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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > Espionage > British TV > Secret Agent aka Danger Man (1960 – 1967/A&E DVD Set)

Secret Agent aka Danger Man (1960 – 1967/A&E DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: B-



Surprising to many, there was a world of spies prior to the James Bond films and The Avengers.  Now a re-release on DVD is Secret Agent aka Danger Man: The Complete Collection (Slimcase Release).


The series stars Patrick McGoohan as the handsome spy John Drake.  Drake was an interesting secret agent as, unlike bond, he did not have a host of secret gadgets or weapons to aid his journey to justice.  This secret agent instead embodies the suave with, humor and class of The Avengers while also having a little bit of Bond thrown in; though I say that guardedly as, obviously, those series borrowed from this.  Drake ran the full gamut of the spy business as he fought evil politicians, retrieved highly classified or valuable items and often found himself picking up a case after a fellow spy had fallen.  The series is inspirational, in terms of creativity and material, and whereas it is not the best (not aging well at times) it does demonstrate that it was a forerunner in the entertainment spy series.  Now McGoohan went on the amazingly popular and classic Prisoner series (now in an outstanding Blu-ray set worth your time), but Secret Agent AKA Danger Man was the success that got it all started.  The series was vivid and thrilling with wit and charm that did not require massive explosions and sex to propel the story forward.


Amazingly, the studio got it right here as the episodes are in order of their original broadcast airing.  Many studios have fiddled with air order when releasing DVDs, for a variety of reasons, but purists can take comfort that Secret Agent AKA Danger Man remains intact here.  Whereas previous sets may have included only half the series, we get the full run here.  There are 86 episodes in total with 39 being the original UK airing as Danger Man and the next 47 (including the finale) being the International release of the series as Secret Agent.  With the exception of the final 2 episodes the series run was completely in black and white, giving it a stylistic edge that many series in 1965 were trying (desperately) to escape due to the demands for color television.  The later episodes are the more popular, as they are better done and longer in run time, but I think the first 39 UK episodes have their merit too and establish a solid ground work.


For a further look into the series, please refer to the link below:





The technical features are nothing amazing as they are merely a rehash of the previous releases; containing the same picture and sound.  The picture is presented in a full screen that is nice in its black and white format as the image is generally crisp and the blacks are deep, inky and framing.  There is a bit of grain and the quality is not up to the level of other A&E presentations, but good nevertheless.  The two color episodes are nothing special and seem to be merely an audience catching point for the time and by today’s standards is lacking; I much more preferred the black and white presentation.  The sound is a Dolby Digital 2.0 that is simple at best, but as it is a fast paced, quick witted, dialogue based series it gets the job done.  There are variable moments in quality throughout, but in the end it comes together for solid effort.


The extras are the same as those on the previous set not offering very much to enjoy outside of a Photo Gallery, Secret Agent/Danger Man song opening, a McGoohan Filmography and Biography.


Overall, Secret Agent aka Danger Man is a set worth owning, offering plenty for spy fans to enjoy.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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