The Professionals (TV Series 1977–1983) Poster


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Anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public - yes, it's Martin Shaw's haircut!
Dave Matthews15 November 2000
On the surface the success of The Professionals is something of an enigma. Two characters with embarrassing haircuts, dreadful dress-sense, little respect for birds... err, women, in a show almost universally panned by the critics...

Yet the Professionals not only succeeded in its day but continues to do so in repeat runs almost 25 years on.

Bodie and Doyle's characteristics arguably had near-plagiaristic similarities to that of Starsky & Hutch. The action and (more particularly) violence depicted was essentially a continuation of the "rules" laid down by The Sweeney. Yet The Professionals still carved out a niche for itself. What sets it apart from the other shows is the firework chemistry between the two leads (as much down to the good fortune of casting Shaw and Collins together - two completely different actors) and the jibing, black humour they share and harangue each other with.

Gordon Jackson's searing performance as Cowley, meanwhile, proved to be a formidable boss for the two reprobates.

The humour also extended to the situations and the show was not afraid to make fun of itself occasionally.

In the early years the exciting, varied plots were a bonus, too (Contrary to other remarks, they were often quite complex). Action-wise, Collins and Shaw gamely tackled much of their own stuntwork.

Although characterisation was never the primary objective of the show, the characters were given a reasonable opportunity to add facets to their personae. Doyle, in particular, emerged as a surprisingly rounded, unpredictable and constantly surprising character - due mainly to Shaw's splendid acting skills.

Unlike other British action shows, the Professionals gained an immense female following - indeed its fandom is probably split 50:50 between the sexes.

In the meantime London Weekend Television exported the show massively to eager overseas broadcasters (and continues to do so to this day).

However the programme was not without faults. By the fourth season (1980) the writing team were struggling to find new ideas and the boys of CI5 often found themselves lumbered with jobs that more traditional law forces would normally take on.

By 1981 the show was clearly running out of steam and with Shaw and Collins keen to move on to other things, LWT decided to call it a day after a grand total of 57 episodes.

Today it's easy to say the whole reason it's such a success again is because of its refreshingly un-PC image. Yet there is more to it than that and, indeed, what were seen as the strengths of the show in 1977 are being appreciated by new audiences the world over.
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A cut above the rest
David22 December 2003
I was only born a year after this series started production, so I only know it by re-runs, thanks largely to my mother who loves the series.

There are a great many TV series with the premise that you've got good guys running around trying to catch bad guys, and there are guns, cars and explosives thrown in for good measure. Some are good, some are not. The Professionals is a cut above the rest, not because of any trick or gimmick but simply because of superb writing, casting, directing and acting.

Shaw (Doyle), Collins (Bodie) and Jackson (Cowley) excel in their roles and are really the glue of the whole series. The constant jibing between Doyle and Bodie is an absolute delight to watch, as is Bodie's unashamed love for fast-driving and shooting stuff.

The action is very satisfying, with many shoot-outs, explosions and car chases. The plots are actually more varied and sophisticated than most people seem to remember, some of them require a very sharp mind to keep track of the wheeling and dealing. There's espionage, grand-theft, madmen with nerve-gas and more than a few personal vendettas. The characters, too, are deeper than most people seem to remember.

My favourite episodes are: "Discovered in a Graveyard" - Doyle is shot and seriously wounded by an unknown assasin. While Bodie and Cowley hunt down the shooter, we are given an insight into the thoughts going through Doyle's comatose mind.

"Blind Run" - what starts as a simple escort run for Doyle and Bodie turns into an urban war as their charge turns out to be much more significant than they thought. This is one of the most action-packed episodes, featuring multiple shootouts and car-chases.

"Mixed Doubles" - Bodie and Doyle are assigned to organise protection for a very high-level foreign diplomat who is almost certain to be an assasination target. As we see our two heroes making preparations, we also see the two hired assasins making theirs and we get an incredible insight into just how similar the two doubles are, and how sad it is that only one pair of them can survive the day.
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The best
Jack Yan31 March 1999
Arguably one of the best British action series ever made. The Professionals has a gritty, streetwise style, strong plots and scripts and excellent acting. Out of the episodes made between 1977 and 1981, there is hardly a bad one: the quality spoke for itself.

