The Protectors

The Protectors

:"This article is about the 1972-1974 ITC series. For the 1969-1970 NBC series that was part of "The Bold Ones", please see ."Infobox television
show_name = The Protectors

caption = North American DVD release, First Season
format = Action Adventure
runtime = 25 minutes
creator = Gerry Anderson
starring = Robert Vaughn
Nyree Dawn Porter
Tony Anholt
country = UK
network = ITV
first_aired = July 7, 1972
last_aired = February 1, 1974
num_episodes = 52 (list of episodes)

"The Protectors" was a British television series, an action thriller created by Gerry Anderson - his second TV series using live actors as opposed to animated puppets. It is also, to date, the only Gerry Anderson-produced television series that was not of the fantasy or science fiction genres. It was produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment production company. According to Anderson, the show's format was outlined in a brief note that Grade gave him, and he was then given a free hand to develop it, although Grade ultimately cast two of the main actors himself.__TOC__"The Protectors" first aired in 1972 and 1973, and ran to 52 episodes over two series, each 25 minutes long - making it one of the last series of this type to be produced in a half-hour format. It starred Robert Vaughn ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") as Harry Rule, Nyree Dawn Porter ("The Forsyte Saga") as the Contessa Caroline di Contini, and Tony Anholt ("", "Howard's Way") as Paul Buchet. The show is currently repeated in the UK on ITV4.

The three were international private detectives/troubleshooters who belonged to an organization called The Protectors. The format of the series allowed for occasional episodes in which not all of the main actors appear, including at least one episode in which Vaughn's character is absent. For reasons not explained in the show, these characters were all very wealthy and drove exotic cars of the era, like the Citroën SM and Jensen Interceptor.

The theme tune for the series, "Avenues And Alleyways", was a minor hit for Tony Christie (and was later successfully revived by Christie in the 2000s thanks in part to its use in the soundtrack to the film "Love, Honour and Obey"). Episodes often featured prominent guest actors. Like "The Persuaders!", a similar series also produced by ITC, that aired around the same time, "The Protectors" was shot on location at numerous "exotic" locations throughout Europe, such as Salzburg, Rome and Paris, giving the series a sixties "jet set" feel (it was also the first Anderson production to have such a luxury). Some critics feel that the series has dated badly, with weak plots used as an excuse to string together the location footage. In order to offset the cost of location filming, and also perhaps because the equipment was more portable, the series was shot on 16mm film rather than the usual 35.

According to Robert Vaughn's autobiography, there were numerous problems between the actor and both Grade and Anderson. Anderson has claimed that Vaughn acted like a Hollywood prima donna and refused to get on with the other actors.Fact|date=February 2007 Vaughn claims that he felt the series was "tasteless junk", and that he couldn't understand the scripts either before or during shooting. Vaughn was given the opportunity to direct one episode himself - #23 in production order, "It Could Be Practically Anywhere on the Island". Grade called it the worst episode he'd ever seen of anything.Fact|date=February 2007

Despite not featuring puppets or any real science fiction elements, "The Protectors" became one of Anderson's most popular productions, easily winning a renewal for a second season, and a third was in the planning stages when the show's major sponsor pulled out, forcing its cancellation.

The series was made available on a region 2 DVD in 2003, and a North American DVD release of the first season occurred in September 2003 followed by the second season in May 2004.In Germany this TV-Series was known as "Kein Pardon für Schutzengel" and in France as "Poigne de fer et séduction"


External links

* [ FANDERSON] The official Gerry Anderson appreciation society site.

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