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Sky One To Remake The Prisoner

I’ve always tried to keep a reasonably open mind to remakes and re-imaginings. Sometimes they do work. Battlestar Galactica is a perfect example of that. However the news that Sky One is planning a new series based on the 1960s series The Prisoner just leaves me cold.

The original series of The Prisoner starred Patrick McGoohan as a secret agent who quits his job and is then captured and held prisoner in an isolated town which seems to be designed to extract some sort of information (what exactly is never made clear) from him. The series only ran for 17 episodes in 1967 but is at times surreal style has won it many fans.

Now Sky One is looking to radically remake The Prisoner. While they have indicated that the themes of paranoia, conspiracy and identity crisis will remain they also openly state that the new series will “take liberties with the original” and not retain its feel. Bill Gallagher has been hired to write the new version.

It’s also being reported that the show will not be shot in the unique village of Portmeirion where the original show was shot. That, at least, is a decision I agree with. If the show is to stand any chance it has to find its own identity and say something different than the original The Prisoner.

But without any reall indication what the show will offer to replace all the elements that it is removing, it’s hard to build up much excitement at all.

Eoghann Irving is amongst other things the creator and Editor of Solar Flare. He has a life long interest in all forms of science fiction and fantasy and a pressing need to share this interest with anyone who will listen. Find out more at his personal website

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. YES!!!! I’ve been waiting for this! I was introduced to it last year and I love this show!

  2. Richard Novak

    If at the end of the series we find eveything to be a dream, or the delusions of a madman

  3. I share your concerns with “remaking” classics, especially something so distinctive as Prisoner.

    However, Sky One do have a track record of making some pretty good shows. They don’t make much of their own material, but when they do, it’s generally pretty good.

    Case for the defence is not only “Hex”, but “The Strangerers”, a one-off Rob Grant (he of “Red Dwarf”) sci-fi comedy which is probably a pretty good guide to what to expect from an entirely Sky One-produced “Prisoner”.

    Even if the revamped “Prisoner” was merely “The Strangerers” minus the comedy, it’d still be worth it. The sheer visual style of “The Strangerers” was a beauty to behold, set in a kind of oddball modern-day 1950s, with great costumes, sets and even cars. As with “Hex”, the only thing that let it down was a bit of unimaginative script-writing.

    Sky One have also got a good record of part-funding big-budget sci-fi, most notably the new version of Battlestar Galactica, which was shown in the UK almost a whole season ahead of it’s US airing.

    Now I’ve puffed them up, of course, it’ll probably turn out to be a turkey. Ah well. I suppose my message is really - Sky One can do good home-grown sci-fi, so don’t discount them until you’ve seen it.

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