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Showing posts from June, 2022

What Else I've Been Watching

The advantage of themed series of posts is they keep my grasshopper mind on the subject and the disadvantage is they don't necessarily represent what I'm watching and detract from the principle that I blog about what I'm actually watching. Hence a sort of round up post of some things I have been watching and some things I've just discovered. Some of these might get a post of their own as well. When I was doing the posts about orphaned episodes it brought home to me that it is important not to give a show or a film the same name as another one. Obviously we know all about this problem with The Avengers, but it turns out there was a TV comedy show between 1983 and 1988 called  Who Dares Wins . Even at the time that name was a mistake because since it is the motto of the SAS it had already been used by  this  film, and has since been used by  this  TV show and then  this  one. What is wrong with you people? You might think you're giving your show a punchy name and migh

Juvenile Liaison

  What did you do in 1970s Blackburn if the kids refused to behave and you were worried they would end up in a life of crime? You got the Juvenile Liaison team from the police in to scream at them. Forget The Sweeney, this is some bloody scary television. I'm a bit confused about what the team was actually intended to do, and it's not possible to find out online because the internet is mostly dominated by reviews of this documentary. The opening titles say that the role of the team is to caution children and young people brought to their attention. I'm not sure what was intended because to me a 'caution' is a legal thing the police can do. Basically it's you admitting to what they say you've done and them giving you a formal caution and it saves them the trouble of taking you to court. Because this blog aims to be instructive as well as entertaining, just in case there is anyone who doesn't know here is a Public Service Announcement: NEVER ACCEPT A POLIC

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Conclusion

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . And so we've reached the end of this series of posts about The Prisoner being interpreted as being about mental health or The Village being a very special clinic, and I have some conclusions. My one regret or problem with this series of posts is that I think they are actually a book, and I'm in no fit state to put up with the reasonable expectations of publishers and the reading public these days so if anyone ever writes it, it won't be me. The area of psychiatry and psychological health in the middle of the twentieth century is a HUGE area which can be seen as referenced by this series in many ways in each episode. I chose to hang one or a few subjects about mental health on each episode as they related to it. I think this mainly worked, although I think a book length account would require a general overview of what was going on in psychiatry followed by an exhaustive account o

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Fall Out

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . Welcome to the most lively discharge meeting in world history! The recap of Once Upon a Time which begins this episode allows us to refresh our memories of what I have interpreted as therapy sessions which have led up to this point. I am however painfully reminded that Number 2 talks about degree absolute (decree absolute?) which sounds like a divorce using the language of marriage (for better or worse, till death us do part), and contains the same mixture of affectionate talk and violence that we saw in The Girl Who Was Death. I am therefore hearing the same mixture of violence, lack of boundaries, incest and just plain abuse that I have read here before. A possible simple interpretation of this episode in psychiatric terms would be that it depicts a very unwell person's inner world and also an absconsion from hospital of several patients. You could interpret it that way if you want th

The Prisoner in the Asylum: The Girl Who Was Death Part 2

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . In my last post I considered some of the possible interpretations, mainly with a psychiatric bias, of this episode. Now we come to the final possible interpretation I suggested. (6) Symbolism The episode begins by showing us the story book and so clearly suggests that what we are about to see may not be strictly speaking true. However this is one of the episodes of the show which is most full of symbols which can represent other things and a number of totally bizarre experiences, so it clearly isn't intended simply to be taken aa an entertaining story. I would suggest that one of the reasons this episode comes late in the run and lacks a set interpretation for the symbols and narrative, is that we are being invited to interpret them for ourselves. You've got it, exactly as in therapy. However I want to go through some of the symbols and tie them up to other things mentioned in the s

The Prisoner in the Asylum: The Girl Who Was Death Part 1

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . Warning : this post includes mention of traumatic experiences which some readers may find distressing. There are a number of ways of taking The Girl Who Was Death (at least for the purposes of this blog post) and I will touch on all of them during this post so I'll have to begin by listing them in the hope that readers will have some map for where I'm going. They are that: (1) Number 6 is psychotic and hallucinating all this without the aid of psychedelics; (2) Number 6 is paranoid; (3) Number 6 is still stoned on LSD from Living in Harmony and this is a hallucination which may form part of LSD therapy; (4) this is a story (which may or may not tell the ongoing story of the dangers of the Village); (5) the episode may represent a therapy session where Number 6 talks about a number of traumas; (6) the episode may represent a number of symbols which give clues to the meaning of the sh

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Living in Harmony

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . When I wrote about  A, B and C I commented that sometimes that is taken to refer to psychedelic drugs but instead I took the approach that it could refer to ether abreaction. The reason I did that was that I already had the psychedelic experience marked down for this episode, and in fact didn't have much choice in the matter because the episode actually says it is a drug-induced experience fuelled by a Western town set that has somehow appeared next to the Village but nobody has remarked on it up until now. Surprisingly there are a few other things in this episode touching on mental health which I must just mention. The Kid suggests a type which has largely disappeared from our society except for in the tarot deck, namely the fool, or the holy fool. You would of course be quite right that he comes across here as much more psychopathic but to end up being a holy fool you have to have be

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . As I suspected, the later episodes of the show are giving me more trouble to apply a psychiatric explanation, despite being increasingly off the wall, and in fact this one is probably going to be the most difficult of the entire series. The reason for that is that there are several different things going on and it is possibly they're not all real, so I'll make a few suggestions about the episode and let you think about it rather than being my normal dogmatic self. The first possibility is that there is a warning about the perceived power of psychiatry in the Amnesia Room. It remains the stuff of conspiracy theories but no doubt there are some people somewhere who think psychiatrists have the technology to wipe your brain completely and let you go off as a happy robot. The second possibility is a therapeutic allegory about being who you are and not being other people. Despite what he

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Many Happy Returns

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . Applying a mental health/illness explanation to The Prisoner is in a sense dead easy, because you have the ultimate get out of jail card: if something doesn't fit your narrative you can just say it isn't real and is part of Number 6's own mental state. I was tempted to suggest one of the more traumatised diagnoses such as hysterical conversion for him, but decided that that would make it too complicated (for me, that is - conversion disorder is an utter nightmare to get your head round although I expect you, my readers, could) so a personality disorder with possibly a side helping of psychosis it was. I think these are best adapted to the show's discussion of society, responsibilty, etc. Anyway, that is all a preamble to me saying that the events of Many Happy Returns are very obviously not real. While I don't doubt the ability of the Village authorities to drug Number 6

The Prisoner in the Asylum: Hammer into Anvil

The introduction and master post to this series of posts about The Prisoner can be found  here . This is the one where Smith/Number 6 makes Number 73 kill herself. Read that again. Seriously, he made her kill herself. If you watch the sequence and forget the narrative that The Village is bad and Number 6 is the innocent prisoner it looks very diferent. If Smith hadn't been interfering in somebody else's treatment he wouldn't have had to have been restrained by the attendants and they could have been restraining Number 73 to stop her throwing herself out of the window. Number 6's sabotage of The Village, his own treatment and Number 73's treatment directly caused this. He has even managed to persuade everyone that he is the victim here! It is quite literally the truth when Number 2 tells him he shouldn't have interfered but of course he blames Number 2 for this. I'm not advocating slapping patients as Number 2 does, obviously. He has been pushed by Smith into