Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday, 15 January 2009

He was NOT a number! Patrick McGoohan - RIP

Sad news that actor Patrick McGoohan has died, aged 80, in California. His Wikipedia entry is here.

Patrick Joseph McGoohan
19 March 1928 – 13 January 2009
~ Rest in Peace ~

He was NOT a number!

He will probably be best remembered as the co-creator and star of the 1960s television series The Prisoner in which he played the role of 'Number 6'. It was one of my favourite television programmes as a child and my recollection is that when it was originally broadcast in the UK it was in black & white, although repeats I've seen in recent years have been in colour.

My interpretation of the programme at the time, I recall (I would have been 14 or 15 when it was first broadcast), was that it portrayed what this country might become if we adopted an East German or Soviet style of government and is undoubtedly one of the formative influences of my youth and why I loathe and fear authoritarian and socialist/statist forms of government, but little did I imagine that our own government would increasingly try and tabulate and monitor every aspect of our lives, whilst using increasingly intimidatory methods. I do not want to be forced to carry an ID Card, or to be entered in a national database register - in short:

I am NOT a number!

- so the whole premise of "The Prisoner" has assumed an especially topical relevance in the UK in recent years, despite it being a programme first transmitted over 40 years ago.

His other major role from my childhood was Danger Man, another of my favourite shows soon after we first had a TV in the house (from about 1959 or 1960 I think). Obviously I had a schoolboy 'crush' on Patrick McGoohan, long before I knew anything about being gay - he was stunningly good-looking in earlier years and aged remarkably well, too. I will remember him.

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