THE TALLY HO READ ALL ABOUT IT!
THE TALLY HO TOP 20 MERKMALE DER SERIE
THE TALLY HO WAS WAR... CHRONIK 1969
THE TALLY HO
WAS FEHLT... THEMEN 2009
VILLAGE BOOKSHELF LITERATUR UND ANDERE QUELLEN
BLICK BILDER AUS WALES
BLICK
NUMMER 6 - PRISONER CONVENTION
SEITENBLICK ANDERSWO GELESEN...
RÜCKBLICK 1969: DEUTSCHE FERNSEHPREMIERE
RÜCKBLICK 1969/1972: AUS TV-ZEITSCHRIFTEN
RÜCKBLICK
2006: IN UND AUS DER PRESSE
RÜCKBLICK 2010: ARTE BRINGT NUMMER 6 ZURÜCK
RÜCKBLICK
MISTER SECHS WILL NICHT KÜSSEN
RÜCKBLICK
ZDF-ANSAGE
DAVE BARRIE
...IM INTERVIEW
THE MARKSTEIN-McGOOHAN DEBATE

THE MAJESTY OF "FALL OUT"

"FALL OUT": THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

"DEMASKIERUNG": DER UNMÖGLICHE TRAUM

I'M INDEPENDENT, DON'T FORGET
SEVEN FROM SIX

RAKOFF'S FABLES - INTERVIEW MIT IAN L. RAKOFF

"DIE ANKLAGE": DUNKLE TRÄUME UND LANGE SCHATTEN

ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL
IM DORF - EINE LINGUISTISCHE LANDPARTIE

AKTENABLAGE: VON EPISODEN, DIE KEINE WAREN
DER AKADEMISCHE PRISONER

BILDER AUS WALES - KLEINE PANORAMEN

BILDER VON DER PRISONER-CONVENTION
PORTMEIRION: BAUTEN IN BILDERN
THE AMC PRISONER (2009) MINISERIE
WER SIND SIE? - DIE NEUE NUMMER SECHS

ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL & MICHAEL BRÜNE
DIE DEUTSCHE DVD

NUMMER 6 - NICHT DER GEFANGENE
ARNO BAUMGÄRTEL & B. FRANK
AUF DIE REIH GEBRACHT (1) DIE REIHENFOLGE

TOBIAS BECKER
ZIRKULÄRE REALITÄT

FRANK T. BITTERHOF
DIE OFFENBARUNG - THE PRISONER ALS BLU-RAY

M. KEITH BOOKER
DER POSTMODERNE PRISONER

TIM BOURNE
DIE SECHS-IDENTITÄT (INTERVIEW)
MICHAEL BRÜNE
EPISODEN-TRANSSKRIPT "DIE ANKUNFT"
AUF DIE REIH GEBRACHT (2) DIE REIHENFOLGE

DIE ANTHONY-SKENE-TRILOGIE
MARTIN COMPART
SOAPS: FERNSEHSERIEN...

ANTHONY DAVIS
PRISONER PRESS LAUNCH 1967

PATRICK DUCHER
JE NE SUIS PAS UN NUMÉRO, JE SUIS UN HOMME LIBRE!

ROBERT FAIRCLOUGH
POP UND POLITIK

HOWARD FOY
ES WAR EINMAL EIN TRIP...

B. FRANK
McGOOHAN & BOND

CAROLINE FUCHS
REALITY AND SIMULATION IN THE PRISONER

GUILLAUME GRANIER
SCHÖNER TAG! - SPÄTER REGNET ES.

LARRY HALL
ORSON WELLES: DER PROZESS

WHAT IT MEANS, NOT WHAT IT SAYS
HELGA HELLER
PORTRÄT EINES EXZENTRIKERS

MAX HORA
...IM INTERVIEW

MAX HORA & ROGER LANGLEY
6 PRIVATE - DAS HAUS VON NUMMER SECHS

HARALD KELLER
WIR SEHEN UNS - WIEDER

ÜBER NOWHERE MAN

NUMMER SECHS
INTERVIEW MIT BERND RUMPF

ROGER LANGLEY
(ZEIT-) REISE NACH PORTMEIRION

PRISONER'S PORTMEIRION:
DER ORIGINALSCHAUPLATZ
BÜHNENSTÜCK -
SET PIECE: DIE STUDIOBAUTEN
WARUM HABEN SIE SICH ZURÜCKGEZOGEN?

