Hey folks, Valkor here. The folks at Warner Home have dropped onto TOV a remake of a classic BBC series, reimagined for an American audience called "The Prisoner". Though I've never seen the original, this new series… yea I'm kinda into it.
The story of The Prisoner is about a man called Six (Jim Caviezel) who is somehow trapped in a place called "The Village", where everyone who resides there is a number. How he got there, why he's there, who put him there, and how will he ever get out are questions that are answered as we watch the six hour long mini-series. Ian McKellen plays 2, who is the leader of The Village, who also wants Six to accept the fact that he's there and this is the place for him. However Six isn't taking to any of the conditions 2 puts upon him such as giving him a family, friends, a lover, etc. Six just wants to get out the hell out of there and back to his own life. During his attempts he'll begin to unravel just what The Vilage is all about and discover exactly why he's there. Plus a great supporting cast of characters will either aid or hinder the process; there's 147 (Lennie James), who is actually the second character from the village that Six meets (the first is 93, whom he meets in the desert when he arrives), who is a taxi driver and family man. 313 (Ruth Wilson), a doctor, who also wants to figure out why Six acts the way he does and about the "other world" that he constantly talks about. We have 11-12 (Jamie Campbell Bower), the son of 2 who begins to have doubts about The Village and his existence. Finally we have M2 (Rachel Blake), the mother of 11-12 and wife of 2. Though most of the series she is bed ridden, she's plays a vital role in the existence and possibly destruction of The Village.
But the big questions are - what exactly is The Village? Where does it exist? And what does it all have to do with Six and Summakor? You'll get your answers and more when you settle back to watch "The Prisoner", which is one hell of a sci-fi, psychological ride.
Extras on the disc include:
A Six-Hour Film Shot in 92 Days: The Diary of The Prisoner – This is a behind the scene look at the process of making the series from set pieces to costumes, to how they made Capetown, Africa into "the Village" as well as parts of NY.
Beautiful Prison: The World of The Prisoner – If after you watch the series and you still don't quite get it, then you will after watching this piece, which delves into the heart of the story and basically sums it all up, so that you have a better understanding of just what the hell is going on. Key characters discuss the roles of their characters and well as those who work behind the scenes discuss areas and situations that are critical to the story. Trust me, this is a must watch, directly after you watch the films.
The Prisoner Comic-Con Panel – This Q and A features some of the actors, the director and writer of the series and they discuss the series. It's ok, Caviezel looks rather uncomfortable and Lennie James looks like he's about to pass out. Watch Beautiful Prison instead. The Man Behind 2 – Jamie Campbell Bower goes one on one with Sir Ian McKellen and gets his thoughts on the series and about his acting career. It's an interesting piece and uhhhh… Ian and Jamie look rather uhhhh cozy?
I've refrained from doing an episode synopsis and I think you'll agree, it's better to just dive in rather than me breaking it down for you. With that out of the way, let's get into the meat of this review shall we?
Honestly, I loved this series, I'm sad I missed it on television and I think I would have enjoyed it even more because of the commercial breaks (if it had any) and the "to be continues". It would have definitely heightened the suspense level, because I'd have gone crazy wanting to know just what the hell is going on. However The Prisoner is the kind of series that instantly draws you in and you don't wanna stop until you know how it ends. It's rare that I will sit through a series on DVD in one sitting; sure it's only 6 hours but for me that's usually six hours broken up into 2, maybe 3 days.But in this case I really wanted to know more about the Village, why Six was there and what role 2 played and when I found out, I was content. Great job! Jim Caviezel is a wonderful actor and brings his A-game to this one. And if you ask me, if Christian Bale ever drops out of playing Batman, then he should be his replacement because, damn this man is good. Sir Ian McKellen hams it up nicely as 2, who's not exactly evil, but deliciously clever, and very diabolical. I love how the two characters go head to head, with neither really gaining ground (Six still makes every attempt to escape and 2 does everything but kills Six to make him stay). Overall it's a great series, nuff said.
In my copy, I'm not sure if these carry over to the release DVD but there are tons grainy images that pop up here and there as well as audio pops. This is most prominent in the first disc, not so much in the second. I honestly thought the grainy bits were part of the film. The audio pops… not so much.
Overall I am impressed and I really enjoyed the remake of "The Prisoner". I haven't seen the original, though I think now it's a must that I check it out. But until then I highly recommend the 2009 version of The Prisoner, which takes a classic and puts a terrific spin on it that will hold you until the very end. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the 3-disc set 4 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.