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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different Prisoner
Not so much a re-make, more a completely different series all together, with some common threads, such as the individual vs the system. Some homage to the original - the obvious like rover, and the almost subliminal in visibility like the penny farthing and the Caterham car.

Bleaker, and also more visually stunning from the location.

As there is only...
Published on January 16, 2010 by Red Rider

versus
128 of 170 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I waited 40 years for this.
Those who have commented about this series without seeing the original do not know whereof they write. The original series went beyond mere entertainment (and it was very entertaining) but also stimulated the viewer into thinking about subjects such as illegal incarceration, autonomy, the illusion of democracy, identity, education, truth, life, death, manipulation,...
Published on December 6, 2009 by J. L. Garwood MD


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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very different Prisoner, January 16, 2010
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
Not so much a re-make, more a completely different series all together, with some common threads, such as the individual vs the system. Some homage to the original - the obvious like rover, and the almost subliminal in visibility like the penny farthing and the Caterham car.

Bleaker, and also more visually stunning from the location.

As there is only one 2 and one 6, so we see a lot more of what motivates 2. Not so much of a relationship 2 with 6 though more development between 2 and family members. The personalities are very different as well. Pre village, 6 is an observer rather than a field agent, so fewer fist fights and less running around, more watching to find what is going on.

The original had more impact, probably because there was almost nothing like it around. This version comes after all kinds of film and TV series exploring this area, so we are more used to it. In the original, it was apparent fairly early what was wanted - answering one resignation question would lead to eventual loyalty or corruption of the individual. Here there is much more of a mystery of what 2 wants from 6, and indeed the motivations may change gradually and for good reasons in hindsight.

This series wraps up more tightly - seems like the script ending was known before completion, while in the original the writers had little idea of how to finish it.

4 stars - a good series but there is more competition in the genre so harder to be completely new.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think 'INCEPTION', not THE PRISONER..., October 15, 2011
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
... with a nod to PHILIP K DICK.

I have been a HUGE fan of Patrick McGoohan since I was a kid in the 60s via SECRET AGENT/DANGER MAN, was blown away by THE PRISONER at the age of 11, have turned may people on to that series since then and attended PORTMERICON, the annual gathering of the show's "Appreciation Society" SIX OF ONE, held on the grounds of the Hotel Portmerion itself in Northern Wales.

Yeah, I'm a fan.

Except in name & some affectations, this mini-series ain't THE PRISONER, in the same way that the movie J.J. Abrams directed in 2009 ain't STAR TREK! Abrams directed a damn fine film, but it's more derivative of a certain 1977 film directed by George Lucas than anything dreamed up by Gene Roddenberry or his successors.

In the same respect, this mini-series isn't like anything that Patrick McGoohan might have dreamed up, either.

This does not mean that it's bad. It means that as viewers, we need to re-think our perspective & perhaps discard the prerequisite expectations that the title implies, before passing judgment.

The first time I viewed this mini-series, I was trying to make a connection to the original and could not. I think that this inability to connect is what has disappointed most of the nay-sayers. I wanted to see it again, but this time, taken in the context of it being a science-fiction story on its own terms, without any expectations of connecting to the original 1960s series.

This was almost as big a challenge as it was to re-watch BLADE RUNNER without the voice-over to see if I could arrive at different conclusions about the characters. After having seen it numerous times with the voice-over dialogue burned into my brain, to try NOT to have the insights that Deckard imparts in the voice-over creep into your consciousness while "seeing it again for the first time" ain't easy. It cannot be achieved 100%, but it can be achieved to a degree, absolutely.

Since I'd only viewed The Prisoner Mini-Series only once, was confused by that viewing and wanted to forget most of it, this was an easier task.

Without expectations of an overall similarity to the 1960s show, the mini-series is free to stand on its own merits, which it ably does. I couldn't help but be reminded of author Philip K Dick's themes of what makes one human, and what is reality. And like David Cronenberg's VIDEODROME, you wonder what is real, what is hallucination and at what point does the hallucination (or dream) manifest itself as reality?

When I later saw INCEPTION, the "re-imagining" of THE PRISONER was in its proper context: Both use the same science fiction concept, but toward different ends via different themes.

So, if you liked INCEPTION, this mini-series may be for you.

If you're a dedicated fan of Patrick McGoohan's THE PRISONER, just be amused at how they've borrowed some ideas from that series and you may be surprised at how much might you enjoy it. I remember the first dozen times I saw the original series' finale FALL OUT. "What a cheat!", I remember thinking. Over time I realized that the key to appreciating this episode (& I know about the chaos & hurried conditions under which it was produced) required abandoning my expectations of a nice, clean ending to the show.

