Friday, August 7, 2009

In Which Our Heroine Invites You To The Village

Do any of you remember when I flipped out about the A&E remake of The Andromeda Strain? (it ended up being a great disappointment, but my spaz was before I knew that.) Well, I spotted this The Prisoner (2009) preview at Happy Catholic, and if you had been with me when I saw it, you would have seen me shout "SWEET CRACKER SANDWICH!!!" at the screen, jump out of my chair, run to Subway for a celebratory fountain soda, and call my Little Brother to command him to watch it with me. Oh, yes, friends, I did all those things over a TV show.

If you've seen the original, you'll understand why. It centers around an unnamed spy who (angrily) resigns his position (but why?). He goes back to his apartment to pack his things, while there he is gassed (by whom?), and when he awakes he is in The Village. It's hard to describe The Village briefly: it's an absolutely charming seaside resort, but no one within it has a name (everyone goes by a number, our spy is now called Number 6) and no one within it (except our spy) acknowledges that there is anything outside The Village. The Village is all there is, and it is inescapable.

Meanwhile, Number 6 is tormented by someone called Number 2, who wants information. But Number 6 refuses to give it to him, he insists that he is free and will break free.

I won't say more, but the ending of the original is very ambiguous, and all the dialogue works on different levels, so many of the mysteries about The Village, Number 6 (our spy), Number 2 and the elusive Number 1 are never really solved.

There are also strong Catholic themes regarding individual freedom, human dignity, and the dangers of collectivism (Patrick McGoohan, the star and creator, was Jesuit taught). Oh, such a good show!

The only drawback of the original (for me) is the campy production value. Sometimes things that are supposed to be creepy (like the killer balloon that patrols the perimeter of The Village) instead just make me laugh. Well, ladies and gentleman, that problem has been solved. I present the preview for the 2009 AMC/ITV remake:

I think it's a good sign that Catholic actor Jim Caviziel has the lead. Am I reading too much into that, if it makes me hopeful the producers are remaining true to the original? *Sigh* Probably. It's probably going to be about Global Warming this time around, right? But still, countdown to The Prisoner, ok!?

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