Continuing on from the previous episode, the Prisoner is taken by the Supervisor and the Butler to 'meet Number One'. On the way he is given back his original black suit. He enters a large chamber. There is a mass of technical equipment along one wall, a semi-circular seating area filled with masked people and, in the centre, a presiding Judge. Ominously, there are military police posted all round the chamber and a double gun post revolves towards one side. Also in evidence is a tall, cylindrical structure with a mechanical "eye" built in to it, and decorated with a single large numeral - "1".
The Judge has a long speech here, to the effect that they are all 'gathered there in a state of democratic crisis' and that 'No.6 has survived the ultimate test and will therefore no longer be called by a number'. He also refers to the 'regrettable bullet', indicating the machine guns. A "young man", No.48 is brought in who is lectured by the Judge on the follies of youth and the pointlessness of rebellion. No. 48 replies using an odd mixture of 50's and 60's slang and breaks into song - an old negro spiritual called "Dem Bones" - and leaps dementedly around the cavern. Found guilty of revolt he is forcibly removed to a lower part of the chamber.
The dead Number Two is brought from the embryo room where we last saw him in "Once Upon A Time" and resurrected, a process which also gives him a nice new haircut, a ginger rinse and a shave! He seems surprised to be alive again and is somewhat ungrateful, this earning him a rebuke about "biting the hand that feeds him". After an arguement with the mechanical eye, he ends up in the basement with Number 48, still humming "Dem Bones".
No. 6 gets his chance to address the multitude after being given travellers cheques, his passport and keys to his London home. Unfortunately his attempts are drowned out by the said multitude's inane chanting and he concedes that the whole proceedings are becoming more than farcical. The Judge gives him the opportunity to meet Number One at last and he descends into the basement, past the imprisoned 2 and 48 and up a circular metal staircase.
At the top he finds himself in a room full of globes, presided over by a masked, hooded figure wearing the 'Number One' badge who hands him a crystal ball. No.6 takes it and lets it drop. He pulls No.1's mask off to reveal the face of a gorilla. Underneath the second mask, he discovers his own face.
He chases Number One around the control room and up a ladder. As Number One turns to close the hatch, we see No. 6's deranged face once more. No. 6 returns to the control room and busies himself at the control desk. Whatever happens, the rocket, for indeed that's what they're inside, is going to launch. This causes panic in the upper chamber and a mass evacuation of the entire Village starts.
Going back down the spiral staircase, he knocks out the guards and releases 2 and 48 and, with the help of the Butler, returns to the conference chamber where a gun battle breaks out. They escape in the detachable cage - seen in "Once Upon A Time" and actually a lorry - and crash out through an underground tunnel. The last we see of the Village is the mass evacuation and the rocket blasting it's way skyward.
The rebels find themselves on the A20 heading for London. No.48 gets off the truck, preferring to take his chances alone, and hitchhikes. No.2 heads for the Houses of Parliament, while No.6 returns to his home with the Butler. The Butler walks to the door which opens by itself. No.6 gets into his car and drives away. After a clap of thunder, he is seen driving on a runway exactly as he was in the opening title sequence.
Written and directed by
Leo McKern (Number Two)
Kenneth Griffith (President)
Peter Swanwick (Supervisor)
Michael Miller (Delegate)
Alexis Kanner (Number 48)
The episode starts with a recap of "Once Upon A Time" followed by a special title sequence with a different version of the title theme (actually the second, unused, portion of the standard opening titles theme).
For the first time the location of the shooting location is revealed as Portmeirion.
All of the sets and props used in this episode were actually built for previous ones, redressed and relocated as required. The rocky approach tunnel, much of the cavern interior, the computer bank, the Rocket interior and spiral staircase, the central table and the control panel were all reused from "The Girl Who Was Death". The machine guns were mounted on the revolving camera stand from the control room. The "Eye" on the Rocket exterior also came from the control room set.
Some eight months had elapsed since Leo McKern had filmed "Once Upon A Time". He'd trimmed both hair and moustache and looked much fitter and the rescusitation sequence was an artificial but necessary device to explain his altered appearance.
As the countdown commences and the Judge orders evacuation, the fleeing Villagers and escaping vehicles are all offcuts from previous episodes. The escape tunnel was a disused railway tunnel in Mayfield, Sussex and the low loader cage smashes its way out of the Village and onto the A1 which doubles for the A20.
The Bentley car seen passing the Fallout truck as they escape towards London was McGoohan's own vehicle.
The KAR120C which The Prisoner gets back at the end of the episode isn't the same as the one he started with in "Arrival" because the original vehicle had been sold by Caterham. As it pulls up outside No.1 Buckingham Place, the mechanic who gets out and runs a cloth over the bonnet is Graham Nearn, MD of Caterham Cars.
Production date: January 1968