I am pretty certain that after nearly a decade writing for the Retroist as well as what we have shared on this site, you now know I happen to dig Patrick McGoohan. Whether that be from his work in the television series Danger Man which ran throughout the ’60s or of course 1967’s The Prisoner. Where I first encountered McGoohan however was thanks to Scanners, the 1981 science-fiction horror film by Director David Cronenberg – not too bad of an introduction to the actor if I say so myself. His role is sort of a cross between Professor Xavier of The X-Men and the Chief (Doctor Niles Caulder) of The Doom Patrol – I suppose I should warn you of SPOILERS for Scanners before you watch this clip?
Now onto the subject for this article, the reason Patrick McGoohan was being interviewed on the Today Show? It was due to his starring in a Broadway version of Pack of Lies, at the Royale Theater. The play was written by Hugh Whitemore, which in turn was based on 1971’s Act of Betrayal – which was actually an episode of the BBC’s Play of the Month. An amazing series to say the least with an astounding number of actors such as Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Sir John Gieguld (Arthur), Ian Holm (Alien), and McGoohan to name just a few. Although I am very sorry to say that many of these performance have been lost to time – most likely due to erasing the tapes they were recorded on much like early Doctor Who and other British TV series like Ace of Wands.
The story that Pack of Lies presents is based on a real event that took place in 1961. When Londoners, Ruth and Bill Search, discover their good neighbors, Peter and Helen Kroger, were in fact Russian spies. It was revealed that the Kroegers were part of the Portland Spy Ring, photographing and sending sensitive information by way of microdots. In the play, McGoohan portrays a British Intelligence Officer by the name of Stewart. Who helps to track down the Krogers and arrest them, by watching from the window of the Search’s teenage daughter. Speaking of said Daughter – Gay Search, the real life daughter, is actually in this Today Show interview along with Patrick McGoohan.