Bodie

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Name: Bodie; William Andrew Philip Bodie (the latter mentioned only once)
Occupation: government agent for CI5
Title/Rank: no rank; callsign is 3.7
Location: London, England
Status: alive
Relationships: partnered with Ray Doyle
Fandom: The Professionals
Other:
Bodie, CI5 Agent
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Contents

Bodie by Lorraine Brevig, art for the zine Never Far Apart #2, oil on canvas and measures 12"-h x 9"-w

Bodie (portrayed by Lewis Collins) is an agent who works for CI5, a counter-terrorism, semi-secret police-like organization in Britain in the late 1970s/early 1980s. His boss is George Cowley, a former member of the WWII intelligence forces who has put together a special group of agents chosen for their various talents as 'professionals.' He is partnered with Raymond Doyle, a former London Metropolitan police officer.

Bodie's Background and Areas of Expertise

Bodie's background is most fully explicated in the episode "The Rack," in which viewers finally learn Bodie's full name (William Andrew Philip Bodie), the one time it is ever mentioned. Bodie left school at age 14, departed England via the Merchant Marine and then jumped ship while abroad. He worked in Africa and the Middle East as a mercenary and gun runner, and then returned to England where he apparently turned over a new leaf of respectability. He joined the Paras, an elite British Army unit, for several years, and then was seconded to Special Forces. UK viewers familiar with the Paras and SAS would know that Bodie was therefore a 'tough guy' with extreme endurance, accomplished with a variety of weapons and killing techniques.

In several episodes, but most notably "Kickback", viewers get a glimpse of Bodie's expertise with weapons and military tactics. His specialty is rifles and long-range weaponry. These skills are featured in the stories of PR Zed, among others. His love of guns is parodied in the vid Detachable Penis.

That Bodie has left behind his mercenary days is made most clear in the episode "Where the Jungle Ends": he identifies all the mercenaries in the criminal organization and takes down the leader Krivas single-handedly. Several fanfiction stories speculate about the extent of the past relationship between Krivas and Bodie: they were lovers who quarreled,[1] Krivas raped or sexually abused Bodie, or Bodie must get revenge against Krivas for the dead woman he loved. Bodie's somewhat mysterious mercenary past is fodder for numerous fanfic stories, since there is so little known about what precisely he did while in Africa and the Middle East. That he wasn't a mercenary at all, but a missionary in Africa is the premise of Lezlie Conch's superb parody fic, Blood of the Lamb.

Bodie's one ongoing contact from the old days of gun running appears to be Marty Martell, a well-dressed gun-runner operating in the middle of London ("Hunter/Hunted"). Marty is a staple of Bodie-oriented fanfiction that delves into weaponry and relies upon seamy-side contacts: he procures guns for Bodie, hides Bodie when he's on the run, serves as bait for a trap, and is even Bodie's old lover in stories. Other contacts from the Bodie's pre-CI5 days return in fanfiction, thought less often than Marty: Keller, an SAS comrade; Marikka Schumann, an East German agent; and an unnamed girl from his days in Africa, killed by Krivas, who Bodie claimed he "really loved".

In fanfiction, however bad things become, Bodie almost never considers returning to either the mercs or the army--CI5 is portrayed as a superior line of work, and England a superior place to live. With few exceptions,[2] his time in Jordan is never mentioned in fanfiction; his activities in Africa rarely appear heroic, pleasant, or even worth remembering. A rare exception to this trend is Debra Hicks' story "They Shall Know War" (published in Chalk and Cheese 7), in which Bodie's days as an African soldier are the plot centerpiece. Stories that reference Bodie's stint as a mercenary often have rape or non-con elements, either with or without "The Game." Whether authors put Bodie in a sexual situation or not during his mercenary days, his life in Africa remains a background element in stories, typically a time he would prefer to forget (as in the 'zine A Lovesome Thing by O Yardley). In fanfiction, Bodie doesn't return to Africa, unless it is in AUs or as the victim of amnesia [3].

