Nov. 2, 2000, 10:21 a.m. CST
by Captain Amerika
The Prisoner rocks! And so does Nowhere Man!
Nov. 2, 2000, 10:43 a.m. CST
I think it's the best thing to come along in the past fifteen years. There's nothing to top it.
Nov. 2, 2000, 10:53 a.m. CST
by Captain Scarlet
The Prisoner is Television at it's most cerebal, perplexing, entertaining, and pretentiois best. B.T.W do any of you remember the homage to Prisoner on the Simpsons ? They ahd an episode of The Simpsons where one of the big white ballons trys to stop Marge form escaping a cult compound.
Nov. 2, 2000, 11:02 a.m. CST
by Robin Goodfellow
then how bad is new TV? That must make new TV the lowest possible thing on the scale of quality. "The Prisoner" is a great TV show; and, yes, many people are not going to understand it or enjoy it. But for those with discriminating tastes, "The Prisoner" is excellent beyond words. I beg to differ, Jerkwad. Old TV = pretty damn good. New TV = mostly mediocre hovering on bad with a few bright spots. Think about it this way: How many people are going to be gloriously raving when the DVDs of "Sister Sister" or "Moesha" come out? See my point?
Nov. 2, 2000, 11:49 a.m. CST
I've never seen this show, but if the discs were available to rent I'd give them a spin. More importantly, though, reading Moriarity's plot capsule with the "Number 6" business brought back an Iron Maiden song circa 1982 titled "The Prisoner," which quoted the "Number 6" line and told the story from the Prisoner's POV. Now I must decide whether Iron Maiden was a little more culture-savvy than I gave them credit for. It's still hard to come to terms with the big on-stage Eddie (which reeks of Spinal Tap-type absurdity), but maybe these guys had some modicum of gray matter.
Nov. 2, 2000, 11:59 a.m. CST
the simpsons had a brief homage to the prisoner in an episode when marge was escaping from a religios cult compound. theme music and rover and a guy getting smothered by rover, complete with face outline. and according to Hercules, there will a whole prisoner-based episode this season.
Nov. 2, 2000, noon CST
It's interesting that Captain Amerika brings up the Nowhere Man in all this talk about Good Old/Bad New TV. While not even close to the genius of Prisoner, Nowhere Man was an acceptable, intelligent show with enough riffs off Modern Society to keep it interesting. As well, it was dumbed-down enough for the average viewer, presented like a "Fugitive" concept (the current remake, oddly enough, is doing well). Yet, it went... well, NOWHERE, due to the fact that most TV viewers today are pigs at a trough that producers continually fill with Reality TV, Happy SitComs and Night Time Soaps. Of course, we are forgetting, though, that in its day, The Prisoner was extremely ground-breaking, and most likely an oasis in a sea of pap.
Nov. 2, 2000, 12:34 p.m. CST
Yep, not much has been good on TV in the time I've been watching but here are some of my picks. Mostly drama, some comedy, all quality:[br] Miniseries: "I, Claudius" - superb BBC production of the schemes, tragedies, and debaucheries of the Roman emperors and their families as seen through eyes of the 'feeble' Claudius.[br] "Hill Street Blues" - the first and best of the prime time dramas by Steven Bochco. Laid the groundwork for all modern cop dramas. I still think about the momentous death of officer Coffey (one of the major characters) as one of the high points in TV drama. [br] "Oz" - bar none. The most enjoyable ongoing dramatic series on TV today. Funny, brutal and with some of the best characterizations, this is supreme writing by Tom "Homicide" Fontana. [br] "Law and Order" - It's pretty spotty now and I liked the assistant DA Stone era best but a very good moralistic legal drama. My favourite episode is still the case where Stone resigned. I think the Hank McCoy character is getting a bit long in the tooth now. [br] "Simpsons" - how many times have you peed yourself laughing at this show? And it's not stupid humour. It's one of the most intelligent satires today. Last two seasons have been pretty bad though as all the good writers seem to have gone to ... [br] "Futurama" - I'm a fan of science fiction and I love Matt Groening. What more could you want? Bender is the king. I feel like Bender every day I go to work, in fact. [br] "Dekalog" - this was a 10 part series by polish director Khrystofh Kieslowski ("Red", "Blue", "White" and "Les Double Vie de Veronique") based upon the ten commandments. Each episode is a totally different story based upon a commandment (slightly different ones for the Poles, it seems). It's availble on DVD as a box set now. I've only watched half of them but this is cinema rendered on the small box. If you like his movies, these are very strong. "World at War" (documentary series) - I always remember being enraptured by the imagery in this WWII series. The Richard Attenborough narration always is grave, the black and white footage, and the way each episode has a theme makes this greatest of human conflicts as legendary as it should be. [br] "Star Trek: Next Generation" - just thinking of how good some of the episodes in TNG were compared to how terribly awful Voyager is now is enough to make me shake with rage. [br] just a few I could think of
Nov. 2, 2000, 12:39 p.m. CST
What about the episode of "The General?" Thought control through your televsion via a computer under the guise of a learning process. Food for thought. Bold and different, this show would never get made today because the mouth-breathing readers wouldn't understand it and it doesn't star Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio or the Flavor Of the Month Boy-Toy. Some things are better left alone without a remake and "The Prisoner" is one of them.
