Mini-review: Danger 5 (SBS1) 1×1

ITC shows and the 60s pastiched for no reason

Danger 5

In Australia: Mondays, 9.30pm, SBS1. Available on the SBS web site (Australians only)

So imagine a world where the Second World War is happening in the 1960s, Hitler is still alive and five secret agents from around the world have ganged up to try to stop the Nazis.

What do you mean, “Why?” Because I tell you to, that’s why.

Actually, that’s a very good question that maybe we should ask the creators of Australian show Danger 5, who seem to have taken some peyote while watching Thunderbirds, The Prisoner, The Champions, Inglourious Basterds, the Godzilla movies and huge amounts of those bizarre 1960s eurospy movies that Tanner writes about. They’ve come up with a very precise pastiche/homage that tries to walk the line between affectionate and mental, except the peyote is so strong the line actually looks like a blancmange being ridden by Anne of Cleves.

So we have Hitler sending out zeppelins to steal the Eiffel Tower in scenes that remind you of Derek Meddings’ efforts on a bad day; someone with an eagle’s head dressed like Patrick MacGoohan in The Prisoner; deliberately bad dubbing; seductive, smoking, talking robot dogs; bad accents; Champions-like telepathy; exploitation cinema bondage scenes; and more – but for no apparent reason other than it looks cool and people who love the 60s will go “Oh yes, that’s from X”. There’s no plot coherence and no real jokes.

It looks fantastic. A lot of work has obviously gone into it. But it’ll leaving you wondering what the whole thing is supposed to accomplish and why you should be watching it. Even more than Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, in fact.

Here’s a trailer in case you missed it the first time I showed you and the Internet-only pilot episode so you can see for yourself.