Current News from The Looking Glass:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Prisoner Escapes

"I am not a number. I am a free man!"

The enigmatic Number Six of television's "The Prisoner", Patrick McGoohan, passed from the Matrix yesterday at the age of 80...One of the GREATEST shows ever to air on television.

Researcher Loren Coleman cites McGoohan for another, lesser known role here!

A wonderful article by James W. Whitehead entitled "The Prisoner: Pawns in the Village of Life" can be read here.

Prior to "The Prisoner," McGoohan starred in "Secret Agent" (also known as "Danger Man"), which debuted in 1964, and whose memorable theme song seemed to speak of the hazards facing the characters in both series ("They've given you a number, and taken away your name").

McGoohan's agent, Sharif Ali, said Wednesday that the actor was still active in Hollywood, with two offers for wide-release films on the table when he died. "The man was just cool," Ali said. "It was an honor to have him here and work with him. ... He was one of those actors, a real actor. He didn't have a lie."

Born in New York on March 19, 1928, McGoohan was raised in England and Ireland, where his family moved shortly after his birth. He had a busy stage career before moving to television, and won a London Drama Critics Award for playing the title role in the Henrik Ibsen play "Brand."

He married stage actress Joan Drummond in 1951. The oldest of their three daughters, Catherine, is also an actress.

After "Secret Agent"'s success," McGoohan pitched to producers the surreal and cerebral "The Prisoner" to give himself a challenge. McGoohan also wrote and directed several episodes of the series.

Although only 17 episodes were made, it became a cult favorite, and its cultural impact continues, as evident by his guest appearance playing Number Six in a 2000 episode of "The Simpsons."

A remake of the show is due to air in November of this year on AMC (American Movie Classics), and stars Sir Ian McKellen (as Number 2).

Anyone who has never watched the series should quickly digest as much as you can NOW!!!

In an odd twist, another TV Island dweller, Ricardo Montalban of television's "Fantasy Island" also passed away yesterday...

Montalban rose to prominence as one of the most visible Hispanic actors in post-war Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s. But his star grew as he took on television roles as the mysterious host Mr. Roarke on the hit drama "Fantasy Island" and as Captain Kirk's archnemesis Khan Noonien Singh in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."


iAdmin said...

Awww man, that sucks! I love the prisoner series. He was brilliant, his ideas have been copied countless times in other series. Hopefully the remake lives up to the original vision. Gonna play my prisoner soundtrack record in memorandum.

Tom said...

Man! that's to bad. I have some of The Prisoner on tape and was just a great show, way beyond it's time. It was amazing how some of what happened on that show is now part of most everyones lives...

Anonymous said...

The Prisoner was great TV, well ahead of its time. McGoohan will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Yes.. a true genius and a rebel!! 'Danger Man' (I grew up in the UK) was my all time hero and of course 'The Prisoner' was a brilliant and prophetic warning to us all! Ask yourself now.. 'Are you a number.. or Are you a Free Man?' ~ Thank you Patrick.

skrambo said...

Look what time you posted this.

I thought about how Ricardo Montalban died at 88, the same number of keys on a piano, which has been associated with a checkerboard. The Wrath of Khan was released on 6/4/1982.

Good to see you back in action, Todd

The Secret Sun said...

I have no idea how it happened but I don't think I've seen an entire episode of The Prisoner. Jack Kirby was supposed to do a Prisoner comic in the 70s but only one issue was produced and never published.

Anonymous said...

Hm i heard a lot of this show, but couldnt watch it since i grew up and live in germany. Is there a possibility to watch it on the net or buy dvds of it?

FilmNoir23 said...

You can watch all the episodes online at the AMC link I provided.

Unknown said...

Aww he will be missed. The Prisoner was awesome, probably my favorite TV series ever. Thanks for the link, my dad has all the episodes on DVD and I was hoping to see them again before the new series.