FREE FOR ALL
FREIE WAHL

 

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Production circumstances result in a different GB and USA order of episodes. The German order, in turn, is also different for no apparent reason.
The so-called English standard episode order is given here.
But as for the episode action no particular running order is required. Almost every country would have an order of its own.

More order of episodes... (English PDF available)

 

 

"I AM NOT
A NUMBER.
I AM
A PERSON."

"SIX OF ONE,
HALF A
DOZEN OF
THE OTHER."

 

 

SCREENPLAY: Paddy Fitz (= Patrick McGoohan)
DIRECTED by Patrick McGoohan
GERMAN VERSION by Frank Wesel
FIRST GERMAN BROADCAST: ARTE 31.07.2010

MORE: EN-TITLE-D
DIESE SEITE AUF DEUTSCH

APPRECIATIVE EXAMINATION

ACTORS AND
GERMAN VOICES
COMPLETE CAST

Patrick McGoohan
Number Six
Bernd Rumpf
Angelo Muscat
Butler
non-talking role
Eric Portman
Number Two
Klaus Sonnenschein
Rachel Herbert
Number 58
Debora Weigert
George Benson
Labour Exchange Manager
Michael Pan
Fenella Fielding
Radio voice
Iris Artajo

 

It's election time in the Village:Number Six is invited and urged by Number Two to be a candidate in the election campaign for the Number Two position in the Village, his position. He is even assigned a personal female assistant. Although hesitatingly and not totally out of his own will Number Six runs for office, easily wins the election - does he also win access to the controlsof power?

RANKED 3rd For the vivid use of the location, the wit of dialogues with Eric Portman’s Number Two and democracy sketched surrealistically as a nightmare. Just skip the logical weakness (why keep Numer Six arrested when a truth test can reveal thoughts?). A quintessential episode.

Don't read any further unless you know
THE PRSIONER already and you want to delve more indepth into theoretical discussions and facts around the history of the production. -
Be seeing you!

Arguably, "Free For All" ist the very PRISONER episode with the strongest intellectual input. To McGoohan it is one of seven that "really count". According to Max Hora's "The Prisoner Of Portmeirion" the playlist of this McGoohan mini-series would read as shown below:

1. Arrival
2. Free For All
3. Dance Of The Dead
4. Checkmate
5. The Chimes Of Big Ben
6. Once Upon A Time
7. (The Conclusion) Fall Out

"Free For All" in parts is a surreal nightmarish and disconcerting story, full of twistings and with lose ends that the viewer must grasp all by himself. Because of the scenes that involved plenty of people it is also the most colourful and most lively episode that makes the most of the visuals of the Portmeirion location.
Because this episode was never dubbed German viewers were unaware of the fact that there is a pub in the Village, the Cat & Mouse Club, where non-alcoholic drinks are served that "look the same and taste the same". One scene was deleted before the episode was finished. It showed a singing Number Six inside the pub entertaining the guests.

WAHLKAMPF IN "FREE FOR ALL"

RA! RA! RA! ... NO MATTER WHICH WAY YOU PUT IT,
ELECTIONS WHERE THERE ISN'T A CHOICE

Strange enough that in the Village there should be democratic elections (Number Six: "Election? In this place?"). It is about democratic rituals like election campaigns, it is about the power of manipulation as it is about being manipulated by power, the use and abuse of the word by the press. And, as always, it is about self-determination and individual identity. Those issues just weren't quite popular with the German public in 1969. Little wonder that this episode didn't make it to the German screens.

Because this episode wasn't shown on German TV initially people also didn't know about the possibly most delicious exchange of words in the whole series. It is at the beginning of "Free For All" when Number Six' telephone rings:

Number Two: (on the telephone) Any complaints?
Number Six: Yes. I'd like to mind my own business.
Number Two: So do we. Do you fancy a chat?
Number Six: The mountain can come to Mohammed!
Number Two: (that very moment at the door) Mohammed...?
Number Six: Everest I presume.
Number Two: I've never had a head for heights.
Number Six: Where's Number One?
Number Two: At the summit.
Number Six: Play it according to Hoyle?
Number Two: All cards on the table. You may rely on that.
Number Six: Whose move?
Number Two: Yours only. Confide, and we concede.
...
Number Six: Elections? In this place?
Number Two: Of course - we make our choice every 12 months. Every citizen has a choice. Are you going to run?
Number Six: Like blazes, the first chance I get.
Number Two: I meant run for office.
Number Six: Whose?
Number Two: Mine, for instance.
Number Six: You have a very delicate sense of humour.
Number Two: Naturally. Humour is the very essence of a democratic society.

