A Blast from the Past

Patrick McGoohan turned 77 this past Saturday. I found this little piece of trivia because I decided to Google for “mcgoohan scarecrow”. For some reason, I vaguely recalled a Disney television show from back when I was a child. And I found this page among various eBay memorabilia links. The bit about McGoohan was on the “News” page there.

It turns out to be an extremely thorough web page concerning a project Patrick McGoohan starred in during the 1960’s. There were a number of titles attached to it. For convenience, let’s call it, “Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow” and leave it at that. It was shown by Disney in a set of three weekly installments, shown twice in 1964 and once in 1970. I’m pretty sure it was the 1970 airing that caught me in front of the TV as a child. For one thing, I somehow remembered McGoohan’s name being attached to it, and I don’t think that as a child of 4 in 1964 I could have done that.

But enough about me. Let’s go back to talking about Tom Hering’s page on the Scarecrow. Hering has produced a stunning set of pages concerning this bit of ephemeral entertainment. He produced a lot of ingenious graphical content himself, in addition to collecting pictures of memorabilia associated with the show. All in all, the quality of these pages and the sense of enthusiasm that comes through are something that should have various big-budget modern theatrical releases puzzling over why they are paying the bucks for sites that, no matter how much Flash is loaded on them, are simply insipid. One talented fan appears to be capable of feats that many established web design houses simply cannot match. Hering doesn’t go for the one-screen page, for instance. Each of the pages is several screens long, but Hering balances well-integrated graphics with actual content. Yes, Hering uses real information to populate his page. Isn’t that cool?

So, my hat’s off to Tom Hering. It was a pleasure to step back and fill in a lot of gaps in my fuzzy recollection of this bit of television.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.