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Number 2 From The Prisoner

Number 2
Number 2 From
The Prisoner

Like my Number 6 cosplay, this is a character from the late 60s British cult TV show, The Prisoner. At the risk of repeating myself to those who already read about Number 6, The Prisoner is about a secret agent who quits. Because of this, he is abducted and sent to a remote location called The Village where he is very subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) psychologically tortured by the apparent ruler of the Village who is called Number 2. Number 2 is there to figure out why he quit.

The great thing about this character is that Number 2 was usually played by a different actor in each episode. There are even photos of and allusions to other Number 2s who don't actually appear in the show. So you can look like anyone and be right for the part!

When I first started considering this character, I thought it would be soooo simple. I could just wear my Prisoner Number 6 jacket, some appropriate clothes, black and white Chukka shoes and carry the seat stick umbrella and wear a black, white and yellow striped scarf. Easy. Not.

Number 2
George Baker as Number 2 From The Prisoner
I determined that only one of the Number 2's wears the Number 6 jacket (George Baker in the latter half of Arrival) and he basically dresses identically to Number 6, not being shown with either the umbrella or the scarf. If I wore that, everyone would think I was Number 6 and I had already done that. So it was out.

Watching the shows again, I determined that while the various Number 2's do not all wear the same outfit, many of them wear light tan slacks, a black, single-breasted jacket and a light gray regular or mock turtleneck with the dark blue or black Chukka Low Profile Shoes I got for Number 6 from Zappos. None of this was too difficult to procure. I found some fairly well-tailored light tan slacks, used a black suit jacket from my closet and got a light gray turtleneck from Carhartt.

So that was simple enough. However, most of the rest of the details you need for this character are not easy to get in the US.

The first piece I went after was the umbrella seat. Although you can't really tell from the photos here, the handle of the umbrella folds open at 90 degree angles to the shaft of the umbrella and form a seat out of the piece of leather that Number 2
The Wonderful Peter Wyngarde
Wearing the "Standard" Number
2 Garb In The Prisoner

ties the two pieces of the handle together. The bottom spike of the umbrella has a removable rubber cover and a disc that also turns 90 degrees so that you can poke the spike into the ground with the turning disc stopping it from going in too far. OK, I know that description is probably confusing, so let me just say that this part of the umbrella is properly called a Seat Stick. Google 'seat stick' it and will all be much clearer.

I'm not sure where I learned what this umbrella actually was, but I believe it was a Prisoner-oriented forum that I can no longer find. Too bad; I'd have given them credit here. However, I do know what I bought - the Tirion Ranger with a burgundy and navy umbrella. I opted for the dark brown leather seat, although I now suspect (based on watching the show and comparing it to my umbrella) that they used something more like the tan leather seat.

The other two pieces required for this costume are the Number 2 pin and the scarf. The pin turned out to be quite easy - I got that from Etsy seller Portland Buttons Works, who makes custom Prisoner style pins.

The Prisoner Number 2 Scarf and Button
Number 2 Scarf and Button from Prisoner
Now the scarf... oh, the scarf. The scarf ended up being more expensive than the umbrella, if you can believe it. The scarf is an English college scarf, except, of course, there are no colleges with those colors.

My first idea was to get one crocheted. I found someone on Etsy who made one in the dimensions I directed (trying to scale it from an image capture in the show.) I had planned to wear this at Dragoncon 2013, but it looked... crocheted. I am a stickler for details, so I decided not to bring the outfit because the scarf looked so wrong.

I knew from my initial research that this scarf could be custom-made by a company called Luke Eyres in the UK. The catch was that you had to purchase a minimum 6 custom scarves. Wanting to have this costume available for Dragoncon 2014, I bit the bullet and ordered a set. (The cost of each of them after currency conversion, taxes, shipping and whatnot was $45 a piece. This is why the scarf was more expensive than the umbrella - I paid for 6 of them! Fortunately I was able to selll the extras to other cosplayers wanting to be Number 2.) Now that I had the scarf, it all came together.

I like the Number 2 costume because it is easy to wear. It was a little warm at Dragoncon with the jacket, scarf and long sleeved turtleneck, but nothing like a Ringwraith or Sith Bith costumes. It was also surprisingly recognizable, at least to the 2014 Dragoncon attendees. I had more photos taken in this outfit by people who spotted me than I did while wearing the Captain Antilles Rebel Fleet Trooper costume and Steampunk Mission costume combined. It also lead to a long and wonderful chat with a woman about the TV show and my travelling to Portmeirion during the weekend. It was such a successful costume, I actually decided to wear it twice at the event and even pose in it with other folks whose costumes I liked. You can see a few of my favorites in the photos below.

Number 2 with Joker and Harley Quinn
The Author As Number 2 with the Joker and Harley Quinn

Number 2 With Tie Fighter and Tie Interceptor
Author As Number 2 With a Tie Fighter
and a Tie Interceptor
Number 2 with Mord Sith and D'harans
The Author As Number 2 With
Some Mord Siths and D'Harans