The Professionals, 1977
The Professionals was a hugely popular crime-drama series created by Brian Clemens of ‘The Avengers’ fame.
Originally to have been called “The A-Squad”, it first hit our TV screens in 1977 and ran for five series over fifty seven episodes.
Like many TV programs of the time The Professionals has received it’s fair share of controversy. Although depictions of actual bloodshed were scarce, the series often came in for criticism for its level of violence, with shootings, martial arts and asphyxiation a common means of assassination, used in the program.
An episode made for the first series entitled “Klansmen” was withdrawn in the UK prior to transmission, the reason is believed to be due to its race-related subject matter. However producers LWT have always declined to explain their decision. The episode has however been licensed to broadcasters in other countries.
Despite it’s popularity it was 1997 before the show was repeated on the now defunct Granada Plus channel. In 2008 the series began to get regular repeat showings as part of ITV4’s daytime schedule. Episodes repeated on both channels, however are edited to allow for pre-watershed viewing and neither has screened “Klansmen” as London Weekend Television continue to forbid it’s transmission.
CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5) is a British law enforcement department, instructed by the Home Secretary to use any means to deal with crimes of a serious nature that go beyond the capacity of the police, but which are not tasks for the Security Service or the military.
The series follows Bodie and Doyle, top agents for Britain’s CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), and their controller, George Cowley as they lead the fight against terrorism and similar high-profile crimes.
Car’s The Star
The Professionals used many classic cars over it’s run. These included a Ford Granada Ghia, Ford Escort Mk2 RS 2000, a Rover SD1, Triumph Dolomite Sprint and of course the most famous of them all that Ford Capri 3 litre S.
Lewis Collins – Bodie
Martin Shaw – Doyle
Gordon Jackson – Cowley
Created By: Brian Clemens
Original Transmission Dates: 30th December 1977 – 6th February 1983
The series was remade for Sky in 1999. CI5: The New Professionals was an update on the original series with a new cast and new characters. It failed to catch on and lasted just one series. Another post for another day.