Jim Caviezel is brilliant as an emotionally haunted and physically menacing former government operative, while Michael Emerson captures much of the same genius that made Benjamin Linus a stand-out character on 'Lost,' but without the evil undertones.
The premiere did a great job of setting up the very simple premise. Mr. Finch (Emerson) built a machine after 9/11 that can predict who will be involved in criminal activities. The machine for the government's purposes isn't interested in smaller crimes, but it's these crimes that kept Finch up at night.
A big part of the premise is the idea that video surveillance and online tracking programs pervade almost every aspect of our lives. The show isn't designed to peer into the scarier crevices of paranoia, but 'Person of Interest' asks, not without cause, is it actually paranoia if someone really is watching us?
The other big thing it has going for it is Michael Emerson, who, after his terrific performance as the charismatic and ambiguous Ben Linus on 'Lost,' is more than capable of commanding the center of this drama as an enigmatic technology titan named Finch.
The pilot is well-paced and looks great, but then we always expect excellent production values from things that J.J. Abrams (one of the show's executive producers) sprinkles his pixie dust on. And, despite the fact that someone's dusting for fingerprints within the first five minutes of the pilot, there are glimmerings that this may not be just another CBS procedural.
Then again, 'Person of Interest' might be just another CBS procedural, dressed up in fancier clothing. We'll have to see.
He'll play Henry Detmer, the acting CEO of Themyscira Industries and an uncle-like figure to Adrianne Palicki's Diana Prince who could potentially turn into a love interest, according to Deadline.
Meanwhile, TV Line reports that Becki Newton, one of pilot season's most sought-after stars, has signed on for the Fox comedy pilot formerly known as 'Home Grown.' The casting is in second position to her as-yet-unaired NBC series, 'Love Bites.'
Jim Cavizel, also known as Mel Gibson's Jesus in 'The Passion of the Christ,' has booked the leading role in the J.J. Abrams/Jonah Nolan pilot 'Person of Interest,' according to Vulture. He joins the already-cast Taraji P. Henson and Michael Emerson.
In other TV news ...
• 'Greek' alum Scott Michael Foster is getting around. The actor, who recently booked an arc on 'Parenthood,' will appear on ABC Family's 'Melissa & Joey' for three episodes as a potential love interest for Melissa Joan Hart. [TV Line]
• NBC's Don Johnson pilot, 'A Mann's World,' has cast another actress. Caitlin Crosby joins Taylor Kinney and Kelly Hu in the series about a fiftysomething Beverly Hills hairdresser. [THR]
• Despite two of the 'Off the Map' leads booking roles in an NBC pilot, one of their costars says the show has a 50/50 chance of coming back for a second season. "Five percent of the shows are out-of-the-box hits, 5 percent are canceled on arrival, and 90 percent of shows, which is where we are, ride the bubble. And it's all on how the fans respond, you know. Like, hit ABC.com," Jason George said. [EW]
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.
Sexy vampires. Oh my, we got lots of them this year. The Twilight Saga: New Moon's got nothin' on TV vampires. Eric Northman and Bill Compton from True Blood are definitely at the top of my list. Pictured is that hunk o' steamy vamp himself, Eric, a.k.a. Alexander Skarsgard in real life. But we also got those lovely Salvatore brothers on The Vampire Diaries. Elena certainly has some high-class problems, doesn't she? Steadfast Stefan or bad-vamp Damon? They both have their particular gifts.
(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.
(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.
In AMC's remake of the late 1960s British show 'The Prisoner,' a man finds himself trapped in a desert village where its inhabitants have only numbers for names, deny the existence of an outside world, and have no memory of their lives prior to arriving in the isolated, and constantly surveilled, village.
In this clip from the premiere of the miniseries, the man, dubbed Number Six and portrayed by Jim Caviezel, is brought before the leader of the village, the always-fantastic Ian McKellen as Number Two, and given clues on who and where he is.
Watch the video after the jump.
(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.
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.
In the update of the 1967 cult-fave series, Caviezel stars as a man who finds himself trapped in a mysterious village, stripped of his freedom and name. Throughout the six-part miniseries, which debuts Sun., Nov. 15 at 8PM ET, he's fighting to understand his predicament, and to escape, but is repeatedly thwarted by village elder Two ('Lord of the Rings' and 'X-Men' vet Ian McKellen).
It's a remake of the cult 1960s TV series, which starred Patrick McGoohan as a secret agent who is held against his will in the bizarrely cheerful "Village," from which there is seemingly no escape. The original's plot was so convoluted that fans debate even the chronology of the episodes. Is the end the beginning, or the other way around?
AMC's six-hour miniseries retains the essential elements of the original: A man (Jim Caviezel) wakes up in "The Village" with no idea how he got there. He's now addressed simply as "Six" and told that the real world does not exist. Overseeing the sinister enclave is "Two" (Ian McKellen), whose reasons for keeping Six a prisoner are not clear.
Read more and watch a video preview after the jump.
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.
To submit questions to the "Ask TV Squad" column, you can post them below in comments or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, I answer questions about Eureka, The Prisoner and how to leave comments on TVSquad.com.
While we're anxiously -- and optimistically -- awaiting the AMC remake of the classic Patrick McGoohan spy series The Prisoner, filmmaker Christopher Nolan has abandoned a big screen version of The Prisoner. Nolan reportedly will concentrate instead on a third Batman movie.
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