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.

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