Music and dance are declared and every citizen is informed by public
radio that carnival has been decreed - invaluable words indeed (at least if youre German).
But there isnt a real carnival, either. The ceremony suddenly tilting
over into some grotesque trial against Number Six for illegally possessing
a transistor radio, blending into a travesty of a French Revolution summary
court and absurd theatre.
on Number Six is capital punishment. Number Six takes a run, a mad and
cheering crowd hot on his heels. He hurries through labyrinthine corridors
into rooms furnished with semitransparent mirrors and ghostly working
teleprinters. And he is supported, interestingly, by Number Two - a woman this
time. She knows about the raging crowd, her intention is to convince
Number Six into cooperation because hes privileged.
damage the tissue" the doctors are always told."Dance
Of The Dead" - the title does make sense. Intellectually dead and
lacking of initiative, thats what the Village inhabitants are, conformists
or simply decoration. Best irritations on the way in this episode. The
ending according to the script was altered but this doesn't make the episode
more "intelligible". McGoohan kept saying he hadn't read Kafka.
But there must have been a certain influence on this episode by the film
version of THE TRIAL made by Orson Welles in 1962, with Anthony Perkins and others.
Upon A Time" (the German-French title "Pas de deux" suitably
refers to playing a game for two) is basically a staged play. In Number Two's words, "The
whole world is a theater." The set and its lighting are quite visible. For reasons of narrative economy
time has been compressed, its mostly dialogues. Due to excellent
camera work and editing there is nothing of a letter-boxed stage.
Upon A Time" is a chamber play, psychotherapy (stage of life) and
gambling for power, all in one - a game/gambling until a lethal end. Its
a heavy burden for Number Two to be successful, to decide on Degree Absolute
for him and Number Six in the confines of the locked-up room - the Embryo
Room which is the Place within the Village.
Leo McKerns impersonation of Number Two, a patting-on-shoulders,
very jovial type of guy is one of the best castings. McGoohan is the director
and its obvious that hes in control now. Something he wasnt
able to reprise again for the finale of "Fall Out" where things
do drift out of his hand. Those episodes literally decompose the series,
there is hardly a plot and things are becoming quite detached.