Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Tribute To Patrick McGoohan

Dr.Franklin Ruehl,Ph.D.

PM(No.6): "Where am I?
No.2: "In the village."
No.6: "What do you want?
No.2: "Information."
No.6 "Whose side are you on?"
No.2: “That would be telling. We want information!Information! Information!"
No.6: "You won't get it!
No.2: "By hook or by crook, we will!"
No.6: "Who are you?"
No.2: "The new No.2."
No.6: “Who is No.1?"
No.2: "You are No.6"
No.6: "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

This brief but intense discourse at the opening of each of the 17 episodes of the 1968-69 TV series "The Prisoner" has granted the late actor Patrick McGoohan television immorality! While he impressively won Emmys(1975 and 1990) for 2 of his 4 appearances on "Columbo" as the guest murderer of the week, his dramatic portrayal of an abducted secret agent taken to "The Village" is what he will be primarily remembered for.

Personally, being a non-conformist myself, I have found this series extremely inspiring, watching a man week in and week out assert his individuality and refuse to betray his beliefs. Indeed, the opening of "The Prisoner, " prior to the aforementioned dialogue, was absolutely electrifying, as he drove the wrong way into spy headquarters, stomped his way down a corridor, and pounded on a desk as he handed in his resignation as an espionage agent! I often watch the opening when I feel the need for some inspiration!

Not to be forgotten, of course, are his many fine film roles, such as the heartless veterinarian in the beloved tale of a feline,"The Three Lives of Thomasina"(1964), the sagacious British agent in "Ice Station Zebra"(1968), and his last najor gig as the villainous King Edward I in "Braveheart"(1995).

Blessed with both handsome looks and a fine voice, he was a superb actor who will be sorely missed. As my personal tribute to him, I plan to watch every episode of "The Prisoner" over the next several nights!

And, may the Power of the Cosmos be with You, Patrick, wherever you are now!

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