I just finished watching this series for the first time, and I wanted to know what everyone felt about it. How do you think it compares to other TV shows? How do you think it compares to Great Cinema?
I think a lot of the middle episodes tend to repeat themselves and become mostly filler, but the bookends are phenomenal. The final two episodes are a mindtrip of Lynchian proportions. It’s funny because I started watching “Lost” mid-way through season 2, caught up first of course, and found myself thinking about “The Prisoner” through it. Smoke-Monster as Bubble security system; remote island cut off from outside world; and even later one with Ben and Jacob and the Others, acting as a penal system similar to that of the ‘prison’. I think a movie could have been made easily by cutting a lot of the middle out (how many different number 2’s do we need to get the idea?) but cinematically, I think it compares to the amount of creativity and intelligence that could be put into a project. I’m hoping the new (is it a series or miniseries) remake serves it justice with James Caviezel as 6 and Ian McKellan as 2. We shall see.
Some of those middle episodes are filler, but they still tend to contain moments that are breathtaking. I was just really surprised how well the show holds up forty years later, especially since many shows from fifteen years ago can seem to be horrible dated.
It’s a long time since i saw it, but it was interesting enough for me to see most episodes. Of course the setting at Portmeirion, quite an inspired choice, helps.
It is the best TV series ever made.
“I think a movie could have been made easily by cutting a lot of the middle out (how many different number 2’s do we need to get the idea?”
I disageree, it works precisely because it shows the daily grind of the village, the different number 2s, because THATS HOW THE STATE WORKS. If it was a movie it would have to be a 6-8 hours movie to convey the same. That’s why Free for All is the most important episode
of the series.
“Meet the new boss…”
To an extent the middle episodes are filler. The deal for the series was mostly done when ITV insisted McGoohan create extra episodes (I think so there would be enough to seel it as a summer replacement series to US TV. Seeing them spun off a week at a time (as I did during the initial run (where ironically CBS eliminated at least one episode) and a few years later on PBS, they didn’t seem like filler. But if you get the box set & play them off one after another I can see where some of the attitudes might wear thin.
It is* the best TV series ever made.
And I really should revisit it. I haven’t watched anything except the pilot episode since that PBS run.
In the late sixties, as a young teenager, I watched the Prisoner on tv. I hated that it was on Saturday because I usually had something else to do and missed a lot of episodes. Many years later, I watched most of it again on vhs and thought the show very innovative and still do. McGoohan casting himself as Number 6 was the perfect choice. Previous to the Prisoner, one other tv series worth watching, Secret Agent, also featured McGoohan. The two McGoohan characters from each show had a nebulous link to each other that was not quite inferred, but never openly discounted either, which added to the intrigue of the Prisoner.
The greatest TV show ever!
I wouldn’t consider the middle episodes to be filler, with the exception of the 3 or so that don’t even take place in the Village.
Anyway, really amazing stuff. I’ve been obsessed with it since I was 8 or so and my parents rented them on VHS.
I’ve watched the first parts, and it doesn’t seem like anything happens. These last two episodes have been much better though
The original is about as good as you’re going to do for TV. The AMC mini-series was just awful.
Laika said “The greatest TV show ever!” I say… Ditto.
one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. McGoohan is badass #1
A splendid series all round. A clunker here and there, but it really is impressive.
I really enjoyed the show quite a lot until the final 2 episodes which I thought were a lot of shit and totally ruined the series for me. The first half dozen episodes for me, were quite brilliant
If anyone is interested, I would love to lead a discussion of the series by going episode by episode. Think of it like a book club. This is my favorite television series of all time.
I know the Directors Cup is going on, so maybe we can do an episode a week/2 weeks or something like that.
Message here if interested!!!
I’m interested, Max Slobodin. Though it’s been 5 months with no other interest. Just got the series in BluRay, going to enjoy re-watching it in 1080p.