Remembering 'The Prisoner' creator/star Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner (1967-68), was startlingly forward-thinking in its imaginative use of technology, presaging surveillance societies, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

The Prisoner was a 1960's take on surveillance societies, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

We're saddened to learn that actor/writer/director Patrick McGoohan has died at age 80. His cult favorite TV series, The Prisoner (1967-68), was startlingly forward-thinking in its imaginative use of technology, presaging surveillance societies, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

After starring in the '60s spy series Danger Man (and turning down the role of James Bond), McGoohan turned the genre on its head and created and starred in (as well as writing and directing several episodes of) this 17-episode story arc about a kidnapped secret agent. The show played off of Cold War paranoia, with plenty of genre-breaking psychological and psychedelic overtones.

AMC TV is currently working on an updated remake of the series, with with Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel.

If for some reason you've never seen the original series, full episodes are available online from AMC.

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About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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