Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, Construct for the Future
I was going to say something about Patrick McGoohan's passing, but all I can think about is Portmeirion. We went there in 2006 on our first Great British Holiday and it's stayed with me ever since. It looks great on screen, but is so much better in real life. I think, because The Prisoner is quite cool (I mean, cool in tone, sort of chilly) it hides some of the charm of Portmeirion. That's what hit me, all these wonderful little funny details. The door marked Fire Engine (above) is only about 3 feet high.
I loved it all, but my favourite thing was the inscription on the statue of Hercules, which features quite heavily in the series. The beautifully turned out plaque says "To the summer of 1959, in honour of its splendour". Then underneath, in the same ornate script "1971 Highly commended" and underneath that, "1975, excelled even 1959". Wonderful.
Anyway, there is a nice Patrick McGoohan tribute from Robin Llywelyn, managing director of Portmeirion and Clough Williams-Ellis's grandson:
There is no doubt that the Prisoner as we know it would not have been possible without the location. Clough admired and respected McGoohan for the way his series portrayed Portmeirion, especially from the air. However Clough was never quite sure what it was all supposed to mean. Typically of Clough, he never asked McGoohan for a location fee, and was very surprised to find it was an international sensation as soon as it came out.
Related: a new CBeebies programme called Captain Adorable was filmed there recently. I can't find any trace of this online, perhaps because the one episode I saw looked bloody awful, despite featuring master toddler-whisperer Justin Fletcher as a caped (but rubbish) superhero. It was shot in the style of Lazytown, really bright and dynamic, and Portmeirion looked amazing. Secondly: Philip at English Buildings posted an interesting thing yesterday, about some Williams-Ellis buildings in Cornwell, Oxfordshire. Must add that to the list.
Be seeing you.