• Network: AMC
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 15, 2009
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Its a clever and engaging reinterpretation by Bill Gallagher, who shaped the script to contemporary tastes and sensibilities--notably, a postmodern fatigue with ideology and big thoughts.
  2. AMC’s The Prisoner isn’t going to reinvent TV the way McGoohan’s brainchild did. For six hours, however, it’s compelling enough in its own way to make you its captive.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    67
    The Narrative knot is further jumbled by all the head games Two plays on him and everyone else. Six is on shifting sand, and so, too, will you be.
  4. 60
    Like "Twin Peaks," it raises questions that it doesn't necessarily answer--but even the raising took a bit of daring, and "a bit" is more than one usually gets from television.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    50
    It's self-absorbed to the point of incoherence.
  6. The Prisoner is not compelling. It rambles too much. Its vagaries are not interesting, its unorthodox storytelling not special enough.
  7. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    50
    Maybe you can appreciate this series without the fear that you will be expected to write a thesis on it. But I urge you to heed my advice: Opt out while you can.
  8. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    42
    This Prisoner is visually stunning and risk-taking but not a satisfying rethinking.
  9. 40
    For the characters and for the viewers, the miniseries is a plodding excursion on the road to nowhere.
  10. Somewhere along the way, though, this three-night, six-hour production begins to feel less like a compelling metaphor for totalitarian repression and more like a marathon. No offense, but is it over yet?
  11. McKellen, and the production design, and some smart use of Brian Wilson songs on the soundtrack (The Beach Boys' "I Know There's an Answer" is the miniseries' cheeky final tune) weren't enough to overcome my need for coherence.
  12. The new Prisoner looks marvelous, even if its desertlike location is initially a lot less appealing to the eye than the original Village, filmed on the lush grounds of a hotel in Wales. But also like "V" (so far), it doesn't seem to have as much to say.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    40
    This reimagined version, which feels a bit old hat in a post-Matrix fantasy landscape, is more leaden, pretentious and solemn, a tone embodied by Caviezel’s brooding Six, who’s more dour than dashing.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    40
    Too much of Bill Gallagher's self-consciously arcane script and Nick Hurran's direction unfolds as if through a funhouse mirror, offering less in the way of clues than marking time until the vague, conspiratorial reveal in the closing chapters.
  15. This Prisoner is as much about Two as it is about Six and that the actor seems to be enjoying himself makes his scenes pleasant to watch even when they don't add up to much; there is a music to his readings even when the lines are obscure.
  16. 38
    The real-life Village locale (in Nambia) is fascinating and McKellen is great, as always--but Caviezel and the rest just grimace a lot and make you want to get-the-hell outta town.
  17. 37
    McKellen may be a sublime combo of the Wicked Witch and the Wiz, but Caviezel is no Dorothy. And sadly, this isn't much of a Prisoner.
  18. 30
    This Prisoner remake contains some striking visuals and intermittently effective performances, especially from the typically magnetic McKellan, but it’s also frequently too choppy and elliptical to build up much suspense or dramatic impact.
  19. 30
    Suffice it to say that the destination of this elaborate six-hour allegory is meant to be far less important than the journey. And that would be fine, if this particular journey didn't feel quite so much like doing hard time.
  20. The conclusion is that a great cast and a singular location can't carry a scattershot script that goes in and out of focus.
  21. 30
    Dismal and disoriented, under-plotted and over-allegorized, the six-hour Prisoner miniseries that debuts on AMC Sunday night is an exercise in full-tilt dramatic tedium that will appall anybody who remembers the original and bewilder anyone who doesn't: What was the big deal about that?
User Score
3.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 26
  2. Negative: 15 out of 26
  1. Feb 27, 2013
    4
    This six hour mini-series is said to be a 'reinterpretation' of the cult British show. Having not seen more than a few clips of the originalThis six hour mini-series is said to be a 'reinterpretation' of the cult British show. Having not seen more than a few clips of the original I can't really make comparisons but there is very little to recommend here as the slow pace and overly complicated plot make for rather dull television. Full Review »
  2. Dec 10, 2012
    0
    This is so bad it is hard to even bother write this, but the people who were thinking they were doing something better than the originalThis is so bad it is hard to even bother write this, but the people who were thinking they were doing something better than the original really lost the plot, in more ways than one!

    I'm not going to waste time on detailed commentary except to say that they turned what is a paranoid exploration of the cold war period into some ersatz fantasy world for people just hate ambiguity.

    Not even 1 for trying.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 20, 2011
    6
    it was strange for the sake of being strange, and mostly successful in drawing me in. sir ian made a great character and a great villian, butit was strange for the sake of being strange, and mostly successful in drawing me in. sir ian made a great character and a great villian, but the show had no hope of being greenlighted for a second season due to the writing. it is unfortunate because it had a great cast and a strange affinity for making me feel empathetic for the ridiculous plights the main character found himself in. if you liked the movie pleasantville you should give this show a try Full Review »