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A weird coincidence just happened to me. I was making a comment about the term The Village in another diary:

On a side note, whenever I hear the terms The Village or Villagers, I always think of the old 60s TV show The Prisoner which told the story of a man who was kidnapped and taken to a place called The Village which functioned as a prison but in the form of a closed society. Everyone there was assigned a number in order to remain anonymous The leader of The Village was a constantly rotating Number 2.  Free-thinking was banned. Blending in and following the arbitrary rules was the only way one could survive without being subjected to cruel mistreatment.

An apt metaphor if you ask me.

Shortly after I posted that comment, I was checking headlines and learned that Patrick McGoohan died. He was the creator and star of the TV show in question.

I've read that The Prisoner is often called "Television's first masterpiece." It's a favorite of mine and have watched it several times. I first saw it a few years ago when I checked it out from the library. That wasn't enough and I ended up buying the DVD box set shortly after.

Emmy-winning actor Patrick McGoohan, best known for starring in cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80. He died in Los Angeles after a short illness, his film producer son-in-law Cleve Landsberg told Associated Press. McGoohan played the character Six in the surreal 1960s show, filmed in the north Wales village of Portmeirion.


The actor, who was born in New York and raised in England and Ireland, came to screen prominence in TV series Danger Man, in which he played a secret service agent. The programme later aired as Secret Agent in the US. He was later considered for the role of James Bond for the movie Dr No. But McGoohan was chiefly associated with cult ITV drama The Prisoner, writing some of the episodes himself under a different name. His character spent the entire time attempting to escape from The Village and finding out the identity of his captor, the elusive Number One. He repeatedly declared: "I am not a number - I am a free man!"

For anyone who has seen the show, you know what I mean when I say it is unforgettable. The setting is unique, the premise is bizarre and the storyline is addictive.

The show tells the story of a man who would not give in to conformity and is determined to remain in control of his mind and soul in the face of unyielding challenges. He endures torture and mind control in order to maintain his dignity.

Here's a quote by McGoohan I found on Wikipedia:

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 used…
…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

Please take time to remember the man, Patrick McGoohan, who made it all possible.

Originally posted to ghostlawns on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:38 AM PST.

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