ACTION TV ONLINE EPISODE GUIDE
EPISODE GUIDE INDEX
The Protectors
A Group One Three and ITC Drama Production for Associaated Television (ATV) 1972 - 1973
SEASON ONE
Two Thousand Feet To Die
TX : 29th September 1972
Director : Johnny Hough
Script : Terence Feeley

Cast : Harvey Hall (Freddie Reiwald), Paul Stassino (Captain Carozza), Nicholas Jones (Ransome), Jacqueline Stanbury (Susan) and John Scott (The Civil Servant).

Synopsis :
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom: When Freddie Reiwald, the last surviving member of a team which has perfected the creation of synthetic gold, adamantly insists on executing a dangerous skydiving trick before an assembled camera crew, the Protectors are engaged to not only seek and locate Reiwald's kidnapped fiancée, but also prevent an attempt being made on his life by a group of determined gold smugglers. Harry accompanies Reiwald on the parachute fall, whilst Paul and the Contessa desperately search for the means of assassination hidden somewhere at the filming site.


Brother Hood
TX : 6th October 1972
Director :
Don Chaffey
Script : John Goldsmith

Cast : Patrick Troughton (Bela Karoleon), Vladek Sheybal (Sandor Karoleon), Jill Balcon (Maria Karoleon), John Cazabon (Heller), Leon Lissek (Pannides), Robert Brown (The Governor) and Antony Stamboulieh (Yanos).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: Reclusive industrial tycoon Bela Karoleon approaches Harry Rule with a challenging assignment: engineering an audacious prison escape for his brother, Sandor, held captive on a distant Mediterranean island on a triumped-up charge. However, whilst the rescue bid is executed without a hitch, the Protectors soon discover that they have been duped - Sandor is marked for death, as he is the only man who can testify to the fact that the Karoleon Corporation is a front for international drug-smuggling.

See No Evil
TX : 13th October 1972
Director :
Jeremy Summers
Script : Donald Johnson

Cast : James Bolam (Max Toller), Leonard Sarchs (The Senator), Alan Webb (Lucello), Phillip Hinton (Mario), Al Mancini (The Waiter), Anthony Haygarth (The Driver) and Alan Lake (The Thug).

Synopsis :
Rome, Italy: The Contessa and Harry Rule are assigned to shadow an Italian Senator who has been charged with investigating the Mafioso activities of Il Gufo (otherwise known as "The Owl") for the purposes of a committee on organised crime. The Senator is abducted soon after they are assigned, but mysteriously reappears in a café - having been drugged - to find that incriminating photographs have been placed upon his person. Whilst Caroline pursues an old blind man, the only witness to the abduction, whilst Harry pursues the ruthless gang.


Disappearing Trick
TX : 20th October 1972
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Brian Clemens


Cast : Derren Nesbitt (Brad Huron), David Bauer (Carl Huron), Don Henderson (Walters), Chris Malcolm (Malloy), Michael Da Costa (The Café Owner), Roy Evans (Joe Lomax) and David Calderisi (The Garage Mechanic).

Synopsis :
Paris, France: When the Protectors are approached by multi-millionaire's son Brad Huron to assist in his winning a wager by helping him disappear without trace, Harry Rule turns the assignment. However, the Contessa, piqued after an exchange concerning feminine professionalism, goes on the run with Huron on what she considers a relative harmless mission. However, Harry and Paul are soon alarmed when they learn from Huron's father, Carl, that his son is a dangerous manic-depressive with murderous intent. The search is on to seek and locate the Contessa before she falls victim to his unpredictable behaviour.

Ceremony For The Dead
TX : 27th October 1972
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Donald James

Cast : Stanley Lebor (President Medina), Toby Robins (Madame Rue), Charles Thake (The Police Inspector), Jennie Lee Wright (Julie) and Robert Sessions (The Skipper).

Synopsis :
Malta: Madame Rue engages the Protectors to guard her critically ill husband, President Medina, whom she fears may be kidnapped whilst attending urgent medical treatment in the Mediterranean. Harry arranges an elaborate deception with a double for Medina accompanying the Contessa (in the guise of Madame Rue) at the airport, hoping this will provide the ideal decoy for the potential kidnappers while the real President is smuggled ashore by chartered yacht. However, the plan goes awry when the ambulance taking him to hospital is ambushed, and the kidnap succeeds.

It Was All Over Leipzig
TX : 3rd November 1972
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Donald James


Cast : Ron Randall (Jim Palmer), Paul Weston (Lintar), Diane Mercer (Maria), Phil Brown (Adam Markos) and Tanya Bayona (The Young Girl).

Synopsis :
Malta: When the Protectors are engaged to investigate a plot to overthrow a Mediterranean government, Jim Palmer joins the team. Once romantically acquainted with the Contessa, he is reunited with her in the pursuit of his suspicions that Adam Markos, a respected businessman, is planning the coup. When a cache of arms are discovered at one of his nightclubs, the evidence seems conclusive. However, Harry Rule is not convinced, and in the pursuit of his own lines of enquiry, leading him to expose the real coup leader.

