This series chronicled the lives of Bodie and Doyle, top agents for Britain's CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), and their controller, George Cowley. The mandate of CI5 was to fight terrorism ...
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Harry H. Corbett,
A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
This series chronicled the lives of Bodie and Doyle, top agents for Britain's CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), and their controller, George Cowley. The mandate of CI5 was to fight terrorism and similar high-profile crimes. Cowley, a hard ex-MI5 operative, hand-picked each of his men. Bodie was a cynical ex-SAS paratrooper and mercenary whose nature ran to controlled violence, while his partner, Doyle, came to CI5 from the regular police force, and was more of an open minded liberal. Their relationship was often contentious, but they were the top men in their field, and the ones to whom Cowley always assigned to the toughest cases. Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
George Cowley fought as a volunteer for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. He was wounded in the leg during an air attack by German bombers which is why he limps during season one. Presumably he had surgery for the bullet to be removed by season 2 as the limp disappears. After Spain Cowley would go on to serve as a commando in World War 2 and the Korean War eventually reaching the rank of Major before joining MI6 and then being appointed as head of MI5 before leaving to create CI5. According to Bodie and Doyle in The Professionals: Mixed Doubles (1980) Cowley appears to be religious. His old nickname in MI6 was 'Morris' based on the contemporary car the Morris Cowley. CI5 agents occasionally refer to him as 'The Cow'. His nickname for Bodie and Doyle is 'The Bisto Kids' based on a pair of cartoon characters used to advertise gravy. His favourite drink is malt Scotch. See more »
[scene-setting voiceover from Season 1 opening titles]
Anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public. To combat it I've got special men - experts from the army, the police, from every service - these are The Professionals.
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When 'The Professionals' was aired at first in Germany - I believe it must have been some when in the eighties - I *loved* this show. I had never seen anything that grim and realistic before. What I liked most about it was that the 'good guys' weren't really 'good', they were complex character- and morality- wise and, especially the Bodie character, could as well have played on the other side of the fence. The violence was portrayed rather realistic and unstylised and the characters looked gritty enough to feel real.
Feeling somewhat nostalgic (must be my old age) I just bought the complete DVD set and found that I still like it a lot - although I see it differently nowadays. Analysing my feelings for it I found that what I like most about it now is the interaction between the main characters, and on my second watching of the complete series I find myself often ff-ing through the story to the parts with the lads (MS and LC). For me it's all about seeing pretty (but undoubtedly male) men run, jump, fight, shoot, saving each other's lives and - banter with each other. No wonder that it still has a major following among females and inspires reams of fanfiction!
Nearly thirty years since it was first seen on TV and still highly enjoyable despite the outdated fashion, hairstyles, motors and technique (have a look at those computers!) - this is a true classic that has proved its erstwhile critics wrong. An endeavour all participants (including Martin Shaw) can and should be proud of, I think, because it is no small feat to inspire such love and loyalty in their fans.
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