When Patrick McGoohan left Danger Man to create and star in The Prisoner a whole production crew as left behind. They soon regrouped and created a new show Danger Man. The show debuted on 27th September 1967 and ran for one season of thirty episodes. The concept of the series was created by Richard Harris and Dennis Spooner. Neither writer had any further involvement with the series, Spooner was busy producing his own series, The Champions at the time.
Like several ITC productions, the series would use an American star in an attempt to boost the show’s sales in the US. The part of McGill was played by Richard Bradford, a method actor who was spotted after appearing opposite Marlon Brando in the 1966 movie The Chase.
McGill was a former US Intelligence agent, who had been forced to resign from the service six years before the opening episode, practically accused of treason. This was because he discovered that a top western scientist called LeFarbe was preparing to defect to the USSR. Though he planned to intercept the defector, he was ordered to stand down by his superior Harry Thyssen (John Barrie). Shortly afterwards, LeFarbe went over to the Russians. Accused of complicity in the defection, McGill was unable to call on Thyssen to clear his name, as his superior had been drowned in a sailing accident, and he was forced to resign from the service amid much negative publicity.
Six years on, McGill discovers that Thyssen is still alive, his death having been faked. He is now working as a sailor on a Russian freighter, in which capacity he acts as a courier of secret information from LeFarbe. The scientist is in fact a double agent, now highly placed in the soviet scientific community to provide valuable intelligence. As McGill’s diligence nearly blew open this important operation, his superiors had no choice but to make him a very public scapegoat, to maintain the illusion of the LeFarbe defection as genuine.
Unable to clear his name or return to the USA, McGill makes ends meet by working as a travelling private detective and bounty hunter based in Britain, living out of his suitcase (hence the title). His cases generally took him to different parts of Europe, and on a couple of occasions to Africa.