A British diplomat in Rome leaves some secret papers in a briefcase in his car. While he is having a drink, a man steals the briefcase. The diplomat calls in Drake, who goes on a chase and finds that the briefcase has been on-sold.
A British diplomat in Rome leaves some secret papers in his briefcase in his car. While he is having a drink with a woman, a man steals the briefcase. He calls in Drake who is an old friend. Drake then goes on a chase and finds that the briefcase has been on-sold to a high-stakes poker player. Drake plays him at poker and wins convincingly. In exchange for the debt, Drake wants the briefcase, only to find it has again been sold, this time to a high-powered criminal. Time is running out for Drake before the papers are again sold, this time to a foreign power. Written by
Before writing this, I read the other user comments. While I'd agree the go-kart is a bit silly, my opinion of this episode changed after watching it one day.
For some reason, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I was fascinated by this episode, and watched it again the next day.
Contrary to the other reviews, I think this episode is one of DANGER MAN'S best. And, I'll tell you why:
When you want to get a point of view, or a story out there, that sometimes doesn't appeal t the mainstream, the best way is through such forms as cartoons.
Because, cartoons - even though the story might be verbatim to a story written for live action - isn't subjected to the same sort of examination as would be if it were not told that way.
In the same way that a cartoon can subvert a viewer's willingness to 'go along,' so does, this episode of DANGER MAN (one of my top 3 all-time favourite series).
This episode - which was directed by Patrick McGoohan, and stars some of his favourite costars - is easily one of the most subversive, one that most asks questions, that heretofore had not been answered - nor asked - that will lead to the next (continuing?) series; THE PRISONER.
Let me try to explain.
Every character in this episode is hiding something - they're what they appear - John going DOUBLE under cover - first as Troy (and like the story of Troy, get's into a high stakes poker game via his 'Trojan horse'), the 'actor' Eddie- host of the card game - who, as an actor- professionally pretends to be someone else (but who hides the REAL facts that he's bald and broke),Tamasio, who pretends to be Guissepe. Later we meet Senora Nandina- who promises to hide the truths of guests who stay with her.
Anyone who's familiar THE PRISONER will recognise 2 faces; that of Peter Swanwick- the SUPERVISOR (playing poker as an actor named 'Joe') and Aubrey Morris- (who is in THE PRISONER episode DANCE OF THE DEAD as one of the 3 judges) plays Tamasio- the would-be thief who sets the whole episode in motion. This is Aubrey's 3rd appearance in DANGER MAN, and it looks like the scenes he has with McGoohan were fun for both of them to film.
If you're familiar with THE PRISONER episode THE GIRL WHO WAS DEATH, then you know that episode was originally written to be used as a DANGER MAN episode as well. If you keep that in mind when watching this, you see that they have similarities in that they both have a tongue-in-cheek quality (obviously, there's more exaggeration in TGWWD as it was to be a 'bedtime story' told to children in the village).
I was fascinated by the character that Joan Greenwood played - Senora Nandina - particularly the last scene she has in this episode (I've posted both the fight scene, and the subsequent hotel scene on YouTube).
As Drake had just been in a fight with Senora's man servants for breaking her 'house rules,' (respecting the privacy of her guests and no guns), it's all the more...cryptic.
As the scene begins (shot from the mirror's POV), she's in a hotel room, with John Drake (who wakens on a bed) Drake wakens, and looks around and says; 'where am I?'.
After a minute of small-talk (all of which takes place in mirror), Nandina starts asking him...questions;
'What's your name?' Senora asks. 'I told you,' Drake says. 'No - your real name,' Nandina asks. 'Ari,' Drake says 'Vederci.'
Nandina - sensing she won't get further answers - starts to walk towards the door.
"I had a good feeling about you, 'she says, and walks towards the door.
When he opens the door, Drake asks;
'What were you?'
'Long ago?' she replies.
She gives a knowing look back at him.
After a few seconds, Drake gives a wink - an acknowledgment - of...?
With that, she walks away - and then quickly returns. 'Grazie,' she says.
'Prego,' says Drake.
She flourishes her arms, and leaves.
Maybe it's just me but there's a very 'PRISONEResque' quality in both that little exchange (Drake's also wearing the 'suit,' specifically, the suit the PRISONER wears upon his capture in ARRIVAL, and later in FALLOUT), as well as the whole act set at Snra. Nandina's estate.
Trust me, I'm not reading anything hidden into this. It's just a nice, oblique moment. You can even catch Mr. McGoohan giving a quick grin as he closes the door.
Ah - as for the go-kart; McGoohan directed this episode with a few actors he'd worked with over time (and would work with later on THE PRISONER), and I think the whole episode was just his way to let off some steam. Yes, it's silly, fun - over the top, but all-in- all, as Tamasio gives a wave to some off-camera person - I think that's the point.
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