Just what was No. 6’s position on love? In the final episode, Fallout, he walks into the central chamber to the tune of The Beatles’ All You Need is Love. What follows is anything but a love-fest. As with Once Upon a Time, which precedes it, there is nary a woman to be seen. Strictly man (boy) stuff.
And what of romance, of sex? For such a good looking fellow, he seems rather uninteresting to the women, but they are all brainwashed, and he is uninterested in them: He’s got escapin’ on his mind, and nothin’ else! Of course, knowing that he was Mr. Drake/Danger Man/Secret Agent in a previous show only piques our curiosity about whether he will ever have an affair in The Village. Or is he beyond all that? (I believe there is a theory out there that he is gay!)
No, I think No. 6 is ALL about sublimation. His sexual energy is channeled and diverted towards freedom, individualism, and escape. He’s a bit of a crank – who has time for love?
Yet…his relationships with women are frequently his undoing. He is betrayed by women, although it would be going too far to say that they are ensnaring him as les femmes fatales. The Girl Who was Death, being an obvious, comical, and throwaway exception…
In the early episode, The Chimes of Big Ben, he “escapes” with a companion. They certainly seem to have a bit of flirtatiousness in their exhanges as they encourage each other during their long wait in a shipping crate, bound for the outside. Of course, she’s in on it.
In one of my favorites, Many Happy Returns, he does actually “escape” and he returns to his house. (The address on his door, of course, is NO. 1!) He accosts the new inhabitant, a modish middle-aged widow, Mrs. Butterworth. She isn’t taken aback at all, but is obviously attracted to him. When he interrogates her about his Lotus she drives up in to prove he is the real owner, she replies “Tell me all about your car.” She likes having a man about the house, and she helps him all she can. He is charmed like a little boy with an indulgent aunt.
Of course, she’s in on it. She has a birthday cake waiting for him when he returns to his real home, in The Village.
In Change of Mind, No. 6 matches wits with an attractive woman who wants him for his mind, or rather, who wants to mess with his mind. She subjects him to a limited form of lobotomy to remove his agressive tendencies.
Here they are just after the presiding surgeon gives No. 6 a post-op chat about taking it easy. “I’ll take care of him,” she says. As he walks past her, she turns her head quickly in a rapid edit, showing us her profile through the porthole window in the door. Circles, spheres, everywhere…
Just a pair of good looking stars strolling down a clinic hallway…
Ah, perhaps we get an inkling now of what’s up…or what could be up.
The woman is played by the late Angela Browne, a big star on British TV. She was no stranger to the real femme fatale character, as you can see in the links below:
During a follow-up visit with No. 6, she actually comes on to him!
“So, do you like my dress?”
His reply: “Much more feminine than slacks.” Women don’t wear dresses in The Village – the fact that she does is a clear indication of her intention to seduce.
She’s been slipping drugs into his tea, but he knows it and doesn’t drink it. By way of turning the tables, he goes on,
“If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s girls who don’t know how to make a proper cup of tea!”
To her annoyance, he carries on like a cranky old man about how one must make tea, all the while switching the cups so that she gets the drug. It makes her quite loopy – they almost seem to be having fun! Will he…take…advantage??? Not No. 6!! Always the gentleman, he sends her on her way.
Later, he catches up with her, gathering flowers like Ophelia, on her way to report to No. 2. He hypnotizes her – no, he won’t take advantage! and draws her into his counterplot against the nefarious No. 2
Prisoner fanatics can read the reminisces of the fetching Ms. Browne in this interview.