FINAL CUT: MYSTERIUM DER FEHLENDEN SZENEN

PUTTING THE PRISONER IN ORDER (3) DIE REIHENFOLGE

COOL CUSTOMER - PROFIL: GEORGE MARKSTEIN

DAS LA-TAPE

MOOR LARKIN
ICH BIN EIN BERLINER

JEAN-MARC LOFFICIER
NUMMER 6 ODER DAS GESPENST DER FREIHEIT

KEVIN PATRICK MAHONEY
DER ANARCHISCHE PRISONER

PATRICK McGOOHAN
DAS TROYER-INTERVIEW

DAS LA-TAPE

IM GESPRÄCH MIT MIKE TOMKIES
RUHM WIRD MICH NIE ZUM GEFANGENEN MACHEN

INTERVIEW MIT BILL KING
DER MANN HINTER NUMMER 6

BBC-INTERVIEW MIT SIMON BATES
DIE FIGUR IST NATÜRLICH REIN FIKTIV

RICK McGRATH
35th ANNIVERSARY DVD-SET

MARY MORRIS, NORMA WEST
INTERVIEW MIT TOM WORRALL

JANA MÜLLER
ZUFÄLLIGE ENTDECKUNG UND DANN NOCH EIN IRRTUM

"DER SCHWARM"

HORST NAUMANN
INTERVIEW MIT UWE HUBER

STEVE RAINES
...IM INTERVIEW

STEVEN RICKS
MGM - STUDIO DAYS

STUDIO DAYS: THE MGM BACKLOT

CHRIS RODLEY
DAS EISBERG-SYNDROM - SIX INTO ONE...

INTERVIEW MIT GEORGE MARKSTEIN

ZIAUDDINE SARDAR
WIR SEHEN UNS! - DIE POSTMODERNE UND DAS ANDERE

WARNER TROYER
INTERVIEW MIT PATRICK McGOOHAN

CHRISTOPH WINDER
ICH BIN KEINE NUMMER, ICH BIN EIN MENSCH

VALARIE ZIEGLER
THE PRISONER'S SHADOW SIDE

 

The Priso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ner Nummer

 

SEITENBLICK:

ANDERSWO GELESEN
 

AUTOREN:

BEITRÄGE VON...
 

INTERVIEWS:

Nr6DE MIT
DAVE BARRIE
Nr6DE MIT
TIM BOURNE
Nr6DE MIT
MAX HORA
CHRIS RODLEY MIT
GEORGE MARKSTEIN
SIMON BATES (BBC) MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
BILL KING MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
MIKE TOMKIES MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
WARNER TROYER MIT
PATRICK McGOOHAN
TOM WORRALL MIT
MARY MORRIS, N. WEST
UWE HUBER MIT
HORST NAUMANN
Nr6DE MIT
STEVE RAINES
DAVE BARRIE MIT
IAN L. RAKOFF
HARALD KELLER MIT
BERND RUMPF

 

SPEEDLEARN

 

THE TALLY HO

Read all about it!

 
 

"TELL THEM ALL
I GOT OUT!"

Von Arno Baumgärtel

Is AMC's 2009 miniseries of THE PRISONER truly based on the 1967 prototype? The clear-cut answer is no it isn't. One should keep the old man's words in mind. Because he is the only one who after some 3 minutes or so of about 275 minutes running time manages to get out of this particular narrative web here, for the price of his life, that is.

   

It is not the purpose of this article to dissect and analyse AMC's NEW PRISONER for its merits or damn it for its flaws but, rather, to delineate that and why this artifact comes with an entirely inappropriate title and cannot possibly be based on McGoohan's

You won't find real spoilers here. But those wanting to enjoy the show with a free mind should watch it first, then get back and read the following text afterwards.

highly original PRISONER. Younger people may find this an okay entry, even great. If only because it's a modern day thing, nothing that those old geezers always keep talking about. But also, this is my advice: go see it!

"LEAN OVER THE BOWL, AND THEN TAKE A DIVE
ALL OF YOU ARE DEAD. I AM ALIVE"

Glen Runciter in "Ubik"

Being able to stand for itself is a quintessential thing for any work of art, not to be identified as the copy, the successor of... or, still worse, the rip-off of... It is very hard for THE PRISONER (2009) as there is THE PRISONER (1967) hanging at it like a millstone around its neck.

