Search This Blog

Saturday 25 January 2014

Prismatic Reflections

    Now we are well into the New Year, it will not take long before I’ll be hankering after one thing, another screening of THEPRIS6NER. In fact I’m listening to the series soundtrack as I type these words. My loyalties have not changed in any way, I’m still loyal to the original series of ‘the Prisoner,’ but that’s not to say loyalties cannot be divided.
   True there is far more scope with the original series for speculation, interpretation, theorisation, with a little guess work thrown into the mix than that of the 2009 series. However the reason for that is plain, there is not the sufficient number of episodes with THEPRIS6NER, there being only six, as there are with the original series. But one must remember, had Patrick McGoohan got his way, there would have only been seven episodes to ’the Prisoner.’ So we are fortunate indeed that Lew Grade was selling the series to the American Television Networks, otherwise we as fans would have felt as though we were being short changed, although we would never have known it had 7 become the magic number for McGoohan! But I don’t think ‘the Prisoner’ could have gone onto the 26 episodes Lew Grade was after, 19 yes, had the funding held out that is, along with Patrick McGoohan’s drive and stamina, for two more episodes. They might, and in my opinion should have included  ‘Don’t Get Yourself Killed,’ and ‘The Outsider.’ To my mind both scripts for those two episodes are far superior to that of ’Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ and yet they rejected them both on the basis that their plots were not strong enough.
    With THEPRIS6NER you have to work with what you have, and there isn‘t quite so much material, and yet, even so, I have found much to write about the series. For example when I first watched Arrival I thought the Prisoner was suffering flashbacks of his former life living in New York. It wasn’t until I watched the episode a second time that I realised Six was actually living two existences at one and the same time, in the Village and New York. And yet there is a quirkiness about the 2009 series, such as the  clocking on and clocking off machine, turned upside down and used as a blood analyser in ‘Checkmate.’ Not to mention the eye chart in 313’s office at the Clinic being made up of various sizes of the Village logo, instead of letters of the alphabet! Then there’s the number of different ties worn by Two throughout the series, sometimes they change from scene to scene. And you might think that this Two doesn’t wear a numbered badge, well not perhaps a badge, but a ‘2’ on his tie pin. Six has his number embroidered on his green jersey. It’s subtle you see, the subtlety of not being full on, in the face so to speak, unlike that of the original series.
    Six may not get to know who One is, well to be perfectly honest THEPRIS6NER is not what the series is about, and besides Six only asked the question once, and 1,100 gave him the answer, an answer with which he seemed quite content. No, this series was never about who Number One is, but about the passing on of a legacy, the Village. Two had hoped that his son 11-12 would take over the Village, even to keep it in the family, by 11-12 having a son of his own to pass the Village on to, and so down the generations to come. But sadly for Two his son grew up to be a homosexual, and was having a homosexual relationship with an Undercover 909, and ended up committing suicide after first committing matricide! So the only other person was Six, who equals Michael in New York. For as Two he was trying to get Six to accept the fact that he was not the problem, but the solution. So too was Curtis attempting to hand over Summakor, the company behind the Village, to Michael. It couldn’t be more simple than that. And yet there is one further underlying theme to this series ESCAPE! Six wants to escape the Village, and Two wishes to be a free man. Six can never escape the Village because “he is Village.” As for Two, well he lost the one thing that saw his self-captivation worth while, his son 11-12.
   And yet Village life must go on, the experiment must be continued, there are many more broken people out there to be made better. But is it possible to make a better Village, a moral Village, a Village without flaws, without human frailties? Six sees that he owes it to try and find a better way.
    Like that of the original series of ‘the Prisoner,’ there are still a number of unanswered questions. All the loose ends were not tied up as Bill Gallagher said they would be. What’s more there are a number of anomalies, such as is M2 dreaming the Village seeing as it is her taking the hallucinogenic pills. Or is it Helen in New York? Does Helen take the pills given to her by her husband Curtis, and is what we see of M2 being given the pills, a reflection of what is taking place in New York?
    The more one gets into THEPRIS6NER one can see that it is not so very different from McGoohan’s original series, either in content, or when you consider the unresolved questions of both series. Even more so, if McGoohan had been successful in getting his way of having created a 7 episodes mini series. For as Two once said “It is, as it is, as it should be.”

Breathe in….breathe out….more Village.

No comments:

Post a Comment