8 March 2006 | ronwalker-3
One of my favourite childhood TV shows... and themes
For anyone who remembers John Barry's catchy theme for "The Persuaders", the "Vendetta" theme (which came before it) is remarkably similar. For its day, this was a remarkably "dark" show, redolent of the early "Miami Vice", in that while the good guys always won... they never seemed to make any real progress against anyone of importance. They just had to survive on small victories. The levels of violence graphically depicted were quite shocking for the early 1960's - justified by it being an essential part of the plot. The Mafiosi weren't just "the bad guys, because we say they are", but were SHOWN to be bad by the ruthlessness of their behaviour. It was a classic "buddy cop" show, with one of the partners (If I recall correctly - and remember, we're going back 40 years here!) Neil McCallum playing an unfrocked Irish Catholic priest, and Stelio Candelli playing a reformed Mafioso. Both used the Mafia's techniques against the Mafia itself. And, curiously, both worked for the Vatican's anti-Mafia squad - NOT the Italian police. Not as glitzy as the contemporary "Man from UNCLE", but a program with far more bite. Again, if I recall correctly, it was canned after either one or two series, and appeared to be shot mainly on location. John Barry's bleak (and very Italian sounding)theme tune summed-up the dark mood of the show perfectly.