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Hercules Likens AMC’s New Six-Hour PRISONER To Punishment!!

Published at: Nov. 15, 2009, 6:40 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!
A pokey, unconvincing and lackluster re-imagining of the imagination-firing 1967 series, AMC’s new version of “The Prisoner” proves a colossal disappointment. The brainchild of veteran BBC writer-producer Bill Gallagher (“Conviction,” “Lark Rise To Candleford”), the new version gets nowhere near the angry genius of the Patrick McGoohan original and its first two hours quickly dissipate any hope engendered by the inspired casting of Ian McKellen as the new Number Two – or the original-programming track record of AMC, which gave us the acclaimed 2006 miniseries “Broken Trail” before it moved on to the terrific “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” Quality aside, the biggest differences between the old and new series? The title character, Number Six, is this time led to believe from the get-go that memories of his old life in Manhattan are delusions, and that civilization does not exist beyond the miles of desert surrounding his isolated municipality, known only as The Village. (Six may be delusional, or he may be under the influence of hypnosis and/or hallucinogens, or something else entirely.) Six remembers not being a rogue British superspy, but an American analyst who recently resigned from a cutting-edge security company called Summakor. The 2009 Village (created by producers this time in Southern Africa rather than a seaside resort in Wales) seems considerably larger than the 1967 Village, and has only the one Number Two rather than a rotating series of Twos. The scripting, which favors lengthy, ambiguity-swollen speechmaking over the witty, urgent give-and-take that suited McGoohan and his antagonists so well, is the main culprit. Gallagher's characters aren’t interesting and too often avoid asking simple questions that would occur to any of us in the same circumstances. Intriguing things happen occasionally, but not nearly often enough to sustain interest. Mysteries are presented, but their resolutions are seldom satisfying. (Many viewers may be tempted to sit though the full six hours just to learn what’s doing with those mirage-like crystal twin towers that seem to be situated far outside The Village; I’m here to tell you they’re not worth the wait.) This version also offers little of the original series’ sense of humor. I doubt any actor could make this material work, but the comparatively bland American actor Jim Caviezel makes a particularly disastrous substitute for McGoohan and brings none of his predecessor’s all-important theatrical charisma. McKellen, who seldom does TV, is wasted; he could do wonders with the any of the Village rulers as scripted in the original series, but this 21st century Number Two is the least involving character McKellen’s undertaken in some time.

If you’ve not yet seen McGoohan’s 1967 original, I implore you to at least seek out its first mesmerizing episode, “Arrival.” If by episode’s conclusion you can walk away with no compulsion to follow further the adventures of McGoohan’s Six, I judge your willpower superior to mine. It’s far more likely you’ll follow the series to its strange and fascinating conclusion, and be glad you did. It’s also likely you’ll not get beyond the first night of the Caviezel version, and you should be glad for that as well. Entertainment Weekly says:
… lacks the wit and zip of the original Prisoner. That one, co-created by its star, Patrick McGoohan, is one of the rare pieces of cult television that really holds up. … Gallagher has said that the original's theme is old hat, and he wanted to deal with our current “obsession with self.” Ick. That's exactly what's wrong with the new Prisoner: It's self-absorbed to the point of incoherence.
TV Guide says:
… This reimagined version, which feels a bit old hat in a post-Matrix fantasy landscape, is more leaden, pretentious and solemn, a tone embodied by Caviezel’s brooding Six, who’s more dour than dashing. And as marvelous as McKellen is, I miss the whimsy of a different Two popping up each week, keeping Six even further off balance. …
Time Magazine says:
… This hallucinatory hermeticism makes for an ambitious, sinister narrative, but often a disjointed and pretentious one. If it's not always clear what's dream and what's reality in the Village, it's also not always clear what's complexity and what's affectation in The Prisoner. And it doesn't help that Caviezel's blank, charmless performance gives us no real anchor or connection with his quest. …
USA Today says:
… Obscurity is no longer a novelty — and this thuddingly pretentious adaptation of The Prisoner has little else to offer. … Yet much has changed, and virtually every change writer/producer Bill Gallagher has imposed on the story weakens it. You can forgive him for assigning Number Two, which rotated among actors in the original, to McKellen alone, because without McKellen to watch, there'd be no reason to watch at all. But the essential change in theme and the dampening of the hero (played so stirringly in 1968 by the show's creator, Patrick McGoohan) is pretty much fatal. … That might not matter from hour to hour if Caviezel were able to hold our attention. But he's so lifeless, you begin to wonder whether giving him a number rather than a name wasn't an appropriate choice. It's a joyless, whiny performance that both underscores and undercuts the story's obvious Wizard of Oz parallels.
The New York Times says:
… a clever and engaging reinterpretation … Humor is in the details. Villagers avidly watch a lurid television soap opera titled “Wonkers,” in which the characters also refer to themselves by the numbers. (A blonde whispers huskily to her bedmate, “465, I’m leaving you.” ) Village food is served in wraps, even desserts. A character tells Six that something is “as sweet as a honey nut wrap.” Throughout, homage is paid to Mr. McGoohan’s oeuvre in small hints and humorous asides, as well as catchphrases like “be seeing you.” … It’s unlikely to prove as lasting, but the new series still manages to be thrilling.
The Los Angeles Times says:
… why anyone, on either side of the screen, should be particularly interested in [Six’s] fate, is never made clear nor compelling. Neither as written nor as played does the character ever seem solid enough to root for or worry over. … the payoff is weak, and more than a bit daffy. Little here resonates with this world. …
The Chicago Tribune says:
… frequently too choppy and elliptical to build up much suspense or dramatic impact. … At times, the new “Prisoner” is frustratingly cryptic. But when a character says “No one is without guilt, we just have to find out what it is they’re guilty of,” (in an episode titled “Anvil,” no less), it’s too obvious and melodramatic. …
The Chicago Sun-Times says:
… For art's sake, I tried to stick with the psychological thriller to the end, so that I could at last console myself by saying, "So THAT's it." But, my friends, that moment never came. … Maybe you can appreciate this series without the fear that you will be expected to write a thesis on it. But I urge you to heed my advice: Opt out while you can. …
The Washington Post says:
… McKellen is smooth and cool, with no wasted movements, while Caviezel expends the frenzied energy of a man assigned to swat a thousand flies. He's not interesting as camera subject or as presence, and his three or four expressions grow tiresome by the end of the show's first-of-six hours. What may keep viewers hooked is the promise of McKellen returning, just around the next corner. Caviezel as Six races from confrontation to confrontation, the script being largely a series of foot chases alternating with long conversations that ought to be shorter …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… "The Prisoner" is not compelling. It rambles too much. Its vagaries are not interesting, its unorthodox storytelling not special enough. And, in the sixth hour, when viewers do get some kind of definitive resolution to the story (which they didn't get in the original), the first question out of their mouths might be, "I watched six hours for that?" …
The Philadelphia Inquirer says:
… like "V" (so far), it doesn't seem to have as much to say. … turns out to be little more than a grim fairy tale, its ultimate message a bit muddled, but not in a way that makes me want to spend the next few decades trying to figure it out. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… Over six hours, "The Prisoner" tests our patience, demands too much of our attention and spends far too many minutes aboard a bus bouncing around the vast sand dunes of Namibia. … The conclusion is that a great cast and a singular location can't carry a scattershot script that goes in and out of focus. The novelty of the original, while it wore off quickly, made 1967 viewers see more than what was really there. The failure of its spawn is that while it gives us so much to look at, there's really nothing to see.
The Newark Star Ledger says:
… six hours is at least four hours too long for me to sit through something this intentionally bizarre, something where plot logic or simple human logic is often accidental at best. Perhaps I'd abide the weirdness if I were more invested in the fate of the surveillance expert known as Six … But Caviezel's range — or, at least, what he's allowed to play here — doesn't extend much past "sweaty and bewildered" …
The San Jose Mercury News says:
… undermined by a ponderous pace and a less-than-charismatic performance by lead actor Jim Caviezel … By the third or fourth hour, "The Prisoner" begins to get so monotonous and repetitive that you might start feeling like an inmate yourself. That's what happens when a concept has promise, but the numbers don't add up. …
The Boston Herald says:
… A tired, listless remake, AMC’s “The Prisoner” is six hours of sand, bleating, pleading and Jim Caviezel’s blank face. … When the answers finally start hitting in hour six Tuesday night, viewers may feel exasperated. Backtrack, slide the pieces together and it’s hard not to feel angry with a production that wasn’t more adventurous with its premise. It’s obvious why AMC decided to burn this series off in three nights. If it had aired it, say, in weekly installments, the audience dropoff might have set records. …
The Boston Globe says:
… Alas, McKellen isn’t alchemist enough to transform such a leaden piece of work into gold. Based on the far more entertaining and whimsical 1967 Patrick McGoohan series, the AMC remake is numbingly paced, heavy-handed, aimless, and humorless. Worst of all, there’s not a single character in the cold, visually cliched world created by director Nick Hurran who evokes sympathy or enduring interest. After three nights (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) steeped in the gnawing mystery that surrounds these people, you still might not care at all about the climactic What It All Means. … For the characters and for the viewers, the miniseries is a plodding excursion on the road to nowhere.
Variety says:
… features striking images and arresting moments but can't overcome a persistent lack of coherence. Granted, Ian McKellen could hold an audience by reading from a dictionary; it's just that at times he sounds as if he is, for all the good the script does in bringing clarity to the mystery.… the weakest link here is Caviezel, whose perpetually baffled character is deficient in steely resolve. Inasmuch as we see the Village through his eyes, it's a major drawback -- though the jumpiness of the script does leave the "Passion of the Christ" star with another kind of cross to bear. …
8 p.m. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. AMC.
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Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Prisoner

