The Protectors was a British television series produced by Gerry Anderson and starring Robert Vaughn. It was first shown
in 1972 and ended in 1973. Gerry Anderson was an up and coming young film producer who became famous with the succses of his
puppet sci-fi series includeing Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and most famously, Thunderbirds.
He had also produced two spy series, (Joe 90, The Secret Service) two toddler programs (Twizzle, Torchy the Battery Boy) and
a western (Four Feather Falls) all using his trademark style of marionette puppetry. He moved into live action and made his
first live film (discounting a sixty minuete flop in 1959) Journey to the Far Side of the Sun. Then after that films failure,
he produced a live TV series, UFO. Who came up with the original idea is unclear. Perhaps it was Grade himself. Whatever the
case Gerry Anderson was assigned to produce The Protectors when Lew Grade the head of ATV handed him a peice of paper describeing
the earliest rough idea of what the show would end up as. Apparently Nyree Dawn Porter's Contessa di Contini was originaly
to have been a man. Many actors were considered for the part of Rule untill Grade signed Robert Vaughn who had achieved fame
through his part as Napolean Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Vaughn was reportedly unenthusiastic about a part he said he
had to be talked into to playing. The show was reportedly a disaster behind the camera during the first series. Squables between
crew and cast member escalated in Vaughn almost abandoning the production. But the series was reasonbly well received in it's
tea time slot. Interestingly a character in an earlier Anderson series had turned off a television set saying, "Now that's
enough of that. Brains you're soon going to learn that in my house everything stops for tea."
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