An electronics expert working for the secret service suddenly retires. M9 needs to know why and Blake takes his place. He follows the clues to an island off Japan, Shinda Shima, a place where there have been several unexplained deaths.
When Edward Sharp, a British electronics expert, resigns from the secret service, John Drake takes his place in an attempt to discover why. He is soon directed to an island known as Shinda Shima, which has been deserted by its inhabitants ever since several mysterious deaths. There he finds the enemy headquartered and delivers them Sharp's smuggled electronics. It soon becomes obvious that they plan to use Sharp's goods to break the United Nation's code. Drake returns from the island and, with help from its former residents, launches an attempt to take back Shinda Shima. Written by
Shinda Shima is the denouement of the terrific series, Danger Man, which had originally began in 1960 as a ½-hr. series, then, after a retconning and expansion of the runtime to 1-hr, returned, and ran until 1966.
As many fans of the series know, Mr. McGoohan would leave Danger Man to follow up soon with the legendary series, The Prisoner,
It's hard to really say much positive about this episode, as two things Danger Man episodes have is they're deftly written, and acted, and the actual writing - the dialogue - of this episode is very sparse.
Instead, it is mostly made up of long underwater scenes, of either swimming to/from the island, Shinda Shima, or battles.
With the dialogue so sparse, there's really no deep characterisation.
We just get the merest pieces; the woman, Miho is fighting the 'baddies' out of revenge, the character Kenneth Griffith plays, Richards, is just out for himself, and the 'baddies' want to do bad stuff, globally.
I think if there was more enthusiasm on all parts - this might've fared better.
I would bet Mr. McGoohan would demand the characters' and their actions be fleshed-out, but, by this point, Danger Man was all but officially over (in fact, this episode and the preceding episode, Koroshi, were seen AFTER the run of The Prisoner in some markets!), and his apathy is palpable.
Mr. McGoohan - one of only a couple of actors I've always loved - can't be blamed, he felt they were recycling ideas by this point.
One of my favourite episodes of Danger Man, The Paper Chase, was directed by Mr. McGoohan, and many people who've reviewed it have done so negatively, not seeing the whimsy in it.
I would rather think of The Paper Chase as the final episode, as whilst I do agree it is of lighter weight than the majority of the series, it also has all the elements of what goes in to the best episodes; great acting, great writing, and an interesting story.
In addition, it's got some really terrific camera work by Mr. McGoohan (such as the camera circling the card players,at Eddie Gelb's house).
Something else working against this episode is - for those too young to know - the James Bond film series, which began approximately the same time as the (original ½hr) series, had really taken off by this time, and the film, From Russia With Love, had come out only a short time before this episode was filmed, and the similarities are abundant; from the setting of Japan, to the almost Bond-like villain and his henchman (in an underground lair) with 'global domination' as their goal, as well as other similarities.
The similarities were not by accident, as broadcasters in the UK and the states were bursting at the seams with Bond/spy influenced series, from The Man From U.N.C.L.E, to Get Smart, from The Wild, Wild West, to The Avengers ('Mrs. Peel, we're needed'), and others.
As I said, there's not much positive to say, but, even a not-great episode of Danger Man is still enjoyable, and here, it's almost all because of the acting, by Mr. McGoohan, and in supporting roles, Yoko Tani as Miho, and Kenneth Griffiths as Richards, who do their best with such meagre roles.
The director is Peter Yates, who would shortly direct the American film, Bullitt, with Steve McQuuen, and it, too, has very sparse dialogue, but, it has one of - if not THE most iconic chase scenes in filmdom.
So, when you watch this episode, just remember; I think this episode would not have been the way I would've wrapped up this well-loved series, and McGoohan's energy might be lacking here, but, where it is focused, would bring forth a TV series unlike ANYthing before, OR since.
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