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Don’t forget to set your DVR this weekend


I’m sure The Beat will have more on this later in the week but don’t forget that the new version of The Prisoner starts on Sunday. And, as a tie-in, the Thomas Disch novel is back in print too.

  1. I’m catching the original eps on AMC’s On Demand channel. Pretty much the new mini series is starting Sunday now that the new season of Mad Men has ended.

  2. I remember that novel being a real oddity. Disch was the perfect choice; but the result is a bit off, and he added an ending that makes you scratch your head — in a less satisfying way than the series’ ending. Still, nicely written and a fun ride.

  3. I saw the nine-minute trailer last night. They’ve made a lot of changes to the basic concept, which is OK, but there was nothing in the trailer to make me say “YEAH! THIS LOOKS COOL.” More like “Yeah, this might not suck completely.”

  4. On the other hand, there are things like this piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/arts/television/11prisoner.html
    that makes me think that whatever this new version is, it might not be something for fans of the original.

    In that piece, you’ve got writer Bill Gallagher saying “The original says we must assert our individuality: ‘I am a free man,’ but one thing that interests me is that perhaps we have become too individualistic.”

    Which doesn’t exactly sound like he’s playing up the themes of individuality and self that made the original a favorite of, say, libertarians and free-thinkers.

    You’ve also got McKellen commenting on the original ““I thought it was camp, frivolous, something without substance, an entertainment without any weight or bottom to it. I thought McGoohan was tremendous. He was terribly good at playing enigmatic, clearly angst-ridden and suffering, edgy and sexy too. It was all designed to intrigue and delight. But what was under the surface?”

    which, again, isn’t terribly endearing to fans of the original.

    Wait and watch and see, I suppose…

  5. “You’ve also got McKellen commenting on the original …”

    Which makes me wonder if McKellen ever watched the original. I remember Harrison Ford made a few dismissive remarks about THE FUGITIVE television series, which puzzled me, since he was starring in a motion picture based upon the series. Perhaps it’s standard procedure to trash the source material, to deflect the inevitable question: “Why did we need a remake of the original?”

  6. I like the original too much and don’t care for most remakes. I won’t be watching; based on what I’ve read, I probably won’t like it. Patrick McGoohan WAS the Prisoner, Number 6. That’s it.

  7. As long as the 2009 remake sticks to the main points of the original PRISONER, it should be just fine. McGoohan’s series is easily in my Top Five of All Time, but the central ideas really needed to be introduced to a new generation of fans without a dated sixties production getting in the way.

    Oh, and Lord Snooty, I wholeheartedly agree that the new DOCTOR WHO episode is definitely a must, but it’s okay to make time for the new PRISONER afterward…

  8. Cary —

    “The Waters of Mars” is airing only in the UK on November 15th. It doesn’t air here in the States on BBC America until December 19th.

    Just remember, though, that YouTube is your friend…

  9. That remake completely misses the point of the original.

    Based on the NYT interviews, the writer seems to think the message should be “I am not a number, I am part of a decent community!”

    That already signals the remake is a one big FAIL.

    At best it’s a crappy piece of fanfic.

  10. I read on Disch’s website that he wrote this book for a flat fee back in ’69 and gets the right knock every time he sees it being reprinted because he doesn’t get a bean for it… :-))))

    It’s got a great escape idea within it though, where his Number Six is in a contraption impervious to the balloon-thingy. The novel had little to do with the original series so if the new show is based on IT ….. then QED.

  11. “I read on Disch’s website that he wrote this book for a flat fee back in ‘69 and gets the right knock every time he sees it being reprinted because he doesn’t get a bean for it”

    He won’t get the knock this time; he died last year.

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