This FAQ was largely written by me (Sandy Herrold--assume all 1st person refs are mine except the Collins section and where noted) with the help of Betsy Ramsey, Alex McKenzie, rache (wickedwords), Sharon Decker, Terri Volpe, Lezlie Shell, Debbie Ramsey (her notes are marked "----dar") and others.
Professional's Slash Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Last revised 28 April 97
Before reading this FAQ, I recommend reading the Pros primer.
The questions this document attempts to address are as follows:
o Which one is Bodie, which one is Doyle?
o Why is Doyle feminized so often?
o Why is there controversy about the "last episode?"
o Where can I get copies of the episodes?
o What are good starting episodes?
o Other Recommended Episodes
+ What episodes have been professionally released?
o What is the Bullshitters?
o What is GBH?
o What zines are currently available?
o What else is available?
o What is The Library?
o Recommended Library Stories?
+o What are some authors I can trust?
o What is the Professional's E-mail Library?
o What is Fire Stone?
o What are some good Pros songtapes?
+o What else has Shaw done? (that's available on video)
o What else has Collins done?
o What else have they done together?
o What are they doing NOW?
Here we go...
>> Which one is Bodie, which one is Doyle?
Thanks to Dotty: Just remember: "Bodie with the body, Doyle with the 'coils'" (say in Brooklynese). 'Course, this only helps if you've seen a decent illo of the two.
>> Why is Doyle feminized so often?
Good question. Most slash pairings (with the possible exception of B/A) have one partner who is feminized more often than the other. Doyle, with his 'fey curls,' cat like eyes, his slender frame, etc., is the lucky guy in Pros fic. Is it a fact about the writing of sex scenes by hetero women, as has been said by many academics--that one character has to stand in for a woman, since this is really heterosex being written about, in clever disguise? Or, as many fen seem turned on by androgynous people, is there something sexy about him in his portrayal as "feminine?" Or does it fit more as 'slash as gender exploration, rather than as a substitute for heterosex stories by repressed women.' Most famous story example exploring this is "In Flagrente Delecto" by M. Fae in the first Queer as a 3 Pound Note.
>> Why is there controversy about the "last episode?"
There is little obvious continuity throughout the Professionals, so there is no overwhelming reason that the last aired episode must be the 'last episode.' Operation Susie, a 5th season ep, has a plot twist that many fans think would have caused Bodie and Doyle to quit. Spy Probe, another 5th season episode, was shot amid rumors that B and D would die, blown up in a ship explosion.
>> What are good starting episodes?
Hunter/Hunted--great character interaction.
Man Without A Past--great character interaction.
Purging of CI5--good view of how CI5 works, good character interaction.
In the Public Interest--great character interaction.
Servant of Two Masters--good Cowley ep.
>> Other Recommended Episodes
Stakeout--Great early char interaction in bowling alley.
Slushfund--Doyle goes undercover, Bodie worries and fights Cowley.
Mixed Doubles--Lots of stories based around this one.
Backtrack--Good Doyle crotch shots.
Ojuka Situation--Great character interaction, good Murphy.
Involvement--Doyle's one big love interest.
Fall Girl--Bodie's one big love interest.
>> What episodes have been professionally released?
Here is the list of currently available ones (in the order of release) (by
1. Old Dog New Tricks / The Rack
2. A Hiding To Nothing /Runner
3. Foxhole on the Roof / Operation Suzie
4. The Purging of CI5 / The Female Factor
5. Wild Justice / Involvement
6. Back Track / Mixed Doubles
7. Discovered In A Graveyard / Ojuka Situation
8. Private Madness, Public Danger / Killer With A Long Arm
9. Heroes / Where The Jungle Ends
10. Close Quarters / Everest Was Also Conquered
11. Stake Out / When The Heat Cools Off
12. Long Shot / Look After Annie
>> What is the Bullshitters?
There are two eps, the first--The Bullshitters--a completely over-the-top Professional's parody (1984) and the secondThe Bullshitters 2--a parody of both 70's and 90's TV detectives, including Pros (1993). They are both available from Sharon Fetter, 424 S. Columbia, Columbus OH 43209.
