitution, and the "serpent incident" is probably a reference to the appearance of the serpent (the Devil) in the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament. The Minister seems to be comparing his and 6's roles as espionage agents to that of prostitutes, working for money more than any sentiments of patriotism or loyalty, a necessary evil ever since the betrayal made by Eve in the Garden.


On page 78, Number 6 calls the Minister "Albatross". This may have been the man's codename, either as a British agent, or as a double-agent working for a communist enemy. Or it may be an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", in which a mariner shoots an albatross and seemingly brings bad luck to the ship, causing the man's fellow mariners to hang the bird around his neck as a sign of his guilt.


On page 79, Number 6 prepares to deliver the coup de grace to the Minister in their discussion. The phrase is French for "blow of mercy", the death blow to end a confrontation or the suffering of another.


On page 80, the Minister quotes, "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east. And Juliet is the sun." This is a line from Romeo and Juliet, spoken by Romeo from the orchard as Juliet appears at her window.


On page 84, Number 6 points out to Number 18 that there are no team sports in the Village. As he goes on, "They wouldn't want to encourage us to cooperate with one another. Against a common opponent."


Number 18 reflects on a number of individual sports available in the Village, including kosho. Kosho is the odd (and fictitious) martial art practiced by Number 6 in "Hammer Into Anvil" and "It's Your Funeral".


On page 85, Number 6 recognizes that many of the Village residents he's attempted to conspire with in the past have considered him an agent provocateur. This is French for "inciting agent", someone who is set on enticing one or more people to commit an illegal activity or otherwise embarrass the group they represent in order to discredit the larger body.


On page 86, Number 6 states his opinion that the "Be seeing you" thumb-to-forefinger hand signal over-the-eye salute used in the Village is an old Christian symbol. The thumb-to-forefinger hand signal was a sign of the fish symbol used by early Christians. Fans of the TV series have speculated that it is a symbolic "6". And here, Number 18 relates her theory that the symbol is a "b", for "b seeing you."


    X refers to Number 18 as being "sesquilicious". This does not appear to be a recognized word, but the root sesqui- is Latin for "one and a half". I'm not sure what X would mean by referring to her that way; maybe that she is worth more than one other person.

    Later, Number 6 is invited to the Irrationals' "grand caligulation". "Caligulation" is another made up word, likely in reference to the 1st Century Roman emperor Caligula, whose wanton and depraved Bacchanalias were legendary.


On page 87, X addresses Number 6 as mon frere. This is French for "my brother".


One of the Irrationals is called Pi. "Pi" is an irrational number whose decimal representation never ends and never falls into a repeating pattern, often approximated as 3.14159.


The elder mascot of the Irrationals is Number 65. Most likely, the authors chose "65" as his number because that is the popularly-represented age of retirement in the Western world.


On page 88, the Irrationals listen to the Radetzsky March as played by the Hunkering Lummoxes. The "Radetzky March" was composed by Johann Strauss Sr. in 1848, dedicated to the Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz in commemoration of Radetzky's victory at the 1848 Battle of Custoza during the First Italian War of Independence. The Hunkering Lummoxes appears to be a fictitious band.


X states that the Irrationals like Number 6 because he's unmutual. Citizens who have been declared unmutual by the Committee are shunned by their fellow residents in "A Change of Mind".


The Irrationals have modified a poster of Number 6 from his run for office to include the words, "I am not a number, I am a free man." The poster would be the one from "Free for All", in which he ran for, and won, the post of Number 2. The phrase "I am not a number, I am a free man," is spoken by Number 6 during the opening titles of most episodes.

Number 6


On page 88, Number 6 sees the poster and reflects on his run for office, Ages ago now. Or was it last week? This may be an in-joke to the arguments over the viewing order of Prisoner episodes, such that "Free for All" may have taken place near the beginning of Number 6's time in the Village or more recently.


One of the members of the Irrationals calls Number 6, mon ami. This is French for "my friend."


Page 89 mentions the English Channel. The English Channel is the narrow stretch of ocean that separates England from the European mainland.


When Number 6 tells X, "I am not a number," on page 89, X says, "Well, actually, i is a number. Square root of minus one and all that." In mathematics, "i" stands for "imaginary unit".


At his first meeting of the Irrationals, Number 6 asks, "So what...exactly is this flying circus for?" A flying circus is a type of stunt piloting show, usually as entertainment for audiences, but sometimes applied to fighter piloting in extreme situations.


