The episode opens with a different sequence. The music is different and there is no confrontation between Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) and Number Two (now Clifford Evans). Instead, two men are seen in the office of a senior intelligence officer called Sir Charles Portland (John Wentworth), analyzing photographic slides in search of a missing inventor named Professor Seltzman (Hugo Schuster), but the search is unsuccessful.

A man called the Colonel (Nigel Stock) arrives in the Village and hears from Number Two that he is to trade bodies with Number Six, using Professor Seltzman’s technique. The swap takes place and Number Six is now in the Colonel’s body. He awakes in his old London flat and sees an unfamiliar face in the mirror. His fiancée, Janet Portland (Zena Walker), arrives and does not recognize him.

Realizing what has happened to him, he attends her birthday party and gets his hands on an old photo lab receipt. He is able to convince Janet who he is, and she seems to accept the news, though her father, Sir Charles, does not. Doing research on the slides, Six searches for Seltzman and finds that he is in Kandersfield, Austria. He travels there to obtain reversal of the mind-swap. The new Number Two and the new Number Six are knocked out with gas and taken to the Village, but Seltzman pulls a switch. Number Six gets his own mind back, but the Colonel’s mind is transferred to the body of Seltzman and he dies. Seltzman enters the Colonel's young body and departs in a helicopter.

This all happened because Patrick McGoohan was away filming Ice Station Zebra in the U.S., so Nigel Stock was able to play Number Six through most of the episode. It was written by Vincent Tilsley and directed by Pat Jackson. The title is of course from the song by Tex Ritter that appeared in High Noon (1952)

In the original script, Number Six awakens in a furious mood in his flat and storms into his office to resign, only to discover that he has a different body and a year of his life is missing. This scene did not appear on TV. Good thing. It would have been a great scene, but the story is confusing enough as it is. The script was apparently rewritten in McGoohan’s absence. Number Six, in his new body, gets to kiss the girl, which the devout Catholic Patrick McGoohan would not do. The fiancée never returned and was never mentioned again. Neither she nor her father speak Number Six’s real name.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User