A one-day celebration of Patrick McGoohan, "The Prisoner", "Danger Man", and Portmeirion.
SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST 2007, THE HOTEL PORTMEIRION, In aid of Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice.
Organised by The Unmutual Website.
Report by Rick Davy.
Photographs by Rick Davy, Alan Jones, Ronnie Soo, David Mackenzie, Mathew Lock.
On Sunday 19th August 2007, Portmeirion's Hercules Hall came alive once more due to fans of Patrick McGoohan, "The Prisoner", "Danger Man" and Portmeirion attending a very special event.
It was an early start for some with the setting up of the hall, including large screen, lighting rig, and sound desk and equipment. Attendees began to arrive ahead of schedule, made their way into the hall, and were presented with their colour programme.
Whilst the weather wasn't as bright and sunny as the last two years, there was little chance of rain so many, some at Portmeirion for the first time, mingled in the open air before MC Dave Jones took to the stage to welcome everyone to the event.
Dave Jones at PM2007
With the busiest programme of events attempted for an event in Portmeirion, we were quickly underway with our first special guest, writer and historian Robert Fairclough.
There was barely time to catch a breath for Robert as he whizzed through the details of his latest projects. First up was a sneak preview of the new official Prisoner calendar, for which Rob had brought along the colour proofs of the photos.
There was more news, as he showed attendees an exclusive proof of the cover for the next Powys media Prisoner novel, and then a fascinating insight into the scripts written for possible Prisoner movie remakes over the years. For a forthcoming article in SFX Rob had interviewed all the writers and outlined what this article would contain.
Next up was the first screening of the day, the BBC2 Wales documentary "On Show", about Sir Clough and Portmeirion. For most in the hall this was their first viewing of the documentary, arguably the finest made on the subject.
After this, the bar was open so time for a quick break before one of the most exciting events of the day.
Tim Beddows and Steven Ricks, representing Network DVD, were interviewed by Dave Jones regarding the new Prisoner 40th Anniversary DVD boxstet. As an added bonus, Steven was wearing the jacket worn by McGoohan in Living in Harmony!
With them they had some wonderful footage which would form parts of the DVD. First up a comparison of the picture quality between the new remastered release and previous DVD releases and its fair to say the difference is stunning! They showed clips from the new documentary which will be included in the set, with no less than 30 people interviewed.
Also shown was the new, from the 35mm print, alternative Arrival. Again the picture quality was stunning, and an added bonus is to watch the episode with Wilfred Joseph's original music score, painstakingly produced by Steven Ricks.
Next up was another special guest, Prisoner librarian Tony Sloman. Tony has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Prisoner filming and he and Dave Jones enthralled the crowd with their run through of the Prisoner filming. An added surprise from Tony was that he was kindly donating to the auction a 35mm print of "Arrival"!
Next up was the lunch break, with Earl Cameron off to conduct a radio interview with Rob Fairclough for BBC Radio Wales, whilst at the same time attendee Nicola Garner could be heard promoting the event on Radio Cymru! Thanks to Peter Dunn, it was another good year for press coverage, with the Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald and Daily Post, BBC Online, and the Bermudan press all covering the event.
This break gave a chance for attendees to explore Portmeirion at their leisure, as well as buy event merchandise at the charity stall. There was also an opportunity to look at an updated Lego Village display by David Mackenzie.
With lunch over, it was time for another special screening. "This Day in Fear" is an unreleased Patrick McGoohan play from 1959. Utterly enthralling, it tells the story of a man in hiding from the IRA and shows as being one of McGoohan's finest performances.
Next up were 2 more special guests. "Fall Out" is a new guide to The Prisoner co-authored by Fiona Moore and Alan Stevens and PM2007 saw the launch of the book, with copies on sale at a discounted price, signed by the authors.
Fiona and Alan ran through how the book came about, and what people could expect from it, in a very warm and entertaining way and attendees rushed to buy their copy.
Next up was a screening of rare items. Two reels of amateur footage shot during the making of "Arrival", a trailer for "Fall Out" made by British Forces Television, and a music video by Carmel Morris, who herself was in attendance all the way from Australia!
It was then time for the auction. With many items added on the day, brought along by ticket holders, there were more items up for grabs than ever before. Items such as original 1960s Prisoner press material, DVDs, memorabilia, signed photos, and rare vinyl sold well but top seller was Lew Stringer's original artwork for the cartoon seen in the programme, which went for £105!!
Next up was Howard Foy's always popular guided tour of Portmeirion. This time, there was a twist! As well as the usual history of Portmeirion buildings, Howard went through their usage in the filming of The Prisoner.
