The New Professionals

Episode 6 - Samurai Wind

             "What does it feel like to lose, Harry?"
             "I don't know. I'll tell you when I do."

       There's a lot happening in this episode - not all of it immediately obvious...

       To start with, the initial scenario - deadly gas just buried and left on an uninhabited island - is chillingly plausible. The human race is notoriously bad when it comes to clearing up its own mess. And the gas has been there for 59 years! In the context of the series, I suppose we should feel grateful that it hasn't been brought to anyone's attention until now (when there's an organisation capable of dealing with the threat, I mean.) Nevertheless, I can't help but wonder how many such lethal caches are dotted around in the real world...
       Incidentally, I found the name of the island - Nomine Patri (The Name of the Father) - both ironic and somehow touching: ironic because of the connotations (did the name somehow ameliorate the guilt of those planning to commit such a dreadful act all those years ago? Or was it intended as a prayer?) and the fact that Dane believes himself to be the 'father' of the modern day CI5. And touching because of the echo of the true 'father' of the organisation - Cowley - who instigated CI5 in the first place to combat the sort of threat Dane poses.

       I am, finally, impressed with Malone. Yes, he makes some mistakes - "going by the book", as Dane says, in sending Curtis and Keel in by plane (and why on earth didn't it occur to anyone that Dane would be able to monitor their comms systems?! The guy had just overridden the entire CI5 intranet - using Malone's own codes!!) - but he has the ability to turn his "weakness", his predictability, into a strength: lulling Dane into a false sense of security and thereby leading to his downfall. I liked his deliberately not using the scrambler so that Dane could overhear the communications while he was en route to the area. Nicely done, although I don't think it would have worked if Dane had not been so arrogantly overconfident. (But in that case, presumably Malone would have tried a different approach...)
       And I think Cowley would have been proud of his successor:

             Malone: - "You believe in power and strength to the exclusion of everything else. Everything that really matters in this world."
             Dane:- "And you believe in weakness."
             Malone: - "No, I do not believe in weakness, but by God I'll defend it. To me, that is what CI5 is for - to protect those who can't protect themselves."

      He expresses similar sentiments when talking to John Preston (sorry, I have no idea what rank he was...) Preston's first thought is that Dane's making good his threat could bring about the collapse of both their governments: it's Malone who points out that it would also cause the deaths of millions of innocent people. I like his humanitarianism. It's the flip-side of "fighting fire with fire".
      And this is the same man who, a little later, calmly and without regret kills Dane (by shoving his head into the chopper's tail rotor! (Thanks, Dave!) Talk about using whatever comes to hand!)

       Curtis and Keel were their usual all-action selves. (They're growing on me. Keel rolls like Doyle used to, when under fire. His eyes look green, too...) It was Curtis's turn to be injured. There was even some mildly amusing banter between the two! And I just loved the way, at the end, they did as they were told without arguing...
       (Mind you, so they should. After all, Backup's a CI5 operative; she's highly skilled in her field; and she's extremely competent. But it was good to see it - and her - in action.)

       There were some other nice touches in this episode. It was beautifully balanced, with everyone getting more or less equal screen time and importance in the plot. Patrick Mower makes a wonderfully convincing bad guy! (But what was that ring he was wearing on the - trademark? - leather thong around his neck?) I liked that wry segue from Dane offering Shaw supper, to the dirty dishes scattered on the desk back at CI5 H.Q. And there is something very frightening - because true - about the thought that the A-bomb is actually preferable to biochemical assault...

       Samurai Wind is the closest the The New Professionals has yet come to the original series, and for that reason alone I would have enjoyed it. However, it's also a fine episode in its own right, exciting, surprisingly thought-provoking, with interesting insights into the characters, plenty of action and a feelgood conclusion. A definite favourite. (...please let the rest be as good...)

don't try this at home, folks...

The island is one of the Kuril'skije Ostrova - my best guess would be Simusir, which is in approximately the right place. Wrong shape, though...

Megalomaniacal - but not mad. He can tell a hawk from a handsaw...

For the record, I thought Edward Woodward was great in this episode.

But why did he talk about blowing up the island? Isn't that what they're trying to prevent?

© 1999-02 WordWrights.

First Strike (Episode 5)

Skorpion (Episode 7)

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