a review by Nalini Haynes
The pilot to the web series is embedded at the bottom of this page. The remainder of that episode, Danger 5: Diamond Girls is on YouTube as a taster for the series. The DVD has 6 episodes aired on SBS plus Diamond Girls, teasers and trailers.
This is a fairly succinct description of this bizarre TV show. The acting is cheesier than Dr Horrible by far, the dialogue is stilted, the special effects spoof the original Thunderbirds and other shows of bygone eras. At times the actors were so Thunderbird-esque, I looked for puppet strings to see if they’d gone that far in their spoof.
In every episode a person in a suit and eagle head appears talking in an atrocious American accent, sending the team of spies wearing uniforms off on a mission to wreak various forms of havoc in World War II ‘but also – KILL HITLER’. In a team of three men and two women there is some sexual tension.
Dialogue often occurs in two languages simultaneously which is, apparently, no impediment to understanding. Subtitles are put up for the English-speaking audience. In every episode Pierre, the Frenchman on the team, holds someone while they’re dying; they invariably give him the recipe for a ‘perfect’ drink. Hitler is a target in every episode but he always escapes, often in the most ridiculous and unlikely way.
Episodes spoof various pop culture icons such as James Bond and Japanese robots, both the human-sized versions and the giant robots in different episodes. Dinosaurs are used as World War II weapons. Danger 5 is truly surreal in its source material and plots.
Bemused about Danger 5, I’ve asked around in attempts to find a fan who would write this review. Danger 5 has a fan following – its probably going to be one of those cult classics for a certain crowd – but people tend to be surprised when they learn it’s not a fan-made film like those you find on YouTube. Danger 5 is actually a professionally made TV series created at SBS’s request.
As fan-fic and as a cult classic Danger 5 works on many levels. It’s not my thing, but then I’m not into lots of mainstream comedies like Everybody Loves Raymond and Two and a half men either.
The TV series was preceded by a prologue web series.