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"Hitler's days are numbered, because Danger 5 are on the case."
Ever imagined what would have happened if an international team of secret agents had fought Hitler in the 1960s? If not, that's no surprise, but David Ashby and Dario Russo somehow dreamed up this eccentric premise and went crazy with it.
Developed by the creators of Italian Spiderman, Danger 5 is an oddly compelling action/comedy set in a bizarre, Alternate Universe based on 60s and pulp fiction cliches. It features the Danger 5 team directly assigned to thwart Hitler's diabolical plans, which involve anything and everything from Japanese robots to Nazi-controlled dinosaurs.
Danger 5 began with a short series of prequel Webisodes available here, followed by a full television series broadcast on its parent network SBS. The TV show can be viewed online in Australia, or is internationally available as a DVD boxset. If you like shows that are uniquely, weirdly, raucously fun, this is worth a look.
Tropes in the show include:
- Achilles Heel: The otherwise invincible Carbonado-enhanced soldiers are vulnerable to diamond bullets.
- Affectionate Parody: Of sixties cinema and TV, pulp fiction, and also specifically, old Japanese sci-fi.
- Air Vent Passageway: "My God. There's Nazis in the walls!" This being in a secure bank vault.
- Alternate History: World War Two in The Sixties.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: In Episode 4 of the miniseries, Goring shows off several women enhanced in a similar fashion to Hitler's Carbonado bodyguards, but using different gemstones. None of them are quite as bulletproof.
- Amazon Brigade: Hitler's Bodyguard Babes. The French Resistance in "I Danced for Hitler".
- Ate His Gun: A Running Gag in "I Danced for Hitler".
- A-Team Firing: In episode one, the main protagonists and antagonists fire directly at each other to no effect other than killing every single random mook/bystander by accident.
- Anachronism Stew: WWII in the 60s with dinosaurs and mechanically enhanced soldiers.
- Atlantis: In "Final Victory"
- Bad Guy Bar: In the first episode, the Black Dog, where Hitler and the Nazis chill out.
- Brainwashed: Allied soldiers are being turned into Japanese robot-soldiers in "Kill-Men of the Rising Sun"
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Ilsa in "Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich"
Jackson: Get off me, you crazy tramp!
- Big Red Button: Used to activate Stalin's Doomsday Device.
- Betty and Veronica: Virginal Ice Queen Claire and hard-drinking Sensual Slav Ilsa.
Claire: I'm sorry, Ilsa. If I only had the nerve to sleep with Mengele he would never have put that thing in your head.
- Beauty and The Beast: Mengele is about to shoot Claire, when his dinosaur-headed servant stops him. "I love her!"
- Bilingual Bonus: Ilsa's dialog in particular contains a few gems, from bowdlerized subtitles to entirely untranslated cursing.
- Bilingual Dialogue: Ilsa only speaks in subtitled Russian, the rest of the Danger 5 team speaks English, Hitler and various goons speak German, and everyone understands each other perfectly.
- All in all, the series contains correct English, German, Russian, Italian, French, Japanese, and Cantonese. This is a result of being from Australia's premier multilingual channel, which prides itself on its linguistic diversity.
- Bottle Fairy: Ilsa
(On the verge of being eaten by a T-Rex) "And I always thought I'd die of alcohol poisoning."
- Booze Flamethrower: Faced with a fire-breathing lizardman, Ilsa takes a swig and squirts alcohol into its face, sending it up like a torch.
- Black Comedy: Particularly homicidal slapstick.
- Bling Bling Bang: The Evil Plan in "Hitler's Golden Murder Palace" is to make golden submachine guns to make the German army invincible...somehow. Rommel takes this Up to Eleven with his golden tank. All of them turn out to be Awesome but Impractical.
- Bonus Material: On the SBS website.
- Big No
- Big Damn Kiss: Tucker/Claire and Ilsa/Jackson kiss in the final episode; subverted with the latter when Ilsa goes on to snog the President of the World.
