John Drake is a special operative for N.A.T.O., specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace. The series featured exotic locales from all...
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John Drake is a special operative for N.A.T.O., specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace. The series featured exotic locales from all over the world, as his assignments frequently took him to Africa, Latin America, and the Far East.Written by
Marg Baskin <firstname.lastname@example.org> UPDATED U.N. Owen
In this early series, the character of John Drake is clearly defined as being an American. When the character returned for the second Secret Agent (1964) series, the character had become either British or Irish (exactly which was never settled upon definitively). See more »
It has been reported that a foreign (non-UK) syndicated version of this series incorporated the American "Secret Agent Man" opening credits used for the later series "Danger Man" (1964), thereby tying the two series together. This has yet to be confirmed. See more »
The pedigree for "Danger Man" is a bit confusing. So, I'll try to make sense of it. The show was on for one season and each episode lasted about 23 minutes. Three years later, an hour-long series was created and was called "The Secret Agent"--with Patrick McGoohan once again playing an international 'fixer', John Drake. Then, after this series ended, McGoohan made "The Prisoner"--a show which MIGHT be a sequel to "The Secret Agent"...or it might not. This is because McGoohan's character is not referred to by name...he's just called Number 6. And, you aren't sure whether or not it's meant as a follow-up or not--and I can only assume that the television folks deliberately kept it vague.
"Danger Man" begins oddly. It explains that John Drake is a sort of international agent--a guy who goes on special assignments for many NATO nations. His nationality is a bit vague and this works reasonably well since McGoohan has an American/Irish/British background, though they seem to imply he's from New England (but the accent clearly ISN'T). Each episode is set in a different locale around the world and, amazingly, the show is wrapped up in about 23 minutes. The show is very well written and interesting--and McGoohan is excellent. The only serious complaint is that the shows sometimes were too hasty and many would have benefited from an hour-long format--something they would get with "The Secret Agent". Well worth seeing and a clever show. Even the sub-par episodes are good--making it at least more consistent than "The Prisoner".
A few final observations. The DVD copy is just fine but there really are no special features or captions. Also, as an American born and raised in the Washington, DC area, the introduction makes me laugh. That's because a HUGE office building is superimposed next to the US capitol building. There IS no building this size or that looks remotely like this in DC--now or then. Very strict building codes in the city prevent such monstrosities in the District.
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