THE PROTECTORS (1)

 
Full Name: Harry Rule, Contessa Caroline di Contini, Paul Buchet
Series Name: The Protectors
Nationality: American, Italian, French
Organization: The Protectors
Occupation Agency

Creator: Gerry Anderson
Time Span: 1972 - 1974
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Harry Rule, Contessa Caroline di Contini, Paul Buchet are members of The Protectors.
       This organization is dedicated to helping people being victimized by powerful criminal elements. It is said to have agents in every major city in Europe. Who funds it and how it came to be created is never really disclosed.
       One of the lead agents, and possibly the man in charge, is Harry Rule. A largely stoic man with a considerable amount of experience, he has seen it all and fought most of it and has the scars to show for it. In his late 40s or early 50s, he can still handle his own fights but prefers to use his brain first. Rule is independently wealthy and does this work out of conviction, not for a pay check.
       Another person who is in no need of employment and who works routinely alongside Rule is the Contessa Caroline di Contini, the widow of an Italian aristocrat and the owner and operator of a private investigative agency in Italy. Her contacts come in handy all over the Continent and her ability to charm is as exceptional as her ability to fight if needed.
       The last person who makes up the three member of the trio whose adventures have been recorded is Paul Buchet, a man who is an expert with electronics and all sorts of gadgetry. Also very well off, likely from his own inventions, Buchet enjoys the challenges he routinely encounters working with Rule and di Contini.
       The cases that the three people find themselves facing run a wide gamut. Kidnapping, extortion, murder are common but so matters of international intrigue and they usually are mixed together, which makes it more challenging and more interesting to the Protectors.

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1973
Last Appearance:1973

1 The Protectors The Protectors
Written by Robert Miall
Copyright: 1973

[plot unknown - might be a novelization]

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1973
Last Appearance:1973

1 The Collector The Collector
Written by Unknown
Copyright: 12/1973

Published in TV Action Annual 1974 - 4 pages - Paul Buchet gloms onto evidence of the whereabouts of the Collector, a man that the Protectors have tried for several years to apprehend. Now it means breaking into his electrified fortification but they have determination on their side.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1974

1 In Venice as in Rome, Milan, and Turin, a Spiral of Crime In Venice as in Rome, Milan, and Turin, a Spiral of Crime
Also known as aka A Venenzia come Roma-Milano-Torina, la spirale del crimine
Director: John Hough
Writers: Brian Clemens, John Kruse
Actors: Tony Anholt as Paul Buchet, Nyree Dawn Porter as Caroline di Contini, Robert Vaughn as Harry Rule
Released: 1974

Two or three episodes, likely Fighting Fund, Goodbye George, and Decoy, stitched into one and released as a movie.


TELEVISION

Number of Episodes:52
First Appearance:1972
Last Appearance:1974
Network:ITV

REGULAR CAST
Robert VaughnHarry Rule [ 1-2 ]
Nyree Dawn PorterCaroline di Contini [ 1-2 ]
Tony AnholtPaul Buchet [ 1-2 ]

       According to the "Official Gerry Anderson website", the talented and experienced producer duo Andersons were only partially the creators of this series. Lew Grade, the head of the British television network ITV, approached them with the broad stroke idea of putting together a show about a group of troubleshooters who go all over Europe fighting nasty criminals.
       Anderson then took this skeleton and put meat and skin on it and gave it a face and a voice. The Protectors was born.

       At the risk of repeating things said better elsewhere and likely getting it wrong, I commend anyone interested in knowing more to go to Wesley Britton's truly awesome site, specifically his page on this series.

1 2000 ft to Die
Episode 1-1, first aired 09/27/1972
Director: John Hough
Writer: Terence Feely

One of several scientists working on a synthetic gold formula asks for help from the Protectors when several of his colleagues die under strange circumstances.