    by Titus05

    I've been looking forward to this for some time...but disapponted at the early reviews...oh and First!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:22 a.m. CST

    more Prisoner...

    by Titus05

    as far as the original's 'strange and fascinating conclusion'...I always heard that the original never really had a satisfying ending and was left very open ended and provided very little definitive answers...I don't mind leaving tsome things to the viewers imagination but I still want some concrete answers...and I heard that this new version at least provides a finite conclusion

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:31 a.m. CST

    ever more Prisoner...

    by Titus05

    looks like the NY Times is the only one that liked this remake...I have a feeling I'm going to watch it all the way to the end because once I start watching a mythological type of show/movie with an interesting premise I like to see it through to the end and judge for myself

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:33 a.m. CST

    16 minutes in and no other talkbackers...

    by Titus05

    so I'll continure rambling...at least the new remake is only 6 hours long...not too long to invest my time in even it it does end up sucking...after all I have watched every episode of Dollhouse so far

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:33 a.m. CST

    The Prisoner was a grat idea

    by punto

    but the execution was a bit disappointing after a few episodes. I think they just didn't know what to do with it, the last ~10 episodes were just boring. People at that time were probably fascinated by it, because it was so new, but we've seen that kind of idea developed a lot better since then. Which is why I was actually looking forward to a new version.. too bad it appears to suck.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:35 a.m. CST

    didn't McKellan read the script before saying Yes to this?

    by Titus05

    I never got into Mad Men or Breaking Bad so this will be my official cherry pop for AMC

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:37 a.m. CST

    ><

    by Titus05

    they couldn't get Mcgooghan so they decided to get McKellen instead...clever fellows

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Herc, "notoriously bland American actor Jim Caviezal"?!

    by BadMrWonka

    setting aside that you can't seem to spell his name correctly, have you not seen Malick's Thin Red Line?<p>I'm not a fan of Caviezel's personal beliefs, and Prisoner may well be a disaster, but calling him notoriously bland is really pretty ridiculous. <p>sorry to be the argumentative talkbacker, that's not usually my role, but honestly, Caviezel's scenes with Sean Penn in Thin Red Line are acting genius. a lot is in the editing, but still, bland? not a chance.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 1:53 a.m. CST

    I really want to like this

    by so_here_I_am

    But the chances of that happening seem to be shrinking. I'll still give it a go, though it'll probably end up being one of those shows that sit on my DVR for weeks because I'll "keep meaning to watch it."

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Of course Herc thought Dollhouse was good

    by lockesbrokenleg

    so, who knows?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:23 a.m. CST

    This is great news

    by smackfu

    The original is a batshit crazy masterpiece, and I hope the remake dies a slow painful death and causes financial ruin to whoever decided it was a good idea to try to cash in on it's good name.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:24 a.m. CST

    The promo clip looked interesting

    by estacado1

    I'm surprised that everybody hated it.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Bill Gallagher

    by prbt

    wrote Conviction, one of the best short TV series I've ever seen - it's up there with Edge Of Darkness and GBH. So frankly I'm baffled that this remake has turned out so crappy.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Didn't the main lead get nominated for an Oscar?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    And he played Jesus. So yeah, he's a "real crap actor".

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:58 a.m. CST

    i like caviezel

    by Waka_Flocka_Flame

    but there was no way they were going to match the original

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3 a.m. CST

    low key is how i

    by Waka_Flocka_Flame

    would describe him...not bland

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Caviezel owned in thin red line.

    by RedJester

    Always thought he would've made a great Superman as well.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:20 a.m. CST

    I guess there were no freebies then...

    by V'Shael

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:30 a.m. CST

    The original Prisoner

    by Naboo_the_Enigma

    If memory serves, I believe the original series was slated for 20 episodes, then, after the first episode was filmed, the series was cut to only 6 episodes. McGoohan had to squeeze 20 episodes of ideas into 6. Pretty tough thing to do! Then after the 5th episode was shot, the series was extended to 16, then 17 episodes. No wonder the pacing seems odd and the later episodes lack some depth. Still, it's amazing that even the later episodes are intriguing and fun to watch, considering they wrote them on the fly.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Music?

    by JADSTERSDAD

    Disappointed with these reviews, but I suspect I'll still find something to like. I'm a notorious softie for remakes! Hell.. I even liked the '77 King Kong! But I digress.. anyone have any news on the music? Who did it...how was it.. is it available...is it worth being available? This is important, given that the original series' music was as iconic as the show itself.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:45 a.m. CST

    @lockesbrokenleg

    by JAMF

    diablo twatface got one for juno for fuck's sake! oscars are officially meaningless.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 4:10 a.m. CST

    McKellen doesn't do TV?

    by ScotiaNova

    Clearly you missed his role in UK soap opera Coronation Street from a couple of years ago . . .

