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September 30, 2014

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Six: Checkmate

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 18th 2009 1:30AM
The Prisoner: Checkmate
(E06)
Well, that's that. All wrapped up nice and neat with a bow. Glad it's all cleared up and everything makes perfect sense... Did you read the sarcasm in that statement?

At this point, I can't tell if fans of the original The Prisoner will embrace this new iteration of the concept, or feel betrayed by it. Don't get me wrong, once all the secrets lie revealed, they've developed a pretty neat concept, and on that could quite possibly have sustained more than six episodes even. But was it The Prisoner?

I will give credit to all of the actors for their conviction in these roles. Ruth Wilson and Jamie Campbell Bower were particularly impressive as 313 and 1112. The layers of emotion that 313 displayed in her closing scenes with Two, and later with Six were just tragically beautiful. And 1112... well, tragedy appears to be the name of the game in the new Prisoner.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Four: Darling

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 17th 2009 1:32AM
The Prisoner: Darling
(E04) If you cannot break a man with family, or mistrust, then you must try love. For love is the greatest of things after all, is it not?


it seems we've fallen into a familiar pattern with The Prisoner. Two tries various schemes and techniques to break Six and Six resists them all, either through his own ingenuity or through the help of other Villagers who are sympathetic to his situation. But we still don't know why Two is trying to break Six. This week's tactic was love, but love was explored in many ways throughout the episode.

Six's love of the woman from New York is so strong that it cross boundaries from that world into the Village world. But in neither case is it clear if the love is real, or something manufactured.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Three: Anvil

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 17th 2009 12:29AM
The Prisoner: Anvil
(E03) I'm no closer to figuring out everything that's going on, but I am more appreciative of the fact that the entire story will be done by tomorrow night. Things are so confusing at times, I'm not sure I can keep it all in my brain if I had to wait a full week between each of these episodes.

Tonight's installment focused on espionage and spying. The target of all this spying appears to be everyone, but the primary focus is on the "Dreamers," those people who have dreams and vision of a life outside the Village. You see, they're a dangerous element, particularly if they were to organize.

The leading suspicion is that they have already done so, but where and to what end? Two wants to find them so he can send them all down for "Treatment," while Six wants to find them so he can rally them to his own cause of finding a way out of the Village.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part Two: Harmony

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 15th 2009 11:02PM
The Prisoner: Harmony
(E02) The whole strategy behind the Village has been turned on its head and it's certainly interesting to watch. Two is bound and determined to have everyone who lives there believe that the Village is all there is, there is no world outside of the Village and the Village is all they've ever known. He's even got tangible proof to back that up.

It's an interesting change from the original, and again makes you wonder just who would be willing to invest this kind of money into a bizarre prison like this. Is the citizenry drugged, or just brainwashed? Why is Six so adamant that he is not a number, he is a free man, if no one else in the village is so sure? Or are they just being more quiet about it?

We've even reached the point in the series where as a viewer I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is real, much less what Six is seeing and experiencing. But it was nice to meet his brother and see that he has a family in the Village. "Uncle Six" indeed.

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Review: The Prisoner - Part One: Arrival

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 15th 2009 10:00PM
The Prisoner
(E01) I can't help but feel tempted to compare this to the Patrick McGoohan classic from the '60s, but that wouldn't be fair. Attitudes, technologies and even our expectations of TV programming have changed so much in the intervening time. And yet, as an homage to the original, there are many elements to this new AMC mini-series that nod back to the classic paranoia suspense saga.

While The Village has been updated to be a much larger and more vibrant desert oasis (think kitschy Las Vegas) than the original's sleepy seaside villas, it's still as much an enigma, even in this first hour. And while Jim Caviezel doesn't command the role of Number 6 as powerfully as McGoohan, really who could? So I give him a pass, and enjoy him for what he brings, and try not to hear McGoohan's booming defiance when Caviezel shouts: "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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The Prisoner -- An early look

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 14th 2009 7:05PM
Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellan, The PrisonerThe first thing I noticed about AMC's reboot of the classic Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner was its style. The original is a very stylized piece of work, but as someone who didn't see it back in 1967-1968 when it first aired -- I'm not that old! -- I'm not sure if its visual presentation was wholly unique in itself, or more a reflection of the '60s style in general. Certainly the '60s have become infamous for some weird fashion and design choices.

Some of that '60s nostalgia creeped into the architecture and dress of the Villagers this time around without overwhelming the tone, and I think it's a wonderful homage to the original. But I'm more impressed that this re-imagining manages to capture the same sense of paranoia and confusion that the first did, without simply retelling the same story in the same way. And it's those differences that are truly modernizing the story in a great way.

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Press Kits Unwrapped: The Prisoner

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 11th 2009 5:01PM
The Prisoner Press Kit
AMC is certainly pulling out all the stops to promote their re-imagining of The Prisoner. The new mini-series airs for three nights straight, starting Sunday November 15 at 8/7 Central. The network was kind enough to send out a press kit in anticipation of the new series, and right off I have to give them credit for sticking to their theme.

Some press kits seem to have random objects thrown in that have little or nothing to do with the show they're promoting. Everything that I found within this little box worked toward establishing the feeling of paranoia that pervades the world of The Prisoner. Even better, aside from the DVDs themselves, I could imagine this being the propaganda kit I would receive were I to ever wake up in the village.

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