Jane After Dark: Pondering The Prisoner
by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 29th 2009 10:02AM
I finished watching The Prisoner this week, and while I had to watch the final episodes a few times, I think I sort of get it. As I mentioned in my post a couple of weeks ago, I haven't seen the original 1960s series, so I'm just basing my thoughts on the current version that just aired on AMC. I'm guessing they'll air the series again sometime soon.
First of all, I was riveted to the series from start to finish. Not only are the characters and storyline intriguing and mysterious, but the musical score by Rupert Gregso-Williams is phenomenal. So hypnotic and evocative. More of my thoughts on The Prisoner -- including possible spoilers -- after the jump.
I won't even attempt to try and explain everything in the series, as I know complete books and Web sites are devoted to this topic. Plus there's the fact that it would take at least a year for me to figure it all out. I'm sure all of the little details and nuances have their specific meaning, but for me, the series is a social commentary on fear, guilt, conformity, and control. When Six finds himself in this mysterious Village seemingly in the middle of nowhere, I had no idea where the story was headed -- and didn't until the last few episodes.
My Take: I get that The Village is somehow wired to Two's wife's brain. And by keeping her in a coma, it allows The Village to continue. Most everyone in The Village is somehow damaged in their life on the outside -- their real life. And The Village allows them to live without pain and suffering. We see that in 4-15 and her flashbacks to the mental illness she suffers with in her real life. When Two and his wife decide to cut the cord with The Village, 4-15 willingly steps up and agrees to be the brainforce behind The Village, with Six -- the new Two -- running the show.
I'm guessing the spooky holes that open up in the sand are due to The Village's core beginning to break down. So when the little girl rides her bike into one, does that mean her real self on the outside has died? Or, like 11-12, does she just not exist on the outside? Since her dad had a picture of her in his cab on the outside, I'm thinking she must have died. And by the way, those holes are just plain frightening to me, much as the holes in our damaged psyche are frightening and often out of our control. A big, gaping black hole of consciousness.
The big moral and ethical question is this: Is it ok to take damaged people and put them (or their psyche, as the case may be) somewhere where they don't hurt any more? Are we all prisoners of something, one way or another? Are we all striving to break free of the social norms that confine and shackle us?
I'll do some more reading on The Prisoner at some point, including reading back through Jason's reviews. I also plan to watch the original series as soon as humanly possible. But I would love for any in-the-know readers to answer at least this one question: Why did the numbers start at Two? Who was One?
I look forward to your thoughts on The Prisoner. Did you watch it, and if so, find it as intriguing as I did? Am I way off base on my theories?