<strong><em>The Prisoner</em></strong>
The upcoming AMC mini-series The Prisoner, a remake of the 1967 series The Prisoner, will debut on Sunday, November 15 at 8 PM ET with two hour-long episodes. The six-part mini-series will be rounded out with two back-to-back two-hour airings on Monday November 16 and Tuesday November 17, both starting at 8 PM ET. AMC has sent along interviews with the main cast of the mini-series - Jim Caviezel, Ian McKellen, Ruth Wilson, Lennie James, Jamie Campbell Bower - along with the series' writer Bill Gallagher. Take a look at what they all have to say below.

Writer Bill Gallagher

How did you get involved with the re-imagining of The Prisoner?

Bill Gallagher: I had a phone call from Granada Television. It was such a surprising call...and I found myself having this bizarre conversation about reworking The Prisoner. I knew immediately I wanted to do it. I won't claim to have been a long-term fan of the original The Prisoner, but I had seen it once as a boy. It had such an impact on me. It was so strange and so unfathomable. It disturbed me like no other TV show had ever disturbed me. That stayed with me for a long time. That all came back to me, so I knew immediately I wanted to do it. And then the prospect of doing it terrified me.

What terrified you? That It has such a cult following?

Bill Gallagher: Partly. I respect the original. I am inspired by the original. But, it's never about re-doing it and pleasing the people who love the original. They love the original because of what it is. It was the scale of the task. It is such a mind-boggling concept. I knew I couldn't just make a conventional drama built on conventional structures. I knew it had to be different.

{bold|Talk about the character of Two and his backstory.

Bill Gallagher: In the original series, there was a series of Two characters and he was The Village's authority figure. What I was interested in was to stay with this man and to open up the battle between Six and Two and to get to know Two. Who is this man? What is his mission? What are his moral challenges? If he is a man with a vision, and that vision becomes The Village, then what are the costs to him? What happens when this man has a family? I was really interested in the character Two and that couldn't be achieved by throwing away a new Two each week. His actions tell us who he is, but I was also interested in finding out why he does what he does, and what it has cost him.

How did you imagine the character of Six and his journey?

Bill Gallagher: Six begins from a premise that's already given to me by the original series: there is a man cast into this strange place, he wants to escape, he rails against authority, and he's determined to assert his own individuality. For me, it's the man himself and his history. What if Six was a lonely man? What if he was a man who didn't know how to form relationships? What if he was a man whose work separated him from the world? What are the challenges that are thrown to Six himself, in his own beliefs, in his own ideas, in his own failings? This series is a hero's journey. That journey is an attempt to escape, an attempt to overcome the monster that is Two. But also, it's a challenge to overcome the monster in himself.

Jim Caviezel (Six)

What was the appeal of the role of Six and of the series in general?

Jim Caviezel: The challenge for me was taking on an iconic role in a series of such cult status and making it my own. It is a hugely ambitious TV project. It is surreal, complex and challenging for the audience.

How would you describe your character?

Jim Caviezel: Six is stubborn, persistent, curious and clever. He is always looking for answers, refuses to conform and never gives up hope. Six is constantly looking for a way out of The Village - either physically or psychologically. In each episode, he tries to escape by different means.

Does it make it harder or easier playing an iconic lead? How do the Sixes in the original Prisoner and this new version differ?

Jim Caviezel: Although it would be foolish not to recognize the original character created by Patrick McGooghan, the Six I play is very much a contemporary man dealing with issues that affect us now. He does have some similar characteristics with the original Six like his defiant nature and his complex antagonistic relationship with Two. But we learn more about his life before The Village. We also see him building strong relationships with other Villagers throughout the six episodes.

Were you a fan of the original series of The Prisoner?

Jim Caviezel: I purposely decided not to view the original series. I wanted to find my own interpretation for the role without being influenced by what had been done before.

How do you feel about shooting a remake? Do you think it will inevitably invite comparisons with the original and, more specifically, invite comparisons between your portrayal of Number Six and Patrick McGoohan's?

