After a driving accident, Drake finds that he has a £500 gambling debt that he has no knowledge of. The owner of the casino knows all about Drake's career as an agent and blackmails him by threatening to out him as an M9 agent.
Whilst driving, Drake is distracted by his radio, swerves to miss a soccer ball and has an accident. Later he finds that he has a £500 gambling debt, that he has no knowledge of. When he goes to the casino, he finds everybody knows him but he has no recollection. The owner of the casino knows all about Drake's career as an agent and blackmails him for £10 000, threatening to send his picture and expose him to all the foreign embassies in London. Written by
Speeding on his way to the airport, secret agent John Drake (Patrick McGoohan) swerves to avoid a couple of young boys chasing a ball and loses control of his car. After a devastating wreck, the camera lingers on his shattered dashboard clock, stopped at exactly 12 noon.
The rest of this story is supplied by Drake's subconscious: A duel of wits in which the hobo he passed on the road right before his accident morphs into the suave, sinister (and much better groomed) music lover and casino owner Mr. Alexander (Francis de Wolff), whose unsavory deeds range from attempting to blackmail Drake to passing secrets via microdots on gambling chits.
What's impressive about this episode is the way it's framed from the first as a dream, and evokes the alternating logic/illogic of a dream state quite nicely, without succumbing to the temptation of going wildly overboard. Just a subtle, gathering wrongness (like every clock you see during the episode shows twelve o'clock) and unsettling discontinuities (such as the title character, Mr. Lovegrove, who -- to put it mildly -- wears many hats in this story) leading to an appropriately bizarre and manic crescendo.
Adrienne Corri is Alexander's sleekly sexy and unfailingly sarcastic assistant, Elaine; the inimitable Patsy Rowland plays "Mrs. Farebrother", a casino habitué who supplies comic relief, as well as some timely help and advice. And Desmond Llewelyn ("Q" from the Bond movies) brings his perpetual air of disapproval to his role as the casino's doorman.
In both style and substance, this is a fairly unique entry in the "Danger Man" series. In fact, it strongly reminded me of the sort of mind games and skewed sensibility which would become a standard for "The Prisoner". (Incidentally, the Australian band Dead Can Dance appropriated the title of this episode for a track on their 1993 album "Into the Labyrinth".)
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