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 4:24 a.m. CST

    by under_the_radar

    Man, I was really looking forward to this one, but now I'm worried. I'll still watch it. The trailers looked great. The Comic-Con panel and footage was cool. But can so many critics be wrong? Hopefully I'll be siding with The New York Times.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Prequel to Prison Break?

    by jimbojones123

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:30 a.m. CST

    Do not listen to the critics

    by jimbojones123

    For a bunch of people that make a living watching TV, they sure come up with the least creative way to hate their jobs. Herc, it is not your fault, you can only drag out what must be the best of what is out there. I do not believe there has ever been a show to get much more than moderate praise. If I screened based on any of these reviews, I would not own a TV. What a bunch of spares.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Herc doesn't like? One more reason to watch!

    by lostbat

    And Caviezel is a fine actor.. Then again, we know what to do with most of Herc's opinions............

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST

    Jimbo

    by lostbat

    "The best of what is out there" .....Dollhouse... he praised that in to heaven.... We all know by now that Herc's opinions are probably sponsored..... I blame him for the death of TSCC... Maybe he can break a good show, but thank God,he isn't able to save a crappy show.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    they need that Iron Maiden song for the opening credits

    by The_Crimson_King

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Well this is a disappointing but i'll make my own mind up

    by RICHARD_GERE_RAPED_MY_GERBIL

    Was looking forward to this. McKellen in a remake of The Prisoner? Aces! I'll still check it out though.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:13 a.m. CST

    I'll watch far enough...

    by Bill Clay

    ...just to see the part where Caviezel meets the old man dressed as the original #6. If it hasn't caught my attention by then, I'm out of there.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    very disappointing

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    this was meant to help fill the gap to Lost, with only a few more eps of Dexter, Sons of Anarchy and Curb to go

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:20 a.m. CST

    problem is it isn't just a negative Herc review

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    its a lot of negative reviews, 46 on Metacritic, I suppose AMC can't always hit home runs.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:49 a.m. CST

    re Breaking Bad and Mad Men

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    For me they both clearly fill two of the positions for Top 5 Drama for 09/10, with Dexter, Lost and True Blood (though am sure something else will take its place early next year) filling up the remaining 3

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:59 a.m. CST

    I'll Still Watch

    by Crow3711

    But only because I've been so looking forward to it and they are being bold and airing the entire thing in three consecutive nights. If not for that, I might not bother. It's got to be more entertaining than Jay Leno or some other shit I could be watching the next few nights right?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Oh dear

    by performingmonkey

    Yet another clusterfuck, it seems. A few years ago there was another adaptation in the planning for Sky in the UK and Christopher Eccleston was rumoured to be lined up for the role of Number Six. Obviously it would have been lower budget than this AMC show but it certainly looks like it would have been better. Eccleston for a start would have been a brilliant choice for Six.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    the desert setting

    by SylarTheCylon

    IS SHIT, the houses -SHIT. They went completely wrong with the visual design of this thing, and just like in the V remake, there's not even a hint of an iconic musical composition.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:46 a.m. CST

    with all amc has done

    by palewook

    they get a pass if this is a miss. will still give it a chance to win me over.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    The prisoner

    by NudeandAroused

    Was actually a masterpiece that could have been incredibly relevant today. It sounds to me like the producers blew a great opportunity.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Mcgoogan is rolling in his grave...

    by Titus05

    the fact that they are airing it on 3 consecutive night means that even AMC knows it sucks...otherwise they would have spread out the 6 hours over 4-6 weeks

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Probably not gonna look at this

    by matineer

    The original is so good it was folly to attempt this. Why do it at all if the producer thought the original "old hat"? Don't feel I have to waste six hours just to see if anything is good. Sorry.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Do we have to have JJ's bland shit

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Startrekwars advertised on every thread? jesus...

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Why so much love for THE THIN RED LINE??

    by spud mcspud

    I saw it when it first came out in the UK. Haven't seen it since. And I was so fucking bored out of my skull by it, that I don't remember a thing that happened in it.<P> And as for Jim Caviezel... I watched OUTLANDER recently, and spent the entire movie thinking that if they'd swapped Karl Urban's character from PATHFINDER with Caviezel's character, OUTLANDER would have been a classic movie. Caviezel's too bland on-screen - and I suspect somebody once told him that his face being a blank slate onscreen is a GOOD thing, and he's followed that method of acting ever since. He seems like a nice guy - but that don't cut it when you're remaking a series as awesome as THE PRISONER. Even if I DID think the ending to the original PRISONER was batshit insane, and only made so oblique because the original writers had no idea how to end the series...<P> And as for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST - overworught melodramatic torture porn for Catholics and particularly guilt-burdened Christians of all denominations. You'd be hard pressed to even SEE a performance from Caviezel under all the prosthetics, from contacts to big fake noses to blood, hanging strips of flesh and everything else they put him through. And after all that, he gets hit by lightning while filming the crucifixion scene! And what's the end result of all his labours? A movie that morally occupies the same space as HOSTEL and SAW III. A repugnant, fucked-up gorefest of a movie that tells you NOTHING about the title character, but manages to screw up EVERY detail of the latter days of Christ's life while making everyone who wasn't a disciple a screaming lunatic or a spittle-flecked ranting psychotic who's there solely to inflict pain. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is one of the most pointless, worthless movies ever made, and that's the opinion of a non-denominational Christian of a tuberous persuasion. (Yes, me).<P> So... I'm still waiting to be awed by Caviezel onscreen, and this doesn't sound like the project that'll do that for me. I'd have made it with Chris Eccleston, Patrick Stewart as Number Two, and filmed it in a post-apocalyptic Milton Keynes, hence making it depressing as well as confusing. Kafka-esque, indeed. GRITTY BAFTA!!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:24 a.m. CST

    performingmonkey - My only problem with Eccleston..

    by spud mcspud

    Six hours of that Manc nasal twang would have driven me insane. Eccleston fits the character of Number 6 PERFECTLY, and he'd have been great - but that accent! I'd have wanted him to have been shot in the head in the last episode so we didn't have to hear it any longer...

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Stop beating up on Caviezel

    by gravybits

    Outlander was Fun, and Frequency is a great little underrated gem!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Ok since this new Prisoner is a bust, what is the

    by gravybits

    major spoiler from the 6th hour? What are the mirage crystals?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Yep, give us SPOILERS!!

    by spud mcspud

    Then I don't have to waste six hours of my life feeling unfulfilled.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    CAPE WRATH was a great little PRISONER rip-off...

    by spud mcspud

    Was on Channel 4 here in the UK a couple of years ago, and was really good. David Morrissey and his family got sent to a village in the middle of nowhere, on Witness Protection. Everybody in Cape Wrath has secrets - and they're all interconnected. Ralph Brown is superbly sinister as the authority figure, and the whole thing (I think it was 6 parts) had a superb ending where David Morrissey tries to escape - only to find how impossible it actually is to do that. Well worth a watch - and C4, isn't it about time you got going with Series 2??

