July 1st, 2008


"I Am Not a Number, I Am a Free Man!"

Today brings this exciting bit of news from SciFiWire:

AMC announced that Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) and Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings) will star in the network's upcoming miniseries reboot of the cult 1960s show The Prisoner. AMC is co-producing the six-part miniseries with ITV Productions and Granada International, with a worldwide premiere slated for 2009.

I'm generally against the idea of remaking an already high-quality product on principal, and though Patrick McGoohan's 1960s The Prisoner wasn't always perfect, it sure came close at times. So why am I excited at all?

Ian McKellen as Number Two! I could watch McKellen in just about anything, but it's in villainous roles that I think he really shines, especially his Richard III.

What I find less exciting is Jim Caviezel taking the role of Number Six. It's not that Caviezel's a bad actor, per se, but a couple of years ago they were talking about Christopher Eccleston in the role. I don't know why that fell through. He would have been great. Ah well. Be seeing you, Christopher.

As always, I approach this remake with skepticism. But unlike recent remakes such as Black Christmas, The Eye and Prom Night, I'm actually interested in seeing this one and will be tuning in in 2009, if for no other reason than to see Ian McKellen ham it up as Number Two -- though I do also want to see how they update the story.

You see, the original 17-episode series had what many consider one of the most frustrating finales ever. So frustrating to the audience, in fact, that Patrick McGoohan basically had to go into hiding for a while until everyone cooled down. (Myself, I vacillate between thinking the finale is brilliant and wishing for at least one more line of dialogue from Number Six at the end to tie it all together.) I wonder how they'll end it this time...