2 Brother Hood
Episode 1-2, first aired 10/06/1972
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: John Goldsmith

The Protectors are hired to break a man out of prison after he has been convicted for a crime he did not do. It is only after the escape they learn the elder brother who hired them has a very different reason.

3 See No Evil
Episode 1-3, first aired 10/13/1972
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Donald Johnson

An Italian senator, investigating organized crime, is kidnapped and posed in compromising photos. The only person who witnessed the snatching was an old blind man.

4 Disappearing Trick
Episode 1-4, first aired 10/20/1972
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Brian Clemens

The Protectors are asked by a man to help him disappear. Harry says no but Caroline agrees and takes off. Then Harry learns the man has psychiatric problems and may be homicidal.

5 Ceremony for the Dead
Episode 1-5, first aired 10/27/1972
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Donald James

The Protectors are asked to help courier a foreign leader to a hospital but then the ambulance carrying him is hijacked.

6 It Was All Over in Leipzig
Episode 1-6, first aired 11/03/1972
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Donald James

The Protectors job is to find who is the person behind a plot to overthrow the government of an island nation. Joining them is an old boyfriend of Caroline, someone Harry does not trust.

7 The Quick Brown Fox
Episode 1-7, first aired 11/10/1972
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Donald James

The West German government hire the Protectors to find who is funding the pensions of several former Nazis.

8 King Con
Episode 1-8, first aired 11/17/1972
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Tony Barwick

A friend of Carolina is conned out of a valuable antique by a smooth operator and she and Harry go after the con-man, running their own con to do so.

9 Thinkback
Episode 1-9, first aired 11/24/1972
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Brian Clemens

The Protectors are guarding a witness in a corruptions case. When Harry is injured in a car crash, he is asked by the police for the location of the witness but it is all a scam.

10 A Kind of Wild Justice
Episode 1-10, first aired 12/01/1972
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Donald James

Is the daughter of a man Harry helped convict and who then died in prison out to kill him or is there something even nastier in store?

11 Balance of Terror
Episode 1-11, first aired 12/08/1972
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: John Goldsmith

A Russian scientist has disappeared with a deadly virus. The Protectors are told this by the KGB agents who break into Harry's apartment looking for help.

12 Triple Cross
Episode 1-12, first aired 12/15/1972
Director: John Hough
Writer: Lew Davidson

Paul is snatched and strapped to a bomb which will end his life if Harry and Caroline do not steal the gems they have been hired to courier.

13 The Numbers Game
Episode 1-13, first aired 12/29/1972
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Ralph Smart

Looking for a runaway, the Protectors learn she was involved in a strange business of writing down license plate numbers. It is all involved in a heroin smuggling case.

14 For the Rest of Your Natural?
Episode 1-14, first aired 01/05/1973
Director: John Hough
Writer: Tony Barwick

Caroline is snatched by a man she helped put away and who now wants revenge, this involving an odd trial with him as the prosecutor and cardboard cut-outs as the jury.

15 The Bodyguards
Episode 1-15, first aired 01/12/1973
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Dennis Spooner

The Protectors are asked to bodyguard a corpse in the hope that news of his death will bring out his associates to help find where stolen money is.

16 A Matter of Life and Death
Episode 1-16, first aired 01/19/1973
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Donald James

While investigating a death in Africa, Harry is mistaken for a smuggler and asked to sneak a shipment of drugs into Malta.

17 The Big Hit
Episode 1-17, first aired 01/26/1973
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Writer: Donald James

Two members of the Protectors have been killed and Paul almost dies. Someone is out to destroy all members of the group.

18 One and One Makes One
Episode 1-18, first aired 02/02/1973
Director: Don Chaffey
Writers: Jesse Lasky, Pat Lasky

To rescue a Canadian agent with the American-Canadian defense plans in his head, the Protectors must head to the clinic in Paris where the Russians are interrogating him.

