Your Favourite TV Actor Coming Here - In Person
An exclusive report from the New Zealand TV Weekly's man-in-Hollywood Ronald Simpson.
Patrick McGoohan will study possibilites of film-making
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
Patrick'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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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.