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The Professionals

Grudge Match
Episode Guide
Meet The Capri
Agent Profiles




Hi, Welcome to the site!
Hi, and thanks for visiting my site. I'm Baz, and I'm 26. I wasn't even around when the show was first shown, and i can only vaguely remember the repeats, but I got into the show in 2000 when flicking around one day I came across it, and I was hooked instantly.

There are far better sites than this, but I felt I had to add my little tribute to this great show! So read on and enjoy

Also I think I should thank all the people who've helped me to build this site, so thanks go to Sharon Brondos, Ellie Carley, James Holohan, Chris Tester, Chris Stott, and of course, Lewis Collins, Martin Shaw, Gordon Jackson and everyone involved in the making of The Professionals!

I'd also like to thank everyone who's visited the site, and for the messages of support. The site has been going for nearly 6 years, and it's mostly down to the people surfing in that's kept it going. Thanks very much!

Very sad to hear the passing of Lewis Collins. RIP Lew, you were great.

For a good laugh, click below to hear the famous wakka-wakka theme tune.

Big guns, a Ford Capri screeching around a corner, mullets and dodgy perms. It can only be The Professionals. Ask anyone about The Professionals, and they will say either the car, the theme tune (written by Laurie Johnson, and considered one of the best theme tunes of all time) or Bodie and Doyle are the things that they remember.

The Professionals was a spy/action show created in 1977 by a writer and producer named Brian Clemens. The show followed the adventures of a secret service called CI5-Criminal Intelligence 5, headed by it's gruff boss, George Cowley, played by Scotsman Gordon Jackson and his two best agents Ray Doyle played by Martin Shaw and William Bodie played by Lewis Collins. It was made as a rival to The Sweeney, but was more in line with Starsky and Hutch. It was a follow up to The New Avengers which was also created by Clemens.

Each week, The Professionals would dish out punishments to terrorists, mad bombers, spies, racial groups, international hitmen and other assorted bad guys.

The show was often criticised for being too violent and looking at it nowadays, there's no way a show like this would be allowed to be made today. For the time, the late 70's and early 80's, it was a show obsessed with international terrorism and espionage and was in many ways a forerunner to US spy show 24, which came 20 years later.

The writing for the series started in early 1977, after The New Avengers had been finished, but actual casting and locations didn't begin until around April or May. Originally, Clemens wanted Clive Revill for the role of Cowley, and Jon Finch as Doyle. After Finch said he didn't want the part, Clemens approached Martin Shaw instead who reluctantly agreed to be cast. Clemens wanted the leads to have an abrasive partnership, hence Bodie and Doyle were polar opposites. Bodie being a hardman ex-SAS officer and Doyle being a gentler ex London copper. Originally Bodie was played by Anthony Andrews (yep, the guy out of Brideshead Revisited. I can just see Bodie holding a gun in one hand and a teddy bear in the other ;) ) but after a couple of days of filming on the first episode, Clemens realised that because Andrews and Shaw were friends offscreen, they didn't have the right chemistry and decided that Andrews had to go. Someone to play Bodie was needed very quickly, so Clemens hired an actor who had been signed for a small part in the first episode. Lewis Collins stepped into the breach initially to Martin Shaw's horror! The two had appeared in an ep of The New Avengers, and supposedly hadn't got on very well, which ironically was just what Clemens was looking for. Looking back, no-one but Lew and Shaw could have played these two. The series snowballed from here, becoming extremely popular in a short space of time. The good stories and strong acting made it for a time the most popular show on UK TV, and made the stars household names.

However, The Professionals was now without controversy.... The series was seen as being extremely politically incorrect, which was one of the things that made it so much fun! Women had a VERY secondary role even to the lesser characters in the show, and there was also quite a lot of sterotypical attitudes to ethnic minoroties in some episodes.

But this didn't stop it from being a very popular show even today. At it's height, 18 million people tuned in to watch it!

The Professionals began it's run on 30th December 1977 on ITV. It was shown at 9pm on a Friday night, then moved to Saturday and Sunday nights. There were 57 episodes in all, with many different plots and all the episodes were action packed. One episode was so controversial that it was banned and has never been shown on UK TV, but has been seen in other countries. The episode was called Klansmen, and it dealt with racism and the Ku Klux Klan.

The show ended on 6 February 1983. ITV made a follow up called Dempsey and Makepeace, but it wasn't a patch on The Professionals and only lasted from 1985 to '86. The Professionals was repeated until 1988 but Martin Shaw, who was always unhappy with the series refused to re-sign the repeats licence and it hasn't been seen on terrestrial TV since. The Professionals has been seen around the world, and is still very popular. In the UK, although repeats have not been seen for 15 years on terrestrial TV, the cable channel Granada Plus has been showing the series twice a year, but with edited episodes!!

In the late 90's a revival of the show called The New Professionals began airing on Sky 1. I tuned in because I'd heard about the original show and although hadn't seen it (at that point) decided to check the new one out.

For my views on the new show check the commentary page.

On this site you will find an introduction to the show, an episode guide with my comments on each episode, a feature on the Ford Capri-which was inseperable from the series, general rants and comments, and a profile on each of the three main characters

You've read the webpage. Want to see the Youtube channel?

Collector's Corner
If you want to collect the items connected to the show, you're best off looking on ebay but be ready to shell out a LOT of cash. The original Ford Capri and figures set could set you back a minimum of a 100 quid! Same deal with the crimebuster and scalextric sets. The books and annuals are fairly easy to find though. Also, both Lewis and Martin released a single. Lewis's is called When You Come Home Again and Martin's is called Cross My Heart And Hope To Die. I've heard both and they're both......interesting!!!!! Fortunately neither Lew or Martin are in the William Shatner grade of singing, so earmuffs are not required ;).

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The Professionals is  Brian Clemens and LWT.
This site is owned and maintained by Baz Taylor. It's not for profit and in no way is it supposed to cash in on The Professionals' success.
However if you want to use anything from the site please email me at the email address above and ask. 
2003 - 2012 by Baz Taylor.