19 Talkdown
Episode 1-19, first aired 02/09/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writers: Jesse Lasky, Pat Lasky

To get revenge for the death of his brother, a man kidnaps Harry and takes off in a small plane, then parachutes out leaving Harry alone and Harry has not flight training.

20 Vocal
Episode 1-20, first aired 02/16/1973
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Brian Clemens

A mission of the Protectors goes bad and Paul is temporarily blinded. The gang that got away come back to fool Paul into revealing information.

21 ...With a Little Help from My Friends
Episode 1-21, first aired 02/23/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Sylvia Anderson

Harry is asked to be the bodyguard for a visiting Middle East president but then he learns his own son has been kidnapped and will die unless the president dies at Harry's hand.

22 Chase
Episode 1-22, first aired 03/02/1973
Director: Harry Booth
Writer: Brian Clemens

It should have been a relaxing time for Harry and Caroline when he comes to visit to celebrate his birthday but as she runs an errand, a wounded man shows up looking for refuge as killers come calling.

23 Your Witness
Episode 1-23, first aired 03/09/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Donald James

The Protectors are hired to guard a young woman who is a witness to a murder at a nightclub. Then she disappears and might be involved in a gold heist.

24 It Could Be Practically Anywhere on the Island
Episode 1-24, first aired 03/16/1973
Director: Robert Vaughn
Writer: Tony Barwick

A wealthy American woman asks the Protectors to help find her pet poodle, dog-napped on Malta. The pooch is being used to smuggle microfilm.

25 The First Circle
Episode 1-25, first aired 03/23/1973
Director: Don Chaffey
Writer: Tony Barwick

A Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD has broken into a unused base and killed the guards. His wife asks the Protectors to capture him without killing him but that will not be easy.

26 A Case for the Right
Episode 1-26, first aired 03/30/1973
Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Writers: Jesse Lasky, Pat Lasky

Hired to courier a briefcase to an Italian prince at his villa, Harry and Caroline learn they are really decoys and their case contains a bomb.

27 Quin
Episode 2-1, first aired 09/21/1973
Director: Don Leaver
Writer: Trevor Preston

Quin is a ruthless mercenary who has hired the brother of a woman who hires the Protectors to keep the sibling from going away.

28 Bagman
Episode 2-2, first aired 09/28/1973
Director: John Hough
Writer: Terry Nation

Harry is hired to be the bagman in a ransom of the daughter of a wealthy widow. It should be straightforward but goes sideways quickly.

29 Fighting Fund
Episode 2-3, first aired 10/05/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: John Kruse

In Venice, the theft of a valuable art collection is the means for a revolutionary group to earn money to buy the weaponry they need for their cause.

30 The Last Frontier
Episode 2-4, first aired 10/12/1973
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Jean Morris

The Protectors are hired to help a female Russian scientist defect to the West so she can marry her boyfriend.

31 Baubles, Bangles and Beads
Episode 2-5, first aired 10/19/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Terry Nation

After a jewelry heist in Denmark, a con man is accused by his colleagues of double-crossing them and now they have kidnapped his daughter to get even. The Protectors are asked to get her back.

32 Petard
Episode 2-6, first aired 10/26/1973
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Tony Barwick

The theft of valuable trade secrets from a cleaning parts company gets the Protectors brought in to find who did it. It is an inside job but finding the person is the trick.

33 Goodbye George
Episode 2-7, first aired 11/02/1973
Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Writer: Brian Clemens

A wealthy man has hired Caroline to find his son who was last seen in Venice making several sizable withdrawals from his bank.

34 WAM (Part One)
Episode 2-8, first aired 11/09/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Tony Barwick

Cut out of her father's will, a very angry young woman gets involved in a kidnapping plot to hold a group of skiers hostage atop a snow-packed mountain.

35 WAM (Part Two)
Episode 2-9, first aired 11/16/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Tony Barwick

Having gotten the hostages free, it now falls to the Protectors to find where the kidnappers disappeared to and bring them to justice.

