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Slick series opener

9/10
Author: gordonl56 from Canada
2 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE PROFESSIONALS – "Private Madness, Public Danger" – 1977 This is the first episode of the, 1977 to 1983 UK series, THE PROFESSIONALS. Gordon Jackson is in charge of a crack anti terrorist unit, CI-5, that is made up of top Police and Military types. They are on call for any threat against the country.

A slightly mad chemist, Keith Barron, has decided that he wants the government to stop chemical warfare experiments. And how does he decide to get his request across? By lacing the water supplies of London with a powerful and probably lethal hallucinogenic drug.

Barron is a chemist who makes cash by producing LSD for the local drug market. He has developed a new drug 10-20 times as strong. He intends to drop a drum full in the water supply. He does a test at a chemical plant first. He puts a few drops in the coffee machine in the plant office. Then he quickly hits the road.

Ten minutes later half a dozen employees are blasted out of their minds. One, Ian Fairburn, decides he is a bird and goes for a five-story jump out of a window. The Police are called and then CI-5 is called in. The dead man had top-secret access to government documents. This needs to be checked out.

Soon afterwards, a letter is delivered to the government with Barron's demands. If they are not met, there will be another display of the drug made. If his demands are still not meet, he will poison the water.

CI-5 agents, Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins are assigned the case. They soon find that everyone sick had drank from the same coffee machine. Some quick tests on the contents soon establish just how powerful the drug is. The only person with keys to the machine is office canteen worker, Di Trevis. She disappeared right after all the trouble. She had lent the keys to the coffee machines to her drug supplier, Barron. Trevis, a drug addict, needed a fix and Barron had supplied it. Barron had just told her he wanted to look inside the machines. Trevis realizes that Barron must have laced the machines and leaves in a panic. She was the only one who had the keys to the coffee machines.

Once home, Trevis calls Barron to ask why he did it. Barron now realizes that Trevis is a loose end he had not thought of. He has a drug peddler friend, Donald Douglas deliver a pure uncut packet of drugs to Trevis. Barron is sure that addict Trevis will overdose. Loose end closed.

Shaw and Lewis decide to pay the woman a call and ask her about the incident. They find the woman sprawled on the sofa close to death. Off to the hospital they speed making it just in time to save her. All they get out of the near comatose Trevis, is the name of the man who brought her the drugs, Douglas.

A quick call to the drug squad is made. Could the squad hunt up Douglas for CI-5. They soon return the call and Martin joins in on the raid. Douglas is collared and brought in for some 3rd degree. Douglas is most uncooperative at first. But when Gordon Jackson brings is a syringe full of heroin and makes to shot up Douglas, he folds.

The CI-5 boys have it wrong. It was not him who makes drugs but Barron. "The man is mad but he makes first rate product". Douglas tells them. They have the address and get ready to raid the place. Then a phone call comes in, Barron has spiked the lines at a pub. Several people are badly injured when the try to drive after a drugged pint. This is Barron's second warning. Next will be the whole barrel.

Into their car and off to the Barron lab, Lewis, Shaw and Jackson roar. Barron has no intention of coming quietly. He has a large rifle and uses it. He then escapes out the back and hotfoots to the nearby water reservoir. He has a sealed barrel of drugs floating in the water there. A couple of bullet holes will start the spill.

Collins and Shaw catch up with Barron and more rounds are exchanged. Barron is on the loosing end and is soon captured. The men see the floating barrel and put two and two together. It seems that the swine Barron, has also placed an explosive device on the barrel. They grab a boat and drag Barron out to the barrel. Barron does not wish to go up with the device, and tells the men how to disarm it.

A pretty quick moving bit of UK television. The show was a hit and ran for 57 episodes over 5 years. The show was created by, Brian Clemens. Clemens of course was the man behind the 60's hit, THE AVENGERS.

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