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Danger Man Gadgets  [Back to the homepage]

007 is noted for the gadgets supplied by Q - here we look at the gadgets used by Drake

Gadgets, Special Equipment, call them what you will, Secret Agents use them. In the case of James Bond, these gadgets became more and more bizarre as the film series progressed. Cars that went under water, cars that had skis, cars that had ejector sets and an amazing collection of weapons.

Danger Man had gadgets too, but despite the public's belief, Drake did not use them in every episode, and when he did they were to help him with his mission and not to solve a problem the screenwriters otherwise couldn't get there lead character out of. Drake relied on his wits, he didn't need flashy gadgets.

The first gadget to appear in Danger Man was in "Time To Kill" produced in 1959, some three years before Sean Connery became Bond. The special equipment used here was a self assembly sighted rifle made from parts hidden in a car and other pieces baked inside a loaf of bread.

The most familiar gadget used by Drake was a small cigarette lighter that contained a tiny camera. This was a popular prop and used throughout the first season and in the revised one hour episodes. It is thought that this prop was the invention of "Avengers" writer Brian Clemens.

The inventions used in Danger Man were simple and only on rare occasions reached the ridiculous. One example of plain silliness can be seen in "Someone is Liable to Get Hurt". Here Drake is seen in his bed, but this is no ordinary one. There are buttons everywhere, that open sliding draws and turn the lights on and off. At the foot of the bed a television screen rises into view at the flick of a switch. Drake can now see and hear his bosses as they brief him on his mission.

This episode also featured a cream that looks like toothpaste, very useful for melting glass and a smoker's pipe that once activated fired a dart that sent out a radio signal. A similar device was also used in another episode, where Drake assembled a dart gun from tubes strapped around his leg. A small gas cartridge supplied the power to send the tracking device on its way.

The good old fashioned type writer was used in various ways, as a camera to take pictures of trainee spies, as a tracking receiver and occasionally as a means of writing!

A toilet case in "Not So Jolly Roger" was in reality a shortwave radio. A wine barrel in "No Marks For Servility" hides a video surveillance system. There were cigar's that were exploding flash bombs and a fishing rod that acted a directional microphone in "The Man With The Foot". This episode also included rifles that shot motion picture film.

Other episodes used umbrella’s that shot darts (another tracking device launcher), and an electric razor that acted as a tape recorder, a drill or a radio transmitter.

Patrick McGoohan recalled in an interview that he used to look forward to seeing what the various writers involved with the series had come up with for the next episode, and the actor himself is said to have contributed the odd idea.

For the most these gadgets were unobtrusive but in 1966 ITC finally gave into the pull of Bond. In "Koroshi" John Drake's penultimate adventure, the gadgets come thick and fast. There were cufflinks that contained a small exploding device, a listening device hidden within a matchbox and a bomb-detecting wrist watch. The episode also featured a flower that was used as a direction finder, a listening device, and also released a deadly gas.

This page takes a look at some of the gadgets Drake used.

Drake's electric shaver is also a tape recorder. This is probably the most commonly used gadget and is seen in "You're not in any trouble are you?", "Say it with flowers", "The Mercenaries" and others.
In the episode "The Outcast" Drake takes the centre out of a biro and attaches it to his shaver to make a useful drill.
After drilling the hole in the wall Drake uses the centre from another biro, attaches an eye piece and spies through the hole in the wall. From "The Outcast"
In "The Outcast" Drakes uses a Roberts wireless radio to communicate with a fellow agent.
Drake's lighter contains a miniature camera. This is another commonly used gadget and is seen in "Don't nail him yet", "Have a glass of wine", "Loyalty always pays", "The Mercenaries" and others.
In the episode "Loyalty always pays" Drake has used his Lighter/Camera to photograph secret documents but is trapped in the building. In order to get the photographs out to his colleague he puts the film into a shell and fires it out of the window.
In "The battle of the cameras" Drake has a clock containing a camera that only operates when the room lights are turned on. Then it takes photographs at regular intervals set by the dial on the rear.
Drake's Cigar is actually a smoke bomb which allows him to escape in "Loyalty always pays".
Two way radio built into a cigarette packet. Seen in "Loyalty always pays".
Drake's watch contains a dart that paralyses its victim. Seen in "Sting in the tail".
Drake's pipe blasts smoke into its victims face. Seen in "English lady takes lodgers".
In "A Very Dangerous Game" Drake has a different pipe that shoots out a radio transmitter.
Also in "A Very Dangerous Game" Drake has another gadget that bypasses the windows alarm system and some paste that melts the glass.
In the episode "That's two of us sorry" Drake has to determine if a spy, long thought to be dead, is living on a remote Scottish island. Drake passes round the Vodka in the hope of getting his prints.
In "Parallel Lines Sometimes Meet" Drake has something pen-like that contains a sleeping drug.
In "To Our Best Friend" Drake believes he is being set-up so he lays a trap. On a high wall outside he lays a roll of thunder-flashes and connects them and a torch to a Roberts radio and later sets them off to make it look like backup has arrived.
In "To Our Best Friend" Drake realises that Leslie is passing on her husbands information. Drake discovers her powder puff contains a recording device.
Another Cigar, but this one explodes. Seen in "To Our Best Friend".
In the episodes "The Mercenaries", "A Very Dangerous Game", "Such Men are Dangerous" and others, Drake uses bugs to listen in on private conversations.
Drake was searched on entry to a terrorist training camp in the episode "Such Men are Dangerous" so he could not smuggle his usual gadgets in with him. After an outing to London he arranges to have smuggled in a radio and a phone tap via a butchers van.
Drake uses a standard two way radio to keep in contact with his friends. Seen in "A room in the basement".
Drake uses a Gas Mask and Gas Firing Gun to disable the enemy. Seen in "A room in the basement".
Drake makes it to the basement where his friend is being held. Now he uses an explosive charge to blow the door off the cell. Seen in "A room in the basement".
Drake uses a fishing rod that converts into a firing device that shoots a listening device into a window frame in the episode "Have a glass of wine".
In the episode "The Black Book" Drake hides a tracking device in one of the bundles of money. He then uses a typewriter to track the location of the device.
Seen in "Not so Jolly Roger". Drake unpacks after arriving on the Pirate Radio Station. His bathroom set contains electronic parts that fit into his wireless radio to produce a radar tracking device used to detect the presence of submarines.
Seen in "Not so Jolly Roger". Drake has a set of binoculars that double up as a radio receiver.
At the beginning of "Koroshi" a Japanese agent uses a vase of artificial flowers to communicate. However the flowers start to emit a deadly gas.
Drake has planted a listening device in Rosemary’s flat. The receiver is hidden in a box of matches.
In "Koroshi" Drake gives Rosemary some flowers containing a tracking device. Drake uses his car radio to follow her to the cult's hideout.
Drake knows Rosemary is in trouble but she won't answer the door so he uses his cufflinks that are small explosives to blow the lock off her door. Looking at the thickness of the door - it might have been quicker to kick the door down!!
Drake has been rumbled and one of the cult members plants a bomb in the bonnet of Drakes car. Before the device explodes Drakes watch starts flashing and so Drake jumps from the car before it explodes.
In "Shinda Shima" Drake takes the place of Edward Sharpe. Whilst looking through his suitcase he finds numerous hidden electrical components.

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