A man wakes up in the desert, with only vague, fleeting memories of his previous life in New York City. He goes into hiding when he spots a hunting party in pursuit of an elderly man; he manages to reach the old man and help him to safety, but the old man is babbling something about 554 and the Village. When his younger rescuer reveals that doesn’t understand this, the old man says it’s a miracle… and dies.
The younger man, still unable to remember much of anything about his life before these events, wanders until he finds signs of civilizations: a grouping of mostly-identical homes. He has found the Village, but he quickly learns that no one who lives in the Village seems to acknowledge even the possibility that there are places beyond the Village. And he can find no escape himself – the Village seems to be surrounded on all sides by vast expanses of desert. Everyone living there has a number for a name, and this quickly leads the man to go looking for 554, who turns out to be a waitress at a diner. She knew the old man as 93, and he constantly talked of escaping the Village. Pursued by the hunting party from the desert, the man tries to make his escape, but is cornered and then wakes up in a hospital. Everyone there knows him as 6, but thanks to his scrambled memories, he can’t correct them with a real name. He only knows that he must escape the Village… and he quickly learns that the Village’s leader, a man known simply as 2, will do nearly anything to stop him.
written by Bill Gallagher
directed by Nick Hurran
music by Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cast: Ian McKellen (2), Jim Caviezel (6), Hayley Atwell (Lucy), Ruth Wilson (313), Lennie James (147), John Whitely (93), Rachael Blake (M2), Jamie Campbell Bower (11-12), Jessica Haines (554)
Notes: With the classic-series-style furniture and jacket, lava lamp and the drawing of Big Ben, 93 is strongly implied to be Number Six from the original series. (Nine minus three also equals six.) In an NPR interview, series star Jim Caviezel says that the intention was to have Patrick McGoohan play the role, but McGoohan, who died in January 2009 several months ahead of the new series’ premiere, was too ill to take part. Over the years, numerous revivals of the series had been mooted, including a big-screen revival starring Mel Gibson, and indeed even this revival of The Prisoner had been dead in the water at one point, with the original UK production partner balking at the expense involved. The original Prisoner has also inspired several shows directly, most notably Nowhere Man (1995-96) and Lost (2004-10), whose creators both admitted to being heavily influenced by McGoohan’s original series.
LogBook entry by Earl Green