Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Patrick McGoohan 1928 - 2009

Sad news has broken of the death of Patrick McGoohan, whose roles in 60s TV dramas Danger Man and the cult The Prisoner made him a peculiar icon for many (including this blogger). Most mainstream filmgoers will have known him from Escape from Alcatraz and the (clumsy) Alastair MacLean adaptation Ice Station Zebra.

It's The Prisoner which will first spring to the mind of those who mourn. McGoohan's dryly comic but ultimately elusive and rather sad, existentially hysteric former spy 'No.6' began each episode raving 'I am not a number! I am a free man' only to discover the recurrent impossibility of that freedom.

However, he does have the last laugh. The show also began with an exchange with his nemesis No.2, of whom McGoohan demands, 'What do you want?' 'We want information.' 'Well you won't get it!'

And, remake or no, now we never will.

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