While thinking of pranks and stunts to play on the Village, one of the Irrationals suggests that the twins "ride a horse through the village like Lady Godiva!" In Anglo-Saxon legend, the 11th Century noblewoman Godiva once rode a horse naked across the streets of Coventry, England to protest excessive taxation of the citizens imposed by her husband, the Earl of Mercia.


The Irrational called Number Number suggests getting Number 48 involved in the Irrationals' shenanigans. Assorted Number 48s appeared in "Dance of the Dead", "Fall Out", I Am Not a Number! and Number Two.


Page 93 reveals there is a Palace of Fun in the Village. Though it was not portrayed in any TV episodes, the Palace of Fun is labeled on the map of the Village seen at the information booth in "Arrival".


On page 97, Number 6 speaks to Number 18 of several former Village residents who disappeared mysteriously after crossing the powers-that-be in various ways: a young woman used in a plan of theirs that didn't go the way they planned disappeared two days later; an Austrian chemist who recognized Number 2 was admitted to the hospital within a week and never came out; a major from Normandy who never fit in; a woman who started a fire; an Observer who saw too much. Possibly, the young woman "used in a plan" was Number 24 from "The Schizoid Man". Austria, of course, is a country in central Europe. Normandy is a northern region of France.


The marching band plays a Bourbon Street funeral march on page 97. Bourbon Street is the oldest street of New Orleans' French Quarter, known for its jazz music, including jazz funeral marches.


In several places in the novel, signs in the Village are printed in the "Village font", a modified Albertus. On page 98 signs with the idioms, "A place for everything and everything in its place" and "to ask is to doubt; to doubt is to fail" are seen. The idiom "A place for everything and everything in its place" was coined by American author and minister Charles A. Goodrich (1790-1862).


On page 99, Number 35 asks for some fresh bream in exchange for a favor in Town Hall, also revealing her husband's name is Geo. Bream is a species of European freshwater fish. A different Number 35 appears in Number Two.


Number 6 explains that the Village quietly allows a black market in innocuous products to exist as a harmless end-run around authority which allows residents to feel free, the next step beyond the "walk on the grass" sign on the Village green. The "walk on the grass" sign was seen in "Arrival".


Number 49 is a samizdat tailor in the Village. Samizdat is Russian for "self-published", originally applied to a grassroots movement in the Soviet Union to those who copied and passed around censored or banned publications. Page 250 reveals that Number 49 also leads nature walks through the upper woods.


Number 49 is infatuated with Number 203.


On page 102, Number 101 shudders at how the Village's computer system, before it was redesigned, could set the tape drives churning until they caught fire, with a simple malformed command. "I can imagine," says 6 mildly. This is likely a reference to 6's destruction of the computer called the General with the simple question, "Why?" in  "The General".


On page 103, Number 101 asks Number 6 to imagine having a small computer in his office that would connect to the main computer and from the main computer to others around the world, mentioning DARPA as well. This is a "foreshadowing" of the internet. Number 6 actually gains a similar device for his use within his cottage in Number Two. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, formed as ARPA in 1958, which develops new technology for the U.S. military; DARPA developed ARPANET, the early version of the internet.


On page 104, 101 uses several terms that are a play on what will become ubiquitous computer terms in the computer age of the late 20th Century: " processors, datadebasers, moral accounting on headsheets."


On page 106, Number 54 strikes a match to light a cigarette in a "no smoking" area, but immediately flicks the match away and puts the unlit cigarette in his pocket when he hears the "inhuman soft-white howl" of Rover in the distance!


After Chapter 9, for some reason comes Chapter 9b, a single page, 5-paragraph chapter that could have been just another section break in Chapter 9. Maybe it's just a play on the occasional "b" number designations seen among individuals in the Village such as Tally Ho reporter Number 113 and photographer 113B in "Free for All".


On page 110, Number 6 tells 18 he had a dream last night of a party he attended in Vienna to pick up some microfilm. Vienna is the capitol of Austria.


On page 112, as Numbers 6 and 18 begin to realize that the powers-that-be in the Village tend to manipulate people such that the powers win in some way no matter which of various outcomes play out, they also realize that they could either break Number 6 as a win, or have him become the individual, which they can also use to their own advantage. This goes somewhat towards explaining the assembly members of the Village accepting his proven role of the individual later in "Fall Out".


