(US title: Secret Agent)

"My name is Drake, John Drake."

Before The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan was Danger Man. Created by Ralph Smart, it has been described as Bond without the guns or the girls, but Drake certainly had the gadgets before the Bond. (The Bond movies anyway.) Lew Grade commisioned the show for ATV after his sucsess in selling TV shoes for the domestic and overseas markets. McGoohan was already well known for various TV and film appearances and for winning 'best stage actor' awards on two separate occasions. Drake's cover was that he worked in the travel business, but in reality he was a top British secret agent. For some reason in season one Drake was an American, this is ironic as this was the only season that did not sell to the states. In the US, the shows title was changed to Secret Agent and a new title sequence and song by Johnny Rivers was added.

The show for the most part was straight forward enough, with the exception of the season two episode 'The ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove' which was more like an episode of The Prisoner. Interestingly enough, The Prisoner episode 'The girl who was death' is more like an episode of Danger man! It contained Drake's season four contact 'Potter' and has an actor by the name of John Drake. McGoohan  shaped the character in his own image, the show was made his way or not at all and as such became a huge success in the UK. However it was not so big in the US which determined the continuance of high budgeted UK shows in those days, so it looked like the end for the show after it's first season. Three years later after a show that was thought to be a US hit had flopped, Lew Grade flew to the states and sold the Americans the idea of Danger Man. (Or Secret Agent as it was known over there.) This time in hour long episodes. Within weeks the show was playing all over the world and was an international success. At the begin of the Forth season it is thought by some that John Drake resigned from his job, but that's another story......and indeed another series.


Cult TV exclusive interview with Patrick McGoohan

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