Nov. 2, 2000, 2:15 p.m. CST
To be honest, I didn't read the whole story, because I haven't bought the set yet, and I want to re-live each episode again. Maybe it was already mentioned, but The Prisoner was 2 things: 1. Unofficially, one of the first mini-series to air on television, and 2. An unofficial followup to Secret Agent, McGoohan's previous series, which people have long speculated to be the same character. The secret agent quits the agency in a huff, and BAM! he's a prisoner. Really fine stuff.
Nov. 2, 2000, 2:18 p.m. CST
Um, darthpsychotic. I enjoyed your tirade on "real" metal bands, but I feel the need to point out that "Roth-era Van Halen" predates all that shit--the hair bands and the real metal bands. VH's first album was released in 1978. And they were a great (if stupid) rock and roll band. Album for album, some great shit (up until 1984, and even that had a few good tunes--Hot for Teacher, Top Jimmy). Van Hagar, meanwhile, was a formulaic, overproduced mess--like recent Aerosmith, Diane Warren-penned shmaltz. Like it if you will, sure (though give me old Sammy Hagar anytime--Money talks, suckers walk), but don't try to hold it above the David Lee Roth material. At least they had a fire all their own (with the assistance of Ted Templeman). Different beastie. Oh, and as for Iron Maiden, yes, some brains in there, or at least a taste for interesting poetry and historical matters--Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (misquided, but nice to know they can read), Run to the Hills (heavy metallers in support of the Native Americans). And Bruce Dickinson was (is?) an Olympic-level fencer. Go figure.
Nov. 2, 2000, 2:35 p.m. CST
Living In Harmony was the western episode, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling was the one where Number 6's mind was put into another body and he was out of the village so he could find Selzman.
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:10 p.m. CST
by mad maximus
To the person above who commented on IM's choice of song topics....Actually the folks in Iron Maiden are rather well read. They've written songs based on the books Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, the life of Alexander the Great and such. That and the fact they are avid soccer players separates them from a lot of crappy bands who's members fell off the face of the earth and are probably residing in some rehab clinic somewhere...As far as older TV shows go, unlike todays audiences, they were written with the assumption that you actually had a thought process. Shows like the Prisoner, Twilight Zone and the Alfred Hitchcock shows were damn near brilliant. Show me a show today that would come close. Can't think of many can you huh? I can bet the individual who made the old shows sucks comment more than likely has never seen an episode. If they did I'd be real interested in finding out which one and what was so bad about it. Just because you had to think and pay attention to an episode does not necessarily mean it sucks, it more than likely means that it probably went over their head
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:15 p.m. CST
...though it's possible he helped inspire Johnny Rivers to write the song. The only "Secret Agent Man" that I know of is a crappy show on USA that came out earlier this year. The show that McGoohan starred in prior to the Prisoner, and which Number 6 is suspected of being a continuation of, is "Danger Man," where he played the lead role of John Drake. You're slipping there, Moriarty, though it's nice to see the mindless automotons of TalkBack, as usual, didn't seem to notice, and just parrot the same gaffe over again.
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:22 p.m. CST
by Pope Buck 1
The show Patrick McGoohan starred in before "The Prisoner" was called "Danger Man" in Britain, and was renamed "Secret Agent" (with the new theme song, "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers) when it was run on American TV a couple of years later. Interestingly, there was one episode of "Danger Man"/"Secret Agent" that was filmed on location at the same resort in Wales where McGoohan later filmed "The Prisoner."
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:23 p.m. CST
by Roger U. Roundly
...The one which wasn't broadcast by the network first time out. The one which scores points on several levels. Not the least of which is surreality, for, it shows No6 Mowing down jump-suited baddies in a tunnel with a machine gun, in slo-mo, to the tune of The Beatles'"All You Need Is Love"!!!
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:28 p.m. CST
by mad maximus
I do believe it was also known under the title "Danger Man", hence the confusion that would arise. Check out: http://www.csolve.net/~wleslie/rc/upmcg.htm for info on Patric Mcgoohan. BTW I put in my vote for "The Girl Who Was Death"
Nov. 2, 2000, 3:48 p.m. CST
I'm a huge Prisoner fan, but must admit that I have never actually seen Danger Man, and never heard it referred to as "Secret Agent," though I do believe its original title was "Lone Wolf." In any case, I guess at least the title of my post was correct, as it wasn't ever named Secret Agent MAN. In any case, I'm still waiting on my receiving both sets from Amazon. I've heard that there is an "alternate version" of Chimes of Big Ben (my favorite of the episodes) included on the two-disc second set.
