24 user 18 critic

Secret Agent 

Danger Man (original title)
John Drake is a special operative for M9, specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace.
4,010 ( 757)




3   2   1   Unknown  
1967   1966   1965  




Series cast summary:
Patrick McGoohan ...  John Drake 48 episodes, 1964-1967


Coming at approximately the same time as James Bond, ITC's Danger Man (known as Secret Agent in the states) is the complete antithesis, with the calm, icy-cool demeanour of British M9 agent, John Drake (Patrick McGoohan). Whereas Bond's all flash, Drake (who never carries a gun, he felt them to be "noisy, and they can hurt someone") used his brain, instead, and is very adept at defending himself with his hands, as well. He also eschewed having the "babe of the week", or even having Drake involved with a woman. The show (which had initially been a half-hour series, also under the Danger Man (1960) title, and character name, but was brought back slightly "retconned" and became a series with hour-long episodes) became an world-wide hit, and helped propel series' lead, Patrick McGoohan to international fame (in fact, Mr. McGoohan was twice offered the role of James Bond, and twice refused. The first time, he declined, but recommended a friend of his; Sean Connery). Unlike many other spy ...

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Did You Know?


P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri's "Secret Agent Man" theme song, which was added for the American broadcast of the show (and which became a Top 10 radio hit in America as sung by Johnny Rivers), is actually rather at odds musically and lyrically with the content of the series. The theme's music is rock and roll, featuring a memorable twangy electric guitar riff and a 1960's dance beat, and suggesting a show geared toward a young audience (which, undoubtedly, it was hoped the song would attract). But the only episode which uses a rock and roll soundtrack was season two, episode twenty-three, "Not So Jolly Roger", in which John Drake goes undercover as a D.J. at a pirate radio station. Edwin Astley's musical underscores for all of the other episodes, as well as his opening credits theme "High Wire", were done in a cool chamber jazz-style utilizing horns, string bass, and harpsichord, more in tune with the show's stories, which tend to focus primarily on characters who are well over thirty (as was Patrick McGoohan at the time the series was being filmed). Furthermore, "Secret Agent Man"'s third verse lyrics "You let the wrong word slip, while kissing persuasive lips" was misleading, since in fact, Drake never does either of those things at any point in the series (this verse was not used for the television broadcast, but it was included in the hit record version). And finally, the song's chorus states "They've given you a number, and taken away your name", but neither Drake nor any of the other M9 operatives seen in the show appear to have been assigned numbers. They are always referred to and addressed by name. See more »

Crazy Credits

The first episode broadcast in the United States ("Battle of the Cameras") actually features two opening credit sequences. The first is a brief, 10-second introduction featuring a few bars of "Secret Agent Man" and a credit for Patrick McGoohan (running roughly the same length as the original UK credits). This is followed by the teaser, and then the regular credits. In all future US broadcasts, the pre-teaser credit sequence was dropped. See more »

Alternate Versions

The series was originally broadcast in the UK and Canada as "Danger Man." For American broadcast, new opening credits and a new them song - the hit "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers - was added. The original theme was "High Wire," a piece of music that can be heard following the opening credits in most episodes. See more »


Referenced in Bowfinger (1999) See more »

User Reviews

be seeing you
22 March 2006 | by steve-1241See all my reviews

in my opinion the greatest ever spy series on TV. the original half hour series were amazing and you got a start, middle and end, John Drake always delivers. fast forward 3/4 years and Mr. Drake is back in 1 hour episodes and looking at these you will find an a to z of character actors involved in some fantastic stories. Drake is a loner who will not let himself get involved with anyone romantically due to the nature of his job, in fact he is the ultimate gentleman spy and he has to get close to people to solve the case. look at the episode with Bernard Bresslaw drake really does to get to like him and vice versa the pay off leaves Bernard a very sad man. all in all a fantastic slice of British TV and history, forget Bond, Drake is the man

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Release Date:

3 April 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Agent See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(47 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Black and White (seasons 1-3)| Color (season 4)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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