Patrick McGoohan created and starred in a mind-warping and thought-provoking series that developed a cult following. He originally intended it to run seven episodes only, but the network demanded a full season.

More than forty years later, someone has reimagined The Prisoner as a six-episode mini-series. Since it’s running over three nights we’re starting with some thoughts and a discussion. An overall review should appear later this week.

  • The original series provided a possible backstory in the title sequence, and used the series as an exploration of society and conformity. No final explanations for the many mysteries were ever forthcoming. The new series updates and continues that exploration, but it seems headed towards a big reveal.
  • We have that same sense of alienation, of Six as a person in a world where eveyone else seems to know the rules.
  • New York and the spectre of 9-11 looms large over this Prisoner.
  • The actors give strong performances, but I’m missing the dry, understated wit of the original.
  • This Village is larger and set in a vast desert. As in the original, we have a colourful but creepy resort.
  • The series features an interesting soundscape.
  • I’m curious to see where this Prisoner will go– but I wish someone had come up with a completely new mind-warping and thought-provoking series.

The original series is much-referenced, in multiple Simpsons episodes, Moore’s Black Dossier, and in this panel from the second issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths.