- TV Mini Series
An update to the cult favorite series from the 1960s, about a government agent who is kidnapped, and sent to a remote island known as "The Village".An update to the cult favorite series from the 1960s, about a government agent who is kidnapped, and sent to a remote island known as "The Village".An update to the cult favorite series from the 1960s, about a government agent who is kidnapped, and sent to a remote island known as "The Village".
The narrative structure is except for the last episode, also different. The original had concrete narrative blocks, which meant each episode had some clarity. In this series there is no obvious individual narrative block in each episode, the plots run around semi-randomly, only pose questions and don't answer them. The last episode is ironically clearer than the original series, but still leaves the viewer with some sense of confusion. Also, this series only works if you watch it until the end. The dialogue is ok, occasionally very good, but often seems a little too contrived.
Many of the themes from the original series remain such as identity, individuality etc, but perhaps because of the more modern style feel lost or half hearted. There is too much going on, and as a result it lacks depth. This series is from 2009, with a different acting style to the 1960s. Back in those days, stage style acting often appeared on TV, and the original series was no exception to this. Sometimes this worked, other times it was just over the top. Fast forward to this version and the acting is more consistent and suited to the small screen. As ever, Ian McKellen does an excellent job. Jim Caviezel is 90% there. His acting sometimes shines, but it lacks the consistent, excellent performance that you get from McKellen. It feels like he just needs more rehearsal and an injection of some spontaneity now and again. Otherwise his performance and those of the supporting cast is consistent, good but lacks buzz. It feels unfair to compare everyone in The Prisoner to someone such as Ian McKellen, but you just can't help it. In reality, he just lacked a comparable sparring partner in this series.
Image is everything, and the sets and locations are as impressive as the original series. Perhaps more menacing is the sheer similarity of most houses except for the Palace of No. 2. This serves to make the feeling of forced conformity clearer. The design team did an excellent job, with one notable exception, The Clinic; it just feels lame in terms of interior and exterior. There are some occasional references to the original series.
Overall, this series is watchable. Not bad, but just not as good as it could have been. The writing and episode structures are just too confusing and will put many people off. This is a great pity, as its ending is no less clever than the original, only different. Try to get to the end and you will get some reward. This series just tries to hard which is why it doesn't quite make it.
- Apr 2, 2020