Jim Caviezel: Yes, it is inevitable that comparisons will be made. But our series is more a reinvention than a remake. It looks at the situation with a fresh eye, and deals with issues that affect us now, and the character is very contemporary. The creative team is keen to remain faithful to the spirit of the original, but both the structure and the character have been reworked. Hopefully audiences will be able to enjoy it as a separate piece of contemporary television.

What was it like filming with Ian McKellen?

Jim Caviezel: He is a superb actor and we had enormous fun playing adversaries.

What did you think of Namibia?

Jim Caviezel: The space, the desert and the dunes are awesome. The town of Swakopmund is a strange and interesting place - an authentic German town in the desert in Africa.

Ian Mckellen (Two)

Why did The Prisoner interest you?

Ian McKellen: This is the sort of thing I would enjoy watching myself and that is always the test. It also arrived at the right time - I wanted to work and, to top it all, it brought me to Cape Town. Now, it's more intriguing than when I first read it. It's a thriller and unlike the original series, this is much more about what Six wants to escape from and why he can't escape. There are clues from the very first scene in the very first episode.

Who is Two?

Ian McKellen: In the original series, Two was running The Village. More than that, he was played by a different actor for each episode, but this time there's just me playing the part. Two appears to be in charge of The Village and he has the qualities of someone who might well be that. If you like The Village you'd accept him as your leader and revere him, but if you don't like The Village you'd think he is a monster. I personally don't think he is creepy at all.

What about Two's family?

Ian McKellen: It is no secret that Two has a family. He has a son in his late teens and he has a wife, whose comatose, with whom he is madly in love. But he has a wife whom he can't really talk to and a son who doesn't want to talk to him. He loves them both and it is his love for them both that sets the whole story rollicking along. Does he bring Six into The Village to take over from him or does it become his motive as the story goes on? You never know with The Village.

Why is The Prisoner so compelling?

Ian McKellen: Once you get involved with something as good as this you find out things you didn't know before. I read online about people who indulge in mutual dreaming. Sometimes the dreams are identical. I suppose Bill Gallagher knew that, and if he didn't, is very perceptive to these things. What I like about The Prisoner are all the oddities, the strangeness, the peculiarities. Port Merion [in McGoohan's original] doesn't look real. It's a fantasy. Bill Gallagher's The Prisoner is a more believable place. It clearly has a style to it. Swakopmund has the feel of a prison - the mighty Atlantic on one side of the town and on the other side you have the desert.

Are there similarities to the original?

Ian McKellen: There are references back to the original and there are characters that appear in the original that appear in this. I don't think it is any secret that Rover is back. In this, as opposed to the original, we discover where Rover comes from. Questions are answered. People who enjoyed the original might ask why have you cast an American and not an Englishman in the central role? It all will be answered. "The Prisoner" is being re-imagined by a group of people who are fans of the original.

What do you think The Prisoner is about?

Ian McKellen: It is about relationships in the context of things which preoccupy us. It is about the nature of government today, about the state of mental health, about conspiracy theories. It is a thriller because exciting things happen and if you are interested to know why they happen you would want to watch the next episode. The story plays with current obsessions just like the original did.

Ruth Wilson (313)

Who is 313?

Ruth Wilson: She is a strange figure, a doctor in the Village. She initially meets Six in Club More - at that point, you have no idea who she is. She next appears in the hospital, where Six is waking up, and gradually the relationship between Six and 313 grows. She is always there, always around. She has been assigned to look after him by Two. It is part of her job and she doesn't think much of it. It is only when she is talking to Six, and he starts making her question herself, that all her doubts about living in The Village are exposed. The women in this version are more interesting than the rather two-dimensional characters in the original. 313 is real. She is always changing. She has secrets.

What attracted you to this role?

Ruth Wilson: I find her fascinating to play every scene - there's so many unsaid things going on. Each scene I have to play for the scene. She has a sophisticated, neat, intelligent look. She is a clever woman, but she is tortured by everything she has to do. She is someone who is pivotal to the way The Village works and fundamental to making it work successfully. She is overcome with guilt. I've tried to play her real. In Episode 1, she has to build up a relationship with Six to get him to open up to her. She is not as she seems.

