Protectors, The. ITC 1972-74

The early seventies, and ITC were beginning to loose their magic touch for producing classic TV series. This series had most of the needed elements, a good cast, glossy production values, good writing, from the likes of Brian Clemens, Ralph Smart, Dennis Spooner, Terry Nation to name just a few, but the series ended up as just another crime show. The series was produced by Gerry Anderson, best known for his Supermarionation series, and is very much a let down compared against his other shows. It is just fairly run of the mill, it has none of the usual Anderson trade marks, no science fiction elements, virtually no spy or detective type gadgets.

Still fresh from his role as Napoleon Solo, in the Man from U.N.C.L.E., Robert Vaughn was the star of this British made action series. He played the head of an international detective agency, Harry Rule, who ran the organisation from his ultra modern apartment in London. The series also starred Nyree Dawn Porter as the Contessa di Contini, with Tony Anholt as Paul Buchet. These three agents were supposedly the crème de la crème of private investigators, they would tackle any assignment, no problem was too great. These cases ranged from drug dealers, kidnappings, blackmail and all the standard international intrigue type storylines.

The series suffered partly from its format; the series was half hour episodes, when most series of this type adopted the longer hour format. This shorter format allowed less time for character and story development, which didn’t affect previous Anderson series, but then again, most of these had more simplistic plots, and more exciting gadgetry to fall back upon. The series still managed to survive for two seasons of twenty-six episodes, a total fifty-two episodes in all. It was not commercially successful when it came to merchandising, with very few officially released products, it did however have a great theme song.