The Quick Brown Fox
TX : 10th November 1972
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Donald James


Cast : Morris Perry (Hans Keller), Anna Matisse (Helga Gratz), Mark Malicz (Osuna), Angie Grant (Monica), Kenneth Hendal (The Spanish Official) and Christopher Benjamin (The Banker).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: The West German government hires the Protectors to shut down a pension fund responsible for supporting five Nazi war criminals. Their suspicion falls on millionaire Hans Keller, even more so when the Contessa intercepts a letter from Keller to a poste restante address in Geneva, bearing the incorrect date (August 14th) and a coded message ("The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"). Harry and Paul set off for Geneva, but the Contessa is captured by Keller, and a desperate chase ensues.


King Con
TX : 17th November 1972
Director : Simon Langton
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Anton Rodgers (Alan Sutherland), Ronald Lacey (Cribbs), Michael Da Costa (Emil Markov), Isabella Telezynska (Irena Gleskova), Peter Cellier (The Auctioneer) and Brian Worth (The Salesman).

Synopsis :
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: The Protectors target confidence trickster Alan Sutherland after the Contessa's close personal friend, Irena Gleskova, is swindled out of a priceless antique. In an elaborate con to trap their target, the Contessa buys the antique at auction for a vastly over-inflated price (thus catching Sutherland's eye as the next potential con victim), whilst Harry assumes the guise of a rich American tycoon with money to burn. They manage to lure Sutherland into an eighty-five-thousand-pound scam involving a diamond ring worth two-hundred-thousand pounds.


Thinkback
TX : 24th November 1972
Director : Cyril Frankel
Script : Brian Clemens

Cast : Ian Henry (Inspector Wilson), Geoffrey Morris (Frank Gilling), Keith Bell (Sergeant Peters), Donald Burton (Doctor Page), Penny Sugg (The Nurse) and James Culliford (Ginter).

Synopsis :
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: Harry Rule and the Contessa are returning from a late-night engagement (in which they were protecting Frank Gilling, a forthcoming witness in an international enquiry) when their car is run off the road, and they both lose consciousness in the wreckage of the accident. Harry awakes in hospital, his leg and arm in plaster, to be informed that he was involved in a head-on collision. Inspector Wilson, the investigating officer, pressures Harry to reveal the whereabouts of Gilling (for his own protection), but he is unaware that whilst he refuses to provide the details, the Contessa is undergoing a similar "hospital treatment" with the same Inspector a few rooms down the corridor outside. The Protectors have fallen victim to an ingenious scheme devised to illicit Gilling's whereabouts, so he can be permanently silences before the enquiry …


A Kind Of Wild Justice
TX : 1st December 1972
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Donald James

Cast : Anna Palk (Kate Lindeman), Patrick O'Connell (Reagan), Barry Stanton (Soaper), Paul Freeman (The Mechanic), Kubi Chaza (Jill), Brian Jackson (The Turf Accountant) and Lewis Jones (The Health Clinic Proprietor).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Harry Rule's past catches up with him when the daughter of a gangster he was responsible for putting behind bars, Kate Lindeman, makes two attempts on his life following the death of her father in prison. She believes Harry framed him, but he persuades her to permit him twelve hours to provide proof of Lindeman's criminal activities. While he introduces her to a wide selection of her father's criminal associates, Paul and the Contessa discover that the attempts of Harry's live were faked …


Balance Of Terror
TX : 8th December 1972
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : John Goldsmith

Cast : Laurence Naismith (Professor Schelpin), Nigel Green (Colonel Vasili Kassinkov), Angus Lennie (Grodny), Janos Kurucz (The KGB Officer), Milos Kirek (The Russian Delegate) and Barry Warren (The Hotel Receptionist).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: When prominent Russian scientist Professor Schelpin defects, KGB agent Kassinkov engages the Protectors to locate the man in question. However, such an ordinary recovery operation is complicated by the fact that he is armed with a phial of lethal germ warfare toxin, the use of which the Professor intends to destroy London. They locate the Schelpin at a conference in the capital and his intentions are confirmed, but before the Protectors can stop him, he vanishes without trace. However, before his disappearance he admitted that he intended to launch the lethal virus on London to coincide with the anniversary of Hiroshima's destruction - leaving the Protectors nine hours to find and stop the Professor …


Triple Cross
TX : 15th December 1972
Director : Johnny Hough
Script : Lew Davidson

Cast : John Neville (Charlie), Peter Bowles (Kofax), Angharad Rees (Linda), Del Henney (The Detective), John Barrard (The Gem Setter) and Bill Stewart (The Garage Attendant).

Synopsis :
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: The Protectors become ensnared in the criminal activities of jewel thief Charlie after Paul is kidnapped and held prisoner in a disused country farmhouse with a bomb attached to him which can be detonated by radio transmitter. In order to preserve Paul's life, Harry and the Contessa are forced to help steal the very jewels Harry was entrusted to protect at a London Airport hand-over. In a bid to safeguard their engagement, Harry substitutes the jewel packet, but when the pair later find Charlie murdered and the jewels missing, they are caught in a desperate race against time to prevent Paul's untimely demise.


