R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

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R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by Swedgin! on Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:31 am

[Note from Swedgin!: Damn, Six and I were just chatting about McGoohan's most famous role in another thread, and now this news comes out. I'm working on those "film pods", but I'll post a full obit later on today or perhaps tomorrow. Sad, sad.]









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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:14 pm

This is deeply saddening news for me, which I'm sure is pretty obvious considering my username and profile pic.

I was about 15 or 16 when, during a particularly dull summer, in which many of my friends were abroad, I stayed up late rewatching my limited collection of taped movie or late-night Irish and UK TV. Having read an article in a Boston newspaper connecting The forthcoming Truman Show with a TV series called The Prisoner. I had heard of it before, and was curious. And it just happened to be rerun on Irish TV at 1am. So I tuned in. After getting over the whole 60's feel of it, I think The Prisoner became one of the most inspiring shows I've ever watched. There was just something about the character of 6 that I worshipped- his unending rebellion against The Village, his mind-games versus their mind-games, his poignant losses- and then the final two episodes, two astounding moments of TV, the last being particularly the most interesting, in which the Village's leader, Number 1, was revealed- and yet not. The show became more than just a 60's romp, it elevated itself to something philosophical. From then on Patrick McGoohan was ingrained on my mind.

There's not a lot known about the man. The best I've seen is a 3-part interview with him from the 70's, and it's on Youtube. He speaks of the ideas inspiring the show- his worry about technological progress advancing too fast, his worry about our gradual move towards a Big-Brother state (he must have loved that show) and the repression of the individual. As I said before, The Prisoner has to be one of the most important shows ever made- it defied audience expectations in a narrative sense, more than anything else on TV. I think it's safe to say there's be no Lost if it wasn't for the risk taken by The Prisoner, a risk that had people shouting at McGoohan on the streets because they were so upset and confused.

Ah, McGoohan, he was always a symbol of rebellion, but not unjustifiable anarchy- it was the rebellion based on ideals, on morals.

I can't say his career was amazing afterwards. He was a nasty warden in Escape from Alcatraz, a Doctor in Scanners, a judge in A Time to Kill, the (hammy) father figure in The Phantom, and his best latter-day role was perhaps as the brutal King Edward in Braveheart.

I will miss him
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by Shrykespeare on Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:06 pm

I don't tell many people this, but I was partially NAMED after Patrick McGoohan. Every child, at some point, asks their parents why their particular name was chosen for him or her; I remember asking my parents this when I was like ten years old, and they told me that I was named after three British actors, all of whom were named (obviously) Patrick.

The third, and obviously least important, was a Patrick that has since slipped the memory of both my parents, so I'll probably never know his name. The second was Patrick Macnee, who most remember as John Steed from the classic 60's spy series The Avengers. And the first, of course, was Patrick McGoohan.

I grew up far, far too late for Secret Agent Man, and the whole concept of The Prisoner was so far over the head of preteen that I gave up almost immediately. Now, of course, I remember him for his roles in Braveheart and A Time to Kill, and all I really know about the man himself was, well, very little, actually. He seemed a rather aloof and cryptic personality, and the mantle of "celebrity" just never seemed to fit when talking about him, and I don't even know why.

Rest in peace, Patrick. I'll carry the name for you.

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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:12 pm

Patrick Troughton, the 2nd Doctor?
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by Donte77 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:57 pm

I only knew him from Braveheart. 6 will probably disown me but I have never seen this TV show. I didn't even know why that was his name.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:33 pm

Haha, surprisingly you're not the first person I've met who hasn't seen The Prisoner. I do recommend you check it out, though, especially prior to the forthcoming remake series with Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by A_Roode on Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:52 am

'The Prisoner' was one of those shows that you could find on tv here all the time in the 80's on CBC, but I haven't seen a hint of it in 20 years. And yeah, it says something about the show when you're ten years old and it leaves a striking impression on you. I'm tempted just to shell out for the dvd box set.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:05 pm

http://www.amctv.com/originals/the-prisoner-1960s-series/

AMC are screening episodes of the Prisoner online for free!
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by A_Roode on Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:23 pm

That just saved me $90, *lol*

Thanks for a great tip that I hope everyone will take advantage of, six.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:43 pm

Lol. It's still worth buying the DVD set, it's a great addition to your collection. But not for $90. I bought mine a few years ago and it was about $50.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by johnErle on Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:48 pm

numbersix_99 wrote:http://www.amctv.com/originals/the-prisoner-1960s-series/

AMC are screening episodes of the Prisoner online for free!

I updated my Flash player just to discover what I already expected - the video will not play in Canada. Rolling Eyes
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by numbersix_99 on Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:25 pm

This is the news I really didn't want to hear.

From Sci Fi Wire

McKellan: Well, I didn't cotton on until we got to about the fifth episode, but in the very first shot there is a clue to the answer. You didn't have that with the first Prisoner. You can solve it, what it is, what the hell we're talking about, where they all are. They are in a place, and where it is and why it is is explained to you. You will either approve of it or you won't approve of it, but it'll make sense.

Oh dear oh dear. I'm all for a reboot of The Prisoner in theory, but it seems this version is going to be the worst possible way of remaking it.

The whole popularity of The Prisoner was that it didn't explain everything. Those final episodes left us in the lurch in terms of what was going on. Now this wasn't a mere attempt to screw with people perceptions, but instead what McGoohan was doing was deliberately defying expectations and ending with a question so that audiences would debate the meaning, and eventually excavate the deep philosophical and sociological ideas lodged in the heart of this premise.

What this new version seems to be doing is making a banal thriller, much like Danger Man, the very show McGoohan aluded to and then subverted in The Prisoner. This remake feels like a step back. It would be like remaking Twin Peaks and explaining every metaphor along the way (if possible!), or rewriting Beckett's Waiting for Godot and have some guy come in at the end to tell them Godot never existed- that's not the point, the point is to subvert narrative traditions in order to convey something broader than a typical resolution.

I am deeply disappointed in this- I was really looking forward to this reboot, and feeling positive about the casting. But that interview with McKellen makes it sound like a disaster.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by Buscemi on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:33 am

I got the idea that it would be a flop when they hired Jim Caviezel to play Number Six. Sure he was the star of the biggest independent film of all-time but almost everything since then has been either barely released or straight-to-video. You think they could have gotten someone with a little more name recognition.

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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

Post by A_Roode on Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:12 pm

By picking someone with a bit less name recognition (or at least less name pronounceability *lol*) maybe they're trying to tap into an 'everyman' quality that he has.
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Re: R.I.P. 'Prisoner' PATRICK McGOOHAN, 1928-2009

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