Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) is doing his exercises in the woods. Two thugs (John Hamblin and Michael Billington) accuse him of anti-social behaviour for not exercising at the Village gymnasium and there is a fight, which he wins handily. In the anteroom to the council chamber, a Villager is confessing to being inadequate and anti-social and is applauded for the confession. Number Six declines to confess to anti-social behaviour. The Village paper, The Tally-ho,  announces further investigation of Six. Number Two (John Sharp) denies responsibility but warns that non-compliance may have consequences. Number 86 (Angela Browne) chides Number Six for being non-cooperative.

Six’s exposure to community rehab leads to him being labeled as non-cooperative. He is taken to the Village hospital, where he meets a man (Thomas Heathcote) with a scar on his temple who claims to have been cured of unmutual tendencies. Six appears before the Council again and is forced to submit to instant social conversion. He is thoroughly shunned and threatened with a lobotomy. He is seized by the Villagers and marched to the hospital, where he is strapped to a table by Number 86, but she shuts off the ultrasound before the treatment.

He wakes up, appearing docile, and is welcomed by the community. He catches 86 dosing his tea and tosses it out. Number Two questions him about his resignation, to no avail. A conversation between Two and 86 reveals to us that the lobotomy was a sham to convince Six that he was really lobotomized. 86 doubts that it worked. She again tries to drug him but he switches cups and doses her instead.

Back in the woods, the thugs confront him again. He appears confused and seems unable to protect himself at first, but finally beats them. He hypnotizes 86 and gives her instructions, then he visits Two and convinces him that the plan worked and that he wants to confess to the whole village. Number Two arranges it and Six speaks to the assembled public. Number 86 arrives and accuses Number Two of being unmutual, and the Villagers pursue him through the streets.

The episode was written by Roger Parkes and directed by Patrick McGoohan as Michael Serf. It is clearly about McCarthyism and also communist indoctrination, which ironically used the same techniques. The Villagers come across as pawns, with a touch of torch-bearing mob. The episode was in fact written at the height of the Cultural Revolution in China. The same techniques were used by the Stasi in East Germany, Pol Pot in Cambodia, and the North Koreans. It’s a pretty dark episode, kind of Orwell meets Kafka. The ubiquitous short butler with the umbrella (Angelo Muscat) has a bit more to do in this episode, and that foreshadows events in the future. The episode was supposed to be directed by Roy Rossotti, but McGoohan said he was ill and sent him back to London, then took over the direction. There is a Prisoner fan club called Unmutual.

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