SGAG Logo

THE PROFESSIONALS

 
Full Name: The Professionals
Nationality: British
Organization: CI5
Occupation Agency

Creator: Brian Clemens
Time Span: 1977 - 1999

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Professionals is a small British department tasked with fighting well-trained criminal and terrorist gangs.

Officially designated Criminal Intelligence 5 (or CI5), the former head of MI5, George Cowley, was asked to head this organization. Seeing that the bureaucracy and territorialism that plagued the existing law enforcement agencies, he advocated a smallish group made of people who could operate anywhere without challenge. Knowing that to be successful, it would often have to act more "strenuously" against the opposition, it was agreed that this group would remain as secret as possible.

While the use of the word "criminal" in the title of the department would correctly indicate that law-breakers, organized or otherwise, was the chief target of the group, it was decided from the inception that the line between those who broke the law for personal gain and those who did it for other reasons was often too fine to discern and many times "normal" crime was used to bankroll other illegal actions. For this reason, the types of opponents faced would range widely and often step into areas where Special Branch or MI-5 might operate.

In addition to the forty-odd people that made up the intelligence collection and analysis portion of the bureau, Cowley had a handful of highly trained and deadly operatives to be the strike force needed when action was indicated. His two best operatives, working as a pair that did not always see eye to eye, were Ray Doyle and William Bodie.

Cowley was an old veteran of the Cold War as well as police work. He had spent nearly four decades fighting terrorists, assassins, militarist groups, hate gangs, and the like. He was a bristly as he was steely and those that stood in his way when he had a mission learned it was not a wise maneuver.

Doyle had been a detective constable in the harsh streets of the rougher parts of London. Often working undercover, he knew what it was like to be totally on his own and sometimes working with a partner was a strain for him. He was used to doing things his way, alone, and didn't like being told how to do something.

Bodie was a decorated, highly experienced member of the British SAS and believed in discipline in all parts of his life - strict adherence to order and procedure had kept him alive for numerous campaigns and while he was able to work on his own if needed, he preferred regimen and being part of a team.

BOOKS

Number of Books:15
First Appearance:1978
Last Appearance:1982

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:70
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:1999
Network:ITV/SkyOne

REGULAR CAST

       In late December, 1977, on the British independent network ITV, the television action drama The Professionals first aired. It was the brain child of producers Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell. The two had already worked together to bring The New Avengers to the small screen but they were nervous with the prospects of that project and were happy to have something else in the works.
       Three accomplished British actors were picked to portray the lead characters. While some may or may not have been the first choices of the producers, the chemistry of the final group was quite good and show lasted four seasons for a total of 57 episodes.
       Cowley was played by the terrific gravel-voiced Gordon Jackson, a man who had had a long career playing both good guys and bad, snivelling worms and tough-as-nails he-men. Martin Shaw was the man to take the role of Doyle. He had been on the stage and on television for over a decade. To play Bodie, Lewis Collins was chosen. Though his time in front of the camera or an audience was considerably less than the other two, he more than held his own in the role.
       The series was popular with both men and women for its action, its characters, and its subject matter. It was also extremely unpopular with most critics and anti-violence groups because of its very frequent use of fighting, gun-play, explosions, and so on. The series kept the showing of bloodshed to an almost non-existent minimum but there was no masking the brutality of the conflicts. Perhaps even more vitriolic was the hatred a few but very loud people had for the politically incorrectness of the episodes.

       In 1999, a revival of sorts of the series was aired. CI5: The New Professionals ran 13 episodes. In it, the head of the organization, Harry Malone, was another veteran actor, Edward Woodward, of Callan and The Equalizer fame. In this version there were three operatives: Sam Curtis (Colin Wells), Chris Keel (Kal Weber), and Tina Backus (Lexa Doig).

Note: Much of the information contained in this report came from the terrific website dedicated to the series: Dave Matthews Presents The Authorized Guide To The Professionals. It is well worth the time.