Price was $3.50 for the tape, plus $2.90 postage, plus "a donation of your choice from $1 - $10 to help cover acquisition/wear&tear". Her copies were quite good--taken off the commercially-released version of Bullshitters and off a PAL TV recording for BS2.
(The sequel, by the way, is nearly as funny as the first oneabsolutely hilarious--there are a series of murders of "'90s style TV Detectives" (the one we get to see is of The Gourmet Detective), the only clue is a platform boot, which leads the cops to suspect a 70s-style killer.
They then haul in all these 70s'-style TV detectives to help track down the criminal--no more "sensitive" 90s detectives with marital problems who brood a lot and don't run around with guns, no, sirthey need guys in tight pants and fast, squealing cars who shoot people and shout "Freeze!" all the time. And they get 'em, including "Bonehead" and "Foyle", who spend most of the show covering each other everywhere they go (in the pub, in the loo) and drive fast--during the car chase of the bad guy, they drive around him in circles until the engine dies and they can't get it started again, which they find terribly frustrating. I loved it.)
>>What is GBH?
Grevious Bodily Harm--basically the British version of Assault and Battery.
>> What else is available?
The Complete Professionals. Synopses of all the episodes, many photos, and some anecdotes about the series. Should be available at most cons for around $18. (It is much slicker, but not as good as the fan episode guide, information following.)
Professional Insight, the fan bible to the series. Absolutely invaluable to the serious writer or song vid maker in this universe. currently $28 from--
Pear Tree Press
Rivendell, Lumber Lane
Northamptonshire, NN12 7ND
(Don't forget the SAE and two IRC's or $1.00 cash for replies)
There are "The Professional's Annuals," like a hard-sided comic book almost, though with nice pictures of the actors, are about 10-30 dollars each, depending on condition and collectible value.
There are novelizations (bad, of the episodes, usually three per book) for 5-10 each.
I have seen nice looking coffee cups with the green logo on them.
Pictures of Shaw and Collins:
Denetia Arellanes sells some very nice photos of The Lads. Her address is: 429 North Chapel, Apt E, Alhambra, CA 91801.
Sharon Fetter sells photos of B & D (She has over 500 to choose from), she also sells copies of recent shows/movies/ talk shows that Shaw and Collins have been in, and converted-from-PAL Pros episodes (lesser quality than Kandy Fong's though).
She (and friends) typed up a huge database known as The List of Professionals Stories. It lists everything everyone has ever published in this fandom. It is a great help trying to find other stories by people you like. The last (sob) update to this was Media West 93, so after this, we're on our own.
>> What is The Library?
Professional's fan fiction, unlike many others, actually started with slash stories. Also, it started slowly, since the show never really showed on the air in the US. Most of the first stories in pros fanfic were just "put on the circuit" instead of published in a zine. Many years ago, Karen Brandl started a lending library of all of the old stories. She also circulates lending copies of some zines (by permission of the editors). There are over 1000 stories currently in the library.
It was a great idea, but a little slow; not like it has paid staff or anything. Basically, you join, she sends you a list of all the stories she has, and you order 10 a month. She pays postage to you, you include a reimbursement of that postage when you mail it back. Library or circuit stories are often sold at cons, or listed on zine sale sheets too. That huge list of stories is a little intimidating. Remember also, Sturgeon's law applies: 90% of everything is crap, so keep an eye out for lists of recommended stories.
Bound In Leather Press.
c/o Karen Brandl
23 Greenwood Ct-A
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(Note: to join the Library, there is a $12.00 fee. Reasonable when you think of all the goodies available!!) Gradually, most of the old Library is being put into electronic form.
>> Recommended Library Stories:
Of Tethered Goats and Tigers
Where the Worms Are
Scoring a Try
Forget That I Remember, Dream That I Forget
Adagio, Catharsis, Homecoming, Plain Sailing
Tiger By the Tale/Action of the Tiger
B&D By The Sea
Flu and Flu 2
Siren/Bound To The Mast/Going for the Shore
Hyperion to a Satyr, pts. 1-3
The Fox and The Wolf trilogy (B/C)
Rediscovered in a Graveyard
>> What are some authors I can trust?
