Professionals, The (ITV 1977-1983 with Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw)

UK / ITV – London Weekend Television – Avengers – Mark One / 57×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 30 December 1977 – 6 February 1982

Creator: Brian Clemens / Music: Laurie Johnson / Executive Producers: Brian Clemens, Albert Fennell / Producers: Sidney Hayers, Raymond Menmuir / Stunt arranger: Frank Henson

Opening narration: “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”. – George Cowley.

This crime drama series told the usually violent exploits of Bodie and Doyle, two members of CI5, (The CI 5 initials stood for Criminal Intelligence Five), a special government agency set up to combat crime at the highest level.

The series would have been no doubt quite different if original leads Jon Finch and Anthony Andrews had appeared in the lead roles. Finch (in the Doyle role) signed and then decided against appearing in the series whilst Andrews (as Bodie) actually began filming on a few of the early episodes but it was clear that his Bodie was too similar to Doyle.

CI5: The New Professionals was a lacklustre reboot by David Wickes Television for Sky TV. Edward Woodward took the lead a Harry Malone and there was at least a nod to modernism with a female agent by the name of Tina Backus (played by Lexa Doig). An episode from season one The Klansman was never transmitted in the UK at the time.

Gordon Jackson as George Cowley
Lewis Collins as Bodie
Martin Shaw as Doyle