Search This Blog

Saturday 30 May 2015

Free For All

    A, B and C’ was preceded by an episode of residence and escape, to be followed by a cat and mouse game between Number’s 2 and 6 during ‘’The Chimes of Big Ben.’ One topic not used yet, revolt! ‘Free For All’ is an episode of revolt, on the part of Number 6 that is. “To hell with The Village!” as Number 2 once said, but that was in the so called Therapy Zone, where there was no surveillance, and I’m not at all sure Number 2 meant those words in the first place. But said them purely for Number 6’s benefit, and perhaps to confuse the viewer!
   There is an element of escape in this episode, the watery equivalent of the attempted escape of the Prisoner by Mini-Moke in ‘Arrival.’ And just as the Prisoner was thrown out the taxi on the beach {the cause being that the taxi hits something in the sand} so that he could be confronted by the white membranic Guardian. This time Number 6 abandons the boat, so that the Guardian can subdue him, and then with the aid of two smaller Guardians, take the Prisoner back to the beach. This is the re-use of the same technique used against Nadia who during ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’ attempted to swim away from The Village, and is eventually returned to the beach by three Guardians which I have to say I find somewhat ridiculous. As for Number 6’s attempted escape, that only comes about because the weak mind conditioning is beginning to wear off!
    ‘Free For All’ is political! It is a satirist commentary on politics. It reveals the flaws in the democratic process. Everyone votes for a dictator, and that’s just what the electorate of The Village did. Seeing as at the end Number 6, then the newly elected Number 2, attempting to force his will upon the people “I am in command, obey be and be free!” But no-one was listening! No-one cared for the man’s idea for freedom.
   In between the election politics of the episode it seems to contain nothing more than scenes designed to fill out the episode. After Number 6’s mind has been conditioned to take him through the election period, he occasionally has to have a “booster,” and is even given a drug by a chemist in the Therapy Zone…why the need to “Top up” the mind conditioning? When in the following episode Number 6 is put through a very extensive mind conditioning period, and there is no need for any further “boosters” of that conditioning! Playing Devil’s advocate, perhaps because in the way Number 6 accepts Number 2’s offer to stand against him in the forth coming election, there is no time for any extensive mind conditioning as with ‘The Schizoid Man.’ And so the condition has to be on-going through the episode.
   The Cat and Mouse night club is aptly named. However had the waitress given Number 6 what he wanted, an alcoholic drink. Then the waitress could have administered the drug, instead of the chemist. Then there would have been no need for the Therapy Zone scene, which is a concocted scene of misdirection and manipulation, in order that Number 6 would drink the drug, when it could have been so easily done before without so much fuss and bother.
   Number 6 may have won the election, and yet as he stands on the steps of the Town Hall he is faced with suspicion and indifference which borders on hostility. And it might have been expected that the new Number 2 should have addressed the electorate from the steps of the Town Hall, even if it was only to thank them for their support and belief in him. This leads into what may be called the endgame, in which power is handed over from the out-going Number 2 to the new Number 2. There is no explanation of how anything works. If Number 2 wants to know anything, he’s only to press a button and ask!
    Eric Portman who enjoyed a very solid film career, is one of the oldest Number 2’s, in fact he was ill at the time, and the sequences in which he appeared had to be filmed line by line. One of my favourite films in which he stars as Magistrate Thomas Culpepper is ‘A Canterbury Tale.’ As Number 2, Portman is impressive. His manner is mellow in approach, a sign of his age and experience. What’s more, and as far as we know, his is the only Number 2 to fly himself out of The Village aboard the helicopter!

Be seeing you

No comments:

Post a Comment