He saved Doctor Who. Can he save The Prisoner?

The PrisonerChristopher Eccleston – remember him? – is being hotly tipped to take the lead in Sky One’s remake of The Prisoner. Every few years, there are rumours that the classic 60s series about a spy abducted and imprisoned in a ‘village’ will get remade. Mel Gibson was going to make a movie of it for a while; Granada was hinting at it last year, but dropped it. But this appears to be officially official – another interesting move by Sky’s new director of programmes, Richard Woolfe, who’s actually going to get Granada to make it for him.

I think Eccleston would be a good choice for the role. He may have been miscast as the Doctor, but Eccleston suits the role of “Number 6” perfectly. As played in the original series by Patrick McGoohan, 6 was a shouting, angry man, constantly on the prowl, sarcastic, untrusting, always getting into fights. Eccleston can do all of those things and do them well. Given Eccleston is now persona non grata at the Beeb and many other networks are wary of working with him in case he buggers off after five minutes, a major role in an iconic series would rehabilitate him no end and might help him shed the image of the Doctor.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.