36 Implicado
Episode 2-10, first aired 11/23/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Tony Barwick

A mother asks the Protectors to help her son who has been arrested for drug smuggling but he wants no assistance and Harry is convinced he is being threatened by the gang leader.

37 Dragon Chase
Episode 2-11, first aired 11/30/1973
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: John Kruse

The Protectors are hired to bodyguard a Russian author who has been smuggled, along with his tell-all book, from Russia to the U.K. A pro-communist group is out to destroy the manuscript.

38 Decoy
Episode 2-12, first aired 12/07/1973
Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Writer: Brian Clemens

Harry is surprised to meet up with an old friend, one who died some time back. When the man turns up dead, again, in Venice, Harry and Caroline want to investigate.

39 Border Line
Episode 2-13, first aired 12/14/1973
Directors: Charles Crichton, Charles Crichton
Writer: Anthony Terpiloff

-

40 Zeke's Blues
Episode 2-14, first aired 12/21/1973
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Shane Rimmer

Harry is happy when he comes across an old friend playing jazz piano at a night club, not knowing the man was placed there to lure Harry into danger.

41 Lena
Episode 2-15, first aired 12/28/1973
Director: Don Leaver
Writer: Trevor Preston

A friend of Caroline who is a journalist wants help when her looking into the death of a local politician has her own life in danger.

42 The Bridge
Episode 2-16, first aired 01/04/1974
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Tony Barwick

The son of a wealthy man has joined a Spanish revolutionary group and plans to blow up a bridge while an American diplomat is crossing. Harry goes undercover as an explosives expert.

43 Sugar and Spice
Episode 2-17, first aired 01/11/1974
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: David Butler

To protect his teen-aged daughter when kidnapping threats are received, an English tycoon asks for Protectors help. This will involve Harry posing as a tutor, something he is not happy with.

44 Burning Bush
Episode 2-18, first aired 01/18/1974
Director: Don Leaver
Writer: Trevor Preston

A wealthy Canadian asks the Protectors to find his missing daughter who disappeared in London. She has joined a cult with occult leanings.

45 The Tiger and the Goat
Episode 2-19, first aired 01/25/1974
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Trevor Preston

Caroline is asked by an old boyfriend, in British Intelligence, to act as a "goat" to lure in a "tiger" but she realizes things are not what they seem.

46 Route 27
Episode 2-20, first aired 02/01/1974
Director: Don Leaver
Writer: Terry Nation

Tracking drug smugglers, Harry figures out where they are bringing in the narcotics but that suddenly makes him too dangerous to let live.

47 Trial
Episode 2-21, first aired 02/08/1974
Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: Robert Banks Stewart

A woman asks the Protectors to help when her son goes on trial for something he did not do and her husband, a mental patient, disappears and might be going after the judge in the case.

48 Shadbolt
Episode 2-22, first aired 02/15/1974
Director: John Hough
Writer: Tony Barwick

On a train from Edinburgh, Harry strikes up a conversation with an eloquent man named Shadbolt, not knowing that man is an assassin hired to kill Harry.

49 A Pocketful of Posies
Episode 2-23, first aired 02/22/1974
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Terry Nation

A famous singer, Carrie Blaine, is about to make a comeback but now worries about her sanity as odd things happen around her, including a clock running backwards. The Protectors are brought in to help.

50 Wheels
Episode 2-24, first aired 03/01/1974
Director: David Tomblin
Writer: Tony Barwick

A thief has stolen account information from a Swiss bank and the Protectors are brought in to catch him before they can be revealed.

51 The Insider
Episode 2-25, first aired 03/08/1974
Director: Don Leaver
Writer: Trevor Preston

All copies of a just completed movie have been stolen and held for ransom. The sum is paid but when the thief disappears without a trace, the Protectors are asked to help.

