A Glimpse Of Danger Man

I had the opportunity to see an early episode of Danger Man.

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This is a series that, when it expanded to one hour and was picked up in the U.S., was rechristened Secret Agent.

Both series starred Patrick McGoohan.

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Here’s McGoohan with one of that episode’s guest stars.

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The half-hour episode concerned sneaking out a staff member who had basically been under house arrest in a U.S. embassy for five years!

The trick was to find someone who was a double of the person. As well as courageous enough to undertake the mission!

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The recruiting process for this was done within the first three minutes of the episode via montage and voice over by McGoohan. A neat little bit of compressed storytelling!

According to that wikipedia link, McGoohan was about 32 years old when this episode was made in 1960.

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What’s interesting is that he looked like — and acted like — an adult. And this is important too: an intelligent and capable adult.

I make these points because of what’s happened with NBC’s E.R. the past few seasons. For the new season, I hear they’ll be recruiting the staff from an elementary school playground. I (bitterly) joke, of course, but I’m sick of seeing stars who look like adolescents on TV and in movies.

Here’s an Ed Wood Jr. effect:

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That’s stock footage of an audience in a concert hall. Here’s another screensnap of that:

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I show that to make two points:

1) TV back then was so lo-res that the insert was probably not noticed by most people, and,

2) British TV was particularly bold in storytelling, not letting a silly thing like lack of budget cramp a story.

Here are some of the end credits:

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There’s a director I’d never heard of before. The IMDB lists him.

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I always show writer credit.

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Brendan Stafford went on to work with Gerry Anderson at some point.

Edwin Astley is perhaps best known for his theme to The Saint.

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Derek Hyde Chambers is a name I’ve seen in various British TV and movie credits.

David Tomblin also went on to work with Gerry Anderson too.

And here’s the classic ITC logo:

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I bring up Danger Man for an important reason.

Why isn’t something like this being done on the Net?

Why are people taking all that wonderful, affordable digital production technology and producing absolute shit with it?

There were some sets in Danger Man that couldn’t have been more than ten feet deep and comprised of only two walls.

With all of the 3D rendering available today, you mean to tell me someone couldn’t create realistic (if stylized) virtual sets?

Or even creatively put up some sheetrock walls?

Even with the idiotic restrictions on public photography, there are still areas beyond counting where outdoor photography can be done without attracting the scrutiny of Photo Nazis.

Where the hell is all the talent being turned out of “film schools” each year? Do these people just give up and work as temps?

Hardly anything stopped Ed Wood Jr. from getting movies done.

So what the hell is stopping people more capable?

Lack of money?

That’s a poor excuse!

Explore posts in the same categories: Tech - Other, TV, Video - DVD, Video - Online, Writers - Dead, Writers - Living, Writing

2 Comments on “A Glimpse Of Danger Man”


  1. […] Mike Cane on modern film-making: “I bring up Danger Man for an important reason. Why isn’t something like this being done on the Net? Why are people taking all that wonderful, affordable digital production technology and producing absolute shit with it? There were some sets in Danger Man that couldn’t have been more than ten feet deep and comprised of only two walls.” […]

  2. Zaphod Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Most of the stuff around now is awful rubbish, and that definetly includes most of the utterly idiotic drivel on T.V. Why is so bad? Lack of imagination and too much influence by Hollywood production values. It’s not good, it’s not good at all.


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