"The Prisoner is not happening. It's a very quintessentially British drama and there were too many creative differences trying to share it with an American partner. I didn't want to be responsible for taking something that is quintessentially British and adapting it in a way that I didn't feel was reflective of the way people would remember it and the way people would want it to be. So we called time on that."Read all of Digital Spy’s interview with Woolfe here.
Aug. 25, 2007, 2:49 p.m. CST
So take that <p> be seeing you
Aug. 25, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST
look at how Leo McKern turned out in the next to last episode. DIE, SIX, DIE!
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST
I was fairly indifferent to how this would have turned out (I'm too young to have ever caught the original, and not pretentious enough to pretend that I have), but I'm definatelly happy to hear that these people aren't going to go for a cheap cash-in on a beloved brand.
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST
by Rumpel Tumskin
Why fuck up a good thing. Now if we can just get a decent Logan's Run movie that is truer to the book.
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:22 p.m. CST
by Frank Black
This is the best news EVER from the entertainment industry. Leave the originals alone and instead of remaking classic entertainment, make more originals. A true recipe for success!
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:29 p.m. CST
by The Llama
...would be called NOWHERE MAN.
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST
Given the current climate in Hollywood they would have found a way to turn the entire thing into a not very subtle ham-handed comment on (as they would put it) The Jew Puppet George Bu$Hitler Chimpy McHaliburtin. <p> Everything but the ending of the Prisoner was a masterpiece. And (possibly because it was 25+ years old when I saw it) it was void of any explicit name-calling political commentary (general political commentary, yes).<p> Now they feel that the worst schlocky-est work can be excused and even praised if you just pretend that instead of making a piece of crap you made a brilliant political commentary. When you start with a known philosophical show, you start with a pass. You can put zero effort into it and your pals will tell you how good it was. In fact, I expect their Hollywood pals to encourage them to choose political attacks over quality work.<p> Better to have nothing than the mess they would have made of it.
Aug. 25, 2007, 3:59 p.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
American TV executives insisted it had to be about a group of mysterious strangers who crash on a mysterious island and find they have super hero powers and either (a) be canceled mid season with no explinations or forced to drag on far past its natural end point and be ruined in so doing... Also they wanted the male mead to be called McMysterious and be all dark and brooding...
Aug. 25, 2007, 4:05 p.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
Unless I was making some obscure beer joke...
Aug. 25, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST
Sounds like a stock bullshit answer and not the real reason it isn't being made. It needs Christopher Eccleston in the lead role anyway.
Aug. 25, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST
but time will tell I guess.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:03 p.m. CST
by Bungion Boy
A film I could get behind. Especially with talented people involved. A crappy show on AMC? Not so much.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:11 p.m. CST
by Some Dude
Holy shit. Kudos. Remember when they were threatening us with a Mel Gibson version? Ick.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:32 p.m. CST
Why? Why? Why?
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:41 p.m. CST
I hear so many people group this show with Twin Peaks, and other groundbreaking television, but I just don't get it. Now, I'll state right now I never got around to finishing it, and I'm sure the last episode is amazing and covers good ground, but I just hated the repetition and meaninglessness of every other episode. I know television then, especially British TV, was different than how things were now, but for such a mysterious show to not have like any "arc episodes" that progressed things, it was so infuriating. It'd always be him and some random women having to fight some dream machine, or star in a chess match. I can appreciate what the show did, and what it influenced, but I think the majority of episodes were boring. When people mention how great this show was, do they mean that the concept and aftermath of the show in regard to the spectrum of television was great, or do you guys actually believe that every episode of this show was great? I wanted to love this show, I really did.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:44 p.m. CST
Because, like I said, I found the majority of the series to be filler. You could easily edit the entire series into 130 minutes of canon and essential events and have a pretty interesting movie about paranoia.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST
I am one of those fossils who was 12 when The Prisoner first aired and I didn't care for it - it never did appeal to me, but I think the chief difference of TV back then was there was so much experimentation with the form - sure, there was lots of crap, but some brilliant, enigmatic and strange stuff to be had - it's so much safer now, and I believe what many miss is that exciting feeling of discovery and even befuddlement at some of the offerings. Just my opinion.