On page 115, Number 6, talking to Number 18 on the patio of his cottage, flings away the cat that comes by, telling 18, "They use more than cameras and microphones." This is likely a reference to Number 2's black cat in "Dance of the Dead", though whether this is the same cat (or even its color) is not mentioned.


Trying to pry out of Number 6 what he enjoys that actually makes him laugh, Number 18 postulates him listening to Spike Jones. Spike Jones (1911-1965) was an American bandleader and musician known for his comical and satirical songs. On page 293, Number 6 puts on the record of Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics that he tracked down for Number 18; however, this album was released in 1971, which seems a bit later than this story most likely takes place!


On page 116, Number 18 mentions Molière and Alistair Sim. Molière was the stage name of French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673), widely regarded as one of the masters of comedy in Western literature. Alistair Sim (1900-1976) was a Scottish actor known for many types of character roles, particularly comedy on both stage and screen.


"Fur Elise" plays on the Village speakers on page 116. "Fur Elise" (German for "For Elise") is one of the most popular compositions by Beethoven (1770-1827).


Number 6 finally admits to 18 that he has a fondness for Roadrunner cartoons. His description of the coyote's various, intricate plots to catch the Road Runner for dinner and how they always fail is a sort of reverse allegory of the Village. The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote have appeared in a number of Warner Brothers cartoon shorts since 1949.


As Number 6 turns from his patio to re-enter the cottage, he wonders for a moment if the door began to open for him before he walked up to it. Considering the powers-that-be are using Juliet to try to predict his every move, it's possible. Even in some of the televised episodes, it does seem that the door occasionally starts to open before he gets to it.


Number 35 implies she works for Number 288 in her job at Town Hall.


The novel reveals that the powers-that-be are not above changing dates overnight as part of their plots, so that residents have to readjust to their own schedules.


After the date is pushed back overnight, unannounced, by the Village powers, Number 6 tells 18 that he's calculated the calendar based on the day of the week and month and narrowed down the Village's current preferred year as either 1916 or 1944, or possibly 1972 (but he doesn't think the fashions are right for that). As seen in PopApostle's studies of the dates depicted in the televised episodes, the calendar calculations of "when" the series takes place can vary from episode to episode. Number 6's implication here that the calendar in the Village changes from time-to-time helps explain these discrepancies.


On page 124, Number 6 reflects that the weather is always unseasonably mild in the Village, no matter the alleged season they are in. Perhaps the Village has weather control?


On page 126, the Minister speculates that perhaps they've all been put in the Village on ice until after the Cold War is over, to keep the embarrassing ideological relics out of the way. The Cold War was the state of nuclear tension between the Western and Eastern Bloc powers from 1947-1991.


On page 127, the ex-Number 2 is playing a game of solitaire (or patience), based on the descriptions given.


Number 6 thinks he can make out a small, telltale scar on the temple of the ex-Number 2. This suggests the man has been subjected to an ultra-sonic lobotomy, as depicted as having been done to a few citizens in "A Change of Mind". It is implied in the description of the ex-Number 2's past on page 127 that this is the Number 2 (played by John Sharp) who was using the process on people in that same episode.


On page 128, the ex-Number 2 tells Number 6 they only have one Number 2, apparently some kind of mental program that is placed into each "new" Number 2 as they take office, shared like the eye of the Graeae. Whether this is true is unknown, especially considering the man's current deteriorated mental state. Number 6 looks at the array of doors down the hospital hallway and seems to be wondering if they all have a former Number 2 locked away behind them, awaiting the time the Village needs them again. The Graeae are three old sisters in Greek mythology who share one eye among them.


Page 130 seems to state that the news sheet of the Tally Ho is printed with ink that fades to nothingness at the end of the day, the paper ready to be recycled. This is probably an indication that the powers-that-be do not want Village residents to be able to refer back to old news and use it to their advantage.


On page 132, an ex-admiral is described climbing the rigging of the stone boat in an attempt to convince himself he's not too old to do it. Possibly this is the same ex-admiral, Number 66, who played chess with Number 6 and, later, Number 9, in "Arrival".


Number 101 mentions having been in Dresden at one point of the war. Dresden is the capital of the state of Saxony, Germany.


