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CI5, the British squad formed by George Cowley to combat 'anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public', has developed into an international force with operatives hired from around ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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The Professionals is an extremely high quality cult t.v series that well and truly deserves its tag of "t.v legend".This is due to its excellent writing courtesy of Brian Clemens and co. and the outstanding theme and incidental scores of the incomparable Laurie Johnson.The series itself has a truly filmic quality due to the varied locations used - from beautiful shots of the English countryside with the immortal Ford Capris speeding by to the sweeping panning camera shots of the city of London.Everything about this series is memorable , from the exhilarating opening theme complete with wahwah guitar and "Shaft" style hihats to the abrasive , yet humorous relationship between the two leads.Even though most people seem to remember this series as so-called standard crime/adventure viewing , in reality , it is more than that.Particular episodes , such as "Wild Justice" , is about the character Bodie (Lewis Collins) in particular and asks whether he is able to continue working effectively under the stress placed on him by the demands of a job in an organisation such as Ci5.This sounds a reasonably formal premise for a plot , but on viewing the episode itself we see that unusual elements (such as Bodie going to an oriental martial arts/medical expert for help and advice) have been thoughtfully added by the writer to give an extra edge.To enhance this interesting angle further , the oriental character then proceeds to give Cowley - Bodies boss (Gordon Jackson) a lecture about where the soul might be placed in the body , definetly an unusual and welcome aspect to proceedings and it is precisely these element that make the Professionals linger in the mind long after an episode is over.
Unfortunately , at the time the show was mauled by critics , being cited as "moronic" and overly violent.It is undoubtedly fair to say that the show most certainly was the latter of these two things , being primarily a contemporary crime/drama series.It is also fair to say that whenever there was violence present on the screen it was handled with a certain flair and portrayed realistically.However , the reason the vitriolic attack from the critics didnt sour the publics appetite for the show was this - excellent acting from the trio of Gordon jackson (Cowley) , Lewis Collins (Bodie) and Martin Shaw (Doyle) in the lead roles , first class writing and production , the special atmosphere that permeated every episode , the memorable chemistry between Bodie and Doyle and the music , which spawned a theme which is now a signature within the genre itself and incidental music which managed magnificently to capture many differing moods and emotions , some normally found outside the often narrowly viewed crime/drama division section of television entertainment.The Professionals was and still is different and set new standards in many areas that television today is still catching up to.BUGS , anyone ?
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