Drake takes the place of a defector and goes behind the iron curtain to find out what is happening when foreign agents reach England. When he gets there he finds a replica English village, which is a...
The Jolly Roger is pirate radio station on an old sea fort. A DJ is killed just as he sends a message saying that the station is sending coded messages to foreign submarines. Drake goes undercover as...
John Drake is a special operative for NATO, specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace. The series featured exotic locales from all ... See full summary »
After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.
John Steed and his new accomplices Purdey and Gambit find themselves facing new and deadly dangers in the bizarre world of espionage. Mixing fantasy with a darker edge, the trio face ... See full summary »
Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are private detectives who specialize in divorce cases. Their long-running partnership seems to come to an abrupt end when Marty is killed by a hit-and-run, ... See full summary »
Coming at approximately the same time as James Bond, ITC's Danger Man (known as Secret Agent in the states) is the complete antithesis, with the calm, icy-cool demeanour of British M9 agent, John Drake. Whereas Bond was all flash, Drake (who never carried a gun, he felt them to be'noisy, and they can hurt someone') instead used his brain, and is very adept at defending himself with his hands), also eschewed having the 'babe of the week', or even having Drake involved with a woman. The show (which had initially been a 1960-61 half-hour series, also under the same title, and character name, but was slightly'retconned'when it became an hour-long series) became an international hit, and helped propel series' lead, Patrick McGoohan to international fame (in fact, Mr McGoohan was twice offered the role of James Bond, and twice refused. The first time, he declined, but recommended a friend of his; Sean Connery). Unlike many other spy series at this time, Danger Man was not a comedy, nor did ...
Various actors from "Danger Man" would appear in Patrick McGoohan's next series "The Prisoner." Amongst them were Derren Nesbitt, Jane Merrow, Ronald Radd and Paul Eddington. See more »
The first episode broadcast in the United States ("Battle of the Cameras") actually features two opening credit sequences. The first is a brief, 10-second introduction featuring a few bars of "Secret Agent Man" and a credit for Patrick McGoohan (running roughly the same length as the original UK credits). This is followed by the teaser, and then the regular credits. In all future US broadcasts, the pre-teaser credit sequence was dropped. See more »
The series was originally broadcast in the UK and Canada as "Danger Man." For American broadcast, new opening credits and a new them song - the hit "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers - was added. The original theme was "High Wire," a piece of music that can be heard following the opening credits in most episodes. See more »
Don't let B/W scare you, this series is better than Bond!
Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner, Scanners, Braveheart) stars as Secret Agent John Drake in this highly entertaining series full of quick dialogue, twist endings, and inventive storylines that would be right at home on Primetime TV now. McGoohan's subtle yet intense acting and well-choreographed fight scenes, as well as minorities and women in the roles of intelligent, important people are far ahead of their time and worth watching again and again. The characters have a fair amount of depth for a show that's primarily "us-against-them"; the bad guys are sympathetic and the good guys aren't squeaky-clean.
The fact that John Drake occasionally makes mistakes and has to improvise with his wits, luck and humor rather than a series of well-placed gadgets sets this series above the Bond films. It's fast-paced and tightly written...exceedingly clever overall.
McGoohan's acting style reminds me of both Mel Gibson and Ben Browder; he's capable of saying loads of things with no dialogue, is equally adept at humor, action and anger, and can flip emotions quickly. Today's audience may find some of the styles of the other actors a little dated, and the contrast is more pronounced because McGoohan is so much better than most of them.
FIGHTING: The fight scenes are inventive and action-packed. McGoohan's boxing experience shows, but he isn't limited to one fighting style, fights dirty when necessary and isn't above unexpectedly throwing furniture across a room or tossing an adversary down the stairs. There are several back-breaking stunts in the fight scenes which are probably not allowed any more, so if you're a fight buff as I am, they're worth rewinding.
GADGETS: The spy gadgets are for the most part items which could actually exist, and they are brought in as part of a plan rather than the Gothic Trick style gadgets of 007; Drake never has to hope that someone borrows his exploding pen at just the right time. I love Q's inventions, they add humor and flavor to the Bond films, but I find that I don't really miss them since it's clear Drake could beat Bond on an IQ test.
BONUS FOR THE LADIES: If you like James Bond (McGoohan actually turned down the role of James Bond -- twice), but prefer someone who's less of a rake with a bigger sense of humor, this is the guy for you. Not quite funny enough to beat Austin Powers, mind you, but he has better teeth. He's cute, clever and charming and I became a "Drake Drooler" upon my first viewing.
LOVE SCENES: While other characters kiss and have affairs and trade sex for secrets on the show, and Drake clearly enjoys the parties he attends and gambling with the Agency's money, the main character had not one kissing scene throughout the entire series, (which may have something to do with the fact Drake smokes constantly-- his lighter is a camera). I had thought this would make it seem dated, but actually it became an important detail of a well-crafted character, and is part of why I grew to like him better than Bond after only the first disk. I am speaking as a lifetime Bond fan, too, so it wasn't easy for me to admit.
BONUS FOR PRISONER FANS: Fans of McGoohan's cult hit The Prisoner will love to join the scavenger hunt and pick out the characters and clues that have led many to conclude that John Drake and Number 6 are one in the same, or at least that the Everyman in the Prisoner is represented by John Drake. (McGoohan categorically denies this, but it's more fun to play with it.)
Those who have watched The Prisoner may wish to start with set 2, which contains the episode Colony Three, the first appearance of a town full of spies referred to as "The Village". Villagers will also feel quite at home in "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove", a surreal look into Drake's mind in which he sees Death at every turn. The symbolic use of midnight, mirrors and reflection will satisfy your urge to dissect if you're one of the more fervent Prisoner fans.
Be Seeing You!
37 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this