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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Patrick McGoohan

    Back in the 1990's I had occasion to write to Patrick McGoohan about a an arthouse film I had produced, Village Day, which I based on the Prisoner. Indeed I went to all the trouble and expense of having a copy of the film on video converted to NTSC the American video based system, and sent it to Ptarick McGoohan.........Do you know what....he completely ignored me! But I am one of a very elitist group of people, fans of his creation, the Prisoner, whom McGoohan has ignored over the years.
    I have never been a fan of the man Patrick McGoohan, just that of his character John Drake/the Prisoner-No.6. If I do have a favourite McGoohan film, it would have to be Hell Drivers, with McGoohan as Red. Red being a foul, nasty, hard bitten, bastard of a character. And following that, it would have to be an episode of Columbo - Identity Crisis of 1975, because even by then Patrick McGoohan still hadn't got the Prisoner out of his system, judging by the trype of anorak McGoohan wears, and going about saying "I'll be seeing you," or simply "be seeing you." Also, I don't know if any reader of this blog has watched Identity Crisis, but if you do, or when you do, notice the two walls of Nelson Brenner's {played by Patrick McGoohan} study when he's talking to Columbo {Peter Falk}. There are several framed pictures on the wall, and they all have to to with Patrick McGoohan. A picture of McGoohan with his wife Joan Drummond. Two framed newspaper cuttings, a picture of McGoohan in his role from the film Mary Queen of Scots. And amongst the rest, two pictures of McGoohan as the Prisoner. One from Fall Out with McGoohan sitting behind the wheel of his Lotus 7, and a production photograph taken during the filming of The Chimes of Big Ben, where McGoohan is sitting with his feet up on the set of the Colonels office.
    I recall once going to a Kalidoscope event in Birmingham. They were showing a couple of films and episodes of television series' in which Patrick McGoohan starred, one being the BBC play Brand, from the 1950's. I fell asleep! And at the point where I fell asleep McGoohan, as Brand, was ranting on about something or other. And when I woke up some little time later, McGoohan was still ranting on about something. It was as though I'd been asleep, woken up and hadn't missed anything! But I don't like Ibsen's plays, they are all too desperately dark and depressing for me.
Be seeing you



    McGoohan as Dr. Rafferty had a picture of Joan hanging on his office wall, representing the dead Mrs. Rafferty. He certainly had a sense of humour.

    Just one more thing, John Drake was saying "Be Seeing You" before Number Six ever said it, so it was probably just one of McGoohan's own mannerisms to start with,rather than being some Prisoner trope especially.

    He did seem to playing a game in *Identity Crisis* however,I agree. The interesting thing is that that Coulmbo episode was from 1974/75, before there were any elitist fans to notice - in theory. It seems McGoohan was just amusing himself with his stripey jacket, stock phrases and of course his pictures on the wall.

  2. Hi Moor Larkin,
    'Rafferty,' haven't seen that series, not since it was originally shown here in England. All I remember of that series, is how in one episode Rafferty cures a girl patient by getting her to each chocolate, or something like that. I recall a girl patient, and that chocolate was somehow involved.

    No doubt Patrick had pictures of himself, his wife Joan, and from productions he has worked on, decorating sets for his own personal enjoyment. How was he to know that some over enthusiastic devotees of 'the Prisoner' were going to come along and make such in-depth studies?

    Patrick was certainly playing someones game in 'Identity Crisis.' in all probability, his own!
    Well, I'll be seeing you.