52 Blockbuster
Episode 2-26, first aired 03/15/1974
Director: Jeremy Summers
Writer: Shane Rimmer

The theft of several shipments of platinum see the Protectors called in to help since it is the trucks themselves that are vanishing.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:1973
Last Appearance:1973

       Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were a married team of television producers who got their start doing "Supermarionation" shows. This word, created by Gerry Anderson, was according to Wikipedia, "(a portmanteau of "super", "marionette" and "animation") is a style of puppetry devised in the 1960s". It involved having marionettes controlled by very fine filaments moving about a set, their voices dubbed into mouth movements.
       The pair were very successful in the early 60s with hit shows for children like Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Fireball XL5.
       As another vehicle to tell their stories and promote their work, they created with City Magazines a weekly comic book anthology called TV Century 21 (Century 21 Productions was the name of the Anderson's company).
       In addition to serialized episodes of the shows mentioned above, this magazine produced stories for popular television shows. Since The Protectors was a Century 21 program, it made sense to include stories about this group as well once the show started.

1 Boxful of Trouble Boxful of Trouble
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 01/20/1973

Published in TV Action #101 - 7 pages in black and white - The brother of the deceased head of the Black Hand in Italy has sought the help of the Protectors because someone is out to kill him for some important documents he inherited.

2 Boy Wonder Boy Wonder
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 02/10/1973

Published in TV Action #104-#108 - 10 pages in color - Hired to protect a young rising rock star, the Protectors quickly come to realize they would prefer he be snatched than have to deal with him much longer.

3 Busman's Holiday Busman's Holiday
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 03/17/1973

Published in TV Action #109 - 7 pages in black and white - A powerful, wealthy man fakes a heart attack on Harry Rule to make him disappear in order to be able to take on a one-man job to come to the aid of the man's granddaughter.

4 A Piece Of The Moon A Piece Of The Moon
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 04/14/1973

Published in TV Action #113-#116 - 8 pages in color - A criminal organization wants to steal a moonrock, said to be harder than diamond and extremely valuable. The Protectors have been hired to keep it safe. One side will have to lose.

5 The Dodo Is Dead The Dodo Is Dead
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 05/12/1973

Published in TV Action #117 - 7 pages in black and white - The Protectors are used to guarding people from all walks of life but guarding a rare bird in the wild is something new for them. Not new is going up against a powerful man who always gets what he wants and he wants the bird for his stuffed collection.

6 The Combat Man The Combat Man
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 06/02/1973

Published in TV Action #120-#124 - 10 pages in black and white - The Protectors have a job just right for a man they put in prison and who was just getting out. He declined, having a better offer already in place - killing the Protectors!

7 The Machine Maker The Machine Maker
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 07/14/1973

Published in TV Action #126 - 7 pages in black and white - A flying toy like designed by Leonardo di Vinci 400 years before flies into the villa Caroline is renting while Harry Rule was visiting. It contained a note saying that the inventor was being held hostage in a nearby estate. Checking into it, they meet di Vinci, or a man who acts like he is.

8 The Hunter The Hunter
Published by Polystyle Publications

Copyright: 12/1973

Published in TV Action Holiday Special 1973 - 7 pages in black and white - After smuggling a scientist's wife out from behind the Iron Curtain, the Protectors are nearby when others from that area come calling to kill the scientist for having left in the first place.

MY COMMENTS

       The television show was mildly fun to watch. I say mildly even though the two main stars were first-rate actors and they did darn good with what they had. I felt it was lukewarm to me because I never quite got a feel for what these folks did. I mean, of course they helped people but the concept of the group was epherial to me. Plus even my short attention span could have handled 60 minutes (well, 40+ with commercials) to build up the story a bit more.
       The graphic adventures are okay but again nothing noteworthy. That makes sense because of what they had to work with. Considering that, they were not bad.
       The one book was a novelization of a couple of episodes and did not add anything in my opinion.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

YOUR OPINIONS
Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

Register