RevolutionSF has no watercooler, and we might not stand around it and talk if we did. But here we are anyway, avoiding work by talking about nerdy things. This time, the new version of Prisoner.
Speaking of a subtle segue into the original series, you can win a new DVD set of the whole thing from this very site! Enter now. It's in your best interest.
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Really, that's all I can say. Jim Cavaziel is entirely wrong to play Six. The role requires someone stubborn and determined and wiley. All Cavaziel projects is sullen and cranky and average. As a result, I'm not rooting for him to escape the Village because I don't care enough about him to want him to escape.
The supporting cast is fine, particularly the incomparable Ian McKellan as Two and Lennie James (late of Jericho) as a cab driver. But overall, I have a galloping case of the I-don't-give-a-shits.
Oh, and as nice as the South African locations are, it ain't no Portmeiron. Keith DeCandido
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As I was watching it: "Why did this need to be remade?" Not a good start to the whole experience.
It was, well, interesting. For me, it hardly compared to the original, as it removed a lot of the surreal concepts of McGoohan's version and replaced them with a more "realistic" take on the whole concept. Considering the end of the original version, that removes a lot of what made the original version so interesting and fascinating.
For the AMC version, everything just seemed to be played straight and to the point, and for me, that was rather dull.
Ian McKellan: Is this guy ever bad? He's the best thing in the show. He's the reason to even watch it.
Jim Caviezel: Usually a fairly intriguing actor. Here, he was decent, but seemed to trivialize the material. Maybe that's just me missing McGoohan, who was riveting every moment of the original.
Result: I wasn't that impressed. The original is too iconic and too memorable (to me at least) to be remade. I was hoping for a situation like the new Star Trek, where the reboot was as interesting as the original, for different reasons, but that didn't happen here. I just kept finding myself comparing the new version to the old, and being disappointed.
I am really interested in seeing the ending, because they seem to be taking out all of the heady, trippy McGoohan-laced ideals about individual freedom and conforming to society and all of the cool stuff that the original dealt with, along with the surreal imagery.
I just don't see this one ending with "'Dem Bones" and "All you need is love" blasting in the background as #6 realizes his actual place in the Village.
For me, it's a 3/10 for the start. We'll see if it gets better, but it won't reach any higher than a 5 or 6 for me. Too much watering down of the original. This one simply pales too much in comparison. -- Jay Willson
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I agree that Cavaziel is just dull here. Where is the intensity and wit that McGoohan had? It should feel like a chess game between 6 and 2.
They should have done this as Prisoner Break and had Michael Scofield escaping the village. -- Tony Wilson
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Remaking The Prisoner is like remaking Casablanca; it's a story so based
upon a time and a place (the cosmic sixties) and upon the performance of one
actor that anything else will always be a shoddy second. -- Ian Watson
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I honestly think you have to separate the original and the remake out into completely siloed entities much like the relaunch of Battlestar Galactica. I am a HUGE fan of the original series and pound it down everyone's throat as much as I can. The AMC version really isn't bad in the least bit and fits the overall political gestalt we live in today as I feel the original did for its time.
Completely agree about Ian McKellan, he is the best thing about the show and I cannot think of a performance of his that lacks.
Jim Caviezel: agree about his being a fairly intriguing actor, but you really can't compare him to the McGoohan 6 brimming with borderline insanity. Again, his reaction to the situation fits with the world today.
Would this have been better had the Mel Gibson concept with McGoohan directing been better as a direct sequel to the original? Probably, however would it have appealed to today's audience? I question that a lot as I pour through reviews.
The followers of the first show are mostly disappointed with the new series, but are they the intended audience? I highly doubt it. Everything about this series screams "this is not your dad's Prisoner" and I think its a good thing. -- Robert E. Mansperger
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