The Prisoner (2009 Miniseries) - Critical Reception

Critical Reception

The airing of the miniseries resulted in mixed reviews, scoring 46 out of 100 on Metacritic. Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd wrote "why anyone, on either side of the screen, should be particularly interested in his fate, is never made clear nor compelling," and further states "the payoff is weak, and more than a bit daffy." In a comparison with the miniseries to AMC's hit series Mad Men, he writes "the difference that 'Mad Men' is never boring."

In Entertainment Weekly, TV critic Ken Tucker writes "it lacks the wit and zip of the original Prisoner," and concludes "It's self-absorbed to the point of incoherence."

Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Paige Wiser declares "There's also a reason why I am not conking myself on the head with a croquet mallet, but The Prisoner somehow has the same effect," and with reference to viewing all six hours of the miniseries, concludes "I urge you to heed my advice: Opt out while you can."

San Francisco Chronicle critic Tim Goodman writes "The Prisoner is not compelling. It rambles too much. Its vagaries are not interesting, its unorthodox storytelling not special enough."

However New York Times reviewer Alessandra Stanley struck a contrary note: "This version of The Prisoner is not a remake, it's 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." She concludes "The 21st century adaptation pays only lip service to the human condition, and instead explores a power struggle between two human beings. It's unlikely to prove as lasting, but the new series still manages to be thrilling." Furthermore it was positively reviewed in the Radio Times and also by Sam Wallaston who writing for The Guardian, described it as "a triumph with something of The Truman Show about it" with "a tension and a claustrophobia that gnaw away at you, making you look at your own psyche."

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