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Title

RECALL THE PROS

Source

The Evening Post (New Zealand)

Date

5 April 1999

Author(s)

Sarah DANIELL

Spotted by

Jill Woolfenden

Recall the Pros

TOUGH guys. They don't make 'em like they used to. Take CI5 - The Professionals (TV3, Tuesday, 8.30).

The signature tune comes on, the familiar "Wa Wa pedal" a 70s overture to the boys'-own action we know and love. Then, wait a minute! Who are those guys? Over there - those two in the designer camouflage gear mincing through the jungle with all the authority of a couple of public school boys who've run away on mid-term break. And look - they have strategically placed black smears over their faces so it looks as though they really have been in a plane crash/wrestle with a terrorist/safari shoot out. Welcome to the world of CI5 - The Amateurs. How does it differ from the original (starring the enigmatic trio Bodie, Doyle and Cowley)? Let me count the ways.

First, where the original was an action-adventure with its tongue firmly in its cheek, this one is a comedy.

Suave agents Sam (Colin Wells) and Chris (Kal Weber) are joined by CI5 boss Harry (Edwood Woodwood) and Miss Backus (Lexa Doig), all who manage to overcome one of the most common traps in comedy - they don't laugh at their own lines.

And, God knows, that must be hard sometimes. In fact Miss Backus manages to remain expressionless throughout the entire programme. Sometimes you wonder if, in fact, she has a pulse. Then out comes a line. "Where do you think the boys are, Harry?" And get Woodwood He is so unruffled, he makes the Thunderbirds look like John Campbell. He barely moves his stiff upper lip. That's clever, when you're doing comedy. He says things like: "This makes no sense at all." Who would take a role like this? Edwood Woodwood would, because he gives the show a bit of toff Brit cred.

The second difference lies with the unlikely lads themselves. When they escape from a plane crash/wrestle with a terrorist/safari shoot out, barely a bead of sweat defiles their Ralph Lauren, crisp-linen demeanour. Where Bodie and Doyle sauntered on to the small screen with the casual, scruffy cool of a couple of bad boys, Sam and Chris look as though they've been torn from the glossy pages of a Calvin Klein underpants ad. They are so squeaky clean you could almost see right through them. Which is fortunate, as a degree of invisibility comes in handy when you're a secret agent.

The third anomaly is the "I" in CI5 stands for intelligence. Now, when these boys get into sticky situations, intelligence is the one thing they are obviously lacking. They might have the Uzis, but they don't have what Bodie and Doyle, for all their outdated macho-ness, oozed - charisma, talent and sex appeal.

(c) The Evening Post, INL 1999.
THE EVENING POST (NEW ZEALAND) 05/04/1999 P2

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