The Prisoner: An All-Star Appreciation

The reboot of Patrick McGoohan’s celebrated psy-fi series closed shop last night on AMC. But will it live on as long as its original copy? I pondered The Prisoner‘s lasting legacy for Wired last week.

The Prisoner: An All-Star Appreciation
Patrick McGoohan’s stunning spy-fi series The Prisoner only lasted 17 episodes before sadly disappearing in 1969. But its revolutionary mix of geopolitics, sci-fi and psychedelia has influenced not just television, but also music, comics, film and more.

It even made a deep impression on the most influential band of all time.

“Before Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles were going to do another full movie like Help, and it was all going to be based on The Prisoner,” Dhani Harrison, son of Beatles guitarist George Harrison, told Wired.com in October, before his own Prisoner-inspired band thenewno2 kicked off its inaugural North American tour. “They were going to be in a movie written and directed by Patrick McGoohan in the same vein as The Prisoner, because they thought it was one of the best series ever. They were so into his psychedelic weirdness.”

Unfortunately, the Beatles project ultimately fell through. But not before McGoohan inspired the Fab Four to do something that they never did again. “What came of it was the [Prisoner] episode ‘Fall Out’ featuring ‘All You Need Is Love,’” Harrison said. It was the only time a Beatles song was licensed to a TV show.

The aborted Beatles collaboration was just one strand of The Prisoner’s sonic reach. Shortly after it appeared, the classic series encouraged Roy Harper’s 18-minute epic “McGoohan’s Blues.” The show has also been mashed quite brilliantly with The Rolling Stones’ “2000 Light Years From Home,” which Mick Jagger reportedly wrote while in prison. MORE @ WIRED