Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 22, 2011

A Good Friday gone mediocre: that’s one Village I won’t revisit.

But the Middle Ages look like fun. Remember to take the shotgun and the chainsaw. (More about in my next post.)

It was Somerset Maugham who once said that whenever a book created a stir upon its publication he always waited a year before he read it.  It saved him, he explained, a lot of unnecessary reading.

Having waited a year to view the remake of Patrick McGoohan’s classic series The Prisoner I’m grateful I gave only six hours to this pointless and unnecessary series.

It took a pasting when it was shown in the US and UK; so far as I know, it wasn’t broadcast in Australia. Maybe it got a run on SBS in the midnight to dawn slot – unlikely any of the commercial networks would have touched it.

There were moments of genuine drama and tension but in the main it was lost and meaningless. Lots of fast cutting to substitute for a storyline. And the references to the original come across more like sneers than respectful nods. I particularly disliked the opening scene, when an old man dressed like McGoohan’s own Number Six is hunted down and shot. Even worse was the final scene in which Jim Caviezel’s Six succumbs to the lures of Two. FFS. The original was the story of a man who “has revolted. Resisted. Fought. Held fast. Maintained. Destroyed resistance. Overcome coercion. ” The final episode was ambivalent about the freedom he achieved – the final scene brought us right back to the opening of the series – but nonetheless optimistic. The new version’s ending completely inverts that sentiment.

I didn’t mind the acting, although Ian McKellen’s Two never seemed vulnerable. McGoohan’s Number Six broke a different Number Two in just about every episode – here he is destroying Patrick Cargill’s sadistic Number Two in a classic Prisoner moment.

The modern 2 was never within a thousand miles of that sort of assault.

The Prisoner 2009 wasn’t a remake – it was an offence. This piece from Bleeding Cool echoes my dissatisfaction entirely. Prime blasphemous quote: “I was so bored I tried to imagine this as a kind of afterlife sequel to THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST where Number Jeezus is trapped in a kind of yuppy Purgatory. Even that didn’t make it any less boring.” Quite so. I myself succumbed to fast-forward temptation during the later episodes.

All that said, there were compensations. One was Ruth (yes, here she is at last, Mickel!) Wilson. This pic doesn’t do her remarkable looks justice. But oh, those eyes…

ruth_wilsonfor TMI

Hayley Atwell was also prominent. And so, finally, the motivator that premiered more than a year ago at SCS.

This… this, on a holy day, is the stuff that puts defrocked altar boys on the fast track to hell.


  1. Hi,
    I have never heard of the series. I don’t normally watch things like that, sometimes they just never finish, and I’ve been caught a few times, so now I don’t bother. It drives me mad when series just go on and on, obviously I hate soapies. 🙂

    Happy Easter, I hope you have a great long weekend.

    • Mags, I recommend you seek out the original series. Probably not the sort of show your local Blockbuster will keep – try an arthouse or alternative establishment.
      It ran for only 17 episodes so have no fear of being caught on a ride that never ends. The closing episode might leave you with more questions than answers (hahaha) but that was exactly McGoohan’s intention.
      Happy Easter to you too. Another movie this evening, and tomorrow it’s Odd Jobs Day.

  2. […] needed something to wash the Prisoner remake out of my brain. Something with wit, and action. And a reasonable portion of […]

  3. […] involves hairy people and folks with unusual dental work.  In other news sponsored by Vegemite™, GN6 saved all of us a lot of time by viewing the remake of The Prisoner and letting us know it is UNWATCHABLE.  I had high hopes […]



      • Being all shouty about stuff puts the official IT’S OFFICIAL stamp on just about everything.

  5. Yeah, the only remotely worthwhile thing about this series was Hayley Atwell. Well, maybe Ruth Wilson from certain angles, but mostly Hayley Atwell. Bouncy castle wedding dress ftw.

    Good call on the references to the old series seeming more like sneers, too — that’d be in line with McKellan’s view of it, if interviews are to be believed.

    • “Ruth Wilson from certain angles”????
      I hope for your sake, Wes, that our mutual friend never sees that!
      But Hayley in that wedding dress… mmmmmmmmm

      I must look up McKellan’s interviews for his comments. I read somewhere that he was doing a blog or visual diary sort of thing while making the series. Figured he would be talking it right up.

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