Can anybody say if this was better and that a fan of TP whom expects more from the writing and plotting, would enjoy it? - justinboggan
My experience is similar to yours in that I was familiar with The Prisoner
long before I checked out any Danger Man
. Where I differ is that I like the half-hour format although the one-hour format, what was called Secret Agent
when aired in the US, is "better" in the sense that the stories have room to grow and be subtle while the characters, including John Drake, can be more complex.
So, to answer your question: Yes, it does get "better" if what you are looking for is the kind of intricacy and machination inherent in The Prisoner
. In fact, one of the early one-hour episodes, "Colony Three," is practically a forerunner to The Prisoner
in terms of premise and feel.
However, if you know nothing about Danger Man
(and I'll use that to describe both the half-hour and one-hour versions) other than that one episode you describe, please be aware that Danger Man
is a conventional spy series. I think it is the greatest of the 1960s spy series that I've seen so far (and that includes The Avengers
, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
, and Mission: Impossible
, among others), but it does not
have the social and philosophical exploration of The Prisoner
. That is what makes The Prisoner sui generis
in my estimation--there is
no other series like it. So, if you are expecting Danger Man
to be similar to The Prisoner
in that respect, you will be disappointed because DM is a gritty, realistic look at spycraft--think John Le Carre and his The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
I too got into DM because I was "in the mood for more McGoohan," but from what I'd learned before I watched DM I knew it wasn't going to be another Prisoner
. Instead, I got hooked on it because it was so different from The Prisoner
The DM "pilot" is generally considered to be "A View from the Villa," which finds John Drake going to Italy to track down missing millions taken from a murdered American banker--and is notable in that exterior filming was done in Portmeirion, Wales, which is where The Prisoner
was later filmed. It is a decent start; a number of the subsequent half-hour episodes were better, but all did have the time limitation working against them, so I'd suggest trying a few of the one-hour episodes before giving up on DM/SA.
"We hear very little, and we understand even less." - Refugee in Casablanca