This Columbo episode is packed with references to The Prisoner
Patrick McGoohan worked in several clever nods to his most famous role.
Patrick McGoohan deserves a place on the Mount Rushmore of Columbo guest stars. Well, "guest star" doesn't quite do justice to his contributions to the beloved detective series. McGoohan appeared in four episodes, including his final on-screen television role, 1998's "Ashes to Ashes." The English-raised actor also directed five Columbo episodes, wrote the teleplay for another, and produced a couple, too.
Overall, the television icon, best known for his starring roles in Secret Agent (a.k.a. Danger Man) and The Prisoner, worked on Columbo from 1974 to 2000. Here, we're going to focus on "Identity Crisis," his first outing as a Columbo director. Because this episode is riddled with easter eggs for The Prisoner.
Peter Falk had his catchphrase — "Just one more thing…" — and McGoohan likewise had his own on The Prisoner. His character, the enigmatic Number Six, often says "Be seeing you." It must have delighted fans of the fantastic Sixties sci-fi series, then, to hear McGoohan tossing the line out again in "Identity Crisis." He bids farewell in an early scene with the line:
The following scene has another clever nod to Number Six, albeit a more sartorial one. McGoohan and Leslie Nielsen, playing two CIA operatives, walk through an amusement park. McGoohan sports a dark jacket with white trim — a cheeky fashion reference to the sportscoat worn by Number Six, as you can see at the top of this post.
There's more — as other fans have noted, McGoohan's character essentially becomes "number two" in his agency, a parallel to Number Two on The Prisoner.
There could be more for eagle-eyed viewers and classic television lovers to find!
Look! It's another overhead shot of a car driving down a road.
Yeah he would be one of them
another - Jack Cassidy
another - Robert Culp
another - Leonard Nimoy
and lasty Robert Vaughn
Sidebar: I was in 8th grade at the time, and they had a record player outside the school cafeteria for students to play records on their lunch break... I heard "Secret Agent Man" so many times that's it's amazing how I never grew to hate the song - I didn't - in fact, I love Johnny's guitar riff intro!
he grew up and made his bones in entertainment. He held both Irish and American
citizenship, but because of The Prisoner etc. everyone assumes he is British.
If you ever ran into him, he would tell you he was American. He was an extremely
religious family man and tried to avoid violence and love scenes in his work.
They thought McGoohan was British because by growing up there, he could affect a English accent flawlessly and get jobs as British characters, like # 6 in The Prisoner. Like American Mel Gibson growing up in Australia, starring in many films there before he hit Hollywood. I remember
him on the Tonite Show switching back and forth between American English and the Aussie
"strine", it was very funny.
"Broderick Crawford starring in Highway Patrol" by Gary Goltz is out. Gary runs the Highway Patrol
website, which is chock full of goodies such as tie in toys and behind the scenes color photos.
He takes his police car, exactly like Crawford's, to car shows and he is well known in those
circles. His website is like the acme, daddy-o, the ginchiest, in the parlance of late 1950's
California Cool, like on 77 Sunset Strip.
I'm actually mentioned in the acknowledgements of that book. I supplied a couple of important Untouchables episodes that Jon needed to see for the chapter on that series (Martin produced the first season of The Untouchables, not long before he formed his own company).
Thank you for the info., but I was supplying it for another METVer above: JaelinSmith40652 If you could, perhaps pass that along to them I would appreciate it. I just didn't have the book by me, so I couldn't do it. If you already have, than never mind. Thanks again for the reply!