MovieChat Forums > Secret Agent Discussion > Seasons defined differently...

Seasons defined differently...


I noticed that 2nd and 3rd seasons are defined differently in different sources. lists 32 episode 2nd season and 13 episode 3rd season. (and Wikipedia) list 22 episode 2nd season and 23 episode 3rd season.

Which is correct and why are the interpreted differently?



Looking through the air date, and other info in the Danger Man viewing guide, I think they are basing the lists on two different thing.

(Assuming here you are referring to the 1960 series as series one) the production of the "second" series consisted of 32 episodes. However production was starting to get very close to transmission, so it was decided to hold the rest of the episopdes over until the next series.

So in Production it was 32 episodes, but in Screening it was 22. However they were sold as a pacage of 32, so that may also be being reffered to, and it was probably shown that way in other countries, I'm not sure about in the US; I'd have to check.

If its really important, and you don't have the guide, I could TRY to list the air-dates, but its a difficult job; they are a mess as they weren't shown in the same order in the UK as the US (and weren't even shown on the same date throught the UK.

As the episodes are stand aone and seldom, if ever, refer to each other, it doesn't really effect watching it.

I hope that that has helped to explain the discrepancy, at least partially. If I might be able to supply more info, please ask away!


Thanks for the answer!

No, I don't have the viewing guide. Yes, I refer to the 1960 series as series one.

The original UK airing dates are listed in Wikipedia:

Wikipedia also says that "Although [the 1960 series was] aired over the course of 18 months, these 39 episodes are considered one season."

The question is who considers it like that? Makers or the viewers?

I don't know about the production details of the 1960 series, but it seems that Wiki lists seasons viewer-wise, while the fansite lists them production-wise. Did you figure the same?


Yes, that makes sense, but I don't hink there IS a definitive answer/solution. Remember, these sources are simply user generated, even Wikipedia, so what one person defines as a season is purely up to them and different people will draw different conclusions based on different evidence - production order, UK air date, US air date - and all are in a way valid.

Is Danger Man really two different series for example, or only one? Wikipedia would suggest one, IMDB, two. Yet IMDb breaks the 1960 series into three seasons, but uses airdates which are entirely consecutive, unlike Wikpedia's air date listing, which shows one month long break and a second break of several months, which helps explain IMDb's claim of three 1960 seasons.

The viewing guide only gives details on the 1964+ series.

But we seem to have most of the info, its just exact definitions that we won't ever be able to universally establish.


There indeed seems to be no definite answer.

Thanks for thinking along! =)



The final two (colour) episodes, "Koroshi" and "Shinda Shima" have four different years listed. The episodes originally aired on Feb 12 and 26, 1967, or January 5 and 15, 1968, according to IMBD or, and were released edited together as a movie, in 1966 or 1969. Though called 4th season episodes, the two were actually filmed with the 3rd season production, in April, 1966. During beginning of the 9th and final season of the courtroom drama Perry Mason, a lone color episode was filmed as a prototype should the series have been renewed for a 10th season. When it wasn't, "The Case Of The Twice Told Twist" was aired 2/3 of the way through season 9, the 21st of 30 season 9 episodes.


Why is Koroshi 4 or 5 minutes shorter than the other episodes (clocks in at 46:30 rather than the usual 51 or 52 minutes)? Was it cut on DVD?


There were never any epsiodes of Danger Man or Secret Agent that had any continuity between them, that I recall. So you could watch them in any order you like. Other maybe than Drake being a year older, it would make not one jot of difference.

So far as the two colour epsiodes being shorter, that was probably because they were pretty crap, especially Shinty-Shimmy - so McGoohan probably wanted to get them over with as quick as he could...........


At that time, most Television programs were still produced on 35mm film just like a motion picture. Filming a show in colour was much more expensive than doing it in black & white. So the logicial thing for the networks to do was to insert more commercials to generate more revenue to cover the extra expense.

With a non-continual show like Danger Man, which had no primmary "set" the biggest expense, other than the different lighting and film processing, would have been redoing the intro and end titles in colour. So a couple of extra commercials could easily cover it.
Whereas a show like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. or Perry Mason had the additional problem/expense of completely redecorating their sets to render them suitable for colour filming.

From talking to oldtimers in the industry I have learned that all of the sets for black & white shows and movies were painted and dressed in whatever colours would yield the best contrast on black & white film. (Or the television sets of the day.) Sometimes, some very strange colour combinations were used to achieve this. Since many popular colour combinations when filmed in black & white can appear as a single shade of gray (or at least so close as to blend together).


