La Rotisserie

Well Come

Royal Hibernian

The Duke

In the beginning

The Interview

roger goodman

Meeting Patrick McGoohan

The Duke

'Do you ever yearn for the stage?' I asked.

'"Yearn" is a big word', he replied. 'What other big words do you know?'

"'Conceptual art"?' I ventured.

'Conceptual art is crap', he declared, adding, 'Now "crap" is a big word'.

Although The Hard Way, the film for which he was in Ireland, was reaching the end of its location shooting, the recent snow had meant the hectic reshooting of some outdoor scenes to preserve continuity. If he’d had a hard day, it scarcely showed and he seemed disinclined to retire for the night to get some rest. Patrick told me he sleeps very little, and the conversation leant towards more domestic matters. He described their home in Pacific Palisades - "a kind of American Mill Hill" - and how there was a new addition to the family in the form of his grand-daughter Sarah. 'Marriage is a wonderful thing’, he avowed, 'It is more important to like the person you marry than it is to love them'. The apparent interview coup that the TV Times claimed for their American correspondent Leslie Salisbury, when she spoke to Joan and Patrick two years ago, turned out to have been conducted with Ms Salisbury in her Hollywood office and the McGoohans talking on their kitchen telephone.

'Patrick reminisced on the strong working relationship he had with Peter Falk, a great admirer of THE PRISONER. He recalled when they parted on one occasion and, as they shook hands, Patrick could feel something cold in his palm. He opened out his hand to find staring up at him one of Peter's spare glass eyes. "Be seeing you", grinned Falk. Patrick admitted that he had "tinkered a little" with the script of Identity Crisis, the Colombo episode which owed much to THE PRISONER and the two men’s fondness for collaborative writing.

Rafferty, he told me, was a good idea initially - about a roving country doctor performing a series of unusual and interesting operations - but his confinement to the hospital and the lack of good scripts, coupled with hack directors and hack editors, meant an early demise to a series Patrick even offered to improve with an injection of his own money.

As regards television work again, he preferred the idea of a television "Play Of The Week", which in America now had good scripts and was shot more as a film but specifically for television transmission. He was considering the part of Flash Gordon's father in the film Flash Gordon, but was worried about the five months it would mean at Shepperton - "too long". He was unaware of being offered roles in Starsky & Hutch (as their English colleague in a forthcoming episode) and in Star Wars II (as Emperor of the Universe): "If I have been offered them, my agent hasn't told me".

Patrick McGoohan 1b