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Friday, 11 January 2013

The Therapy Zone

Identity Crisis
        After Patrick McGoohan left Switzerland for America he finally settled down in California, where he still lives today. In 1975 he appeared in a Colombo episode entitled Identity Crisis in which he plays Nelson Brenner a top operative for the CIA, but who is also a double agent who commits murder on a beach beneath a pier, killing a fellow operative and making it look like a mugging, but inadvertently leaves several clues for Detective Inspector Colombo to follow, well clues which no one but Colombo would pick up on. The two halves of a broken poker chip, a photograph taken of Brenner and "Geronimo" an operative Brenner was meeting under the pier and the fact that the victims jacket had been removed!
    Nelson Brenner has a cover approved by the CIA as a speech writing consultant, and a successful one at that.  Needless to say Colombo confronts Nelson Brenner at his mansion home, whilst enjoying fine wine, food and a Cuban cigar to Madame Butterfly, which incidentally is Mrs. Colombo’s favourite music.
    In my humble opinion ‘Identity Crisis’ is by far and away the best of the Colombo episodes featuring Patrick McGoohan, probably because of the Prisoner connection. Because it seems, even by 1975 Patrick McGoohan still hasn't managed to get the Prisoner out of his system, little things like wearing deck shoes in certain scenes, a blue zip up anorak as of the type No.6 wore during The Chimes of Big Ben and the frequent use of the phrase "I'll be seeing you" "Be seeing you" "Well, I'll be seeing you."
    Indeed Identity Crisis enjoys an unmistakable Prisoner feel to it, and that has to be laid at the feet of McGoohan himself. So he's only got himself to blame when the Prisoner won't go away!

   I thought that was very clever the way for Two to give Six a brother, 16, and being made welcome as part of his family. I had a brother once, but he died, drowned in the Ocean, so what's his brother doing here in The Village? Oh and to try and compound this effect, Two gave 16 tickets to "Escape Resort," and they took him with them. A real family holiday. But of course 16 wasn't his brother. It was a cunning plan of Two's to try and make Six settle down, to accept life in The Village. HellheI even got a shot back at his old job......a bus driver!
   But Six has a dream, a dream of a former life in which he resigned my job. He worked for Summaker. He was an observer, watching people and writing reports on people living in New York. But now he’s in a living nightmare, where Two makes me relive the death of my brother. The way Two puts a live hand grenade in his mouth and pulls the pin.......and then Six wakes up!
   Well now you know what happened. The Prisoner never es
caped at the end of ‘Fall Out,’ but was just as much a Prisoner at the end as I was at the beginning! Over time The Village changed, evolved, and grew. I was demoted to the Number 93 and wasn't bothered by "them" any more. Well I suppose an old man is no longer of any great importance to them, and probably considered me too old to escape. But I fooled them all, as I finally managed to escape out into the desert, pursued by armed guardians. But the Prisoner fooled them all, he managed to escape, he got away. And he is no longer No.6, 93 or any number of any kind.
 
I’ll be seeing you

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