The Professionals has a gritty, streetwise style, strong plots and scripts and excellent acting. Out of the episodes made between 1977 and 1981, there is hardly a bad one: the quality spoke for itself.
Many episodes see what feels like two hours' worth of storyline packed tightly and competently into the single hour. The editing, photography, direction, stunts and score stand comparison today. The ingredients endeared the series to its many fans, probably attracting viewers from outside its target market. It was an example of how we could have it all - and its longevity was not down to luck alone.
It is even credited for the long production life of the Ford Capri sports car, driven by the two main agents in the series, Bodie (Lewis Collins) and Doyle (Martin Shaw). The rapport between the two actors is superb and at no times are their performances unrealistic.
The series sees a fictional unit, CI5, which is not answerable to any one ministry. Its controller Major George Cowley (Gordon Jackson), commands loyalty and respect amongst his men, and would fight to the ends on their behalf. His access to the highest levels within Westminster is without doubt. Bodie, ex-SIS, and Doyle, formerly with the police, are faced with perilous situations against terrorists, spies, and traitors. Thanks to their specialist skills and attitude, they cope well in any situation.
The Professionals is still a demonstration of British television at its best.