episode guide
INTRODUCTION     FREE FOR ALL       CHECKMATE     LIVING IN HARMONY
OPENING SEQUENCE THE SCHIZOID MAN HAMMER INTO ANVIL GIRL WHO WAS DEATH
ARRIVAL       THE GENERAL     IT'S YOUR FUNERAL ONCE UPON A TIME
CHIMES OF BIG BEN MANY HAPPY RETURNS A CHANGE OF MIND FALLOUT    
A, B & C     DANCE OF THE DEAD DO NOT FORSAKE ME AFTERMATH    

THE CHIMES OF BIG BEN
First UK showing: Friday the 6th October 1967 at 19:30 on ATV Midlands
     An arts and crafts show is being organised and every villager is encouraged to participate. No. 6 is playing chess near the beach when No. 2 joins him. During their conversation a helicopter arrives and an unconcious woman is taken out. Later on, No. 2 invites No. 6 to his office and together they watch the main viewing screen as the woman wakes up. No.2 reveals that she is No.8 and will be his new neighbour. As he returns to his cottage, the woman emerges, confused, and asks for directions to the Green Dome. Later when she returns, she is in conversation with No. 6 and reveals her name to be Nadia, but is suspicious that No. 6 is a Village spy. The day after, Nadia attempts an escape by swimming out to sea but is brought back by Rover and interrogated in the hospital. No.6 makes a deal with No.2, agreeing to enter the craft competition if this puts an end to No.8's torture. The two prisoners become closer and plan an escape. Nadia tells him that she knows the location of the village: it is on the Baltic coast, in Lithuania, 30 miles from the Polish border. At the craft show, No.6 presents his work called "Escape" among painting, tapestries and sculptures all representing No.2. He is awarded first prize and uses the "work units" he has won to purchase another villager's tapestry. At night, he and Nadia escape in his exhibit, now revealed to be a carved boat, using the tapestry as a sail. They reach land where they meet Nadia's contact. No.6 borrows his watch as his own has stopped. Hidden in a packing case, they travel to London via Danzig and Copenhagen, ending up in No.6's old office and meet his former bosses who suspect him of being a double agent. The prisoner agrees to tell them why he resigned if Nadia is given protection. As he is about to talk, he hears the familiar chimes of Big Ben. His watch shows the same time, but as they were supposed to set off from Poland, there should have been an hour's difference. Suspicious, No.6 starts to look around and discovers a tape recorder recreating the London sounds. He walks out of the building and finds himself back in the village as Nadia, now revealed as a Village operative, confers with No. 2.
CREDITS:
Writer: Vincent Tilsley
Director: Don Chaffey

  CAST LIST:
Nadia Gray (Nadia)
Finlay Currie (General)
Richard Wattis (Fotheringay)
Kevin Stoney (Colonel J)
Peter Swanwick (Supervisor)
David Arlen (Karel)
Hilda Barry (Number 38)
Jack Le-White (Judge)
John Maxim (Judge)
Lucy Griffiths (Judge)
Christopher Benjamin (No. 2's Aide)

Trivia:
Although shown second, this episode was filmed rather later in the series, back-to-back with "Once Upon a Time". There is no specially filmed Portmeirion footage in "Chimes", the backlot at Borehamwood studios doubled for Village exteriors and even the beach was built indoors (see left) Any "real" exteriors were mostly shots borrowed from other episodes (albeit yet to be seen at this stage). Nadia's helicopter landing, for example, is a shot lifted from "Arrival". McGoohan's aversion, within the series, to bodily contact with the opposite sex resulted in some awkward-looking scenes. Where he's supposedly romancing Nadia and ventures to put his arm around her, note that you don't see her face - it's actually his own daughter in a ginger wig!

An early rough-cut of this episode was accidentally released for broadcast and the sole print was tracked down many years later and released on video as the "Alternative" Chimes of Big Ben. Although there are many differences from the "regular" episode, most are minor except for one sequence which involves Number Six attempting to discover the geographical postion of the Village using a home-made navigational device called a triquetrum. There are also some interesting differences in both opening and closing credits sequences along with a different theme tune. However, none of the differences affect either the storyline or the outcome - he still doesn't get away!
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