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What Has Dario Russo Been Up To? Interview with Danger 5

We discussed Danger 5’s return in the audible series in “Danger 5: Stereo Adventures”, how well does he know obscure Australian slang, and can he name all of Pierre’s drink recipes, amongst many other topics from the legend himself.

This interview was done as a supplementary video as to why I see Danger 5 as one of the most creative and hilarious live-action comedies of the modern era. A show that’s unorthodox, absurd, completely unpredictable, and has Nazi dinosaurs.

These aspects make it one of the best attempts I’ve seen of surreal absurdist types of comedy in a live-action format which is incredibly rare because that’s generally always done by animation and the only other show I know that fits in this category is The Mighty Boosh.

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Danger 5’s Audible Series: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/Danger-…

What is Danger 5?

Danger 5 is an Australian action comedy television series which premiered on SBS One on 27 February 2012. It is set in a bizarre, campy, 1960s interpretation of World War II and follows a group of five international spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler and thwart his plans of world domination. The men’s adventure pulp magazine-inspired series was created by Dario Russo and David Ashby.

On 11 September 2014, the Danger 5 crew announced that series 2 had been delayed due to unforeseen international news events and the recent ISIS actions. They also released the series two trailer on the same day. The second series eventually began airing on SBS 2 on 4 January 2015, and is set in a similarly bizarre interpretation of 1982. The first series is nominally set in World War II but uses a style more akin to pulp TV spy series. The titular Danger 5 are a small group of Allied agents who are tasked with stopping various schemes overseen by Adolf Hitler.

Each episode sees an intentionally ahistorical version of a major Axis person come up with a bizarre plan more in line with a TV or comic book villain of the fifties or sixties – stealing monuments from Allied nations to build an absurd Nazi super-monument, resurrecting dinosaurs, running a fixed casino to make weapons from gold and reprogramming captured airmen as Japanese pilots. The series adds a further layer of satire by intentionally aping the production and dated values.

Obvious studio sets are used for outdoor shots, model work is intentionally poor, usually featuring unrealistic movements and visible strings, the characters often laugh at bad puns immediately following the deaths of allies. All drink and smoke conspicuously while non-white characters are often played by Caucasians with poor make-up. Stock footage is also used, most notably a shot of Hitler jumping through a glass window to escape that is reused in settings that feature no such window.

Further surreal humour comes from the characters treating their universe seriously and not questioning various situations that are inexplicable to the viewer. And if you’re still reading this – hello.

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