Mental health TV - Thu to Fri

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gobrien

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(If this works it means dividing it into 2 is the answer)



Thursday

8:30am, Dr Sanjay Gupta, the CNN news channel. General health magazine show, often has mental health items



8.30pm, Young Sheldon, E4. Spin-off from college comedy series The Big Bang Theory, featuring a 9 year old Sheldon Cooper. Despite speculation that Sheldon's personality traits may be consistent with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder, and borderline asexuality, co-creator Bill Prady has repeatedly stated that Sheldon's character was neither conceived nor developed with regard to any of these traits


1am, My Crazy Ex, Lifetime channel.




Friday

6:40pm, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), TCM. A rebellious teenager at odds with his family and society at large finds hope through his relationship with the girl next door and a new, equally troubled school friend, but a tragic accident threatens his stability.



9pm, My Strange Addiction, Discovery Home and Health channel



9.30pm, My Strange Addiction, Discovery Home and Health channel


11pm, Beware The Slenderman, Sky Atlantic. Discusses the incident in which two deluded girls attempted to murder one of their friends in an attempt to appease Slender Man, a fictional monster who originated from an Internet phenomenon




Daily

8.30am, Frasier, Channel 4. The psychiatrist abandons his bar-propping in Boston (a heavily Irish descendant city in the north eastern USA) in favour of presenting a radio show in Seattle (a more Hippie influenced city in the north west). However, his new life is thrown into upheaval when his father moves in with him - followed by his apparently psychic care assistant Daphne.

(There are just over 260 episodes and it runs in double-bills at 9am daily)


11.10am, The Mentalist, 5 USA. American drama series based on the work of Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation. Once a fraudulent celebrity psychic, he uses his skills of observation and understanding of human behaviour to help the CBI to solve its most serious crimes.



Monday night onwards;

2am, The Prisoner, True Entertainment. The 1967 series. This next show is running on the True Entertainment channel on weekday evenings but someone has put them free online too - 17 episodes;

The Prisoner series (1967). The answer to life, the universe, everything, and the working of the human mind etc - or the usual ITC hokum which chairman Lord Grade thought he could sell to Yank TV? You decide.
In a sort of sequel to Danger Man, this time Patrick McGoohan (Number 6) is imprisoned in The Village on a coast (imagine Monaco but without the casinos and millionaires etc - actually filmed in the mock Italian village of Portmerion in north west Wales). His nemesis is mainly by Number 2, whilst the ruler Number 1 stays hidden (until the final episode).

A variety of techniques are used by Number Two to try to extract information from Number Six, including hallucinogenic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination. All of these are employed mainly to find out why Number Six resigned as a secret agent - which he endlessly tries not to reveal.

Whenever he tries to escape, a big balloon - Rover - emerges and carries him back! Whenever he "defeats" the chosen tactic of Number 2 though, they are replaced by a different Number 2, or a previous Number 2 returns. Number 6 still remains lumbered in The Village though, even if somehow thwarting a Number 2 into being ousted and replaced.

(Watch how the mute Butler eventually starts to work out just beforehand whenever Number 6 is about to defeat a Number 2 - so he prematurely starts getting ready to help that Number pack just before the defeat is actually complete!)

It played on contemporary fears - computer technology etc. Patrick McGoohan literally had a nervous breakdown during production. Which I think that gave him more plot ideas actually!

I've put them in the showing order 1 - 17 mandated by the actual production company ITC (the actual production order is different and various enthusiasts cite 3 different orders and for some reason Wikipedia has a different order again but it is close to the ITC one) - List of The Prisoner episodes - Wikipedia

The inconsistencies in the ITC order are (I say) simply explained by 1960's TV norms (actors tended to favour the theatre so weren't always available - hence there is no consistent Number 2 or where Number 2 is the same person in episodes which don't run consecutively etc).

Leo McKern is cited as the `true' Number 2 by fans, in the same way that Sean Connery is cited as the `true' James Bond by most fans of that.

So who is Number 1 and the leader in The Village? You have to watch the one last to find out!


Episode 1. Arrival - A man (MacGoohan having been drugged and kidnapped) awakes in the Village hospital and finds himself in a bed beside a former colleague, Cobb, who is also incarcerated in The Village. Before the man can get any answers from Cobb, he is taken away for medical examination. Upon returning, Cobb is no longer in his bed. The man leaves the hospital and seeks out Number Two, discovering that a new person has taken his position. The new Number Two explains that his position may be changed from time to time for unexplained reasons. He then informs the man that The Village does not use names, everyone has a number "for official purposes" and that he will henceforth be known as "Number Six" -


2. The Chimes of Big Ben - Number Six escapes back to London - or has he?

(See how even the ITC official order is a little odd - when back in London his colleagues say he has been gone "for months" but this is just the second one)


3. A. B. and C. - Number Two directs Number Fourteen to prepare a machine she has developed. With the help of an injected drug, it will allow observation of, and influence on, the dream-state of a person connected to it -


4. Free for All. Number 6 is persuaded to run for election to the post of Number 2 when it is suggested to him by the new incumbent that, should he win, he will finally meet Number 1. The central theme of the episode is the hypocrisy and vacuity of the democratic election process (made 40 years before President Trump!) -


5. The Schizoid Man. Number Two replaces Number Six with a duplicate in order to weaken the real Six's sense of his own identity! -


6. The General. Number Six — along with the rest of the Village population — is subjected to a new mind-altering education technology called "Speed Learn" which can instil a three-year university level course in history over a television screen in just three minutes - YouTube

(I think Patrick McGoohan somehow injured his arm for real during the filming of this - and a scripted reason for the injury was concocted where we see him later in a sling)


7. Many Happy Returns (my favourite episode - rewind it after and spot where and how the double-cross at the end is set up - and apply for a job at MI5 if you spot it the first time round! And if you still can't spot it afterwards then such techniques really do work!)