- British Stuffiness: Lampshaded when Claire enters a train compartment with a British Field Marshall, and he complains it's already stuffy enough as it is.
- Calling Your Attacks: In the giant mecha combat.
- Chainsaw Good: Hitler's mech's "Victory Chainsaw". It has a flamethrower too!
- Chair Reveal: Hitler in "Final Victory" - in a '60s Ball Chair, no less.
- Chekhov's Volcano: Mengele's Antarctic volcano base.
- Cliché Storm: Part of the parody.
- Cradling Your Kill: Inevitably used for Pierre's perfect-cocktail Running Gag.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: A band-playing monkey says when he hears the evil Nazis are going to stick music in concentration camps, "It's time to take this Mengele down from C minor to B diminished."
- Dangerously Close Shave: Spoofed when an assassin tries to kill Ilsa with a electric shaver.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: A female Nazi agent laughs insanely after being thrown out a plane before exploding for no apparent reason.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Numerous dialogue examples. German golden superweapons made of gold. Mengele's introduction is an excellent example:
"Professor Johann Filk of the International League of Sciencemongers. I am a scientist. A man of science. I've been practicing science on this plateau for nearly 10 years."
- Depraved Homosexual: Himmler and Heydrich.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The dinosaur Ilsa fights can breathe fire.
- Disconnected by Death: Ilsa shoots someone over the phone.
- Disguised in Drag: Pierre in a corset and blond wig in "Fresh Meat for Hitler's Sex Kitchen". Without covering up his moustache, naturally.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Ilsa makes Jackson lose his staring contest with Tucker by taking off her panties and throwing them in his face. The fact that he can hear Ilsa crossing and uncrossing her long leather boots doesn't help.
- Doomsday Device: Stalin has one that will destroy the world if the Nazis conquer the USSR.
- Doppelganger: Danger 5 are cloned in "Final Victory"
- Dressing as the Enemy: How Danger 5 attempt to kill Hitler in the first episode. Tucker while infiltrating the Swiss brothel.
- Easy Amnesia: How Ilsa explains to Rommel why his wife hasn't been in touch.
Rommel: You've had amnesia for two years?
- Eureka Moment: Any time Danger 5 suddenly realise they're amongst the enemy.
It's not plugged in. (sees the socket pins on the power cord are shaped like a swastika) My God, it's a German plug!
- "Everybody Laughs" Ending: How the miniseries ends.
- Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending: In every episode, while the end credits roll, there's a party in the Danger 5 headquarters featuring the main cast and all the major characters from the episode (including Hitler!).
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Nazi-controlled dinosaurs.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Technically Nazi Apes but as one YouTube commenter said:
- "Monkeys? I did nazi that coming..."
- Evil Laugh: Delivered by an evil Nazi hound!
- Evil Makeover: The sexually-transmitted Nazi virus turns people into blonde-haired, blue-eyed German-speaking Nazis.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Hitler is always going to get away.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Diamond women, robots, talking dogs, you name it, it's there.
- Feet First Introduction: The all-mighty Sheba is introduced via a slow pan up her sexy body...only to reveal she's a beastwoman!
- Finger Gun: who needs a gun, when you've got imagination?
- Furo Scene: Jackson, Ilsa and Claire make use of a hot spring.
- Gladiator Games: Mengele forces his prisoners to fight his mutants.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Ilsa is jealous because Hitler prefers Claire be brought to his quarters instead of her. Jackson and Rommel fighting over Ilsa.
- Groin Attack: A villain who's trying to murder Claire finds that tucking a Colt .45 in your pants is a very bad idea.
- Hitler tests his golden MP40 on a target with aiming circles on the head and groin. At the end of the episode Ilsa expresses her annoyance over Jackson's jealousy by using her Femme Fatalons on his crotch.
- Guns Akimbo: Hitler with his golden submachine guns.
- Hairy Hammerspace: Stalin's stache, which he uses to bizarre if manly effect. The same gag is repeated with the President of the World's Dodgy Toupee in "Final Victory".
