I’m not one of those worshippers of the original series of The Prisoner, nor am I a detractor; I watched some fair portion of the run a couple decades back, liked its style, but haven’t spent much time thinking about it since.
But when it does cross my mind, I think of it not as an unlikely follow-up to a spy series, nor as a work of science fiction with a solvable mystery. It feels, rather, like a rumination on the mysteries of life – that we are all trapped in a world that is not quite what we expected, forced into a role that we thinki is not truly us, that we all want to know who Number 1 is.
For whatever reason, the new version doesn’t feel like the mysteries of life. It feels like the mysteries of Myst, or some other computer game, more stylish than meaningful. They have a stylish setting, but too often kill the stylishness of the set with pedestrian camera choices. It’s got a high level of “clues”, like the goal is to ultimately unveil the secret. The characters aren’t that fascinating, and there is no sense that the explanation of the secret is actually meaningful rather than something silly to validate the premise.
I’m two hours into the series; I will not be going for the third.