Friday, November 13, 2009

Taking No Prisoners

Once of the most beloved and iconic tv series from the late 60's in the UK was The Prisoner. It actually wasn't all that popular when it was first shown - mainly as only about 18 people had a tv set in the UK back then. But later it went all cultified and now gets mentioned in the same reverential tones as other shows that only lasted a few episodes but have lived long in the memory.

For some bizarre reason, The Prisoner can now be watched in all it's colourful glory, mostly, on this US tv site and having spent many hours doing just that, I can tell you it's all jolly good 60's fun.

That same tv station (AMC) commissioned a new 6 part miniseries of The Prisoner and the first two back to back episodes go out this coming Sunday (15th) at 8pm (EST) with the rest being shown over the following 2 nights.

So even less of a run than the original enjoyed. Looking at the stills and preview video, I suspect it'll be like Lost meets Laurence Of Arabia. In other words, you'll struggle to follow what the hell is going on even if you join it at the beginning but with enough sand to keep Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif happy for a month of Sundays. Whatever that means.

It stars James Caviezel (he of Jesus fame) in the role of No.6, played in the original series by the enigmatic Patrick McGoohan, who also wrote it, directed it and made the tea for everyone.

The role of No.2 (and there were at least 6 of them in the original) is taken by that most adaptable of British actors, Sir Ian McKellen. Does the man NEVER turn down a role ?!

Given the worldwide locations of many of his recent movies, I'd love to have some of his airmiles. This time he got to frolic (if indeed a knight of the realm is allowed to frolic) in the warm waters and beaches around Cape Town and let loose those large white balloons on the endless golden sands of the Namib Desert in...ahhh...Namibia.

Lucky sod.

But never mind being chased by a demonic weather balloon across the hot sand; I wanna see them trying to ride those 'penny farthings' over those dunes !

We're not in Portmeirion anymore, Toto.


Daphne said...

I reckon Sir Ian (and I've met him, you know, several times, she says importantly, because he was great to me when I was a stage-struck teenager) has played all the big King Lear-type roles and has nothing to prove - - so his first statement is "Show me the script" and the second thing he says is "Where's it filming?" and if the answer's Normanton, forget it - - but if it's South Africa - - and who can blame him?

jay said...

Here - what's going on? I commented on this the other day!!

I can't remember what I said now, but it was probably something along the lines of 'thanks for reminding me about this, we've been looking forward to seeing this one, but it probably won't show over here for a while yet'.

Sure enough, no sign of it until next year for us this side of the Pond. :(

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