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Danger Man - The Complete First Season

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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(Dec 30, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Before The Avengers and the James Bond films, the pioneering 1960 British series Danger Man helped to usher in spy-mania in Great Britain. Patrick McGoohan stars as "Drake, John Drake," an agent of NATO's secret service branch. "A messy job," he informs us, "That's when they usually call on me." Most Americans only know Drake as the Secret Agent Man, the title of the hour-long series that debuted on these shores in 1964. This half-hour series never aired in the United States, making this five-disc set, containing all 39 first season episodes, essential for Brit-TV aficionados, not to mention that branch of Prisoner devotees who insist that the kidnapped "No. 6" is actually Drake himself. Like 007, the dapper and unflappable Drake possesses a keen wit and "animal sense of danger," and his assignments take him all over the world, from Rome and Paris to the Arabian desert. But Drake is old school. He very rarely uses a gun. He is not a womanizer. He does not possess an arsenal of cool gadgets. His missions are more gritty and realistic; classic "cloak and dagger" stuff. He foils not megalomaniacs trying to take over the world, but a rogue's gallery of embezzlers, assassins, slave traders, traitors, and the like. Also fun for Anglophiles are early glimpses of favorite British character actors, including Miss Moneypenny herself, Lois Maxwell ("Positions of Trust"); a pre-Avengers/Pussy Galore Honor Blackman ("Colonel Rodriguez"), Judy Carne, Laugh-In's Sock-It-to-Me girl ("Hired Assassin"; Charles Gray from the Bond films You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever ("The Key"); and Jean Marsh of Upstairs, Downstairs fame ("Name, Date and Place"). The jazzy score is also killer. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Includes all 39 half-hour episodes of the first season on five DVDs
  • Patrick McGoohan biography and filmography
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick McGoohan
  • Format: Box set, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 975 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000TWNAQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Danger Man - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Recently, I received these DVDs from another source and I would like to strongly encourage all fans of the hour long Danger Man shows and The Prisoner to consider this set. First of all, the transfer is exceptional. The shows are remarkably clear in their black and white format. There is no fuzziness that I could see. Also, the half hour format suits the show well. The stories are as well plotted as the hour long show, just faster paced. And then there's the music. I actually perfer the score of the half hour shows to the score of the hour long programs. The music in these programs remind me of the type of music you would hear in the old series Peter Gunn, and anyone who is fortunate enough to have seen that series knows how much the music contributed to the overall effect of the show. Finally, the writing of the show is very strong. Of the twenty stories that I have viewed at the time of this review, only one stood out in my mind as a bit disappointing. That's a pretty good record for a weekly series.
But what I think may be of most interest for fans of this series is Patrick MacGoohan. There is no question what an exceptional actor he is and that would be reason enough to buy this set. However, the John Drake of this show is slightly different than the one in the hour long programs. To me, he seems almost optimistic. I realize this is an odd word to use when referring to this series, but the impression is given that Drake really believes in his missions and that he is on the side of right. In the hour long show, Drake comes off more world weary, more cynical and a bit disillusioned. By the time he becomes The Prisoner (and we know it is him-who else could it be?) his faith in the morality of the political system has collasped completely.
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Format: DVD
If you're a Prisoner fan, there's nothing quite like popping this set in for the first time and watching John Drake wander about Portmeirion in the first episode. That's all you need to know. If you've already seen it on 4th generation videotape from the early 80's, you will be blown away by how crisp and clear it is. I watched the new Babylon 5 set right after one of these Danger Man episodes and I couldn't believe all the snow on the newer show.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Prisoner, I have to ask you to please ignore the way in which A&E are marketing this series. It's ludicrous. They seem to think putting "the spy who rarely carries a gun and isn't swayed by loose women" on the box is going to sell it. (Insert snore here....) Also, if you're looking at the package thinking "No sex, no guns... it must be good for the kids" you have to remember that everybody smoked and drank on these shows, and Drake is no exception. If that doesn't bother you, then it will be okay for the kids. The formula established here which combines the spy who relies heavily on acting skill with a series of exotic locations is still being used on Alias. Also, being filmed in black and white actually makes it feel less dated than shows like the Saint and the Avengers which overdid the color and "mod" style.
Drake specializes in infiltrating bad guy inner circles and rescuing other spies, not gathering information or stealing blueprints, so you get a mix of gritty spy work with a mystery or P.I. flair. He often ignores the plans of his superiors and redesigns his missions. He also makes fun of unneccessary procedures thought up by other departments. (My coworkers are now using the Drakeism "Coffee and eggs for two." to describe procedures like this.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The half hour Danger Man first season is the best spy show ever and some of the best TV ever made. Each episode is concise and believable. They are fast paced with great dialogue and characterizations. The plots are intricate and the action moves with the speed of an Olympic ping-pong game. The casting is marvelous and represents a veritable who's who of British TV from the fifties and sixties.
McGoohan's conception of a master spy is admirable. He is completely self-possessed and reveals no weaknesses. Unlike the characters of the eternally adolescent Bond films, John Drake is no sexual predator or sap who can't keep his pants up. He is always a gentleman and immune to feminine seduction or waterworks. He is noble but no patsy. Drake is intelligent, and perceptive. To accomplish his missions, he would rather fool, trick, or deceive his enemies. He does not like violence, and avoids the rough stuff if possible, but when it is the last resort he can mix it up with the best.
When one considers that Danger Man precedes Goldfinger by five years, it is amazing how much style and pacing of the later Bond films seems influenced by Danger Man. The opening line of each episode (credits) "...Oh, and my name's Drake, John Drake."
One of the outstanding things about Patrick McGoohan's career is his choosing consistently high quality projects. Most of his projects are classics from Danger Man, Dr. Syn, the Prisoner, many BBC productions, and his brilliant Edward I in Braveheart. This is a long awaited treat. Don't miss it.
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