Thursday, September 4, 2008
“I’m not a number! I’m a free man!” So shouts No. 6 (Patrick McGoohan) throughout this stylish and cool British series in which he starred back in the ‘60s.
My sister-in-law gave this boxed set to my husband last Christmas (another year, she gave him the DVD set of a semi-obscure Japanese series called "Daimajin," which will be another post here, on another day; K has enjoyed both of them immensely! I bet you wish you had a sister-in-law like mine.). When D started to watch "The Prisoner," it struck him that K would like it, and so he invited him to join in.
To my surprise, K took to it right away.
This isn’t the "Batman" series from the 1960s. Or "Mission Impossible."
"The Prisoner" was pretty sophisticated fare. Cerebral even. Surreal? That, too.
Here’s what K has to say about it:
Q. How are you enjoying the Prisoner so far?
It’s a very fun show, with a good base idea.
Q. What’s the base idea?
A man from a spy agency in England, like the CIA, suddenly resigns, then is captured and is brought to the “village.” In every episode they try to “break him” – put that in quotes – and find out why he resigned.
Q. Do you know why he resigned?
Q. Are there many English phrases that are hard to understand? Any difficult accents?
No, and the village he’s in (which is really nice in this fake way) isn’t any particular culture, it’s a mix—Russian and English and French -- so that you don’t know who it is.
Q. What do you like the most about it?
Well, before I answer—he is No. 6 and everyone has numbers in the village. His goal is to figure out who No. 1 is. So far, No. 2 has been the one who always tries to break him. What I like is that it’s gone from No. 2 trying to break him, to him trying to break No. 2, and the rest of the village.
The storyline has gone all the way from episodes where they try tricking him to thinking he’s gone back to London, to them trying to infiltrate his dreams with powerful drugs and machines... to making No. 2 feel as though he is the one being watched, just as No. 6 is.
Q. So the tables turned, psychologically, basically.
Q. Is there any violence?
Q. What kind?
Fist fighting mostly. No guns really. Nothing gruesome.
Q. At what age could kids enjoy The Prisoner?
Hmm. I don’t know if most kids my age would like it. They might find it boring. Maybe kids somewhere in the 10 to 13 (and up) could like it, it depends.
Ok, there you go. I can tell you, the older boy in the house (husband D) is really enjoying "The Prisoner" (revisited; he actually watched it in high school when it was re-run on PBS stations) and the time they spend together watching. (D said that during last night's viewing, K turned to him at some point and said, "I really like this show, dad!")
I'm thinking about "The Avengers" next (not the punk band, the TV series!) ...