HTF DVD Review: Secret Agent AKA Danger Man The Complete Collection DVD (Slimline)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Timothy E, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Timothy E

    Timothy E Supporting Actor

    Jul 20, 2007
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    Timothy Ewanyshyn

    Secret Agent AKA Danger Man

    The Complete Collection DVD

    Studio: A&E

    Year: 2010

    Rated: Not Rated

    Film Length: 57 hours (approximate)

    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

    Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

    Release Date: September 28, 2010

    The Series

    Before Patrick McGoohan was The Prisoner, he was John Drake, international spy. McGoohan played John Drake in 2 television series: Danger Man aired originally for one season in 1960 and 1961 and produced 39 half-hour episodes. In 1964, John Drake returned in Secret Agent Man, which produced 47 hour-length episodes airing over 4 seasons.

    John Drake is initially a trouble-shooter for NATO at the height of the Cold War. Later, he is a British Intelligence officer for "M-9." His job takes him all over the world to advance Western interests. Although the series has its fair share of gunplay, gratuitous sex and violence is hardly pervasive. Drake rarely becomes romantically involved and seemingly less often carries a firearm. (This was apparently a reflection of star McGoohan’s moral beliefs.) Thus, the focus is less on action and more on mystery and intrigue in exotic international settings.

    This new release is a repackaging of the long out of print Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Complete Collection from several years ago. This new edition combines 2 discs rather than 1 in each clamshell case resulting in a package that is literally one-half the size of the old set. The only thing lost in this repackaging is a listing of each episode in order of air-date with reference to the disc containing each episode. This list was included on the outer cardboard case of the earlier edition; with this new edition being one-half the size, there is unfortunately not as much room to include that list.

    The 18 discs themselves are identical to the earlier release and have not been remastered. As with the earlier release, the first 5 discs comprise the entire run of Danger Man with the remaining discs consisting of Secret Agent. The episodes are still included in order of air-date rather than production order, which creates some minor continuity issues, although it is really not essential to see the episodes in order, since most episodes contain no reference to previous stories.


    Danger Man and Secret Agent Man appear on DVD in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Video quality is excellent for a black and white television series of the 1960s. (The final 2 episodes of Secret Agent Man were produced in color and appear splendid here.) Compression issues are minimal to non-existent, which is impressive given how much material is squeezed onto these discs.


    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 track is excellent with no apparent flaws. The audio does not suffer from the audible hiss and popping that we have sometimes come to expect from television of the 1960s. The sound mix is appropriate with dialogue always properly audible over music and sound effects.

    Special Features

    The special features on each Danger Man disc are as follows:

    Secret Agent - Original U.S. Opening (0:41): When the hour-length series aired in the United States, a new credit sequence was created with a montage of scenes from the series accompanied by Johnny Rivers singing "Secret Agent Man." The episodes included on the discs have the original UK opening.

    Patrick McGoohan Biography: This text feature is a biography of the series’ star.

    Patrick McGoohan Filmography: This text feature is a filmography of the series’ star.

    Photo Gallery: This feature includes still photographs from the respective episodes appearing on that particular disc.

    DVD Credits: Credits for this DVD transfer appear as text.


    Danger Man (or Secret Agent) is an intelligent and entertaining espionage TV series from the 1960s that relies less on action and more on mystery and intrigue in international locations. This is not to say the series is dull, it is anything but boring, only that it has a more moderate pace than, say, a James Bond film or any of its imitators. McGoohan is terrific in the role of John Drake, and the supporting cast, production values, and scripts are uniformly excellent. If a cerebral, well-written spy series from the 1960s is your cup of tea, you could do a lot worse than to spend some time with John Drake in Secret Agent AKA Danger Man The Complete Collection on DVD.
  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

    Jan 1, 2005
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    Dallas TX

    Awesome review, thanks!

    I have the earlier oop set but it was a great read here. For anyone that didn't pick up the earlier version megaset, this one's a must-buy gem for any McGoohan fan.
  3. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

    Jun 11, 2006
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    Glad to see that this programme has been made available again. My all-time favourite.
  4. Adam Gregorich


    Nov 20, 1999
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    The Other Washington
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    I've never heard of the series before. I like "Mission Impossible" type shows. Based on that would this be a recommended blind buy?
  5. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

    Jun 5, 2006
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    It's more like a Cross between The Saint and James Bond.
  6. SimonTemplar

    SimonTemplar Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 31, 2004
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    I recommend heartily. Patrick McGoohan is one of the best actors you'll ever see and this is his breakout role.

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