Patrick McGoohan dies at 80; TV's 'Secret Agent' and 'The Prisoner'
Certainly not to be forgotten on the same day Ricardo Montalbán passed, Patrick McGoohan legacy, for me, will always be as Writer, Producer, and sometime director of the British television series, "The Prisoner". My friend Kevin in Boston had always been a fan of the show and it's ideology; that the fictional 'Village' was a mirror of our own society, and how we are all prisoners in some way, shape, or form.
Kevin had always raved about how brilliantly written it was, and finally, when I was working a part time job at Blockbuster video in the late 80's, I took one episode home a night to watch (they had the entire series for rent). I was immediately hooked, and over the course of the next 17 nights found myself fascinated by the countercultural themes, subtleties, and nuances the show portrayed and revealed a little at a time. You could probably say that Patrick McGoohan was a precursor to J.J. Abrams. "The Prisoner" was a completely new, cerebral kind of series, stretching the limits of the established television formulas. Its influence has been echoed in "Lost", "Nowhere Man", and "The Truman Show". McGoohan even voiced his Prisoner character on "The Simpsons".
The show was Patrick McGoohan baby, and over the years he protected the right to remake or reinvent the show into a new series or even a major motion picture. He would always decline offers because he felt the tale had been told properly and any 're-imagining' would just be a mistake.
Of course McGoohan's other big show was "Secret Agent", which many believed was linked to "The Prisoner"'s super spy anti-hero in character but not by name necessarily. This was never confirmed or denied.
McGoohan had many other roles, which included "Ice Station Zebra", "Silver Streak", and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart". In the 1970's, he guest starred on "Columbo", and even directed several episodes as well. One episode in particular had him sporting that iconic black with white piping jacket, similar to the one he wore while in The Village on "The Prisoner", as a tribute to the show.
And as his character and others would say to one another in The Village...Mr. McGoohan..."Be Seeing You".
Here is the original opening of "The Prisoner".