On page 133, Number 101 mentions certain advantages small groups of independent resistors such as the French Resistance have against a larger, authoritarian force. The French Resistance was made up of a number of small groups resisting the German occupation of France during WWII.


During the coded nonsense-speak at the gathering of the Irrationals on pages 134-137, numerous terms, phrases, and names are spoken:


  • "The time has come, the Walrus said, To talk of many things," is a line from "The Walrus and the Carpenter", a narrative poem by Lewis Carroll in his 1871 book Through the Looking-Glass.
  • Danny Kaye (1911-1987) was an American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian known in part for his nonsense songs.
  • "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the largest surface area," is a reference to a line from various film and stage versions of My Fair Lady, "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain."
  • Peter Sellers (1925-1980) was a British comic actor.
  • "Davy" and "Mike" most likely refer to Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, members of the American pop music band The Monkees.
  • "Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, when our deep plots do pall..." and "Speak the speech, I pray you," are from Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
  • The Bastille was a French fortress built in the 14th Century which became a state prison in the 17th and 18th Centuries until stormed by angry peasants in July 1789 at the start of the French Revolution. Here, X refers to the Village as a "20th Century Bastille"; in "Free for All", Number 6 also referred to the Village as "this 20th Century Bastille that pretends to be a pocket democracy."
  • "Lennon" is probably a reference to John Lennon of the Beatles, but there is not enough context here to know for sure.
  • "Pimhole" is probably a reference to the district by that name in the town of Bury in Greater Manchester, England.


On page 134, music from a Hammond organ plays from a record player.


On page 136, X is wearing a black blazer with no badge and speaking in a trans-Atlantic accent, seemingly in emulation of Number 6 in a form of hero worship. Patrick McGoohan was known to speak in such an accent, one sometimes affected by actors who want to be understood easily by both Americans and Brits.


On page 137, Number 6's recitation of "I, measuring her affections by my own..." is a paraphrasing of a line from Romeo and Juliet.


On page 139, Clacton is probably a reference to Clacton-on-Sea, a town in Essex, England.


The song Pi sings on page 139 is "All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan. The song has sometimes been interpreted as being about the coming of the messengers reporting the fall of Babylon, as described in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament and here suggesting the Irrationals' desire to see the fall of the Village. Since the song was released in November 1968, it seems the current year must be 1968 or later!


Number 136 is a female Village resident who has a male cat.


The Irrational called Theta has based his name on the Greek letter associated with the numeral 9, so perhaps his actual Village designation is Number 9.


On page 140, Theta sabotages the camera inside the bust of Alexander the Great by painting over the eyes. Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) was the ruler of the Greek empire for about 13 years in the 4th Century BC.


The Irrationals blast out "Ride of the Valkyries" on the Village speakers on page 140. "Ride of the Valkyries" is the most popular composition from Richard Wagner's 1870 opera The Valkyrie.


As Numbers 6 and 18 approach an elevator in the Town Hall on page 141, a box on the wall says, "All change for the Circle line," at which point they use their electropass to gain entrance. "Circle line" is probably a reference to the Circle line of the London Underground train service, a sub-reference to the elevator taking them to the underground portions of the town hall. As Numbers 6 and 18 stand at the gate of Town Hall on page 301, the entry box states, "Next stop Camden" (Camden is a borough of London on the Circle line). After they step into the elevator, a green, plastic hand waves goodbye to them from the box; this may be the same kind of tiny hand seen taking tokens to enter the board meeting in "The General" (from a box that was actually an Addams Family Thing Bank!) Later, on page 304, a little plastic hand waves a feeble admonishing finger at one of the enemy troopers attempting to dig under the lawn of Town Hall.


On page 147, after his and 18's failure at Town Hall, Number 6's memory of the past several days' events are being wiped from his mind by a device used by the Village and he asks weakly, "How...many...times?" without a response. It's interesting to suppose that such memory wipes have been performed on him any number of times during his residency (recall that memories of his time in the Village were erased for his "mission" back to the outside world in "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling"). How many other adventures of the Prisoner remain hidden from him (and us)?


