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The Professionals: Series 1 [DVD]
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The complete first season of the classic 1970s crime series. Bodie (Lewis Collins) and Doyle (Martin Shaw) are two elite officers in the secretive CI5 service, a unit staffed by expert policemen, soldiers and special forces to combat anarchy, terrorism and high-profile crime. In this series, a terrorist threatens to contaminate London's water supply, Bodie and Doyle masquerade as the bodyguards of a kidnap victim, and some former colleagues from Bodie's mercenary days arrive in London to pull off a daring bank robbery. Episodes are: 'Private Madness, Public Danger', 'The Female Factor', 'Old Dog With New Tricks', 'Killer With a Long Arm', 'Heroes', 'Where the Jungle Ends', 'Close Quarters', 'Everest Was Also Conquered', 'When the Heat Cools Off', 'Stakeout', 'Long Shot', 'Look After Annie', 'Klansmen' and 'Rogue'.
An instant hit in 1977, The Professionals was a fast-moving and occasionally sharp-shooting action series about a couple of cool dudes in a fictional secret service organisation, CI5. The creation of Avengers veterans Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell it was often gritty stuff, leavened by the mildly subversive attitudes of Bodie (Lewis Collins) and Doyle (Martin Shaw) who ultimately are always loyal to their gruff boss George Cowley (Gordon Jackson). Helped by witty, if rampantly sexist, dialogue and trousers of sterility defying tightness, Bodie and Doyle enjoyed a good run as 1970s sex symbols. Jacksons often exasperated Cowley kept them in line with just the right degree of Puritanical steel.
The first series set the standard for five successful years, milking the dramatic potential of a rich gamut of scenarios, from international espionage to racism and religious evangelism; Bodie and Doyle usually being called upon to protect a controversial figure from the assassin's bullet. Shaw would later dismiss The Professionals for its stereotypical violence and for a long time refused to allow reruns. In fact, as cult television goes, it has weathered well. Many of its themes are as relevant today as they were then. The constantly elliptical script ("I want you to see that he's well taken care of") is tremendous fun. And despite the macho drive, the whole thing has a camp archness which betrays its Avengers pedigree. Great for a nostalgic wallow.
On the DVD: The Professionals on disc still displays the slightly ropey quality of late 1970s television film complete with brassy soundtrack. Presented in 4:3 format, the original production values disconcertingly recreate the original post-homework viewing experience. But the DVD extras are the thing here. Interactive menus allow you to drill down into the history of each of the 14 episodes, cross-referencing guest stars. And there's an appropriately camp fashion note.--Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
A terrific action-packed police series from the UK, but only available in Region 2 encoding, so you will need a multi-region DVD player to watch them. Hopefully, a DVD collection will be available in Region 1 encoding for us here in the USA. Check [...] for ordering if interested.
Although the series was criticized for being too violent and somewhat sexist upon its release, The Professionals is both a gritty, tense, and realistic crime series. These episodes are a refreshing antidote to the politically-correct police dramas that poliferate today's cable and regular broadcast networks with cops that are apparently more comfortable in the laboratory than fighting the bad guys.
Ex-soldier Bodie and former street cop Doyle (Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw), are the agents for CI5 with Scotsman George Cowley (Gordon Jackson)as their no-nonsense boss. All three characters are unconventional, tough, and uncompromising foes of international crime, corruption, terrorism and anarchy. Seriously, this is an enjoyable and entertaining crime drama--the action simply does not let up.
The interplay and the banter between the three characters is excellent and, at times, very amusing. Bodie and Doyle are a couple of wiseasses who often take the law into their own hands and require Cowley keep them in line. The scripts and the stories around are interesting and hardly feel dated at all.
The transfers in this set are uncut and digtially remastered and look reasonably good for their age (circa 1977-80).
The series is an unconventional and refreshing combination of action and drama a la "Starsky and Hutch" and "Lethal Weapon." Exciting viewing all the same..Enjoy!
There is little doubt in my mind that The Professionals should be regarded as a classic example of the television art form. Whilst it could be argued that the characterisation of the central characters (particularly the pseudo-gay relationship of Bodie and Doyle) is sadly neglected, it is done so for one very deliberate, very worthwhile reason – to keep the tempo of the stories as pacy and punchy as possible. CI 5, at the end of the day, is not a place for sensitive characters of an indecisive disposition. It is an organisation designed to combat the most ingenious plots aimed at toppling civilised society, and as such it needs men who don’t consider there lives of great importance. This is not to say that the characters do not generate pathos. Indeed, the very fact that the programme rejects all the pretentious trimmings of most other dramas adds to the characters’ charms.Read more ›
We had many fantastic evenings of nostalgia as up to 8 family members/friends wanted to be present for each evening we were watching the men from CI5.
There always could have been more in the special features, but they were OK. I spent my Saturday nights when younger religiously watching the Professionals, and now I can do it again. I ordered this item all the way from Australia as the version released here had only 4 episodes and I am extremely glad I did.
The screen tension between Bodie(Lewis Collins) and Doyle (Martin Shaw) crackles delightfully after all these years and Cowley (Gordon Jackson) is just the same as I remember him. The human side keeps trying break through and occasionally looks like it might succeed. The lovely window sticker was delightfully surprising touch.
I have just gone ahead and ordered Season 2 and look forward to much more action!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Episode 5 Heroes, filmed in Benskins Brewery in Watford, just before it was demolished. Fond memories of working there.
Blast from the past.
Very good import which includes the episode Klansmen never shown on British television a must for followers of the Professionals.Published 9 months ago by Swanny
Brilliant DVD. Really enjoying it. Will be ordering season 2 shortly.Published 12 months ago by M Youll
Fantastic. Great price, prompt delivery, brilliant seller.Published 18 months ago by Mrs Westerfield