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I am not a number…

…I am another story about a remake of The Prisoner

Yes, the long mentioned, never made remount of cult classic The Prisoner is apparently back on, according to the fan club of the Patrick McGoohan original. In an “exclusive” news item on the website of Six of One, it is claimed that the remake will enter production in South Africa sometime in August and star Hollywood actor Jim Caviezel (The Count of Monte Cristo) as Number Six, with Sir Ian McKellen (summat about Hobbits) as Number 2.

The series, a joint venture between ITV Productions and American Movie Channel, is said to comprise six one hour episodes, all written by Lark Rise to Candleford scribe Bill Gallagher and directed by Jon Jones (Northanger Abbey).

Erm… this is a bit leftfield, isn’t it? Sure, there has been talk of a The Prisoner remake for years now, with everybody from Mel Gibson to Christopher Eccleston touted to don Number 6’s white piped jacket and comfy deck shoes. The fact it’s never seen the light of day has come as no great surprise - and really, I’m not sure we need it anyway. The Prisoner was a unique piece of work, a strike of TV lightning never to be repeated… Until now, perhaps.

Still, Six of One do seem very sure of the facts, although in lieu of a more definite announcement from those in the know I shall sit looking sceptically over glasses and checking my watch every few minutes. Perhaps this one deserves the benefit of the doubt…

Casting wise, if true, I can see Ian McKellen making a superb Number 2 - although to embrace the spirit of the original, there should be a new Number 2 each week. Sadly I’m not so sure about Caviezel - he has a brooding intensity, but he could be a touch subtle for some of Number 6’s more outward displays of anger at being banged up in The Village. But then, this is a new Number 6; he’s not Patrick McGoohan.

Will there be Mini Mokes and filming at Portmeirion? Will Number 2 have a little butler? Will there be a giant bouncing balloon called Rover? I do hope so, it just wouldn’t be The Prisoner without them.

TV Today will, of course, be watching developments on this story with interest.

Be seeing you!


To date, it appears that all of the current press speculation stems from the one unsubstantiated post on Six of One's own site. Despite much googling and some personal enquiries of those who should know, I can find no trace of an industry source who can even begin to add credence to this tale.

Given that McKellen is touring Shakespeare for much of the time when shooting is supposed to be under way, I really can't see it happening. This looks very much like desperate attention seeking on the part of an ailing fan club in the age of the internet.

Don't know why this week's Prisoner rumour is such a big deal when the heart of the information appeared on April 16 in the Daily Mail. That's virtually 2 months ago!

Here's the original scoop:

"The Prisoner, which baffled millions of TV viewers in the 1960s with its complex plots, is being remade with U.S. actor Jim Caviezel in the title role. Currently filming in Libya, there’s a special guest appearance by the show’s original star Patrick McGoohan. And by luvvie’s luvvie Sir Ian ‘Serena’ McKellen." (16th April, 2008 - Daily Mail)

been done - just look at the Andrew Marr title sequence every Sunday.

Otherwise - I ask why? The Prisoner was unique it cannot be re-created - it would take something entirely new. It is a creation of the time, I can't really see how something like that could be done now and be relevant or even make sense in today's world. To try and bring it up to date would be missing the point.

The closest we have had to The Prisoner in recent times is Lost - and I really hate that show. But that is closest to the idea and theme of The Prisoner, or at least it was before it morphed into the bastard love-child of Land of the Giants and the Airport movie series.

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