Showing posts with label The Prisoner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Prisoner. Show all posts

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hulu Recommendation Friday: The Prisoner

Given that this Sunday is the premiere of the new AMC series "The Prisoner," a site as devoted to geek culture as this one is has only one possible recommendation to make -- "The Prisoner" starring Patrick McGoohan. The show is not "officially" on Hulu, but you can find a link on the Hulu site.

The original "The Prisoner" was nominally a follow up to Patrick McGoohan's popular spy themed show "Danger Man," or as I always new it "Secret Agent." One way that "The Prisoner" can be viewed is as the "deprogramming" of McGoohan's character from the earlier series as he retires from the spy world.

There are many other lenses through which the show can be viewed as the show is a great example of what much of the New Wave SF Writers and the earlier Futurian SF writers where doing in written SF. In the fiction of both the New Wave writers and Futurians shifted the focus of sfnal elements away from the mechanically technical and into the political and social. It is true that earlier SF, like that of Wells and Huxley, had been filled with political and social elements as the primary sfnal elements, but the Hard SF movement championed by John W. Campbell had a greater focus on hard science than earlier SF. The Campbellian writers had political subtexts as well, but one can read much of Heinlein, Vogt, and Asimov without engaging with the political/philosophic content. The fiction of the New Wave and Futurians was a little more radical and overt in its use of political and social elements. One cannot read Behold the Man without engaging with the radicalism of the text. It's no accident that "The Prisoner," with its focus on the collective versus the individual, came into existence at the height of the, largely British, SF New Wave.

It is a common practice among fans of "The Prisoner" to have lengthy conversations about the meanings embedded within the series and it is almost impossible to describe the series itself without revealing one something that one might find to be a spoiler. "The Prisoner" is a show to be experienced tabula rasa, then to be experienced again and again in order to engage with the complexities of the narrative.

It appears that the new AMC show is using Alternate Reality Gaming to expand the experience. Make a little visit to the Summakor website to get an idea of what I mean.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

AMC to Bring New Version of The Prisoner to the Black Box

While the movie catalogue of American Movie Classics has shrunk since the arrival of Turner Classic Movies, the catalogue of quality television shows on the channel has increased. Last year, I was obsessed with watching each new episode of Hustle. The show lifted narratives from some of my favorite grifter based movies, everything from "The Sting" to the highly under-rated "Traveller" served as inspiration for the series. As I watched each new episode, I felt the joy I felt when I first read Walter Gibson's (the creator of The Shadow) The Bunco Book with its tales of cons and conmen.

Now AMC is partnering with Granada and Sky One to bring to our mind-numbing black boxes a remake of the classic television series The Prisoner. Those who have read this blog for some time know that I used to go by the nom d'cyber Number One, a direct reference to this television show. For those who thought it was a Star Trek reference, let me quote Robert in the wonderful Gen-X film Free Enterprise "I would never live in the 24th century! I fucking HATE "The Next Generation". Only classic!" Needless to say, I am very jazzed about the possibility of a new Prisoner series.

But before some member of Six of One wanders into this website wondering at my Prisoner street cred, let me just set the record straight. I like the show, I don't obsess about it like I do about Avengers comic books (the one with Thor). In fact, I am one of those controversial and strange animals that thinks of The Prisoner as a sequel to Danger Man (aka Secret Agent) and was introduced to both The Prisoner and Danger Man by the Danger Mouse cartoon (though it also borrowed liberally from Holmes and 007).

As a bonus, AMC will run the original series at the same time they debut the new one.