SPÉCIAL TÉLÉSÉRIES CULTES ANNÉES '60 ET '70: Premier épisode de la série The Persuaders 1971 (Amicalement Vôtre) avec Tony Curtis, et Roger Moore. V.o. anglaise.

Amicalement vôtre1 (The Persuaders!) est une série télévisée britannique en 24 épisodes de 50 minutes, créée par Robert S. Baker et diffusée entre le et le sur le réseau ITV.

En France, la série a été diffusée à partir du sur la deuxième chaîne de l'ORTF2.

Synopsis

La série met en scène deux hommes riches et quelque peu désœuvrés : d'un côté, un aristocrate britannique, Lord Brett Sinclair, quinzième du nom, beau parleur cultivé, habitant Londres, vivant de ses rentes, attaché aux traditions véhiculées par sa famille, et de l'autre côté, un homme d'affaires américain sorti des bas-fonds de New York, Daniel Wilde (surnommé « Danny »).

Ils sont mis en contact par le juge Fulton, magistrat à la retraite, qui a quelques comptes à régler avec la pègre, ce qui va les entraîner dans plusieurs missions périlleuses au cours desquelles ils devront démontrer l'étendue de leurs talents respectifs. À noter que les traits de caractère des deux personnages jouent sur les clichés relatifs aux Britanniques et aux Américains (d'une certaine classe sociale).

Fiche technique

Roger Moore en 1973 (photo prise au studio Belgravia à Londres)

Distribution

Épisodes

  1. Premier Contact (Overture) de Basil Dearden
  2. Les Pièces d'or (The Gold Napoleon) de Roy Ward Baker
  3. Sept millions de livres (Take Seven) de Sidney Hayers
  4. Un rôle en or (Greensleeves) de David Greene
  5. La Danseuse (Powerswitch) de Basil Dearden
  6. Le Complot (The Time and the Place) de Roger Moore
  7. Quelqu'un dans mon genre (Someone Like Me) de Roy Ward Baker
  8. Le Mot de passe (Anyone Can Play) de Leslie Norman
  9. Un drôle d'oiseau (The Old, the New and the Deadly) de Leslie Norman
  10. Un ami d'enfance (Angie... Angie) de Val Guest
  11. Un enchaînement de circonstances (Chain of Events) de Peter Hunt
  12. L'Un et l'Autre (That's Me Over There) de Leslie Norman
  13. Formule à vendre (The Long Goodbye) de Roger Moore
  14. Entre deux feux (The Man in the Middle) de Leslie Norman
  15. Un risque calculé (Element of Risk) de Gerald Mayer
  16. Un petit coin tranquille (A Home of One's Own) de James Hill
  17. Minuit moins huit kilomètres (Five Miles to Midnight) de Val Guest
  18. L'Enlèvement de Lisa Zorakin (Nuisance Value) de Leslie Norman
  19. Le Lendemain matin (The Morning After) de Leslie Norman
  20. Des secrets plein la tête (Read and Destroy) de Roy Ward Baker
  21. Regrets éternels (A Death in the Family) de Sidney Hayers
  22. L'Héritage d'Ozerov (The Ozerov Inheritance) de Roy Ward Baker
  23. Le Coureur de dot (To the Death, Baby) de Basil Dearden
  24. Une rancune tenace (Someone Waiting) de Peter Medak3,4

Production

Origines de la série

Robert S. Baker, le créateur de la série, est un réalisateur et producteur britannique à qui on doit plusieurs films d'aventures ou fantastiques. Également producteur de la série Le Saint, Robert S. Baker a l'idée du concept d'Amicalement vôtre à la suite de l'épisode 18 de la saison 6, intitulé Le Roi (The Ex-King of Diamonds)5, diffusé le 26 janvier 1969 et dans lequel Simon Templar (joué par Roger Moore), rivalise avec un riche et oisif texan joué par Stuart Damon. Le nom de Rock Hudson circule pour servir de partenaire à Moore, mais les deux acteurs ont trop de points communs, physiquement parlant. Puis c'est celui de Glenn Ford, avec qui Moore ne s'entendait guère, selon son propre aveu dans son livre de mémoires[réf. nécessaire]. C'est finalement Tony Curtis qui est engagé. Le personnage est de ce fait fondamentalement modifié, passant du riche cow-boy texan à l'homme d'affaire new-yorkais, plus proche de la personnalité de Curtis.

