THE UNMUTUAL PRISONER ARTICLE ARCHIVE
"IMPRESSIONS OF CHIMES", By Steve Yarde
'The Chimes of Big Ben' is an excellent episode. Leo McKern's performance as Number Two is outstanding and there is some amusing dialogue between him and The Prisoner. One scene that springs to mind, is at the Green Dome, when Number 2 exhorts the Prisoner to participate in the Arts and Crafts Competition. In response, the Prisoner says flippantly: 'I'll make you a handle for this door.'
The Prisoner seems a little indifferent towards Nadia during their first meeting. Later he asks questions about her background, causing her to storm out of his apartment in indignation. He may have been impressed with her strength of character, remembering his own defiance of The Village authorities. After watching Nadia's interrogation at the hospital, The Prisoner begins to show a little concern, even snapping at Number 2: 'Let her go!' To which Number 2 replies: 'Is that an order, Number 6?'
Later on, the Prisoner and Nadia start to develop a rapport. It is interesting to wonder what might have happened had she turned out to be genuine. The part at the Arts and Crafts Competition is very well written. I particularly liked The Prisoner's description of his sculpture to the three judges. As a Christian, I found the explanation intriguing.
Colonel 'J' appears sceptical of The Prisoner's claims about The Village and Nadia's background, even making light of what he is told. He implies that his ex-colleague may have turned traitor. The Prisoner comes tantalizingly close to saying why he resigned, but discovers that he has been duped and is not in London after all.
It was probably a considerable blow to the The Prisoner to find he was back in The Village. Remarkably, he manages to hide his feelings over the betrayal of Nadia, Colonel 'J' and Fotheringay.
of Big Ben' is extremely well written, with a clever twist at the end. The dialogue
between The Prisoner and Number 2 is a delight. Another fine episode and well
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