The Prisoner (1967) – It’s Your Funeral, and A Change of Mind

Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) finds himself ensnared in an assassination plot in It’s Your Funeral. Written by Michael Cramoy this episode was first broadcast on 8 December, 1967.

There’s a new up and coming Number Two (Derren Nesbitt), he’s a bit of a heir apparent, and a different type of Number Two than we’ve seen, he has a certain disdain for everything and everyone around him. And he’s crafting a plot, though the viewer is initially unaware of why, to let Six cotton to an assassination plot that seems to be in the works to eliminate Two.

There are hints, and ploys at work, but soon, Six is able to ascertain what is really going on, despite the fact that his warning to Two is recorded and then used to suggest that he’s done this countless times with countless Twos.

Six learns that the plot is actually focused on a retiring Number Two (Andre Van Gyseghem), and if it comes off, the new Number Two will use the assassination to punish everyone in the entire Village.

So Six has to stop the plan, and make sure that retiring Two is able to get away from the Village with his life. Something he wants to do himself, but won’t be able to this week.

I like how this one plays out, and really like Nesbitt’s take on Two, it’s an interesting take, and I like that Six may not like where he is, but he’s very much against murder.

We also get a look at Six’s exercise regime, and a weird game he plays with with another player on trampolines, ledges, and a pool all of it posing as a faux martial art.

A Change of Mind was penned by Roger Parkes, and directed by McGoohan, and first aired on 15 December, 1967.

This one sees Six in some real trouble as he gets caught up in a brawl near his exercise equipment. He’s called into a committee for a hearing, and is declared ‘unmutual,’ which causes the entire Village to shun him.

He’s forced into group sessions, and even further things to make him conform but he continues to resist – drastic forms of ‘therapy.’ He’s led to believe that he’s been given some social training, but learns that he was hypnotized to believe he had been.

We’re given yet another Number Two (John Sharp), and soon Six is working to make Two seem ‘unmutual,’ turning the tables on him.

This one was okay, I didn’t love it, and I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the previous episode, but I do like the things at work here in the story, There are things about conformism, misuse of therapy and its effect on patients, and of course, as seems to happen a lot in these stories, turnabout is fair play.

We’re closing in on the end of the short-lived series, it finishes up next week. But I’m definitely enjoying watching this cult classic!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s