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    the original was slated for 13 not 20 epis

    by brabon300

    and mcgoohan was forced into making 17 as itc had no idea how to market a maxi mini series<P> mcgoohan was ahead of his time and his series stands the test of time...this is a worthless remake

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Fuck Jay and Silent Bob

    by silent_blob

    Fuck them up their stupid asses

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Guess there's more to acting...

    by AsimovDiedOfAIDS

    ...than letting Mel Gibson whack you with a whip for nearly 3 hours then have his FX guys nail you to a tree. Who'da thunk it?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    From the sound of it

    by biglou114

    they should have followed McGoohan's wishes before he died, and cast him as Number 2. At least if he was involved he probably would've complained enough that the script would be better.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    spud mcspud

    by prbt

    Re: Thin Red Line, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I wanted to scoop my eyeballs out with a spoon, I was so bored. Easily the most over-rated film I've ever seen.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Thanks! I'm taking The Prisoner off my dvd.

    by johnnyangelheart

    I'm going to watch the Colts/Patriots instead. Woohoo!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    brabon300

    by MrPoop

    Yeah, I read years ago that McGoohan only wanted it to be 12 or 13 episodes but they made him stretch it out. You can really see that because there are pretty lame episodes like the Western and the Fairy Tale story near the end of the series.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Typical limey shit

    by Miguel De Barioz

    So ok The Prisoner - all my friends are soo into this program - my cousin he is working in the UK and he sent me over the video - 'its great' he tells me! <p> We all sit down to watch this fucking show and man I still don't know what the Diablo it was all about. My Uncle Sanchez get so angry with this program that he send my brother the email - 'Do not come back Jose!' he says. He so angry and my mama started crying so bad a small trickle of piss came out of her.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    DOA: The Prisoner

    by DickBallsworth

    Apartment walls, halls are small Government building site much too small These tiny boxes won't let me out These tiny boxes are too remote It's a screaming mess Television city dream Your robot's eyes gleam In my future dream Yeah hey! It's not fate or chance It's the money in the bank Burn their timber and gather their bricks Drive'em into the fire, the bloody dicks It's a screaming mess And I am the prisoner The prisoner, the prisoner Go! It's not fate or chance Kick somebody in the face Burn their timber and gather their bricks Drive'em into the fire, the bloody dicks It's a screaming mess Television city dream Your robot's eyes gleam In my future dream And I am the prisoner The prisoner, the prisoner Well I am the prisoner The prisoner, the prisoner The prisoner! 80's hardcore punk. Eat it motherfuckers!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    EVERYONE is Holding This Up to the Original

    by Deandome

    OK, it's technically a remake...but will someone simply tell me if this is a good, compelling show or not WITHOUT comparing it to it's 40 y.o. namesake? Herc, Robert Bianco & others can't make a single point without direct comparison to the original. Well, this ISN'T THAT SHOW, and it'd suck 1000X worse if they even tried to make it like that. So..pretend this is, like, a different, brand-new mini-series that stands on it's own...IS IT GOOD ENOUGH TO DEVOTE 6 HOURS TO IT?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    If producers don't want unflattering comparisons

    by kabong

    they should try producing something original instead of remaking, revisioning, reimagining . . .

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Thin Red Line is great in spite of Caviezel...

    by Rhuragh

    These reviews are very disappointing...I was looking forward to another great series. :(

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Just saw first episode of the original

    by MapMan

    I got it off iTunes last night.<br><br>I want to talk about the quality of the video itself. For a show that was supposedly "fully restored and digitally remastered", it is quite disappointing. There are lots of visual spots and dirt flashing on the screen. How the hell could it be HD quality on Blu Ray?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    got it off itunes?

    by punto

    maybe the screen on your ipod is dirty?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I love it when people yell at me on here

    by lockesbrokenleg

    that fucking couldn't complete a sentence to save their lives.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    lackluster at best

    by omarthesnake

    I've seen the first two hours, but it felt like 4. Dull, dishwatery, tedious; if it weren't for there being an original, it would just be a pointless waste; as it is, it's sad that they squandered such potential and McKellen, who is good even when going through the motions the way he's doing here.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    iPod dirty?

    by MapMan

    No. Watched it on my laptop. A&E own the rights to the videos and they don't seem to take much pride in restoring and remastering.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    A@E DVD's always look grainy

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I have some of the shows on DVD and they don't look remastered at all. I'm sure they must look better in BR.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Hey lockesbrokenleg!!

    by BillboeFett

    Seriously, heres the fuckin deal man, why in the hell would

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    WHAT?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    WHAT!!!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 5:54 p.m. CST

    iTunes

    by biglou114

    The Prisoner episodes on iTunes are NOT the newly remastered episodes that are featured on the Blu-ray. I can personally say that video on the blu is much MUCH better.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST

    WHO.

    by RedJester

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    locke, my god you're dumb

    by BillboeFett

    "I love it when people yell at me on here by lockesbrokenleg Nov 15th, 2009 02:49:03 PM that fucking couldn't FUCKING COMPLETE A SENTENCE TO SAVE THEIR LIVES."

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    I liken the big reveal here to the big reveal in x-files

    by Hercules

    "We're being colonized by extraterrestrials!!" <p> Really? Hm. Sure couldn't figure that out by the second episode!

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:14 p.m. CST

    the prisoner blu-rays

    by Hercules

    are gorgeous

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    "Herc Like[]s The Prisoner" says AMC.

    by Christopher3

    How does it end? I don't want to sit through 6 hours of this sub-Lost shit.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    boring as hell so far

    by animas

    im about to fall asleep

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    MrPoop

    by brabon300

    while the western was lame, it scared the network so badly, thanks to its anti war plot, that they didnt air it the first time around<P> mcgoohan had a very tight story arc as originally layed out, and had any of the suits in britain or the us had the foresight that he did, they wouldve allowed him to make his program>amazing that there are people here who find the original to be so boring, especially since it has been borrowed from umpteen times<P> no prisoner....no fucking lost

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    oh, and i agree about eccleston

    by brabon300

    if there is anyone who can fill mcgoohan's shoes, it is him...not the fucker who got the shit beat out of himself in that christian torture porn flick

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:38 p.m. CST

    no dr who talkback yet?

    by notspock2

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    TOTAL FUCKING DISINTEREST

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    I'm a lifelong fan of THE PRISONER. This bears no resemblance whatsoever. If this was the script Mel was working on, I'm glad it didn't get made. SUCH cosmic fucking bullshit. "The original's premise is old hat" - yeah, that's why people still watch it today. "Obsession with self." Huh? If anything, it's a culture of obsession with everyone else and not enough TIME spent on the actual self - we're too busy youtubing and talkpuking and backwashing to bother to learn anything about ourselves. Unexamined FUCKING LIFE.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:45 p.m. CST

    hey spymunk, what the PRISONER needs is

    by BillboeFett

    more naked Grecian wrestling :) Nothing sexual, mind you..

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    It seems like even a Mediocre PRISONER

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    would be better than 2/3 of what's on TV. But 44 minutes in I'm starting to think that's exactly what I'm watching... a mediocre Prisoner remake...

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    I love it when someone says they're a "lifelong" fan of something. Didn't ROVER scare you a little as an infant? Did you say "Be Seeing You" when you're Mom dropped you off at kindergarten? Did you etc etc...<br /><br />The only thing I'm a lifelong fan of is CANDY. And I have the teeth to prove it.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    cymbalta4thedevil

    by brabon300

    how about 40 year fan...which is what i am<P> and yes, as a kid, rover scared the living shite out of me<p> but this was one of the few shows i could watch with my dad<P> when i first saw the show, i didnt get the political, economic and social overtones...im sure my dad did, as we discussed them when i was a teen, and the show got a reairing on pbs<P> the genius of mcgoohan, is that he made a show that can and is loved by all ages, as it works on many different levels<P> and im still pissed that i never got a penny farthing bike for chanuka

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Cymbalta

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Actually, you should ask before being a sarcastic twat, but that's ok. I love you anyway. Actually, what happened with THE PRISONER was that I actually saw it rerun at midday one day while at my gramdma's house - I was FUCKING -FOUR-, dude. I'm 37 now. So, yes, I am a lifelong fan, and the first episode I saw featured Rover chasing and eating a dude as the first sight I saw in the show, and I was fascinated, terrified and I NEEDED to know what the HELL the show was. I searched obsessively for years, since the end credits (which I also saw) did not identify the show. Just showed that damn bicycle. For years, I quested, until the DC Comics THE PRISONER story, which showed Rover, and I went OH MY GOD IT'S THE PRISONER! and then I watchd all the episodes via reruns on late night local access I discoverd so yes I've been a lifelong fan.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Fett -

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    That was the point. Originally, the Greeks wrestled naked. I like the idea of people with NOTHING in-between them except the competition, not even an auditorium, just pure competition.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    Missing-ThusSpakeSpymunk

    by NudeandAroused

    I feel this has missed the very point of the series. It isn't bad, but it is missing some. hey, ThusSpakespymunk, what exactly did the rover do? Did it suffocate, electrocute, its victims? I loved the original and discussing it, but really couldn't figure out what exactly the Rover did?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:03 p.m. CST

    awful

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    hercules, are you serious man? fucking aliens? PLEASE tell me your joking

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:05 p.m. CST

    after watching a good 15 of the 17

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    episodes on COMCAST(free) over a few weeks period, it instant.ly occured to me HOW similiar lost is to it.I mean, OBVIOUSLY LOST had the presioner in mind, as it's just too damn similar.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Somewhere along the way,

    by veritasses

    probably very early on, they forgot that this was supposed to be for a cable TV audience and they let their personal "vision/art/creative spirit" get in the way of making solid entertainment... that or they have a misunderstanding of what entertainment is or lack the talent/knowledge/desire to make it... or all of the above. <BR><BR> I'm all for reinterpreting past works or taking creative risks but not if it means sacrificing the needs of the audience. I imagine most people changed the channel well before the first hour was up.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    idrinkyourmilkshake

    by brabon300

    the creators of lost have admitted as much<p> which is why i still wish they had dedicated at least one epi last season to mr mcgoohan

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    The producers of Lost have said many times

    by lockesbrokenleg

    that The Prisoner was an influence.

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 10:03 p.m. CST

    lockesbrokenpenis

    by BillboeFett

    anyways, just sayin..

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Brabon300 and Spymunk

    by cymbalta4thedevil

    Actually I ENVY you guys. I'm 40 myself but was well into my late teens before my Dad told me about The Prisoner, and probably into my early twenties before I was able to watch it when A&E showed it in the early 90's. I actually bought the Dean Motter comic BEFORE I watched the Show!<br /><br />You have to admit the image of young Spymunk carrying a Prisoner lunchbox to school and defiantly telling his teachers he will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered is an amusing one?

  • Nov. 15, 2009, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Blech

    by lockesbrokenleg

    At least Lost has decent acting and they got rid of the blank staring actresses.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Cymbalta

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    Oh, if there'd been a PRISONER lunchbox, I would've had it. I was a horror junkie kid, and anything weird and scary was good. As for what Rover did, he would envelope people and either kill them off or make them vanish or drop them off at the Infirmary. It all depended. Rover is Rover. :) JEZZILAIKUVEDDYMOOCHIAIKUVEDDYMOOCH!

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:46 a.m. CST

    dont be jealous of me

    by brabon300

    i got lucky, cuz i had an og geek as a dad<P> before collecting of anything was the norm, he collected pulps and scifi mags...used to take me to 2nd hand book stores to get me old comics<p> anytime a scifi show would show up on tv, he would make sure that we saw it<P> but no reason to be jealous of anyone seeing a tv show on its original run, especially since now on the net one can watch (and should) anything...and i really didnt truly understand the prisoner until i was in my 20s<p> i feel sorry for the current gen, who are being force fed bad retreads of classic films and tv shows...so few are willing to take chances anymore...i just hope that this current series brings people to search out and watch the original, just to see how prescient mcgoohan was, and what impact he and his show has had on popular culture

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 1:19 a.m. CST

    i made a mistake

    by brabon300

    the original, as seen by mcgoohan was only supposed to have 7 one hour shows<p> lou grade (the exec producer) wanted 26 so he could sell it to cbs...mcgoohan and his writers were able to come up with 17 total scripts

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    fucking yawn on this talkback..

    by jason baum

    this show is good. if herc had said he liked it, 90% of these opinions would be different. i hear a lot of broad negative jabs, but never any specific criticisms as to what they could've done different to please ya'll. so get to it: what would you guys have done different? (since we are the experts)

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 3:43 a.m. CST

    Actually saying and reviewing what happened

    by Gislef_crow

    Generally, I thought it was fairly clever, but flagged in the second half. There was lots of nice, sharp dialogue in the first part, which McGoohan et al. could be proud of. More when Two and Six are verbally sparring, then the whole "Ooh, you're having delusions" spiels. Two's going in for therapy was also amusing. I didn't find JC to be particular bland. There are moments when he's in overall angry mode, and I'm not sure I buy him as a "likable" guy like 147 says. But he has a certain charm in the cemetery scene with the doctor.<p> Visually, it obviously wasn't the same as Portmeiron. But it had a 50s kinda tract-housing similarity/feel to it that captured the uniformity angle.<p> I could easily have lived without the Two/family subplot. Yawn.<p> Overall, I would consider it above average, but not a lot of above average. And it's still better than 90% of what's out there.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Well,

    by The McPoyle Clan

    it wasn't change-the-channel-now horrible, but wasn't great, either. The A-frame cabins must have been cheap to put up. Making Six a tour bus driver and having Two drag his boy toy around? Hmm..

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Who the fuck thought this wouldve been good???

    by DioxholsterReturns

    we all know whats going on and the whole existential thing isnt new to us at all. heck even van damme did it. i knew from the get go that this one ill never watch because it will no doubt be boring and why would i? theres nothing interesting in the story.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    SGU is 1000 times better than this and the original

    by DioxholsterReturns

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST

    I wish everyone could understand how AWESOME the original was.

    by V'Shael

    I wish everyone could understand how AWESOME the original was. <p> But to be honest, part of what makes it awesome, is that *not* everybody gets it.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    fuck the original

    by DioxholsterReturns

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Prison Break was better than this

    by DioxholsterReturns

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Let's stay away from 60's british TV

    by paulloch

    The Saint, The Avengers, and now the Prisoner. 0 for 3. Why put Americans in characters who are clearly british in nature. Doesn't make sense with so many great Brit actors and actresses around. The original was a puzzle meant to be watched over again to mine for clues. The new one is a mystery to figure out why it was made. The trailers were boring.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Cape Wrath was Shit

    by A G

    The first episode or so were good, then like many high concept ideas, the producers/writers clearly had no idea where to take it next and ended up having the entire cast secretly *SPOILER* living in a town in the middle of a vast desert. In an age where everybody in the western world has instant access to GPS positioning this was ill conceived at best and lame at worst. Like many British dramas it was bogged down in the plite of one or two characters with everybody else an instigator. Failed to latch on to any of the things which made Lost so great, which, if we are honest, was basically the whole point of making it in the first place.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Fuck the critics. It's good so far

    by centilope

    Probably the only thing that bothered me was when he sprayed "RESIGNED", ooh so punkish, so rebellious, look at me I'm a rebel. I had no problem with Caviezel, McKellen was his usual great self, the rest of the actors were ok. I liked the black cab driver and the female doctor. The setting had to change from an island to a desert because we've had Lost and The Island that just recently, not to mention countless other shows or movies in an island setting before that. I could go on and on, but I just don't see anything terribly wrong with it, and I've seen the original just three days ago. This is different, sure, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Put down the nostalgia glasses and just enjoy it for what it is. Or not. Whatever. I like it so far.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Sounds familiar, like what they did to

