CHECKMATE WRITER DIES
We are sad to report that news has reached The Unmutual that Gerald Kelsey, who wrote the "Prisoner" episode "Checkmate", has passed away.
As well as "The Prisoner", he also wrote for several other ITC shows, including "The Adventurer", "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)", "Jason King", and "The Saint" as well as TV shows as diverse as "Crossroads" and "Dixon of Dock Green". He also penned another "Prisoner" script, entitled "Don't get yourself killed", which was rejected by Patrick McGoohan and never made.
Voted the most popular "Prisoner" episode in a 2003 online poll, "Checkmate" was one of the earliest episodes to be filmed, and Kelsey's script, which script-editor George Markstein liked tremendously, was commissioned before the series began shooting. When interviewed by Steven Ricks several years ago, he recalled; "In 1959 I was on holiday in Germany. I went to a castle. In the courtyard was a chess board laid out. My host said 'The story is that the Baron who owned the castle used his retainers to play chess'......It was 6 years later thinking of the craziest of ideas, I hit upon the idea of using those characters on a chess board."
The Unmutual would like to offer its sincerest condolences to Gerald's friends and family.
With thanks to Simon Coward for this news item. Interview & Image © TR7 Productions.
News Announced 1/4/2006, Archived 26/6/2006