I’ve been musing recently what factors were behind the success of THE PROFESSIONALS.
Plus it was blessed some very good directors and some good writers and the producer, But most of all I think it was down rimy old bete noir Raymond Menmuir, the toughest task-master I ever encountered – with the possible exception of Otto Preminger – who I assisted on a couple of big movies in my AD days!.
Ray had the most amazing ability to rev the show into high-speed mayhem in the finishing stages. He was brilliant in the cutting room, and a shrewd picker of directors.
We hit a problem with one episode. Ray had revved up the action so much that we were ten to twelve minutes short. He brooded for a while before consigning me to the cutting room with orders not to come out until I had dreamt up a sub-plot … and one that would cost buttons to shoot!.
I think I made the husband of one of the characters a lorry driver smuggling cigarettes or something along those lines. The second unit director was pleased to have some drama to get at instead of endless shots of squad cars hurtling around corners.
THE PROFESSIONALS was a tough show. I remember a few sleepless nights, tossing around in bed mumbling “Bodie, Dodie, Cowley, Bowley, Doyley, Boyley.”