Tonight was the conclusion of AMC’s new take on The Prisoner. And just like the original, I just don’t quite know what to make of it.
In the original, after a walk through a cave to “All You Need is Love” and one trippy trial, Number 1 turned out to be Number 6 (in some strange manner that no one quite understands to this day) and the Village was just a few miles outside of London, as shown by Number 6’s escape along with the Butler, Number 56 and the former Number 2. Despite the numerous episodes where the main focus was to discover the reason for 6’s resignation, we never find out why he resigned.
As for the remake, very little focus is put onto 6’s resignation, and the Village, I believe, is located in the unconscious of the brain and was developed to help rid people of horrific events that happened in their lives. But for the Village to survive it needed a “Dreamer”, someone to stabilize it and live through. When the Dreamer begins to fail, holes begin to appear, slowly eating away at the village. After the death of Number 2’s wife/the Dreamer, the village must have another in order to survive, this becomes Number 313 and Number 2 “gives” the Village to Number 6, after repeated chant that “Number 6 is the One”, eluding to 6 being 1, as in the original. But after 2’s suicide, 6, it seems, becomes 2, with his lover, 313, now in the same incapacitated state as 2’s wife.
There is a very interesting gender dichotomy that exists in this remake. There are few women represented. First there is 53, who dreams of the Statue of Liberty, yet is killed later. Then there is Lucy/415, who as Lucy in the “real world” is confusing, and it is impossible to tell what side she’s on, even after sleeping with 6. In the Village, she emerges as 415, a blind woman, madly in love with 6, yet it turns out she’s playing 6 to break his heart on 2’s orders. Unable to live with this, she kills herself. There is also 147’s wife, who plays the role of the subordinate housewife, and obsessive mother, without any desires of her own. Then were is Number 2’s wife, M2. She is the unknown yet vital hub of the Village, but has no control over her own body. Her performance as the Village’s lifeline is regulated by 2 at his will. And last, but not least, is 313, who at first seems like a strong female, and a doctor no less, however, she is a scared woman, unsure of what she wants, except that she wants 6 to love her, though is also scared of that matter once faced with it and in the “real world” she is a mentally ill woman. Ultimately, she ends up like M2, a drone of a woman, literally (as seen in the above image) held up by 6 with nothing to call her own and a horrifyingly vacant expression.
Needless to say, I’m disappointed. The redeeming qualities? “Keep a pig for stability”, a homosexual relationship, and the nod to the original penny farthing seen hanging in the club. But overall, seriously, for a good trip, watch the original 17 episode series, and skip over AMC’s “reimagining”, it will only disappoint.
Be seeing you.