We Want Information!

It is with much sadness that I came to learn that Patrick McGoohan died last week. Patrick was the creator, director, producer, and in many cases, the writer, for The Prisoner Television series in the 1960s. McGoohan was 80 years old.

The Prisoner story line: a secret agent (played by McGoohan) quits his job with the British government. He drives a Lotus 7 in the opening scenes, always a fun segment for fans of fast, light cars.

As he is packing for a far-away trip to a warm island, his house fills with knock-out gas. McGoohan wakes up in a totalitarian town, (“The Village”) where the leadership has total control. McGoohan no longer has a name. He, and everyone else in The Village, is a number. McGoohan in Number 6. There are cameras everywhere, even in the bathrooms. Advanced technologies are used to try control every part of McGoohan’s life, and mind, in The Village.

The leadership wants “information” from McGoohan, and each episode is an attempt to get that information from him, by hook or by crook. McGoohan’s famous line, “I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!” is in every episode.

One of the best episodes is “Free For All.” It is McGoohan’s take on modern elections. It’s worth a look, as you will discover how timeless the ideas in this program truly are.  If you are interested in data security, privacy and the law, this program will have you thinking long after the episode is over. Below is a segment (as I recall ) from Free For All:

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