Well, that worked out tremendously neatly. See, several weeks ago, I picked an episode called “The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove” to watch next, because its cast included Adrienne Corri, who, by chance, we saw just this past weekend in Moon Zero Two. But I was so pleased with the episodes that we’ve watched so far that I started reading in more detail about Danger Man for the first time, including Matthew Courtman’s terrific Danger-Man.co.uk and the American transmission information at The Classic TV Archive. And so I glanced ahead a little bit, and learned that “Lovegrove” really divides opinion quite sharply, and sounds like it might pose more of a narrative challenge for our ten year-old than other stories.
But that’s okay, because Adrienne Corri is also in “Whatever Happened to George Foster?” along with Bernard Lee as the villain and Colin Douglas as his main heavy, and I thought this was completely excellent. Lee plays a titled millionaire, Lord Ammanford, who is funding unrest and riots in a South American Nosuchlandia. Drake wants him to pull out, but Ammanford is quite aware of where his money is going and expects to see a considerable return. Worse, Ammanford is powerful enough to easily suggest that Drake’s boss’s boss – who Drake has never met – give our hero a month’s leave because he’s so overworked. Drake doesn’t spend that month relaxing. Drake gets a shovel and spends it digging. It is awesome.
I’d say that this story is completely timeless, because – for the benefit of anyone who finds this down the road – this is the week the United States finally decided that the Afghanistan debacle wasn’t worth the investment any longer. The rich and the powerful continue to get richer and more powerful whenever they can find any spot on the map that can be destabilized to their advantage. It will happen again soon.
However, it wasn’t quite as timeless as I thought, because of all things it was the old tech in the episode that baffled our son. He’s certainly seen rotary phones in dozens of old shows and films, but he’s never actually worked one himself, and when Drake holds down the little button in the cradle and pretends to have a conversation, the poor kid didn’t know what he was doing or why. He was also a little stumped by some of Ammanford’s henchmen framing Drake for driving drunk and causing an accident, probably because he’s too young to read any novels where cops in Los Angeles do that to Philip Marlowe or Lew Archer. I still think this went over better than “Lovegrove” would have, but I’ll watch it myself before long.