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The pose is very suggestive, with Bodie's groin against Doyle's rear, yet Doyle doesn't blink an eye. But when push comes to shove, when it really counts, the bullshit stops cold: no more joking, no more playing, no more snark, and they are entirely there for each other and only each other, each clearly trusting the other wholly and implicitly.This constant touching, this physical familiarity, this comfort in each other's personal space is apparently so normal for them that Doyle doesn't even notice it. BODIE: Uh, the fellows all dance together and the cops shave their heads. You can see this total trust in the various rare, intense, beautiful, intimate moments in which they exhibit what looks suspiciously like tenderness, serious moments in which each reveals his vulnerabilities, lets down his walls. For men like these two, and considering their chosen occupation, this is quite an admission, and it's difficult to imagine that either would make it to anyone but the other.
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").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.I was asked to write the Manifesto for Bodie and Doyle.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.
The best I could hope to do would be to introduce newbies to, and remind longer-term fans of, a few of the incidents and episodes and moments in which the pairing is grounded, and to touch glancingly upon some of the major elements that, to my mind, make this pairing work so well, make it move me, touch me, more deeply and in more ways than any other pairing ever has. DOYLE: Yeah, I've watched his back, he's watched mine. Before that he spent at least some of his youth in Derby, and he was a wild kid, a "right tearaway"; he also at some point took art classes, and he lived off a rich woman for at least a little while (or at least so he tells Bodie! Bodie had a very different - and very colorful - background. He's a bit sensitive, a bit arty, and though he's an ace with a handgun, he's perhaps a bit of a bleeding heart - Bodie says of him in Discovered in a Graveyard that he'd "feel guilty over the invention of gunpowder." Or at least, those are their superficial personae, the way the contrast between them is set up.
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.
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?
(And for the newbies who are still working out who is who, I'll pass on the mnemonic that was given to me: it's Bodie with the body (or at least more body! After some "dubious" activities in Jordan, he returned to England to join the army and became a sergeant with the Paratroopers, during which time he saw action in Belfast; eventually he was seconded to the Special Air Services, and from there he joined CI5. Saw my medical report--slow heartbeat, slow metabolism. He can be grim and hard and threatening, give off a tangible aura of brooding menace - but he also acts like a big overgrown kid at times, laughing at his own jokes, taking gleeful pleasure in his "toys" (like the battering ram contraption constructed for him in First Night). -From "Private Madness, Public Danger" If Bodie and Doyle are appealing apart, they're irresistible together.
We all know that Kirk/Spock was the first slash pairing, the subtext that launched a thousand ships, the father (mother?