Many episodes see what feels like two hours' worth of storyline packed tightly and competently into the single hour. The editing, photography, direction, stunts and score stand comparison today. The ingredients endeared the series to its many fans, probably attracting viewers from outside its target market. It was an example of how we could have it all - and its longevity was not down to luck alone.

It is even credited for the long production life of the Ford Capri sports car, driven by the two main agents in the series, Bodie (Lewis Collins) and Doyle (Martin Shaw). The rapport between the two actors is superb and at no times are their performances unrealistic.

The series sees a fictional unit, CI5, which is not answerable to any one ministry. Its controller, Maj George Cowley (Gordon Jackson), commands loyalty and respect amongst his men, and would fight to the ends on their behalf. His access to the highest levels within Westminster is without doubt. Bodie, ex-SIS, and Doyle, formerly with the police, are faced with perilous situations against terrorists, spies, and traitors. Thanks to their specialist skills and attitude, they cope well in any situation.

The Professionals is still a demonstration of British television at its best.
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Laddish machismo and dodgy hair-dos
Steve Riley7 November 1999
"The Professionals" has been slated from all sides over the years. It's fallen foul of, among others, the self-appointed moralist zealots of television watchdog groups because of its often hard-hitting violence, and the feminist lobby for its portrayal of most of its female characters as bimbos and ciphers. Even Martin Shaw, one of its three main stars, was so embarrassed by the show that for years his veto prevented it from being repeated in the UK (or perhaps it was simply because he was ashamed of the perm which he sported throughout the show's six-year run and which led to co-star Lewis Collins giving him the nickname "the Bionic Gollywog"). Whatever the reason, "The Professionals" won few critical admirers at the time and now - in the age of political correctness - is perhaps even more widely pooh-poohed. So why did it run for 6 years and become one of British TV's biggest ever, and most popular, exports? And why does it still enjoy cult status? The answer, paradoxically, lies in the reasons why it was so widely reviled in the first place. It's violent, politically incorrect and - to put it kindly - doesn't demand that its audiences have the intellect of rocket scientists to follow its plots. It was escapist entertainment aimed at boys of all ages from 10 to 50. Pictures of Bodie & Doyle adorned the bedroom walls of teenage girls up and down the land as they got in on the act too. And the show practically became an hour-long advertisement for the Ford motor company. In the UK during the late 70s and early 80s, it was positively hazardous to venture forth on a Friday night during a "Professionals" run, for fear of being knocked over and hospitalised by some young Johnny screeching round the corner in his Ford Capri, pretending to be Bodie & Doyle. Sure, "The Professionals" (like most shows of the genre) had its moronic moments, but who can forget classics like the episode in which two anti-social misfits holed up on a high rooftop and started taking pot-shots at a nearby hospital? Or the one with Bodie trapped in a country house, under siege by a bunch of German terrorists and with all contact to the outside world lost? Everything the critics accuse "The Professionals" of may well be true. But who cares? It's still a cult classic. They don't make 'em like that any more.
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You've got it all wrong!
kete26 March 2005
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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High-jinks with CI5
didi-59 July 2005
'The Professionals' came into being at a time when the media was obsessed with secret services, specialist divisions, gun crime, and terrorism. For five years this expensive LWT series had a prime time slot just after the watershed and entertained us with its mix of violence, cars, guns, and sexist banter.

Lewis Collins (Bodie) and Martin Shaw (Doyle) became household names in their portrayals of the laconic, cynical, and fearless agents who saved the day from grenade-carriers, gunmen, and gangsters. Gordon Jackson as Cowley, their boss, had another plum TV role and was perfect in it. Sexist and silly the series may have been, but it has perhaps stood up better than other crime programmes made in the late 1970s.

Curtailed too soon because of the mood of the time, 'The Professionals' still looks good when viewed today, and enjoys re-runs on one of the many digital TV channels.
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Why the Professionals is a T.V legend
olomax9 February 2001
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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No Amateurs
Buck Aroo21 August 2002
All I can add to what has been said before is, what an excellent series this was. It had to be London Weekend Television's most expensive production at the time, and you could see that every penny appeared on screen. There were shoot-outs, explosions, and fist-fights galore every friday night at 9pm, when the episodes were originally shown during the late '70s and early '80s. The sexist banter between the heroes Bodie and Doyle is typical of the period, but stills remains funny to watch. One episode called 'Klansman', about a British right wing group to which Bodie becomes sympathetic, has to this day never been screened in the U.K. for fear of inflaming racial tensions, which were at their height during the Professionals' five year run. It has however, been transmitted in other parts of Europe.