If anything, THE PRISONER of the 1960s was about breaking free of conformity, especially those "prisons" which we impose upon ourselves, especially our views, perspectives and expectations. McGoohan's Number 6 might be disappointed that the detractors of this new mini-series may have forgotten that.

Be seeing you!
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128 of 170 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I waited 40 years for this., December 6, 2009
By 
J. L. Garwood MD (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
Those who have commented about this series without seeing the original do not know whereof they write. The original series went beyond mere entertainment (and it was very entertaining) but also stimulated the viewer into thinking about subjects such as illegal incarceration, autonomy, the illusion of democracy, identity, education, truth, life, death, manipulation, propaganda, loyalty, war and violence (as well as innumerable other topics). As a youth, I was profoundly influenced by the exploration of the concepts in this series.

Plus, I loved the car. Rover was cool too.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could be remotely influenced by any of the ideas in this mini-series remake. In fact, I couldn't find any profound ideology in this mini-series.

If one had not seen the original series, this new rendition would have had to have been completely incomprehensible.

The fundamentals of the show were missing. Number Six was not defiant or angry, merely befuddled. Number Two was not desperately seeking information from Number Six while under the scrutiny of an anonymous Number One. He was also acting aimlessly.

Everyone was wandering around as if they were in a dream (wow - a spoiler!)

After waiting so long for something to be done with the Prisoner property; and with so many hard core fans craving to view a remake, I am surprised this weak series was the best effort that the entertainment industry could muster.

For better alternatives for those of you who would love to see more shows similar to the original Prisoner, I would recommend:

1) Danger Man (TV Series)
2) Secret Agent (TV Series)
3) Kings and Desperate Men (VHS Movie with some familiar faces)
4) Shattered Visage (Graphic Novel sequel)
5) Nowhere Man (TV Series with a similar flow to the Prisoner)
6) Sleuth (with Olivier & Caine - a movie about mind games)
7) The Game (with M. Douglas - another mind game movie)
8) The Prisoner Original Movie Scripts (Two Volumes also containing original series material which was not used)

It is a pity that producers have waited forty years for the deaths of Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern, just to insure that they would not appear in any sequels. The graphic novel "Shattered Visage" was created 20 years ago with appropriately aged Numbers 2 & 6, undoubtedly with a movie sequel in mind which would have included these beloved actors. Another missed opportunity was that McGoohan's own sequel was not used.

Perhaps in forty years hence a better sequel will be made.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set your expectations aside and enjoy the ride, October 31, 2011
By 
Ryan "R. Frazier" (West Sacramento CA, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
Here are a few things this TV series was not:

1. A continuation of the original story.

2. A faithful remake of the original show.

If you are looking for the adventures of Number Six as presented by Patrick McGoohan with a new cast, you will absolutely be disappointed by this series, as it does not do that or try to do it.

If you are expecting a sequel to the original series, again, you will be disappointed. It is very clear that this show and the original show share essentially no continuity.

That said, this is an extremely intelligently written television show with many themes that are highly relevant to the modern, digital world. I can't fully explain the plot without spoiling significant parts of the plot, but suffice it to say that this is a TV show with a lot to say, with very interesting characters, and with a very entertaining plot.

Yes, nobody could ever be the original #6. McGoohan's dogged, clever, steely-eyed defiance cannot be matched by any modern actor, however this show does not ask its lead to try. The much more human character played by James Caviziel is very interesting in his own right, as is Sir Ian's fascinating #2.

You can have your love for the original series and still enjoy this as its own, and very clever and intersting thing.

People angrily punching out "one star" reviews really need to think this over. Are you seriously giving an interesting, intelligent mini-series one star just because it wasn't a good remake or didn't measure up possibly the greatest TV show of all time?

In a world in which Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of Insane Screaming Rich Person County exist this is not a one star show. Let go of your preconceptions and your nerd cred at having seen and understood the original and look at this for what it is: a smart, tightly written, well acted sci-fi mini series staring some very major acting talents and beautifully shot to boot.
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55 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!!!, November 27, 2009
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
This was a waste of time to watch. While I am a fan of the 60's version, I tried to judge this mini-series as a new re-telling. I so much wanted to like it. The acting is terribly wooden and the pace is incredibly slow. I found myself not caring why things were happening to "6" in my struggle to understand what was happening. A murky storyline doomed this project. I cannot recommend this program.
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43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where am I?, November 18, 2009
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
The original The Prisoner - Complete Series Megaset (40th Anniversary Edition) TV series and I are about the same age, so perhaps that has a bearing on why I could relate to its warning about becoming just a number - I've seen it happen over the course of my lifetime.

