When a TV mini-series stars both Jesus Christ and Gandalf you have to have sit up and take notice.
When it’s also based on an iconic television series it becomes “must see TV.”
Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen will star in a “re-imagining” of the late Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisioner for AMC.
The new production would appear to have a slick modern sheen, but it seems to lack the odd twisted sixties drug trip vibe of the original British series.
The Prisoner followed “Number 6″ (McGoohan), a retired secret service agent who was kidnapped and left in “The Village,” a strange paradise ruled by “Number 2″ and a mysterious giant balloon-like ball. The exteriors to the show were originally shot in idyllic Portmeirion village, Wales. The new Caviezel (Number 6) version with Ian McKellen (Number 2) was shot in the more exotic and less iconic Cape Town, South Africa – which appears to swap the small town location for vast desert landscapes.
You can check out a behind the scenes video below where cast and crew discuss bringing McGoohan’s baby into the 21st Century.
While the new six part version of The Prisoner has a fantastic cast and good locations (as well as $1 million per episode) it just seems a bit generic. I’m sure it’ll be good TV, but I don’t think that it will hold a candle to the original.
I hope McGoohan’s legacy isn’t tarnished – the star/producer of the original declined a cameo in the series, while Christopher Nolan is circling a film version of the show – as did Mel Gibson before him.
The Prisoner airs on AMC in November 2009.