Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

01 July, 2008

Redux: The Prisoner & Life On Mars

While the remake of The Prisoner has been a go for a while, yesterday brought the official press release. The Guardian in the UK has the straight dope:

ITV1 has confirmed that Sir Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel will star in the network's reinvention of the 1960s thriller, The Prisoner, to be broadcast next year.

Caviezel, who shot to fame playing the role of the idealist private Witt in The Thin Red Line, has been cast in the Patrick McGoohan role as Number Six, the hero who finds himself trapped in a mysterious and surreal place known as The Village, with no memory of how he arrived.

McKellen, who is best known globally for playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, will take the role of Number Two, the sinister head of The Village.

Sir Ian seems a great choice for Number Two and I have to admit that Caviezel was good in The Thin Red Line. However, I don't know anything about the writer, Bill Gallagher, nor his previous projects. All in all, it doesn't sound like a disaster from the get-go, at least.

If you're like me and are a fan of the BBC series Life on Mars, you'll probably be disappointed/excited at the prospect of an American remake. LOST fans may recall a commercial for it during the season finale. Set to air this fall, the show is now reportedly undergoing a bit of retooling. The location is being moved from Los Angeles to New York to take advantage of new tax credits and, presumably, to be able to appeal to the stereotypes of New York's mean streets of the 1970s. (Were Sam Tyler to find himself waking up in the 1940s, no doubt LA would have worked perfectly.) This triggered the show's producer/writer David E. Kelley (he of Ally McBeal infamy) to bail. It is also being reported that Rachelle Lefevre's (Annie Cartwright) and Colm Meaney (Det. Gene Hunt) are gone as well.

Unsurprisingly, what is purported to be a copy of a DVD screener of the Kelley-penned pilot episode is now available on the Internet. I've watched the first 15 minutes or so which was enough to set up Tyler's life in the present, get him back to 1972, and meet the Gene Genie. Sam Tyler is played by Jason O'Mara, a man of no small talent. I assume so, anyway, as he was in the Royal Shakespeare Company. I'll admit I'm highly biased in this matter being a big fan of the BBC series but O'Mara does a good job. He's a bit more stoic than John Simm's portrayal, from what I've seen. But, if nothing else, he hasn't ruined anything in the first 15 minutes of the show. Again keeping in my bias, I will say that Meaney didn't cut the mustard. Nothing against him as he seemed like a good badass but his verbal sparring was shite. Maybe he gets better as the episode goes on – I'll find out soon – but he shot off no great barbs. My preliminary report indicates that this Gene Hunt would never say something like "The dealers are all so scared we’re more likely to get Helen Keller to talk. The Paki in a coma’s about as lively as Liberace’s dick when he’s looking at a naked woman, all in all this investigation’s going at the speed of a spastic in a magnet factory." Philip Glenister is a hard act to follow, to be sure, but having some good dialogue would go a long way in helping matters.

Perhaps the worst part here is that there's no Ray! There's some old duff substitute but we need Raymondo!

Here's a trailer:

|| Palmer, 5:10 PM


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