I’m not exactly sure how I came across the Australian TV series Danger 5 on Netflix (it must have been on one list of recommendations for me or another), but I’m glad I did.
What Danger 5 has provided viewers with is a delightfully ridiculous show that is a throwback to the spy pulp series of the past, which includes a strong sense of humour and lovably insane stories.
Think Batman (the old one, with Adam West), mixed in with the absurd special effects of The Thunderbirds, and you are on track for the visual appearance of Danger 5. As for the story, it focuses on a group of five international spies that have to undertake different missions, but always have one goal in mind: to kill Hitler.
Many of the episodes have some of the most incredible episode titles ever: “I Danced for Hitler”, “Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich”, and “Fresh Meat for Hitler’s Sex Kitchen.” Brilliant. And the stories of the shows don’t vary too much from the title. For example, there is indeed an episode where the Danger 5 gang has to stop the Nazi dinosaurs that are being created in a mysterious region of Antarctica, complete with claymation dino attacks and endless tongue-in-cheek jokes.
Throughout Danger 5, there are some strong running jokes, such as the male members of the group being secretly, and not so secretly, in love with the female members, or a villain always revealing a perfect drink mix to one of the 5 as they are about to die. The ending of each show finishes in the same way, with the heroes relaxing in their lounge, smoking and drinking with members of the enemy side, sharing laughs and cocktails. And naturally, there is a reason in each episode for the female characters to be put into some kind of skimpy, 60’s style outfit.
Despite how honestly ridiculous it is (and of course, it is intended to be this ridiculous), it is a fun show to watch, and it becomes our version of what so many shows in the 60’s were kind of like (or at least our how our modern views perceived them as being). Danger 5 gives us a true throwback series that we can sit back and enjoy without having to think too much. There is pretty consistent action, and the characters themselves are all humorous and enjoyable. Since the group is international, some of the characters speak in subtitles, which adds to the fun and cheesiness of the show. We have Ilsa, who speaks Russian, and of course, the recurring character of Hitler, who only speaks in German. Yet it is done seamlessly, and actually adds to the spy feeling of the show.
Surely, there must be controversy that goes along with Danger 5, and this would focus on the guts to make Hitler a comedic character in a series. But it is not intended to offend, it is simply providing us with an alternate view of things, the whole while having tongue planted firmly in cheek.
And when it comes down to it all, that is exactly what Danger 5 is: fun.