The new AMC mini-series was quite a disappointment. Without spoiling it for anyone who wants to watch it, here's my review:

This time out, AMC gives us the answers. We find out how the scenes in The Village and New York are related. No need for us to come up with our own theories as to "what's it all about?" I found myself more interested in Number Two than Number Six. This Number Six doesn't seem very passionate about his desire to escape and I found myself not really caring if he did or not. The ending, although a possibility brought up in the final episode of the original series, completely ruined the mini-series for me.

How The Village came to exist and how the inhabitants ended up there was quite a stretch for me. It definitely made this series more sci-fi than drama. I did enjoy the many nods to the original series, the updated Village wardrobe, Ian McKellen's performance, and the improved Rover.

I can't see this series having the timeless appeal of the original, but perhaps a younger viewer would disagree with me.

If you're a fan of the original, you'll probably watch this and be disappointed like I was. Since this was made to target fans of the original series, I'd say it was a wasted effort.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I had ample warning. Why didn't I listen?, March 29, 2010
By 
Greg "Saganite" (Brooklyn Park, Mongolia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
Execrable, vile, horrifyingly bad series. After the first couple of episodes when each new episode routinely put me to sleep, I was prepared to forgive it because the acting was in most cases so good and I just knew that there was going to be a big pay-off for my Job-like patience. I was going to say that there was no payoff, but that's not entirely true. There was the kick to the groin at the end and the realization that one has just wasted precious time. The only good thing I can say about this "Prisoner" reboot is that it really does an excellent job of making me appreciate the singular genius of the original. I think part of the success of the current series, "Lost," is owed to the original "Prisoner," which also dealt in flashbacks and surreal elements. This reboot performs industrial canibalism, grinding up the elements of "Lost" that were nourished by the original "Prisoner" to consume and turn into manure. Really, I can't say enough bad about this series...and I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't have hopes for it. Despite all of the negative reviews, I just had to find out for myself. Please don't make my mistake. This is just a stinking awful mess that wastes everyone's time and makes even good things seem bad through the context. The only OTHER good thing I can say about this is that it was so incredibly dull that within a few days I won't be able to remember the specifics of why it was so offensively horrible.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand Alone Achievement, January 17, 2011
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
I'm a dedicated follower of the original 1960s Brit series and I found this remake to be excellent. I came to this series with no expectations and certainly didn't want to compare it to the original which was a profound statement of the state of the world at the time. Like the old series this new series is full of Illuminati symbolism (e.g. the all-seeing eye in the pyramid - 'be seeing you' etc) quarantine images and the dream-scape where the boundaries between reality and illusion are blurred. So although the original was a reflection of the time the re-make is a prediction of the future. I loved the ending. There's a lot to like about this series but I don't think you can really appreciate it unless you let go of the old series and view this for itself - you won't be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHY RUIN A CLASSIC!, May 13, 2010
By 
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
I personally have looked forward to a remake of the original classic. McGoohan himself was reportedly in talks at one time to produce one with Mel Gibson. But how this rubbish came about is beyond me.
Save your money and find something else to do with 6 hours.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT RE IMAGING, June 13, 2012
By 
Nick Kitt (Woodstock NY) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prisoner (Miniseries) (DVD)
Don't listen to the naysayers. This is a brilliant re imaging of Patrick McGoohan's great series updated to these more complicated times. I often wondered what would happen if the original PRISONER took place today and this is it. This is much more sublime and goes much deeper then McGoohan's. In some respects, McGoohan's series, as good as it is, now seems a little dated, almost but not quite, a parody of itself,like watching AUSTIN POWERS. And McGoohan, by his own admission,never had a clear vision of an ending. Instead, he just made the last episode and left town with a lot of unanswered questions. This version, however, is much more thought out. But, you have to give it some thought, which is the idea. If you watch this and get bored, then go back to McGoohan's fine series with it's psychedelic aspect and relive your youth during the turbulent 60's. That's fine. But if you want to see those very same aspects depicted in today's much more dangerous world, then this is for you. But watch it to understand it, not to compare it. Also, with Jim Caviezal's new hit TV series, PERSON OF INTEREST,this version of THE PRISONER takes on a even newer meaning,almost like having it's own DANGER MAN, so to speak. An excellent series, lava lamps and all.
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The Prisoner (Miniseries)
The Prisoner (Miniseries) by Nick Hurran (DVD - 2010)
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