After Chapter 13 in the book, comes Chapter Numberless, then Chapter 15. Chapter Numberless is a few pages about a woman now known only as Numberless, who does nothing but sit in a grey room until told to work, at which point she runs the device and administers the drugs for the Village residents who are having their memories wiped. She is seemingly being perpetually punished for some failure in the past. Since this chapter would be 14 if numbered, Numberless may be Number 14, the blond, female doctor who manipulates dreams and memory in the episode "A, B, and C". If so, it contradicts somewhat the Number 14 who also seems to be that same character in the chronologically-later novel I Am Not a Number!. However, here she is described as having had dark hair in her youth, not blond and, in "A, B, and C", Number 14 was relatively young, but the woman here is described as wrinkled with age; perhaps her treatment by the powers-that-be has rendered her prematurely aged?


On page 154, Numberless thinly recalls having been in Barcelona. Barcelona is a large, ancient city in Spain.


On page 156, Number 18 interviews Number 88 about his recovery from alcoholism for Village Weekly.


On page 165, the Village band is playing a Sousa march. This refers to John Philip Sousa (1854–1932), an American musical composer and conductor known for military and patriotic marches.


On page 166, Number 18 remarks that Number 6 has lovely freckles, which are not noticeable until you get close to him. In fact, this is true of Patrick McGoohan; in close-ups of his face, light freckles can be seen below his eyes.


On page 168, Number 101 mentions IBM and a half-alive cat. IBM is a computer manufacturer. The half-alive cat probably refers to the Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment which demonstrates, in a large scale manner, the indefinite state of two subatomic particles that can be in one of two states, but which are in neither state until it is measured (observed).


Page 170 mentions the 1812 Overture. The 1812 Overture is a musical orchestra piece written by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) in 1880 in commemoration of Russia's defense against the invading army of Napoleon in 1812.


On page 174, Square Root plays "A Walk in the Black Forest" over the Village speakers. This is a 1965 piece of easy listening music by German pianist Horst Jankowski.


The twins, Zero and Infinity, try to avoid the camera eyes of Napoleon, Voltaire, and "Venus de Milo" on page 174. Assuming "Napoleon" is not the Napoleon III bust seen earlier in the novel, it is his uncle, Napoleon I, Napoléon Bonaparte, the high general, First Consul, and Emperor of France from 1799-1814. Voltaire was François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), a French historian, writer, and philosopher. "Venus de Milo" means "Aphrodite of Milos", the original being a statue carved in the 2nd Century BC by Alexandros of Antioch; the one in the Village would likely be a reproduction of the original, currently in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.


On page 176, Number 6 sits on the grass of the Village green, reflecting that he once played a human pawn there. This refers to the human chess game in which he participated in "Checkmate".


Waking up in their respective Village cottages in the middle of the desert, Number 18 remarks, "Well we're not in Kansas, I can tell you that much." This refers to the classic line in the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."


Numbers 6 and 18 improvise a compass out of a sewing-needle and a bit of water in an empty can. It is possible to make a compass with these items if the needle can be magnetized with a magnet or lodestone.


On page 185, Numbers 6 and 18 find a wrought-iron penny-farthing half-buried in the desert sand near their cottages, looking like it hasn't moved since the days of Ozymandias. Ozymandias is a character in the sonnet of that name written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822); the character is believed to be based on the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. The poem fits our heroes' current predicament in that it ends with "The lone and level sands stretch far away."


On page 186, Number 18 jokes that after the arrows left for them to point the way, they'll find a giant white X in middle of the desert where a twenty-tonne weight will fall on them. This is probably her partly teasing Number 6 about his fondness for Road Runner cartoons; this is the sort of trap Wile E. Coyote used to set for the Road Runner (said traps always backfiring so that they were triggered by him instead).


On page 191, Number 6 quotes, "Oh Rose, thou art a marker." This is a play on the opening line of the 1794 poem by William Blake, "The Sick Rose", O Rose thou art sick.


On page 196, Number 18 reveals to Number 6 that her name is Louise Norman, saying she just wanted someone to know. But later, on page 253, Fish also calls her Louise...though I suppose he could have learned it from watching the game show.


On page 199, Number 6 begins to suspect there are no longer any methods too extreme to be used against him by the Village; his value to the powers-that-be may be lessening the longer he is there. This may explain why they are willing to go to the Degree Absolute shortly after this in "Once Upon a Time".


On page 204, Number 18 chides Number 6 being so dishonest in the Village for someone who practically considers himself the one honest man in the world. Number 6 defends himself with, "Needs must, as the devil drives." This is a saying dating back to the Medieval period of Europe (and used by Shakespeare several times in his works). It's essentially another way of saying "The devil made me do it," or that circumstances have forced one to do something they normally would not.


