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The Prisoner [Blu-ray]
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Internationally acclaimed actors Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings) and Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) star in the reinvention of the 1960's classic cult thriller. The six thrilling episodes tell the story of a man who finds himself trapped in a mysterious and surreal place known as The Village, with no memory of how he arrived there. As he frantically explores his environment, he discovers that its inhabitants are identified by number instead of by name and have no memory of a prior existence or outside civilization. Not knowing who to trust, Number Six is driven by the desperate need to discover the truth behind The Village and, more importantly, how he can survive and escape to his previous life.The Village is controlled by one man: the sinister and charismatic Number Two (Ian McKellen). In each new episode, Six (Jim Caviezel) and Two are locked in a battle of wits, as Six challenges the oppressive nature of The Village and battles against his captors. McKellen and Caviezel are joined by an all-star supporting cast including Hayley Atwell (Brideshead Revisited), Jamie Campbell-Bower (New Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre, Small Island), Lennie James (Outlaw) and Rachael Blake (Clapham Junction). In the 1960s, The Prisoner helped permanently alter the scope of the fantasy genre. Through the work of Patrick McGoohan, who created, produced, wrote and directed the series, and starred in the lead role of Number Six , The Prisoner is widely viewed as one of the most well regarded and intriguing cult TV series ever created. While the original series, which debuted in 1967, was a riff on Cold War politics, the Prisoner in 2010 reflects 21st century concerns and anxieties, such as liberty, security and surveillance, yet also showcase the same key elements of paranoia, tense action and socio-political commentary seen in McGoohan’s enigmatic original.Special Features:
• Deleted scenes
• The Making of The Prisoner
• Character profiles
• The Prisoner read-through
• Jamie Campbell-Bower interviewing Ian McKellen
• Comic Con 2009: The Prisoner panel
• Inside The Prisoner
It was always going to be a brave move to attempt to remake such an iconic and acclaimed cult television show. However, that didn’t stop this new take on the 1960s programme The Prisoner, which originally starred Patrick McGoohan as the man trapped in The Village, where people have names instead of numbers.
For the remade version of The Prisoner, the cast this time features Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, and the story has been relocated to American shores. The core ethos behind it remains unchanged, and across this series the battle of wits between numbers Six and Two begins.
So does the new take on The Prisoner deliver? Yes, but it takes some time to get going. Fans of the original will certainly struggle to warm to the first episode or two, but those willing to give the show a chance will likely to be far keener on it by the time the last couple of episodes roll around. Leading the acting honours is a terrific performance from Ian McKellen too as The Village leader, Two.
It’s no replacement for the original series, which remains the best, but at least this version of The Prisoner is worth a spin too. It’s got ideas of its own, some fine performances, and half a dozen episodes of solid drama waiting to be enjoyed. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
The presentation in terms of filmmaking quality is impeccable (and enjoyable to watch on Blu-ray). The "new" Village is a fascinating variation of Portmeirion (a major inspiration which compelled McGoohan to create his "Prisoner"), and I sympathize that it was tempting to use the location in Namibia to create this re-interpretation.
Of course the new Number Six equally tries to leave this Village but where the original series had episodes featuring themes that stood on their "own feet" the re-interpretation is apparently story-arc and mystery driven, trying to captivate the audience to learn what it's all about but also trying the audience's patience. I found the new Village to be much more dystopian, where it often seemed that everybody was spying on its neighbour. And already a little nonconformist act brought the cruel and merciless Number Two (excellent performance by Sir Ian McKellen) and the whole Village apparatus down on the offender. This was much more "1984" than the original series.
But even as a re-interpretation the inevitable question has to be what is there to justify the allusions to the original series?
Patrick McGoohan himself stated in later years that while the Village was some metaphor for society and how the nonconformist individual copes with it, most important was how Number Six (and all of us) dealt with the worst enemy which is not society but the Number One in each of us, hence the strange and metaphorical last episode "Fallout" of the original series.Read more ›
AND WHERE ARE THE SUPERB OPENING TITLES?
However, as the years have gone by the blu-ray has got cheaper and cheaper. Finally, last year, I decided to buy it. Then it sat on the shelf until a couple of days ago. For whatever reason, I simply couldn't get in the mood to watch it...partly because of my pre-conceptions about that stupid ball and because of the reviews when it was made.
Anyway, I finally got around to watching. I thought: "I'll just watch the first episode, and if I don't like it, I'll get rid of it". Ha! Not gonna happen! I watched the entire thing straight through and really enjoyed it. Is it perfect? No. There are a few moments where I thought it was trying to be too clever for its own good. It also felt a little rushed at one point (episode 4, I think). But, overall, I thought this was an intelligent, clever and thoroughly entertaining piece of science-fiction TV.
And the stupid ping-pong ball? Not stupid at all. Actually a pretty good explanation for that and used sparingly and to great effect. Who knew?!
It is an Americanised version set in a desert somewhere.
I thought the acting second rate, Jim Caviezel has all the charm of a plank of wood.
The stories are confused drivel and the first 4 episodes are boring.
I have stopped watching and will not see the last two instalments.
Really bad, do not waste your money, rent it instead and then you can return it.
DO NOT BUY this crap.
There are numerous plot holes in the story, and the characters are two-dimensional and totally unconvincing. There is a complete lack of logic to the series, and the ending is most disappointing. I thought I would watch it right through, hoping it would improve, but instead it just worsened and frustrated me no end! In fact, I still wonder how in heaven's name I could have allowed myself to watch the entire fatuous series! I suppose it was because I wanted to know how it would end, but it truly wasn't worth it.
For example: in one episode, one of the main characters is arrested and sent to the Tunnels. She is then subsequently rescued - but it isn't explained fully how - and in the next episode, she is right back in her job as a doctor, with no police looking for her for having escaped! Logical? I think not! Then there is the incident where 6 gets a deadly "virus" called "Village Death". Now I ask you: if a man is deathly ill with an incurable disease, would he be stumbling around the village, going from aimless place to aimless place instead of lying in a hospital bed? Weird? Definitely. Idiotic? Without a doubt. Feverishly foolish? Hahaha - need I answer that?
In general, this series isn't worth buying on blu-ray, although the scenes of the Namib desert are beautiful, but that's about it. The less said about this pathetic series the better. Don't let it take you prisoner - give it a complete miss! :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting series, even though the links with the original British series are only a fewPublished on 24 Aug. 2014 by Alessio Zanelli
The original 1960's concept came about from a suggestion at the end of WW2 by the CIA and MI6 as to what to do with persons that held knowege of sensitive information? Read morePublished on 20 Dec. 2013 by SilverBack
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". Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2013 by Simon
This show is loosely based on the prisoner tv show from the sixties.This is a intriguing show that during the last few episodes most people will figure out where the village is. Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2013 by Michael Dobey
Great story! I never saw the original so cannot compare. I enjoyed this series and would recommend to anyone. Read morePublished on 30 May 2013 by Craig F
Just finished watching this again, after the TV transmission, and the Blu-Ray quality is breathtaking (every grain of sand, individual specks of dust on a shelf etc. Read morePublished on 10 Oct. 2010 by O. R. Peake