12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A revisioning - not a remake,
This review is from: The Prisoner Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Yes, I am a fan of the original Prisoner BUT the very fact this was not presented as just a straight remake but a "revisioning" I thought was intriguing. So I tried my best to put all preconceptions to one side, sat back and watched......
I think it was in the 2nd episode, when No 6 was driving endlessly around endless dunes, that I found my eyes dropping and my wife saying to me - it's not actually very entertaining to watch, is it?
What do you mean, entertaining? Surely that's not the point of this kind of programme!!
Well actually yes, some of us do watch to be entertained - stimluated, intrigued, challenged yes, but all these things can be done in an entertaining format - if the production is good enough. On the weekend that the final episode of the new Prisoner was shown, we also had the final episode of Ashes to Ashes. One had us moving between sympathy, fright, doubt, anger, and sorrow at or for the main characters and their predicament; it had great settings; it was fast paced; it had some great acting; and it was thoroughly entertaining.
The other was the Prisoner ("revisioned").
I found I soon forgot this was called the Prisoner and watched it on its own merits - though I liked the occasional references to the original (eg the penny farthing in the nightclub, the titles of each episode). But unlike the original there was no action, no entertainment. The story moved incredibly slowly - there were only 6 episodes but it felt like there were 17. Jim Caviezel was as others have said incredibly wooden. While Ian Mckellen is incapable of a bad perfomance, he was not really sinister (except when eating cherry cake!!) Even the fantastic setting in Africa - search for Swapokmund and you'll see some fantastic images on line - I found wasted. There was no feeling - and here I am comparing with the original - of an individual being trapped and fighting to escape or vanquish his captors.
The best plot line involved the emotional entanglement of No 6 and two women in the Village, and back in his previous life.
There were some good moments, it was well produced, but it was not good enough and I suspect if it did not borrow the name of the original it would have sunk without trace. In fact I doubt in 30+ years time there will be many people who remember the Prisoner revisioned. Unlike the original....