Well, McKellen has now joined the cast in Swakopmund. And he's been blogging away, God bless him. Here he tells us about the two weeks delay in getting over to Namibia.

"I'd said most of my goodbyes, was ready to turn off the water heater and double-lock the windows, when a brisk phone call from my agent said: "Hold on, there's been a delay. You are not needed in Namibia yet awhile. Nothing to worry about." So I didn't, until the next day there was another call to say there was a problem, unspecified."
The problem? Jon Jones, the director, has knackered his leg in. He's off the production whilst his leg is in a cast. McKellen is saddened, like most, to hear this as Jones had shepherded the production for 18 months. Nick Hurran has now stepped in. According to Jones "Nick is very professional and since taking over a few weeks ago has developed a a good rapport with the actors and crew. He's very business-like and efficient."

McKellen, in a later entry on his blog tells us about his first days in Swakopmund and the delving into history:

"A century ago, when they occupied the desert land northwest of South Africa, just south of Angola and east of Botswana, the German colonialists needed a fishing centre and founded this place at the mouth of the Swakop River: hence their name for it, Swakopmund. Previously the locals had called it "Excrement Opening", if Wikipedia is to be trusted."

I love that. 'Excrement Opening'. It was a shit hole, then.

"I'm not working every day, so what does one otherwise do in Swakopmund? Well, I've joined the gym to do my twice-weekly stretching exercises. I've attended costume fittings at the main hotel, which used to be the railway station and will soon stand in for Number Two's home in The Prisoner. I am driven on my expeditions for fresh fruit and general provisions by my ever-attentive "chaperone", Peter Owens from Cape Town, where he is a tour guide. And mostly I've stayed indoors learning my lines to the accompaniment of the ocean's swash."

Nice work if you can get it. What a big luvvie he is.

AMC's The Prisoner blog

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(Thanks to AMC for the images, McKellen and Jones' blogs for the comments.)

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