Tournage

Les deux acteurs ont toujours affirmé avoir entretenu de bonnes relations en dépit de caractères diamétralement opposés. Dans une interview accordée par Tony Curtis au site officiel de Roger Moore en 2005, il évoquait ce dernier avec affection et disait qu'il n'aurait pas voulu tourner cette série avec quelqu'un d'autre que lui. Roger Moore définit leurs relations dans les termes suivants : « Tony et moi avions de bonnes relations à la ville comme à l'écran ; nous sommes deux hommes très différents, mais nous partagions un sens de l'humour ».

Cependant, des tiers ont rapporté plusieurs incidents durant les tournages. Dans son autobiographie Still Dancing, le producteur Lew Grade rapporte que les acteurs ne s'entendaient pas très bien à cause d'une conception différente de leur métier. Roger Moore, très appliqué, était toujours prêt à rejouer les scènes jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient bonnes, alors que Tony Curtis cherchait à les expédier le plus vite possible.

Dans une interview au British Film Institute en 2005, le réalisateur Val Guest a confirmé que le caractère impétueux de Tony Curtis a créé des incidents sur le tournage. Lorsqu'en 1973, Curtis et Moore ont remporté le Bambi en Allemagne pour la série et que la question d'une suite s'est posée, Roger Moore aurait déclaré : « Avec Tony Curtis, jamais de la vie ! ».

Roger Moore a été très impliqué dans le tournage puisqu'il a réalisé deux épisodes et dessiné lui-même les tenues portées par son personnage (voir crédit au générique de fin).

L'essentiel des épisodes se déroule au Royaume-Uni. C'est d'ailleurs au cœur même de Londres, devant un immeuble situé Queen Ann's Gate, que furent tournés les extérieurs de l'appartement de Lord Brett Sinclair.
Le tournage avait aussi lieu le dimanche pour éviter la circulation excessive de la semaine. Les seuls studios utilisés furent Pinewood, pour leur proximité avec un important domaine forestier.
[réf. nécessaire]

De nombreux épisodes ont également été tournés en FranceParis et sur la Côte d'Azur) et d'une façon générale en Europe continentale (Monaco, Rome, Genève, Stockholm...)6. Ainsi, dans le 1er épisode (Premier Contact), tourné dans les environs de Nice, on aperçoit le château de Mouans à Mouans-Sartoux.[réf. nécessaire]

Dans L'Ami d'enfance, la scène finale a été tournée au mont Chauve, au-dessus de Nice.

Le traitement réservé aux personnages français est souvent peu flatteur (par exemple, les rôles du commissaire de police de Nice dans La Danseuse et du douanier à la frontière franco-italienne dans Les Pièces d'or notamment, sans parler de la douane italienne, tout simplement défoncée dans cet épisode), à la limite des clichés (tenues, attitudes,...).[réf. nécessaire]

Musique

Si le célèbre thème du générique est signé John Barry, c'est à Ken Thorne que l'on doit la musique instrumentale qui accompagne pratiquement chacune des séquences de la série. Le compositeur anglais David Lindup a composé et dirigé la musique de deux épisodes, Le coureur de dot et Les pièces d'or7. Plusieurs chansons ont aussi été utilisées : Gotta Get Away8, écrite et interprétée par Jackie Trent et Tony Hatch, composée spécialement pour accompagner la course-poursuite entre Brett Sinclair et Danny Wilde, de l'aéroport de Nice à l'hôtel de Paris à Monte-Carlo, dans Premier contact (1er épisode) ; Groovy City (1967) composée par Cliff Johns et interprétée par The Screaming Najgers9, "source music" pour les scènes de discothèque des épisodes Un ami d'enfance (où Danny Wilde rencontre Angie) et Un risque calculé (séquence avec les sœurs jumelles). Dans l'épisode Sept millions de livres, lorsqu'apparaît Mandy la superbe gouvernante de Brett Sinclair, c'est The Stripper (1962), célèbre composition instrumentale de David Rose, que l'on entend.