DIESER TEXT AUF DEUTSCH
PRISONER'S PORTMEIRION (German language) - more...
MORE: PRISONERESQUE
MORE: SURREALISM
: EPISODES & SPOILERS (German) - more...
THE PROBLEM IS IN BILL GALLAGER'S MIND (ENGLISH BLOG)

No one ever called for a remake. Those in charge with the production rather use the term "reinterpretation". As if they knew. THE PRISONER (1967) is the product of its time and of a personal vision, rather an obsession, that is. This is what makes it irreproducible at all. But if so there has to be something of a surplus value for modern-day viewers, something matching the current TV and viewing habits to make people watching in order to keep up with the precursor. Sadly, this isn't what THE PRISONER (2009) does. It is lacking the formal and esthetic innovative vigour of a show like 24, let alone the verve of that manic and charismatic character Jack Bauer in a prototypical PRISONER role. Instead, no real dramatization is evident throughout. The action is leaden-paced at times and kind of somnambulant. Little wonder if we look at the series from behind.

But, to be honest, this six parts series isn't all too bad, on the other hand. Allowing some distance in time its positive aspects will certainly become more clearly visible. Thus, by now the rating it gets is only less than stellar. And, yes, it's got its own qualities, first-rate production qualities: there is Florian Hoffmeister's cinematography; the first look of the Village situated in the middle of the desert is welcoming in warm colours, that twilight image is really magic. It's different from the true Welsh Village but it's also distinctive. Then there is Michael Pickwoad's harmonious colourful retro design of cars and busses and the soundtrack which we must neglect here. But...

While in McGoohan's 1967 original surrealism kept seeping in between the 24 film frames per second and through the mere superficial spy kidnapping story the plots nonetheless were sticking largely to a familiar pattern of what everybody knew from TV series, except for the very last episode "Fall Out", of course. One pretty well knew who, one knew where and one knew what. And we're not necessarily talking about "making sense".
Now, in 2009, writer Bill Gallagher comes up with what he regards as surrealism in order to entertain his audience. But that's a relative thing, entertainment. The source of influence here is what became known as the mystery genre in the past decades since the THE PRISONER in 1967. This is popular culture, thriving on ever recurring and varying themes and subjects.

(2009): episodes & spoilers (German) - more...

Regrettably author Gallagher is never giving us a hint as for his own very special interest in the matter, just what it was that made him select the McGoohan archetype to work with. And with AMC, presumably it's been the balance department that had cast an eye on the surrealism-meets-paranoia classic in order to extract a little reputation and, of course, audience figures. What do we make of this? What's all that fuss about if this reworking is lacking exactly the impetus and the perspective that made McGoohan's work distinctive from all the other TV productions of the time and ever since?

Gallagher sets up his extremely erratic narrative mode shortly after a promising start in the "Arrival" episode including a due nod towards the original (the old man himself in former Village garb, his appartment is a near 100 percent replica of the original). He parallels the action in the New Village and that in New York in a way more than his framework can bear. It's to and fro, everything looking slick like in a TV ad.
Any plot summary (which isn't given here) is likely to convey a more coherent image of the episode action than is eventually executed. Most elements of the New York and Village action, sequences interspersed randomly, spacially and temporally fall prey to the use of non-stop jump-cuts.

WASTED

As a viewer, of course, you don't want to be duller than the script. So, eventually you are trying to make sense out of what hasn't become more intelligible by the end of almost six hours. Could be, could be not. Any younger audience may appreciate such snippet story telling more easily. Those who like straight action-adventure drama more will be repelled by this kind of volatility. Even those with a penchant towards a more unconventional narrative will probably say no thanks. Just a reminder, McGoohan's original itself is fragmentary yet its narrative is essentially evident even where "hallucinatory" or "psychedelic" facets of the action come to the fore, e.g. "Free For All". Remarkably, this specific episode wasn't given "rebirth", not even by title.
Red herrings is the best thing said, supposed to leave the viewer with the notion of a much deeper meaning of it all.