The Numbers Game
TX : 29th December 1972
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Ralph Smart

Cast : Margareta Lee (Susan Crediton), Frederick Trevers (Sir Walter Crediton), Henry McGee (Frank), George Innes (Luigi), Peter Arne (Mario Giocovetti), Sherwood Price (The Man In White) and Richard Easton (Doctor Lawrence Savage).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: Harry Rule and the Contessa become involved in an elaborate heroine smuggling operation when they are engaged to escort Sir Walter Crediton's wayward daughter, Susan, home from Spain. They discover that she has been hired to record and convey a complicated series of numbers to the smugglers, coded messages concerning licence plate numbers. Their pursuit of Lawrence Savage, a world-renown heart surgeon, reveals his part in the operation, and leads Harry back to Spain to the source of the smuggling ring: Mario Giocovetti.


For The Rest Of Your Natural …
TX : 5th January 1973
Director : Johnny Hough
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Norman Rodway (Colin Grant), Kenneth Gilbert (The Detective), Susan Travers (Mary Cooper) and Damien Thomas (The Visitor).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: When the Contessa is kidnapped by psychotic killer Colin Grant, a man convicted partly on her evidence at his trial, he returns the favour by putting her on trial - for her life. Whilst Paul and Suki undertake a desperate search for her, she is forced to endure a grotesque set of proceedings which, at its heart, revolves around the death of Grant's mother, the trigger which unhinged the man.


The Bodyguards
TX : 12th January 1973
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Dennis Spooner

Cast : Ken Watson (Inspector Jack Newman), Freddie Jones (Robard), Manning Redwood (Alan Mason) and Harry Hutchinson (The Butler).

Synopsis :
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: The Contessa and Harry Rule have worked on unusual and challenging assignments over the years, so the prospect of guarding the corpse of bank robber Ralph Corder - upon the request of Inspector Newman - seems a relatively simple affair. Their guard duty is designed to flush out and capture Corder's accomplices, and soon succeeds when one breaks into the house where the body is being guarded to confirm he is indeed dead, whilst Harry is approached by Robard, another associate, with a commission of five-thousand-pounds to confirm Corder is deceased. The Contessa, with the aid of a covert photograph taken of Mason, sets off in pursuit of the criminal, whilst Harry and Paul pursue Robard - two men determined to seize control of Corder's ill-gotten gains.


A Matter Of Life And Death
TX : 19th January 1973
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Donald James

Cast : Patrick Allen (James Leroy Mallory), Cyril Shaps (The Doctor), Maxwell Shaw (Baruna), Barrie Houghton (Goran) and Julie Crossthwaite (Mallory's Girl).

Synopsis :
Malta: London, United Kingdom: Harry Rule travels to North Africa to investigate the murder of Peter Hendricks, an English hippie who was involved in a smuggling ring. Rule is mistaken for the North African contact of a shipment destined for Malta by Hendricks' boss, Goran, who is himself murdered shortly thereafter, Calling for Paul and the Contessa's assistance, the trio pursue a slim lead to the door of James Leory Mallory, an Australian indulging in the illegal trade of blood plasma to the island. The Contessa masquerades as a potential buyer for Mallory's latest shipment, but he has been warned as to her true identity and intentions … the Protectors are playing a very dangerous game indeed.


The Big Hit
TX : 26th January 1973
Director : Roy Ward Baker
Script : Donald James

Cast : Derek Smith (Jason Howard), Morag Hood (Suzanne), Arthur Howell (The Fencing Master), Bob Anderson (The Assassin), Tony Bateman (The Barman), Carl Rigg and Phil Woods (Howard's Henchmen).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: The assassination of agents in New York and Tokyo, and attempts on Paul Buchet's and the Contessa's lives, confirms that someone is determined to bring down the Protectors Organisation. Before the pair can warn Harry Rule, he is kidnapped. The trail leads them to Jason Howard's swimwear factory, but they are unable to locate their partner. However, Howard is certainly responsible for Harry's kidnapping, and he has the man in question trapped in a crate suspended by a crane: if he fails to provide a list of Protectors names, he will be crushed to death. For Paul and the Contessa, it is a race against time …


One And One Makes One
TX : 2nd February 1973
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Jesse Lasky and Pat Lasky

Cast : Michael Gough (Shkoder), Neil McCallum (Bennett), Christopher Durham (Kramer), Georgia Brown (Maria Ghardala) and Anthony Stamboulieh (Yanos).

Synopsis :
Paris, France: The Protectors are in pursuit of Bennett, a missing Canadian agent who holds sensitive information concerning a vital new American-Canadian sky project. They discover he is being held at a private clinic outside Paris by Soviet agent Shkoder, and whilst they engineer a road accident to gain admittance to the clinic, but they are concerned that the man they rescue may in fact be Kosneff, a foreign agent having undergone plastic surgery. Could the Protectors have fallen victim to a rogue exchange?


