Be Seeing You…?

An interesting article in the NY Times today about an upcoming miniseries. On November 15, the new, updated version of The Prisoner will premiere on AMC. To be frank, I have many more misgivings about this than about the remake of V.

the_prisoner_2009

The original production, starring Patrick McGoohan, was a wild, psychedelic allegory on the place of modern man in what was then a society undergoing profound technological and social change. We are experiencing similar social change now, but is the medium of allegory going to be usurped by the necessities of commercial success? Is it possible for a TV series to end on such an ambiguous note as the 60s series did? Is the viewing public intelligent and open minded enough to cope with the profound questions raised in the original, such as ‘what is the individual’s role in relation to society?’ ‘What is the true meaning of freedom?’ ‘To what extent must individual liberty be sacrificed for the good of the community?’

prisoner_pfb1968

I think the answers will come too easily, the typical drama formula superseding the spirit and intent of the original. Plus, my cable company doesn’t carry AMC, which pisses me off. Only time will tell whether my questions will be answered, keeping in mind of course the Village philosophy:

“Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself.”

Be seeing you.

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3 Comments

Filed under 1960s, Epic Awesomeness, Sci-Fi, Spy Games, Television, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Be Seeing You…?

  1. dan

    I should point out that the network producing this, AMC, is also responsible for ‘Mad Men’, which is one of the smartest series going on right now – and with all due respect to the memory of Patrick McGoohan, the combination of Ian McKellan and Jim Caveizel isn’t going to leave this short-changed, acting-wise.

    Nonetheless, I do agree with you that I don’t see this remake working – while the degree of social change may be similiar, there’s enough of a difference to make some of the original premise unworkable outside of the social context of the ’60’s – the attitude towards hallucinogenic drug use being one of them.

  2. Flash

    My Dad – a fan of the original Prisoner since its first broadcast – has seen the new miniseries. He was extremely disappointed.

  3. Sean

    I watched the first episode yesterday. The production value and the amount of effort put in to make the village unique was excellent. The acting was a bit over the top but I will give it a few more episodes before I make a final decision. Thank you Rogers on Demand!

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