Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finishing the Prisoner

Oh man, the Prisoner has to be the most singular, peculiar TV show ever made. It is part spy drama, part science fiction, part late 60s head trip, part political statement and all around entertainment. How odd is the show? Well for one, there is great disagreement about the order in which to watch them. The main character is never named, but keeps only his number 6. 6 is played by Patrick McGoohan who had a great amount of creative input into the show. He was at least partially responsible for the heavy use of symbolism. For example, the use of the antique penny farthing bike supposedly is there to represent McGoohan's concern that technology is outpacing man's ability to use it. The tension between the individual and society is played out in many different ways, including the whacked out finale.

Speaking of the finale, fans apparently came to McGoohan's house to yell at him after it was made. It is really quite something and is not easily digested. Lock your doors if the Lost people try something this off the wall. There may be riots.

The show itself starts out in a conventional serial method but becomes increasingly odd. 6 resigned from the British secret service and a series of wardens, known as 2 try to figure out why he did it. Their methods grow increasingly bizarre and serve to comment on the oppressive sense of entitlement of the state. The last few shows are just crazy. One starts off in the old West and it is not clear where the hell it is going until the end. The Girl Called Death is a send up of spy shows and is quite funny.

AMC will shortly be presenting an updated Prisoner miniseries. Jim Caviezel is 6 and Ian McKellan, surely the god of all scifi movies now, is 2. There are only six episodes, but before you shout LAME!!, recall that McGoohan originally only wanted the Prisoner to be seven episodes, so it could very well be in keeping with the original.

AMC has all the original shows available to watch online. So what are you waiting for?

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