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Secret Agent (TV Series 1964–1966) Poster

(1964–1966)

Trivia

The nationality of John Drake is a matter of some debate. In the original Danger Man (1960) series, he was portrayed as an American. In the 1964 series, he appeared to be British. Patrick McGoohan was born in the US but based in Europe, and in one episode of the 1964 series, John Drake says he is Irish. McGoohan's next series, The Prisoner (1967) is considered by many to be a spinoff of "Danger Man" and many believe that show's main character, Number 6, is John Drake. Indeed at least one character from "Danger Man" (Potter) appears in an episode of "Prisoner." However, McGoohan has since 1967 been adamant Number 6 is not John Drake.
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Many guest stars on "Danger Man" later reappeared in The Prisoner (1967).
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Patrick McGoohan was adamant that Drake live up to a higher moral standard than the likes of James Bond. As a result, the character rarely becomes involved with women (beyond mission requirements), and rarely kills anyone - in fact he almost never carries a gun.
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The American theme song "Secret Agent Man" was originally titled "Danger Man" with corresponding lyrics, until the decision was made to change the series title for US broadcast.
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After several seasons of black-and-white episodes, it was decided to switch to color. But after only two episodes were completed, McGoohan quit the series to devote his energies to The Prisoner (1967). These 2 episodes Secret Agent: Koroshi (1967) & Secret Agent: Shinda Shima (1967) were edited together to form the film Koroshi (1968).
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Different opening credits sequences were devised for the original UK broadcasts, with episodes alternating between them. One shows Drake walking towards the camera in negative, then a sharp closeup of his eyes in positive. The second sequence starts with a closeup of Drake's eyes, then pulls back on a photograph of his complete face.
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It is often erroneously reported that episodes of the series were filmed in Portmerion, the Welsh village McGoohan later used as the setting for The Prisoner (1967). I

In truth, none of the 1964-66 "Danger Man" episodes was filmed there, however, several episodes of McGoohan's earlier Danger Man (1960) series were.
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When at home in London, Drake drives an Austin Mini Cooper S, registration number 731 HOP; although undetectable in monochrome the colour scheme was Smoke Grey/Old English White. The car was deliberately chosen as a more speedy and inconspicuous vehicle than those preferred by contemporary fictional agents like James Bond or John Steed.
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Contrary to some reviews of this series that appeared in the 1960s (and, in fact, more recent reviews from the 1990s and 2000s), Danger Man was one of the least violent spy series ever. Its' hero rarely, if ever carried a gun, and during the course of the series never shot anyone to death (though in at least one episode Drake pretends to as part of a ruse, and he does so again in a dream sequence in another episode). Villains usually were left alive at the end, with some exceptions, which was also a rarity for the genre. (Drake wrestles with Papa Camille for a handgun. Drake turns the handgun into Papa Camille's chest and fires, killing him.) In the episode, Secret Agent: To Our Best Friend (1965), after an enemy agent tells him to keep his hands out his pocket (to avoid a suspected gun), Drake replies; 'I never carry a gun. They're noisy and they hurt people. Besides, I manage very well w/out.'
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An unused script written for the series, "The Girl Who Was Death" was rewritten & later filmed as an episode of The Prisoner: The Girl Who Was Death (1968)).
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Hobbs is always shown holding a knife.
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Amongst the series other names in other markets is "Lone Wolf," which was to have been the title for the series in it's own, national Marek, the UK. Instead, it was used outside of the UK.

'Lone Wolf' is a code name assigned to Drake, though it is only uttered once or twice on the show.
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All or nearly all of the first season's episodes have the same prop; an ornate lamp that has what appears or have three cherubs on the base.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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