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I Am Not a Number! I Am a FREE MAN!

I never read comic books, never did any gaming, and was never obsessed with the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. So when I need to remind myself that I am deep down a total geek, I reach toward the complete collection of The Prisoner on DVD, which yes, I own.

Oh, it’s geeky. And it’s tasty.

The Prisoner was the brainchild of Patrick McGoohan. It was, in some ways, the surreal sequel to his previous TV series Secret Agent (called Danger Man in the UK), which was a rather straightforward spy show. The Prisoner begins with a brilliant opening sequence in which a secret agent resigns forcefully, packs for a trip, gets gassed, and wakes up in The Village. He is henceforth known only as Number 6 and goes head-to-head with a new Number 2 each week. While Number 2 tries to find out why Number 6 resigned, Number 6 is trying to figure out who Number 1 is and simultaneously attempting to escape.

And that summary is tip of the iceberg for the wackiness that ensues.

Patrick McGoohan died today. But The Prisoner is some kind of geektastic legacy. It’s being remade, of course, starring Jim Cavazaliezelvaliel (the dude who played the title role – Passion – in The Passion of the Christ a few years back) and Ian McKellen (who is apparently determined to be associated with as many uber-geek brands as possible). Part of me is like, “Oh for fuck’s sake, leave well enough alone.” The other part of me can’t wait to check it out.

Either way, I’m sad to see Patrick McGoohan go, even though he only rarely came out of retirement. The less geeky among you might remember him as Longshanks, the English king who wanted to kill off and breed out the Scots in Braveheart.

I never thought I’d drop two Mel Gibson movie names in one post. Patrick McGoohan can really surprise you that way.

Be seeing you.

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