Traumafessions :: Kinderpal Amanda By Night on The Prisoner’s “Rover”

UNK SEZ: Halloween came early to Kindertrauma Castle when we recently opened our gates to the ultimate treat! The wisest of the wise, AMANDA BY NIGHT dropped by for some spiked cider and ginger snaps. Being the ultimate source for all things television related, we also got her to fix our reception by climbing up top the west tower and nudging our makeshift, clothes hanger bunny ears! Always the charmer, before she took off into the night she was kind enough to leave us with something we had been dreaming about all evening, an AMANDA traumafession! Aunt John whipped out a peacock quill and diligently took down her every word. Here is what she told us…

I have thought long and hard about my Kindertraumas after finding this great site. I have so many of them! And a lot are mentioned here already, so to be all unique and stuff, I really went into the recesses of those blocked traumas… you know the ones you purposely forget because they are so absolutely terrifying that you still get chills to this day? Well, I dug pretty deep and came up with a doozy.

I was under 7 years of age. I know this because I was still living in our house in Ventura, CA. But how much younger is in question. All I remember is going into my parents’ bedroom and they were watching television.

* A note about my parents who both passed away in 2005 – First of all, they were terrific and they also loved the creepy stuff, although they would never admit it. My dad read true crime and my mom secretly indulged in horror films every so often with me, and was a devout fan of all mysteries in all forms of media. They also worked at Camarillo State Hospital which was one of the largest mental hospitals in the ‘70s. I remember that for a time my dad worked on the violent ward (talk about traumas!). They were really involved with the darker aspects of life, so it’s kind of funny to think that they were so perplexed as to why I ended up loving horror movies so much. They pretty much gave me carte blanche on what I saw too, just as long as they had some idea of what I was putting into my head. However, they never warned me about what they might be watching!

So, back to my story… I came into their bedroom and they were watching their usual hoity toity PBS stuff – I had no idea what it was at the time – and this guy is somewhere… I dunno… maybe he’s running, I can’t remember. And this giant balloon comes down upon him… and I think he’s screaming! The guy, not the balloon… but that would have been even creepier!

Uh, aren’t balloons a childhood symbol of joy? This balloon was, like, killing this guy or something. It was absolutely horrifying. Still is when I think about it.

I’m not even sure when it was that I discovered it was a scene from the popular British series THE PRISONER, but I did and I have avoided that show ever since. I just looked it up to see if I could find any images or information about the balloon. The most shocking thing I read was a definition of Rover (i.e. the murderous balloon) on Wikipedia:

Rover was depicted as a large white inflatable balloon, not quite fully inflated, with a flexible skin. Rover would often produce a muffled roar sound when attacking. It would also sometimes emit a strange light display / luminescence from its interior. Once released, Rover could bounce and glide across the land and sea for a long range and at high speed, faster than say a vehicle or boat.

Rover is pure evil. Like, totally. But at the same time, remembering him reminds me of my parents and that makes Rover’s deadly blow not so bad.

NOTE: The amazing AMANDA BY NIGHT knows no bounds! Besides her endlessly useful hideout/tribute to all things tube-related MADE FOR TV MAYHEM, she’s also got a killer column over at PRETTY SCARY called LIFETIME KILLS, a drop-in-anytime stint at the ever praiseworthy HORROR YEARBOOK (Check out this spot-on post LITTLE KNOWN HORROR TREASURES) AND she’s known to keep the blood flowing freely over at the inimitable RETRO SLASHERS BLOG! How does she do it? We’ll never know. All we know is that if she rocked any harder, she’d be Stonehenge!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

It just reminds me of when “The Simpsons” parodied “The Prisoner”-

Number 2: Why did you think a big balloon would stop people?
Scientist: Shut up! That’s why!

No disrespect to Amanda, but it does sound a bit ridiculous to be trapped by a balloon. Well, if the balloon was ALIVE, that would be nightmarish…

unkle lancifer
13 years ago

Rover does freak me out. It’s so otherworldly and surreal. They used to have an ongoing bit on “The Electric Company” that gave me the same feeling. It was a take off on 2001 but having not seen that film at the time I had no idea. It was just a cartoon of a monolith that broke apart revealing different words. The one that haunted me was “ALL”.  It hurt my little brain to think of “ALL”

I can’t find that one but here is the one for “ME” which is equally unsettling and hurts my slightly larger brain…
I don’t know why a shape would give me the willies but it’s so out of place and unusual (rover is the same way) that it just feels like there is some larger force at work that you can’t get your head around. Sort of like a house pet’s response to a vacuum cleaner.

Amanda By Night
13 years ago

How exciting to come to work and find my traumafession here! YAY! Like working isn’t traumatizing enough! 🙂
No disprect taken LaDracul. I do think for me Rover WAS alive! I mean, didn’t it know exactly whom to smother into submission? YIKES!
That clip is awesome. It’s weird and SO surreal!
Unk, I TOTALLY remember that ALL thing on The Electric Company. You’re right it was weird. I hadn’t thought of it in ages!
Thanks guys for posting this and all the nice words and linkage! You guys so rule!

13 years ago

Great traumafession Amanda! I enjoyed reading about your parents interesting lives.
Unkle, I remember the bit on The Electric Company that you are referring to. I love that show.

Amanda By Night
13 years ago

Hi Mickster! Thanks for reading. My parents were totally interesting. Most people loved them because they were so unconventional and fun.  And my dad looked like Charles Bronson!

And double thanks for the link. That’s exactly how I remembered that segment. It DID seem so serious at the time.

We just recently picked up some EC on DVD and it was funny to see that Easy Reader was ADDICTED to words. In an episode he’s desperate for a fix… it’s SO weird!

13 years ago

The Prisoner was/is the greatest TV show ever. And Rover truly was the most bizarre character in TV history.

13 years ago

{Sad to say that Patrick, I guess, made his final escape yesterday.  He will be missed.}  This Rover character is seen in a classic blooper from the show.  The weather balloon was filmed pulled away from the camera and when it was edited into the show it was played backwards so it looked like it was moving foward.  In one episode Rover was seen moving by some buildings with smoke coming out of their chimneys.  Well, since it was shown in reverse, the smoke was going INTO the chimneys!