Talkdown
TX : 9th February 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Pat Lasky and Jesse Lasky

Cast : Derren Nesbitt (Colin Foster), John Nettleton (Inspector Hill), William Moore (The Rifle Range Supervisor) and John Joyce (Air Traffic Control).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Harry must land a small plane on his own when the pilot dies, the victim of a bizarre vengeance pact launched against him by Colin Foster, an unbalanced criminal who believes he was responsible for his brother's untimely end. Foster parachutes from the plane, his intent being to frame Harry for his murder when it crashes and seemingly kills them both. However, the plan will backfire if Harry can be "talked down" by Paul Buchet, and if he succeeds, the Protectors will pursue Foster to the four corners of the globe …


Vocal
TX : 16th February 1973
Director : Cyril Frankel
Script : Brian Clemens

Cast : Ian Hogg (Gregg), David Buck (John Azon) and Shane Rimmer (Vickers).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: When an operation mounted by the Protectors against drug-runners John Azon and Gregg goes horribly wrong, Paul Buchet is temporarily blinded by random gunfire. Concerned as to how much Buchet and his colleagues knows of their activities, the pair hire remarkable mimic Vickers to impersonate Harry Rule to ascertain the identity of the other person who witnessed their escape. So convincing is the voice he hears, Paul reveals that the Contessa accompanied him on the operation … .


… With A Little Help From My Friends
TX : 23rd February 1973
Director : Simon Langton
Script : Sylvia Anderson

Cast : Jeremy Brett (Kahan), Hannah Gordon (Laura Rule), Daron Barnham (Johnny Rule), Martin Benson (The President), Saeed Jaffrey (The President's Aide), Roshan Seth (The Pursuer), Desmond Jordan (The Doctor), John Gatrell (The Butler), Julian Sherrier and Marc Zuber (Kahan's Henchmen).

Synopsis :
When the Protectors accept an assignment to protect a visiting Eastern European President, Harry Rule is unaware of the implications taking on such a mission will have on his family until his ex-wife Laura arrives at his apartment to reveal their son Johnny has been kidnapped by Kahan, the President's bitter political rival. In exchange for the safe return of his son, Harry is instructed to execute the visiting President.


Chase
TX : 2nd March 1973
Director : Harry Booth
Script : Brian Clemens

Cast : Patrick Magee (Gardner), Donald Eccles (Douglas Perston), Keith Buckley (Kurt), Tom Chadbon (Vent), Isabella Telezynska (Ingrid), Gertan Klauber (Gromeld) and Graham Mallard (The Second Tracker).

Synopsis :
North Europe: Celebrating Harry's fortieth birthday at a quiet Northern European hideway of the Contessa's, the pair await Paul's arrival before relaxing as the former admires the latter's gift - an antique shotgun! Caroline venture to the local village store to collect some wine for Harry and Paul, and in her absence South American diplomat Douglas Perston staggers into the cottage, bleeding from a fatal gunshot wound. Exhausted, he reveals he has been held hostage by Gardner and his henchmen. Harry rushes into the woodlands in search of help, unaware he is being pursued by the kidnappers, determined to eliminate any witnesses to their activities.


Your Witness
TX : 9th March 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Donald James

Cast : George Baker (George Dixon), Stephanie Beacham (Christie), Georges Lambert (Bayard), Judith Arthy (Monique), Gordon Sterne (The Barman), Sherwood Price (Carter) and Hugo de Vernier (The Croupier).

Synopsis :
Paris, France: The Protectors are charged with guarding Christie, ward of businessman George Dixon, who is a key witness to a murder at one of Dixon's clubs. An attempt is made on her life shortly thereafter, and whilst in Paul Buchet's custody at his apartment, she suddenly vanishes without trace. The Contessa identifies a link between herself and a bullion robbery orchestrated by three prominent members of a trio of Parisian criminal organisations. However, as the thieves fall out and one man is charged with the murder of another, the Protectors are soon in pursuit of the third man.


It Could Be Practically Anywhere On The Island
TX : 16th March 1973
Director : Robert Vaughn
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Sherwood Price (Felix Costa), Dervis Ward (Jonathan P Hacket), Linda Stabb (Linda McCall), Vernon Dobtcheff (Joe Flynn), David Glover (The Doctor), Wendy Hutchinson (Mrs Jonathan P Hacket), Michael Da Costa (The Hotel Man) and Peter Fontaine (The Bartender).

Synopsis :
Malta: What starts as a relatively simple assignment for Harry Rule soon becomes anything but when he becomes entangled in the theft of a poodle from a Mediterranean hotel. The dog has been kidnapped by Felix Costa and his girlfriend Madeline, who intend using the canine holidaymaker as a means of smuggling microfilm out of the country. However, a delay in taking receipt of the said microfilm involves the pair having to take care of their hostage, and in the process of feeding him the microfilm becomes a rare treat for the pampered pooch. Enter Harry Rule, in pursuit of a hostage and an unexpected bonus …


The First Circle
TX : 23rd March 1973
Director : Don Chaffey
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Ed Bishop (Colonel John Hunter), John Collin (Inspector Slade), Sally Bazely (Karen Hunter), George Roubicek (The Policeman) and Frederick Bennett (The Security Man).

