The BEST Episodes of The Professionals

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2019

Network: ITV1

The Professionals (1977 - 1983) - "Anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public. To combat it I've got special men - experts from the Army, the Police - from every service. These are The Professionals." - George Cowley. The Professionals was one of British television's most popular and successful action series of the 1970s and 80s. At their peak in 1980 The Pros were earning as many as 17.6 million viewers. The Professionals began life in early 1977, provisionally titled The A-Squad, in an idea conceived by Brian Clemens, the then head of the independent TV company Avengers Mark I Productions. His aim was to create a rival for Thames television's hugely successful long-running police series The Sweeney. Bodie, Doyle and Cowley could have looked very different to how we remember them as. A number of very different actors were considered for the three central roles, with neither of the final chosen team being the original choices. The final three were more or less drafted in when the first choice stars either declined or were axed. Gordon Jackson (formerly the distinctly unmenacing Butler Hudson in Upstairs Downstairs) and Martin Shaw (whose first TV appearance was as a hippie in 1960s Coronation Street) were first to be cast. During the filming of the first episode, Old Dog with New Tricks Bodie was in fact played by Anthony Andrews. Unfortunately, old mates Shaw and Andrews spent much of the time cracking up with laughter - hardly a recipe for ensuring the renowned edgy banter between the two leads. Lewis Collins (best known by this time as Gavin Rumsey in comedy series The Cuckoo Waltz) was brought in to play Bodie, with Andrews being given the heave-ho. Collins and Shaw had previously worked together just months earlier in an episode of The New Avengers, and were cast alongside each other again thanks to the 'sparky, abrasive' on-screen partnership that they generated. In other words, they didn't particularly like each other! But with the central cast c

In the Public Interest

#1 - In the Public Interest

Season 2 - Episode 5

A virtual police state has been imposed by a local Chief Constable, resulting in a supposedly almost crime-free city. But that is because all the crime is taking place behind the scenes by the police officers themselves - who will think of nothing of imposing on suspects' rights in their pursuit of 'zero tolerance'. Bodie and Doyle become hunted men when they visit the city and begin to question the rather unorthodox methods of action taken by the local constabulary.

star 7.70
10 votes
Directors: Pennant Roberts
Writers: Brian Clemens
Old Dog With New Tricks

#2 - Old Dog With New Tricks

Season 1 - Episode 3

A gangster called Turkel devises a plot to free his brother from jail by taking hostage an important figure in authority. He is unaware, however, that the 'important figure' he has taken in is actually Cowley masquerading as the Home Secretary, with Bodie as his bodyguard and Doyle ready to pull the trigger on Turkel's brother.

star 7.54
26 votes
Directors: Sid Hayers
Writers: Brian Clemens
Private Madness, Public Danger

#3 - Private Madness, Public Danger

Season 1 - Episode 1

Charles Nesbitt, an expert on chemical weapons, threatens to contaminate the water sources of London with a lethal hallucogenic drug and in order to back up his claims, plans several small 'demonstrations' in warning to the local authorities - including CI5.

star 7.52
58 votes
Writers: Anthony Read
Discovered in a Graveyard

#4 - Discovered in a Graveyard

Season 5 - Episode 5

Whilst investigating a bombing plot Doyle is shot and left for dead in his flat, and as the hospital fights to save his life, he seems unable to decide whether he wants to live or die...meanwhile, Bodie goes on a chase to find Doyle's assailant.

star 7.50
4 votes
Directors: Anthony Simmons
Writers: Christopher Wicking
A Man Called Quinn

#5 - A Man Called Quinn

Season 5 - Episode 10

A former colleague of Cowley's who is now a patient in a mental hospital reappears in London, going on the run when he believes that the KGB have drugged him.

star 7.50
6 votes
Directors: Horace Ové
Writers: Tony Barwick
The Female Factor

#6 - The Female Factor

Season 1 - Episode 2

An Iron Curtain agent is using a young girl to extort secrets from, and ultimately destroy the career of, a future British Prime Minister, unaware that the girl is the long-lost daughter of a well-known local prostitute.

star 7.48
29 votes
Directors: David Wickes
Writers: Brian Clemens
Man Without a Past

#7 - Man Without a Past

Season 2 - Episode 4

Bodie is out at a restaurant with his girlfriend when a bomb goes off at their table, leaving her critically injured and several other diners dead. It's left to Bodie to find out who targeted him and why - until he realises he wasn't the target after all.

star 7.44
9 votes
Directors: Martin Campbell
Writers: Michael Armstrong
Killer With a Long Arm

#8 - Killer With a Long Arm

Season 1 - Episode 4

CI5 become aware that an assassination plot on a group of visiting Greek Royals is being planned using a rifle that has a range of over two miles. But they must find out who is the gunman and what is his target - before it is too late.

star 7.42
24 votes
Directors: David Wickes
Writers: Brian Clemens
Hunter/Hunted

#9 - Hunter/Hunted

Season 2 - Episode 1

Cowley assigns Doyle to test a brand new high-tech laser beam rifle. But the rifle is stolen from his flat and the thief decides to 'test' it on Doyle, sending him on a cat-and-mouse chase around London.

star 7.36
11 votes
Directors: Anthony Simmons
Writers: Anthony Read
Long Shot

#10 - Long Shot

Season 1 - Episode 11

CI5 are assigned to protect a visiting American Ambassador from a renowned hitman called Ramos, who is hot on his trail. But after only one apparent assasination attempt at his life, Ramos appears to give up - only for him to turn up again at CI5 HQ itself.

