THE UNMUTUAL PRISONER ARTICLE ARCHIVE
"IMPRESSIONS OF ARRIVAL", By Steve Yarde
The opening scenes of 'Arrival' are very memorable. We are shown scenes of the man who will later become the Prisoner, driving through London; handing in his resignation, being followed back to his home and later the first views of The Village. The theme music is superb.
There is much to enjoy in this episode, from The Prisoner's early scenes of exploring The Village, to the witty dialogue between himself and the first Number 2. Good to see Guy Doleman playing a Number 2. I remember him from the film,'The Ipcress File'. The first Number 2 seemed to show a little sympathy towards The Prisoner, telling him 'I know how you feel, believe me; and they have taken quite a liberty'. Or was this simply a way of trying to manipulate The Prisoner into telling him why he resigned? Either way, The Prisoner is not to be influenced so easily.
The Prisoner's first escape attempt does make sense, as at that stage, he appears very frustrated at being trapped in The Village. Of course, he doesn't get very far. Even though he manages to overcome two of The Village Guardians and commandeer their vehicle, 'Rover' is on hand to prevent his escape. The Village authorities allow The Prisoner to temporarily take control of the helicopter, only as an attempt to convince him that escape is hopeless. This kind of ploy resurfaced in the later episode 'Free For All'. In that episode, The Prisoner wins the election for the position of Number 2; only to discover he is as much a captive as before. It seems that even those who are in authority can in fact be Prisoners themselves.
The New Number 2 in 'Arrival', is very different from the first. He makes it clear that The Prisoner only has a limited amount of time to divulge the reason for his resignation and is determined to extract that information. George Baker is on screen for just a short time, but comes across as a strong adversary. A shame that he did not appear in more of the episode.
Overall, 'Arrival' is most enjoyable and a solid beginning for the series. From what I've seen of 'The Prisoner', it is an extremely thought provoking and well made programme. Hope to see all the episodes at some stage.
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