Un disque 45 tours du thème du générique10 a d'abord été officiellement commercialisé en 1971 par CBS, dans une version réorchestrée par John Barry, en stéréo, au rythme légèrement plus lent que celui de l'enregistrement utilisé pour le générique original11 (avec en face B The girl with the sun in her hair, version réorchestrée par John Barry de sa mélodie composée en 1967 pour la campagne publicitaire des shampoings Sunsilk). Le thème du générique d'Amicalement vôtre a été repris par de nombreux orchestres, dont particulièrement ceux de Geoff Love et de John Keating en 1972 ; il en existe des versions jazz (par Claude Salmiéri), Downbeat (par Ricky Bolognesi et Diego Di Fazio), et même musique électronique, dont celle enregistrée par le groupe Hongrois Neo, accompagné par l'Orchestre symphonique de Budapest, en 199912, et celle du musicien Franco-Libanais Camille Bazbaz en 200813. Il figure sur de nombreuses compilations, dont la première, Theme from The Persuaders!, réalisée en 33 tours par CBS en 1972, et depuis rééditée en CD. La musique de Ken Thorne pour les épisodes de la série n'a fait l'objet d'aucune édition avant l'inclusion de quelques morceaux dans la compilation The Music of ITC14, un CD distribué par Network en 2009. Cette compilation de musiques de séries britanniques des années 1960 et du début des années 1970 (dont Amicalement vôtre, Le Saint, Destination Danger, L'homme à la valise, Le Prisonnier, Jason King, Poigne de fer et séduction, ...) a la particularité de présenter des morceaux provenant de bandes audio et masters originaux. Sous le titre Main Titles la version du générique de début d'Amicalement vôtre y est ainsi présentée dans sa version originale plus rapide, en son monophonique, d'une durée de 1 minute 12 secondes, différente de la version commercialisée depuis 1972, plus longue d'une minute et en stéréo. La chanson Gotta Get Away figure aussi sur cette compilation, en son monophonique15. Elle n'avait jamais fait l'objet d'une diffusion commerciale.

Voitures

Danny Wilde roule en Dino 246 GT (conçue et construite par Ferrari bien que ne portant pas officiellement la marque[réf. nécessaire])16. Brett Sinclair en Aston Martin DBS, immatriculée BS1 dans la série ; la voiture, présentée et badgée comme une DBS V8, équipée de jantes GKN en alliage, était en réalité une DBS 6 cylindres. Le feuilleton représentait alors une formidable promotion pour la marque, notamment aux États-Unis, mais la version V8 n'était pas prête commercialement à la date du tournage17. L'exemplaire de la série, de couleur Bahama Yellow17, a été racheté en 1995 par un fan de la série, qui l'a fait restaurer dans son état d'origine18.

Version française

Comme dans beaucoup d'adaptation, la version française prend de la liberté par rapport à la version originale. Aussi il arrive que les comédiens doublant les voix originales des acteurs de la série rajoutent des répliques (exemple : dans l'épisode Regrets éternels, Michel Roux - voix de Tony Curtis - cite la phrase « Il a compris ! » alors que Curtis se contente de sourire).

Accueil

L'humour britannique de Roger Moore et les pitreries de Tony Curtis assurent le spectacle. Cependant, la série ne convainc pas le public américain et Mission impossible figure parmi ses concurrentes. L'absence de succès ainsi que le départ de Roger Moore pour le cinéma (série des James Bond) font qu'elle s'arrête au bout d'une année. Autre élément ayant joué dans la balance : la production souhaitait revenir à un tournage en studio, au Royaume-Uni, afin de réduire les coûts, alors que R. Moore et T. Curtis voulaient pour leur part rester en Europe continentale.[réf. nécessaire]

Michel Roux raconte que Tony Curtis était très content de sa voix française, au point qu'il lui aurait demandé d'assurer par contrat tous ses doublages à venir. Roux l'a donc doublé pour Le miroir se brisa ou encore la série Lois et Clark : Les Nouvelles Aventures de Superman2.

L'échec de la diffusion aux États-Unis où sur le réseau ABC, seuls 20 des 24 épisodes produits furent diffusés entraîna l'arrêt de la série19. Le réseau américain était le financier principal de la série20.
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The Persuaders! is an action/adventure/comedy series produced by ITC Entertainment, and initially broadcast on ITV and ABC in 1971. It has been called "the last major entry in the cycle of adventure series that began eleven years earlier with Danger Man in 1960," as well as "the most ambitious and most expensive of Sir Lew Grade's international action adventure series".[1] The Persuaders! was filmed in France, Italy and Britain between May 1970 and June 1971.

Despite its focus on the British and American markets, the show became more successful in other international markets.[2] It won its highest awards in Australia and Spain,[3] and Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were decorated in Germany and France for their acting. It persists in the memory of European film-makers and audiences, having been casually referenced in 21st-century productions made in Sweden, France, Britain and Germany.[4]

The show used many of the resources of Moore's previous show, The Saint. These included locations and the idea of reusing many of the visible vehicles from episode to episode. The most obvious, however, were the many guest stars and second level actors from The Saint showing up in The Persuaders! roles. The highlight being the undertaker role performed by Ivor Dean, who had portrayed police inspector Claud Eustace Teal in The Saint.

