The plot of this episode is a little obscure and complicated - alright, confusing. We have an old No. 2, nearing retirement, and a new No. 2 about to take his place via an inauguration ceremony. However, both appear to be in charge, both seem to operate out of the same office but with a different complement of staff.
A young woman hesitantly approaches No. 6's cottage and, finding the door ajar, enters. As she approaches the apparently sleeping No. 6 he is instantly awake and grabs her. She explains that she has come to him for help, but he is too used to betrayal and, correctly assuming they are being watched, refuses to even listen to her story. He is about to throw her out but, at that moment, she passes out and slumps to the floor. As she revives, No. 6 makes the observation that she has been drugged and probably sent to implicate him in some plot or other and, erring on the side of caution, encourages her to leave. He is substantially correct, as we learn from (New) No. 2 and the Supervisor who are watching the scene via the control room screen. However, the plot is much deeper than even the ever-suspicious No. 6 believes.
During a game of Kosho, one of (New) No.2's assistants replaces No. 6's watch by another which does not work and he goes to the watchmaker to get it fixed. The watchmaker turns out to be the father of the woman who came to his cottage for help. Noticing an explosive device on a table, No. 6 tells the woman that he is now prepared to listen to her as he suspects the explosive device indicates that there is something sinister going on. It's revealed that (Old) No. 2 is the intended victim of an assassination and the woman wants No. 6 to help her stop it, partly because she doesn't want her father to suffer the consequences of his involvement. No. 6. goes to see (New) No. 2 to warn him, but is disbelieved as a "jammer" - someone who continually gives out false and alarmist warnings to deliberately confuse the authorities.
Later, he learns that the explosive device will be placed in the "Seal of Office" medallion which is handed from (Old) No. 2 to (New) No. 2 on "Appreciation day" as the position of authority changes. The plan is that the explosion will be triggered just before hand-over, (Old) No. 2 will die and the Village population will probably suffer reprisals from the authorities. No.6 also realises that the whole plot is being engineered by (New) No. 2 and again goes to the Green Dome and meets (Old) No. 2 who he tries to convince of the seriousness of the situation to him personally. Once more, No. 6 is sent away but (Old) No. 2 is beginning to have his doubts.
The big day comes and (Old) No.2 is wearing the booby-trapped Seal of Office, now only too aware that his life is in danger. The watchmaker, hidden in the watchtower, is ready to detonate the device by remote control. He is protected by (New) No. 2's assistant but after a fight, No. 6 manages to grab the remote control and prevent detonation. In the meantime, (Old) No. 2 has finished his goodbye speech and, surprised to find himself still in one piece, has quickly passed the still booby-trapped medallion to (New) No. 2, much to his horror. No. 6 reveals the remote control hidden in his hand, and prevents (New) No. 2 from removing the medallion, allowing time for (Old) No. 2 to escape.
Michael Cramoy (Writer)
Robert Asher (Director)|
Derren Nesbit (Number 2)|
Mark Eden (Number 100)
Annette Andre (Watchmaker's Daughter)
Andre Van Gyseghem (Old No.2)
Martin Miller (Watchmaker)
Mark Burns (Number 2's Asst)
Wanda Ventham (Computer Analyst)|
Peter Swanwick (Supervisor)
Charles Lloyd Pack (Artist)
Grace Arnold (Number 36)
Arthur White (Stall Holder)
Michael Bilton (Councillor)
Gerry Crampton (Kosho Player)
Again, studio bound with virtually all the exteriors actually built indoors. At this point in the series it must have seemed almost worth it to hump everybody back up to Portmeirion; the time, trouble and expense of all the indoor simulations must have been horrendous.
The story itself doesn't make a lot of sense. Why the Village authorities would want to kill one of their own is a mystery, and why would they do it in such a bizarre fashion? Who would care? Whose benefit was it all for? All the Village staff seem to be in on it, so no surprise there, and the Village population generally do as they're told so there's nothing to be gained there either. Number Six is involved, but only as a pawn in the game, so it wasn't for his benefit either.
The female interest in this episode is provided by Annette Andre who went on to become a regular in another ITC series - "Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased)". Derren Nesbit's hair is usually black but he was working on a film at the same time which required him to be blonde.
The game of Kosho features once more, having been first introduced in the previous episode "Hammer Into Anvil". Frank Maher, who had to devise the Kosho gameplay from McGoohan's sketchy description, said that he had no idea what it's about either. It seems to involve leaping from one trampoline to another and getting your opponent to fall into a tank of water and, although it seems to be something out of a Kung Fu movie, "It's not actually based on any marshal art that I know of", he said.