Sunday, November 29, 2009

That's a bit philosophical. For a Thursday.

Last week I watched the new Prisoner miniseries, starring the awesome Sir Ian McKellen as No. 2 and that Jesus guy as No. 6. I did in fact enjoy it, though I'm not really sure what was the point of shooting it as a Prisoner remake. If anything, it's more of a reimagining thing (how I loathe that word) than a full on remake. You still get a secluded village in which everybody is a number, you get a number 2 who's the big boss and a number 6 who doesn't like it there and wants out, but almost everything else is completely different. The original series was about super spies and the Cold War and using imaginative cutting edge scientific methods of breaking people's spirit in order to get information out of them. Here, things are much more ambiguous. Up until the last episode it's never quite clear what the point of the village is or why No. 2 wants No. 6 to stay there. As I watched the miniseries, as No. 2's mind games became weirder and weirder and it became obvious that things are clearly not what they seem to be, I kept wishing for one thing. Please, I begged, Please don't let it be the Matrix. Please don't let it be some kind of computer simulation in which all the Village's inhabitants are trapped. Because that would be the lamest thing ever. Was I pleasantly surprised by the actual conclusion of the miniseries? I suppose I was, sort of. It's not exactly the Matrix, and in a way it's an even cheaper trick, but it's done in an original enough way so that it's easily forgiven. What prevents it from achieving true greatness in my opinion is its complete and utter humourlessness. It's interesting and well written, but way too serious and never quite cool. I guess part of the problem is James Caviezel, who is just plain boring as No. 6, especially when compared to Patrick McGoohan's phenomenal performance. Sir Ian McKellen does a superb job playing the coolest character named after a bowel movement ever, completely overshadowing Mr. Caviezel. Ruth Wilson does an OK job as 313, a nurse who looks more like an evil duck than a human female. I first saw her in Suburban Shootout, where she played some kind of trashy bimbo, a role which seemed to suit her much better than this one. That's not too bad though, because we do get the luscious Hayley Atwell, yet another British actress, playing the mysterious Lucy. She is absolutely gorgeous, and I'd definitely like to see much more of her in the future. Not her boobs though. Not the boobs. Never those boobs. It's so tragic how some otherwise perfectly hot chicks end up with a set of huge droopy breasts. Oh well. She totally gets this week's Gawd I'd Like to Bang Her award anyway.

Hayley Atwel. Watch out for her topless scene in the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special: It's Bigger on the Inside, Baby

Aside from the obvious, what both the original series and this miniseries share is the identity of No. 1 as it is revealed in the final episodes. However, while the conclusion of the original series was easily the weakest part of it, the new miniseries ends in a pretty satisfying manner. I wonder how Patrick McGoohan's ghost feels about the whole thing. He's probably pretty pissed. The executives at AMC better be prepared for some serious haunting in the near future. Only the male ones though, because the only woman whose bedroom Patrick McGoohan's ghost visits at night is Mrs. McGoohan.

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