    by vorlonkosh

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Sounds familiar, like what they did to

    by vorlonkosh

    Battlestar Galactica

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Quick Thoughts on this ReDo

    by ToMonicker

    Of course it's not going to be as awesome as the original Prisoner, though I remembered being quite flummoxed by the originals what the fuck wrap up. I think Jim is fine, but the style of presentation is cloying and annoying; cutsie cockteasing that will amount to shit. I think people can enjoy being off balance and "lost", but if they sense it's hollow and false, there is a big backlash when the conclusion is presented. Those twin towers got me thinking about 9/11 and some bizarro link there, but I quickly squashed that as far too ambitious and daring an idea to be broached in what looks to be a existential cocktease. Is that what I'm in for if I stick this out? A ho hum resolution and I'll quickly forget this ever existed? So far, I'm still willing to give it a chance.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Stupid and Muddled

    by Crow3711

    Nothing in that made any sense. It was almost entirely incoherent in its editing structure and narrative thru-line. By the end of the two hours I almost couldn't pay attention any more. I am so disappointed. This could have been triumphant, but they changed everything they shouldnt have and kept all the little things that don't make it good, just more muddled and silly. I agree with ToMonicker...its okay to be "lost" in a show sometimes, but not when it is false. This was false. This was just making this confusing because none of it held any meaning. The sense of time and place in this was fucking retarded. And making him not a retired or resigned spy...just some office drone...basically ruins any reason why we should care about him. Why should i give a fuck about this angry little man?

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Am I the one of the only ones?

    by Vriley2000

    So far, after only seeing the first night... I like it. I'm not looking for the stoic, overly angry portrayal of McGoohan... even though I really like the original series. What stood out most for me, and all I'm really looking for this one... is just how much a Mindfuck will it be? I just want to see how they're going to try and break this character, no matter his employment origins. I don't want it to repeat the original... because I think that's boring. At first I was thinking he was going to be some random guy off the street, and not even knowing why they're trying to break him... which would be unsettling, in an intriguing way. Even though they are connecting his presence there with his former job... I'm willing to go along with it. Okay, maybe the ending will fall flat... all the build-up will bring us to something ultimately unsatisfying... but I'm willing to give it a chance.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Rover was the physical form of the bureaucracy

    by kabong

    It engulfed its victims and restrained them until they exhausted themselves in futile struggle, then gently conveyed them back to the Village.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    HERE'S WHY IT SORTA SUCKED(the remake)

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    1) It just dives in(the remake) and unlike the original-# 6 -Jim Caviziel? went from "where the hell am I?" to just accepting it.In the ORGINAL show-the BEST thing was Jim McGoohan ALWAYS wanted to get out,NEVER trusted anyone and just seemed to never let the sitaution "get to him", he was cool as ice.In this one, Jim C. goes from wanting to escape to just going along with it.He doesn't rage or seem to want to rebell(and I know the original was from the 1960's,time of the counter culture and bein an individual)-which is NOT believable to me. 2) THE PACING Fuck me the remake is slooooow at time.Basically, NOTHING happened in the 1st 2 hours.And Jim Cavaziel doesn't seem real to me.I just don't CARE about him.NO ONE seems likable in the show so far.(not even the once badass-on-Jericho- black dude).30 minutes in, I could see WHY they all slammed this...it's boring! THERE'S NOTHING FOR THE MIND TO CHEW ON.Get on with the story AMC! Also, the jumpo cuts-fucking murder! Sometimes,I appreciated it(since the show is goddamn boooring..), but other times-it made zero sense.Especially near the end with Cavaziel eating a grenade..i mean, wtf was going on there? PRO'S 1) The look of the show gets an A+.The cinematogrpahy, and the palettes, all great.TOO GOOD ,given the lack of quality from within. I also LOVE the nods to the orignal (the store, the #393 wearing the costume from the orginal-could this represent the OORGINAL #6??,THE ROVER!!!,people driving funny little cars) and the new nuances they created. 2) ROVER!-awesome.I hope he's used more, and I am SLIGHTLY dissapointed that apparently they used the same effects from 1960's...ROVER is still a balloon.I thought(the next 2 eps can prove me wrong) ROVER would at least have been updated with c.g., BUT WHATEVER-it's still sorta cool. I dunno, I think they got some things totally right, and updated...but the acting and the plot(umm,VERY IMPORTANT AMC)..is jsut awful.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Simpsons' Prisoner episode, with McGoohan...

    by HarryCalder

    ...doing guest star honors, was a classic. "Number 12 knows the deadly secret behind Tic Tacs..." That and the original series are all that I will acknowledge. A&E can kiss my ass with this travesty. "I am a new tie verink."

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    I liked it.

    by HoboCode

    I've seen the original series and found the ending incomprehensible and lame. I liked this version though and look forward to where it goes. I thought they could have done something different for the Rover but overall found it very interesting. I especially loved the flashback scenes and look forward to where those go as well.<p> And and Herc the original didn't have a snese of humor. I twas unintentionally funny for McGoohan's hamball performance and its laughably cheesy effects.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Good or bad, it stems from the amnesia

    by Gislef_crow

    The main problem, or advantage if you're looking for a reimaging rather than a spot-for-spot remake, is that Six has amnesia here. McGoohan's Number Six knows who he is and what he's up against. The plot here is that Six doesn't know who he is, or exactly what he's rebelling against. It's a more cerebral approach (ironically enough), but it means he's a different, more outwardly passive character. Still, I thought he had his moments of defiance, but it's the defiance of a guy standing on a crumbling river bank. You can't defy authority if you don't know yourself. You can condemn it or approve of the approach they took, but many of the criticisms seem to stem from the different approach. And if they had stuck with the same approach... eh, they would have been condemned for being unimaginative hacks.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    prisoneer

    by loonatic

    slow but interesting ... they should've got tricia helfer to play number 6

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    He has amnesia? Sounds dreadful...

    by Royston Lodge

    Give Number 6 amnesia and the show virtually writes itself. Any half-astute viewer should be able to predict the basic story arc going forward.<p> If the main character's fully lucid, then the show HAS to be unpredictable, because the villains have to be unpredictable in order to pull the wool over the hero's eyes.<p> If the hero has amnesia then half the work is already done for the villains. No need to brainwash him if his brain's already been scrubbed out.<p> Imagine how lame LOST would be if the survivors all had amnesia. None of the weirdness on the island would seem all that weird to them.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Or imagine Life on Mars if the main character didn't remember .

    by Royston Lodge

    . . . that he was from the future. Like, if the only hints that he was from the future came from weird dream sequences or something like that.<p> Lame...

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST

    The Truman Show sounds like a better Prisoner reimagining.

    by Royston Lodge

    'nuff said

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Just looked up McGoohan's filmography on imdb...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...not a lot of stuff there I'd want to go out and rent, sadly.<p> A couple of episodes of Columbo and Murder She Wrote. Scanners. Baby, Secret of the Lost Legend?!

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Royston

    by HoboCode

    So you think someone with amnesia wouldn't find a killer cloud of black smoke weird? I don't think you understand what amnesia is.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    My mom LOVED the original series...

    by Triple_J_72

    I'll have to remember at Thanksgiving to ask her if she gives a shit about this one though.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    HoboCode: I did understand, but then I forgot.

    by Royston Lodge

    Comedy, thy name is Royston!