Aug. 25, 2007, 6:04 p.m. CST
you'd sure as shit hate the finale. I love the Prisoner, but the I find the finale irritating. If Lost ends with one of the characters pulling a monkey mask off their doppleganger, I'm going to systematically kill every writer and producer of that show.
Aug. 25, 2007, 6:16 p.m. CST
...that there's something else keeping it from happening that has nothing to do with artistic integrity and everything to do with a lack of economic viability.<br><br>I'd like to think that someone finally pulled their head out of their ass and listened to the ancient wisdom of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But I am too cynical for that.
Aug. 25, 2007, 7:08 p.m. CST
by Master Bruce
THANK GOD!!! Much better to have a new totally British tv series like the new DR. WHO or a feature film rather than some American bastardization. It is a true classic...brillant & innovative for it's time that mainly still stands up today...er, except for that damn final episode...was McGoohan on LSD @ the time or what? I agree that a movie version could be cool, in fact I'd much rather see Christopher Nolan & Christian Bale tackle THE PRISONER than another BATMAN film anyday...but that's another argument. Be seeing you.
Aug. 25, 2007, 7:56 p.m. CST
The reason why the prisoner seems to be repetitive in the middle is because it was never designed to have that many episodes. McGoohan only wanted 7 episodes to tell his story but the network forced him to make a lot more. He apparently wrote several of them himself under pseudonyms, possibly because he wasn't happy with the quality. That being said, I was pretty unimpressed with the finale like some others.
Aug. 25, 2007, 8:37 p.m. CST
... someone in media say "We didn't do it because it would've sucked and also crapped on the source material". As opposed to: "We didn't think it would make enough money".
Aug. 25, 2007, 9 p.m. CST
What was good about it was that it broke just about every rule you could possibly write about dramatic TV at the time. Or even now. And it introduced to the UK TV-viewing public of the sixties a word most of them hadn't ever heard of: "surreal". The makers of Lost are desperately trying for the same sort of thing (don't believe them if they deny it!) with *some* success. The thing that it has overwhelmingly in its favor is that for most of the time you haven't got the faintest clue about what could in the next 10 min. I'm halfway convinced that McGoohan and the rest of the production company didn't either! It's like a stream-of-consciousness thing - with said consciousness on acid half the time! The ending, it can't be denied, did indeed suck bigtime. But then McGoohan has never been accused of having a "mainstream" sense of humor!
Aug. 25, 2007, 9:27 p.m. CST
But doing otherwise straight action/drama while just occasionally throwing in a few bits of weirdness here and there only works sometimes. If you want to do weird then its best to have a mission statement right up front: "My sincere intention here is to totally and completely frack-up the minds of anyone who watches this". I think that was what McGoohan was going for in the later episodes. JMHO.
Aug. 25, 2007, 9:30 p.m. CST
It appears that most are only praising this show for what it stood for, and what it lead to, as opposed to the overall quality of the episodes, which I agreed with to begin with.
Aug. 25, 2007, 10 p.m. CST
Picking a comment in your original post: "but for such a mysterious show to not have like any "arc episodes" that progressed things". Flame me if I'm wrong but it seems from this and other comments that you're judging the show by contemporary standards. The concept of an "arc" was only introduced this decade - the only arc that the average program maker would have heard of in the sixties would be an arc-welder! The question is not whether it stands up to the slick shows that are produced today. How could it? Rather, is it worthy of praise measured against the standards of the time? Take another "genre" show of the time - The Champions. Watching it now, while bringing today's sensibilities into it is pointless. It's jingoistic, imperialist, sexist, racist and Bob knows what else. But, measured by the standards of the time, it's a direct precursor to Heroes, Buffy and a zillion other shows that came after it.
Aug. 25, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST
and had heard that he wanted to do it between The Dark Knight and the next Batman movie and that David and Janet People were writing a draft. What happened to that? I was pumped at the possibility.
Aug. 25, 2007, 10:38 p.m. CST
watch Patrick McGoohan's preferred order of how the series went - it eliminates a lot of stuff he clearly thought was unnecessary.
Aug. 25, 2007, 10:41 p.m. CST
At least with "Logan's Run" there is a reason to cast young. In the book, 21 is check-out time.
