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Recap / The Prisoner E 13 Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

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Number Six is given a new face and sent on a spy mission to serve the Village.

The story begins back in London, with a group of men discussing a set of slides. We learn from their conversation that they are most definitely spies, as they discuss whether or not the slides are part of a code that needs to be broken. But their interest seems to be focused on slide number six, featuring a picture of a Dr. Seltzman...

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Patrick McGoohan was away filming Ice Station Zebra. This was justified by having the mind of Number 6 being put into a new body. The replacement also allowed them to have Number Six kiss a woman; McGoohan's contract stipulated that he would not appear in a love scene.
  • Anachronic Order: The length of time that Number Six has been gone tells us he's been at the Village for more than a year, but there's little more to tell us where exactly in the episode order this should go.
  • As You Know: Number Two says this while explaining the process of mental transference.
  • Boxed Crook: Number Six is unknowingly used as one.
  • Cold Open: The discussion of the slides comes before the usual opening titles.
  • Driving a Desk: Used when the characters are supposedly driving through the mountains of Austria.
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  • For Science!: The reason Seltzman invented a mind-swapping device, for what he viewed were practical applications. When accused by Number Two that Seltzman had to know such technology would be abused, Seltzman responds it was never his intent and that it's the fault of men like Number Two who subvert such knowledge.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Patrick McGoohan was not available, So Number 6's mind was put into someone else's body (and tasked with finding the inventor of the mind-swap machine, or else he'd never get back to his own body...) Strictly speaking, this lacked most of the standard bits of the "swap" aspect, as Number 6's body was portrayed as lying sedated for the entire episode.
  • Grand Theft Me: Seltzman invents a machine that does this. Number 2 muses on the ability of this machine to create agents who can wreak havoc on the security of any nation.
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  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Number 6's memory of the Village is wiped completely. He gets it back by the end of the episode without much explanation.
  • The Nth Doctor: The whole mind-swapping plot is an excuse to bring in a different actor to portray Number Six.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The episode exists due to Patrick MacGoohan being busy on Ice Station Zebra.
  • The Reveal: Many. We get to see 6's boss, daily life, code names, friends, and fiancee. But they still manage to avoid revealing his real name, even when 6 meets his fiancee.
  • Series Continuity Error: Much of this episode doesn't match up with what we see in "Many Happy Returns", where Number Six also returned to the real world to confront what the Village had done to him.
    • In particular, this episode informs us that Number Six was engaged and had a fiancée waiting for him back home. And she was the intelligence director's daughter, so it would be absurd to think The Village somehow didn't know about the engagement. This just raises all kinds of questions, such as: Why didn't the Village ever try to use the fiancée to break Number Six? Why didn't they consider the possibility that Number Six merely resigned to settle down with his fiancée? Why didn't Number Six try to contact her the last time he was in London, in "Many Happy Returns"?
      • The fact Six was engaged also contradicts "A, B and C" where he actually admits openly that he was planning to leave on holiday after resigning - with no mention of a fiancée.
  • Special Edition Title: An odd variation on the opening. There's a Cold Open (which other episodes didn't have), then the post-opening-titles scene (that iconic dialogue between Number Six and Number Two) is completely omitted.
  • Titled After the Song: The episode's title comes from the theme song to High Noon.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Professor Seltzman is hiding in Kandersfeld, a completely fictional village somewhere in Austria.

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