Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great McGoohan pic

Manchester Nights

Now and again, I like a night out. Usually, I find myself walking home just before dawn, and I find it's a great time to take a few snaps. here are a few - some with a 'proper' digital camera, and some with my mobile phone. Can you guess the locations?


My favourite actor, Patrick McGoohan died last week at the age of 80. A massive star of 1960s UK television with 'Danger Man', then the cult classic (and my fave tv show) 'The Prisoner'. This was a guy who was always his own man. Strongly principled, he turned down the role of 007 several times because he didn't like the use of guns, and the use of women as mere playthings. After huge success as secret agent John Drake in 'Danger Man', he packed the job in, and presented legendary tv producer Lew Grade with his idea for a new show. 'The Prisoner', he explained, was about a secret agent who resigns, is kidnapped and imprisoned in a mysterious village until he explains WHY he resigned. Grade gave him full control to do whatever he wanted, and McGoohan created a ground-breaking, often surreal television series that paved the way for the likes of 'Lost'. The final episode created a huge backlash from viewers who failed to understand that the series was an allegory, and would not end by answering questions, but by posing more, deeply unsettling ones.
McGoohan's words on the theme of 'The Prisoner'-
"The greatest evil that one has to fight constantly, every minute of the day until one dies, is the worser part of oneself. And that is what I did. And I would do the same again."

The series has now been remade by ITV and AMC (a US tv producer) with the American actor Jim Caviezel in the McGoohan role (Number 6), and our very own Sir Ian McKellen as his nemesis (Number 2).

Man Utd - Normal service resumed?

Well, after thrashing lowly West Brom 5 -0, and my hometown team Wigan breaking Liverpool's hearts with an 87 minute penalty to level the match, it looks like it's business as usual.

In the mid 70s, when I was a shy schoolkid, we all had to have a football team to support, and as I was FAR too poor to ever afford to go and see 4th division Wigan (or ever see them much on the tv), I had to choose a top flight team I could watch on Sunday's 'Kick Off' programme with the evergreen Gerald Sinstadt. As Wigan is precisely halfway 'twixt Manchester and Liverpool, it was down to one of these great rivals. Liverpool were riding high, and would continue to dominate the 1980s, while Utd were a mid table team. What made me choose Utd then? The colour of their shirts. But, 'Hang On!!', I hear you cry, "Don't they both wear red?" Well, yes. But, back then, United's were a shade deeper red, AND as I don't like strawberries, but DO like raspberries, then THAT was the deciding factor.
Yes, I KNOW I should get out more!

Anyroad, I DO have sympathy for the scousers. Gerrard is a great player, and I think he, Carragher, Hypia, and the fans deserve the title soon. IF they won it this year, I would GENUINELY be happy for them, as I simply cannot abide the petty, narrow-mindedness of the fan who 'hates' his team's rivals. Utd play attractive, dynamic football, and USUALLY deserve to win. Let's see!