Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Sad Day

I am saddened to hear of the death of actor Patrick McGoohan. He was a unique talent, playing characters whose essential decency was masked by a cool intellect. From what I've heard, that is a good description of the man himself.

He played a spy character named John Drake on the UK series "Danger Man" and refused to let his character become the kind of womanizer that 007 was. He wanted to keep his heroes on a higher moral plane. He brought that kind of integrity to the role of the Dr. Christopher Syn (a favorite of mine) as well. Syn was the compassionate vicar of the 18th century village of Dymchurch by day, and the masked Scarecrow by night. As the Scarecrow, he led the smugglers of the Romney Marsh in thwarting the cruel taxes of the king. It's kind of a Jeckyll/Hyde role, and McGoohan carried off both parts perfectly.

His best known role was as "Number 6" in "The Prisoner", a series he created. He was a spy, stripped of his identity and taken to a mysterious Village where other retired spies were held against their will. The series of often enigmatic, but it an amazing showcase for issues of individualism, community, conscience and integrity.

I've got an autographed photo of McGoohan as Dr. Syn. It was one of the perks for helping Larry Green with interview questions for the DVD release of "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh". I'm especially going to treasure that now.

1 comment:

Catherine J Gardner said...

I used to love 'The Prisoner', and Portmeirion (where they filmed it) is a very surreal place.