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

Prisoner comic - Kirby - Royer

The Prisoner Comic Is Finally Being Released!

Friends, the Hollywood Reporter yesterday dropped some huge news for us fans of The Prisoner. Thanks to Titan Comics we will soon be able to enjoy a new comic series. A Prisoner comic that is indeed set in the universe of the cult classic TV show. However, thanks again to Titan Comics, we are going to be able to read Jack Kirby’s vision of The Prisoner.
The Prisoner #2

Sort of. As a matter of fact Steve Englehart (Doctor Strange) as well as Gil Kane (Green Lantern) had started to create a comic series in 1976. It was Stan Lee who felt the project was better suited to the legendary Jack Kirby. Although having said that it was of course Lee who eventually decided to cancel the project before it was even published.
Prisoner comic - Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby had crafted only the single issue before it had been cancelled. As a fan of The Prisoner as well as Jack Kirby. The fact I couldn’t get my hands on this work was maddening to say the least.
Prisoner comic - Kirby - Marvel

Now having said that, it is quite true that pages have been shared in the past. But not the actual full and inked Prisoner comic. Which is why the release of The Prisoner: Original Art Edition is such an amazing book. Not only are we going to get Kirby’s Prisoner comic but the script by Englehart and 18 pages of Gil Kane’s artwork.
Prisoner comic - Original Art Edition

I truly cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner‘s U.S. debut. I mean we have The Prisoner: Original Art Edition in addition to that new Prisoner comic series, right? The art will be handled by Colin Lorimer (The Hunt) with the writing by Peter Milligan (Shade, the Changing Man). In fact Milligan had this to say in the Titan Comics press release:

“For a story where all is ambiguous, it’s hardly surprising that everyone takes from The Prisoner something different; like most people I had my own theories, my own twisted notions – mostly Kafkaesque and existential – of what was really going on in those mock Italianate dwellings. Personally the stranger and more baffling it was the better it suited me,” Peter Milligan said in a statement. “So what an honor it is now, thanks to Titan Comics, to be writing Number 6’s successor into that enigmatic and beguiling world.”

I can assure you I will be making a post or two concerning the 50th anniversary on June 1st.

Actually, did you know that DC Comics released an official sequel Prisoner comic?


Prisoner comic - DC Comics

Totally true, friends. It was a 4-book Prestige format mini-series that was released in October of 1988. It followed an agent who resigns from her post at MI-5. Much like Patrick McGoohan’s character of Number 6 in The Prisoner, she has given no reason for quitting. Going on a sailing trip around the world, the young woman finds herself stranded on a seemingly deserted island. However…she is of course the new arrival at the Village. The series takes place 20 years after the end of the original television show. Things in the Village have not improved for the better.
Prisoner comic - DC comics - Dean Motter

Perhaps with the new Prisoner comic being released this might see a new release too?

Avengers - British Pathe

Did 1961’s The Avengers Influence Real Life?

Ah, the gloriousness that was The Avengers. The program’s stories successfully mixed elements of Cold War with sci-fi. Furthermore like 1967’s The Prisoner it found a cult following when it reached the states. How could it not though? Especially when in 1965 it added the beautiful Diana Rigg as Emma Peel to the mix? A perfect foil in fact to the more proper gentleman represented by Patrick Macnee’s John Steed!

[Via] Route Master 19

While I was born a little too late to catch The Avengers in it’s original airing. I was lucky enough in High School to see the episodes that were played in reruns on A&E. I really fell for the show in a hard way. Even mimicking the clothing style of John Steed…to a degree. I certainly couldn’t afford to go to school in a Savile Row suit – but a trenchcoat and fedora would do in a pich. As well as a sturdy umbrella at my side and it was all too easy to play the part of the gentleman.
Avengers - Mr. Vic Sage

Of course back then I didn’t actually realize I was actually just a young Anglophile. But thanks to a video posted on Facebook the other day by RetroArt. It seems like some elements of The Avengers crept into real life.

Or is it actually real life elements being brought into that series? As this film for the amazing anti-thief security case was released on December 18,1961. So says at the very least, the British Pathe website.

It bears mentioning that John Steed didn’t start wearing his trademark attire until the 1962 season of The Avengers. Previously he actually wore a trenchcoat and acted as an assistant to Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry). Beginning in 1962 with a rotating trio of partners – Steed began to dress the part of the gentleman.
Avengers

Now make sure to hop on over to British Pathe site for the full “Beat the Bandit” video. In addition to learning things like the briefcase was named the “arrestor”. You will also see how well a steel lined bowler stands up to be driven over by a car.

Now that you’ve witnessed the inventions of 1961 possibly affecting The Avengers series. Why not take a moment and enjoy Macnee and his co-star, Honor Blackman’s “Kinky Boots” from 1964?

[Via] Lord Skytower

Jack Kirby’s THE PRISONER!

Jack Kirby's THE PRISONER!

You all remember when Marvel and Jack Kirby turned cult TV show The Prisoner into a comic book, don’t you? No? That isn’t surprising, this unfinished seventeen-page story was scrapped before release in late 1976. Expected to be the first in a series, it was created by Kirby and partially inked and lettered by Mike Royer, and this single episode is all that remains of Kirby’s plans for the series.

Jack Kirby's THE PRISONER!

For more about the comic, and to read the first story, check out Forces of Geek, and if you want an even more in-depth history, check out TwoMorrows Publishing.