Number Six awakens to find The Village completely deserted. He sees this as an opportunity to escape back to London (yes I know - again - despite what happened last time in The Chimes Of Big Ben). He takes numerous photos before assembling a raft and taking flight by sea - YouTube

(The foreign gun-runners on the boat in The Channel are somehow speaking German and it seems with accents of the land-locked Austria - they would be gun-running in the Channel?)

Inconsistency - here we see that The Village is on the coast of Morocco, but The Chimes Of Big Ben episode has it on the Baltic coast.


8. Dance of the Dead - Number Forty attempts to extract information from Number Six by having Number Six's former colleague Roland Walter Dutton (Number Forty-Two) call him while he is under a sort of electronic hypnosis - YouTube


9. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (produced whilst Patrick McGoohan was in America filming the Ice Station Zebra movie) - a workaround to McGoohan's absence was accomplished by the writers who contrived to have Number Six's mind implanted in the body of another man (played by Nigel Stock), who is then sent out of the Village to help capture a scientist - YouTube


10. It's Your Funeral - Number Six is awakened one morning by a young woman, Number Fifty, who tells him an assassination is being planned and asks him to help her prevent it. He does not believe her, thinking that she's working for Number Two. Number Six then meets another prisoner who tells him about Jammers, people within the Village who concoct false assassination plots, which Control is obliged to investigate - YouTube

(That weird trampolining to avoid water martial arts sport shown in this one is called Kosho - and was devised for the series. Tiswas meets Enter The Dragon. Is it in more than one episode I think - watch the dismount by the winner at the end of the game - better than Olga Korbut! And the way the soaked loser still bows to the winner like in Judo etc - brilliant!)


11. Checkmate - Number Six is persuaded to participate in an over-sized game of chess using people as pieces. A rebellious Rook piece (Number Fifty-Eight) is taken to the Hospital for "evaluation". The central themes of this episode are conformity, peer pressure, and the perils of leadership - YouTube


12. Living in Harmony - In a Wild West setting, Number Six is again a non-conformist and refuses to be a number or to blend in with the other members of the Village. He refuses to accept things the way they are and wants to escape and expose the Village - YouTube

(I always get this one confused with Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling because that title was taken from the Western movie High Noon)

This one was originally banned in the US for some reason


13. A Change of Mind. Number Six's exposure of a community "rehab" process causes the committee to label him uncooperative. He is taken to the Hospital, where he encounters a Villager with a scar on his temple, who says that he had been labelled as "unmutual", but is now cured. Number Six again appears before the committee and is told he will be labelled for "Instant Social Conversion" if he doesn't fall into line. The themes explored include coerced confessions, medicalized political control; also conformity, methods of enforcing it, and the consequences of its rejection. - YouTube


14. Hammer into Anvil. Number Two interrogates a stubborn female prisoner, Number Seventy-Three, in the Village Hospital. Frustrated, he attacks her, she screams, and Number Six rushes to her aid. Number Six swears to Number Two that he will pay for his cruelty. The central themes of this episode are insecurity, paranoia, and conspiracy thinking in a leader - YouTube


15. The Girl Who Was Death - Number Six flees from a female assassin. Probably the weakest episode - it has few of the themes of the others. I remember a "sample night" of the series running only this episode, and without the wider context hardly any of it makes sense - for a start how to find out why he resigned by trying to shoot him dead etc? She dresses in very nice 1960's outfits though - though Lord Hailsham probably had a fit - YouTube

I remember that actress Justine Lord in Crossroads - she was involved with David Hunter or something - it was another woman who shot him in that though!

(I think the fairground sequence was filmed in Rhyl - Portmerion is also in north Wales - but I can't see confirmation from fans)


16 Once Upon a Time - as he sleeps, Number Six is put into a trance state with the "pulsator lamps" over his bed, and when he wakes up, his mind has regressed back to childhood - YouTube

(Again a confusing title as The Girl Who Was Death has a fairytale theme too)


17. Fall Out - the last one. Does Number 6 finally escape? And escape from where exactly? And who is Number One who has been running things all along? The theme is that freedom is a myth - YouTube


Six Into One : The Prisoner File (1984) - a documentary about the series - YouTube

(Part of the mystique of the show is its `unexplainable nature' - so there never is a full explanation beyond this one - each episode is self contained and no common themes run throughout except the obvious ones - Number 6 just forever tries to thwart Number 2 who keeps trying all sorts of sneaky ways to control him and gather info from him - and every escape attempt by Number 6 is thwarted. For a start some of the methods used - like Communism and Consumerism etc - are contradictory so surely can only be part of separate plans rather than any overall one!)

ITC also made The Avengers, The Baron, The Persuaders, The Saint, Danger Man, The Adventurer, The Protectors, Randall And Hopkirk, Man In A Suitcase etc around the same time - so in reality The Prisoner just sits amongst that pantheon of hokum.

It is a bit like with Edwin Drood (Charles Dickens died before finishing it and ever since people have wondered how was it supposed to end). His other books (Charles Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations etc) had common themes, and so it is fair bet that Edwin Drood would also have just had those same themes in it.

Note how he drives a Lotus 7 (aka Caterham 7) - a car which famously wasn't mass produced but was hand-made (i.e. a sign of his individuality - get it?)