“You only think you’re free.”

I’m a huge fan of the 1967-68 British TV series The Prisoner starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan. It is weirdly subversive with an ending that will turn your brain inside out. I watched it in full on the Sci-Fi channel years back when the channel was worth watching.

So it was with some trepidation that I took the news that AMC was going to produce a remake of the series in association with British channel ITV. The new 6 episode mini-series will star James Caviezel as Number 6 (our hero) and Sir Ian McKellen as Number 2. AMC has an official website here and released the following 9 minute promo at the recent comic con:

Hmmm. Not too shabby looking. Could be good. Could also suck donkey dick. I’ll probably tune in for at least the first episode as I’d really like it if this turned out to be a good updating of the original series. The strength of the stars alone is reason to check it out. Overall it looks like it’s keeping much of the spirit of the original though some of the themes have changed. It’s good to see Rover is still in it (the big white ball). The miniseries will air in November.

If you’re curious about the original series the folks at AMC are streaming full episodes online for your edification. Or you can buy The Prisoner – Complete Series Megaset from Amazon.com. I had it on my wish list for the longest time and it appears to have gone missing so I just put it back on again. Need to pick it up before too long.

 

6 comments

  1. I’m a huge fan of the original series also, and while this remake could potentially suck, it doesn’t look too bad. That could come down to the ending, though. I hope they don’t make this a religious thing, based on the guy at the end talking about god, but we’ll see. I’ll definitely watch it.

  2. “You remember how the yanks remade the Italian Job?”
    “Yes”
    “And Get Carter”
    “Yessss”
    “And Men behaving Badly, and ‘The Office’”
    “uh-huh”
    “Well, good news.”
    “What, they’ve promised not to ruin anything else?”
    “Even better- They are doing the Prisoner!”
    [***face-palm***]
    “In association with ITV”
    [weeps gently to self]
    “But its got an American playing number 6!”
    [runs warm bath]
    “And Ian McKellern will be the Brit who plays number 2 ALL THE TIME. Isn’t it brilliant!”
    [wanders off to find paracetomol in industrial quantities, and a sharp knife]

    I got bored of the trailer. Where’s the weirdness gone? Portmerion was a brilliant location- this new village looks like a middle class housing estate that is trying too hard.  #2 should change most weeks- it adds to the sense of odd- #2 never acknowledges this fact. And a pointless love interest has been added (“What we doing for the female demographic?”)

    I didn’t watch all the trailer- skipped bits, so did they actually say “I am not a number…”?  The original village managed to be normal and odd simultaneously.  The ending was odd because the money ran out (too experimental- it was on commercial TV I think, and the execs were worried. (God, how much board room interference is it going to have if it has to make money in the US and on today’s dumbed down ITV) and they had to wrap it all up quickly.  McGoohan has never revealed the full plot arc.

  3. I think I have to strongly agree with Last Hussar.

    Other than Sanford and Son, the US has completely ruined every show that it has imported from the UK.

    He forgot such things as the Thunderbirds, Coupling, and Ultraviolet.

    Right now all I see as a plus is Ian McKellen….but it will be levels of stupid if he is 2 for the whole show.

    So, I suspect that the ending will top BSG in levels of suckitude, now to look forward to the ruination of UFO. ~wails~

  4. Boulder Dude- do you mean the ‘Thunderbirds’ movie.  I wanted to see all cool stuff from the 60s updated, not another ‘kids save the day’ plot.

    I loved ‘Coupling’ (UK)- ‘Freinds’ for grow ups. I understand it bombed in the US, not helped by the fact that US shows have to ‘win’ immediately, and the network jerked it around.. But hey the Big Men in broadcasting get paid millions of dollars, ergo they must know what they are doing (mantra of the market). 10 years from now we will all realise what a load of rubbish ‘Firefly’ was…

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