Okay, so I've been watching The Prisoner. I'm waiting for Disc 4 to get to me, which means I've seen six episodes. One of them twice apparently. Which kind of pissed me off. What the hell is the point in putting the same episode of two discs? Oh well. So, six (five, whatever) episodes in, and here's what I think...
I like it. A lot. I don't love it, but it's a show that I think I could definitely watch over and over.
But, before I say anything else, let me say this. The DVD's suck. The audio is terrible and the picture looks slightly above VHS quality. I feel for all you fans that bought these, A&E screwed you. I doubt we'll ever see a good solid release of the series, but if one does ever come along, I will buy it. But, I won't buy these. I don't mind paying for anything ,as my DVD library shows, but if it's on DVD it should most definitely have good sound and picture. It doean't have to be digitally remastered and all that jazz, but at least good, you know? This is just terrible, so bad I'd rather listen to it through my mono TV than my stereo surround. So, A&E, do the fans a damn favor and release a good quality set, even if the price is a little steep (can't be much more though, the damn single discs are like $20 a piece...).
Back to the actual show...
In high school I took two years of Spanish (9th&10th grades) and it was okay, I didn't really get the language, which made it kind of difficult to learn, but I did okay. The in 11th grade I took Latin. After a month of that Spanish made a lot more sense. I could see the origins of the entire language, it was weird, back tracking like that. Watching the Prisoner is a lot like taking Latin after two years of Spanish.
It almost de-values every sci-fi type of series that I've ever seen. And I'm only three discs into a 10 disc series.
Seriously, you can trace the origins of probably every good sci-fi show, comic, movie, whatever, back to this. Not even just sci-fi stuff either. It's all very surreal. On top of that I've watched the first two discs of Lost as well,which is most definitely a spawn of The Prisoner. But I can talk Lost another time. The first things that came to mind were the Matrix, and oddly enough, Wolverine. The Matrix is supposedly an offshoot of Morrison's Invisibles series, which I have never read, but I can definitely see elements of this in it. And Wolverine...well, the entire Weapon X program, the memory wipes, almost everything we've been given about his adult past seems to be directly inspired by this show. Of course, there's more "fantasy" elements in Wolvie's past than in the Prisoner, but the basics are there. And I'm sure the Prisoner isn't a shining example of originality. Most likely McGoohan was inspired by something to create it, but it's clear how much it has inspired everything since.
Right now my mind is racing, I desperatley want to know the answers to all the questions of the show. Who is Number 1? What's the deal with the revolving Number 2's? Is it ever really explained? Does the show actually have a conclusin? Or am I going to get left hanging, with only more questions in the finale than answers? Why did he retire? What the hell is the big ball? Is he going to ever really escape? Or will they get their answers? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? It's all just one long series of questions!! But, as much as I want to know, I want to see it unfold for myself.
I'm fast on my way to becoming a major fan of The Prisoner, It's been suggested to me by many a person, but when ADD hit me up in email and told me I need to see these (after I asked for recommendations I should add), well, I knew he wouldn't steer me wrong. He never has before.
Scared some of you with that title there, didn't I (and if you haven't seen the show, well, you probably still don't get it)? Disc 4 can't get here fast enough dammit!