Due to the media, and the then Tory government's paranoia about 'Video Nasties' and TV violence, a sixth series was never made with the original actors. Unfortunately though, it's creator Brian Clemens, decided to update and resurrect the series about four years ago. It sank without trace.

My fave episode has to be 'Hunter Hunted', in which the heros have to recover a stolen prototype rifle, which has a laser aiming system. This series was truly revolutionary!!!
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Big Cat 1223 March 2002
I remember watching this British TV show when I was stationed in England in the 70's. I remember it was (in a way) similar to Starsky and Hutch but much more hard core. Two guys ( counter- terrorist agents type) would fight crime. Very fast moving and explosive. (I learned quick that British TV was much more liberal than regular TV shows in the states-I missed it alot).
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''Cover me!!''
Baz Taylor16 December 2003
I wasn't even born when this show was first shown on British TV in the late 70's. It was created by Brian Clemens, was a follow-up to a cop show called The Sweeney and starred Gordon Jackson as George Cowley, Lewis Collins as Bodie and Martin Shaw (who hated the show and his character) as Ray Doyle, working for a spy agency called CI5.

Violent, sexist and very politically incorrect, The Professionals was just good fun and it knew how daft it was. Basically an episode would go like this: Bad guy of episode shows up, usually foreign and he was a hitman, terrorist, spy or something like that. He would commit a crime and then the main titles which still impress would come on backed by the great theme tune. Bodie and Doyle would be given the case by Cowley, and then there would be 45 minutes of fights and car chases (in their Ford Capris) which ended with the bad guy dying in an explosion.

The plots were interesting and there were a lot of good ideas from the writers. After the show ended there were lots of pretty awful follow-up shows like Dempsey and Makepeace and Bergerac and have mostly been forgotten. Although The Professionals is not often seen on TV nowadays it's a cult classic, and way better than any of the stuff they put on nowadays.
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'The Professionals' Was The Real McCoy
ShadeGrenade20 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Alongside 'The Sweeney', 'The Professionals' is probably the best-remembered British action series of the 1970's. It was created by Brian Clemens, and followed hot on the heels of 'The New Avengers'. Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins had appeared together in an episode ( 'Obsession' ).

I was not immediately won over by 'The Professionals'. I had the impression that Clemens had taken some left-over 'New Avengers' scripts, scrubbed out the names 'Steed', 'Gambit' and 'Purdey', and substituted 'Bodie', 'Doyle', and 'Cowley'. Certainly the Russian agents in 'The Female Factor' looked and sounded like they had come straight from that show. Even some of Laurie Johnson's incidental music sounded indistinguishable. I was not alone in my cynicism. A letter writer to 'The People' newspaper soon after its debut claimed that 'Gordon Jackson was badly miscast' and that the show was basically 'the poor man's Starsky & Hutch'.

The hit U.S. show starring David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser was declining in popularity in the U.K. as 'The Professionals' debuted. I recall my school friends suddenly raving about this new show and going silent on the subject of Huggy Bear's pals.

Despite initial misgivings, I stuck with 'The Professionals' and am glad that I did because it improved as it went along. The ratings went up in spite of tough competition from B.B.C.-1's equally violent 'Gangsters'. Later on it would be pitted against the popular private eye drama 'Shoestring'.

The premise was this; George Cowley ( Gordon Jackson ) is the head of C15, an organisation set up to combat terrorism. His top agents are Bodie ( Lewis Collins ) and Doyle ( Martin Shaw ). That was really all there was to it.

The show boasted lots of exciting action ( violent even by today's standards ), guest-stars such as a pre-'Not The Nine O'Clock News' Pamela Stephenson, one of the best theme tunes ever, a pair of personable leads, and some pretty good scripts. Particularly memorable were 'In The Public Interest' in which C15 investigates an ( unnamed ) city where a zero tolerance policy to crime has unfortunately given rise to massive police corruption; and 'The Rack' where C15's very existence is questioned, and Cowley has to make an impassioned plea to a court to preserve the anonymity of an informer. 'Heroes' had witnesses to a robbery coming under threat from the underworld when a newspaper foolishly printed their names. One episode - 'Klansman' - dealt with racism and was deemed too controversial to broadcast.

