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The community moderators have solicited fans of every conceivable pairing to draft essays describing the appeal of the pairing and its canonical foundation, with the goal of attracting newcomers and giving them a starting point for further exploration - as well as reminding existing (or former) fans of the foundation for their passion.
Anyone whose days in fandom predate the internet is probably at least somewhat familiar with Pros. Whereas Doyle devoted the early years of his career to upholding order and justice in society, believing in and enforcing the rule of law, suppressing violence and (presumably) not carrying a weapon, Bodie was always a soldier, a man of war. In reality, neither is so easily categorized, both are complex and multidimensional - perhaps surprisingly so, given the era and the fact that this was a popular TV show with a tough-guy slant.
The show gives only the barest, most tantalizing hints, scattered throughout the episodes, of their pre-CI5 lives - but it's enough to conclude that they came to CI5 from very, very different backgrounds. Oh, and a skinny, muscley, sexy body that he adorns with jewelry - a neck chain, a bracelet - and shows off at the slightest provocation, leaving his shirts artfully unbuttoned and posing shamelessly against walls and doorways. Their day-to-day exchanges are characterized by almost constant rapid-fire bantering and teasing: DOYLE: If you go on munching bread and fried grub, you're not gonna make old bones, you know. They appear to be engaged in a constant effort to amuse each other, keep each other's attention, entertain and perform for each other.
In short, Bodie and Doyle, like "real" people, are layered and complex and not really susceptible to easy categorization. Bodie regularly makes outrageous comments and then looks to see Ray's reaction; inevitably Ray is in the background covering his mouth and snickering, trying not to crack up, while Bodie attempts to keep a straight face and looks quite smugly pleased with himself: COWLEY: There's something waiting for us in a telephone box.
And I have no words sufficient to express my gratitude to Angelfish Archivist, my partner-in-Pros, who consoled and cajoled me, offered advice, suggestions, and support when I was ready to tear this whole thing up, inspired me with her deep and enduring love for the characters, and applied her incredible vision, insight, and empathy to my scribblings with sensitivity and a delicate touch. Why has its appeal proved so enduring, even in the U.
The first time I ever saw an episode of The Professionals, I had no idea who the characters were, had never read a story, and the sum total of my knowledge of the show was that it was "the British Starsky & Hutch." I was baffled. S., where the show was (with a few minor exceptions) never even broadcast and fans have had to deal with PAL video format and umpteenth-generation tapes and now DVD region coding just to see an episode?
By employing sophisticated methods of criminal intelligence to prevent and defuse threats before they manifested themselves - and if that failed, to use any means necessary, including ones that were less-than-sweet-smelling themselves, to save innocents from violence. He can even be a bit sanctimonious - "nobody's nobody," he lectures the CI5 forensic man in Killer With a Long Arm when the man tells him in response to his question that the dead guy was "nobody" - "he did have a wife and kids, you know! The obviousness of their relationship is less the product of overt declarations or large emotional scenes than it is the cumulative effect of innumerable small but noteworthy incidents - glances, exchanges, moments, that taken together lead to one inevitable conclusion and defy alternative explanation. -from "First Night" They regularly call into question each other's sanity and disparage each other's intellectual capacity, clothing, eating habits, and/or appeal to the opposite sex - it's all fair game.
CI5's mandate: take on the most vile and violent of the criminals, and do not hesitate to use their own methods against them when other means are inadequate; fight violence with violence, in order to save innocents from violence. " He seems at times to be troubled by violence and killing - yet violence often seems to be simmering under his surface, and there are times when he seems veritably to exult in being as violent and wild as he can. It's understated (if not precisely subtle) - yet there is hardly an episode that does not include some indication of their deep commitment to each other. It's snarky at times, silly at times (as in the "food through a goose" exchange in Lawson's Last Stand, or the "ears like a hawk" exchange in Everest Was Also Conquered), and surprisingly suggestive at times ("I'm like a fine piece of machinery - I need lubrication," Bodie tells Doyle in Heroes) - but it's always intimate: the undertone of affection is ever-present and unmistakable.
This is the Bodie/Doyle essay that was drafted for the ship_manifesto livejournal community and posted there on June 13, 2005 (the post is here).
This community was created to showcase and disseminate so-called "Shippers' Manifestos" "public declarations of fannish love" for particular pairings ("ships").
And this is part of what makes them so endlessly appealing. MINISTER: I don't like the sound of that 'something'. COWLEY [as Doyle cracks up]: There are times, Bodie, when I find your ribaldry quite distasteful!
- From "First Night" On the surface Bodie may be sassing Cowley, but you don't have to dig very deep to see that it's really all about Ray, that he's courting Ray's attention, so to speak; performing for him and striving mightily to amuse him.
But despite its enduring popularity it is not the "fandom of the moment," and many newer fans might be in the same position of ignorance I was only a few short years ago. The Professionals was a British TV series broadcast between 19, for a total of 57 episodes, that catalogued the exploits of Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw) and William Andrew Philip Bodie (Lewis Collins), partner agents in CI5, and their boss, George Cowley (Gordon Jackson). We know nothing about his family, but we know he left school at 14 and eventually joined the merchant navy, he jumped ship at Dakar (Senegal) after three years and thereafter was a bouncer in an African club, did some gun-running for both sides during the Congo War, and was a mercenary soldier in Angola and Biafra. Bodie can be utterly ruthless, a killing machine - yet he quotes poetry at the drop of a hat. COWLEY: What are you two, some kind of music-hall act?