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Patrick McGoohan

Your Favourite TV Actor Coming Here - In Person

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McGoohan as moviegoers will see him in Ice Station, Zebra.

An exclusive report from the New Zealand TV Weekly's man-in-Hollywood Ronald Simpson.

Patrick McGoohan will study possibilites of film-making

British television's Danger Man, Patrick McGoohan. will fulfil a long-held ambition early next year. He will visit New Zealand.

The actor's trip. however, will be partly business as he will be taking a serious look at New Zealand as a location tor iuture film production.

Patrick revealed these plans to me exclusively in Hollywood last week where he is filming the multi-million dollar production ot Ice Station Zebra with Rock Hudson and Ernest Borgnine.

This will be my first visit to New Zealand, but I'm not altogether a stranger to the country, he said. I'm particularly aware of its potential for filming

I am also writing a novel which is set there, and it is through this that I have gained most of my know- ledge of the country.

The actor said he was unable to give an exact itinerary of his visit until dates of earlier commitments were confirmed, but it would definitely be early in the new year.

He will fly from London to Japan for discussion over two films being planned there, and will then go on to New Zealand and, later, Australia.

Owns Film Company

prisoner_patrick_macgoohan.jpg - 66.2 KBPatrick's interest in New Zealand as a film location stems from his ownership of a successful film production company in London, Everymans Films. The New Zealand Government, I know, is keen to get film production going there and this interests me very much, he said.

It's a marvellous place to make movies. It has the most fantastic locations, and suitable climatic conditions, which is what you want for movies.

The potential is enormous and I believe that both New Zealand and Australia are going to attract a lot of attention from film makers in the future.

It certainly seems to be working around that way now. First, it was Italy until costs began soaring. Then it was Spain where much the same thing is happening. Yugoslavia, of course, is still in the boom time.

Patrick, however, was reluctant to discuss the novel he was writing. It's more a hobby than anything, he said. I might even develop it as a screenplay eventually for shooting in New Zealand.

No, I haven't titled it as yet and I don't feel there is any point in going into the plot, but it does relate to the Treasure of Sierra Madre.

This was the famous Humphrey Bogart film, which told how three men discover gold in the Sierra Madre mountains and how it affected each of them. Long before they could reach the nearest township, greed bred such suspicion and hatred between the trio, that it eventually exploded into violence and murder.

Logical Choice?

Patrick, although he has never seen the country, chose the New Zealand setting after seeing documentary films about it because it best suited the action of his story.

All his descriptions of the countryside are being drawn from an enormous amount of travel films and books, until he can see it firsthand during his visit.

Such a book would be a major undertaking for most people, but for the tall, sandy-haired actor it is just one of at least half-a-dozen projects he manages to juggle at once.

At present he is dashing backwards and forwards across the Atlantic to film Ice Station Zebra in Hollywood and complete the final episodes of his latest television series, The Prisoner, in London.

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In his new series, The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan (left) appears in the first episode with Christchurch (NZ) actor, Guy Doleman.

It meant reshuifling schedules of both the film and television series, but it has delighted me that I have been able to do Ice Station Zebra, he said.

John Sturges (the film's director) has arranged for all my scenes to be shot first, and I am able to return to London for a week, then fly back here to complete my part of the film.

I have always been a great admirer of John's work. In fact, when he asked me to do the role, I agreed without even seeing the script.

In the Ice Station Zebra film, Patrick stays right in Danger Man character. He plays a British intelligence agent who joins an American atomic submarine on a dash under the Arctic icecap in an attempt to foil a Russian coup at the North Pole.

When he returns to London, finally, he will almost immediately begin a film production of Ibsen's Brand, a role that brought him wide acclaim both on the stage and television in Britain.

How does he do it? Well, Patrick McGoohan says simply. Work is my hobby.