Premise

The Persuaders are two equally matched men from different backgrounds who reluctantly team together to solve cases that the police and the courts cannot.

Danny Wilde (Tony Curtis) is a rough diamond, educated and moulded in the slums of New York City, who escaped by enlisting in the US Navy. He later became a millionaire in the oil business. (Curtis himself suffered a tough childhood in the Bronx, and served in the US Navy. He was 46 when he made The Persuaders, but he performed all his own stunts and fight sequences.)[5] Lord Brett Sinclair (Roger Moore) is a polished British nobleman educated at Harrow and Oxford, a former British Army officer and an ex-racing car driver, who addresses his colleague as "Daniel".[6]

As a pair of globe-trotting playboys, the men meet on holiday in the French Riviera, instantly disliking each other and destroying a hotel bar during a fist-fight. They are arrested and delivered to retired Judge Fulton (Laurence Naismith), who offers them the choice of spending ninety days in jail or helping him to right errors of impunity. Grudgingly, Wilde and Sinclair agree to help Fulton to solve a case. He then releases them from any threat of jail.

The men develop a sparing affection for each other and soon stumble into more adventures, sometimes by chance, sometimes on commission from Judge Fulton. Although the Judge recurs in the series, he has no formal relationship with his two agents. Eleven episodes depict his finding a way to convince Wilde and Sinclair to act on his behalf. For instance, in "Angie, Angie" he easily convinces one of the pair. In "The Man in the Middle" he endangers his agents so that they must act in his behalf. When they are short of cash he lures them with money. In "Powerswitch" he manipulates events from the shadows, and Sinclair and Wilde do not know that he is involved.

Some episodes rely on Danny being mistaken for other people, usually by some bizarre coincidence. In "Element of Risk" he is mistaken for a criminal mastermind named Lomax, played by Shane Rimmer. In "Anyone Can Play" he is mistaken at a Brighton casino for a Russian spy paymaster.

In episode 12, "That's Me Over There," it appears that Sinclair has had a longstanding interest in crime-fighting, as he has had a dedicated telephone line installed for an informer on a master criminal. In episode 17, "Five Miles to Midnight," Sinclair tells Joan Collins's character that he is working for the Judge because it has given him something worthwhile to do after his failed motor-racing career. Wilde never reveals nor explains his reasons.

Signature elements

Besides the premise and the characters The Persuaders is distinguished from other television series by signature elements, notably the title sequence and the cars driven by the protagonists.

Title sequence

The Persuaders! titles and synthesiser theme, by John Barry,[7] establish the background and current identities of the protagonists via split-screen narrative technique:[8] two dossiers, one red, one blue, labelled Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair simultaneously depict their lives. The younger images of Tony Curtis are genuine, whereas the images of Roger Moore (with one exception) were mock-ups created for the credits. As the biographies approach their current ages, a series of four short sequences combine live footage with torn newspaper clippings, connoting their excitingly peripatetic lifestyles. The conclusion shows them together enjoying a life of sport, drink, women and gambling. The titles were specifically designed so that neither actor would appear to have top billing, something both Moore and Curtis stipulated when they agreed to co-star.

The title sequence retains a certain cachet among professional film editors. In 1995 Peugeot released an advertisement for the 306 car, with the theme of the opening title sequence, the split screen process and even the voice of Michel Roux, who dubbed Tony Curtis in the French broadcast of the original series. In 2007 France 2 satirically used it to introduce a report about relations between the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his first Prime Minister François Fillon.[9]

Cars

The protagonists drive signature cars. Danny Wilde drives a red left-hand-drive Ferrari Dino 246 GT (chassis number 00810). Brett Sinclair drives a UK-registered Bahama Yellow right-hand-drive Aston Martin DBS (chassis number DBS/5636/R) with V8 wheels and markings. Both cars were provided to the show's producers courtesy of the respective vehicle manufacturers.

As with Simon Templar (Roger Moore's character in the television series The Saint), Lord Brett Sinclair's car has personalised number plates of his initials: Templar's were "ST 1", Sinclair's are "BS 1" (except for one scene in the episode "The Gold Napoleon," where the car has its original UK registration number PPP 6H instead). The true owner of the plates for Sinclair's car, Billy Smart, Jr., permitted their use in the series.

