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Not So Jolly Roger  [View Series 3 Episodes]
We don’t have a licence to broadcast, a situation which worries no-one, apart from the government

Tony Williamson
Don Chaffey

John Drake  ............   Patrick McGoohan
Marco Janson  ............   Edwin Richfield
Corrigan  ............   Wilfred Lawson
Linda Janson  ............   Lisa Daniely
Susan Wade  ............   Patsy Ann Noble
Mullins  ............   Andrew Faulds
Summers  ............   Jon Rollason
Andrews  ............   Christopher Sandford
Fisherman  ............   John Tate

The 45th and last black and white episode to be made ‘Not So Jolly Roger’ was written by Manchester-born Tony Williamson and is my favourite Danger Man episode.

Andrews is an undercover M9 agent posing as a disc jockey aboard the Jolly Roger, a pirate radio station which is believed to be transmitting military secrets. Whilst reporting his findings to M9, Andrews is murdered and Drake’s mission is to take over where Andrews left off.

John Drake’s arrival is met with suspicion from the rest of the radio station crew which included real-life singer Patsy Ann Noble as ‘Susie Wade’, Wilfred Lawson as the drunken cook ‘Corrigan’, Andrew Faulds as the no nonsense ‘Mullins’ and Edwin Richfield and Lisa Daniely as ‘The Janson’s’, the stations’ owners.

Drake soon discovers that the Blue Danube Waltz is played on air when secrets are being transmitted and gets into trouble when he alters the schedules without permission. But who’s really in charge and who is receiving the coded information?

Most of the music used in the episode was written by unknown musicians Rick Minas and Mike Banwell, most probably because it would have cost ITC far too much to use music by the Beatles and other well-known artists. The opening and closing track ‘He Who Rides a Tiger’ was performed by Patsy Ann Noble and had small chart success in the UK. If you watch the episode closely you will see that when Drake announces the Blue Danube his lips don’t sync, this is because the use of the track was not finalised until after the episode was completed and was changed from something similarly square.

‘Not So Jolly Roger’ was the nineteenth episode to be filmed at Shepperton Studio between Friday 18th February and Friday 4th March 1966, after which the Danger Man crew were stood down for two weeks before filming on the two colour episodes of series four began.

The episode was partly filmed on Red Sands Fort, a discussed World War II Anti-Aircraft Fort which at the time was the home of real pirate radio station ‘Radio 390’ which began broadcasting in September 1965 but was forced to close a year later due to new government broadcasting laws.

The majority of the episode was studio based, with the exception of some library footage of a submarine surfacing being used and of course the location work completed at Red Sands Fort off the coast of Whitstable.

I wrote to Patrick McGoohan back in October 2008 and asked him if he recalled the filming of the episode at Red Sands Fort, to which he replied “After all these years I vividly remember it as an abandoned miserable faintly haunted rusting place difficult to access in rough seas which appeared to be our lot during the entire time we were on site.”
Episode Titles:
Opening Title Caption

TV Magazine Listings:
Click to view a larger version
Anglia Edition
Apr 2nd - 8th 1966

Colour Stills:

Filming Locations:
  • Red Sands Fort, Whitstable
Click here to view the location details

Other Information:
Download the NSJR Music Cue Sheets

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