Howard was wearing a t-shirt specially produced for PM2007!
Next up was a surprise event that even the organisers didn't know about until earlier in the day. Local man Steve Gaffey had been compiling a DVD of 1960s carnivals from local folk's 8mm footage and he had found amongst this some amateur "Prisoner" footage.
With not even he and the organisers having seen the footage, there was silence in the hall as the DVD was searched. Then came gasps as completely new and unseen footage played on the screen. The sequences centred around the filming of the helicopter escape from the end of "Arrival". McGoohan was seen patting, stroking, and bouncing Rover on the lawn, as well as discussing and setting up scenes, and Angelo Muscat also appeared going for a jog along the path complete with umbrella!
It would not be an understatement to say that this part of the event will go down in "Prisoner" history as one of the most exciting.
With time pressing, it was time for our final guest, veteran actor Earl Cameron.
Earl appeared in no less than 5 episodes of "Danger Man", as well as "The Prisoner" and these appearances were discussed with Dave Jones.
Enthralling throughout, it was a joy to see and hear Earl on such good form, recounting his early days in Britain during the war, his early theatre work, right up to the present day with his working on "The Queen" and "The Interpreter".
After a short break, Earl and Dave were then joined by Tony Sloman for a special screening of "The Schizoid Man", on which they both worked. Aswell as talking about the scenes and personalities involved, a nice discussion on film-making in general took place.
With the guests then off to have dinner at the hotel, it was time for the raffle. With over 30 prizes up for grabs!
It was then left for Dave Jones and myself to officially bring the days packed programme to a close, and leave everyone with a chance to chat in the bar until 10.30pm
It was a wonderful day's events, with every "Prisoner" artefact for 2007 represented in the timetable, plus a few surprises along the way. Rick Davy and Dave Jones would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make the day such a success.
The monday morning saw the guests depart, after a signing session and some card tricks from Magic Dave.
But the surprises would not end there! Following on from Steve Gaffey's footage, investigations by Brian Watson led to the unearthing of "Checkmate" behind the scenes footage!
We are proud to announce that the total profit* from PM2007, and therefore donated to Ty Gobaith, is £630.18. We would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the event and helped to raise this magnificent total.
PM2007 - YOUR THOUGHTS
If you would like to tell us what you thought of the event, please email us and have your comments included here!
want to say what a great weekend we had at Portmeirion at PM2007. I always
get a buzz when I'm in the village and the entertainment was 1st class as
usual. Managing to get original actors and technical crew really captures
the feel of the series and of the era of the 60's. It's amazing how after
all these years there is still new information and film footage coming to
light all the time!"
for all your combined hard work."
a quick e-mail to thank Rick and all of the other individuals who put so much
valuable time and effort into the PM2007 event. As far as I could tell there
were no problems and day was distinguished with perhaps the most friendly,
relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere I have ever experienced at any such gathering.
Congratulations on providing a wide ranging series of events, presentations
and guests. I don't claim to have seen everything throughout the day as there
was a lot of catching up to do with those attending and Portmeirion ambiance
to bask in. However I thoroughly enjoyed what I did experience. What a pleasure
it was to see Earl Cameron in such good form (and health) at 90! and Tony
Sloman was once again a splendid ambassador for the industry with his knowledge,
personal charm and dedication. And, of course, the splendid 8mm footage -
what a marvellous discovery. And more found later on I understand. Hopefully
this make it onto the DVD release and we can all enjoy watching it at our
leisure. Once again, take and bow and pass on my thanks to all who put in
so much effort to make the event such a success. It leaves a warm glow to
enjoy such an event without any politics or personalities to taint the memories
of such a fondly remembered series. ;-)"
of thanks for a great event - thoroughly enjoyed - I believe I won a few raffle
prizes too - top notch."
back home I thought I would write to say thank you for a enjoyable day last
Sunday. It was good to see everybody and to see some people that I have not
see for ages. The guests were very interesting to meet and listen to - even
though I have met them before. I really enjoyed viewing 'This Day in Fear'
again and the BBC2 Wales programme was very good - pity it is not available
to say Thank you for PM 2007, I enjoyed every minute of it. Please can we
do it all over again next year."
a short note to say how much I enjoyed last Sunday's PM2007 event. I thought
the choice of material offered to view and listen to was first class and thought
the presentation of the event overall to be very professional. It was good
to see many faces from the past at the event, and I was particularly impressed
with the whip-round for the Friends of the Local School as a quid pro quo
for the footage they showed of the original Prisoner filming ( and what good
quality it was too ! ). Hopefully another commendable sum was raised for the
Hope Hospice; it was good to see Prisoner fandom being used to raise money
for those far less fortunate than us. It only remains for me to say a big
Thank You to you again for all your hard work in preparing this event, I look
forward to PM2008 !"
again, a packed programme of the highest quality. It was such an enjoyable
day that I find it difficult to single out highlights but Earl Cameron's interview
was wonderful. What a charming and talented man he is, full of warmth and
good cheer. His recollections would have been interesting anyway but his delivery
was so personal, it was as if he was chatting to a few friends at dinner,
rather than a busy Hercules Hall! All of the guests were friendly and approachable.
