Patrick McGoohan - Pack of Lies

1985 Patrick McGoohan Interview On The Today Show

I am pretty certain that after nearly eight years writing for the Retroist, you know I dig Patrick McGoohan. Whether that be from his work in 1960’s Danger Man, 1967’s The Prisoner, or even 1981’s Scanners. The latter is actually where I first encountered Patrick McGoohan, David Cronenberg’s film isn’t a bad introduction to the actor if I say so myself.

[Via] Movieclips

Maybe I should shout SPOILERS before you watch that clip? However it does most definitely show why McGoohan was a legendary actor. His gravitas while performing as well as his undeniable charm, all of it helped to make him a star.
Patrick McGoohan - Ice Station Zebra

Now as for the reason Patrick McGoohan was being interviewed on the Today Show? It was due to his starring in a Broadway version of Pack of Lies, at the Royale Theater. The play was written by Hugh Whitemore, which in turn was based on 1971’s Act of Betrayal . That was actually an episode of the BBC’s Play of the Month. An amazing series to say the least although practically all of the episodes have been lost to time.

The story the play presents is based on a real event that took place in 1961. When Londoners, Ruth and Bill Search, discover their good neighbors, Peter and Helen Kroger, were in fact Russian spies. In Whitemore’s Pack of Lies, the Family name is changed to Jackson. It was revealed that the Kroegers were part of the Portland Spy Ring, photographing and sending sensitive information by way of microdots.

[Via] Smithsonian Channel

In the play, McGoohan portrays an British Intelligence Officer name Stewart. Who helps to track down the Krogers and arrest them, by watching from the window of the Jackson’s teenaged daughter’s window. Gay Search, the daughter, is actually in this Today Show interview as well Patrick McGoohan!

Now that you know why Patrick McGoohan is being interviewed, enjoy this 1985 clip. Besides the interview you will also get to see just a bit of Pack of Lies as well!

[Via] Colony3

Bugs Bunny Meets The Super-Heroes

I’d wager that most of you have at some point looked into which song or album was at Number 1 on the day you were born? Or which film was atop the box office chart? How many of you know what was on at the theatre as you were brought into the world? That question had never entered my mind, but a friend on Twitter recently posted the flyer above and, beyond its obvious awesomeness, one fact stood out – I was born during its three-week run! How exciting!!

Clearly I was too young to be taken to see this particular show, but what a line-up – Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Tweety, Roadrunner, Porky Pig AND Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman – I can’t imagine a more exciting prospect than seeing the Looney Tunes meet DC’s finest.

The Looney Tunes Wiki has a great page about this 1970’s stage show, including images like this one:


I’d also recommend reading the Noblemania blog which has a fantastic set of interviews with the stars of the show, some great cast photos and more about the show and its follow-up Bugs Bunny in Space.

Retroist Back to the Future Podcast

5 Big Questions about Back to the Future: The Musical

back to the future podcast

Great Scott! With 2015 fast upon us, it was announced this week that Back to the Future, the 1985 megahit that led to one of the most successful film trilogies of all time, will be hitting London’s West End in time for the film’s thirtieth anniversary next year. While there are lots of screen-to-stage adaptations that flop at the theatrical box office, Back to the Future seems uniquely suited for success.

Film director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale, the original creators of the series and co-writers of the films, will be working on the book for this adaptation along with British theater director Jamie Lloyd. As for the songs, original composer Alan Silvestri will be working on the music with Glen Ballard, co-writer and producer of Alanis Morissette’s brilliant Jagged Little Pill album. But there’s even better news fans of the movie, as all the memorable songs from the film like Huey Lewis & The News’ “The Power of Love,” as well as “Earth Angel,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Mr. Sandman,” will also be worked into the production.

However, there are still a lot of things Back to the Future fans have been left wondering about the production. Here are the five big questions we can’t wait to see answered!

Who will play Marty McFly?

The fish-out-of-water role made famous by Michael J. Fox is the heart and soul of the film and so integral that the filmmakers replaced actor Eric Stoltz, who was originally cast in the film, after five weeks of filming when the movie wasn’t gelling. Fox’s role is iconic, and filling his puffy vest and Calvin Klein underwear might prove to be a tall order, but the musical’s creative team is certain to devote their energies to getting it right. We’re hoping actor AJ LoCascio, who voiced Marty in Telltale’s Back to the Future video game series, is on the short list. Not only does he sound virtually identical to Fox, but he also can play guitar!

Will the show still be set in America?

The answer to this is probably “yes,” but who can be sure? The film is incredibly popular internationally and, with the musical opening in the United Kingdom, the creative team might want to shake things up and set Hill Valley in England. Our main reason for hoping it remains set in America is mostly because it would be pretty hard to remember the speed the DeLorean has to hit to travel through time if 88 miles per hour becomes 142 kilometers per hour. But, to be honest, the idea of Biff Tannen with a cockney British accent does sound awesome.

Will there be any reference to the sequels?

The trilogy is arguably one of the best-written three-piece stories to be brought to the screen, but the first film also stands along excellently by itself. Back to the Future: The Musical is likely to be primarily based on the first film, but will there be any reference to the two successful and popular films in the franchise? The hoverboard sequences in Parts II and III make up some of the most suspenseful and fun moments in the series. While there may not seem like a lot of opportunities to bring them into the fold, there may be some opportunities for at least a passing mention. For example, when Doc Brown of 1955 is needling Marty about the future (“Ronald Reagan? The actor!”), it’d be easy to add a line like, “Let me guess, you also have portable boards that hover over the ground.”

Will Christopher Lloyd have a cameo?

If anyone from the original cast is to be involved in the musical, it should be Christopher Lloyd. Even if he isn’t playing Doc Brown, Lloyd is a veteran of the stage who has never before appeared on the West End. How brilliant would it be for him to have a cameo in this new venture for the Back to the Future franchise? Perhaps a featured role as Mr. Strickland, the school principal who labels Marty a slacker!

Will the DeLorean Fly?

“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” The line is instantly recognizable as being from the film and was so influential that Reagan quoted it in the 1986 State of the Union. While there are certain to be unique challenges in recreating the effect of time travel in a performing space, we’re most interested in seeing if the film’s big finale, when the DeLorean takes off toward the audience, is reproduced on stage. Here’s hoping!

Caseen Gaines is a pop culture historian. He is currently working on a book about the Back to the Future trilogy that will be published next year by Plume. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at and