Drake is sent to an African nation after M9 has received a report that the defence minister has been negotiating a secret treaty with the Chinese. Drake's task is to obtain a copy of the treaty in a heavily fortified ministry building.
Drake is sent to an African nation after M9 has received a report that the defence minister has been negotiating a secret treaty with the Chinese. Shortly afterwards, the agent is murdered. Drake's task is to obtain a copy of the treaty if it exists, and the only way he can do this is by breaking into the safe of a heavily fortified ministry building. To break in he must blackmail the head of security. Written by
Danger Man: Loyalty Always Pays (TV) (Peter Yates, 1965) ***
Back in the day, when the U.K.-based cable channel Bravo was transmitting respectable material namely classic British movies and TV series this popular effort was on virtually every weekday; I used to catch snippets from it while awaiting for some film to start but, not being into TV at the time, I missed the show and others of its ilk. Having subsequently been much impressed with THE PRISONER (1967-8), the other signature series featuring the same star recently-deceased Patrick McGoohan I regretted the fact all the more; for the record, the whole run of DANGER MAN has been released on R2 DVD by Network and, in fact, this particular episode was included on their 2-Disc Set of HELL DRIVERS (1957), in which McGoohan plays the flamboyant villain. Judging by this one episode, the series is very much standard secret agent fare for its era i.e. old-fashioned yet effortlessly stylish (even on this meager budget), having exotic locales (Africa, in this case) for backdrop and where the hero emerges thanks to ingenuity (including gadgets that would make James Bond's provider Q green with envy!) out of every fix with his coolness intact. McGoohan's trademark mix of smugness and intensity, however, gives the protagonist here the edge over most of his contemporaries which would eventually reach its zenith in the aforementioned THE PRISONER (originally intended to be the same character, John Drake, in retirement but the intrinsic surreal/cerebral nature of the later series probably would not have jelled with DANGER MAN's more conventional ambiance). Anyway, the narrative of "Loyalty Always Pays" concerns McGoohan's attempts to obtain proof of an African Minister's secret arms dealings with the Chinese; since the country was still under British jurisdiction at the time, he seeks the aid of military officer Nigel Stock to this end (ensuring his co-operation by blackmailing him via an intricate fraudulent scheme and shaking the Major's apparent firmness of character into the bargain). The episode (helmed by future action expert Yates) is thoroughly engaging and very entertaining that is made even more palatable by the urgent notes of the series' moody theme.
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