This... farce... This twentieth-century Bastille that pretends to be a pocket democracy... Why don't you put us all into solitary confinement until you get what you're after and have done with it?

It isn't that Number Six were forced to be an election candidate. But there is Number Two's insinuation that Number One would be no mystery to him that was also a temptation. Each of his steps he moves he does so as if being under remote control. And in a sense this is true. He gets mangled mentally and physically. After which viewers get the impression that he must have become a different person.

After his "rotten cabbages" speech, as an announcement to run for office for the Number Two position, which is held in a relatively serious manner Number Six later fully manifests the campaigner who promises heaven on earth:

There are those who come in here and deny that we can supply every conceivable civilised amenity within our boundaries. You can enjoy yourselves and you will. You can partake of the most hazardous sports and you will. The price is cheap. All you have to do in exchange is give us information. You are then eligible for promotion to other and perhaps more attractive spheres. Where do you desire to go? What has been your dream? I can supply it. Winter, spring, summer or fall - they can be all yours at any time. Apply to me and it will be easier and better.

The two campaigns meet a short time later in the Village. A battle of words ensues in front of the enthusiastic audience:

Place your trust in the old régime: the policies are defined, the future certain. The old régime forever... and the old Number 2 forever? Confession by coercion, is that what you want? Vote for him and you have it! Or, stand firm upon this election platform and speak a word without fear! The word... is "freedom". They say "six of one and half a dozen of the other"... not here.
It's "six for two and two for nothing" and six for free... for all... for free for all! Vote! Vote!

Number Two asked by Number Six what he would do in his sparetime replies he couldn't afford sparetime. Number Six exaltedly turns to the crowd:

Do you hear that?
He's working to his limit! Can't afford spare time! We're all entitled to spare time! Leisure is our right!

Number Two:

In your spare time, if you get it, what will you do?

Number Six:

Less work... and more play!

the cowd:

Six! Six! Six! Six!

The end of this episode leaves no illusions. Election winner Number Six is allowed to enter Number Two's famous control room - just to turn the switches. But still this doesn't mean he's in control now.

TEXT: Arno Baumgärtel


Contact impressum filmtexte - texts on film deutsch english language
  "Wir sehen uns!" oder L'année dernière au Village The Prisoner · Nummer 6

 

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PATRICK McGOOHAN


WIR SEHEN UNS! D
BE SEEING YOU! E
THE CAFE
FREE SEA
OLD PEOPLE'S HOME
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
WALK ON THE GRASS
6 PRIVATE
2 PRIVATE
GENERAL STORES
TOWN HALL
LABOUR EXCHANGE
COUNCIL CHAMBER
BAND STAND
CHESS LAWN
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DISKURSE

MEHR INFORMATIONEN
SIX OF ONE · 601
THE VILLAGE · DER ORT
CAMERA OBSCURA
WER IST NUMMER 1?
DIE NEUE NUMMER 2
"WEISSER ALARM!"
VILLAGE FACT FILES
"MUSIK SAGT ALLES"
VILLAGE STORY BOOK
"DIE ANKUNFT" SKRIPT
SPEEDLEARN VERZ.
THE TALLY HO VERZ.
Nr6DE FREUNDE & FÖRDERER
NUMMER 6 WEBLINKS
TV-MAGIC WEBLINKS
IMPRESSUM | FEEDBACK

DIE ANKUNFT

DIE GLOCKEN VON BIG BEN
A. B. UND C.
FREIE WAHL
DER DOPPELGÄNGER
DER GENERAL
HERZLICHEN GLÜCKWUNSCH
DIE ANKLAGE
SCHACHMATT
HAMMER ODER AMBOSS
DAS AMTSSIEGEL
SINNESWANDEL
2:2=2
HARMONY
---3-2-1-0
PAS DE DEUX
DEMASKIERUNG