Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patrick McGoohan, 1928-2009

Patrick McGoohan died on January 13th, at the age of 80. As a fan of McGoohan's iconic TV series "The Prisoner," I was saddened by his passing. Regular readers know that I have compared elements of "The Prisoner" to "House," and remarked upon the similarity between Hugh Laurie and Patrick McGoohan. I can't say that I'm familiar with much of McGoohan's work beyond "The Prisoner." But "The Prisoner" was an absolutely brilliant show, thanks in large part to McGoohan's acting and his hand in producing, writing, and directing the series.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it's an allegory about freedom and the individual in our contemporary society. (It's also much more than that, there's lot of layers to the show.) McGoohan's character, who is only referred to as "Number 6" during the entire run of the show, is a government agent who suddenly and angrily resigns, and is then kidnapped and taken to "The Village," a seemingly innocent place, but with a very sinister undertone. "Number 2" is in charge of "The Village," and it is his or her job to find out why Number 6 resigned. (There was a different Number 2 each episode, another brilliant decision.) Number 6, of course, refuses to tell Number 2 why he resigned, and keeps trying to escape the Village.

Without giving more away, "The Prisoner" is a fascinating study of individualism, all 17 episodes are worthy of watching and re-watching. It's a show that made people think. And Patrick McGoohan was the brains behind it, and for that I will always be grateful. Be seeing you, Number 6.

1 comment:

Uncle E said...

I think his best role was as the evil king Edward Longshanks in Braeheart. Brilliantly and deliciously sadistic!