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The Prisoner

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
The Prisoner: The Girl Who Was Death The Prisoner
"The Girl Who Was Death"
Audio Drama
Written by Nicholas Briggs
Directed by Nicholas Briggs
Released November 2019

 

Number 6 awakens in a London hospital five years after his last memories of the Village.

 

Notes from the Prisoner chronology

 

This episode is said to take place in 1973, five years after the events of "I Met a Man Today", when Number 6 first met Kate Butterworth.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode

 

Number 6

Parliamentary bailiff (unnamed)

Sir Clifford Earl (Secretary of State for Defence, dies in this episode)

Kate Butterworth

Number 2 (mentioned only)

Mr. Butterworth (mentioned only, alleged deceased)

Dr. Kraut (mentioned only)

Potter

Control

Anita

Janet (in Number 6's memories only)

police officer #1 (unnamed)

Danvers

Home Secretary (mentioned only)

police officer #2 (unnamed)

Number 43

Number 999 (Village news reporter)

Operations controller

shopkeeper 

Jacob Seltzman (mentioned only) 

 

Didja Know?

 

The Big Finish version of The Prisoner is an audio drama reimagining of the classic 1967 TV series of the same name.

 

The series can occasionally be heard on the BBC Radio website.

 

This episode is titled after an episode of the classic 1967 TV series, but the plot has little to do with the original episode, though there are some nods to it, such as an agent named Potter, a young woman in a sports car, and Number 6 finding a message at the bottom of his beer mug.

 

Number 6 is frequently referred to as ZM-73 in this episode. This was his agent code name before his retirement, as revealed in previous episodes.

 

 

 

Didja Notice?

 

After the opening theme of The Prisoner is played, the sound of Big Ben chiming the top of the hour is heard. The chime is known as Westminster Quarters. The sound of the chimes of Big Ben help to set the scene as being the British Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

 

The Secretary of State for Defence is scheduled to present a briefing to the house on the Z-11 intercontinental ballistic missile firing system. This appears to be a fictitious weapons system. Later, we learn the Defence Secretary is Sir Clifford Earl. In the real world, the Defence Secretary in 1973 was Peter Carrington. I suppose the writer used a fictitious person here since the Secretary explodes himself later in the episode!

 

While filling in Number 6 about the world events he's missed up to 1973, Kate tells him the UK has joined the European Economic Community (EEC, now the European Union) (this occurred in January 1973); she joined the Open University; the UK is in a Cod War with Iceland (the Second Cod War of September 1972 - November 1973, a dispute over fishing rights in the North Atlantic Ocean); Ted Heath is the Prime Minister, following Harold Wilson (Wilson was PM from 1964-1970, Heath from 1970-1974).

 

Kate tells Number 6 that someone from the government informed her that he had been found in Morocco. In "I Met a Man Today", Number 6, having escaped the Village, believed he had tracked the resort prison down to a location in the African country of Morocco. He was ejected from a plane near there by Thorpe and returned to the Village. However, events in "Project Six" suggest that the alleged Moroccan location was a mislead by the powers-that-be and that the Village is actually somewhere in England.

 

The address of Kate Butterworth (and the former address of ZM-73) is said here to be 1 Victoria Terrace. This is a real address in London. In the classic 1967 TV series, his home was 1 Buckingham Place, another real location.

 

At 14:54 in the episode, Number 6 quotes, "Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me." This is a line from the 1944 poem "Prayer Before Birth" by Irish poet Louis MacNeice.

 

When Kate tells her story of having been visited by the strange barmaid from the local pub when "something" happened, like a nervous breakdown, Number 6 asks her if she went to some sanatorium in the Kent countryside. Kent is a county bordering Greater London.

 

When Kate remarks that after the "something" happened, she was found in Belgium, Number 6 recalls that his problems began when he met up with his fiancé in Belgium. He flashes back to a scene near the beginning of "Departure and Arrival" and we hear dialog clips from that episode.

 

When an explosion goes off near the Houses of Parliament, Number 6 and Kate hear it from her apartment at 1 Victoria Terrace. But, in the real world, Parliament is about six miles away from Victoria Terrace, so it's unlikely they'd hear it. But from his address in the classic TV series of 1 Buckingham Place, they could have heard it!

