11.20.2009

THE PRISONER - EXPLAINED

Many reviews were quite negative and a lot of people seemed to not understand the story. I thought it was terrific - a finely worked piece of art. Here is the explanation of the story for those who didn't get it:

Six (James Caviezel) in the real world was determined to figure out what he had been working on for the secret mega-corp headed by the Two character (Ian McKellen) - it turns out Two is an eccentric rich fellow who wants to fix broken people and constructed a Matrix-like Village in which these peoples' minds could live and prosper within the confines of the construct and its rules. Another person held the construct in their mind - the wife at the beginning and the doctor/love interest later ... and this person had to be asleep or the construct began to unravel (the holes). The whole point of the story was that Two wanted to replace himself and he cultivated Six because of his strong moral compass. The trials and tribulations Six went through were to test his mettle and by the end he proved himself and Two was able to move on. Six indeed became a prisoner, but a willing prisoner - bound by love.

10 comments:

Potiphar Breen said...

Hey Radii, good recap!

My Comment On this for what it's worth:

We have a guy Number 6 this time who is NOT and ANGEL but Christ Himself! Instant Upgrade.

Great production values and photography on this remake, excuse me - reimagined miniseries;
the Brits and Aussies were the best actors, but the whole shebang tried too hard to tell too much without being pruned successfully.

Sir Ian McKellen is absolutely great as usual and was a major draw for me, alas...

...sorry to offend but James Caviezel - for me - was severely miscast as the lead. He by no means was a sympathetic or even interesting major character. Major disappointment.

The subplots were contrived-ish and had the usual amount of social consciousness-evoking stereotypes which painfully detract from the quality of the storyline.

Rover 2.0 was kool and still provides a unique robotic villain experience for me after all these years.

I have been watching the original series on Comcast On Demand and all 17 episodes are available until Nov. 30 so I guess I am spoiled and/or terminally nostalgic.

All in all, too much 'anchor' and not enough holes!

radii said...

Great ending line there, Potiphar.

Caviezel is an interesting actor. He tends to play things very interior and sometimes this comes across a little stiff or blank - he's got the depth and talent, if only he could loosen up a bit.

I'm looking forward to watching the original series, it's been ages.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I didn't give it enough time (only watched the first two hours) and maybe I should. But I won't. Bored the hell out of me and I found Caviezel irritating.

radii said...

@Anon

The whole miniseries builds to the big reveal at the end so you have to be patient and just get into the eery mood of the thing. If you can't do that you'll never have patience to get to the finish. It's a mood piece, not a bombastic symphony.

Anonymous said...

On an unrelated BSG note - http://aaeblog.com/2009/11/28/pop-star/

Liam Thomas Stone said...

Or, perhaps The Prisoner was a metaphor for the way individuals and societies deal with extreme trauma--specifically 9/11.

That date (that number) changed the world. Now, in the village, everyone is a number.

There is domestic surveillance everywhere; everyone is suspicious of everyone.

The cafe is bombed in what looks like a terrorist bombing.

People are removed from society, heads bagged, and thrown into a cave (very Guantanamo-like).

A pair of ghostly, twin towers stand ominously over the village.

Everyone is from New York. In the final episode, 6 opens the coffin full of oranges and then lies on the ground while a bird soars over head; however, if you watch that scene closely, then you will see a flash of one of the planes flying overhead.

Now consider the main focus of debate post 9/11 -- how much freedom do we give up to be safe? Do we let those whose seek to destroy our way of life turn us into a revenge-filled culture bent on retaliation (see the episode with 6 and his double).

Or, do we refuse to live in fear and retain our cultural dignity, i.e. no torture, no wars, no domestic spying, no Patriot act, etc.

Sure, the show has hints of religion and God, but then again it was Senator McCain who was always calling terrorism an "existential threat."

Perhaps, 2 said it best--this isn't political; the great war is psychological; and this show was a metaphorical examination of how that war has affected the psyche's of our "village."

Anonymous said...

Liam are you serious? stop drinking the kool-aid and get a clue. you sound like one of those conspiracy theorist who think the us government is responsible for 9/11.

Sybarite said...

Liam, ... Do we seriously have to remind you that "USA" is NOT "the world" ! ;o)

And yes the "glass building" was somewhat reminiscent of "the Twin Towers". ... As it was reminiscent of any other tall building.

And by the way, I have re-watched the scene closely (frame-by-frame in fact), and there was NO "flash of a plane flying overhead" !

~ Once again, another perfect example of how anybody can read anything into anything if they really look for it !

P.S. >>> The Radii's recap was "spot-on" !

Anonymous said...

Gotta say just watched the show on ITV and absolutely loved it despite all the negative reviews it got! and as for the guy who said they didn't like the lead actor i couldn't agree less

Anonymous said...

Liam, cool story about 9/11, but isnt the original Prisoner filmed in 60s or such?... lol ;-D