I came across Danger 5 on the advice of a friend last year and watched the whole thing in one sitting on Netflix, it takes a damn good comedy show to do that. Featuring deliberately dodgy acting, a Colonel with an eagles head who maintains order with his ‘sit down gun’, Nazi dinosaurs and the weekly mission to kill Hitler. Welcome to the deliciously barking world of Danger 5.
The Danger 5 are a group of undercover operatives in a alternate, skewed take on World War 2, tasked with the weekly mission of killing Hitler by their commanding officer Colonel Chestbridge, a part man/part eagle with with a short fuse. How’s that for a frickin premise?!
An Australian production from the minds of Dario Russo & David Ashby, Danger 5 has a sense of humour that hits so many right notes during the course of one episode that it leaves your head spinning and your face hurting from laughing so much, well, if you have a really weird sense of humour which I do. Taking influence from cheesy action movies of the 60’s, a stylistic approach similar to that of British comedy Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace which applied a similar convention to 70’s/80’s horror, Danger 5 is certainly anything but routine. It is an absurdist time-bubble, a surreal B-movie alike pastiche of WWII pulp novellas & spy movies that feels like a Pythonesque fever dream, in a very good way. The comedy is delivered in such a deadpan, straight faced manner that juxtaposes the outright oddness to absolute perfection.
Danger 5 has the unique strength going for it in that it is relatively unknown outside its native country and thus comes as a complete surprise, one of those ‘how the hell did I not hear of this sooner’ kind of shows. Personally when a show creeps up on me like that, completely from leftfield, without fanfare and grabs my attention so completely, I become enamoured. I felt the same way when I discovered shows like Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Snuffbox, well crafted under the radar gems with an off-kilter approach, the guts to try something different and the talent to exceed and defy expectation.
It’s not to say that Danger 5 will be everyone’s cup of tea, it won’t be. It’s surreal humour may well be too strange for some palettes, however, if you like your comedy bizarre, fiercely original and very funny, Danger 5 may be right up your ally.