 

Number 6 and Kate rush off to investigate the explosion and a cop who almost runs 6 over asks if he had something to do with the bombing. Number 6 asks if this is "playing at Guy Fawkes." Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) was part of a failed plot to blow up the House of Lords (the "Gunpowder Plot") as part of a Catholic uprising against the Protestant King James in 1605.

 

    The police officer speculates the bombing could have been done by the IRA. "IRA" stands for the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army (not to be confused with other versions and splinter groups calling themselves the IRA) which continued to fight for complete Irish freedom from the United Kingdom even after the peace accords which created the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.). The group existed as a paramilitary and political organization from 1969-1997 and is classified as a terrorist group by the U.K.

   In the real world, there was no bombing of Parliament in 1973, but an IRA bomb did go off in Westminster Hall in 1974.

 

The police officer tells Potter that all police units have been detoured to Parliament Square. Parliament Square is at the northwest end of the Palace of Westminster, a large, open area of grass and statues of historic British statesmen.

 

Potter's agent code number is ZL-25.

 

Potter is armed with a "standard issue" Colt Pocket Positive. This probably refers to the Colt Police Positive Special, known for its use by U.S. police departments and other agencies in the western world.

 

When Danvers calls Control to patch in Potter with his report, Control says he's got the Home Secretary on the other line already. The Home Secretary in 1973 was Robert Carr.

 

Number 6 sees Number 43 among the crowd of onlookers at Parliament Square after the bombing. Number 43 was his campaign manager in the previous episode, "Free for All".

 

Number 6 remembers Potter as being Number 398, the man shot Number 2 at the end of "Free for All".

 

Number 43 nearly runs into Potter and Number 6, riding in Potter's car, while driving a white sports car. In the original TV series episode of "The Girl Who Was Death", the girl in question also drove a white sports car, a Jaguar.

 

When Danvers reports that Number 43 has been spotted in London, Control remarks that Interpol had said she'd gone to ground. Control then seems to refer to her as "the girl who was death".

 

As Number 6 and Potter have a beer at a pub to discuss their situation, Number 6 seems to be under the impression that Potter was with him in the airplane when he was searching for the Village in "I Met a Man Today". But in that episode, it was Thorpe who was with him. Are Thorpe and Potter the same person? Why doesn't Number 6 mention the name of Thorpe? Number 6 then asks if Number 43 was on the plane too, and Potter says they thought she died in the crash just as they thought Number 6 (ZM-73) had.

 

As Danvers recaps what they know of ZM-73's resignation, disappearance, reappearance, and his story of being held in the Village, he says ZM-73 was allowed to search for the Village, but his plane vanished without a trace. At this point, ZM-73 (Number 6) sarcastically retorts, "Into the Bermuda Triangle?" The Bermuda Triangle is a roughly triangular-shaped region of the Atlantic Ocean with its three points at the island of Bermuda, the island of Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida where numerous ships and planes have disappeared since the 19th Century. Some of the disappearances have gone without explanation, leading to theories of paranormal or fringe science reasons.

 

Danvers explains that Potter had also disappeared while on an airplane flight during a mission to the Balkans and Potter, when he reappeared in Morocco a few months later, claimed that Number 6 had also been aboard the plane. The Balkans are the nations of the Balkan Peninsula of southeast Europe.

 

Number 6 remarks to Potter that the powers-that-be of the Village let him get out once before and brought him back like a snap of the fingers. This occurred in "I Met a Man Today".


Memorable Dialog

do you want me to go?.mp3
washed.mp3
are you thinking what I'm thinking?.mp3
I am thinking what you're thinking.mp3
the Girl Who Was Death.mp3
good, warm English beer.mp3
there's something written at the bottom of this glass.mp3
is it time for the commercials?.mp3
into the Bermuda Triangle?.mp3
nobody knows who anybody is in the Village.mp3
the place of banishment.mp3
I am Death.mp3
that's what Interpol called her.mp3
I'd rather die than go back there.mp3
death is an end in itself.mp3
you'll drive yourself mad.mp3
they let me get out once before.mp3
we're still their prisoners.mp3
the Seltzman mission.mp3

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