AintItCoolNews is reporting the the remade Prisoner TV series, rumored at times to star Christopher Eccleston and supposed to have begun filming this past spring, has been cancelled. The series was to have been a co-production between Britain's Sky One network and America's AMC. AICN links to an interview with Digital Spy in which Sky One head Richard Woolfe says as much:
"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."
I'm sure he will get a lot of cheers for defending the realm and so forth, and I certainly won't argue that its Britishness is a key element of The Prisoner. I certainly wouldn't want to see the setting changed to America, or the lead recast as an American. But one wonders if we're getting the whole story there. It sounds to me like a patriotic way of saying "creative differences." I know, in all probability, we dodged a bullet, and I'm sure that's the way most fans will feel. But personally, I'm disappointed. I think a Prisoner TV remake actually has the potential for greatness, as evidenced by the excellence of the Battlestar Gallactica remake. There's no question that the original series is a masterpiece, but there is room for improvement (like adding more regulars among the Village populace, people of whose allegiance we're unsure), and updating it to our current global climate could make for some really interesting television. As far as we know, the Christopher Nolan feature film version is still going ahead, but while I am excited about that, I think the project had more potential as a series.