Synopsis :
Colonel John Hunter, having suffered a mental breakdown after being tormented by his experiences in Vietnam, shoots a security guard at a disused airfield under the belief that he is still engaged in the conflict. When his wife contacts Harry Rule to intercede in a police pursuit of Hunter, he finds himself face-to-face with an overzealous Inspector Slade. Convinced he can persuade Hunter to come quietly, Harry engages in a psychological game of cat-and-mouse with the former Colonel under the guise of being one of the members of his company. However, the rouse proves to have tragic consequences.


A Case For The Right
TX : 30thMarch 1973
Director : Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Script : Jesse Lasky and Pat Lasky

Cast : Jeffrey Segal (The Extremist Officer), Milo O'Shea (Prince Carpiano) and Jacques Semas (Fabrizzio).

Synopsis :
Rome, Italy: When the Protectors accept an assignment to deliver a dispatch case to Prince Carpiano's villa in Rome, they are unaware they are carrying a bomb, and that the genuine case is being delivered whilst they act as a decoy. Two attempts are made en route to steal the case from them, and their further investigations in Rome uncover the covert operation in which the genuine case is a courier service delivering urgently-needed funding to a revolutionary movement. Harry and the Contessa determine to stop them.


SEASON TWO
Quin
TX : 21st September 1973
Director : Don Leaver
Script : Trevor Preston

Cast : Peter Vaughan (Quin), Brian Glover (Allen) and Anthony Langdon (Garcia).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: The Protectors are engaged to track down Quin, one of the world's most dangerous men.


Bagman
TX : 28th September 1973
Director : Johnny Hough
Script : Terry Nation

Cast : Stephen Chase (Christian).

Synopsis :
Copenhagen, Amsterdam: The Protectors pursue a criminal across Copenhagen, culminating in a confrontation at a disused fort.


Fighting Fund
TX : 5th October 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : John Kruse

Cast : Lisa Daniely (The Marquesa), Mischa de la Moth (Doctor Blanco) and Hugh Morton (Bishop).

Synopsis :
Venice, Italy: Harry Rule pursues a terrorist gang who are financing their activities with the aid of stolen priceless art collections, which they intend to sell to the highest bidder. With the assistance of the River Police, Harry is determined to nip their ambitions in the bud.


The Last Frontier
TX : 12th October 1973
Director : Charles Crichton
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Hildegard Neil (Irena Gayevska), William Lucas (Eastbrook) and Yuri Borienko (Khukov).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: The Protectors endeavour to smuggle a Russian scientist into the United Kingdom, but their plans are discovered and soon their lives are in jeopardy.


Baubles, Bangles And Beads
TX : 19th October 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Terry Nation

Cast : Frederick Jaegar (Bergen), John Barron (The Executive) and Yvonne Antrobus (Kate Bergen).

Synopsis :
Denmark: When jewellery theft ends in a double-cross, a man and his daughter come to the attention of the swindled parties - and the Protectors. The Contessa's life hangs in the balance as Harry pursues a satisfactory outcome.


Petard
TX : 26th October 1973
Director : Cyril Frankel
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Iain Cuthbertson (Wyatt), Cyril Luckham (Weston) and Ralph Bates (Leo).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: The Protectors are engaged to resolve a matter concerning industrial espionage, but despite their best efforts the leak proves difficult to conclusively establish. With every precaution having been taken, confidential documentation from board meetings is still reaching the outside world, and Harry Rule is determined to find out how.


Goodbye George
TX : 2nd November 1973
Director : Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Script : Brian Clemens

Cast : Paul Jones (Caspar), Geraldine Moffatt (Maria) and Lionel Murton (The Patron).

Synopsis :
Venice, Italy: What happened to George? In Venice, the Contessa is determined to find an answer.


Wam (Part 1)
TX : 9th November 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Prentis Hancock (William Arthur Mackay), Jill Townsend (Monica Davis) and Michael Sheard (Inspector Luhrs).

Synopsis :
Salzburg, Austria: Monica Davis sends a boastful letter to her father claiming that, despite the fact he has cut her out of his will, she will soon come into a substantial sum of money. The Protectors, assigned to ascertain precisely what Monica has become involved in, are eventually drawn to Austria, where a group of vacationers are held hostage at the peak of a mountain, yet they are unaware of their current predicament. The authorities are contacted, but they are only able to identify the terrorist by his voice …


Wam (Part 2)
TX : 16th November 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Prentis Hancock (William Arthur Mackay), Jill Townsend (Monica Davis) and Michael Sheard (Inspector Luhrs).

Synopsis :
Salzburg, Austria: The ransom demand having been met, the holidaymakers are released. However, the authorities interrogate several suspicious characters who have returned from the summit, and whilst the Protectors have their own suspicions, they find no evidence upon which to act. Time is running short to pursue the parties responsible, and identify the possible link to Monica Davis' mysterious letter.


