The Protectors [TV Series] (1972)

Genres - Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Glamorized Spy Film  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Elements of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers, and The Forsyte Saga were melded together in the internationally produced, half-hour TV series The Protectors. Former U.N.C.L.E star Robert Vaughn was cast as Harry Rule, an American private eye working as one-third of a team of crime-preventing "protectors" operating in Europe. Rule's cohorts included onetime Forsyte Saga leading lady Nyree Dawn Porter as Contessa di Contini, a sexy Britsh noblewoman who was an expert at fencing and martial arts -- not unlike The Avengers' Emma Peel. The third member of the triumvirate was Frenchman Paul Buchet (Tony Anholt, who did most of the team's leg work. The Protectors was produced by Gerry Anderson, who'd cemented his reputation on such marionette adventure shows as Fireball XL-5 and Thunderbirds, and who would go on to mastermind the expensive sci-fi series Space: 1999. Shown in the United Kingdom over the ITV network and distributed worldwide by ITC, the two-season Protectors was syndicated in the United States with the sponsorship of Faberge cosmetics. Reportedly, the series would have run longer but for Faberge's decision to focus on "seasonal" rather than weekly advertising campaigns.