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re­leased OUT NOW! 2017 | e | Blu-ray Di­rec­tor Chris rod­ley In­ter­vie­wees Pa­trick McGoohan, Cather­ine McGoohan, lewis Greifer, lew Grade

What do we want?

In­for­ma­tion! Fifty years af­ter The Pris­oner bog­gled the minds of a na­tion, this doc­u­men­tary looks back at an at­tempt to get some an­swers out of Pa­trick McGoohan, cre­ator of the sur­real, metaphor­i­cal TV show about a re­tired spy whisked away to a mys­te­ri­ous vil­lage.

In 1983, in­ex­pe­ri­enced film­maker Chris Rod­ley snagged a com­mis­sion from Chan­nel 4 to in­ter­view the ac­tor for doc­u­men­tary Six Into One: The Pris­oner File. McGoohan was so un­happy with the first at­tempt that he in­sisted on a do-over. That pre­vi­ously un­seen footage is the chief sell­ing point here, as Rod­ley re­traces a trip to LA and re­calls his deal­ings with the re­cal­ci­trant, re­tir­ing star. Sadly, it’s so bland (and poorly com­posed) that McGoohan’s judge­ment is vin­di­cated. Glimpses of him tetchily call­ing the shots are more re­veal­ing.

For­tu­nately take two was an im­prove­ment, pre­sent­ing a more open, avun­cu­lar McGoohan. And sup­port­ing ma­te­rial – a 1977 Cana­dian TV in­ter­view; home movie footage of the se­ries film­ing; a new in­ter­view with McGoohan’s daugh­ter, Cather­ine; pro­duc­tion de­sign im­ages – fills the gaps to tell the story prop­erly. Third time’s the charm, then.

Ex­tras An out­take from the ’80s in­ter­views; Cather­ine McGoohan in­ter­view. Ian Ber­ri­man

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