Implicado
TX : 23rd November 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Patrick Mower (Raphael Santana) and Peter Firth (Stephen Douglas).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: When an English boy is framed and arrested for drug-smuggling, it remains for Harry Rule and Paul Buchet to confirm his innocence in the affair, as he refuses to cooperate with the authorities and reveal the true circumstances as to how he came to possess a large quantity of drugs in a Spanish cafe.


Dragon Chase
TX : 30th November 1973
Director : Charles Crichton
Script : John Kruse

Cast : Donald Houston (Lockier), William Dexter (Nikkolai) and Bruce Robinson (Peter Lockier).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Harry Rule finds that accepting an assignment to protect a Russian writer who has recently been smuggled into the United Kingdom may prove to be more than he bargained for.


Decoy
TX : 7th December 1973
Director : Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Script : Brian Clemens

Cast : Ronald Radd (Jerry Butler), Mark Damon (Nick Archer) and Terry Canner (Joe).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: When a figure from Harry Rule's past emerges from the shadows and the grave, the lives of both himself and the Contessa are placed in imminent danger. Why has he returned, and what are his intentions?


Border Line
TX : 14th December 1973
Director : Charles Crichton
Script : Anthony Terpiloff

Cast : Georgia Brown (Ilona Tabori), John Lauriemore (The Reporter) ans Oscar Homolka (Kilas).

Synopsis :
Hungary: Against his better judgement, Harry Rule accepts an assignment on behalf of the Protectors from a Hungarian actress determined to return the body of her father, an exiled patriot, back to his native Hungary for burial. Despite the political ramifications, Harry, Paul and the Contessa execute their appointed mission, unaware that the actress has an agenda of her own she wishes to pursue whilst there. Her actions could jeopardise their assignment and endanger all their lives …


Zeke's Blues
TX : 21st December 1973
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Shane Rimmer

Cast : Shane Rimmer (Zeke), Paul Curran (Kasankas) and Ray Lonnen (Patrick).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Harry Rule becomes the target of an underworld conspiracy when he meets up with an old pianist friend who is being blackmailed to set him up. Suffering a crisis of conscience, will Zeke be able to proceed with his part of the bargain?


Lena
TX : 28th December 1973
Director : Don Leaver
Script : Trevor Preston

Cast : Judy Parfitt (Lena), Mario Depita (The Pursuer), Roger Pack (Russi).

Synopsis :
. Venice, Italy: The services and Harry and the Contessa are called upon by a female journalist who is determined to prove that a prominent Venician politician is guilty of murder. It falls to the Protectors to locate a man presumed dead several years earlier.


The Bridge
TX : 4th January 1974
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Diana Quick (Anna) Michael Goodliffe (De Santos) and James Maxwell (Mitchell).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: The Protectors become involved in a kidnap in Spain. Harry Rule is charged with handing over the ransom money, and in so doing he becomes embroiled in a bold plan to destroy a prominent bridge in the area - via explosives. As a means of preventing such an act, Harry assumes the guise of the only explosives expert capable to executing the plan.


Sugar And Spice
TX : 11th January 1974
Director : Charles Crichton
Script : David Butler

Cast : Derek Anders (Manning), Debbie Russ (Vicky Standish) and Norman Ettlinger (Charles Standish).

Synopsis :
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom: When a wealthy industrialist receives threats against his young daughter, the Protectors are engaged to ensure her safety. Harry Rule becomes her tutor, whilst the Contessa and Paul Buchet keep a watchful eye for an imminent attack.


Burning Bush
TX : 18th January 1974
Director : Don Leaver
Script : Trevor Preston

Cast : Sinead Cusack (Anne Ferris) and Ken Hutchinson (Mark Jenner).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: When Harry investigates the disappearance of a Canadian heiress in London, he soon finds himself embroiled in matters of the occult and the supernatural.


The Tiger And The Goat
TX : 25th January 1974
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Trevor Preston

Cast : Douglas Wilmer (Commander Whiting), Derek Godfrey (Barsella) and Derek Newark (Reece).

Synopsis :
Barcelona, Spain: In an attempt to flush out an assassin, the Contessa is used as bait - and only Paul Buchet can prevent her untimely end.


Route Twenty-Seven
TX : 1st February 1974
Director : Don Leaver
Script : Terry Nation

Cast : Michael Coles (Sandom), Jeremy Wilkin (Inspector Bergen) and Carl Bohun (Revell).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Acting as a lone wolf in pursuit of an unsavory collection of drug-runners, Harry Rule's investigations lead him to a harbour brewery.


Trial
TX : 8th February 1974
Director : Charles Crichton
Script : Robert Banks Stewart

Cast : Richard Hurndall (Judge Cronin), Joss Ackland (Arthur Gordon) and Gwen Cheryl (Anne Gordon).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: The Protectors are called in when an attempt is made on the life of a high-profile judge. The assassin is believed to be the father of the man on trial for murder, a case over which the judge is presiding.


Shadbolt
TX : 15th February 1974
Director : Johnny Hough
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Tom Bell (Shadbolt), Georgina Hale (The Passenger) and Stanley Stewart (The Police Inspector).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Whilst Harry Rule relaxes on a train speeding towards London, he is unaware that he is sharing a compartment with a professional assassin, hired to execute him at a specific time during the journey.