Aug. 25, 2007, 11:37 p.m. CST
Mad Men has been so good, I was actually interested in what AMC could do. still, no prisoner remake is much better than a bad prisoner remake.
Aug. 26, 2007, 12:20 a.m. CST
With all the espionage, mind-altering chemicals, brainwashing, torture, paranoia, and especially the social commentary on the rights of the individual versus society, THE PRISONER would translate very, very well to today's culture. <p>Get Steven Fucking Moffat from DOCTOR WHO or comic book guru Grant Morrison to write the scripts for a single 13-episode series and get someone like Clive Owen or Gerard Butler (someone with a potential James Bond vibe to them) as Number Six. Christopher Eccleston can certainly do the shouty lines, but his big nose and ears seem ill-suited to be McGoohan's heir as Number Six.</p>
Aug. 26, 2007, 12:56 a.m. CST
THE PRISONER was a classic. When was the last time you saw a classic improved upon? You can take a "Battlestar Galactica" and do a 1st class remake, but The Prisoner was timeless and doesn't need it. Now McGoohan's "The Scarecrow" would be perfect for a remake. I can see it now: Mel Gibson as Christopher Syn...
Aug. 26, 2007, 2:22 a.m. CST
Amazing how many of you just swallow this guy's story without question. Have you ever seen Sky One before? There's zero class or integrity there. This project definitely died for reasons other than his nobility.
Aug. 26, 2007, 2:57 a.m. CST
Isn't Christopher Nolan supposed to be directing a feature film adaptation/remake of the show as his follow-up to The Dark Knight? As far I know he's still planning on it. So there actually WILL be a remake of The Prisoner on the way.......just not as a new show. But yeah, last time Nolan spoke of other projects he stated that he will do The Prisoner next and then follow that up with the proposed third Batman movie.
Aug. 26, 2007, 2:59 a.m. CST
...Nolan's version is being scripted by David & Janet Peoples.
Aug. 26, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST
If so I'd love to see his take on it. I've never seen the show mind you, but the idea and story sounds interesting to say the least. I hope he goes through with it after The Dark Knight.
Aug. 26, 2007, 8:47 a.m. CST
but it's early in the morning and I don't feel like going through and reading everything just yet.
Aug. 26, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST
by Bill Brasky
oh, sorry, didn't mean to offend. Now, do you mean "quintessentially British" as in Bad Teeth, or "quintessentially British" as in horribly foul tasting, bland food? Because I was thinking "quintessentially British" as in America's fragile older brother, or as in a nation full of hooligans, alcoholics, Paki's and welfare bottom-feeders. Hey, Limey, go FUCK YOURSELF and your "quintessentially British" show...which we have stole and made better with 'Lost' anyway.
Aug. 26, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST
Thats all there is to say. The greatest tv show of all times does not need a remake, it needs a re-broadcast. Just show the original shows to new audiences, not come half-assed bullshit remake.<br>,br> And, again, to all the gods and demigods who saw fit to tip the karmic scales against this travesty, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Aug. 26, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST
Wow, Brasky, Nazi much? Isn't it funny how the neocon xtians are always the biggest hatemongering bigots? Ironic, even. Who Would Jeebus Kill, right? <br><br>As America slowly dies, as it loses the war it started, as it becomes more and more isolated from its allies and reality itself, what will you do? Pray? Drink? Pray and drink? Molest a boy for Jeebus? What?
Aug. 26, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST
You want to talk about a dying empire? Blimey, guv, but didn't you guys own like the overwhelming majority of our planet once up on a time? And aren't you guys how reduced to an island roughly the size of any two of our states? As for social/artistic contributions, you went from John Lennon to Boy George - talk about a society that is slowly dying. tool.
Aug. 26, 2007, 12:04 p.m. CST
I suppose I was overlooking the fact that back then, arcs weren't something that happened. I still agree that the show stood for some wonderful things, that McGoohan was good, and that there are a few select episodes that stand out exceptionally well over a lot of annoying filler. Perhaps what I should have originally said was that I don't see why so many people are praising The Prisoner now, in comparison to some of the other television that has now been made.