What is her relationship with Six?

Ruth Wilson: They have the same doubts and the same questions. She becomes his confidant. In Episode 3 you find out that she is a dreamer - she dreams of another place which, in The Village, is a crime and she is forced to deny this. She can't help herself being drawn to Six. It is the same with Two - she is drawn to him. In the earlier episodes, she has grown closer to Six and found out how dangerous he is. He has made her dangerous to herself, and she is struggling to hold on to who she is in The Village. She has to obey Two otherwise she will suffer the consequences. She almost has to make a choice between The Village and Six.

Describe 313 as a dreamer?

Ruth Wilson: As a dreamer, she becomes more and more tortured by her dreams. She can't work out what they are and they keep coming back to her. She's like an outcast - someone who is secretly hiding who they are. [In latter episodes], she becomes more honest and she finds out who she really is. Two makes her face her dreams and her nightmares.

How did you find working with Ian McKellen?

Ruth Wilson: It's great working with Ian because there is a real playfulness that he has. His character is the baddie, but he has loads of depth. Two abuses 313 and manipulates her, but she is drawn to him as a father figure. She opens up to him.

Lennie James (147)

Is 147 a perfect Villager?

Lennie James: 147 is the epitome of the success of The Village. Completely content with his life when we meet him. His life is based on one single happiness and that is his wife and his kid.

Does he question anything?

Lennie James: He knows where to go, and where not to go, and what questions to ask.

What IS 147's role in early episodes?

Lennie James: The question in the first three episodes is: is he spying on Six because he always turns up just when Six needs him? He is always there...Six needs to see the sea and 147 is there to drive him. Over the three episodes he's the guy saying to Six - "just don't ask that question...try and find your peace here."

How does this character change over the course of the series?

Lennie James: When 147 discovers "the holes," it is the beginning of his awakening. In Episode 4, something happens which attacks his one single happiness. From there, he is against The Village and all The Village stands for. He's angry, but it is the anger of an ineffectual man. His story then is firmly on Six's side. There is something wrong with this place and he needs to know what it is. He is on Six's side to the point where he is noticed by Two. Two turns up and uses 147 to bring about the climax of the whole show.

How do you feel about 147?

Lennie James: I like him. Six is everyman. If you were in Six's shoes - waking in the middle of nowhere and not knowing who you are - most people would hope to behave like Six. Keep challenging, fighting...but in reality, most of the world is like 147, just accepting it. That's why it is so clever of Bill Gallagher to set [147] as a taxi driver...they facilitate people. [147 is] a man who's found contentment in a very small place. He doesn't need to rule the world. He is a small man with immense possibilities, and he goes on a journey where he surprises himself.

Jamie Campbell Bower (11-12)

What is 11-12 like? As Two's son, is he a prince-like figure?

Jamie Campbell Bower: He's soulless and feels a part of him is missing. He is a voyeur, and he's always watching...it makes him very introverted. He is a prince in some respects. He's a royal. Being the son of Two, 11-12 lives very comfortably in the Palais...surrounded by bodyguards and fickle friends. He's troubled, and the relationship with his father evolves and becomes different than what it was in the beginning. Every character has a purpose, and at the end, you begin to understand it.

What is his role in The Prisoner?

Jamie Campbell Bower: Throughout the series we see him uncover truths that where otherwise concealed from him by his father. He is a little boy lost. He deals with a lot of problems that young people are faced with - lack of identity, sexuality, parental relationships. The arrival of Six confuses him, and he begins to question and open his mind. Although he deeply loves his father, he doesn't like the man his father is and what he represents.

Is 11-12 a true Villager?

Jamie Campbell Bower: He does not conform with most of the Villagers. He questions and is interested in this bizarre world he lives in. He uses his power to gain information from other characters, most notably 313.

You can watch this amazing cast when Bill Gallagher's The Prisoner debuts on Sunday, November 15 at 8 PM ET, followed by two consecutive nights of two-hour showings on November 16 and November 17 at 8 PM ET on the AMC network.

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