Shaw and Collins made a good team, and Jackson gave solid support in what was basically a thankless role. The show predictably drew complaints on account of its violence, but fans seemed not to mind. Yes, it took a simplistic approach to serious issues such as terrorism, and there was virtually no character development, but it managed to be good entertainment. It ran for five years in all, totalling 57 episodes.

'The Two Ronnies' did a funny parody called 'Tinker, Taylor, Smiley, Doyle' in which Ronnie Corbett's 'Doyle' got a new partner in the shape of Ronnie Barker's mild-mannered 'George Smiley'. And, of course, 'The Comic Strip Presents' gave us 'The Bullshitters'!

Though repeats were blocked for many years by Martin Shaw, 'The Professionals' is now to be found on 'I.T.V.-4' ( with heavily edited editions going out in afternoon slots ) and before that, 'Granada Plus'. Despite changing public tastes, its popularity has endured.

With the arrival of 'Life On Mars' on B.B.C.-1 in 2006, the genre of hard-bitten '70's crime telly was effectively exhumed. Viewers could once again see men being men, and women either being shot, beaten up or taken to bed. 'The Professionals' though was the real McCoy.
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Cool show, loved it as a kid! Wanna know about Bodie & Doyle's first time...?
cwplatinum14 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I grew up with this show when I were a lad, and I totally loved it. It's still pretty cool...

Anyhoo, the second car I ever bought was a Ford Escort RS2000, and it was because I had seen it in The Professionals! Couldn't afford a Capri RS3100 - pity really.

And I just saw the funniest thing! I was watching an old episode of The New Avengers (Steed, Purdy & Gambit for those in the know), which was called 'Obsession' ( Not the best of the series, but it did star Martin Shaw as the baddie! How cool. Then, all of a sudden, there was Lewis Collins as his trusty sidekick! Even cooler!! But the best of all was, towards the end of the episode, when the baddies have set their dastardly plan in place, Larry Doomer (Shaw) says to Kilner (Collins) "Thanks for all your help, I couldn't have done it without you." To which Kilner replies "We make a good team - maybe we should work together again..." Brilliant!!

In case you're wondering why it was so brilliant - Obsession aired on 7 October 1977. Private Madness, Public Danger aired on 30 December, 1977.

Gotta love it!
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Dated action hi-jinx
Master Cultist28 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
CI5 operatives Bodie and Doyle spend their time fighting criminals, shooting at criminals, chasing criminals in their glorious array of classic 70's cars (the Ford Capri being my personal favourite), and generally acting as we would all like to act given half the chance.

Bodie is a womanising hard man, whilst Doyle seems to have a more tender side, as emphasised in episodes such as the excellent 'Involvement.

Their boss, Cowley, played by Gordon Jackson is a tough man called upon to make tough decisions, frequently issuing orders that could end in the death of one of his staff. He masks his respect and affection for his men behind a veneer of brusque authoritarianism, barking out instructions between swigs of finest malt whisky.

An all round entertaining action series, the like of which we will never see again.
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Great show
redgloria28 September 2004
Having discovered "The Professionals" some 25 years after it was first on, I wish I had seen it when it was on. Martin Shaw is fantastic as Ray Doyle as is Lewis Collins as Bodie. This series, while it has its flaws, is much more entertaining than 90% of today's television shows. "Klansmen" was an amazing episode and one that epitomizes the talent of Martin Shaw.

I certainly wish there had been more than 57 episodes as there was still so much that could have been developed between the partnership of Bodie and Doyle.

I do wish they had cut back the George Cowley part so that we could have seen 4.5 and 3.7 more. It was not too believable to see Cowley running all over the countryside when he should have been at his office. He needed to learn more about delegating authority.
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Excellent entertainment
charmech29 May 1999
This series was the forerunner for the Die Hard/Lethal Weapon series of movies that were so popular in the 1980s. The Professionals defined the genre with its realistic settings and totally unsympathetic villains (terrorists for the most part). The bad guys were so awful, so deranged, so cruel that the audience could forgive the ruthless violence used against them by the Professionals. After seeing The Professionals, James Bond films seemed too glamorous and fanciful.
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A joke compared to The Sweeney
andrew jones30 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Here we have the fictional "CI5" organisation run by tough no nonsense Cowely played by veteran actor Gordon Jackson.

