Sunday, 9 September 2012

Editorial: Art Fist Issue Five editorial

Pop quiz: can anyone think of a sci-fi drama set on a mysterious island where its purpose and location shrouded in mystery? An island which has a security system which is conscious, mechanical and supernatural? A show riddled with complex plot devices including flashbacks, deception and hallucinations? A show which raises more questions than it answers? – Fans of Lost, you can put your hands down! I’m talking about The Prisoner.

Patrick McGoohan, co-creator, producer and star of The Prisoner, died on 13th January at the age of 80. His influence on popular culture of the past 40 years cannot be underestimated. The innovations of direction and plot that The Prisoner produced still resonate strongly to this day. McGoohans’s views on the sinister aspects of technology and surveillance are eerily prophetic. As McGoohan explained in a 1977 interview:

"We're run by the Pentagon, we're run by Madison Avenue, we're run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don't revolt we'll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche.... As long as we go out and buy stuff, we're at their mercy.

“We all live in a little Village," McGoohan concluded in the same interview. "Your Village may be different from other people's Villages, but we are all prisoners."

Lost, The Truman Show, Fortress, Battlestar Galactic, The Chronicles of Riddick and countless video games would probably not exist were it not for McGoohan’s creative imagination. McGoohan’s legacy will live on, and he will be greatly missed.

This was originally published in Art Fist magazine, 2009.

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