Monday, 15 September 2014

TV Series Review: The Persuaders

When we finished watching Red Dwarf Mr Click picked the next choice of pre-bed viewing. He picked The Persuaders, an old favourite from when he was much younger. It starts Tony Curtis and Roger Moore (as in James Bond) as a definite odd couple who are kind of thrown together to fight crime, right wrongs and be generally brilliant.

Moore plays Lord Brett Sinclair, heir to a fortune, old money, playboy, the works; while Curtis is Danny Wilde, almost as wealthy though all shiny new money. After an altercation in a hotel between them an elderly judge brings them together, sparking the start of a beautiful friendship. Occasionally the judge shows up again and sets them some new task or challenge, on other occasions strange happenings surround the Sinclair family, or someone they’ve just met and they have to work together to get to the bottom of it all.

When we first started watching it I wasn’t at all convinced it was going to be my thing. It’s very much a product of its time period with the clothes and the hair and the home decor and the cars. Very early seventies. I think I watched the first couple of episodes with my nose in a book, or reading on my phone, but as it went on I got more and more into it.

I went into the series with no real idea of what it was or what it was going to be about. Going by the title alone I was expecting it to be something a bit gritty like The Equaliser. It really wasn’t. I can’t help but think that in the beginning they weren’t too sure which direction they were going to take it in themselves but once they got into the swing of it, it became really hilarious.

The best way to describe it is like a Saturday morning cartoon. It’s kind of Tom and Jerry or Wacky Races but for grown ups (especially male grown ups judging from all the pretty women who feature in bikinis). Once I realised that you weren’t supposed to take it seriously, I enjoyed it a lot more. There are bits that are really tongue in cheek and I came to really enjoy the verbal sparring between Sinclair and Wilde.

And as if to illustrate just how tongue in cheek it was, as the series progressed it laughed at itself more and more. For example, in one episode there is a moment where the main characters flip a switch and the brawl with the baddies goes into sepia tones with honky tonk piano music until the baddies are almost all unconscious at which point it went back to normal. Or there’s the episode with various members of the Sinclair clan being bumped off, all of them played by Roger Moore, with a cameo by Danny’s aunt at the end of the episode (Curtis in drag, of course).

The series only lasted for twenty-four episodes and so we got through it in a matter of weeks. I was quite disappointed when we finished it because I did genuinely get into it. I suggested that to follow it up we watch a series that felt suitably similar in tone, so we’re on the first series of The Dukes of Hazzard now; my one complaint so far is that once you have the theme song in your head it’s almost impossible to get it out!


  1. One of my absolute favourites!

    I know just what you're saying, you see that title and hear that wonderful theme tune from John Barry and you expect something serious....but it's anything but!

    Me and my best mate John (who bears a resemblance to Tony Curtis, especially so when we first met years ago) were always called Lord Sinclair and Danny Wilde!

    1. It doesn't surprise me that it's one of your favourites Mark, I thought it would be your sort of a series. ;-p I love that you got nicknamed for Sinclair and Wilde.

      It was a little jarring for me from what I was expecting but once I got into it, I loved it. It was properly laugh out loud funny a lot of the time.


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