Episode three of this excellent adaptation of Joseph Heller’s classic satire Catch-22 continues with the men of the 256th squadron of US Air Force finding an unexpected respite from bombing missions … but it comes at a cost.
Naysayers were queuing up to criticise this production before it screened, but it has been nothing short of a triumph. Its pivot from military lunacy to morality play juxtaposing Yossarian’s (Christopher Abbott) rational fear of death with acts of self-preservation that have far-reaching consequences for his friends perfectly encapsulates the arbitrary toll of the conflict.
In his one-man struggle to be excused combat duty, Yossarian is convinced that the US Air Force high command and the combined might of the German Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht, will not be satisfied until he is dead. He cheats his way through this game of death but with each scheme to escape his fate, Yossarian draws the short straw for one of his comrades.
Brilliantly filmed, melancholy madness!
Catch-22 – Thursday 9.00pm on Channel 4.