...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 2072: He's the Greatest!


Anyone who thinks this is going to be about Lord Blairimort is out of their FLUFFY mind!

Instead: EXCELLENT news – the greatest secret agent in the world (JAMES BOND excepted, I think you will find!) is back.

DANGERMOUSE, made by cartoon grand masters COSGROVE HALL, was first shown on ITV yonks ago, before they gave up on children's television because it was too intellectually challenging, but now he is to come to the BBC.

This is EXTRA good as hopefully it will encourage Cosgrove Hall to do MORE stuff with the BBC!

[R: Hint, hint!]

DANGERMOUSE and PENFOLD – yes, just like Daddy Richard's car – are special agents, working for the unflappable Colonel K. They are kept busy saving the world from wicked Baron Silas Greenback, a DIABOLICALLY masterminded toad who, between drawing up schemes to take over the world, spends his time criticising hench-crow Stiletto or stroking his WHITE CAT…erpillar, Nero. And apparently Count Duckula makes his first appearance here as an occasional guest star.

Our heroes are voiced by the vocal talents of Mr David Jason (as world weary – and Penfold weary – Dangermouse and also the bombastic narrator and also also Count Duckula) and Master Terry Scott (as the irrepressible Penfold – "Penfold… shush!") and between them they form the most brilliant twosome.

There are 89 stories – though they do not say how many the BBC have bought – and they vary in length from ten to twenty minutes, although daddy tells me that he is SURE he remembers them being broadcast in FIVE minute versions with CLIFF-HANGERS:

"Will Dangermouse avoid being devoured by the mad gnashing custard creature? Will Penfold escape from the ladies' changing rooms? Will the continuity announcer ever stop talking over the end titles? These and other questions will be ducked, avoided or ignored in the next thrilling adventure of… Dangermouse!"

If you are UNABLE to be in front of a television during the daytime, then you might like to know that the complete series is available as a special ANNIVERSARY gift set of shiny discs too!


Will said...

I've a feeling I saw them in short installments too. A twenty-minute long episode can be surprisingly hard going.

Joe Otten said...

Whaddya mean James Bond excepted?

0tralala said...

Yes, Dangermouse was originally shown in episodes - the show was made for broadcast Monday to Friday.

It may be that later series were done as full stories. After my time.

You can usually spot where the cliffhangers'd go because of the "dum derdum-derdum" cliffhanger music.

The cliffhangers were often very silly, but what really made them brilliant was the narrator, who would really exaggerate the threats.

I'm disappointed not to have the individual episodes, but a *lot* of the serials were taken up with recaps and cliffhangers - which I guess made the series a lot cheaper. They'd be pretty repetitive and annoying watched all in one sitting.

Things to note about Dangermouse:

He's not merely "a James Bond", but owes his name to Patrick McGoohan's "Danger Man" (shown in the US as "Secret Agent"). There are those as think that John Drake is the same character as appears in "The Prisoner", though that's never confirmed explicitly.

The Bond influence is pretty rife though: DM's car is not disimilar to the one in Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker gives credence to a secret agent having a spaceship. And then there's Nero, what legend has it was voiced by David Jason.

Count Duckula first appeared in an episode of Dangermouse (as an evil villain), and I think DM made an appearance in another Cosgrove Hall series, "Victor and Hugo".

My favourite is "Custard".