The Prisoner


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Rating: Not Rated

James Caviezel as Michael/6
Hayley Atwell as Lucy
Ruth Wilson as 313
Ian McKellen as 2
Lennie James as 147
Jamie Campbell Bower as 11-12
Rachael Blake as M2
Renate Stuurman as 21-16

Special Features:
Unaired Scenes
Commentaries on 2 Key Episodes
6-Hour Film Shot in 92 Days: The Diary of The Prisoner
The Prisoner Comic-Con Panel
The Man Behind “2” – Jamie Campbell Bower Interviews Sir Ian McKellen

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Subtitles
Running Time: 288 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the series:

“Enter the mysterious world of ‘The Prisoner.’ Nobody resigns from Summakor. Once he had a name, a job with the mysterious spy-ops outfit Summakor and a life in New York. Now he has a number. He’s called 6, and everything has changed since he quit the many-tentacled agency. Suddenly he lives in The Village, a too-perfect paradise wretched with conformity. A society where all names are numbers. Where secret eyes watch over hollow bliss. Where dissent is rare and whispered. Where 6 knows he has one option: escape. Jim Caviezel portrays disoriented, determined 6 and Ian McKellen plays the serenely cunning Village overseer called 2 in a brilliantly re-imagined, six-episode sci-fi riff on the Patrick McGoohan series of the 1960s. Are 6’s experiences real? Happenings of a parallel universe? Imaginings of his own walled-in mind? Enter The Village…”

“The Prisoner” is not rated.

I really wanted to like “The Prisoner.” I’m a fan of Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel and I was in the mood for a sci-fi miniseries. But I simply could not get into “The Prisoner.” I fully expected it to be somewhat confusing, but as the episodes progressed I found that not only were my questions not being answered, but it got weirder and weirder. They were adding more surreal layers on an already surreal story. Soon enough I found myself not only not caring about the characters but not caring about the overall mystery as well. When the origin of The Village is finally revealed, it’s simply not a big enough payoff to justify investing 288 minutes of viewing the thing. It was just incredibly unsatisfying.

On the positive side, it does have a strong cast. Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel are excellent. Unfortunately they’re better than the material they’re working with. The production design is also quite impressive. The Namibian locations look quite amazing and fit the tone of the story well.

Who should watch “The Prisoner”? I’d say fans of the original British TV series since they know more or less what they’re getting into. I’d also recommend it to fans of Richard Kelly movies and really surreal sci-fi. Diehard fans of McKellen and Caviezel will also probably be more forgiving of the writing as well.

You’ll find a good selection of bonus features included on this DVD. There are unaired scenes as well as commentaries on two of the episodes. There’s a ‘making of’ video showing how they shot the series in 92 days in Namibia. I was amazed to see that many of the locations that I thought were fabricated sets were actual locations and real buildings. Also included is footage from the Comic-Con panel for “The Prisoner” as well as an interview between Jamie Campbell Bower and Sir Ian McKellen. Rounding things out is a featurette where each of the actors explain their characters and motivations.