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Herc just described how I feel about that travesty "LOST"

    by gruntybear

    "[The] characters aren’t interesting and too often avoid asking simple questions that would occur to any of us in the same circumstances. Intriguing things happen occasionally, but not nearly often enough to sustain interest. Mysteries are presented, but their resolutions are seldom satisfying." EVERY DAMNED EPISODE OF LOST IS LIKE THIS!! EVERY DAMNED ONE!

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Shutup gruntybear

    by A G

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Unpredictable?

    by Gislef_crow

    As a number of people noted above, they found the first episode unpredictable. Hallucinogenic and somewhat incomprehensible mind trips.<p> But the character remembers lots of things: just not how he came to the Village, the events leading up to his abduction, and apparently some other parts of his life like his childhood.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    night 2

    by animas

    Don't know why I'm watching this. For a 6 hour miniseries, they sure are dragging this out. Maybe it should have been a 2 hour movie instead.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Some of the worst directing I've ever seen in my life.

    by RedJester

    The casting is fantastic, the story is cool, the location they shot it is inspired... it just really boggles my mind how they could of f#ck#d this up so badly.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST

    This show fucking blows.

    by KingNineReturns

    How could they have managed to not make this interesting??? It is so fucking boring, can't believe I've sat through 4 hours. Might as well soldier on through the last 2 tomorrow. Then it's a McGoohan marathon.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Royston: Yes, LOVE The Truman Show

    by KingNineReturns

    Along with Pleasantville, it's one I watch every time it's on TV and NEVER get sick of. Wonderfully layered storytelling, just the right amount of humor, and great performances across the board. Can't believe that movie doesn't get more recognition.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Truman Show shouldn't have been Carey vehicle

    by tangcameo

    Everyone expects humour from Carey not pathos. It was a great idea but just the wrong Truman.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 9:44 p.m. CST

    So without seeing it and based on crystal twin tower shot alone

    by tangcameo

    I'm guessing that this is a riff on the 9/11 conspiracy theory that all those who perished in the planes were taken somewhere to live out their days in total secrecy? That 6 and 73 and even 2 and however many else were all the people on those planes? Or is it an even more pathetic idea than that?

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Let's Point Out All The Retarded Flaws. I'll Start.

    by Crow3711

    If "The Village" is all that their is, why do Two and his Son have English accents? Really, the question is why do they sound different than anyone else in The Village? How could that be possible?

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    ..all that there* is. Damnit.

    by Crow3711

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Well, shit, they answered more questions in 10

    by lockesbrokenleg

    min then Lost did in 6 years.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:35 p.m. CST

    I am digging the hell out of this, no joke

    by BillboeFett

    No, this isn't a joke, no, I'm not trolling. I've never seen the original, so thats probably why. I ask you, if you've never tasted good dark chocolate, would milk chocolate taste like shit? Of course not. So I'm really enjoying this milk chocolate. I like the score, I like the mindgames. Yes, its slow, but I really enjoy the concept. Sorry, there had to be at least one person to break from the sheep to say he's enjoying this. Its me today.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    his fake brother

    by BillboeFett

    did remind of the Truman show

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST

    don't get me wrong here

    by BillboeFett

    I'm sure the original is FAR superior in every way... but, I haven't seen it, and I don't have it in front of me. This is on, its in HD, and its free. <p> And did I mention that lockesbrokenleg sucks?

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:07 p.m. CST

    hey jettl93, question for you sir

    by BillboeFett

    when is this coming out on bluray?

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Reminded me of DARK CITY

    by CaptainAxis

    Except brighter. Looks glorious in HD with the stunning set design and top-notch production values AMC has become known for. I don't know anything at all about the original, but these first two episodes of the "remake" hooked me with its intriguing premise and Gandalf's subtle performance. I'm just waiting to see what's so bad about the Village - I'd trade my crappy life to be just another happy number living in paradise.

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:24 p.m. CST

    What's bad? ALL YOUR FOOD COMES IN WRAPS

    by Fico

    Seriously, what the hell

  • Nov. 16, 2009, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Sweet as a honey wrap

    by CaptainAxis

    I'm surprised nobody has yet interpreted the Village as a depiction of the "evils" of socialism. Everybody seems to be equal, happy, and healthy. They share and get along for the good of the group. In other words... SOCIALISM AT ITS WORST!!

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 1:25 a.m. CST

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO OWN A PIG

    by BillboeFett

    to prevent ambient holes

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 1:27 a.m. CST

    CaptainAxis, Lucy is hot, those boobs man

    by BillboeFett

    I've watched 4 out of "6" now, and the previews for the last 2 look CRAZY MAD! <p> Did you notice no one ever pays for anything, there is no real monetary value anywhere? <p>

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 1:32 a.m. CST

    this is based on a graphic novel

    by BillboeFett

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 1:38 a.m. CST

    knowing Herc hated it, I should've learned my lesson

    by BillboeFett

    This fucking rocks. I'm going to try to figure out how to cap it in HD and save to my computer, that is, to be replaced if a bluray ever comes out

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 1:52 a.m. CST

    AMCtv.com at least confirms a DVD

    by BillboeFett

    is forthcoming.

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    flat out fucking bad

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    someone said it earlier, the actors, the locationms, the cinematography all awesome! but the direction ,the pace, the acting is BAD.REAL BAD.I was just trying to watch 2nd part(on rerun)-Im done!someone post the entire story tomorrow, please!

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 7:02 p.m. CST

    saw half of this preview clip show

    by MurderMostFowl

    I stopped watching because it looked like they were going to give everything away. I dunno... it didn't look awful. it Had several interesting dialog exchanegs and visual scenes that at least got me curious. I never saw the original so who knows. I'll give it a shot... hell I'm still watchin Heros and Fringe and they are both boring me to tears.

  • Nov. 17, 2009, 8:41 p.m. CST

    This is fucking terrible

    by GhostDad

    I gave it 4 episodes... I don't know if I have it in me to watch the last 2. I'm not anti-remakes, I think "The Prisoner" lent itself well to a remake, but it's clear that the creators of this show had no idea what made the original show cool in the first place. There's nothing particularly interesting about the village itself, it's just a town full of people whos names happen to be numbers and the mystery is bland as hell. The original wasn't so much about the mystery as it was about what Number 6 was gonna do to fuck up the #2 of the week. This is just boring, talky bullshit. Fuck this.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, midnight CST

    Well, that's six hours I'll never get back...

    by Mrhazard

    First part was decent. 2nd and 3rd were really really bad tho. Too many pointless subplots. What was the deal with McKellan's gay teenage son who has an affair and then kills a 40 year old dude that's a double agent for No. 2? What was the point of that? What was the point of the taxi driver's daughter dying? Or Ian McKellan acting like a hobo for no apparant reason for an ep? Or his son throwing his mother's pills in the desert sand one scene and then 5 mins later regretting it and diggin in the sand to get them back??? The whole thing just seemed so pointless.<p>And I'm not even comparing this to the original. Just as a seperate entity this is a huge waste. <p>Still it wasnt all bad. McKellan's good as usual. The cinematography was good. The two female leads were nice on the eyes. ESPECIALLY the one that Caviezal picked up in NYC (the blind girl in the Village)... She had a LOT of "talent"...