The Aston Martin from the show was sold by the factory after filming ended, via HR Owen in London, to its first private owner. It was restored to a very high standard in recent years by the Aston Martin factory, and is presently owned by divorce lawyer and noted art collector Jeremy Levison.[10] Both Moore and Curtis have signed the underside of the car's boot (rear luggage compartment): Moore at Pinewood Studios in May 2003; Curtis at Cheltenham Racecourse in October 2008. In 2013 the Aston Martin DBS was an invited participant at two of Europe's most exclusive motoring concours, the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como, and the Salon Privé Concours in London.

Danny Wilde's Ferrari Dino bears Italian registration plates, 221400.MO (the 'MO' component represents the city of Modena, which happens to be the headquarters and manufacturing base of Ferrari). The exact whereabouts of the Dino today is unknown, but it is reliably believed to be in private ownership in Italy.[11]

Production

The concept of The Persuaders! originated in one of the final episodes of The Saint titled "The Ex-King of Diamonds", wherein Simon Templar (Moore) is partnered with a Texas oilman (Stuart Damon) in a Monte Carlo gambling adventure. Pleased with that combination, Robert S. Baker and Lew Grade funded the new series. Unusually, production of the series began and continued without contracts among the producers and Moore.[12] Moreover, Moore's role as producer is not obvious from watching the series, but Curtis confirmed the fact: "Roger was always like the host with the show, because it was his company that was producing it. I would say he was the largest independent owner of it; Roger and his company owned it with Bob Baker, and Sir Lew owned the rest of it."

Curtis became involved in the series because ITC knew it needed an American co-star to ensure the series would be picked up by US TV stations. Initially the role was offered to Rock Hudson and Glenn Ford but they both rejected the part. ITC then asked the American Broadcasting Company for a list of suitable actors that included Tony Curtis. He eventually agreed and flew to the UK in April 1970 to commence location filming. However, on arrival at Heathrow Airport, Curtis was arrested for possession of cannabis. He was fined £50.

Filming was conducted on location in Europe (such as location filming in France, Spain, Sweden, and Italy) and at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. In total 24 episodes of the The Persuaders! were completed. Each episode cost £100,000, (or approx. £1,800,000 in 2007) to make. Only one series of The Persuaders was made because Roger Moore accepted the role of James Bond in the Bond franchise. In the DVD documentary, "The Morning After", Bob Baker states that Lew Grade was prepared to finance a second series, despite its failure in America, by re-casting with Noel Harrison, son of Rex Harrison, as a replacement for Moore. Baker states that he convinced Grade that the dynamic that Moore and Curtis had worked out was unique and it was better to leave the series as it stood.

During the series Moore acted – officially and practically – as his own wardrobe stylist. It stemmed from genuine sartorial interests and because he was marketing a line of clothes by bespoke men's tailors, Pearson and Foster.[13] Every episode carried the closing credit, "Lord Sinclair's clothes designed by Roger Moore", with "Roger Moore" written as a large signature.

Curtis and Moore relationship

There is much speculation about the professional relationship between Roger Moore and Tony Curtis on- and off-set. In her autobiography Second Act, Joan Collins detailed how they did not get along when she was a guest star. She cited Curtis's foul temper as the reason why the set of the "Five Miles to Midnight" episode was tense. Episode director Val Guest, in a 2005 interview to the British Film Institute, confirmed Collins's assessment of Curtis:[14]

Yes, it was great fun doing The Persuaders, despite Tony Curtis. [laughter] I'll tell you a funny story about that:

"Tony was on pot at the time, and I used to have to say 'Oh, go and have a smoke'm', because he always had some gripe of some kind, and, one day, we were shooting on the Croisette, in Cannes, and we'd been roped off our little thing, and there were crowds all around watching us film and everything, and Tony Curtis came down to do his scene and he was just carrying on at the wardrobe saying, 'You didn't do this, and you should have done that... and in Hollywood you would have been fired....' And dear Roger Moore walked over, took him by the lapels, looked him straight in the eyes and said, 'And to think those lips once kissed Piper Laurie'. [laughter] Well, the whole of the Croisette collapsed, the unit collapsed, and, I must say, even Tony had to laugh, but we were asked to do another... we got the award that year for the best TV series, I think it was, and they wanted to do a repeat, and I remember Roger saying, 'With Tony Curtis, not on your life', and he went on to become James Bond, so he did all right."
— Val Guest, Director

