For the last of four sampler episodes of The Protectors, I’m afraid that I landed on a turkey. The kid didn’t follow it, and neither did I to be honest, but he still left the room humming the theme tune.
Anyway, I picked Trevor Preston’s Lena because it stars John Thaw, along with Judy Parfitt, plus Roger Lloyd-Pack in a small role. A few years later, Preston would write for Thaw several times in The Sweeney. Here, Thaw is playing a mob boss or a criminal or a politician or perhaps all three. It was filmed in Venice, and it reminded me of how in “Bagman” they found an incredibly interesting abandoned building in Copenhagen to shoot, because the first act fight scene is in a great, decrepit location in this city.
Also, this being a Gerry Anderson show, a getaway car turns out to be a very, very unlikely vehicle.
Maybe four episodes wasn’t enough of a sample, but I think that wasn’t bad. The four I picked had some fine guest actors, and by chance were filmed in four different countries. One was very good and one was a flop, but the other two were not bad at all. It certainly would have worked better as an hour show, with more character development and backstory and humor.
Going back to my comparison, twenty-odd years later, once they cancelled Jack of All Trades, Renaissance took the opportunity to expand Cleopatra 2525 into an hour series. ITC didn’t do that for the second year of The Protectors after they’d axed The Adventurer, and I think that’s a shame. A pretty good show could have been retooled into something much better.
That’s all for The Protectors, but we’ve got one more ITC classic to show our boy, starting at the end of the month. Stay tuned!