|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The Prisoner Died today...
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Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 14:43:34 -0500
Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The Prisoner Died today...
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Remember, in "The Prisoner", where he would give the "okay" sign with his
fingers? And look through the "O"?
He was also in at least 2 Colombo episodes. Terrific actor.
On Thursday 15 January 2009 4:14 am, Ruben Safir wrote:
> Patrick McGoohan was No. 1 as 'Prisoner's' Number 6
> The 'Prisoner' actor's indelible, implacable Number 6 lives on.
> By ROBERT LLOYD, Television Critic
> January 15, 2009
> In the summer of 1968, the most important television series of my life
> premiered on CBS as a summer replacement for "The Jackie Gleason Show."
> A British import about a spy who, having resigned his position, is
> drugged and kidnapped and wakes up captive in a fanciful holiday resort,
> where he is hectored week after week to explain himself, â€œThe Prisonerâ€
> starred and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan, who died in Los Angeles
> on Tuesday at the age of 80.
> Pop culturally, we were near the end of an age of spies. McGoohan
> himself, who had passed on a chance to be James Bond, was already known
> to audiences as John Drake, the hero of "Secret Agent," whose theme song
> (written by Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan) became a hit for Johnny Rivers.
> "The Prisoner" was something different: Most every other spy, on movies
> and in television, was a glorified cop doing his (or, rarely, her)
> master's bidding. To the extent that he was free, it was expressed in a
> tendency to do things "his own way," but he was always first and
> foremost a company man. Whether his cause was just was something that he
> and we alike took for granted. It wasn't part of the deal to question
> it, or to ask any questions at all.
> By contrast, "The Prisoner" was a television show of ideas -- the
> inalienable if inconvenient right to self in a world that demands your
> cooperation, if not capitulation -- which also distinguished it from
> pretty much every other television show I had ever seen. The fact that I
> was just then working out that my own junior high school was a kind of
> jail made its appearance timely and amplified its meaning, as did most
> everything else about that chaotic summer of the battlements.
> "The Prisoner" was more than an idea, of course: It was an idea
> personified, and while it's fair to say that its artistic success was
> the lucky product of the work of many hands, it was McGoohan who made
> the series work. (That is perhaps why I am not yet more excited about
> AMC's coming remake, set to premiere sometime this year.) It was,
> metaphorically, his own story, having quit "Secret Agent" at the height
> of its success because it no longer suited him to play that role.
> Nearly 40 at the time (and the father of three), he was heroic in a way
> that mixed the self-reliance of the classic secret agent with the comedy
> of the new age's anti-authoritarian tricksters. Good-looking, in an
> Everyman sort of way, he had a musical voice, a light step, a twinkling
> eye -- he was a bit of a John Lennon, come to think of it -- that in
> itself bespoke a kind of freedom. There was always humor in his
> contrariness, and if Number 6 was fated corporeally to remain a prisoner
> -- caught at the border by Rover, the bouncing ball from hell, or shown
> that his imagined escape was merely an illusion -- he remained himself.
> As hard as they tried, they could not wash his brain.
> It is not McGoohan's fault that he is so closely connected with that
> role in my mind that I cannot clearly assess his larger gifts as an
> actor. He played many parts before it, and many parts over the
> remaining, second half of his life, including the 1977 series
> "Rafferty," several turns on "Columbo" and in the films "Silver Streak"
> and "Braveheart." I was always glad to see him working, because I felt I
> owed him something, and though he was not the busiest of actors, he may
> have been as busy as he liked.
> Having early in his career deprived himself of an annuity by passing on
> Bond (and "The Saint," whose Roger Moore became Bond), he more recently
> turned down both the roles of Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" and
> Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. This might have been for reasons
> of health, as has been reported, but I prefer to think of him once again
> exercising his right to be perverse: "I am not a wizard," he might well
> have said, "I am a free man."