Perhaps the most easily parodied action series of its era, The Professionals was the one about the gruff but fatherly counter-terrorist top cop Cowley (Gordon Jackson) and his favourite surrogate sons, the curly haired ex-copper Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw) and taciturn-but-pouting ex-mercenary William Bodie (Lewis Collins). As set out by series creator Brian Clemens (veteran of the more fantastical Avengers), their job was to stop threats to the government, visiting dignitaries or the general public "by any means necessary". What this boiled down to was dashing about, leaping out of cars, getting into thump-happy fistfights, leering at every "bird" who passed by as if they were trying to prove something, wearing eye-abusing late-70s leisure wear well beyond the sell-by date, potting baddies with guns hauled out of their smart shoulder holsters, and occasionally choking back manly tears when another of the trio was wounded.
All three leads were professionals of another stripe--the sort of actors who could soar with a good script and do their best to sell a weak one--and they were generally set against a parade of top-flight British character acting talent along with sundry sit-com/pin-up refugee disposable girlfriends and suspects. One strange, if understandable, element of the premise is that CI5 tackle all manner of Greek, Middle Eastern, Soviet and radical nutcase groups--with the odd racist Klansman, corrupt civil servant and dubious big business tycoon thrown in to prove they're not fascists--but almost never have anything to do with the Irish terrorist groups who were the main focus of the organisation's real-life counterparts from 1977 to 1983. --Kim Newman
All 57 episodes of the popular police action series that spanned 4 series. Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw star as Bodie and Doyle, the hard-as-nails CI5 agents battling against crime and evil, whilst Gordon Jackson plays their hard-nosed boss, Cowley, directing them through the underbelly of criminal espionage. In 'Old Dog with New Tricks' the brother of an imprisoned gangland leader decides to bargain for his sibling's release by kidnapping the Home Secretary. 'Long Shot' sees Bodie and Doyle protecting the members of an anti-terrorist conference from assassination threats. 'Where the Jungle Ends' has Bodie's ex-army buddies trying to exploit their experience on the open market. 'Killer with a Long Arm' finds CI5 investigating a planned assassination without knowing the identity of either the assassin or the target. In 'Heroes' a visiting American politician is the subject of an assassination attempt, and when the press leak the names of the witnesses, CI5 must act to protect them and catch the killer. 'Private Madness, Public Danger' has a chemist threatening to poison London's water supplies. 'The Female Factor' sees a female agent from the Eastern Bloc used to extort secrets from a future Prime Minister - until the agent's mother informs Bodie and Doyle. 'Everest was Also Conquered' finds Bodie and Doyle reopening an old case after a deathbed confession leads to the murder of the police officers originally involved. In 'Close Quarters' Bodie captures a terrorist and then finds himself and his girlfriend pursued by the terrorist's colleagues. 'Look After Annie' sees Bodie and Doyle assigned to protect a visiting left-wing radical. 'When the Heat Cools Off' has Doyle wooed by a young woman into re-opening an old case that put her father in jail. 'Stakeout' finds Bodie and Doyle investigating a case of plutonium poisoning. 'Klansmen' (an episode never aired on ITV due to its controversial content) sees CI5 investigate a faction of the Ku Klux Klan. In 'Rogue' Cowley is hospitalised by a rogue CI5 agent. In 'Man Without a Past' a bomb explodes near the restaurant table where Bodie and his girlfriend are dining, leaving the girlfriend injured and the CI5 agent determined to discover who targeted them and why. 'Hunter/Hunted' sees Doyle's life placed in danger by a stolen hi-tech rifle he was supposed to have been safeguarding. 'The Rack' finds CI5 in danger of being disbanded when a prisoner dies in custody. 'First Night' has CI5 try to track down a kidnapped Israeli politician. 'A Stirring of Dust' concerns a traitor's unexpected return to England. 'In the Public Interest' centres on a new clampdown on crime which threatens to become unlawful in itself. 'Servant of Two Masters' sees Cowley coming under suspicion of selling nerve gas. 'Backtrack' finds CI5 on the case when a burglar with vital information relating to a cache of arms is murdered. 'Not a Very Civil Servant' has CI5 suspect serious corruption when the trial of a very dodgy building company has an extraordinary ending. 'Stopover' sees Bodie and Doyle attempt to stay one step ahead of a hitman whose target, a defector, is under their protection. 'Fall Girl' finds Bodie on the run from MI6 and CI5 when a jealous husband fits him up. 'Runner' has Bodie and Doyle attempt to prevent gang warfare in London's criminal underworld. 'Blind Run' sees Bodie and Doyle assigned to protect a visiting foreign official from assassins. In 'The Madness of Mickey Hamilton' Bodie and Doyle investigate the assassination of a foreign ambassador outside a hospital. In 'A Hiding to Nothing' CI5 investigate a security leak. 'Dead Reckoning' has Bodie and Doyle suspect a woman of assassinating her spy father. 'Mixed Doubles' sees the duo being trained up to prevent an assassination. 'Need to Know' finds Cowley implicated when an old friend is identified as a double agent. In 'The Purging of CI5' CI5 is targeted for a series of assassinations. 'Fugitive' has CI5 attempt to track down the terrorists responsible for the death of a CIA agent. 'The Acorn Syndrome' sees an engineer betray vital government secrets when his daughter is kidnapped by enemy agents. 'Slush Fund' finds the CI5 duo on the trail of an arrested assassin's intended target. In 'Weekend in the Country' Bodie and Doyle are held captive with their girlfriends in an old farmhouse. 'Takeaway' has the CI5 team join forces with their Hong Kong counterparts in order to crack a Triad drug-running ring. 'Involvement' sees Doyle's lady suspected of drug smuggling. In 'The Gun' two young boys discover a gun abandoned by a drugs pusher. 'Wild Justice' finds Bodie obsessed by a motorbike gang. 'Blackout' concerns a young girl, the only witness to a terrorist attack, who is suffering from amnesia. In 'It's Only a Beautiful Picture' Doyle goes back into police uniform in order to investigate the theft of industrial secrets. 'Blood Sports' sees Bodie and Doyle on the case after an assassin strikes during a polo game. 'Hijack' finds CI5 investigating the hijacking of a bullion shipment. 'You'll Be Alright' has Bodie and Doyle struggling to protect a criminal's family when the criminal in question promises to give himself him up. In 'Kickback' Bodie tries to fake an assassination. 'Discovered in a Graveyard' sees an injured Doyle trapped in a hallucinatory dream-world. 'Foxhole on the Roof' finds CI5 on the job when a sniper holds a hospital to ransom. 'Operation Susie' has CI5 investigate the murder of a drug-dealing student radical. 'The Ojuka Situation' sees Bodie and Doyle become involved when a deposed African dictator tries to regain control of his country. In 'The Untouchables' Bodie is offered the chance to sell CI5 secrets in exchange for having his gambling debts erased. 'Cry Wolf' finds Bodie and Doyle dealing with the case of a woman who is being harassed by a mystery figure. 'A Man Called Quinn' has an ex-government agent escape from the mental hospital where he was deposited after experiencing extensive torture at the hands of the Soviets. 'Lawson's Last Stand' sees Bodie and Doyle on the trail of a high-ranking army man who has disappeared with some vital NATO secrets. 'No Stone' finds CI5 called in to deal with a woman who is waging a personal war against the British justice system. Finally, in 'Spy Probe', Bodie and Doyle intervene when an unknown group start assassinating retired spies.
Every episode ever shown on tv over 4 series on DVD.