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Monday 23 January 2012

A Veiled Reference

    In The General, when No.2 is explaining the Professor’s relationship with the General, he says to No.6 "He gave birth to it, and loves it with a passionate love - probably hates it even more."
    I wonder if this is a veiled reference by the scriptwriter of the episode The General Lewis Griefer, towards Patrick McGoohan’s relationship with the Prisoner? Certainly it seems to be McGoohan’s attitude towards the series years after he created the Prisoner in the first place. But then afterwards he had nothing to do with the series, having no claim to make, having sold the series to ITC, or was it ATC I never can remember.



  1. Hello David

    Mr. McGoohan seemed to not 'hate'the series as he seemed to have found television as a forum an exhausting experience ( and said as much).

    There is an interview with Mr. McGoohan in the U.S. where he explains that he has a film deal with Polygram Films to produce and write a movie version 'The Prisoner' as he (McGoohan)held the film rights to the series.

    It was ITC that held the television rights to the series.

    The pre-production period of the Polygram film should be of personal interest to you as it overlapped your own film creation 'Village Day'. This is likely why Mr. McGoohan may have been silent on matters of 'The Prisoner', as when creating a script it is standard policy to not review other material so as to create no conflict of interest.


    Mr. Anonymous

  2. Hello Mister Anonymous,

    No, Patrick McGoohan probably didn't hate the series, that was a rather tongue-in-cheek veiled reference which I made. Although it is the experience of many fans of 'the Prisoner' that when they have tried to contact Patrick McGoohan, either direct or via his agent at the time, were completely ignored by him, and that can also be said of me. I do know of a couple of fans who got on really well with McGoohan, but believe me, there are many fans who he completley ignored. Perhaps it was the fans he hated!

    I am aware of all the talk in the past regarding either a television remake or Hollywood film of the series. And in the end that is all it turned out to be - just talk! Yes, Patrick McGoohan did indeed write a screenplay for a 'Prisoner' film around the same time as I was producing 'Village Day,' and he presented the script to Hollywood producers who immediately rejected it because they thought the script too complicated for the American audience to understand, well that's the story as we have of it over here in Britain. Throughout the 1990's there were times when the newspapers were alive with talk of a Hollywood remake of 'the Prisoner.' In fact 'Prisoner' conventions in the early to mid 1990's were attended by a representative of 'Polygram,' who used to bring the 35mm reels of film of 'the Prisoner' so that we could see 'the Prisoner' projected onto the 'big-screen' at the Coliseum cinema in Portmadog. The Polygram representative was Frank Ratcliffe who said on two occasions that the Hollywood film of 'the Prisoner' was being planned, and one time said that the cameras were set to roll. Poor old Frank, I felt sorry for him, because each time he came to a convention, he would tell us the latest news on the hollywood film, well tell us all he could. And in the end it came to nothing. It was all talk.

    With 'Village Day' I followed in McGoohan's footsteps, if you wish to know more about it, send me an email and I'll fill you in on the production via email. It was decided that Patrick McGoohan might wish to see the film, I being one of the admirers of his work with 'the Prisoner,' and wished to share my appreciation with Patrick McGoohan. So I arranged for a copy of the fim to be produced in American video format, and duly sent a copy to Patrick......I never received any response from the man. I know he likes his privacy, but he might have at least aknowleged the film, as it was partly produced in homage to his creation. I didn't sent him a copy of my book 'The Prisoner Variations,' as I knew it would be a waste of time, and never again attempted to contact Patrick McGoohan. It was suggested, at the time of the publishing of my book, that Patrick McGoohan might write a forward for my book, I said lets not bother the man, lifes too short, knowing that Patrick McGoohan would not respond. And that is the way he was with many fans of his creation 'the Prisoner.'

    Best wishes
    Be seeing you

  3. I can imagine he wasn't too partial to those *fans* who were so ignorant about him and his career that they imagined he would swindle poor old George Markstein, whilst simultaneously avoid *paying Royalties* to Ralph Smart by falsely insisting Six was not Drake, even when it is *obvious* to *everyone* Six was. Both these legends were planks of prisoner fandom in the following years, and are still hung onto - in the face of clear evidence to the contrary - all these years later. Nobody likes being called a cheat and a liar (except cheats and liars of course, who enjoy the recognition).

    Oh, and I nearly forgot, he was also *nasty to women*. That he *hated* fans I doubt, but I can imagine he had little interest in their meanderings about him, and would naturally have found it very difficult to discern who were the prisoners and who were the warders anyway...... ;-D

  4. Hello Moor,

    As Ian Richardson said in 'House of cards.' "You may think that, I couldn't possibly comment!"

    However, I will tell you two instances which were told to me in confidence so you will understand that I cannot name names. someone in the film industry a few years back was writing an official book regarding a certain area in that industry. He contacted possibly hundreds of people but said there were two he didn't bother to contact as he knew he would get no response. One was Pat Jackson, and the other was Patrick McGoohan.

    The other was regarding someone again in the film industry who is known to be one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He was approached to write an article on Patrick McGoohan. Although the person who approached him received a courtious refusal, what this person actually said in private was "I wouldn't waste a moment of my time writing anything about that miserable old sod!"

    So you see it is not only fans who had problems with McGoohan.