- Half-Human Hybrid: In "Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich", Dr Mengele produces half human, half dinosaur nazi soldiers.
- Hand Signals: As she's being led away by Nazi soldiers:
Claire: [winking] [subtitle: Stay on mission. We can handle ourselves.]
- Honey Trap: "Ilsa was married to Rommel!"
- Humongous Mecha: The Danger Warrior.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens often to the virginal Claire.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight / Cannot Spit It Out: Claire and Jackson are being strangled by brainwashed Tucker and Ilsa. Claire admits to Tucker that "we need you and...I can't go on without you!" This wakes up Tucker, who promptly knocks out Ilsa while Jackson is stumbling over his own Love Confession. Afterwards, however, Claire refuses to admit to Tucker that she actually meant what she said.
- I'll Take Two Beers, Too!: Jackson.
"I'll take Double Jim Bourbons on the rocks. ... No, two of them."
- Immune to Bullets: The Carbonado-enhanced girls and the Japanese robo-soldiers.
"My God, they're weapon-proof."
- Indy Ploy: "I've got a plan." "What is it?" "Improvise."
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The same actors are reused over and over again for different minor roles in different episodes.
- It's All My Fault: Tucker after Claire is apparently killed due to his water phobia.
- Love At First Punch: Ilsa and Jackson try to kill each other on their first meeting.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Pierre kills his Nazi doppelganger with his Big No after animated partner Kilroy gets shot.
- Man On Fire: Hitler shoots a gambler who's head bursts into flame for no apparent reason other than Hitler using a golden gun.
- Military Maverick: Jackson has some of these tendencies.
- Miniature Effects: Used in every external shot so far. Deliberately unconvincing, to keep with the series' theme.
- Mission Briefing: Given by an eagle-headed colonel.
"And as always, KILL HITLER!"
- Momma's Boy: Tucker.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong: "Russians don't have emotions."
- Multinational Team: Danger 5. Tucker from Australia, Claire from the UK, Jackson from the US, Ilsa from Russia, and Pierre from 'Europe'.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Pierre wins over the monkey-men with his drum skills.
- Must Have Caffeine: The Italian submariners need a crate of coffee beans parachuted in to them every hour.
- My Girl Is a Slut / Bare Your Midriff: Ilsa
- Mysterious Antarctica has a jungle-filled crater with dinosaurs, likely a Shout-Out to The Land Unknown (1957).
- National Stereotypes:
- Jackson: the rough-and-ready, patriotic maverick American (as seen here).
- Pierre: the smooth-talking, urbane, womanising European (according to Word of God, his nationality is "Miscellaneous European").
- Ilsa: the hard-drinking Russian Femme Fatale.
- Claire: the sexually-repressed stuck-up Brit.
- Tucker: The earnest and more than a little dorky Australian.
- The Italian submariners are only interested in coffee, women and song.
- The Swiss bleed money.
- Nazisploitation: Parodied.
- Non-Specifically Foreign: Pierre is from 'Europe'.
- Not Quite Dead: Danger 5 finally kill Hitler in the last episode, only to find they've killed his clone and the real Hitler is piloting a giant robot. They destroy the robot and are given the Key to the World, only for Hitler to turn up again in The Stinger.
- Now or Never Kiss: Ilsa and Tucker share a drink and an Almost Kiss as they're about to be eaten by the T-Rex.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: "Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich" has music-crazed electric-guitarist gunslinger prehistoric primates. And mind-controlled Nazi dinosaur-men.
- Product Promotion Parade
- Psychic Link: Shown in squick-inducing detail with the Shaman woman's link with Tucker — a tentacle shoots into his forehead, his eyes roll up and white fluid spurts from his mouth.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Tucker upon hearing improvisational music. Jackson during a staring match with Tucker.
- Psychic Powers:
- Ilsa has the psychic power to calm monkeys and open locked elevators.
- Pierre's psychomixology:
Pierre: Tucker. How is that Vodka Marconi, my friend?
