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The Prisoner (2009 TV series) Review
The Prisoner Trailer
The Prisoner: An Original AMC Series
I recently got a chance to start watching the TV show Mad Men. It's been running for a while now but only recently was I introduced to it. It's by the TV channel AMC, the same people who produced The Walking Dead (a series that I really enjoyed as well).
That's when I realized that they make really good shows and so I went on their Wikipedia Page and checked out the other shows they made and tried to look for some that I might find interesting. From reading summaries and watching trailers on YouTube, I figured I will be very interested in two of their shows Rubicon and The Prisoner. The first one being about secret societies and government conspiracies and the latter of course is the one I'll be discussing right now.
I can't believe that this TV show was produced in 2009, a year before The Walking Dead, and so I realized that it's quite underrated as compared to the following that The Walking Dead garnered.
I've been looking for new and random TV shows I can watch and be addicted to and I'm really glad I found this one. With Fringe season 4 premiere coming up this weekend and the week apart episodes I will be waiting for, having a a few other interesting shows as back up can keep me entertained. The only problem is it never really picked up another season and so there's only 6 episodes, I think. I don't think my expectations can be satisfied in just a few episodes and so I hope I don't get disappointed with how the story unfolds and how it will all end.
What is The Prisoner all about?
The Prisoner is a remake from a 1960's TV series. That's just so ahead of its time, I believe. I'm also thinking about getting the original series and checking it out.
Anyway, The Prisoner is a sci-fi/mystery series that deals with issues in psychology and sociology. It's basically a dystopian story that reminds me of some elements of the novels The Giver combined with Anthem by Ayn Rand. Think of it as a supposed utopian society and this character who doesn't know how he got there and has to figure out the different mysteries surrounding him. I guess that's what makes it different is that he has memories of living in a non-dystopian society compared to most dystopian stories I've been introduced to that deal with more on conditioning concepts of B.F. Skinner.
It was a much nicer North Korea, I thought. It was more ideal, people are more free, people are happy, but people are oppressed nonetheless. I love how the story points out that individual liberty and freedom from coercion is very important in a truly free society. It showed the evil of giving power to just a few people or a bureaucracy. It showed that no matter what kind of positive attributes "good governance" can provide, freedom is always somehow sacrificed in exchange.
Good vs Bad Sci-Fi
I remember when I sat in this science fiction class during college. It reminds me of how much I can learn in one class I didin't even have to take but did so voluntarily compared to mandatory irrelevant subjects or courses that contemporary schooling tried to force into me. I got a chance to be introduced to some sci-fi literature and films and different concepts and issues pertaining to sci-fi as well.
I guess our concept of sci-fi shouldn't be limited to aliens or robots or space ships only (although those things are awesome as well). There are other fields in science like psychology or sociology and there are also different kinds of approach and how to tell a sci-fi story, like different perspectives. I recently watched Never Let Me Go (2010), for example, and it's story is very similar to The Island (2005). Both dealt with the concept of cloning but absolutely different approaches. Ideally, I don't think there's good or bad sci-fi inherently, it's personal preference. But in my own personal standards, I guess it's better if I can distinguish on what 'better' sci-fi is.
I'm now so far from the original topic. Maybe I'll just write about more of my thoughts on science fiction in a different article. One thing is sure though, I've really been so interested with sci-fi and one thing is for sure: The Prisoner is really good sci-fi. I highly recommend it.
The premise of the story is really really good and there's so many possibilities on what can happen. I just hope, as I have said, that I don't get disappointed as I watch it some more (like what mostly happens with lots of TV shows that have a such a good premise).
- The Prisoner AMC
Official site for AMC's The Prisoner miniseries: Games, videos plus episode & character guides
- The Prisoner (TV mini-series 2009) on IMDb
With Ian McKellen, James Caviezel, Ruth Wilson, Lennie James. 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".