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    MurderMostFowl

    by BillboeFett

    watch the whole thing. I loved it. Very different. I'm glad I did. I couldn't figure out the big secret--I like that. I want to watch it again.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Mrhazard, answering your questions the way I see it

    by BillboeFett

    What was the deal with McKellan's gay teenage son who has an affair and then kills a 40 year old dude that's a double agent for No. 2? What was the point of that? <p> In the village, you are supposed to kill what you love. The father said it, the son said it. They questioned the rule. Now wait a minute, what about all the familys? I think it pertains to obsessions. Lusts, infatuations, things that possessed the people who desired them. More to come on this. <p> What was the point of the taxi driver's daughter dying? <p> The point was, since he was a bad father in real life, he lost his surrogate copy of his daughter inside the village. In real life, he said they would let him see his daughter again if he was good. I think there's a duplicate rule in the village. <p> Or Ian McKellan acting like a hobo for no apparant reason for an ep? <p> He did that as a test for #6 to wrestle his own interal demon to the floor. If #6 hadn't passed, #6 would not have been a suitable new #2. <p> Or his son throwing his mother's pills in the desert sand one scene and then 5 mins later regretting it and diggin in the sand to get them back??? <p> It wasn't the pills, it was the key to the pills-cabinet, and it stays locked at all times. So.. no key.. no pills to keep his wife dreaming, for the villages sake. The wife, the dreamer, creates the atmosphere and ambience of the village in her dreaming. <p> The holes were her increasing ability to not keep the facade alive. She was losing her edge. Time to replace her and Ian McKellen with a new dreamer, and a new #2. <p> The village is like a collective unconcious, where everyone knows everyone else. But in the real world, they didn't, necessarily. <p> The village was a corporations attempt to work on the subconcous of mentally ill/divergent people in order to "fix" them. Apparently it was happening all the time, 24/7. The pills are a link between the 2 realities, and also keep the dreamer, dreaming.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:55 a.m. CST

    MurderMostFowl -WARNING WARNING!!

    by BillboeFett

    Do not read my above post until you have watched the whole thing!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    Mrhazard, re: son and the 40 year old lover

    by BillboeFett

    the son was a figment of the mother's dream, btw. But he had to obey the same rules as everyone else. Obsessions, lusts, dreaming, these things were forbidden in the village, since they were most likely the things in real-life that had made the people divergent/mentally ill in the first place, making them wind up in the mind-prison (sanctuary?) that is the village. The other choice? Letting them be consumed with their passions/obsessions in real life and thereby destroying their own life. <p> The son's forbidden relationship was the type of behavior not allowed in the village.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    I thought the ending was interesting... but I'm still processing

    by Vriley2000

    I was thinking it was a "Matrix"-type place from around episode 2, with all the dream/memory connections (not that it's a bad thing), and "Schizoid" solidified it for me. But I was thinking that he'd wake up with wires sticking out of him, next to a thousand other people... I was glad they didn't go that far into Matrix-territory. Its an intriguing twist to realize that the "flashbacks" we've been seeing the whole time... weren't actually flashbacks, but they were the present moment, happening concurrently with the life in the village. And since the Village took place in a sub-sub-basement-conscious, it makes sense the time progression in the Village is different, because its a dream. And dying in the Village really just means "getting out" and being free. (Hence the old 93 saying, "He got out" and being right.) Because dying in the Village doesn't mean dying in real life. (though dying in real life does kill you in the Village) A nice reversal to realize that 6 was on the verge of escaping, as he was dying, and it was the Doctor that asked to keep him there, "saving" and yet trapping him further. I consider the ending a nod to an interpretation of the original... of 6 actually being "broken" and becoming Number 1. ("Six is the One") But I still would have liked to have seen him still reject it, and destroy the Village, freeing everyone's subconscious. Even if people are emotionally shattered, like the doctor, you'd think his ideals would be, "Better to be dead/insane and free then alive and a prisoner". So, I'm not crazy about the depressing ending... even though it does make sense to me.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Vriley, excellent synopsis

    by BillboeFett

    filling in the holes :) Keep in mind when the mother died in the village, she was still very much alive in the real world. The son, not at all, because he was born in the village. Anyone born in the village can never leave, (since they don't exist in the real, outside world).

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Bottom line, this should be about Number 6...

    by Mrhazard

    That's probably my main gripe here. That's why I enjoyed the first 2 hours. It was mostly about Number 6, Number 2, and the Village (which I always looked at as an actual character in itself)...<p>The last 4 hours seemed to be less about those aspects of the story and more about miscellaneous characters and plots I just didnt care about or weren't particularly interesting. I didnt care about No.2's son or his lover or the mother or the taxi driver's family or the redhead's childhood trauma or whatever.<p> Again, I was a fan of the original. When I saw the tv ads for this I thought it would be a darker, more sinister take on the source material but to me it's just a convoluted mess of an attempt here... I'm not saying it was a complete waste but I kinda wish I stopped watching after the first night...<p>Billboefett, what was the deal with the FIVE minute scene of No.2 buying cigarettes at the map store? I know he sets the owner up to be the imposter No. 2 later but I just didnt see the relevance of any of that... What was the importance of the receipt that the fake No. 6 kept asking about? Ugh...<p>Like most remakes, the best part is they remind you how good to the originals are. Probably gonna look at the original show now cause I havent watched that in years...

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    The 5 minute cigarette scene...

    by Vriley2000

    I know why it was there... just look at it from a director's standpoint: Because you've got Ian Freaking McKellan, that's why. Hell, I'll watch him chew scenery, digest it and crap it out the other side. He's that enjoyable. As for the receipt... 6 knew weirdness was going on (more then usual) and found a clue... and pursued it. When he found out it was for a knife (which no one is supposed to have), he's that much closer to realizing there's a psychotic running around. When its revisited later... remember that 6 has a conscious knowledge of the Village when he's in the real-world (he's more "tapped in", like 2). So when he repeats the exchange with the maintenance guy (who was also the shop owner), he writes the guy's response before he says it (because they had the same exchange in the village, in their sub-sub-basement-elevator-doesn't-go-any-further-conscious), which convinces that guy, "Oh yeah... there is something weird, guess I should give him a new card right now without the paperwork."

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    The inherent comedy of AMCs the Prisoner...

    by Vriley2000

    Just imagine the Summakor shareholder meeting. 2: "Good news, everyone! The Village is a resounding success! Our members are happier people, and their real-world lives are improving daily!" Shareholder: "Great to hear... but we have a few questions. First: How much are these members being charged for this sub-conscious therapy?" 2: "Oh, nothing at all. In fact, 99.9% of them don't even know about it. Isn't it wonderful?" S: "They don't even know? You mean you just kind of hijacked them?" 2: "Gentlemen, if you're worried over petty legality, just think of-" S: "No no no... it's not that. Let's get this straight: You're spending billions of dollars on constant surveillance on hundreds of people and giving them a valuable, positive life-altering therapy... and not charging them?" 2: "Well... I..." S: "Please enlighten us... how do you expect to turn a profit this quarter?" 2: "But... it's the Village... it's a... beautiful thing... isn't it?" S: "You are so fucking fired."

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    The cigarette scene, simple explanation

    by BillboeFett

    was part of #2's last little fun day in The Village, experiencing what its like to live there as a nobody, as a civillian, to not be recognized. He also participated in a guilty pleasure, which are outlawed in the Village. There's nothing hard to understand about any of that. He knew he'd be leaving soon.