Red herrings and wasted possibilities:
• What was it that incited 6 to get a spray can and write "Resign" on the Summakor building windows? A McGuffin? Because such a title sequence is looking better than an envelope with a letter of resignation in it thrown on a desk? Anger? Not that we were able to relate to it.
• What physically happens to those people having been "observed" by Summakor and considered good enough for the Village community - incinerated, dumped, deep frozen, replicated (sure, this isn't INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS)?
• The desert "twin towers" (supposed to be the Summakor building, isn't it?) are but a mere fata morgana considering the story just as much as they appear on screen from time to time.
6 works as a busdriver and a school teacher. But we never find out about how it happened and what happend afterwards. It just gets lost.
• Raising pigs is obligatory for the Village residents. It's as irritating as it is amusing and reminding of Bunuel. But this subplot remains the subject for some three or four minutes only.
• The Namibian Village is a very beautiful place, indeed. But unlike Portmeirion it is never made a supporting actor.
• The female doctor 313 is brought into a tunnel for "treatment" (called "aversion therapy" in the real Village). But the entire story of her and some others down there, what kind of treatment it is, her being - quite easily - rescued by 6, where and what the tunnels are, it all is buried in the desert sand.
• Worst of all and simply inexcusable: 2's offer to 6 to accept a spy job for him. 6 suspects a trap. "Of course it is a trap", says 2. Here again, naught and nothing is developed dramatically out of the antagonism between the two characters, no thrill whatsoever. The 9 minute trailer version was much more promising than the final result we got to see. Simply wasted by an inept script.

And because the NEW PRISONER's mode of story telling isn't allegory as with McGoohan's work (something that George Markstein rejected resolutely) 6 cannot possibly be characterised as a superhuman hero and narrative metaphors have to be neglected. One should have expected the plots to be resolved in a more familiar and accurate way.

"ONCE YOU'RE A SUSPECT YOU'RE GUILTY"

To be sure, also inherent in Bill Gallagher's script there are a lot of worthwile issues like in the original:
- individual and community
- coerced happiness
- truth and lie
- faith and suspicion
- dream and reality
- the "Village inside the mind"

Less than THE PRISONER the narrative focus of a good portion of episode 3, "Anvil", is Francis Ford Coppola's underrated 1972 film THE CONVERSATION. Gene Hackman plays an observation specialist getting more and more entangled in the results of his own delicate work. Alas, this thread, too, is never properly explored in-depth.

OBEY - JOHN CARPENTERS "THEY LIVE" (1988) AND AMC'S "THE PRISONER" (2009)

With a good cause the private life of 2 is high-lighted in this PRISONER outing, compared to the many anonymous Number Twos of 1967. He is married, his wife lying, or he may as well keep her, in a coma. He has an adolescent and gay son who suffers from his circumstances. Repeat, nothing is done by the script to elaborate on that matter. Both protagonists, 2 as well a 6, aren't characters who we can care for or identify with. Instead we care at least for the doctor 313 (Ruth Wilson). But her oppressive fate remains only a side aspect at end of the installation.

STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY
OF INTERPRETATION

6 definitely isn't Everyman. Not being very particularly identified the McGoohan character Number Six is a high-rank government agent with information in his head that "is priceless to an enemy". He acts with visible superiority and irony in an existentialistic battle against various Number Twos for sovereignty of interpretation, and that's not just in the Village. He could easily have told his captors what they wanted to know from him - but he refused to do so. His reasons aren't just recalcitrance or a bad job. Not so here.

313 AND 6: IT'S A GOOD LIFE, WELL, IS ISN'T?

6 has hardly more to say to us than, "I wanna go back to New York." Michael, as he is called in everyday life, works for a dubious data retrieval and observation company (for the Summakor Corporation an entire realistically looking website was built specifically for this series). The message to us: that's what's going on! Michael must have hit upon something that made him leave. But as with many instances in this show his work with Summakor remains arbitrary and is in no way essential for the unfolding action.

THIS USED TO BE THE SUMMAKOR WEBSITE WHICH IS NOW OFFLINE

Jim Caviezel's 6 isn't more than a clerk, neither recalcitrant nor angry (only the press flyers are telling us this) and by no means with a sense of humour. He sprays "Resign" on the Summakor window yet there is no comparison to the more mythical than mystical Number Six whose resignation from his job, by slamming his letter on the desk, is a matter of principle. His cry of the famous Number Six credo, "I am not a number, I am a free man!" is plain declamatory.
He even keeps traits of the suffering Christ who he had played in Mel Gibson's fundamentalist botch. Probably script author Gallagher would be trying to convince us that he didn't want a superhuman hero for the title character. So what! Why then are there any references at all to THE PRISONER if everything one sees or happens is by chance (the shopkeeper with the map, the pennyfarthing hanging from the bar ceiling, the white balloon)?

