Saturday, 5 April 2014


The first series of 'The Professionals' has a different title sequence to the later ones, presenting us with forty seconds of frantic action which immediately plunges us into the bonkers, balls out world of CI5. 

A Rolls Royce (!) roars up to a warehouse and five men jump out. One (Cowley, of course) is noisily directing the action and timing it all. The other four men run at full pelt into the building where two of them (Bodie and Doyle) proceed to kick the shit out of a load of hanging targets and the odd actual person. Bodie gets hit over the head with a chair - he couldn't care less. They're pretty out of control, really. In a couple of early episodes, this sequence is accompanied by a voice over in which Cowley loudly declaims CI5's raison d'etre / raison d'etat:

"Anarchy! Acts of terror! Crimes against the public! 
To combat it, I've got special men: 
experts from the army, police, every service. 

The four men (we never find out who the other two are, by the way) then climb a cargo net before dropping to the other side - Bodie throws a knife, although it's not clear what he throws it at. They then slide down a rope line, doing their war faces - they land, run, jump through some pretend French windows, roll and pull their guns out and start firing, although it's not clear what they are firing at. So far they've been in there for about twenty five seconds. 

Cowley shouts for them and they exit the building and pile back into the Rolls which immediately screams off at great speed as they are still closing the doors. It's totally and utterly preposterous. I wish my job entailed training days like that. But it doesn't. Ever. Sigh. See you Monday!

1 comment:

  1. Despite my previous professional work as an firearms/defensive tactics instructor, I've also never come EVEN close to an office day like Crowley's crew...nor has anyone I've ever known who was REALLY in USA Special Forces, USN SEALs, USMC Force Recon, Royal Marines, Australian SAS, or a few other special operators of my acquaintance.
    The reason is simple: HUGE safety risks (to skilled operators whom Uncle Sam and Her Majesty have spent vast money to train) which may only build debatably-necessary skill sets and some greater confidence in the balls-out desperate types of fighting which you try to avoid anyway. After all, why throw a knife in a real fight when your sound-suppressed L34 Sterling will end the fight faster (and more certainly) at vastly greater range.
    Yet, my extremely-limited anecdotal contacts would be the first to tell you that they and the VAST majorities of their colleagues simply might not have been "special" enough to have required such making-it-up-as-we-feel-it's-necessary types of unsafe training. The people who really might need such unique skills and confidence are the people whom we've already sent into harms way...and who have had enough success that they have the command-politics PULL to get away with doing anything they want with all the resources that they can justify, borrow, or steal from other units. Perhaps the classic examples of this were the "mobs for jobs", the VERY prolific British special forces of WWII. Examples like Popski's Private Army, the original David Sterling-era SAS, and the "Wild Bill" Donovan-led OSS. More recently, the Thatcher-era SAS Counter-Revolutionary Warfare troop and post-1990s Delta Force grabbed the imagination of our Chief Executives so well that they were permitted almost any training which they could rationalize*. It must be nice to know that the PM has a huge hard-on for your broad mission.

    *I think, particularly, of the famouse SAS accounts of live-fire training with a simulated hostage rescue in which Margaret Thatcher herself played the hostage...with live bullets being fired by the CRW team members at targets placed near her in a small room.