Aug. 26, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST
I don't think an arc would have made much sense with the Prisoner. I think it was the point of the show that he couldn't escape and he couldn't figure out what was going on. This was a show where, when it ends and winds up in the same place, that actually added to the show, rather than a sit-com or Smallville that does it so that a different writer will have the same characters in the same place to work with. In comparison to other shows, few shows before or since capture paranoia the way the Prisoner did. The environment also is something that is pretty unique to the show.
Aug. 26, 2007, 1 p.m. CST
to be as good as everyone pretends it is. It has everything going for it. It just doesnt execute.
Aug. 26, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
by Spykid the 13th
There isn't even a remote possibility that this didn't happen due to creative differences. This happened because someone, somewhere, made the mistake of admitting to someone else that there wasn't the financing needed. To think that ANYONE in the U.S. entertainment industry decided (or even had the power) not to make an American version of 'the prisoner' due to integrity is beyond ludicrous. How naive is it to think it happened due to respect for the source material? It happened because somehow, somewhere, the bottom fell out of the financing, and this is the spin that resulted from it. This is the American studio system! This is the studio system that put Ang Lee in charge of THE HULK to make sure it was hardcore enough to be good! This is the studio system that gave us CAPTIVITY when we asked for a decent horror film! This is the studio that gave us LICENSE TO WED when we asked for a decent comedy! Don't ever forget that. Basically, in my opinion, as a rule, a person ought to view absolutely everything said by the American studio system with complete disbelief. If a studio tells you that they're going to make a movie "as hardcore and brutal as the source material," then you should look for every reason why the studio isn't doing that at all - they've made a priority out of making sure to mention it, and the odds are strong that this means it's not actually happening. If a studio says the movie is going to star the original cast, then get on the phone and demand that it star the original cast in a remake, because odds are it's not going to actually happen unless you demand that this mean actually casting the origianl cast as the original CHARACTERS instead of a nod-wink cameo. If a studio says "this is going to be 70s horror in the most classic sense," don't bother watching the film in the theater - wait for it on DVD or, better yet, ignore the film, because it's just hype and spin and the MPAA will dissect the flick anyway). If a studio tells you a project is "in development," flood the offices with emails and letters demanding the thing get made, because "in development" pretty much equals "never going to happen." If a studio announces they're working with the original writer/creator of a project, get the same flood going demanding that the studio actually give that person a modicum of creative control. Now, in this case, I can't exactly call them up and demand that the project NEVER happen, of course, but I am just as wary - announcing it won't happen really only means someone else will pick up the reigns of evil and try to get this thing made now that the rights will be sold off to another party to screw up 'the prisoner' in their own way. In terms of 'the prisoner,' I couldn't be more gratified to hear that it won't happen for the time being. The political and social climate in Hollywood right now is a pitch-thick sludge that gives us such movies as SHOOTER. A 'prisnoer' made by a major American studio right now would probably have resulted in a story in which Number Six (revaled to have the real name John Newman (Get it?) or Max J Nemo (get it?) or Jason Bourne) would wake up one day in a high security prison guarded by shock troopers as seen in SOLARBABIES. Using his ability to remember every detail of evertyhing he sees, he'd make a daring escape right from the get-go, giving us the obligatory early-on action sequence, only to discover to his horror at the end of Act 2 that his own government was behind his imprisonment, because, of course, as is necessary with American studio movies, the US gov't would be revealed to be behind absolutely everything conspiratorial in the entire history of the world, even before America existed (The Illuminati!). People would be imprisoned to be replaced by perfect clone duplicates (THE ISLAND) which would be how the movie would "pay loving tribute" to the original's finale - it was all a clone situation, see, because the ending has to be literal, right?). Rover would never be named in the series, instead replaced by glowing CGI energy fields that fly around at 500 mph accompanied by a mild sound effect (a zapping electic sound, of course, and definitely no screaming or growling or howling like in the original! I mean, really! What, are we children?! how stupid is it for Rover to make noise?). At the end of the movie, the evil blond American military man who controlled the prisoner's fate would fall down a shaft and end up alive inside the prison, where he would be devoured by his own creation in "brilliant" irony as all the Rovers and robotic shock troops (clones with no thought of their own) target and attack him, and so we'd get the symbolism of the conspiracy eating itself and suffering its own fate, because, you see, that's ironic. The ending would feature the hero returning to civilization, kissing his wife and taking his son to a baseball game (but we wouldn't see him stand for the National Anthem, of course - he's too smart to be patriotic now, he's learned different). Halfway through the credits, we'd see the ruined control station of the prison and a lone screen would turn on to reveal hundreds of prisons all over the world, revealing that the evil of the conspiracy goes on. There, I've told you the movie. Feel better?
