When he first landed in the U.S. in 1961, British agent John Drake went mostly unnoticed. But when this Danger Man reappeared 4 years later - with a new name, a new theme song, and a visa extended from 30 minutes to an hour - he made quite a stir. Now comes the Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Megaset (A&E; Series •••½, Picture/Sound •••½, Extras •), with all 47 episodes from Seasons 2, 3, and 4 on 13 discs. (To see Season 1, you'll have to get your hands on the separate A&E set.)
The deep-composition 1.33:1 images, shot on black-and-white film, are handsome - with good contrast producing rich blacks, bright whites, and a pleasing range of grays. There's plenty of detail, revealing texture in locations, sets, and props, but shadows can sometimes get as murky as the intrigue. A two-part episode - shot before star Patrick McGoohan suddenly quit to take much of the cast and crew with him to make The Prisoner - appears here in color. Its tones are a rich mixture of vivid primaries and bright pastels, but there's still a mild orange cast, with a little less detail and some excessive grain.
Sound is a generally clear mono. Each show opens and closes with the British theme "High Wire." The hit American theme - "Secret Agent Man," sung by Johnny Rivers - plays as a snippet behind the menus and in full as an extra. Alas, that's the only extra, apart from the U.S. opening credits. It seems that any other information - such as the truth behind the rumor that Drake also resigned and became No. 6 - is being kept strictly hush-hush.
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