According to Anderson, the show's format was outlined in a brief note that Grade gave him, and he was then given a free hand to develop it, although Grade ultimately cast two of the main actors himself. The format of the series allowed for occasional episodes in which not all of the main actors appear, including two episodes in which Vaughn's character is absent.
Like The Persuaders!, a similar series also produced by ITC, that aired around the same time, The Protectors was shot on location at numerous "exotic" locations throughout Europe, such as Salzburg, Rome, Malta and Paris, giving the series a sixties "jet set" feel (it was also the first Anderson production to have such a luxury). Some critics feel that the series has dated badly, with weak plots used as an excuse to string together the location footage. In order to offset the cost of location filming, and also perhaps because the equipment was more portable, the series was shot on 16mm film rather than the usual 35.