All right, this has nothing to do with comics — unless you count the 1988 DC Comics sequel or Jack Kirby’s unpublished adaptation — but I’m a big fan of the surreal ’60s TV series The Prisoner, so I’m blogging about it: Cable network AMC has announced that Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen will star in its six-part reinterpretation of the sci-fi classic.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Prisoner, it starred series creator Patrick McGoohan as an ex-British spy who’s held captive at a picturesque seaside village — called simply the Village — where he’s called Number Six and subjected to his captors’ attempts at brainwashing and interrogation. He repeatedly attempts to escape, but is often thwarted by the Village’s constant surveillance, and the menacing floating white ball dubbed the Rover.
The updated miniseries, a co-production from AMC, ITV Productions and Granada International, is set to debut in 2009. Caviezel will star as Number Six, while McKellen will play one of his captors, Number Two.
Modern “reintepretations” of older works tend to make me uneasy, particularly when, like The Prisoner, the original is so entrenched in the period (the Cold War, in particular). The update promises to address “21st Century concerns and anxieties, such as liberty, security, and surveillance, yet also showcase the same key elements of paranoia, tense action and socio-political commentary seen in McGoohan’s enigmatic original.”
That doesn’t alleviate my concerns, but the casting is terrific. And AMC’s first original series, Mad Men, is shaping up to be one of the best shows on TV.