September 23, 2007

Sundays in the Village: Many Happy Returns

To be honest, this is a hard blog post to write.

It's not that the episode is terrible - any episode whose first half is primarily silent with top-notch direction(except for four words in German), can't be faulted. Unfortunately, it's an episode that spoils itself through its title. It's also an episode that, plot-wise, never really goes anywhere - Number 6 finds the Village empty, decides to escape, makes his way by raft to London, meets his superiors (and in a nice twist, encounters the guy he resigned to, complete with theme music), and then....finds himself back in the Village.

Only your typical Gilligan's Island episode is less predictable.

There are a few good moments - in the middle of the episode, when Number 6 arrives at (presumably) the White Cliffs of Dover (if you're across the pond, please let me know if I'm right)...as he meets some Romany....and then makes his way to the heart of London, there seems to be the suggestion that he is "out of place", a prisoner without a prison.

The other - Mrs. Butterworth, (no, not the syrup lady, so don't even go there) is a slightly interesting character. Her appearance was "predicted" in a previous story, although she's an OK Number 2...she's no Mary Morris. We also meet several of Number 6's colleagues, like the Colonel and Thorpe, who may or may not be the Number 2 in a future story. Personally, I think he is the "Hammer into Anvil" Number 2 - in the espionage world, there may be less than six degrees of separation, and Patrick Cargill's performance here seems to mirror that later role).

However, if you had to choose a handful of episodes to miss, "Many Happy Returns" would be a candidate. It's not a bad episode of The Prisoner - just a so-so one.

Coming soon: Number 6 stops a plot, engages in another plot, and changes his mind figuratively...and literally.

Be seeing you.

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