Friday, January 23, 2009

Patrick McGoohan - TV's Great Intellectual

I was saddened to find out that Patrick McGoohan passed away earlier this month. Although he had a wide ranging acting career his greatest work was The Prisoner, a tv show he created and starred in during the late '60s. Without going all fanboy, I will just say that it is ostensibly a spy show in the way Kid A is ostensibly a rock album. It only lasted a season and it's easy enough to track down the DVDs, which I would highly recommend everyone do. It stands as one of the high points of art - a strangely perfect crystalline entity.

Rather than recounting too much of the story and spoiling the fun, I will just reminisce a bit. In high school, myself and a number of friends befriended a supportive teacher and would user her class as our base of operations during lunch. We would often watch episodes of the Prisoner.

Years later, during my semester in London, I did a weekend trip to Wales and visited the actual village, Portmeirion, that was the actual location where the show was filmed. I admit to being a bit underwhelmed at the time, something that probably happens a lot when you encounter cinematically created worlds in real life, but it was still a place I never thought I'd actually visit.

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