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Title

UK: RETURN OF THE PROFESSIONALS.

Source

THE WEST BRITON

Date

30 September 1999

Author(s)

Unknown

Spotted by

Jill Woolfenden

Return of the Professionals

CI5: The New Professionals Sky One, Sundays WHEN ITV declined to broadcast this re-make of a 1970s' favourite action series this autumn I assumed it was because the network's chiefs arrogantly believed it wasn't suitable for today's much more discerning audiences. However, I have to admit that, in honesty, it's just too old fashioned. The only thing really "new" about it are the three actors who have replaced the originals - Edward Woodward, Kal Weber and Colin Wells for Gordon Jackson, Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw. Even then, Weber and Wells play the same sort of characters - one deep and caring, the other shallow and impulsive.

The music's the same as is the opening - a car smashing through a plate glass window - and the scripting, lighting and direction is barely different from 20 years ago, despite the advances in film-making techniques. It's updated in that the original and fictional British-based quasi-police/military unit, CI5, now operates internationally which was  presumably intended to boost sales of the series abroad, and a fourth member of the team, Lexus Doig, has been brought in for a bit of female equality. While it's debatable whether a mass ITV audience would have tuned into this at prime time, many satellite viewers probably will.
Like the original, it's extremely well-made technically (even if the script and story of the opening episode was old hat) and it's pure escapist nonsense, especially if you play the nostalgia card.

(c) The West Briton, 1999.
THE WEST BRITON, TRURO 30/09/1999

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