I'm not a Number, I'm a Free Man!

So, Merbrat breaks her long silence again to send me a link to the home of another renowned Stoic, WWdN: In Exile. Amongst the tidbits of information about greenhouse farming (how about cave farming, Wil?) Gambling and the Watchmen (never managed to get into that series) is a little tidbit about the impending doom of a cherished memory from the 1960's, The Prisoner.

The Prisoner Appreciation Society (Six of One) is reporting that this classic, surreal sci-fi/adventure series is set to return for a six-episode miniseries run. The announcement coincides with The Prisoner's 40th anniversary.
Reports have Jim Caviezel playing the heroic Number Six -- actor with a penchant for playing long-suffering characters (Bobby Jones, Jesus). Sir Ian McKellen would play arch-nemesis Number Two, while cementing his status alongside Christopher Lee as the greatest nerd project actors of their generation. Between the two of them, they'd own Star Wars, James Bond, Lord of the Rings, Dracula, Frankenstein and X-Men).
The Prisoner is my all-time favorite TV show, ever. EVER! After watching marathon after marathon of The Prisoner, I grokked what makes people become Trekkies or Browncoats. It did more than entertain me, it inspired me. I know that's weird to say about something that's so Orwellian, but it's true. The Prisoner spoke to me when I was a teenager. I bought the GURPS book, bought all the video tapes, and picked up every fan-made book and map of The Village I could find. I bought rub-on transfer letters in the Albertus font so I could make my own signs for my dressing room, and I painstakingly drew my own Number Six badge to wear on my jackets. I read and re-read the graphic Novel Shattered Visage fruitlessly looking for clues about . . . stuff. My first big external SCSI Mac II hard disk, which I think weighed in at a mighty 30 Megabytes, was named KAR120C. Again, living in a post-Phantom Menace world makes me a little nervous, and we've been talking about this remake almost as long as we were talking about a Watchmen movie, so I don't even know if this is as reliable as it seems. Regardless, I'm hopeful that there's someone out there who can treat it right. And a six episode mini-series would be freaking brilliant.
Unlike Mr. Weaton, I'm not interested in watching a remake of yet another cherished memory from yesteryear. I would say "cherished memory from my childhood", but I didn't watch the show until a fellow member of the local Austin Star Trek group (I was even Captain, for a time. Yes, we do watch something other than Star Trek) got me hooked on it.

I liked it so much, I invested in disks, Laserdiscs (yes, technology from yesteryear as well. I'll put my laserdiscs up against your Blu-ray disc, any day) they're still perfectly watchable, and the 60's flavor of the show makes the show what it is. I don't need a modern re-visitation, with all the emotional baggage that entails (like sexual tension in Leave it to Beaver. It was the 50's, people. Beavers built dams in the 50's) It was a different time, they were different people. Some things are better left alone.

I want to climb the highest mountain and shout to the gods of the Movie Making Industry:

LEAVE MY FREAKING MEMORIES ALONE YOU LIFE-SUCKING PARASITES FROM HELL!

...but that seems like a waste of energy when all I have to really do is not watch.

Do you really have a burning desire to revisit the past? Pick up and watch the movie Pleasantville (Another film for the essential SciFi list) a little sleeper of a film that explores, in depth, the reasons why we really can't revisit the past. The past isn't what we think it was.

I do have a helpful suggestion for those leeches who want to make a buck off yesterday's entertainment genius. Take the lead of the only group to successfully revisit a show from the past, Battlestar Galactica. Throw away any delusions of re-making something. Take the essential character outlines and plot, and go somewhere else with it. I'd even change the name, myself (Like Last Man on Earth to Omega Man to I am Legend) just don't delude yourselves into thinking that "it'll be as good as the original." Because no matter what you do, it won't be comparable to the original.

Not even Gene Roddenberry could pull that one off.



Forgot I even wrote this until stumbling across it today (9/22/20125) the fact that I am a fan of the show meant that eventually a copy of the new Prisoner mini-series (which is what ended up being made) was gifted to me at some point.  I've even watched it.  Does it mean anything that I can't recall a single thing about the mini-series? I can remember most of the episodes from the original Prisoner (note to self, buy them on bluray. Laserdisc player is dying) can't remember anything from the new. Guess I'll have to sit down and watch it again to re-familiarize myself with it. 

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