Bodie's awareness of martial arts was unusual for the late 70s, and this may explain its rarity in fanworks. In "Wild Justice" his relationship with Shusai, a mysterious martial arts trainer, is explored. He is shown practicing kendo, and in a different episode he effectively downs his opponent using judo. Bodie also knew something about boxing: in the title sequence of the show, he is shown with a punching bag and gloves. In fanfiction, however, kendo, judo, and boxing don't play a major role; Shusai himself is rarely even a minor figure in fanfiction.[4] Bodie's ability with a rifle or contacts with former mercs become a stand-in for virtually all other forms of military knowledge and martial arts skills he possesses.

Fanfiction authors have made much of how Bodie is a 'loner' and the lengths Doyle must go to in order to win Bodie's trust. Although Bodie has belonged to military associations composed of many men through his entire adult life, paradoxically, 'Bodie the loner' remains a staple of many fanfiction stories. This may be the result of Bodie's love of poetry and prose, which is depicted as a solitary pursuit. Bodie quotes Donne, Keats, and Samuel Beckett at various points in the show, and fanfiction occasionally has him composing poetry of his own (usually in praise of Doyle), reading poetry for pleasure, or identifying unusual bits of poetry as clues in a case. In the 'zine Classified, portions of Bodie's poetry about loving and missing Doyle are contrasted almost one-for-one with Doyle's artful renderings of Bodie, providing a yin-yang balance to the story as both agents exercise their artistic abilities to describe each other. Fanfiction anthologies, such as the Chalk and Cheese series, regularly feature poetry about the agents, and sometimes poetry composed from Bodie's point of view.

Bodie's other artistic gift, music (he plays guitar in one episode), can be linked to Lewis Collins' real life participation in a band, The Mojos. In fanfiction, Bodie's most noteworthy musical outing took place in Tarot's story Masquerade: Bodie plays piano while Doyle is a torch-song singer undercover in a bar. The two 'musicians' pass themselves off as gay lovers to trap a blackmailer, but the undercover assignment turns real when both men fall for each other.

Bodie's Character Traits

In The Professionals, Bodie is fond of his creature comforts--good food, chocolate, nice clothes--which is usually explained by fanfiction authors as the result of either a deprived family background or his years as a mercenary. Numerous stories turn on his chocolate and Swiss Roll addiction (one of the most humorous is Chocolate Bandit by Ellis Ward), and some fanfiction authors are fond of portraying an older Bodie getting plump due to his inability to control his appetite; others simply note that the older Bodie must watch what he eats. Bodie's natty attire, which he abandoned in the series by the fourth year in favor of jeans and plaid jackets, remain a staple of fanfiction.

Although fanfiction often gives Bodie a dysfunctional family background, nothing in the show explains why Bodie left school, what his home life was like, whether he still has any living relatives, or why he likes Swiss roll. What is known, from comments by Doyle ("you mad, half-Irish bastard") or Bodie himself ("Liverpool for the Cup") is that he grew up in Liverpool. Occasional dialogue in the show reveals Bodie has a Scouse accent when under stress, probably working class; fanfiction writers have translated this into a Liverpudlian background, complete with dockworking, abusive father, delinquent mother, or both.[5] In one extreme example of this trope, Bodie is portrayed as an accomplice to the murder of his own father, to protect his sister (Whisper of a Kill). Using other clues in Bodie's life--like his knowledge of poetry--some fanfiction authors have gone the opposite direction, putting Bodie into an aristocratic family (complete with castle, ghost, and even royal connections[6]), or a middle-class family so boring that he ran away to escape from it.

Women in the show, like women in Professionals fanfiction, generally do not fare well with Bodie. Bodie dumps women, or they're blown up by criminals, but none of them last longer than a single show. Basically, Bodie and Doyle both suffer from Little Joe Syndrome, a tendency for good-looking men to never have girlfriends who last more than a single episode. In fanfiction, Bodie's string of girlfriends is typically described in one of two ways--overcompensation or camouflage for his secret gay orientation, or as a healthy part of his bisexuality. Occasionally, he is described as oversexed by authors or fond of multiple partners, eager to participate in three-way or four-way couplings, which always involve Doyle. In only a few fics does Bodie ever become serious about a woman to the point of marriage; a healthy het pairing seems virtually out of the question for him, or is only possible as a stop-gap before his eventual, happily-ever-after pairing with Doyle. A typical example of a Bodie-married-but-it-doesn't-last story can be found in Kate McLean's novel Redemption in which Bodie has been effectively duped by a woman who convinced him to marry her.

