I watched the first episode of the new version of the prisoner, and was obviously shocked at how impossibly bad it is, on almost every level, and even more shocked that Ian McKellan would work on something so impossibly bad! Having said that I’m still going to watch the second episode, to make sure it doesn’t suddenly get good.
Obviously from my perspective, its tampering with something that is very close to my heart, as i remember sitting up till all hours watching it in my teenage years on rte 2. It was so wonderfully kitsch but the style and feel of it was great, and it did just enough to make sure you never knew where it was going. The American version just seems to lack that, along with any sense of humor, and has a main character who i took an instant dislike to (possibly because he wasn’t Patrick McGoohan). It seems like they have thrown a lot of cash at it, with an expensive looking sets and a huge cast, but the writing really lets it down, along with the constant use of jump cuts, between images from his past and other flotsom.
I know the basic reason why anything is made or remade is to make cash, but you have to ask the question though, should this have ever been made? Has any remake ever surpassed its original?