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"Every government has its secret service branch. America, CIA; France, Deuxième Bureau; England, MI5. NATO also has its own. A messy job? Well that's when they usually call on me or someone like me. Oh yes, my name is Drake, John Drake."—First season Opening Narration
Danger Man (known internationally as Secret Agent) was a British down-to-earth spy series made in The Sixties. Launched in 1960, originally it was going to bring none other than James Bond to the small screen and Ian Fleming was involved at early stages. However since the rights for Bond movies had been sold, Danger Man was changed into something quite different. It features NATO superagent named John Drake, who doesn't like gunplay or violence and generally has morals way too strong to make him comfortable in his job. His gadgets and enemies are also rooted in reality.
Danger Man ran for 86 episodes spread across four seasons of uneven length. After season 4, the star Patrick McGoohan decided to do something slightly different and gave us The Prisoner, which is at least a Spiritual Successor and maybe even an outright continuation, depending on what you choose to believe.
- Awesome but Practical: Drake's modus operandi.
- Banana Republic: Victoria, among other unnamed third-world countries.
- Breakaway Pop Hit: The international version has the theme "Secret Agent Man" as performed by Johnny Rivers.
- Brief Accent Imitation: lots.
- Busman's Holiday: A running gag in the first season was Drake's inability to actually get the vacation he wanted.
- Wales Doubling
- Catch Phrase: Drake tells people to "Do exactly as he says" often enough for it to be noticeable.
- Chaste Hero: John Drake does not romance women, although many of the women in the series show an obvious interest in him.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Ocassionally happens to Drake or other secret agents.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Dell Comics adapted the original-format Danger Man as an issue of its long-running Four Color anthology series in 1961; in 1966, Gold Key Comics published 2 issues of Secret Agent, based upon the later version of the series.
- Darker and Edgier: The first season was hardly a happyfest, but the second was way more depressing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Drake.
- Determinator: Drake. This trait is probably most pronounced in "Whatever Happened to George Foster?"
- Everybody Smokes
- Furthermore, Smoking Is Cool
- Friend to All Children
- Grey and Gray Morality: It is often pointed out that both sides in a cold war era spy game use the same kind of dirty tricks.
- Improvised Weapon:
- No Hugging, No Kissing: Drake does not get involved with women, period. He flirts with them, and they clearly find him attractive, but he is never shown romancing them. One episode, "The Black Book", has him attracted to a young woman, but he explains why he cannot get involved. The closest Drake comes is in two episodes guest starring Susan Hampshire (playing different, but similar characters in each), one of which ends with Drake and Hampshire's character leaving on a romantic rendezvous.
- Qurac: Beth Ja Brin, plus various other unnamed Middle-Eastern countries.
- Retcon: Drake becomes a British agent in the later seasons, after having been an Irish-American NATO agent in the first.
- Ruritania: Slavosk, plus other unnamed Eastern European countries.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Drake usually wears a nice suit, although at one point he is mocked for showing up at a crime scene in a tux.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Drake, John Drake, predating the Bond movies, but not the books.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: To an extent. Most episodes of the series did not involve Drake using deadly force, and an early episode in fact featured him being assigned an assassination and doing so only under protest (and he doesn't carry it out anyway). During the entire run of the series, Drake shoots a man only once (not counting a later episode where he shoots people in a dream/hallucination), and otherwise rarely carries a gun.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jones from "The Island".