Search This Blog

Monday, 25 July 2011

Patrick McGoohan Might Well Have Been Shaken But Not Stirred!

    Regular readers of my blog may very well be aware of the dialogue which has taken place regarding the identity of the Prisoner-No.6, with the idea of him being the former John Drake of 'Danger Man.'
    Well seeing as that dialogue is now closed, at an end, all the things that needed to be said, having been said, I decided to look into the origin of 'Danger Man.' Because strange as it may seem, Patrick McGoohan, who turned having down the role of James Bond, may very well have ended up playing the MI6 agent, had Ian Flemming not already sold the rights to 007 James Bond, being unable to buy the rights back. Roger Marshall, scriptwriter on 'The Avengers' who was also involved in the very early days of 'Danger Man' had this to say - 'I worked for Ralph Smart who was the Producer of 'Danger man.' At the early stages of perperation for 'Danger Man' it was called 'James Bond,' the idea was that it was going to be a series 'James Bond' Television show with Pat McGoohan. Then I went to work in America, and when I came back four months later, it wasn't 'James Bond,' but 'Danger Man,' but it was still Patrick McGoohan!'

    'The Invisible Man' {1958-1960} pointed the way. Like 'Danger Man' the production was geared for the American market. The title hero was voiced by an American, the stories basic crime thrillers had however a British background.
    Ralph Smart, who had written 'Invisible Man' scripts, provided the way forward. Commissioned by Grade, Smart came up with two scenarios, one of which was for what was to become 'Danger Man.' But in the beginning, Smart had come up with a concept entitled 'Lone Wolf,' an espionage thriller concerning one man going it alone in a world of spies and espionage. Smart had several meeting with 'James Bond' creator Ian Flemming, the two men considered bringing 007 to the Television screen, but as stated previously in this blog, Flemming had already sold the rights, to Eon Productions and was unable to buy them back. In consequence the two men used Bond as a spring board to invent a new character. A cool, handsome man, a user of women, he would get the job done no matter what.
    Smart gave the idea to Ian Stuart Black, an author who had contributed scripts to 'The Invisible Man' series. He knocked the idea around and came up with the idea of an agent working for NATO. To further remove the agent from 007 James Bond, and also to aid sales to America, Smart and Black made the agent an American. Two storylines were develivered to Grade. The pitch was successful, and 'Lone Wolf' which had become 'Danger Man' was given the go ahead.....the rest as they say is history.

   Footnote: Seeing how Ralph Smart came up with the concept of 'Lone Wolf,' I now see what No.2 was referring to in the Prisoner episode Once Upon A Time when he said to No.6 'You musn't grow up to be a Lone Wolf!' I always thought that meant No.6 musn't grow up to be a person who just goes his own way, and doesn't need anyone else. But now I see that it is another of those in-jokes we hear about from time to time, meaning Ralph Smarts 'Lone Wolf'' television series!
I'm Obliged


  1. Be seeing him:

  2. Hello Moor Larkin,
    Thank you for the link, much obliged....Sir.