IMHO: Sebastian, Courtney Grey and Pam Rose, HG, Fanny Adams, CP, and Debra Hicks, O. Yardley, Ellis Ward and plenty of others you'll discover for yourself.
>> What is the Professional's E-mail Library?
For many years, circuit stories have been a popular favorite and mainstay of Pros fandom. However, over the years, copies fade, pages disappear, and lines get cut off. Repeated rounds of copying and re-copying take their toll. In some instances, the complete set of an author's work is impossible to find.
To remedy this, starting in 1993 ,volunteers have retyped almost 400 circuit stories that are now available on computer disk or by electronic mail. The electronic library is steadily adding new and old circuit stories to its archive. The purpose to the library is threefold: to preserve many of the fading or hard to find 'classics', to help isolated or international fans gain access to the Pros circuit, and to ensure the survival of the circuit library as we move into the electronic age. The stories are typed so that British (and American) spellings are preserved. There is no editing of the author's work.
Though initially started by Alex MacKenzie, Debbie Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) now maintains the library. ----dar
>> What is Fire Stone?
A professional paperback novel by Tanya Huff that reads like a not-bad Professional's a/u. No real sex, but hey, you'll never find a 200 page zine for 4.95...
>> What are some good Pros songtapes? ("What is a Songtape/songvid?")
Alone (MVD, Virgule tape)
Too Long a Soldier, Mellow when I'm dead, Deteriarata (Deejay's tape 1)
Under The Gun (Cybel Harper--Virgule 1 tape)
Heartbreaker (Deejay's tape 2)
A Fire is Burning (Media Cannibals, tape 2)
>> What else has Shaw done? (that's available on video)
The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing -- 1990, Pretty good movie, and Shaw looks very good here; longish grayish straight hair and casual-to-business clothes.
Facelift -- 1984, This is very bad low budget, artsy SF movie, but it has spawned some good fanfic. An H.G. novel called Master of the Revels, famous for the length and the many Lovett color plates in the fancy reprinting, another called Magikal by Jane. Both novels add another character to the movie ones, to act as the Bodie substitute.
Ladder of Swords -- 1988, A pretty good movie, most of the fiction from it is short, and also includes Bodie substitutes. Shaw looks great with wild hair and a gray beard.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad -- 1973, Shaw plays 1st officer in tunic and I Dream of Jeannie pants; long straightish hair. Tom Baker plays a beturbaned bad guy. Bad but entertaining, and spawned the Rachid stories, among others.
Cassidy -- 1990, is an Australian TV movie, 1990, where Shaw plays a not quite nice guy named James Griffin. Not nearly enough screen time but he looks good in it--good hair, wears soft sweaty sweats, one good sex scene. Courtney Grey has a novella combining Shaw's character with Collin's character from a Collin's movie; HG has a novel out based on it, character also appears in S. Fetter's menage novel.
For the Greater Good -- 1990, a British miniseries. Shaw does an excellent job playing a character most unlike Doyle; a spineless bisexual MP. --M Fae has a follow-up story in Queer as a 3 Pound Note 1.
East Lynne -- 1982, Stupid movie, but beautiful costumes; Shaw has longish hair, and looks good. Several stories came from this movie.
The Chief -- 1993-1995 Anglia TV production. Shaw takes over the title role from Tim Piggot Smith to rave review. The hair is a little hard to get used to but the series is strong and he is wonderful.
The Most Dangerous Man -- 1988, BBC1 production. Shaw's a bad guy, and his relationship to the kid he recruits to do his dirtywork could easily be interpreted to be sexual. Good hair, lovely bit of him in short robe...
Run the Gauntlet -- 1988, Thames TV, and amateur sports show in which he did commentary, presentations, and also competed ((I haven't seen this: tell me it isn't Battle of the Network Stars...))
Black and Blue -- 1992, bit part
Duchess of Duke Street--1976, the episode "Family Matters" as Arthur. The word is, he looks good, and it's a good role.
Macbeth -- 1971, Shaw's film debut. Directed by Roman Polanski. Very gory, very atmospheric. Plays Banquo, VERY well - it's a smallish part but a significant one, and his scenes are excellent.
