The Protectors - Series 1 Vol. 2 - Episodes 9-16 [DVD] 
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Episodes 9 to 16 from the 1970s TV series following the exploits of crimefighters Harry Rule, Paul Bouchet and Countess Caroline di Contini. In 'One and One Makes One' the Protectors come up against some duplicitious thinking when they agree to rescue an imprisoned Canadian agent. 'See No Evil' has the team get involved in a blackmail case. 'Balance of Terror' sees Harry, Paul and the Contessa struggle to save London from the devastation of biological warfare. 'King Con' finds our heroes involved in a con game as they attempt to retrieve an expensive antique. In 'The Big Hit' Paul and the Contessa narrowly escape assassination attempts and try to warn Harry that he is probably next. 'Thinkback' has Harry and the Contessa involved in a suspicious car crash. 'The First Circle' sees a Vietnam veteran come to the team for help. Finally, 'Chase' finds Harry running for his life when a blackmail investigation turns sour.
Another series from Lew Grade's ITC stable, The Protectors attracted high ratings on both sides of the Atlantic when screened during 1971-3. Combining the high-tech ingenuity of Mission: Impossible with the glamour of The Champions, the basic premise of jet-setting special agents going where governments fear to tread is typical of its era. As Harry Rule, Robert Vaughn develops the thinking man of action persona he perfected in The Man from U.N.C.L.E, complemented by Nyree Dawn Porter's stylish Contessa di Contini. The underrated Tony Anholt makes the most of his Mediterranean good looks as Paul Buchet.
Ten episodes are included here, all following a well-honed formula of intrigue and strategy, but with enough variety in scenario and setting--a range of European cities and resorts--to offset routine. Look out for a host of soon-to-be-familiar faces. There's also Tony Christie's full-throated rendition of the "Avenues and Alleyways" theme to round off each episode.
On the DVD: The Protectors on disc comes in a full-screen format that reproduces excellently for its age (Lew Grade's productions always seem to last well). Each episode is divided into four chapter headings, with English subtitles available. A detailed biography of Vaughn is included along with a gallery of captioned stills, some of which are curiously reproduced in black-and-white. Taken with a healthy dose of nostalgia, entertainment is assured. --Richard Whitehouse
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