A Pocketful Of Posies
TX : 22nd February 1974
Director : Cyril Frankel
Script : Terry Nation

Cast : Kate O'Mara (Sarah Trent), Eartha Kitt (Carrie Blaine) and Kieron Moore (Mario Toza).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Cabaret singer Carrie Blaine is terrorised in her own home, believing she is being haunted by ghosts. The Protectors intercede and discover a far more sinister plot has been employed.


Wheels
TX : 1st March 1974
Director : David Tomblin
Script : Tony Barwick

Cast : Dinsdale Landen (Manning), George Pravda (Sneider) and Robert Coleby (Anton).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: Harry Rule becomes a participant in a motor rally when he pursues a gang of thieves in possession of stolen Swiss bank account information.


The Insider
TX : 8th March 1974
Director : Don Leaver
Script : Trevor Preston

Cast : Stuart Wilson (Smith) and Donald Hewlett (Chambers).

Synopsis :
London, United Kingdom: The Protectors are called into action when they are charged by a cinematic producer with recovering the negative and remaining prints of a film being held to ransom.


Blockbuster
TX : 15th March 1974
Director : Jeremy Summers
Script : Shane Rimmer

Cast : Stanley Meadows (Birch), Christopher Neame (Bailey) and Maurice O'Connell (Slater).

Synopsis :
Copenhagen, Amsterdam: When a series of robberies are staged and plutonium goes missing, the Protectors are assigned to discover how a convoy of this dangerous element managed to disappear without trace.


In what would virtually become the last entry in ITV's successful production line of "Cool Spies and Private Eyes", The Protectors proved to be Gerry Anderson's first and only contemporary thriller series, devised and created by Lew Grade as a vehicle for the high-profile star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Robert Vaughn.



The commissioning of the programme proved to be one of the unhappiest periods of time for Anderson, who was almost forcibly told by Grade that he would be responsible for producing the series, which had been pitched to him in such a vague manner that the experienced hand, responsible for enormously popular series such as The Thunderbirds, Joe 90 and UFO, believed he could produce the programme in any manner he chose to, and it was on this basis that he agreed to accept the commission.



The series would enjoy the financial reserves of ITC and Faberge in a deal Grade had established over a prolonged period of time, but conflict between himself and Anderson continued after he hired Nyree Dawn Porter as the second leading performer for the series, despite the fact that the provisional working scripts for the programme catered for two male leads. Anderson hired Tony Anholt to complete the trilogy of leading characters, and set about planning the shooting schedules and additional casting.



However, the turbulent relations between himself and Grade would prove as nothing in comparison to his relationship with leading actor Vaughan, who espoused the virtues of shooting the series across Europe to Grade, who happily decreed to Anderson that Vaughan's wish was his command, and schedules had to be hastily altered to accommodate this international flavour.



Despite these initial complications, however, twenty six half-hour episodes went smoothly into production, and were launched upon an unsuspecting audience in Autumn 1972.



However, marketing the series proved to be the programme's biggest hurdle, with the concept of the production so vague that even ITC were forced to clutch at straws when they hailed The Protectors as follows:

"The organization exists to protect those in peril, its members being super-agents from the world's best detective agencies. Every Protector keeps in close communication with his colleagues so they can draw on the collective intelligence and skills of these international networks. It is a private organization, unrestricted by the technicalities which so often hamper the law. Protectors can break through handicapping legal red tape and international frontiers, their methods often being as unconventional as they are hazardous. Money is no object. The Protectors are expensive to hire and are called upon not only by private individuals but also by powerful groups. Those bodies employing them know they are hiring not only individual and collective skills, but also the latest scientific devices". (What Made Thunderbirds Go: The Authorised Biography of Gerry Anderson by Simon Archer and Marcus Hearn).



Essentially the series concerned Harry Rule (Robert Vaughn), a "lone wolf" detective operating out of London and engaged in cases which either defied police investigation or required powers above and beyond the law (or certainly with the ability to circumvent the law if need be). His partners included the Contessa di Contini (Nyree Dawn Porter), otherwise known as Caroline, who lived an opulent life in Rome and was a hybrid Cathy Gale, Emma Peel, Annabelle Hurst sort of character, brimming with the capacity for action, adventure and romance (a sort of living travel brochure with ideal dress sense and impeccable taste in men), and Paris-based detective Paul Buchet (Tony Anholt), perhaps not as shrewd as Rule or the Contessa but still a man of action capable of pursuing criminals and helping the pair out in a crisis.

The series predominately concerned the primary two characters, with Buchet appearing sporadically over the course of the first series rather than as a "regular", as it were. The series proved popular with audiences, and bore the majority of the hallmarks of a classic Gerry Anderson production.

The scripts were of a frequently high calibre, set against a backdrop with a relatively convincing continental flavour (although the fact the characters had a preponderance for constantly visiting Malta - which served as a variety of Mediterranean locations - Venice and Hertfordshire tended to lay open a claim of large budgets compensating for high salaries as opposed to a great deal of location filming).

