What’s your Jericho score? John Drake
Welcome back to the next installment of “What’s Your Jericho Score?” ! It’s been a fun mental rollercoaster ride taking a look at how some of our most iconic secret agent heroes would do if dropped into a real game of Jericho – The Urban Spy Game. Out of our long list, we’ve taken a look at Jason Bourne, Napoleon Solo, and Sydney Bristow so far and this week we are checking out the Secret Agent Man himself John Drake.
Agent Drake (AKA Danger Man) first showed up on UK TV in October 1960 working for NATO on a mission to “ …undertake missions involving national and global security.” He lasted 4 seasons, eventually working for M9 and becoming the Secret Agent Man when brought to U.S. TV. He was the first known pop culture spy to use fancy gadgets like tape recorders in shavers and cameras in clocks. There were also a ton of guest stars on the show including future Moneypenny, M, and Q, in the yet to be released James Bond films. Enough prelude, let’s see how Mr. Drake stacks up!
Stealth – Much like his 60’s peers, John (can we call you John?) had this habit of dressing in a suit and simply changing his name when on assignment to disguise himself from his adversaries. Once they figured out that he’s not who he claimed to be, the fun was over and it was up to his fists to get out of danger. The closest he got to a disguise was a fedora and sunglasses. In a game of Jericho, Mr. Drake would do OK for a mission or two, but after that, changing his name while still in a snappy suit would offer zero advantages. John gets 1 out of 10 for Stealth.
Combat – John Drake was Danger Man, presumably because he was always dropped into very dangerous situations for himself and not because he himself was dangerous. In fact, Agent Drake has the ignominious distinction of being the only secret agent that only ever shot and killed exactly one man on screen (in self-defense of course). Bad guys died, but not by the gun. While this isn’t exactly the only way to complete a Jericho mission, if you can’t bring yourself to shoot the enemy now and then, you probably aren’t going to get very far. While there are plenty of times when a Courier has walked right past enemy agents (in disguise as a random person) to deliver the intel in a Jericho game, this option isn’t really available to agent Drake who always dresses in a suit (see Stealth above). Agent Drake gets 1 out of 10 for Combat.
Teamwork – Despite the fact that Agent Drake was always dispatched without a partner (he was the only recurring character on the show), he did a great job of recruiting old friends and even complete strangers to help him when he arrived on the scene. Given the fact that a team who works together and coordinates well can swiftly dispatch the enemy, Mr. Drake gets high marks in this category; 9 out of 10.
Adaptability – Every episode shows agent Drake showing up to figure out what went wrong during the introduction and then figuring out how to defeat the bad guys before the end of the episode. The amazing thing is that not all of his plans worked and John got arrested, allies betrayed him, equipment failed, and he regularly had to figure out what to do on the fly. So Danger Man gets 10 out of 10 for adaptability.
Final rating? 20 out of 40. Obviously Agent Drake is really hurting from his choice of wardrobe and his credo to only use his gun when absolutely necessary, which pretty much was once. We can’t fault him too much however, he was a man of his time and Jericho is a modern day game of espionage. Come to think of it, it might be fun to have a game where everyone has to dress like the cast of Madmen.
Next week: The man, the legend, the other JB; Jack Bauer.