So AMC got it in its head to remake the old television series “The Prisoner,” which ran for only seventeen episodes back in 1967 but is still legendary for being just about as surreal and unclassifiably bizarre as you can get outside of a Terry Gilliam production or a Robert Anton Wilson novel. AMC has built a decent pedigree for quality television over the last few years with “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” and had the good sense to land Ian McKellen and James Caviezel for this six-episode mini-series.
The original presents a dystopian little village, filled with odd characters, and our hero, the enigmatic “Number Six,” who battles the psychological games of his strange surroundings and endeavors constantly to escape. The show always left more questions than answers, culminating in a final episode of such surreal magnificence that it might actual drive borderline paranoids right over the edge of sanity. Along the way it questions the very nature of society and government with an exquisite layering of Shakespearian existential dialogue.
Last night, AMC ran the first two of the six episodes, and will finish up the run today and tomorrow. Will it live up to the original? Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself. Shall we review it on our humble site? That would be telling.
In a nice move, if you enjoy getting things for free, AMC has put up online all 17 episodes of the original series. You can watch them here.