On page 207, Number 18 uses the phrase "And loving it," to describe Number 6's recent battles and triumphs against the elements in their trek through desert, snow, and jungle. Possibly, this is a reference to the 1965-1970 spy-comedy TV series Get Smart, in which secret agent 86 would often make the same claim after facing dangerous/outrageous circumstances.


It seems likely that Numbers 6 and 18 are being subjected to a virtual reality simulation or manipulated shared-dream/hallucination during their trek through different climates due to the sudden appearance of said environments, wildlife from around the world, etc.


On page 215, Number 18 says to Number 6, "They haven't made you kill yet. But they'll get you there. Give 'em enough time, they'll get you blazing away with a machine gun, a grenade in your teeth." This may be meant by the authors to paint a picture of Number 6 as a Rambo-like figure and also a reference to future events in "Fall Out", where 6 uses a machine gun to mow down committee members and their guards.


Page 217 reveals that Numbers 6 and 18's challenges trekking through harsh climates was part of a game show aired in the Village called Be Seeing You.


On page 219, Number 6 is described as having a Pavlovian reaction to the crowd of game show fans pelting him and Number 18 with questions about the ordeal. This is a reference to the conditioning experiments performed on dogs by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936).


On page 220, some fans of Be Seeing You say that Number 340 is thinking of asking Number 6 out and that they think he is going to sleep with Number 18.


Page 222 reveals that Number 42b is a woman.


Discussing the success of the Be Seeing You game show in the Village on page 225, Number 2 tells Number 6 that conflict is the basis of good drama and Number 6 retorts, "As the lion-keeper said to the Christians." Actually, the "conflict is the basis of good drama" phrase is a summation of what makes good drama in writing as taught in many writing courses. Number 6's lion-keeper/Christians comment is a reference to the executions of Christians in the Roman Empire before Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in the 4th Century AD.


As they plan to fight back against the Village on page 227, Number 18 says to Number 6, "You realize of course, this means war." She may be quoting various Warner Brothers cartoons in which either Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck would speak the same phrase (or a variation thereof).


On page 230, the home of Number 23 is found severely damaged by the bomb blast and she is found dead. Later, Number 2 announces that Numbers 81 and 292 are also dead from the blast. Several Number 23s have been seen in past Prisoner stories.


The day's Mantovani cuts off of the Village speakers on page 231. Mantovani (1905-1980) was a popular Italian light orchestra conductor. Mantovani's works are also mentioned in I Am Not a Number! and A Day in the Life.


On page 236, Number 6 reflects on having once promised to wipe the Village off the face of the Earth. He said this in "The Chimes of Big Ben".


On page 239, Number 6 notes that the funeral for the three fallen Villagers is much more somber than usual, none of the New Orleans jollity which normally marks the funerals in the Village. The funeral for Cobb seen in "Arrival" has the band playing the Radetski March, a high-spirited military march. The city of New Orleans is generally known for its festive atmosphere.


On page 240, Number 54 remarks that the powers-that-be have brought in the big numbers to investigate the bombing, pointing out to Number 6 that the two men who worked him over for information were Numbers 1032 and 1033.


Page 247 states there is a newly-formed Village Guard patrolling the Village since the bombing. Old soldiers who are residents of the Village have been happy to fade back in to perform in this capacity. "Fade back in" is a play on a line from an old military barracks ballad, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." The original author of the song is unknown, though it is believed to have originated around 1900; many variations of the song exist.


On page 248, Number 18 reports to Number 6 that Number 101 has clammed up due to tightened security around Juliet and he even says, "Loose lips sink ships." This phrase originated on WWII propaganda posters used by the United States Office of War Information.


Regarding the bomb that exploded in the belltower and set the residents and government of the Village into a frenzy, Number 6 and 18 reflect that, in this place, every third person would have the skills needed to plant the bomb and cover their tracks.


On page 249, Number 6 wonders if maybe the Village will retire the use of the number 23 in homage to the fallen woman (at least till everyone forgets). Indeed, no Number 23 appears in any subsequent stories thus far!


Page 251 states that buttons with Number 6's face and the words "I am a free man" in the official Village typeface have become de riguer after the funeral for the three fallen victims of the bomb attack. De riguer is French for "in strictness", and has come to have the meaning of something required by current fashion.