Nov. 2, 2000, 4:13 p.m. CST
M. Max: Thanks for the reminder. I remember their take on Coleridge now that you mention it. And I can think of a bunch of well-written songs, most of them from, I think, "Peace of Mind." "Sun and Steel" was really well-written, and the song about Icarus was good, too. So there's ample evidence that they're a lot more thoughtful than any of the other metalmen of the 80s-90s, Metallica included. But even as I praise "Peace of Mind," I think back to that silly cover with the straightjacketed and lobotomized Eddie. I know that was their schtick, but it lames 'em up a bit. It's a shame.
Nov. 2, 2000, 4:42 p.m. CST
Lex: Don't diss Metallica. They too were once pretty damned good. Great rhythms, and some at least semiliterate lyrics. Enter Sandman, One... Yes, Dalton Trumbo (whose book Johnny Get Your Gun inspired One) may be (may) a lesser light than Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but... Of the latter-day metal bands, Metallica definitely is one of the better ones. --headbangin' kyle
Nov. 2, 2000, 6:14 p.m. CST
by Andy Travis
The Prisoner is great. Iron Maiden is great. Their new album is their best since Seventh Son. Metallica was great, pre-Bob Rock black album. Patrick McGoohan was the Scarecrow, too. It was an old Disney TV show a la Zorro. The chances of it making DVD frankly aren't very good.
First the prisoner. Greaatest show ever. Well, outside of the comedy genre, anyway. Although Buffy and Ultraman are both great. Iron Maiden...I still have Killers and Piece of Mind. Don't know what happened to my Number of the Beast. Well, I still enjoy Piece of Mind as a slice of my childhood. After that they just got too Rushy. But Killers--I honestly love that album. Man, that's a great record. Back to the Prisoner. I'm really intrigued by this idea that I've been renting them in the wrong order. Maybe when I'm done I'll start over again and watch them this way.
Nov. 2, 2000, 10:05 p.m. CST
Yes, it was originally broadcast with the "All You Need Is Love" Beatles song. The action wasn't in slo-motion though. Real time. I know, because it was the first year that we had a color tv in our house and I was glued to it when the "Prisoner" came on. The only episode they never showed was "Living In Harmony" because of the overtones reguarding the Vietnam war. Years later when I saw it, I never read that into it. It just looked like a really cool episode of "The Prisoner", western style.
Nov. 3, 2000, 1:34 p.m. CST
by Roger U. Roundly
Props for correction, Unc'.
Nov. 3, 2000, 2:04 p.m. CST
THE PRISONER was not very well-liked by the viewing public when first aired. Then as now, a lot of folks just didn't get it. THE PRISONER was unique, and it was no more an easy sell in the 60s than it is now. So don't overestimate "Old TV" and 60's audiences- things haven't changed.
Nov. 3, 2000, 5:12 p.m. CST
Thanks for the props and info. "The Prisoner" is a very cool series which makes people think. I remember when I was in 5th grade that year and I was drawing pictures of the Penny Farthing bicycle. This one mouth-breathing kid we nick-named, "Bighead", came up to me and said, "Duh, huh! A tricycle?! Why don't you draw a real bike, you baby?!" I just ignored him. One. because he was bigger than me. Bigger than everyone in school. Two, because he was ignorant and never would amount to anything. Which is what happened. Too bad television doesn't make more of these types of series'. Instead, we're fed on a diet of superficial sitcoms and mindless pap. I Dream Of Wynona: may Wynona spend the night with you. causing flowers to bloom and children to sing! Sorcerer: don't take that trucking job over the mountains. Sounds dangerous.
Nov. 5, 2000, 4:16 p.m. CST
by Regis Travolta
Cheers for Moriarty! This was far and away the most brilliant and innovative and intelligent series in the entire history of TV, even more clever than Twin Peaks I think. If you watch one ep. you should be hooked for all 17 and if you're not it means you have the attention span and curiosity quotient of a gnat with the brain of a gnat. This show was so far above the heads of American audiences when it first ran that folks just said "Huh?" like David Letterman's Dumb Guy character. Basically they watched it becauseit was a summer replacement series and there was nothing else new on! I hope everyone who's not familiar with it will watch every episode in order and revel in its ingenuity.
Nov. 6, 2000, 5:51 p.m. CST
There was no reason NOT to release The Prisoner as a box set like in Britian and France. Sorry but A&E lost my $$$. I'm not willing to wait for months on end to have dvds copies of this 17 episode series. For a little over $50 US one can buy the French Prisoner box set and around $75 US you can get The UK box set. Both are loaded with extras. But both are PAL R2 releases.
Dec. 11, 2000, 6:24 p.m. CST
Moriarty, Great review. I am also a huge Prisoner fan and was excited to see justice brought to this great series. I do need to correct you, though, on a statement you made regarding "Dance of the Dead." In your review, you wrote, "...He opens the box that