Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Prisoner - Fabulous or Flop?

I started watching the US remake of The Prisoner last week, but after watching the first episode on ITV, I was left undecided as to what to make of it.

As with my previous post about the V remake, I had heard lots of chatter from US fans, and some UK fans that had downloaded it, that it was a poor copy and just didn’t stand up to the original. Putting all that aside, and wanting to make my own conclusions, I have been watching with an open mind.

So, here I am, episode 2 and I think I’ve found what was making me feel so undecided about it. With the original series there was a certain feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia that came from the filming in Portmeirion, and the general Cold War era that influenced the writing and production. 

In the US remake there is very much a feeling of isolation, but not that condensed and enclosed space. Also the paranoia seems to be different. In the original, for me, there was a clear feeling of “I don't know who I can trust” but in this I get a clear “trust no one” which changes the dynamic of the program. This may change as the series progresses, but we shall see.

So, I have made my mind up. I like this remake of The Prisoner. I think Sir Ian McKellen is an inspired piece of casting as No 2, and it is a truly new delve into the tortured human psyche of supposedly knowing you’re not mad, but everyone and everything around you is convincing you that you are. And they still have Rover! Bigger and louder than the original, but still has the chill factor for me!! And they are still right hand drive… Good to see that the Yanks haven’t totally got rid of all the Brit influences!

I hope that The Prisoner does get a shot at a second series, as I’m interested to see where they take it! But knowing how our US friends like to operate, No 6 will eventually escape… For real… Which will be a shame.

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