The pace on the episodes was particularly noteworthy, matching the likes of the early Danger Man episodes for the capacity to tell a story in a limited period of time and at such a speed that audiences (if the production team succeeded) failed to spot the cracks and flaws in the plots and performances. The Protectors certainly proved noteworthy in terms of its signature tune and incidental music, both of which, for the first time in fifteen years, were not scored by the prolific Barry Gray.

As part of Lew Grade's earlier intervention in the genesis of the project, Gray had been overlooked in favour of John Cameron (incidental music), and the signature tune itself written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callender, and performed by Tony Christie. Entitled The Avenues And Alleyways, the entire three minutes and twenty seconds of the extended mix of the song was truncated to a matter of twenty-odd seconds and dropped onto the closing titles of the programme. The pertinent lyrics - "The Avenues and Alleyways: Where the soul of a man is easy to buy. Everybody's wheeling, everybody's stealing, all the low are living a high. Every city's got 'em. Can we ever stop 'em?. Some of us are gonna try" - are one of the best examples of 1970s kitsch this side of a Peter Wyngarde Sings The Blues album, but are also relatively appropriate to the series itself, and make a nice composite of the far more powerful opening titles sequence (consisting of a rush of colourful worldwide location shots interspersed with shots of Harry Rule preparing to "fight the good fight", the Contessa fencing and luxuriating, and Paul Buchet doing nothing particular special somewhere in Paris, accompanied by an instrumental variation on the music underpinning Avenues And Alleyways.

The sheer beauty of these titles, however, is in the hallmark Gerry Anderson touch which was applied to this series, as well as UFO and Space: 1999. Anderson always managed to insert a quick shot of an incidental which basically never took place within the programme itself (the spinning Eagle exploding upon contact with the moon's surface is the most notable of all three). In the instance of The Protectors, the fierce detonation of a bridge proves the most eye-catching moment.

Such was the success with British and American audiences when the first series was transmitted on both sides of the Atlantic that, despite all the problems faced by the production crew during the making of the first twenty-six episodes (and the famous public and private confrontations between Anderson and Vaughn), a second series of the same number of episodes was commissioned. More writers and directors were introduced from the ITC stable, and the programme enjoyed the same consistency in terms of content, appearance and performances that it had engendered (despite behind-the-scenes dramas) throughout its opening run.

Vaughn would later confess to his dislike of the series and his unpleasant stay in the United Kingdom, yet the programme returned him to the forefront of audience's minds after The Man From U.N.C.L.E closed its doors permanently (despite an ill-advised revival), and as a further contribution to his curriculum vitae of cool spies and private eyes (the debonair Napoleon Solo, Harry Rule and, more recently, as Albert Stroller in Hustle) the series certainly helped to sustain his professional image.

Despite internal ructions, the quality of the performances and the production itself were never compromised, and, remarkably, the success of the transmission of the second season in the United Kingdom in Autumn 1974 only served to fuel ITC's interest in a proposed third series of The Protectors, an indescribably vague and yet perversely attractive venture which bore classic Anderson hallmarks matched with a style and grace previously associated with The Avengers.

However, the withdrawal of lucrative financial support from Faberge effectively put paid to such plans, and Anderson's attention had been diverted elsewhere in any event upon hearing rumours from sources other than ITC that a proposed new series, UFO 2, was in the offing. Anderson, amazed to hear that the popularity of UFO as another cult-classic-kitsch-collection worldwide was providing momentum to the rumours, was soon engaged to produce his most high-profile live-action fantasy serial (perhaps second only to Thunderbirds, albeit in animated form), Space: 1999, a programme which would live long in the public memory (although the second season, and the influence of American interests on the production, would leave a bitter taste for viewers) as a sweeping space opera matched once again by the resounding strings of the incomparable Barry Gray.

Notable supporting performances in The Protectors from the likes of Patrick Troughton, Eartha Kitt, Kate O'Mara, Kieron Moore, James Bolam, Leonard Sachs, Laurence Naismith, Don Henderson, Anton Rodgers, Del Hennery, Norman Rodway and Patrick Allen (amongst others) were matched by directorial contributions from Cyril Frankel, Don Leaver and Charles Crichton, with several of the scripts contributed by Terry Nation, Terence Feely, Tony Barwick, Brian Clemens and Donald James.

The series enjoyed global exportation and was released on DVD courtesy of Carlton, who released two boxed packs of the first and second series on Region 2 DVD over the course of 2002-2003.


Characters
Portrayed By
Harry Rule
Robert Vaughn
Contessa Caroline di Contini
Nyree Dawn Porter
Paul Buchet
Tony Anholt
Suki
Yasako Nagazumi
Chino
Anthony Chinn

The series was created by Lew Grade and produced by Gerry Anderson and Reg Hill. Script Editor for the series was Tony Barwick. Music for the series was composed and conducted by John Cameron. The signature tune was performed by Tiny Christie.

Text © Matthew Lee, 2005.