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oh - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-06-30 23:08
Subject: oh
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:alarmedalarmed
Music:black sabbath
I've been hearing rumblings for a little while that there are plans to remake The Prisoner, and now it seems that indeed there are, with Jim Caviezel as Number Six and Ian McKellen as Number Two.
Well, let's see. Two very good actors, a writer who knows what he's doing, an iconic series with concerns that are even more pertinent now than when Patrick McGoohan wrote it in the 60s. What could go wrong?
Um...
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-06-30 23:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Orb Eye
I had no idea Patrick McGoohan wrote "The Prisoner". I remember watching the show, on those rare occasions when I was around a television. It was one of my favorite 60s shows. Egads, but I'm getting old! Whine.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-07-01 13:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Its more complicated than that- McGoohan originally had the idea for 7 episodes, but the networks wanted 26, and they ended up with 17 or so, so I think that some of them were written by other people. Certainly the 7 episodes that McGoohan wrote make a very tight drama with some natural progression, but the extra episodes added make the series a bit flabbier.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-07-01 14:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Interesting factoid! Thanks.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-07-01 13:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The answer is:
Everything could go wrong, if all that happens is they try to make something "popular" rather than both relevant and entertaining.
Amongst other things, what I found interesting about the original series was the way they made use of studio scenes and the quite bonkers backdrop of Portmeirion. SOmehow they made Portmeirion look much larger than you would expect. And they always had dozens of people in the background being busy. With just a few changes, you could do the same thing again except make it more of a critique of braindead consumerism, with extra time wasting by computer game.
They'd better have different number 2's- whilst I suppose the changing personnel every week would be more because of the whole network series thing, it also makes some sense psychologically.


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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-01 22:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Portmeirion was a stroke of genius, I thought. I'm unsure how much they dressed it - and it's a long time since I saw the series - but it was an inspired location.
I agree it would be good - and true to the original - if they had a different Number Two every week. But think about it, you've got Ian McKellen in to appear on what is basically an ITV show. Are you going to replace him with another actor after just one episode?
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-07-01 22:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Having been to Portmeirion 4 or 5 years ago, and only finished watching the Prisoner this year, I feel I can recall a lot.
Basically, what they did to Portmeirion was put up quite a few easily removed things like signposts, and frilly window shades and numbers outside houses. Everything else is sets at a studio. For example, number 2's. They were really careful about the camera angles, so everything you see up until he is inside, is actually real. The copper domed round building is only about 30 foot across, if that, and functions as an art gallery in real life.
Number 6's house is also smaller than the one in the series. The same goes for the town hall, and the other buildings, and the hospital etc. It really is amazingly well done- if I hadn't been to Portmeirion, I would have had trouble spotting how they had done it all. And rover- even today would be very effective as a proper barrier to escape, and would spook some people.

I don't quite get what is so good about Ian McKellan. But remember 2 or 3 of the number 2's appeared twice, so you could bring him back for the ending. There were after all several times number 2 nearly won, and one of those involved the number 2 who was in the last 2 episodes.
Ahhh, how to talk about it without giving anything away to people who havn't seen it.

Anyway, it might do the place good if they re-used it. It needs a bit of money for the upkeep, its getting a bit run-down, and IIRC some of the plantings could do with being replaced.

Some of the humour in the series is spot on. When no.6 is being "interviewed" by one middle aged well dressed stooge, someone watching comments (roughly)
"Good technique."
"Yes, he's ex-civil service, fitted straight in."
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