Inexplicable might be one way to describe the sudden appearance of so many helicopters during the sudden evacuation of The Village during ‘Fall Out,’ especially when they have never been seen before! But even so, would 8 further helicopters added to Villages own two Alouette helicopters, be enough to evacuate the whole Village? It would have helped had they had a number of larger helicopters such as Chinooks at their disposal.
The majority of those helicopters taking off
from behind the Green Dome….well of course they didn’t, they were superimposed
on the screen just like the Blue streak Rocket. As for all the Alouette
helicopters taking off from various parts of The Village, that was simple stock
footage. One shot was of an Alouette taking off from a field which was nowhere
near The Village! But then that’s no spoiler, as I’m not writing anything an
enthusiast of ‘the Prisoner’ does not already know.
The helicopters are there to give the impression of The
Village’s evacuation. But even then there were not enough to get everyone away.
M.S. Polotska could not be used, the tide was out. People were running along
the beach to get away because there were not enough helicopters! After all there
were only ever two helicopters used by The Village, two different Alouette
helicopters. So where did the other 9 come from? Production-wise, stock film
footage, and footage taken from the previous episodes. Now there’s a spoiler,
but in any case we all realised that. But that does not take into account the 8
other helicopters, which are difficult to identify. There could be a Westland
Gazelle, perhaps a Westland Scout amongst them, but it is really difficult to
tell. Whichever the helicopters, they are small, possibly seating no more then
5 people, and that included the pilot. So all in all, ten helicopters could
only evacuate 40 people. And even if we literally include all the Alouette helicopters seen during the evacuation, that still
only adds up to the evacuation of some 84 people, and personnel. What might
have been the population of The Village, the Guardians and prisoners alike, including
all the support staff, Supervisors and Observers. The doctors, nurses, general
and hospital staff along with all the patients. The painters, electricians,
waiters and waitresses, the maids. The senior citizens at the Old People’s
Home. The men who worked at the reservoir supplying the water, the power
station, sewage plant etc, etc. These few helicopters would have required
several trips in order to evacuate everyone.
So evacuate the citizens of The
Village to where? Possibly to the landing stage which is but a quick flip from
The Village, where a ship could be waiting. But the only ship that is known is
M. S. Polotska, a medium motor cruiser, hardly large enough for a mass
evacuation. Unless by chance, there was a large support ship at the landing
stage which brings in supplies for The Village which could be employed in
evacuating the citizens. But again, evacuate them to where?
It was the launching of the rocket
which caused the President to give the order to evacuate, because within a few
minutes, moments even, the cavern would have been filled with smoke, flames,
and sheering heat from the rocket’s exhausts. But then after the rocket had
been launched, was the danger then over, and the people evacuated brought back
to The Village?
It might be argued that the
evacuation was staged for the benefit of Number 6, so that he could escape in
the confusion, and the people later returned to The Village. But let’s not
forget, that it was Number 6 himself who either indirectly, or intentionally, brought
about the evacuation by launching the rocket. And yet in doing so he achieved
that which he set out to do as a local candidate in ‘Free For All.’ After all
there was a “free for all” feeling about ‘Fall Out.’ There was a fight for
freedom, turmoil, and certainly anarchy. And in the confusion ESCAPE!
Be seeing you