The woman who signs Number 6's diary on page 251 is Number 94. In the later novel Number Two, Number 94 is a delivery man.


On page 251, the Village speakers announce that Choice Cola is now available on special at the cafe in tan, yellow, blue, and new Victory Punch flavors. Choice Cola appears to be a Village-only beverage. Victory Punch is a Gatorade-like beverage served by the U.S. Army, meant to satisfy thirst and replace electrolytes and salt in the human body during boot camp exercises (some conspiracy theorists suggest that it also inhibits the sex drive!)


On page 253, the spheres floating in the lava lamp near Number 6's kitchen catch his fury for a moment as if they're about to burst from the glass and try to smother him. This may be a reference to the theory in some fan circles that the ever-present lava lamps in the Village are holding baby Rovers!


Page 253 reveals that the general store is now selling Home Security Systems in the form of egg cartons filled with tiny, pulsing, howling balls of white. Baby Rovers! During the attack by the enemy forces near the end of the book, the little white spheres roll out of their containers, squeeze under doors, and attack the enemy troops en masse.


On page 256, Numbers 6 and 18 describe Rover as a thought balloon for the thought police. A "thought balloon" is the round, cloud-fringed graphic used in comic books and comic strips to indicate a character's thoughts. The "thought police" are the secret police that punish citizens for having thoughts that go against party lines in George Orwell's 1984.


On page 262, the men who have captured Number 6 have a half-dozen black, twin-rotored troop carriers marked with a red star and hammer-and-sickle. These markings indicate the planes as being of Soviet origin (though later revelations in the novel imply that this group is in league with the powers-that-be as well).


On page 263, General Zhukov claims he doesn't know who is running the Village, saying, "All our usual suspects have disavowed knowledge." This is probably a reference to the famous line from the 1942 film Casablanca, "Round up the usual suspects."


Also on page 263, Zhukov says zaebis and gluposti. Zaebis is Russian for "very well" and gluposti is Bosnian for "rubbish".


On page 265, Zhukov says chort vozmi. This is essentially Russian for "the devil take me".


On page 272, Zhukov says yedrona vosh. I have been unable to translate these words.


On page 274, Bach's Air on a G String plays on the Village speakers. This is an arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, by August Wilhelmj (1845-1908).


On page 275, Number 6 asks Number 18 if they offered her thirty pieces of silver to betray him later. This is a reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver in the New Testament of the Bible.


On page 276, the sketch on Number 6's drawing pad is said to look like a Picasso. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, known for a wide variety of styles in many forms of art.


On page 289, Number 6's television is showing a comedy about castaways on a deserted island. This is probably the 1964-1967 TV series Gilligan's Island.


As Number 6 climbs the steps to Number 2's office on page 290, he passes through the "Technicolor beds of carnations". Technicolor is a process of shooting and processing motion picture film to make color movies.


Number 18 is put on trial with Number 42b acting as defense and Number 36 as the prosecutor. Number 36 was a waiter at the Village cafe in "The General" and an old woman in "It's Your Funeral".


On page 290, Number 6 tells Number 2 to "save your bread and circuses". The phrase "bread and circuses" is an idiom indicating an appeasement of the populace through superficial favors. The phrase originated in Satire X, a satirical poem by Juvenal written around the 1st Century AD in Rome.


On page 292, Number 6 asks Number 2, "Is that your final answer?" This may be a reference by the authors to the long-running TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in which the host will often ask the contestant that question.


As Number 6 exits Number 2's office on page 292, he notices a door in the Georgian anteroom he'd never seen open before. It is apparently the Butler's quarters, who quietly invites him in to share a pot of soup. Possibly this room is the small annex at the back of the Green Dome noticed by David Stimpson on his Prisoner blog! Butler's quarters?


Page 294 suggests that the only hearts Numbers 6 and 18 will ever bear to each other now is in a game of whist. Whist is an English card game that originated in the 17th century.


On page 294, Number 6 reiterates, this time to Number 18, that his reason for resigning from his job was over a matter of conscience, "...but they can never believe that."


As X is engulfed by Rover on pages 296-297, he seems to have visions of society in the future (our times), including the Babel of trivia and invective, bomb's eye view of war, funniest home videos, and massive death numbers in the Balkans and Africa. He also sees walls fall, statues fall, and towers fall; these are probably referring to the falls of the Berlin Wall, the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdos Square, and the fall of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.