Available thru video stores, currently selling for around $20, and Shaw is on the front cover.
Cream in my Coffee -- 1980, London Weekend Television. Boring TV-movie intermixing present day with 1920's scenes as an older couple reminisces about how they met. Shaw plays an unsavory band leader/singer and looks awful (slicked back hair and a pencil mustache). He sings a few songs, nice voice. (Inspiration for bits of Mascarade.)
Operation Daybreak -- 1975, Subtitle: The Price of Freedom. (Maybe "the WWII movie he did that earned him his English Oscar (excellent, but heartbreaking)," Maybe not...)
Hound of the Baskerville -- 1983. Plays Sir Henry Baskerville. Excellent production with good cast (Glynis Barber [B7] co-stars); Shaw looks adorable and has a fairly big role. Unfortunately, for some reason the producers didn't like his version of an American accent, and dubbed in all his lines with another actor's voice. It takes some getting used to, but isn't too horrible.
Doctor in the House -- 1970-'71, Shaw is in ten episodes of the first season (1970-'71), playing Huw Evans, an alcoholic, lecherous Welsh medical student. Longish hair and very strong accent. A small role.
The Last Place On Earth -- 1985, playing Scott of Antarctica. Controversial portrayal.
Intrigue -- 1988, CBS-USA TV Movie, available on video. Small role as Roskov, an Eastern Bloc spy. According to Alex, he has a "Ugly, short brushy haircut." Roskov also appears in S Fetter's menage novel.
Rhodes -- 1996, BBC. Multi-part series movie with Shaw playing the title role. He is wonderful in the part (as a homosexual imperialist), but most of the movie is set late in Rhodes life (think both moustache and stomach padding), and he plays a fairly unlikeable character. None of the sex is explicit, but the gay text is definite.
He has also read 4 (abridged) audio books being advertised:
1) Thomas Hardy's "Far From The Madding Crowd" (2 tapes, UK L7.49)
2) JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit" (4 tapes, UK L15.99)
3) "Wuthering Heights" and
4) "Road to Omaha".
These are available from HarperCollins AudioBooks and I (Debbie) as well as others have successfully ordered from this company before over the phone, with a charge card.
The publisher's address and phone number is:
HarperCollins Audio Books
77-85 Fulham Palace Road
London W6 8JB
He has also done Tess Of The D'Urbervilles from Talking Classics Orbis Publishing Ltd. Back Issues Dept., Kings Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6YP #TC CC 001 Phone#: 001 44 078 0470126
We know of other books he has read (Including one called Exocet), but I don't have ordering info...
WARNING: Some of these books are also available with other readers...
>> What else has Collins done? [This section written by Sharon Decker]
Cluedo (Some of these are quite funny--one also stars David McCollum (Illya))
Confessions of a Driving School Instructor--British movie (comedy). LC plays soccer in a group scene at the very end of the movie. A Collins fan should have no trouble recognizing those dimpled knees.
Cuckoo Waltz--Brit comedy series before Professionals. LC appeared at least 1 season, maybe more. A very beautiful, young Lewis Collins (his hair is longer and occasionally the curls defy the mousse) plays shallow bounder, Gavin, who boards with Tris and Fliss, a married couple. Not only did he show a real flair for comedy, there is even a cherished scene of LC in short shorts doing knee squats and another one of that gorgeous back being massaged, with a very brief glimpse of his chest, both quite admirable. One wonders why he is so reluctant to bare his goodies. This series has been shown in Canada; I would give my first born for copies of all the eps in which he appeared.
The New Avengers--Appeared with Martin Shaw, who was the guest star, in a NA episode called Obsession. This was the first time our lads shared screen time, but they weren't heroes, they were the bad guys. Legend has it that the people casting the Professionals remembered their 'sparks' in NA and decided to give LC a shot at the Bodie character. (This was after they decided Anthony Andrews was too much like Martin, plus there were no sparks between them. I applaud their wisdom.)
Toast of the Town--Brit TV variety show. LC sings and dances. Some people can't bear it, but I loved seeing him togged out in a tux and various other gear. I even enjoyed his singing, but then I'd listen to him read the phone book. Can't remember name of woman co-star, but she is a well-know Brit stage star.
