Aficionados of mid to late 1960s British TV Spy Shows (can you tell I’m a Geek?) and especially the work of Patrick McGoohan understand that Danger Man and The Prisoner are one great story arc.

Perhaps you are confused by the ending, Fall Out. It’s perfectly clear to me. John Drake has a nervous breakdown and emerges from treatment as John Steed (c’mon, the Bowler is a dead give away, arguments that The Avengers and Danger Man/The Prisoner were on TV at the same time mean nothing except that they reflect different periods in his life).


The truth is that as originally concieved it was a little more straight forward spy and a little less paranoid psychological.

George Markstein co-developed the concept with Patrick McGoohan and the idea at the time was-

(A) young John Drake … had once submitted a proposal for how to deal with retired secret agents who posed a security risk. Drake’s idea was to create a comfortable retirement centre where former agents could live out their final years, enduring firm but unintrusive surveillance.

Years later, Drake discovered that his idea had been put into practice, and not as a benign means of retirement, but instead as an interrogation centre and a prison camp. Outraged, Drake staged his own resignation, knowing he would be brought to the Village. He hoped to learn everything he could of how his idea had been implemented, and find a way to destroy it. However, due to the range of nationalities and agents present in the Village, Drake realised he was not sure whose Village he was in – the one brought about by his own people, or by the other side.

Who is No. 6?’ is no mystery – he was a secret agent called Drake who quit. The “matter of conscience” which motivated his resignation could then easily be interpreted as Drake having had enough top-secret information in his mind – and at his disposal – to start a war, and that, coupled with his long-standing desire to keep the peace, would have meant that he could not even trust his own government with it any longer.

The Prisoner was going to leave the Village and he was going to have adventures in many parts of the world, but ultimately he would always be a prisoner. By that I don’t mean he would always go back to the Village. He would always be a prisoner of his circumstances, his situation, his secret, his background … and ‘they’ would always be there to ensure that his captivity continues.

Markstein and McGoohan had uh… creative differences and the result is what you see.

The Prisoner was plagued with production difficulties and as a result was broadcast out of order, scholars argue to this day which is the “right” one based on internal evidence. What is beyond dispute is that the final 2 Episodes of Danger Man were intended to air at the conclusion of The Prisoner (needless to say, they didn’t) and that is how I present them.