1 The Female Factor
Episode 1-1, first aired 12/30/1977

-

2 Private Madness, Public Danger
Episode 1-2, first aired 01/06/1978

-

3 Old Dog With New Tricks
Episode 1-3, first aired 01/13/1978

-

4 Killer With a Long Arm
Episode 1-4, first aired 01/20/1978

-

5 Heroes
Episode 1-5, first aired 01/27/1978

-

6 Where the Jungle Ends
Episode 1-6, first aired 02/03/1978

-

7 Close Quarters
Episode 1-7, first aired 02/10/1978

-

8 Everest Was Also Conquered
Episode 1-8, first aired 02/17/1978

-

9 When the Heat Cools Off
Episode 1-9, first aired 02/24/1978

-

10 Stake Out
Episode 1-10, first aired 03/03/1978

-

11 Long Shot
Episode 1-11, first aired 03/10/1978

-

12 Look After Annie
Episode 1-12, first aired 03/17/1978

-

13 Klansmen (unaired)
Episode 1-13

-

14 Hunter / Hunted
Episode 2-1, first aired 10/07/1978

-

15 The Rack
Episode 2-2, first aired 10/14/1978

-

16 First Night
Episode 2-3, first aired 10/21/1978

-

17 Man Without A Past
Episode 2-4, first aired 10/28/1978

-

18 In the Public Interest
Episode 2-5, first aired 11/04/1978

-

19 Rogue
Episode 2-6, first aired 11/11/1978

-

20 Not A Very Civil, Civil Servant
Episode 2-7, first aired 11/18/1978

-

21 A Stirring of Dust
Episode 2-8, first aired 11/25/1978

-

22 Blind Run
Episode 2-9, first aired 12/02/1978

-

23 Fall Girl
Episode 2-10, first aired 12/09/1978

-

24 The Purging of C.I.5
Episode 3-1, first aired 10/27/1979

-

25 Backtrack
Episode 3-2, first aired 11/03/1979

-

26 Stopover
Episode 3-3, first aired 11/10/1979

-

27 Dead Reckoning
Episode 3-4, first aired 11/17/1979

-

28 The Madness of Mickey Hamilton
Episode 3-5, first aired 11/24/1979

-

29 A Hiding to Nothing
Episode 3-6, first aired 12/01/1979

-

30 Runner
Episode 3-7, first aired 12/08/1979

-

31 Master of Two Servants
Episode 3-8, first aired 12/15/1979

-

32 The Acorn Syndrome
Episode 4-1, first aired 09/07/1980

-

33 Wild Justice
Episode 4-2, first aired 09/14/1980

-

34 Fugitive
Episode 4-3, first aired 09/21/1980

-

35 Involvement
Episode 4-4, first aired 09/28/1980

-

36 Need to Know
Episode 4-5, first aired 10/05/1980

-

37 Take Away
Episode 4-6, first aired 10/12/1980

-

38 Black Out
Episode 4-7, first aired 10/19/1980

-

39 Blood Sports
Episode 4-8, first aired 10/26/1980

-

40 Slush Fund
Episode 4-9, first aired 11/02/1980

-

41 The Gun
Episode 4-10, first aired 11/09/1980

-

42 Hijack
Episode 4-11, first aired 11/30/1980

-

43 Mixed Doubles
Episode 4-12, first aired 12/07/1980

-

44 Weekend in the Country
Episode 4-13, first aired 12/14/1980

-

45 Kickback
Episode 4-14, first aired 12/20/1980

-

46 It's Only a Beautiful Picture
Episode 4-15, first aired 12/27/1980

-

47 Foxhole On the Roof
Episode 5-1, first aired 11/07/1982

-

48 Operation Susie
Episode 5-2, first aired 11/14/1982

-

49 You'll Be All Right
Episode 5-3, first aired 11/21/1982

-

50 Lawson's Last Stand
Episode 5-4, first aired 11/28/1982

-

51 Discovered in a Grave Yard
Episode 5-5, first aired 12/05/1982

-

52 Spy Probe
Episode 5-6, first aired 12/12/1982

-

53 Cry Wolf
Episode 5-7, first aired 01/09/1983

-

54 The Untouchables
Episode 5-8, first aired 01/16/1983

-

55 The Ojuka Situation
Episode 5-9, first aired 01/23/1983

-

56 A Man Called Quinn
Episode 5-10, first aired 01/30/1983

-

57 No Stone
Episode 5-11, first aired 02/06/1983

-

58 Back to Business
Episode 1-01, first aired 09/19/1999

-

59 Phoenix
Episode 1-02, first aired 09/26/1999

-

60 Tusk Force
Episode 1-03, first aired 10/03/1999

-

61 Hostage
Episode 1-04, first aired 10/10/1999

-

62 First Strike
Episode 1-05, first aired 10/17/1999

-

63 Samurai Wind
Episode 1-06, first aired 10/24/1999

-

64 Skorpion
Episode 1-07, first aired 11/07/1999

-

65 Choice Cuts
Episode 1-08, first aired 11/14/1999

-

66 Miss Hit
Episode 1-09, first aired 11/21/1999

-

67 Orbit
Episode 1-10, first aired 11/28/1999

-

68 High Speed
Episode 1-11, first aired 12/05/1999

-

69 Souvenir
Episode 1-12, first aired 12/12/1999

-

70 Glory Days
Episode 1-13, first aired 12/19/1999

-

MY COMMENTS

I had just been stationed in Scotland in 1978 when I discovered this action-packed series. Already being a huge fan of spy and action adventures, as well as a die-hard Gordon Jackson fan, I was hooked immediately and stayed with the group for as long as I lived there, sadly missing the final season when I returned to the states.

Like any other red-blooded male of the time, I had been a huge follower of Brian Clemens' previous spy series, The Avengers and even enjoyed, though not as much, the second series (The New Avengers) [Who could not love Joanna Lumley as the delectable and kick-butt Purdey?]. While I did not know the pedigree of this new crime/spy series, I knew instantly that I liked it. To me it was a Starsky & Hutch take on spies and terrorists, just without the comic relief of 'Huggy Bear'.

The books that came out during the run of the series were interesting takes on novelizations. The highly skilled and experience writer, Kenneth Bulmer, started the written works by taking four episodes from the show and melding them into one complete novel. He added small touches here and there but could not change the characters nor add much to the mythos but he nevertheless did a good job.

This melding of episodes continued for many more books though the number of episodes tossed in grew less.

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
Disclaimer
SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.