The New Professionals:
Back to Business
of the most popular shows of the late
'70s and early '80s was The Professionals,
a British action series as slick as those
made in the US, taking over from where
Starsky and Hutch ended and giving way
to the likes of Miami Vice.
starred Gordon Jackson, who came to prominence
on TV in Upstairs Downstairs and who was
well known in Australia for A Town Like
Alice. He played George Cowley, no-nonsense
founder of CI5, a semi-official, top secret
anti-terrorist organisation. The action
centred on Cowley's two best operatives,
Bodie and Doyle, whose ruthless style
led to widespread public criticism that
the series was too violent. For its time,
it was fairly tough although, these days,
it would pass without notice.
- The New Professionals is a carbon copy
with Edward Woodward (The Equalizer) in
the Jackson role as Harry Malone, an admirer
of Cowley to the extent that he has his
photograph on the wall and lives to his
motto about "keeping England safe and
smelling, if ever so faintly, of roses
two main men are Sam Curtis (Colin Wells),
a former British secret service agent,
and Chris Keel (Kal Weber), who left the
US Navy Seals to join CI5. In keeping
with the times, they now also have a female
partner, Tina Backus (Lexa Doig).
the old days, it was the Soviets who always
provided the threat. These days, trouble
can come from anywhere, the opening episode
being about a Bulgarian-led plot to blow
up international heads of government gathered
to sign an anti-terrorist treaty.
It's full of car chases, explosions and
rule Britannia sentiment but the smell,
rather than of roses, is that of an old
formula gone slightly stale.
(C) 1999 Herald and Weekly Times Limited.
HERALD SUN 01/10/1999 P111