In his autobiography, Still Dancing, Lew Grade notes that the actors "didn't hit it off all that well", because of different work ethics. According to Roger Moore's autobiography Curtis's use of cannabis was so extensive that he even smoked it in front of a police officer while filming at 10 Downing Street.[15] Despite third-party claims, Curtis and Moore consistently maintained they had an amicable working relationship. Moore says: "Tony and I had a good on- and off-screen relationship, we are two very different people, but we did share a sense of humour".[2]

In a 2005 interview, Curtis referred to Moore with affection and stated that he would not participate in a remake of The Persuaders! without Moore.[16]

Reception

UK and US

Although the series was placed in the 1971 top 20 of most-viewed shows in Britain,[17] Lew Grade wanted it to do well in the profitable American TV market. It followed his earlier series such as Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, and The Baron.[1] But The Persuaders made little impact in America, airing on ABC on Saturday nights opposite Mission: Impossible.[1] Its poor ratings stood out as Mission: Impossible was not one of the US's top 30 of programs in 1971.[18] ABC pulled the series before all 24 episodes were aired.

ITC tried to salvage its losses by re-editing eight episodes into four individual TV movies for the American market. They were:

  • London Conspiracy from "Greensleeves" and "A Home of One's Own"
  • Mission: Monte Carlo from "Powerswitch" and "The Gold Napoleon"
  • Sporting Chance from "Someone Waiting" and "Anyone Can Play"
  • The Switch from "The Ozerov Inheritance" and "Angie, Angie..."

International distribution

Despite the overall disappointment in the UK and USA, the series sold well in other international markets, particularly Continental Europe. This success allowed ITC to recoup much of its production costs soon after principal photography was completed.[19] The series has remained popular in Germany, Denmark, France, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Hungary and Italy; episodes are still regularly repeated throughout Europe.[2] For instance, DR2 in Denmark rebroadcast the entire series on weekday early evenings during Spring 2012.

In the UK, the series has had re-runs on Channel 4, Granada Plus, Bravo and ITV4 in the 1990s and 2000s. When the pilot episode, Overture, was screened as part of Channel 4's nostalgia strand TV Heaven in 1992, series' host, comedy writer Frank Muir, said in a Radio Times interview that The Persuaders "must have been the best bad series ever made... absolute hokum". However, BBC Radio 5 presenter Dave Aldridge later asked: "Was seventies TV really this good?"

Redubbed versions

Die Zwei, the German version of The Persuaders, became a cult hit in Germany and Austria. This was largely because the dubbing was substantively altered creating a completely different program.[12] In France Amicalement vôtre (Yours, Friendly) also became a popular show because it was based on the redubbed German version instead of the English original.

The German dubbing was "a unique mixture of street slang and ironic tongue-in-cheek remarks" and it "even mentioned Lord Sinclair becoming 007 on one or two occasions".[20] Dialogue frequently broke the fourth wall with lines like "Junge, lass doch die Sprüche, die setzen ja die nächste Folge ab!" (Quit the big talk, lad, or they'll cancel the series) or "Du musst jetzt etwas schneller werden, sonst bist Du nicht synchron" (Talk faster, you aren't in sync any more).

Research from the University of Hamburg notes the only common elements between Die Zwei and The Persuaders! is they use the same imagery. Other than "the linguistic changes entailed by the process of translation result in radically different characterizations of the protagonists of the series. The language use in the translations is characterized by a greater degree of sexual explicitness and verbal violence as well as an unveiled pro-American attitude, which is not found in the source texts".[21]

In 2006 a news story by CBS News on the German dubbing industry mentioned The Persuaders! The report discovered that many German dubbing artists believed that "staying exactly true to the original is not always the highest aim". Rainer Brandt, co-ordinator of the German dubbing of The Persuaders and Tony Curtis' dubbing voice, said "This spirit was invoked by the person who oversaw the adaption and also performed Tony Curtis' role: When a company says they want something to be commercially successful, to make people laugh, I give it a woof. I make them laugh like they would in a Bavarian beer garden."[22]

Other researchers suggest international versions of The Persuaders! were given different translations simply because the original English series would not have made sense to local audiences. For instance the nuanced differences between the accents and manners of Tony Curtis, the American self-made millionaire Danny Wild from the Brooklyn slums, and Roger Moore, the most polished British Lord Sinclair, would be hard to convey to foreign viewers. Argentinian academic Sergio Viaggio commented "how could it have been preserved in Spanish? By turning Curtis into a low class Caracan and Moore into an aristocratic Madrileño? Here not even the approach that works with My Fair Lady would be of any avail; different sociolects of the same vernacular will not do—much less in subtitling, where all differences in accent are irreparably lost".[23]