Two years after the original "Danger Man" series concluded, it was revamped and retconned. The series returned in a longer format. (1 hour/episode instead of 30 minutes). John Drake was now...
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Two years after the original "Danger Man" series concluded, it was revamped and retconned. The series returned in a longer format. (1 hour/episode instead of 30 minutes). John Drake was now an agent for MI9, getting exotic assignments exclusively from Her Majesty's Secret Service as an agent of M9. This version of the series introduced several Bond-like gadgets, including a tape-recording shaver, as well as a lighter with a camera hidden inside. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Taken as a whole, "Danger Man" is one of the finest Television series of its era. Patrick McGoohan did an excellent job portraying British Intelligence Agent John Drake, providing a frankly refreshing alternative to the James Bond type character of the Spy genre.
Danger Man consisted of 4 seasons done in a somewhat unusual manner. In the first season, televised 1960-1961, John Drake is a NATO intelligence officer working for the UN in New York. There were 39 half-hour episodes filmed in black and white. The series was cancelled after this first season and it was not until 1964 that it was reprised (because of the "spy craze" of that time) for its second season. John Drake no longer works for NATO but rather for the British Government intelligence agency "M9". The shows are also now 1 hour episodes, and for seasons 2 & 3 (combined total 45 episodes) are filmed in black and white. The fourth season consists of only 2 1-hour episodes that are filmed in color (or is it "Colour" :-)?
The character of John Drake is one of a spy with morals. He doesn't use women, rarely carries a gun much less uses one, and prefers to think his way through his missions. He is no weakling however ( McGoohan is 6' 2.5") and knows how to handle himself very well in hand-to-hand fighting. He is adept at several languages and reasonably good at disguises. The gadgetry is more sparse and more believable than that found in the Bond films, with the most common spy accessories being a camera hidden in a cigarette lighter, and an electric razor that doubles as a tape recorder. He is sometimes at odds with his superiors when they request him to do things that he considers immoral or dishonorable and pays the price for doing what he sees as right.
When aired in the US, a different opening sequence and song was added. Originally the series title of "Danger Man" was going to be retained but at the last moment it was deemed that "Secret Agent" would catch a bigger share of the US audience. The famous "Secret Agent" song sung by Johnny Rivers had its refrain originally phrased for "Danger Man" but then had to be changed to "Secret Agent MAN" to work.
As of this writing, A&E Home Video has brought to DVD region 1 (USA/Canada) the first 38 episodes of Seasons 2&3. It is hoped they will pubish the remaining 7 Season 3 episodes and the 2 Season 4 episodes, and it is the personal hope of this author that the will then consider to publish the original 39 half hour episodes of Season 1.
Patrick McGoohan stopped doing Danger Man because he thought the stories had run their course and because he wanted to do his own unique project, which became the legendary series "The Prisoner". There has been ongoing rumor that a Prisoner Movie is in the make, with McGoohan having the hand at writing the script, and possibly directing and staring in a cameo role. To Patrick, your fans hope in relation to this project, that one more time we can all "Be seeing you".
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