Who is Number One?

Patrick McGoohan has died. Star, writer, director, creative genius behind the TV show “The Prisoner”, which combined cold-war paranoia, ’60’s pop culture, psychoanalysis, musings on freedom, privacy and the rights of the individual, and made a start out of it’s location, Portmerion.

The Truman Show paid homage (look for a scene set in the spherical control room hidden in the moon, featuring someone riding an exercise bike that looks like a penny farthing) and a remake is planned. (I hope they do not make it).

It was one of a kind, so very different to anything else you’ll ever see. Superficially you might make connections to The Avengers, The Saint and that whole canon of tongue-in-cheek spy story TV. But there was a real edge to this, a raw intense study of an individual battling against the suffocating might of government, a government of hard iron wrapped in the finest kitsch and velvet, and something we should not forget as the all seeing eyes of CCTV pervade our country the way the cameras pervade The Village, as government store our emails, our web searches, our IM chats, tracks us by Oyster Card and RFID chip and AVNR cameras scanning vehicles on the road, the Stasi-fication of Britain is rampant. Never has The Prisoner been more relevant.

“I think progress is the biggest enemy on earth, apart from oneself… I think we’re gonna take good care of this planet shortly… there’s never been a weapon created yet on the face of the Earth that hadn’t been use …We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche… As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy. We’re at the mercy of the advertiser and of course there are certain things that we need, but a lot of the stuff that is bought is not needed …We all live in a little Village… Your village may be different from other people’s villages but we are all prisoners.”— 1977 interview, conducted by Warner Troyer, March 1977

Patrick McGoohan, prophet and poet, Rest In Peace.

You are, Number Six.

~ by @mmonyte on January 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Who is Number One?”

  1. I love that in the Port Merion visitor map, Patrick McGoohan’s house – now the Prisoner gift shop – is number six on the map

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