Six of one, half a dozen of the other?

A big long paper due Thursday (rough draft at 18 pages and 44 references) has been using up most of my time and words, but until I find the time/words for a proper post, there’s this announcement to ponder:

HE REVIVED Doctor Who, but now Christopher Eccleston is set to take on another television hero with the starring role in a remake of The Prisoner.

The 1967 series, starring Patrick McGoohan as a former secret agent who was kidnapped and imprisoned in a mystery village, baffled millions of viewers around the world .

The new version, made by Granada for Sky One, will incorporate the paranoia, conspiracy theories and hi-tech action sequences of modern-day spy dramas 24 and Spooks.


I’m not sure whether to be excited or worried.

5 Responses

  1. When it comes to remakes, I default pessimism.

  2. Oh my goodness gracious. Paul, this is HUGE. This is easily the most important thing you have ever written in your blog.

    I’m very excited about this, as I’ve heard good things about the Who revival. Even though it was done by others, the Battlestar Galactica remake also fills me with hope for remakes in general as it is pretty good for the most part (save half of Season 2). And yet, I’m saddened, as the original series stands as its own particular brand of awesome insanity that may not need a remake (see also Aeon Flux).

    Even though I ADORE 24 and enjoy Spooks, “hi-tech action sequences” ? Uh oh. The Prisoner never had a wide assortment of gadgets, and other than people occasionally being absorbed by white spheres, I don’t recall much action. Instead, it was a show that could be both plot-heavy and beautifully simple, that took it’s sweet time and allowed its characters to have many dimensions. Again, as much as I love 24, you can’t really say that about ol’ Jack Bauer or his MI-5 counterparts.

    My only request is that they please refrain from making a “The Prisoner: The Game,” and from doing “This week, on a very special The Prisoner.” Oh, and if it ever spawns off a “The Prisoner: Atlantis,” if the show is set far into the future, or it somehow becomes a Lost ripoff, then I will sink Britian.

  3. Okay, dangit, good and bad news… (sorry I’m so obsessed with this)

    Good news: The remake is supposedly a mini-series, which means that hopefully good or bad, it will be brief.

    Bad news:

    “Granada hopes the series will tap into the show’s cult following, while also appealing to younger viewers. It is expected to appear before a long-mooted Hollywood film remake, and Granada is expecting to sell the show internationally.”

    I can just invision Michael Bay’s The Prisoner starring John Travolta as manical mad-man “Number Two,” Orlando Bloom as “Number Six”, and Rob Schneider as his zany sidekick.

    Oh, and the fact that I can make bold, italicize, and strikethrough my comments but I CAN’T UNDERLINE IS MADNESS, PAUL!

    Be seeing you.

  4. I do enjoy the new Doctor Who, but it’s this part that particularly worries me:

    However, Granada is promising a “radical reinvention” and a plot that will make sense to viewers who watch the six-episode series.

    A “radical reinvention” seems to have worked pretty well for Battlestar Galactica, but a remake of The Prisoner that makes sense to viewers? That seems like it would gut a lot of the appeal the original series had.

    I mean, can you imagine an opening sequence like this?

    Number 6: Where am I?

    Number 2: In The Village. We’re going to mislead you about it’s actual location to make it more difficult to plan your escape, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s somewhere along the British coast.

    Number 6: What do you want?

    Number 2: Information. Specifically, we noticed some office supplies missing shortly after you resigned, and we’re wondering if you had anything to do with that.

    Number 6: Whose side are you on?

    Number 2: Well, office supplies fall under the Department of Facilities back at headquarters, so we’re on the right side of the org chart.

    Number 6: You won’t get it.

    Number 2: Actually, we already have replacements on order. I know, this all seems like a big to-do over some purloined pens, but Number 1 says we need to make an example of someone to make the other employees fall in line.

    Number 6: Who are you?

    Number 2: The new Number 2. You know how management likes to do a reorg every other week.

    Number 6: Who is Number 1?

    Number 2: Oh, that’d be Bob Townsend, he runs this place. Head out the door, turn left down the hallway, third door on your right. You can’t miss it.

    Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man!

    Number 2: Hey, I’m not a fan of Social Security either.

  5. Paul, if the script goes like you write it, then I’ll definitely be a hardened viewer! It’s giving me chills just reading it!

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