On page 300, Juliet makes an analogy of 666 and the number of the beast (from the Bible's Book of Revelation).


Also on page 300, Juliet makes an analogy of its predictions of individual behavior to Pascal's triangle. Pascal's triangle is a triangular array of the binomial coefficients used in higher mathematical systems.


On page 302, weapons are fired at the enemy troops by the numerous busts and statues throughout the Village, including the aforementioned Alexander and Voltaire, along with Leonardo (likely a bust of Leonardo da Vinci). First World War submachine guns are said to be used, possibly hinting at the age of the Village (WWI took place 1914-1918).


Sousa's The Circumnavigators' Club plays over the Village speakers on page 302 as the battle rages on. Sousa wrote this march in 1931.


On page 303, part of Juliet's stream of data is a couple of lines from the children's nursery rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York". The rhyme is also sung by Number 2 as part of the procedure to take Number 6's mind back to a childhood state in "Once Upon a Time".


Page 305 introduces a pair of identical bald men in technicians' uniforms laying some props to misdirect various parties inside Town Hall. Possibly these are the same two identical bald men seen as a repairman and a gardener in "Arrival".


On page 307, Juliet's stream of data includes the phrase "must see tv", a reference by the authors to the advertising slogan used by the NBC television network in the 1990s.


Also on page 307, a flat wide screen display on a stand is seen by Number 6 in one of the rooms of the Town Hall, indicating a superior technology at use by the Village powers than that which existed in the public world at the time.


As Number 6 installs the tapeworm program on the Juliet computer, the arrow on the screen changes to a miniature penny-farthing, "its wheels spinning merrily". This is another example of a more sophisticated interface than was known to be used at the time (similar to mouse pointers and activity indicators in modern day operating systems like Windows; I'd like to get a little penny-farthing version of the activity indicator on my computer!).


Page 316 describes the fight in the Town Hall corridor as a brawl choreographed by Nureyev. This refers to Russian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).


The children's program playing on the TV in Number 6's hospital recovery room on page 319 seems to be the 1997-2001 BBC show Teletubbies from the description. This would obviously be far in the future of when we would normally assume Number 6's time in the Village to have been spent.


Number 6 watches a new TV series in the Village called Confessional, a show in which Villagers enter a private booth and tell a TV camera about their darkest escapades. I'm sure the book's authors were inspired by modern reality shows such as Big Brother in which contestants do the same thing.


On page 321, the Minister quotes from a limerick. The full limerick goes:

There once were two cats of Kilkenny

Each thought there was one cat too many

So they fought and they fit

And they scratched and they bit

Till instead of two cats there weren't any!


On page 322, the Minister, who, as we've learned, played for both the East and West, now rues both roles and says, "A plague on both their houses." This is a paraphrasing of a repeated line from Romeo and Juliet by the character of Mercutio who swears that the families of both children behave in a petty and disgraceful manner.


On page 323, the Russian General Zhukov is revealed as the new Number 2.


As Number 6 checks himself out of the hospital on page 325, the woman at the desk gives him a larger-than-average smile, and 6 assumes she has not yet heard the new Number 2's edicts declaring him celebrity non grata, but at least the fame won't last more than another fifteen minutes. Celebrity non grata is a term occasionally used in the showbiz press to declare a celebrity a recent lost cause, based on the Latin term persona non grata for "an unwelcome person". The fifteen minutes of fame refers to a 1968 quote by artist Andy Warhol, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."


On page 325, the Minister remarks to Number 6, about Number 18's absence from the Village, "They voted her out." This is a reference by the authors to the reality game show Survivor, in which castaways, gathered into "tribes" and placed in a wild location, must survive with few supplies, and against each other, without being voted out by the rest of their tribe.


On page 327, the Minister quotes, "You're living in a dream world, kid." I've been unable to discover what this is a quote from. 


At the end of this 2005 book, an ad for an upcoming new Prisoner book called The Other by Lance Parkin appears, "Coming soon" from Powys Media. This book has not appeared to date (2016) and has no solicitation on the Powys Media website. The promotional blurb sounds interesting:
  He's used to being their star prisoner. He's learned to exploit their attention. But now a new arrival is taking priority, and the man who was once Number 6 now has to deal with being just one of the crowd...  

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