• Back to the 80s with Pierre (Pacharo Mzembe), Ilsa (Natasa Ristic), Jackson (David Ashby), Tucker (Sean-James Murphy) and Claire (Amanda Simons). (SBS)Source: SBS
Your only mission in the 1980s is to absorb all of the 1980s pop culture references... and kill Hitler!
Dan Barrett

24 Apr 2019 - 10:40 AM  UPDATED 3 May 2019 - 7:25 AM

It is possibly the best thing to ever come out of South Australia (with all due respect to the great Anne Wills). The brain-child of two (presumably quite drunk) guys with far too much time on their hands, Danger 5 has the distinction of being the wildest, most imaginative prime-time cult classic that Aussie TV has ever birthed. Co-written by series director Dario Russo and series star David Ashby, Danger 5 chronicles the efforts of a crack team of international spies tasked with killing Hitler.

The first season of the show had the wild premise of looking and feeling like a 1960s-era schlock production set during the second World War. But season 2 stepped it up by turning the show into a 1980s-era VHS nasty production set during the 1950s (but it's really the coked out '80s). It was a blatant excuse to cram in as many retro movie and TV references as possible.

The creators took their commitment to references seriously. Russo, appearing on the Sensible Chuckle podcast, gave an indication to the depth of the references being made: "For a period of time we were throwing around the idea of doing season 2 as an entire [Mighty Morphin' Power] Rangers parody from the get go... You know what, it's not explicitly a reference to Power Rangers, but rather the series that informed Power Rangers, the Japanese Super Sentai series. Most prominently Jetman - Trojan Sentai Jetman, which was the Sentai series prior to the one they turned into Power Rangers..."

So dive into the second series and see if you can pick all the 80s references: 

Episode 1 -"Merry Christmas Colonel"

After Colonel Chestbridge is killed in an apparent assassination by Hitler and a wolf-headed man, Allied super-team Danger 5 reunite after years of far-flung obscurity to stop Hitler's ultimate quest for world domination in a 1980s excess-soaked universe of neon, ninjas, discos, dinosaurs, pizza and prom-queens, and ultimately save Christmas.

Reference starter guide:

  • Scarface
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Miami Vice

Episode 2 - "Johnny Hitler"

Hitler has infiltrated a high school in the American mid-west in search of a female senior student. His motives are unknown. Danger 5 are forced to go undercover and back to school, where Tucker’s teaching skills are pushed to the limit, Pierre’s coolness is put to the test and Jackson is hunted by a ruby-eyed wolf man with a machine gun and a grudge.

Reference starter guide:

  • Ferris Beuller's Day Off
  • Back To The Future
  • 21 Jump Street

Episode 3 - "Revenge of The Lizardmen"

Danger 5 are fugitives in Metro City, wrongfully accused of kidnapping high school senior Holly De Palma. Hitler has infiltrated the police and leads the hunt for Danger 5 but little does he know that his own people are working against him: Joseph Mengele and his sinister accomplice Mr Pedro are plotting a scheme that involves the return of some scaly prehistoric bad-guys.

Reference starter guide:

  • Jurassic Park
  • Aliens

Episode 4 - "Un Sacco Di Natale (A Sack of Christmas)"

Hitler has been taken captive by a cabal at the Vatican. McKenzie attempts to discover the secrets behind Hitler's plan regarding Holly, as Tucker attempts to deal with his trauma related to Claire. Ilsa and Jackson deal with relationship woes. Pierre finds Jesus as Hitler finds a new source of power.

Reference starter guide:

  • Robocop
  • Die Hard

Episode 5 - "Super Dead"

Danger 5 goes to USSR Land to reclaim Holly from her kidnapper Khrushchev, while Ilsa and Jackson both vie for revenge. Things don't go exactly as planned as Hitler's zombie army comes into the mix and Danger 5 are forced to deal with the consequences of the space-time continuum.

Reference starter guide:

  • Chucky
  • Back To The Future

Episode 6 - "Back to the Führer"

Danger 5 go back to World War II in an attempt to stop Hitler from changing the fabric of time. Ignoring the perils of messing with the space-time continuum, Tucker is dead set on changing the course of history for his own selfish motives while Pierre suffers the consequences. Jackson and Ilsa have a run-in with their past selves and share advice on the future. Meanwhile Hitler is holding Colonel Chestbridge hostage in his mountain lair.

Reference starter guide:

  • Batman 1966
  • Terminator

Episode 7 - "Welcome to Hitlerland"

In the final instalment of Danger 5, the team find themselves in an alternative future where Hitler is undisputed ruler of the universe. In Hitlerland everyone speaks German, everyone loves dogs and worst of all, everything is vegetarian! The Danger 5 team embark on a quest across space dodging Hitler’s deception at every turn. They encounter old friends, new foes and a talking pelican on this epic quest to save the universe.

Reference starter guide:

  • Fatherland
  • Super Sentai

Watch Danger 5 airs on Fridays at 10:55pm on SBS VICELAND. Catch up at SBS On Demand.

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