The Professionals: 'Long Shot'

British crime series
This episode broadcast 1977
Produced by Avengers Mark 1 Productions for London Weekend Television

Created by Brian Clemens
Written by Anthony Read
Directed by Ernest Day
Music by Laurie Johnson
Produced by Sidney Hayers
Martin Shaw as Doyle
Lewis Collins as Bodie
Gordon Jackson as George Cowley
Featuring Roger Lloyd Pack as Ramos
Ed Bishop as Dr Harbinger
Martin Benson as Villa
Robert Gillespie as Sammy
Peter Cellier as Walton
John Horsley as Mitchell
Nadim Sawahla as Sheik Achmeia
Shaun Curry as SAS Sergeant
Tony Caunter as Detective Sergeant

Plot Summary

Infamous assassin Ramos returns to the UK to be given a new target. He kidnaps the daughter of a British oil tycoon, Mitchell and ransoms her for the use of his house as a safe operations centre and for resources to supply his effort. CI5, having heard that Ramos is back, believe he had been hired to kill Dr Harbinger, once the American Defence Secretary and now a diplomat. Cowley assigns Bodie and Doyle to shadow Harbinger at the forthcoming conference on anti-terrorist measures.

Cowley liases with the two main players at the conference, Harbinger and Sheik Achmeia, whose country Morani advocates a far stricter, more fatal punishment for suspected and convicted terrorists, while Bodie and Doyle check the security precautions around the site. Ramos though stops the military jeep bringing the mail to the delegates whilst it is en route for the conference. He takes a pill that makes him appear to have suffered a heart attack, but when the sergeant and corporal leave the jeep to help him he kills the corporal and forces the sergeant to drive him to the conference. Posing as a clerk from the MOD, taking the corporal’s place, Ramos gets into the compound.

The same morning, Harbinger insists on going for his daily jog. Cowley has Bodie and Doyle kitted out in the same red suit as the doctor and sends them off to accompany him. Cowley steps out onto the stairs as they arrive back and spots a reflection from a rifle's sights on one of the guard towers. He warns Harbinger to get down and the shot hits the doorpost. Bodie and Doyle chase Ramos across the compound but he escapes on a motorbike.

At the same time, two men try to break into Mitchell’s house, bypassing the high-tech security system, which one of them helped install. As they reach the house though they spot Ramos in the doorway and run, tripping an invisible alarm and alerting the police. When he is arrested, one of the thieves tries to bargain for his freedom by telling them he has seen Ramos.

CI5 are brought in, and Bodie and Doyle take the thief back to the house so he can show them how to break in. They meet Mitchell, who explains about his daughter.

Reporting back, they find that Cowley has seen Harbinger off to the airport without further problems, and in fact, Cowley has begun to doubt that Harbinger was the target at all. He says that someone as good as Ramos would not have missed, and since the bullet hit the doorframe, he must have been aiming for Cowley. They put guards on Cowley’s house and he decides to stay at Headquarters, dismissing the others while he showers. Ramos, however is already in the building and makes his way upstairs. Bodie and Doyle realise this, and run back to the office to find that Cowley has already disabled Ramos.

Under arrest, Ramos offers to tell them where the kidnapped girl is in return for free passage out of the UK. They agree, and Bodie and Doyle rescue her from a ruined building due to be demolished practically at that moment. Ramos’ plane takes off but there is a CI5 operative on board. He takes one of the pills Ramos used earlier and, thinking they have a passenger with a heart condition, they make an emergency landing in Morani, where Sheik Achmeia’s anti-terrorist forces have already been alerted to his arrival.


Despite being the main focus of at least the first half of the episode, Ed only has a few scenes, mostly wandering around corridors having 'polite conversation' or jogging around the estate. All the same this is a highly enjoyable episode and does come to a satisfactory conclusion. One thing that I would think viewers in the UK might find off-putting was casting Roger Lloyd Pack as the deadly assassin, as after this appearance he went on to play the extremely dim character Trigger in the comedy series Only Fools and Horses, so it is strange to see him being serious for once!


Achmeia: One of the problems is that you people in the West are too damn soft, wouldn’t you say so Mr Cowley? Cowley: Oh, I don’t make the rules, Sheik, I just carry them out.

Achmeia: You must have views of your own?
Cowley: Sure, I'd like to shoot every terrorist in sight, but er...

Achmeia: And you, Dr Harbinger? Would you have them shot, these hyenas?

"Sheik Achmeia, that is a very loaded question, and you know it is."

Achmeia: Always the clever diplomat ay Doctor? We are not around the conference table now. Everything we say is off the record, right Mr Cowley?
Harbinger: I've learned the hard way that the one sure way to get yourself quoted is to talk 'off the record'

Achmeia: Well I'll tell you gentlemen...if your government won't take a firm line on terrorism, you should ship all your suspected terrorists to us in Morani. We know how to deal with them.
Harbinger: Well I'll remember your kind offer when I get back home. There are quite a few people I'd be delighted to send to you!

Cowley: Going somewhere?
Harbinger: My daily jogging. In my position it's important to keep fit.

Cowley: Not in an outfit like that. Too conspicuous. Makes you an easy target...(calling Bodie and Doyle over) At least it reduces the odds. Now it's only one in three.

Three moving targets...

"I'll be all right, but the conference must continue!"

Cowley: I'm sorry.
Harbinger: Sorry? You just saved my life!

Cowley: I shouldn’t have had to.

Harbinger: Well goodbye Mr Cowley
Cowley: We survived!

Harbinger: Well, you know I think it was your quick thinking that scared off Ramos.
Cowley: Perhaps.

This page by Jessica Ramage