Everything Prisoner Episode Guide

Episode Two: The Chimes of Big Ben

Back to One: Arrival
Forward to Three: A. B. and C.
The Prisoner Episode Guide
The Prisoner

At the start:
The Prisoner is held captive in The Village, but is still near the beginning of his stay.

During this episode:
The Prisoner is rudely awakened by his indestructible radio, but he arrives at an ingenious solution, while being observed by a new Number Two on a video monitor. Two mentions that a reason for wanting to know about Six’s resignation is to make him break. "It only needs one small thing. If he will answer one simple question the rest will follow. Why did he resign?" While playing chess by the sea Number Two pays him a friendly visit. While they talk, a helicopter ferries in an unconscious woman, being carried on a stretcher. Six and Two repair to the Green Dome. Six does not seem to be taken in by Number Two’s jovial manner, and now claims that he is not only going to escape, but also return and destroy The Village. Two does not appreciate this.

On the viewscreen, Numbers Six and Two watch the woman from the helicopter become adjusted to her new surroundings. Two reveals the woman name, Nadia Rokowski, an Estonian who also resigned from her job, and that her number is Eight.

Nadia attempts to escape The Village but is thwarted, but her attempt convinces Six that she is not a plant. Nadia reveals that she knows where The Village is located: in Lithuania, not far from Poland. Together, they plan an escape. They use the Village arts and crafts competition as cover for building a sailboat (that wins first prize!). In the meantime, in a conversation with Six, Number Two acknowledges that yes, he is as much a prisoner as Number Six. He claims that the two sides are becoming identical, both converging on a perfect view of the world: The Village! The whole Earth as The Village? Two: "That is my hope. What’s yours?" Six: "I’d like to be the first man on the moon."

Together, Nadia and Number Six sail out in an attempt to escape, an attempt that appears successful, despite the best efforts of The Supervisor and Rover. They eventually meet up with Karel, Nadia’s contact, who claims to have arranged the remainder of their journey. The Prisoner gives him a message to relay to his former superiors, and also asks to borrow Karel’s wristwatch, which has been damaged by seawater. Karel boxes them up in a crate and they are shipped to London. During the journey, Nadia’s relationship with Number Six begins to grow, and she mentions that she cannot wait to hear the chimes of Big Ben.

Eventually, the crate is opened to reveal a London office. In the office are "The Colonel" and Fotheringay, for whom Six used to work. London traffic is heard outside. Six tries to explain about The Village, but the Colonel is suspicious about Nadia and Six’s resignation. Eventually, Six agrees to tell him why he resigned in exchange for political asylum for Nadia. Just as Number Six is about to spill the beans, he realizes that Big Ben has just struck eight. But his wristwatch also reads eight, and the time in Poland is an hour different! After this, their ploy falls apart: searching the room, Six finds a tape recorder playing sounds of London traffic. He throws open the shutters and outside it is not London after all, but The Village. Nadia was a plant, after all.

At the end:
Six has almost been defeated this time, just when it looked like he might have escaped. Six is defeated more soundly in other episodes, but never again does he come as close to telling the reason for his resignation as he does here. All we ever really find out is that it is "a matter of conscience."

It is revealed:
The mandatory wireless radios in The Village are not completely undefeatable. Number Six escapes his by storing it in the refrigerator.
It seems that new residents of The Village are brought unconscious by helicopter.
The Prisoner is never seen working during the series, even though it seems that The Village is at least partially capitalist and residents must work for their credit units. However, Six’s boat wins a prize of 2,000 credit units. The exact cost of living in The Village is not known, but two thousand should be enough to last a while.
Number Two says that it doesn’t matter who Number One is. It seems that he, himself, does not know.
Despite Nadia’s claims that The Village is in Lithuania, off the Polish border, it is likely that she lied in order to protect the Village’s location.
The keepers of The Village, while arguably possessing advanced, almost supernatural, technology, are not infallible. While they went through great lengths to deceive Number Six as to his actual location, he eventually discovers their trick when his wristwatch and Big Ben (really the Village clock) keep the same time.
It is never revealed which “side” owns The Village, or if it really belongs to either. However, the complicity of a couple of Six’s former superiors suggests that either the British are involved, or that whoever runs The Village has plants that run deep into British intelligence.

Abridged cast information:
The Prisoner: Patrick McGoohan
Number Two: Leo McKern
Nadia: Nadia Gray
General: Finlay Currie
Fotheringay: Richard Watts
The Butler: Angelo Muscat
Kevin Stoney: Colonel J
Peter Stanwick: The Supervisor

Six: "The whole earth as the Village."
Two: "That is my hope. What’s yours?"
Six: "I’d like to be the first man on the moon."

The Prisoner by Alain Carrazé and Hèléne Oswald, published in 1995 by Barnes and Noble Books
The Prisoner by Dave Rogers, published in 1993 by Barnes and Noble Books
The Official Prisoner Companion by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali, published in 1988 by Warner Books

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.