"PROGRESS?" By Adrian Hudson

Many things must have changed in the years since "The Prisoner" was first broadcast, but it seems the warnings it was trying to give become more relevant as the years pass. Society is becoming dependant on technology. We now have DVD and CD players, car stereos, microwaves, satellite TV, computers in every office and McDonalds on every street corner. If any of these are missing from our lives then we feel inadequate and inferior. People need their television, their computer print-outs, their digital sound and their fast food. They cannot imagine life without them. It seems that to turn your back on technology is to turn your back on society, and "the lone wolf belongs to the wilderness".

I think we "Prisoner" fans often desire to be "lone wolves", but we think it is impossible. The best we can manage is to find some like-minded people, discuss our ideas and enjoy our small moments of escape, even if they are as seldom as once a year. "Once Upon A Time" stands out forme as a powerful allegory on the difficulties of trying to live our lives as we would wish. There is constant pressure from our parents, teachers, bosses and friends. It seems that challenging authority can only result in defeat, or worse, becoming the authority figure we hate. However, other episodes give more positive messages, that there is humour in every situation and that human values can triumph in even the most oppressive or hopeless conditions.

I always find watching "Fall Out" to be a very positive experience. It gives us hopethat through the realisation of the evil in ourselves, some small changes for good can happen. It shows us that the young and old have much to learn from each other, that even the stern faceless figures of authority can be affected by a song or a joke and that the simple act of running for a bus can be an exhilarating experience. If you have an open mind.

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