The show focuses on CI5'S two "best" agents,bubble perm played by Martin Shaw and shorty played by Lewis Collins. I think people look back at this with rose tinted spectacles,sure its got some great action scenes and Gordon Jackson was the best thing in it but what else was there?

This show copied some of the elements used in "The Sweeney" which started first, and then flogged them to death. The result is two herberts driving round in cars like lunatics even when their not chasing someone,bossing uniformed police about and using firearms with as much sense as a 5 year old. Some of the stories were thread bare and unlike gritty "The Sweeney" more often than not there was a happy ending as bubble perm and shorty turn up, roll over the bonnet of their Capri v6, take command of the whole situation and shoot someone.

Good old Martin you have a man so selfish with an ego as big as a solar system. As soon as the show finished he decided he no longer liked it and banned any repeats- what a lovely man. It had to be pointed out to him that Gordon Jacksons widow could well do with the money the repeats would bring! He then must of agreed as it s been repeated for years now-that was big of him!!

Good fun but nothing more and it can be watched with your brain out of gear.
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"The Professionals"
crlmhr715 September 2013
First of all, I just can't believe how many fans. Great, most of all for those like me, who grew up so far away.

I remember the series being broadcast in my country, madly in love with both, I adore Doyle's curly hair, I think it was perfect for him. The clothes? maybe I would have changed his tight jeans but that's it. There is a look of his with a white jacket (or is it a knit vest?) with a blue shirt and he looks fantastic. Bodie? adorable, I wouldn't change anything.....except for that red shirt he used in one episode.

Love them cause they were part of my youth and of course there were other series at the time but The Pros got something (the camaraderie and friendship in spite of the difficulties of the daily work, no matter what, including some disagreements and hard facts, they will take care of each other).

Besides, the series resume the 70's in all of the senses (colors, style, etc).
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Greatest TV Show In History, Period !!!
CatoTSR222 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Superlative action TV show, possibly the greatest in television history: Absolute classic casting, producing the marriage of tumultuous great artistic talents, in utter sublime compatible and synchronistic performing genre's. This will never be repeated. The Johnson music score spells it out in abundance, one of the great notation scribes ever.Make no mistake every moment of your spare time watching this show is productive, period. Ideal training material, for turning young boys into real men. Jackson/Shaw/Collins oh my good lord, I have lived!!! Ford Capri 3.0 S/Escort RS 2000/Triumph TR7, to name but a few. The live set shooting of this celluloid masterpiece, was second to none and a shock to our mates over distant waters.The girls looked the business and the lads could get on with it. This was the last bastion of the stronghold of the non emasculated male. Oh please can we all return to normality and have our testosterone back? Does everything have to be so politically correct and hormonally oestrogenic. I think I better phone for C.I.5. ........da.da.da.!!!
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Classic Cop Show
The-Black-Knight3 September 2006
What a fantastic series, I was just about born when the series first aired and apart from the obvious cars and clothes looking dated the rest is surprisingly fresh. While it isn't very PC it is quite a hard series dealing with drugs, personal losses and the full spectrum of criminal activity. Bodie, Doyle and Crowley make a perfect team with plenty of one liners thrown around between them. The episodes are well constructed, interesting and well balanced. At present I am halfway through series 3 and enjoying it greatly.

Its far far better than the Bill and the only current TV series that comes close is life on mars, which obviously is at least part homage to the Professionals as well as Sweeney.

Good series, good plots and great acting.
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Underrated corker...
johngerardmatthew21 January 2014
People take the pi*s out of 'The Professionals', but it's by and large very good, especially the first series.

Someone above said Martin Shaw was so embarrassed by it all, he wouldn't allow repeats; not true. He wouldn't allow repeats because the repeat fee structure they were offered was rubbish. His position was "if you think you can make money out of repeating it, then the actors want a fair piece of that profit". Sensible and rational. The repeat fees were sorted, and it's now being repeated. The "embarrassment" story is sexier, but I'm afraid, not true.

You would never know the actors did not like one another throughout the whole of filming, though. They're both really good in this; the Doyle character with his muesli with natural yoghurt and honey (edgy stuff in '79), and Bodie with his bacon sandwiches. There's a blu-ray on the way shortly, and the sneak previews look terrific. The picture quality on the DVDs is poor, with the broadcast masters even worse, in the toilet...
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It was trash, but great trash!
richardjf15 October 2002
This programme is being repeated on New Zealand television right now. I remember watching it in the 1970s, when I was a kid. I loved it then and it's still good now.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't classic British television like "Upstairs Downstairs" or "Forsythe Saga". It's very straightforward. Good guys versus bad guys action. Strong jaw-lines and grim expressions (with a few throw-away lines thrown in). Scripts are direct with few twists, and not much thinking needed from the audience. But so well done!