This Is Your Life, Lewis Collins--See LC's family, see LC's friends, see LC get embarrassed. He's cute, he's wearing the white jacket seen in the Pros credits, which helped give rise to another legend--the guys often wore their own clothes in the series.
Final Option (aka Who Dares Wins)--Movie done fairly soon after Professionals, and his best. The plot is action oriented, but for LC watchers, this is the ONE. Watch especially for two scenes: one where a very slimmed down Collins sports black leather motorcycle gear and in the other, wearing a white trench coat that makes him the most gorgeous spy ever seen (how could they not let him be 007!). He is also marvellous with the baby portraying his daughter. The casting agents found a beautiful child who looked like she could be his. <melt> (This movie was first of a three picture deal. Unfortunately the other two had very poor production values since this one didn't make big money. Actually, all three movies were successful in Europe. I hesitate to tell this, but honesty prevails, Ronald Reagan loved this movie.) Final Option spawned Pam
Rose's Peter Skellen story, Double Vision.
Codename: Wild Geese--Okay for confirmed LC watchers, but don't watch it if you're sleepy as it won't hold your attention. Again, action oriented. Lew's character is Robin Wesley, and appears in some Pros stories.
Commando Leopard--The worst of the three. I'm told Ernest Borgnine did a shower scene. I wouldn't know as I've never stayed awake for the whole thing. The alert few also confide that LC is disguised as a priest at one point and looks great.
The Commander (I'm not sure these are different)
Deathtrap--Australian stage production, lead role, good reviews. I heard he was there the same time MS was doing Are You Lonesome Tonight in Oz.
Robin of Sherwood--"The Sheriff of Nottingham." Played the sheriff in a wonderfully campy style. Very good. This ep has spawned several stories.
Jack the Ripper--Ripper-anniversary TV mini series period piece with Michael Caine in the starring role. One of the best roles LC has had, and he was very, very good indeed. He played the Assistant to Caine's Chief Inspector who was working on the ripper murders.
Carley's Web--Horrible made-for-TV movie. LC appears in the last 3 minutes and is cute as can be, but the rest of the movie sucks. I didn't keep my copy.
Ghost of Monte Carlo--LC has to pay the bills some way, but these terrible made-for-TV movies aren't worth it. He looked loverly in period costume, but the movie was a really awful regency romance. These things don't always translate well from book to screen, and this one was too silly, but at least he had a very small part. I didn't keep my copy.
Alfred Hitchcock--One ep, can't remember the title. Does American accent. He's adequate, definitely not special. I wasn't interested enough to get a copy. Yet.
Pantos--If you plan your pilgrimage to England during the Christmas season, sometimes there's a chance you can catch LC in a panto. This is an absolutely delightful variety of English vaudeville offered during the hols. I saw him in Cinderella; he didn't play the prince, but the prince's handsome, witty best friend. LC made his entrance by swinging onto the stage from the theatre's balcony section wearing some kind of harness. It was unbelievable they'd let him do something that dangerous, but it sure made an impression. These are family shows, although they can be a bit bawdy, and include singing acts, comic acts, etc., and are loads of fun. Be warned, there's usually lots of audience participation (pies in the face). After the performance, the whole cast is easily approachable for autographs and conversation. (For the B7 crowd: the year I saw LC in panto, Paul Darrow was in one in another city. Doing pantos seems to be a completely respectable way to pick up easy money if you aren't working.)
>> What else have they done together?
1) Before Professionals, they were both in an episode of Brian Clemmon's show, the New Avengers, called Obsession.
2) They were given an award (People's Choice sort of thing) during the run of the Professionals--tape available from Sharon Fetter; they're both in tuxes, and touch a little as they accept the award--I loved it!
>> What are they doing NOW?
Shaw was just in a new rendition of The Scarlett Pimpernel
Likewise, you can get a tape of the biopic of Cecil Rhodes Shaw did with his son. And he was in the States in 96, performing in Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband". ----dar
Collins was living in Southern California until this 97. He is now in England. I never did hear if he ended up in the new Professionals series.
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Visit some Random Site of the Pros webring?