I am very sad that my favorite actor Patrick McGoohan passed away yesterday at the age of 80. I am slightly disturbed by the fact that last night, we completed our viewing of the 86-episode, 18 DVD box set of Secret Agent / Danger Man. We saw the final episodes, which were the only two shot in color. The next morning, news arrives that McGoohan had passed.
The show’s absolutely, stunningly amazing allegorical style, wit, and suspense established the tone for virtually every modern sci-fi TV series. Extremely clear references can be seen in shows like Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Lost. The show is mindblowing today, even 40 years after it aired.
The Bond movies actually borrowed heavily from Danger Man in many areas including the tag: Bond, James Bond (Drake, John Drake on Danger Man). Patrick McGoohan was asked to play James Bond at one point, but he declined because he was unwilling to kiss a woman on screen (or even have implied relations or womanizing), as it went against his moral principles as a devoutly married man. He comes off in the few interviews he did as a tough, but very intelligent and interesting individual. McGoohan has always kept his private and family life very private and most of his fans have respected that choice including Roger Langley, the author of his recent biography Patrick McGoohan: Danger Man or Prisoner?. There are great interviews with McGoohan on Youtube. I have chosen not to include them here because they include many spoilers for The Prisoner and give specific interpretations for events and ideas that are, at the very least, flexible to individual interpretation.