January 15, 2009


Patrick McGoohan died yesterday at the age of 80. He lived a decent length of a life, during which he created one of the true classics in the recorded history of television, the 17-part British series The Prisoner, which will earn attention for as long as people continue to watch whatever television has made of things down the years.

The Prisoner is a marvel of its time, a comedy of manners, of very strict, elaborately concieved manners aimed at bringing to conformity the contrary will of the character called Number 6, played by McGoohan himself. "I am not a number, I am a free man!" he proclaims over and over, and this is all very Howard Roark of him, standing against all, refusing to acquiesce, but finding himself detained nevertheless in a ludicrous yet inescapable seaside village where in each episode implacable, replaceable, number 2 leads the effort to break him.

Recently AMC made all the episodes of the Prisoner available for viewing on their website.

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