star 7.36
11 votes
Directors: Ernest Day
Writers: Anthony Read
The Ojuka Situation

#11 - The Ojuka Situation

Season 5 - Episode 9

A sacked former African Head attempts to get reinstated in office using the help of the British Government, but the plan is sidetracked by one particular civil servant who now wants him dead.

star 7.33
6 votes
Writers: David Humphries
Involvement

#12 - Involvement

Season 4 - Episode 4

In the midst of a shoot-out during a drugs smuggling investigation, Doyle meets and falls for Ann Holly, only to discover that CI5 suspect her of being closely linked to the scam herself.

star 7.33
3 votes
Directors: Chris Burt
Writers: Brian Clemens
Everest Was Also Conquered

#13 - Everest Was Also Conquered

Season 1 - Episode 8

A dying man's confession triggers the re-opening of a twenty-year-old case of police corruption, an investigation in which the main prosecution witness was murdered by the police officers who were supposedly trying to protect her. Somebody then decides to silence these officers, and sets about doing so.

star 7.31
13 votes
Directors: Francis Megahy
Writers: Brian Clemens
Close Quarters

#14 - Close Quarters

Season 1 - Episode 7

On leave from CI5 with a hand injury, Bodie takes a day trip with his girlfriend and finds himself face-to-face with the leader of a terrorist group. He captures him but then the rest of the gang arrive and trap Bodie and his girlfriend in a nearby vicarage, leaving him unable to alert his colleagues back at CI5 HQ. With barely any clues as to his whereabouts, Doyle and Cowley go on a chase through the countryside to try and locate Bodie.

star 7.27
15 votes
Directors: William Brayne
Writers: Brian Clemens
Dead Reckoning

#15 - Dead Reckoning

Season 3 - Episode 4

A spy is extradited to Britain with an attempt to keep his arrival top-secret. However, the Bulgarians from Batak's homeland who sent him appear to be trying to make his movements as public as possible. When he is eventually murdered, CI5 suspect his music student daughter of poisoning him.

star 7.25
8 votes
Writers: Philip Loraine
Where the Jungle Ends

#16 - Where the Jungle Ends

Season 1 - Episode 6

A group of former comrades from Bodie's mercenary days reappear in England and in order to impress a top London gangster, carry out a violent raid on a local bank. It's left to CI5 to catch and stop the ringleader Krivas and his gang, reuniting Bodie with some of his old adversaries in the process.

star 7.24
17 votes
Directors: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: Brian Clemens
A Hiding to Nothing

#17 - A Hiding to Nothing

Season 3 - Episode 6

A dummy run that has been staged for the visit of a Middle Eastern official is found to have been recorded by a foreign student, subsequently leading CI5 to suspect a security leak.

star 7.17
6 votes
Directors: Gerry O'Hara
Writers: Ted Childs
The Acorn Syndrome

#18 - The Acorn Syndrome

Season 4 - Episode 1

The daughter of a British Government engineer who is working on a defence protect is kidnapped, and the only way she will be safely returned is if he agrees to betray secrets to enemy agents.

star 7.13
8 votes
Directors: Martin Campbell
Writers: John Kruse
Heroes

#19 - Heroes

Season 1 - Episode 5

When a newspaper takes it upon themselves to irresponsibly publish a list of the names of witnesses to an assassination, it is left to CI5 to not only protect these people, but at the same time apprehend the killers before they strike again.

star 7.00
23 votes
Directors: William Brayne
Writers: P.J. Hammond
First Night

#20 - First Night

Season 2 - Episode 3

CI5 are left to dig deep when an Israeli Minister is kidnapped, and the only clues to his whereabouts are a shadowy photograph and a coded tape message.

star 7.00
8 votes
Directors: David Wickes
Writers: Gerry O'Hara
A Stirring of Dust

#21 - A Stirring of Dust

Season 2 - Episode 8

A British traitor returns to his homeland and must be found before his former colleagues, seeking vengeance for his past betrayals, go in search of his whereabouts.

star 7.00
7 votes
Directors: Martin Campbell
Writers: Don Houghton
Fall Girl

#22 - Fall Girl

Season 2 - Episode 10

Bodie is re-acquainted with a former girlfriend when she shows up in London, and during a secret meeting with her finds himself framed for an assassination and then ultimately on the run from his own colleagues at CI5.

star 7.00
2 votes
Directors: William Brayne
Writers: Ranald Graham
The Purging of CI5

#23 - The Purging of CI5

Season 3 - Episode 1

CI5 and their agents find themselves under attack from a vendetta of bombings and assassination attempts. Bodie and Doyle are on a chase to find out who the perpetrators are before they end up as the next victims.

star 7.00
8 votes
Directors: Dennis Abey
Writers: Stephen Lister
Servant of Two Masters

#24 - Servant of Two Masters

Season 3 - Episode 8

Bodie and Doyle are shocked to discover that Cowley appears to be selling nerve gas to a group of East Germans in order to line his own pockets, and are assigned by his rival Plumb to track their boss's every move.

star 7.00
7 votes
Writers: Douglas Watkinson
Wild Justice

#25 - Wild Justice

Season 4 - Episode 2

Bodie's mental state is called ino question when he becomes obsessed with a local Hell's Angel motorcycle gang, gradually sending him further and further behind in training. Is he cracking up?

star 7.00
4 votes
Directors: Dennis Abey
Writers: Ranald Graham