I firmly believe it is the professional, yet apparently effortless and laid-back
approach of the event organisers that helps to produce this friendly, informal
It was nice to see the updated Lego Village of David Mackenzie, particularly as I have been immortalised in Lego, outside my favourite cottage! The many people working behind the scenes on lighting, sound, merchandise, etc. also deserve praise for their efforts.
The presentation of Network's new DVD box set convinced this long-time owner of the series in many formats that "just one more purchase" is necessary and the unearthing of new footage of Prisoner filming, seen for the first time by us all sitting together, gave the event an almost fairytale quality. Amazing how sometimes, even after all this these years, such coincidences can occur to everyone's benefit. I'm delighted that the owners of the footage will be able to help their local school as a result of getting in touch with the organisers of PM2007.
Finally, there is the matter of another £630 for Ty Gobaith. I'm pleased that the event continues to support the charity and am sure that this money will help them in their wonderful work."
is just to say that we really enjoyed PM 2007. The organisers and presenters
did a marvellous job, the guests were fascinating and enchanting and the screenings
were excellent. We are glad that the event went so well and raised such a
generous amount of money for the hospice. We look forward to PM 2008!!"
"Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the 1 day event and was able to catch up with nice people I hadn't seen for years."
"We're just sending you a message to say how much we enjoyed the day.
Thank you very much for all your hard work in organising it & we hope
the rest of your holiday was nice & restful."
"Just a quick
note to say we had a great time at the event, and would like to thank you
very much for inviting us. Thanks also to Dave for a great interview. The
event was well organised and it was a pleasure to meet you and all the volunteers.
The response to the book has been gratifying, and we look forward to reading
your review in due course."
were delighted to hear you have raised such an amazing amount for Ty Gobaith.
Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice.
"We had a marvellous time."
really did have a marvellous time, thank you for everything."
"Thanks for such a great time. As I bored everyone by saying, PM2007 was the best yet!"
Several signed items, and items of merchandise left over from the event such as event programmes and DVDs, are still available for purchase - click HERE for more details.
Event organisers Rick Davy, and Dave Jones would like to thank the following people for their help in making PM2007 such a success:
Tony, Simone, and Jonathan Sloman, Earl and Barbara Cameron, Fiona Moore, Alan Stevens, and Robert Fairclough for giving up their weekend to attend and support the event. Corina Tibbetts, Robin Llywelyn, Sion Dobson-Jones and the staff of Portmeirion for their help in staging the event and their hospitality and hard work on the day. Steven Ricks and Tim Beddows of Network DVD for the presentation, Steve Gaffey for the "Arrival" footage, Granada Media for official permission to screen items from their archive. Grant Taylor, Jaz Wiseman, Umbrella Entertainment, and The AV Channel for their kind permission to screen items from their DVDs, BBC for screening permission. Eluned Yaxley of Hope House for allowing us to link up to the charity.
Simon Coward for obtaining screenings permission. Jill Mills for running the merchandise and raffle stall. Brian Watson & Giles Kendrick for additional guest liaison, CH and his able assistant for running the sound levels on the day and providing equipment. Howard Foy for running the guided tour, David Mackenzie for his lego display. Giles Kendrick for filming the interviews, Alan Jones for his computer skills. Kate Foy for helping on the door, Nigel Kitcher for designing and printing all the programmes free of charge, Paul Smith for the programme cover, and Lew Stringer for the cartoon. Peter Dunn for press liason. Jane Rowe for helping set up the equipment. Ceri Jones and James Goldthorpe for going round the hall all day with the charity bucket, and everyone who donated a raffle or auction item.
*Full detailed financial accounts for PM2007 can be found HERE.
PM2007 was an independent event organised by The Unmutual Website, with the kind permission of Portmeirion and Granada Media. The event had no involvement whatsoever from any Society or fan-club. Photos and text from this page may not be reproduced on any other website or in any publication without our expressed permission. Photos are © the individual photographers and The Unmutual Website 2007