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The Prisoner – mark 2.0

I watched the first episode of the new version of the prisoner, and was obviously shocked at how impossibly bad it is, on almost every level, and even more shocked that Ian McKellan would work on something so impossibly bad! Having said that I’m still going to watch the second episode, to make sure it doesn’t suddenly get good.

Obviously from my perspective, its tampering with something that is very close to my heart, as i remember sitting up till all hours watching it in my teenage years on rte 2.  It was so wonderfully kitsch but the style and feel of it was great, and it did just enough to make sure you never knew where it was going. The American version just seems to lack that, along with any sense of humor, and has a main character who i took an instant dislike to (possibly because he wasn’t Patrick McGoohan). It seems like they have thrown a lot of cash at it, with an expensive looking sets and a huge cast, but the writing really lets it down, along with the constant use of jump cuts, between images from his past and other flotsom.

I know the basic reason why anything is made or remade is to make cash, but you have to ask the question though, should this have ever been made? Has any remake ever surpassed its original?

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5 replies »

  1. Hm, I watched the repeat last night, and I think you’re pretty much right – I can’t really see the point in having re-made it, and sadly the things that made the original so interesting and enduring seem to have gotten lost in translation, and it looks set to be a pretty poor series.

    There seems to be a new genre of TV series, perhaps inspired by M Night Shyamalan’s films to some degree, where you have to endure six or seven series of snails pace plot development, peppered with silly twists, before anything actually happens. The original Prisoner series had an element of this – the point being the initial confusion, ensuing fury, and so on that 6 went through – but it was all done through good writing and cleverly repeated devices, and subtle acting. The new series seems set to be pretty derivative stuff, with daft jump cuts, and silly direction being the main features, rather than the writing and acting.

    Kind of funny that they cast Jesus as 6 though.

  2. I didn’t even know it was Jesus, until you said it, as i haven’t put myself through that ordeal of Mel Gibson, and hope not to!

    i’ve no problem with the drip feed plot style, as long as the individual episodes are entertaining and well acted, just something like this is such a mess. It seems like the filmed a bunch of scenes and then tried to decide how to wedge them all together.

    Can’t see it lasting past the six expidoes, even that seems a long run!

  3. Yeah, I don’t think I actually made it all the way to the end of ‘The Passion’, but I did at least give it a whirl. Unbelievable that Gibson made it, even more unbelievable that it did so well (I realise the irony of saying that having seen it…). Anyway, Cavazeil’s career seems to have stalled pretty much since then, which is a shame, he was in some good stuff when he was younger. Prisoner won’t redeem him…

    I don’t like the drip feed style particularly, you end up with what should be the equivalent of an episode of The Twilight Zone spanning over several years, with unimportant sub-plot after unimportant sub-plot grafted on to the body of the story, most of it not particularly well written or acted.

    Six episodes is a long, long run for somethign as barren as Prisoner seems to be. Annoying.

  4. The Prisoner was unique, and one man’s vision. This was doomed to failure. I have them on D.V.D. if you want to borrow them.

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