I'd sit down and watch it any day.
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Better then what the critics say
m-ozfirat15 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw The Professionals on ITV4 and instantly was attracted to it with its catchy music and well thought out characters who are well cast by the Directors. The story has natural men with the casual but smart fashions of the late 70s fighting serious crime.

The two leads are Bodie and Doyle both of whom are suited to their jobs but are completely different and opposite characters. The music is good the story lines are full of action, fast iconic cars and are believable with themes of intrigue and vice that are themed deeply to the politics or social environment of that time making the series interesting as well as enjoyable.

My only complaint is the seasons could of been organised better and it went on for a little longer then what it actually should of done by which it was showing the programmes exhaustion. Though this series has in my view got unfair criticism for being traditional and politically incorrect this shows its accuracy compared to the cheesy and overrated Starsky and Hutch which in my view is wooden and shallow. The Professionals was called the Starsky and Hutch of the UK but realistically and with dignity Starsky and Hutch should of been The Professionals of America.
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Dated now but fun
TurboarrowIII6 December 2015
Watching The Professionals now it comes across as a bit dated but I still find it fun.

Collins and Shaw as Bodie and Doyle are great although sometimes their scenes together can appear a bit camp, especially the comic ones. They respect and trust each other as partners but there is sometimes an edge to their friendship as apparently there was in real life too.

Jackson is good too as their tough boss who realises that he can rely totally on Bodie and Doyle although he sometimes has a hard time keeping them in line.

I love the cars which get thrashed a lot. Particularly the Capri 3 litre S, Escort RS2000 and Granada 2.8 Ghia. Too many modern cars look the same and don't have the exciting looks that many cars had back then. The way they thrashed them must have meant they needed a lot of maintenance !.

Overall a very enjoyable series, which although it looks dated now, still has enough action and excitement to be worth seeing.
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Dempsey and Makepeace meets The Sweeny -- Vintage 1977!
alxfyv31 January 2013
This is a 'rootin - tootin," shoot-em-up, no holds barred, action filled cops and robbers show, with the occasional touch of male chauvinism and with vintage 1977 class. It's Dempsdy and Makepeace meets John Thaw's The Sweeny done with panache and verve. It's notable for the presence of a very young Martin Shaw who, in his 50's, went on to play the erudite, gentleman detective Inspector George Gently. The show's appeal and popularity are attested to by the fact that it ran five seasons.

CI5 (Criminal Investigations 5) is a specially formed police group tasked to tackle those criminal enterprises that prove beyond the reach of New Scotland Yard and the Special Operations Branch. Its commander George Cowley (played by Gordon Jackson) and its two chief operatives Doyle (played by Martin Shaw) and Bodie (played by Lewis Collins) comprise the staple team that undertakes a range of special police assignments under a broad mandate and with sometimes less than scrupulous observance of the niceties of British Due Process but always focused on defeating the criminals others can't touch and achieving justice. Cowley barks orders and runs interference with the lordly, upper political classes embarrassed by the teams non-gentile methods. Doyle and Brodie provide the muscle and street smarts brought to bear on the situation at hand.

This format effectively sustained the series during its five season run from 1977 to 1982. It's a great piece of police action drama that aficionados of the genre should not miss.
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1970's television - the best
debbiecurtis16 October 2012
This has got to be one of the most popular hardman TV shows ever - it ran from 1977-83 on UK TV.Lewis Collins And Martin Shaw were superb in this - great action scenes and car chases in Ford cars - the show was known for the Capri - The theme music became a hit - by Laurie Johnson and the titles are one of the most memorable in history with the Granada smashing through the glass. Bodie and Doyle were easy on the eye and massive icons at the time - the first series was filmed in and around Buckinghamshire - Close quarters on the Thames at Boulters Lock and Maidenhead - Classic TV of the time - lots of beige ! And the best bit is that it was before we all became PC correct and health and Safety obsessed - if you have not seen this show go and buy it on DVD .
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