Secret Agent aka Danger Man (1960 – 1967/A&E DVD Set)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B-
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).
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.
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.
further look into the series, please refer to the link below:
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
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