Aug. 26, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST
Is that one where he sneaks into the cargo hold, and he thinks he gets back home, but it's all just a trick, and he's even more fucked up in the end. THAT one had me in suspense.
Aug. 26, 2007, 3:13 p.m. CST
He was the brainchild behind the show. So glad this has been cancelled. I have the script and it was the biggest piece of shit. Carey Elwes is a good actor, but he's no "Number 2."
Aug. 26, 2007, 6:51 p.m. CST
Piece of cake. Hire Nick Tate to be the lead. Call it Moonbase Alpha, and make it the story of, like, 25 people barely hanging on after a devastating attack has destroyed 75% of the base. 2 or 3 sets. Lots of CGI. Dark, dark stories. I'd watch.
Aug. 26, 2007, 7:57 p.m. CST
I'm SHOCKED! Bravo to Mr. Woolfe for not cursing us with yet ANOTHER sub-standard and crappy remake of a classic!<p>If only the makers of SciFi's Flash Gordon had the same respect for its source material...
Aug. 27, 2007, 2:51 a.m. CST
by Spykid the 13th
Was my highly-cynical guess even close to the reality? Cary Elwes is exactly what I meant about the villain being a blond military dude, prim and proper of course because he's one of those evil military men, because all legitimate military men are evil in the Hollywood movies.
Aug. 27, 2007, 6:11 a.m. CST
I think you're getting 'quintessially' confused with 'stereotypically'.
Aug. 27, 2007, 7:34 a.m. CST
I hope that this could be done with the ideas of the original. I think something like this, with elctronic survailance and monitoring as rampant as it is today, is very relevant and deserves re-telling. I could see Sean Bean as Number 6.
Aug. 27, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST
by Bill Brasky
Oh, and LaserPants, that was a perfect response and exactly the one that I was looking for. You see Laser, every once in a while, ole' Bill here (the neocon xtian...what ever the fuck an xtain is) likes to roll up on you ultra-left wing nut-cases in a B-29 Superfortress and drop a great big two-ton hunk 'o American uranium and steel. I couldn't have gotten a better reaction. For all of the 'Peace Love and Understanding' that you liberals push, you really are the most aggressive and easily angered people on the planet. So get up off of your heavily stained couch, finish the bowl that you have been nursing since you woke up this morning and turn off the X-Files themesong that you have been playing on a continuous loop since you watched the Bush administration ‘bring down’ the Twin Towers. This is a website about Movies, TV shows, comics, video games, etc. Scroll up to your address bar and type in “www.moveon.org”. You’de be much happier there…loser.
Aug. 27, 2007, 9:04 a.m. CST
by Kid Z
... The suits probably wanted Keanu!
Aug. 27, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST
Steed and Peel could still tear up the small screen.
Aug. 27, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST
don't be silly, why would anyone want Keanu to fill in for a classic and beloved character. That is just idiotic. Hey, there's a Day the Earth Stood Still talkback. I'm gonna go find out what that is about...
Aug. 27, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST
Some things can't be remade. The Prisoner is one of those things and when I read that the Brits didn't want to 'Americanize' it, I say bully for them. I mean if you are going to ever stand up to the crass, artless Americans doing so on a Prisoner remake is as good a place as any to start.
Aug. 27, 2007, 10:48 p.m. CST
It also included these manufactured rebels that created their own terrorist network run by the Village called, "Rebellion Dogs" that blew up their own buildings to think that there was a resistance among them. Alos, the plot didn't makes sense. If Number 6(He has a name I forgot it.) saw some information on these high tech video monitors the people in charge knew he saw something, but didn't know what it was and he didn't know what it was, then erase the fucking tapes, transfer the guy into another deaprtment in Siberia and no one would know who saw what.
Aug. 28, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST
or a multiple doctors story.