This is a problem for all non-BBC UK shows before the late 70s. You should be an Avengers fan talking to an American (seasons 5a,5b etc anyone?). They were shown in different regions at different times on different days, not all the regions would have shown all the shows or all the episodes of one show. This is a problem unknown to US audiences where a show is either networked or goes straight to syndication.

The best way to approach the problem is by taking "Production Blocks" (beware people who assume knowledge of production order, this wasn't always recorded, e.g. "The Prisoner" where, apart from the first & last episodes, even ITC don't know!). On this basis it is quite clear that the 39 half-hour episodes are one season, they were made in one block in 1959-60 with the same cast & crew. The hour-long episodes were made in four blocks (barring brief holidays), 32 B&W episodes produced by Sidney Cole & Aida Young (notice the openings are different for the first 9 episodes), 13 B&W produced by Sidney Cole, and 2 colour episodes made immediately prior to "The Prisoner" but shown by most regions halfway through "The Prisoner"'s run (over Xmas/New Year 67-68). Outside UK they were normally shown as a 95 minute film ("Shindo Shima") in cinemas first then on TV. This was quite a common practice by ITC in the 60s (see also "The Saint" and "The Baron")trying to squeeze money from the expense of shooting colour shows when nearly all non-US TV was B&W. And the colour season 4 throws up a lot of questions (was it meant to be 2 episodes, did McGoohan quit after only 2 etc).

As to the question of whether the half-hour and hour shows are the same (in the former he works for NATO and has an American accent, in the latter works for M9). It was quite common then (as it is now with US shows) for financiers & producers to watch the opening fully edited episodes and then rejig the format if necessary (see earlier point about changing the title card). As all series show the "created by/series editor Ralph Smart", have the same title and nearly identical crews (and same leading man) they are obviously the same show. Just changes over time (think of "Dr Who" in that context!)


You mentioned The 1967 colour series of The Avengers, which some consider as one series, since they aired in calendar, 1967, but others consider two series of production blocks which aired in early, then late 1967. The Saint also had two similar situations. Roger Moore claims he was hired by Lew Grade for a first series of 39 episodes, though the dozen that aired in 1962 are considered series one. The 3rd series of The Saint is either considered to have run September, 1964-August, 1965, or be two seperate series from 1964-65, and summer, 1965.

In the states, television programs produced for syndication often were dated by production years, not air dates. The Adventures Of Superman was ferquently called 1951-1957 (no episodes were filmed in 1952), though it aired 1952-1958.

The colour Danger Man episodes are interesting in that they may have only been produced in colour for their edited together cinema release. During season one of the TV series Branded, which was in black and white, a 3 part episode was filmed in colour and released overseas as a movie. Though it was aired in momochrome on NBC, it has subsequently aired in reruns in colour. Two 1966 episodes of the Peter Fauk series, The Trials Of O'Brian, were filmed in colour and edited together and released as a movie to theatres in Europe, though they were aired on the CBS network in black and white. NBC was broadcasting colour programming in 1965, as was CBS in 1966, so these filmed in colour episodes each could have been originally colourcasted, unlike Danger Man, which was on ATV, who didn't begin colourcasting until November, 1969.


Thanks lukegobrien for your response. I don't know if I mentioned it earlier, but the problem with UK non-BBC shows is that very rarely were ITC productions fully networked in UK - non-UK persons may find UK's commercial TV system strange, unlike US where networks show same programme across US at same time, ITV was a regional based federation of stations that could show the same TV programmes at same time across whole UK, but were not legally obliged to (and often didn't!). DVD box sets normally have the London region transmission dates - the rest of the country might not have seen them then (if at all). The colour Danger Mans are interesting because there has arisen a rumour that they were the beginning of whole colour season (S4) but season abandoned as McGoohan resigned to do The Prisoner instead. I don't believe this as the crew along with McGoohan began shooting The Prisoner immediately after these colour episodes. They were released theatrically abroad as a 95 minute film (though technically they're actually two stories linked by Japan location rather than two parts of same story - as The Saint & The Baron film releases were).

By the way, in most parts of the UK The Prisoner started transmission BEFORE the Danger Man colour episodes were shown. It is also interesting to think what the originally planned S2 of The Prisoner (No.6 escaped and now back in society tracking down the powers behind the village)would have looked and felt like!


I got hooked on the existing DVDs of UK series like Callan and Public Eye, where color episodes exist but many monochrome ones are gone. Since these earlier episodes weren't networked but aired in different regions on different dates on kinescopes (telerecordings) 16mm films transferred from tape, there should be many of these films just kicking around. Unlike tape which had value for rerecording over, these filmed copies can't be reused, but must have value being from a popular series.