TELEVISION NORTH AMERICA
From 1952 to 1959, Patrick Macnee was based, for the most part, in North America. He arrived in Canada during the autumn of 1952 and worked there on stage and in the country’s newly-founded television industry. Two years later, in the summer of 1954, he gained his first work in United States, and spent the remainder of the decade dividing his time between the USA and Canada, interspersed with brief visits home to England. Patrick even took US citizenship in 1959 to make it more easy for him to gain employment in America.
During his time in North America, Patrick featured in more than 100 television productions, working most regularly for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). It was at this Toronto-based company that he met people like producer Sydney Newman, an acquaintance who would later transfer to England with ABC Television and feature prominently in Patrick’s destiny.
Although Patrick was fortunate not to be involved in a sinking in World War II, in fiction he went down with the SS Titanic on two occasions! First, he played Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ill-fated vessel, in a Kraft Television Theatre play entitled A Night to Remember (1956), and then two years later he figured in an episode of the mystery series One Step Beyond - The Night of 14th (1958) - in which he played Eric Farley, a man on his honeymoon aboard the Titanic.
Before he returned to England in 1960, Patrick participated in two 1959 episodes (Arthur and The Crystal Trench) of the legendary anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, both of which were directed by Hitchcock himself. Other prominent television engagements towards the end of his first period working in North America were in adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Misalliance, Shadow of a Pale Horse, The Queen's Peace and The Importance of Being Earnest. Coincidentally, Patrick would later star in an Armchair Theatre production of this last play when back in England.