The Prisoner (Miniseries)
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter the mysterious world of The Prisoner. Nobody resigns from Summakor. Once he had a name, a job with the mysterious spy-ops outfit Summakor and a life in New York. Now he has a number. He’s called 6, and everything has changed since he quit the many-tentacled agency. Suddenly he lives in The Village, a too-perfect paradise wretched with conformity. A society where all names are numbers. Where secret eyes watch over hollow bliss. Where dissent is rare and whispered. Where 6 knows he has one option: escape. Jim Caviezel portrays disoriented, determined 6 and Ian McKellen plays the serenely cunning Village overseer called 2 in a brilliantly re-imagined, six-episode sci-fi riff on the Patrick McGoohan series of the 1960s. Are 6’s experiences real? Happenings of a parallel universe? Imaginings of his own walled-in mind? Enter The Village…]]>
"Assimilate or die." No, it's not high school, it's the Village, a seemingly postcard-perfect community where everybody knows your number. The newest arrival in the Village has no idea how he got there. He only knows that he wants out. Only there is no out. With only flickering flashes of his former life in New York ("There is no New York," he is ominously informed), he is determined to escape. The very idea of a Prisoner remake may be sacrilege to those still enthralled by the ever-elusive what's-it-all-about 1969 cult classic, but the nightmarish Kafka-esque conflict at the core of this "reinterpretation" still packs a paranoid punch. Jim Caviezel stars as 6, who is engaged in a battle of wills with the sinister No. 2 (Sir Ian McKellan), who is trying to, what, break him? Obtain information? Those devoted to the original will appreciate some clever homages: the Lava Lamps in one apartment, the Rover, the iconic white balloon that foils any attempts at escape, and the signature catch phrases "Be seeing you" and the defiant "I am not a number, I am a free man." The original Prisoner was star and cocreator Patrick McGoohan's pet project. Caviezel does not capture his passion or gravitas. McKellan's 2 is the more fascinating figure. This version gives him a son, 11-12 (an unnerving Jamie Campbell Bower), in whom 6's plight plants seeds of doubt about the Village. Among the captivating special features is the Comic-Con panel with writer Bill Gallagher and cast members who pay respectful lip service to the original and to the majesty of McKellan. But there is a great moment when Gallagher recalls his phone call to McGoohan (who passed away before the production commenced) seeking his blessing on the project. McGoohan offered an intriguing casting suggestion of who should play No. 2. This Prisoner may not be as buzz-worthy as the original, which was truly a one-of-a-kind creation, but it stands on its own as an expertly played mind game. --Donald Liebenson
Commentary on two episodes
Beautiful Prison: The World of The Prisoner
A 6-Hour Film Shot in 92 Days: The Diary of The Prisoner
The Prisoner Comic-Con Panel
The Man Behind "2": Jamie Campbell Bower interviews Ian McKellen
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
This is a series that has grown on me as I have rewatched it.
It's NOT like the original Patrick McGoohan series, which took me a while to get over.
What is it, then? It is a series which explores the ideas of consciousness, free will, the ability to choose, surveillance states, and the corruption of power.
The plot itself, without giving away too many spoilers, is very dense and requires the viewer to pay attention. A man (Jim Caviezel - Person of Interest, The Passion of the Christ) wakes in a desert community called The Village in which everyone has numbers instead of names, and they keep calling him Number 6. He continues to have visions of his life in New York, which might still be going on. The leader of The Village, Number 2 (Ian McKellan - Lord of the Rings, X-Men), tries various methods to get Number 6 to accept life in The Village but he insists on trying to get out. By the end, he discovers the secret of The Village, both within The Village *and* in New York.
This is not a show during which you can chat on the phone or surf the web and still understand it. Only six episodes long, those six episodes build and connect with each other, so that you need to remember what happened in earlier episodes to really understand later ones. This is why the series has grown on me as I have rewatched it. Only on rewatching did I understand exactly what I was seeing.
It's still not a perfect show. McKellan's over-the-top Number 2 comes across as more "campy" than serious, even when you know why he acts that way. Caviezel is pushed to his limits as an actor and, while he rises to that occasion most of the time, it seemed to me that a few scenes are just a bit beyond his reach. The major plot point about The Village is hard to swallow and requires a large commitment on the part of the audience to just go along with it. What really saves the show are the plots of the individual episodes and the stellar work by the supporting cast. While I can root for Number 6 and dislike Number 2, it's the rest of the people in The Village (including Hayley Atwell - Captain America, Agent Carter, and Lennie James - The Walking Dead) which raise this series from 3 to 4 stars.
NB: Spoilers ahead.
Look, it was obvious early on that this strange prison Six was stuck in was some sort of illusion. So that didn't phase me. What did was the lack of explanation for how it worked. Why Two's wife could be killed in the prison and return to her normal life in the real world, when until then in the real world as well as the prison she'd been one step removed from comatose. Also why Six was brought there in the first place. Then there was the little matter of time. At the start it seemed like all the flashbacks to New York were just that - flashbacks. But then towards the end we have the disturbing scenes where Six is in the building in New York, staring into the village, sort of, while at the same time he's in the Village staring at the towers which represent the real world. And unfortunately throwing around terms like collective unconscious just didn't cut it with me.
However, aside from that this was an excellent production, the acting was superb, Sir Ian McKellen was obviously revelling in his role as the evil(?) puppet master, and the rest of the cast were brilliant.
Most recent customer reviews
What if you could not go home again? Could you be happy in a "perfect"
But no set is complete, without some of the fan impressions of what they learned from watching or...Read more