- Pulp Magazine: Goes so far as to spoof this on its website, where the pulpy pastiche articles are treated as factual news stories on the Danger 5 'verse.
- Retraux: Core part of the show's appeal.
- Refuge in Audacity: The show's entire premise. Over-the-top taken Up to Eleven - from Goebbels stealing the Eiffel Tower to build a birthday present for Hitler, to sexually transmitted nazism, to people having animal heads for no apparent reason...
- Remonstrating with a Gun: The eagle-headed colonel's Sit Down Gun. Naturally he makes a point of pointing it at Claire.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: Kilroy in "Final Victory"
- Room Disservice: "Red wine with chicken?"
- Rule of Cool: Drives the plot.
- Running Gag:
- Dying characters passing on to Pierre the recipe for "the perfect <some cocktail>".
- The fake advertisements at the end.
- The eagle-headed colonel picking on Claire in every briefing.
Claire: That's a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
- Hitler jumping out the window. The same window.
- Satire, Parody, Pastiche: Mainly the latter two.
- Scarpia Ultimatum: Mad Scientist Mengele gives Claire the choice of sleeping with him or seeing her friends thrown to the mutants. A pair of lab coats hung up behind give Mengele the appearance of horns.
- Scenery Censor: A pterodactyl is doing something nasty to a Screaming Woman behind a strategically-placed flower vase.
- Series Goal:
Mengele: I am a scientist — a man of science.
- Shirtless Scene: Tucker running around Antarctica with his shirt off.
- Show Some Leg / Smoking Hot Sex: Ilsa has to stop Goebbels from entering the room where Danger 5 waits. A cut later and a stunned Goebbels does up his fly and staggers off while Ilsa gets up off her knees and calmly lights up a ciggie.
- Sigil Spam: The Nazis put swastikas everywhere. Even Nazi electrical cords are swastika-shaped.
- Slipping a Mickey: Claire tries to do this to Mengele, unfortunately he recognises it from taste immediately.
- Smoking Is Cool: As per the period (a statement in the credits declares the show is not trying to advocate smoking).
- Special Effects Failure (In-Universe): Visible wires, obvious models, incomplete makeup, People in Rubber Suits.
- Spot the Imposter
- Spy Drama: Part of the premise.
- Stuff Blowing Up: With gusto.
- Super Window Jump: Hitler, involving the same footage every time.
- Stripperiffic: Ilsa's Custom Uniform of Sexy. And most other female characters.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Practically part of the premise.
- Surreal Humor: Why are there people with eagle-heads in this series? Or talking dogs?
- Tap on the Head: Spoofed with Tucker setting an egg timer on his wrist for one hour, then judo chopping a mook.
- Toku: Parodied (naturally) with the Japanese robot soldiers in "Kill-Men of the Rising Sun", and again in "The Final Victory".
- The Virus: Sexually transmitted nazism. The only cure for which is Swiss blood. Yes, really.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Wacky like you wouldn't believe.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Mengele's mutants attack him once the crystal is destroyed.
- Truce Zone: The Bahamas, for some reason.
- Unobtainium: Carbonado. The mineral that makes Hitler's female bodyguards bulletproof and his plan to make an army of them.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Ilsa and Jackson. Also between Claire and Tucker, but she's saving herself for marriage and he's too clueless to recognise her romantic hints.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Hitler jumping out a window.
- Webisodes: Used only to start the show off.
- Whip It Good: Mind-controlled Ilsa.
- William Telling: 'John Baccarat' (Jackson) while blindfolded shoots holes in cards held in a woman's cleavage.
- Widget Series: WWII featuring an eagle-headed military officer. Need I say more?
- Would Hit a Girl: Jackson in "Fresh Meat for Hitler's Sex Kitchen".
You hit a woman!
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tucker is afraid of water.
- Yellowface: In "Kill-Men of the Rising Sun", when Allied soldiers are turned Japanese by Hirohito's machine.
- Zeppelins from Another World: Used to steal the Eiffel Tower.