(2009): EPISODES & SPOILERS - more...
MORE: PRISONERESQUE
MORE: SURREALISM
THE PROBLEM IS IN BILL GALLAGER'S MIND (ENGLISH BLOG)

Ian McKellen as 2 is far superior to Jim Caviezel regarding his acting talent. In his extremely gently spoken reply to 6's claim he wanted to get back to New York, "Oh, that's not possible. There is no New York." for once an original PRISONER episode is echoed: "This is your world. I am your world" spoken by Mary Morris as Number Two in one of the most "prisoneresque" episodes "Dance Of The Dead". If only for this specific shifting of the focus to this particular Number Two the series' title THE PRISONER was chosen inadequately.

BELOVED BRETHREN MORATORIUM

In his theoretical works "Summa Technologiae" (1964) and then again in "Fantasy and Futurology. Critiques on science fiction" (1970) Polish novelist Stanislaw Lem created the term "the phantomatic machine" by which he designates a narrative mode or else a fictitious (?) technology capable of radically abolishing the "unicalism" (Lem) of what is commonly known as reality. Once you have entered the realm of the phantomatic machine by means of some psychologically or technologically induced incident there is no way left of postulating "the"- mostly our - reality as the "real" or "genuine" or even only one.
Years on Lem's coining became common knowledge as "cyberpunk", later as the "virtual reality". Paving the way were, among others, the novels "Simulacron 3" by Daniel F. Galouye (1964) and much of Philip K. Dick's work, although uncredited in many cases.
German filmmaker R.W. Fassbinder's TV production WELT AM DRAHT ("World by Wire") of 1973, Cronenberg's VIDEODROME

IS IT REAL OR IMAGINARY? NO MATTER, AS LONG AS IT TASTES...

(1983), Trumball's BRAINSTORM and that certain blockbuster hit THE MATRIX (1999) they all and many more are indebt to this kind of technique.

Taking and considering AMC's sixpack according to this premise, the mini-PRISONER now gains new momentum. Are we going to meet LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD? - No, deconstructing the narrative continuum or the subject isn't what Gallagher is apt to do. Although he succeeds in getting viewers desoriented as best as it gets. One American review of the show suggested watching the series from behind, so the volatile storytelling wouldn't be too hard to follow. It's not bad an idea. But to first-time viewers it might not be too helpful anyway.

More likely, thus, that we all, 6, 2, M2, 313 will be joining Glen Runciter and his wife Ella in the "Beloved Brethren Moratorium", one of the locations in Philip K. Dick's perhaps greatest novel "Ubik" (1969); Glen Runciter may find himself with a spray can in his hand and maybe on his small change he will see 6/Michael's head, too. But if this turns out to be true this whole thing's got even less to do with THE PRISONER and then this "was only the beginning..."


Contact impressum filmtexte - texts on film deutsch english language
  "Wir sehen uns!" oder L'année dernière au Village · The Prisoner · Nummer 6

 

seitenanfang

 

WIR SEHEN UNS! D
BE SEEING YOU! E
THE CAFE
FREE SEA
OLD PEOPLE'S HOME
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU
WALK ON THE GRASS
6 PRIVATE
2 PRIVATE
GENERAL STORES
TOWN HALL
LABOUR EXCHANGE
COUNCIL CHAMBER
BAND STAND
CHESS LAWN
www.match-cut.de
DISKURSE

MEHR INFORMATIONEN
SIX OF ONE · 601
THE VILLAGE · DER ORT
CAMERA OBSCURA
WER IST NUMMER 1?
DIE NEUE NUMMER 2
"WEISSER ALARM!"
VILLAGE FACT FILES
"MUSIK SAGT ALLES"
VILLAGE STORY BOOK
"DIE ANKUNFT" SKRIPT
SPEEDLEARN VERZ.
THE TALLY HO VERZ.
Nr6DE FREUNDE & FÖRDERER
NUMMER 6 WEBLINKS
TV-MAGIC WEBLINKS
IMPRESSUM | FEEDBACK

DIE ANKUNFT

DIE GLOCKEN VON BIG BEN
A. B. UND C.
FREIE WAHL
DER DOPPELGÄNGER
DER GENERAL
HERZLICHEN GLÜCKWUNSCH
DIE ANKLAGE
SCHACHMATT
HAMMER ODER AMBOSS
DAS AMTSSIEGEL
SINNESWANDEL
2:2=2
HARMONY
---3-2-1-0
PAS DE DEUX
DEMASKIERUNG