The Prisoner Writers And Stars Speak

SFX: How trippy do you think this new show is?
Bill Gallagher, writer: “Trippy, hmm... It was a balancing act because I love good story telling and I love that feeling of being gripped by a story, by what’s going to happen, and being involved with charters and concern for the lives of the people of the story. So I wasn’t concerned with doing something abstract and unreachable, but it has to be mind-boggling and finding that balance is important. The story itself has elements of the surreal in it and that strange subconscious feeling of not knowing quite where we are, but at the same time being a proper story with proper story structures and proper characters. I hope people feel compelled to know, compelled to find out, compelled to feel for the characters, but with bafflement about certain elements of the story. That’s what I felt about the original. I felt impacted in ways that I didn’t understand but I wanted to find out and I hope we do something like that. So yes there are things in it that are strange, but not strange for strange sake. Strange because they serve the story.”

Is there a Number One?
Ian McKellen, Number Two: “There is no Number One, but for the same reason as in the original – there never has been Number One. But there are many references back to the original. When that show was made it was concentrating on things of concern at the time, such as the Cold War, but this is the 21st Century and this Prisoner is about our lives today. So there are differences in how people dress and how they behave. It’s no longer a treatise on Socialist living at all. It's about Capitalism, really.”

How much input did he have into developing the role of Six?
Jim Caviezel, Number Six : “Nick Hurran is a very giving director, and you know what a wonderful actor Ian McKellen is. Our work was really collaborative. At the same time, I got to try everything I wanted to try. As usual, some of it worked, some led to better choices and some didn't work at all. And at the same time, I was working with strong actors whose own choices and experiments triggered many of the discoveries I made about my character.

“I loved working with Ian. Would work with him on anything he wanted to do. I would really like to do a play with him, and he and I have talked about trying to find the right vehicle and doing something together.”

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