29 March 2006 | krorie
Danger Is My Assignment
This well-done espionage thriller from the early days of the Cold War has one of the best openings of any TV series. US agent Steve Mitchell (Brian Donlevy) wearing a top hat and smoking a cigarette ambles down a foggy desolate waterfront back street (a ship whistle is blowing in the background). He stops momentarily to take a drag off his cigarette. Just as he takes a puff, from out of nowhere a dagger wisps past his face and sticks in the post next to him. He looks up with an expression half fright, half anger. Bold letters pop up reading, "Dangerous Assignment." The intro is brief and to the point. I was ten when I first watched the series. I don't remember much else about the show, but I do remember the speeding dagger.
I recently watched the episode "The Missing Diplomat Story" on DVD and was pleasantly surprised that the program has held up so well with passing time. The acting is tops with many familiar faces in the cast, especially Lyle Talbot as the Commissioner who gives Steve his dangerous assignment. The story involves Steve being sent to Spain to find a missing diplomat, code name Gelba, and his daughter Ketti. His contact Majak is waiting for him at the Hotel Granada in Barcelona and so is danger.
A cool jazz pianist named Xavier who plays boogie woogie on the ivory is an added bonus. He not only advises Steve but uses all the hep-cat talk popular at the time. At the end of the show Xavier even has Steve speaking the vernacular, calling the Commissioner "Jack" over the phone and telling him he is going to make a cat out of a dog.