THE UNMUTUAL PRISONER ARTICLE ARCHIVE
THE ROLAND WALTER DUTTON CONUNDRUM, By Erica Kendrick
On a recent re-viewing of "Dance Of The Dead", I was reminded of a point I've wanted to raise for some time. The primary subject is Roland Walter Dutton. Did Number 6 really know him?
There is no real evidence to indicate otherwise, but doubts are there when Number 6, on asking for a character witness, says "He's a man I think I knew." Even poor old Number 6 has been confused by the dangerous experiment conducted upon him. Dutton could have been brainwashed into thinking that he had worked with Number 6, and the electrodes attached to Number 6's temples could have shocked him in his dazed state into believing he knew Dutton and it is now etched into his mind.
To further enforce this they could have flashed images of Dutton to him so he would get a clear picture of who he was when talking on the phone. This is how he recognised him on the beach, and Dutton was similarly tricked, but more severely so. The meeting on the beach was arranged (had the doctor been tracking him?) so Dutton could inform Number 6 that he was condemned and Number 6 might confide in him his secret (maybe Number 2 `borrowed' Dutton in a last ditch attempt) because:
a) he felt
sorry for a supposedly) ex-colleague, and
b) Dutton wouldn't be able to pass it on, as he only had 72 hours left.
But Number 6 is not stupid enough to confide in anyone. Possibly not Number 2 then, which means that basically the doctor was carrying on his devious work regardless of Number 2's warnings. So the plan failed and the doctor ordered Dutton's immediate termination, the latter being a dupe and no longer needed.
So, when Number 6 calls Roland Walter Dutton, the main players are shocked -. he never knew him. You can see it in their faces (covered up by "No names are used here." - Well, all right, maybe that was a genuine reason), especially Number 2's, she never having been part of the plot. This latter fact enforces that it was the doctor all along - how could Number 2 have received the termination order? Number 6 had it in his pocket. The doctor must have told her though; she wouldn't have fetched Dutton if she hadn't known.
Number 6 has given up to this fantasy; he just wants this farce over with - "a man who is scheduled to die and therefore better fitted than I to say the things that need to be said." He doesn't care if he knew him or not, he might be able to say things he was led to know about him. It's a huge risk; the Village could have told Dutton anything!
We all know what happens next. But the question I leave you with is "Who's the fool?". Think about it...
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