Bodie's Devotion to Ray Doyle

The pair work seamlessly together, like two pieces of the same machinery, anticipating each other's moves in every situation. This teamwork and devotion to the partnership is a staple of fanfiction: authors repeatedly talk about the sacrifices Bodie is willing to make to keep the partnership intact (including hiding his true feelings for Doyle, if necessary). Bodie is at his most dangerous when Doyle gets injured: in fanfiction, this can be taken to extremes--Bodie is willing to kill another agent in order to protect his lover [7] in a no-win situation. As the half of the partnership trained in violent military methods, Bodie's penchant for taking things into his own hands, usually to protect or avenge Ray Doyle, [8] is played out in fanfiction all the time.

For more on their relationship, see Bodie/Doyle

Bodie's Devotion to George Cowley

How Bodie came to be part of CI5 isn't really made clear in the television show, but in fanfiction, a standard storyline is that George Cowley 'rescued' Bodie from his mercenary past and got him onto the road to respectability. Whether it was getting Bodie released from a Congo jail, helping him gain entry into the ranks of the Paras or the SAS, or even being his long-lost father, a repeated theme in virtually all fanfiction is the closeness of the ties between boss and agent. Authors who push this relationship closer sometimes do so by emphasizing family ties (real or invented), nepotism, or a sexual relationship between the two men. Occasionally, Cowley is portrayed as a substitute father that Bodie-with-a-deprived-childhood never had, treating the agent with favoritism; other CI5 men sometimes refer to Bodie as Cowley's 'fair haired boy' in fanfiction of this type. In the shows, Bodie's willingness to 'backtalk' Cowley may have simply been impertinence. In fanfiction, Bodie's impudent comebacks are transformed into a shared language between two old soldiers, comforting banter between (real or substitute) father and son, or even the secret code between two lovers separated by convention and propriety.

That working for CI5 is a favor that Bodie should be 'grateful for' (a fanon creation) has led to a number of stories that describe his willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for George Cowley as a quid pro quo. This selfless-ness on Bodie's part--only for Cowley, never for CI5 as an organization--can be exaggerated in fanfiction (e.g., willing to give up his job in CI5, willing to let himself be libeled, disgraced, run out of the country,[9] even willing to let Cowley watch Bodie and Doyle have sex together), but it is rooted in a basic character trait that is true to the original. Perhaps this level of devotion could be described as fanatical, yet with Bodie, the devotion to his boss is persuasive: in Where the Worms Are, Pamela Rose convinces the reader that Bodie is willing to give up everything to discover Cowley's killer, even when every other CI5 agent--including Doyle--is convinced that Cowley died in a simple accident.

Stories featuring Bodie as George Cowley's son were the specialty of Anne Higgins [10] and often feature a secret relationship between Bodie the son and Cowley the father. In the father-son universe of stories, sometimes Bodie is forced to confront his father about his need to retire; in other stories, Bodie is either Cowley's replacement, or half of the Bodie-Doyle team that replaces Cowley.

A rarer pair in The Professionals fandom is Bodie/Cowley, in which Bodie's devotion to his boss goes beyond merely following orders. Authors like Jane Carnall, Snow White, and Grey wrote multiple fanfictions with this couple. At least one full-length novel featured a Bodie/Cowley pairing: Daydreams of a Captive Soul by Tiger Tyger. Rationales for what attracts the two men range from sympathy or pity (Bodie's sad that Cowley is so isolated in his job), to a sense of duty (Bodie feels he 'owes' Cowley for rescuing him from Africa), to respect (Cowley admires soldier-like traits in Bodie that he shared in his youth). The fanfiction with this pairing ranges from light teasing and flirtation to a committed sexual relationship that lasts for years. In stories like "Guardian Angel" (published in Compounded Interest 2), Bodie helps his mentor find sexual release through handjobs. Typically, Bodie is portrayed as the more sexually experienced in the partnership, despite the fact that Cowley is the older of the two men. For authors who write this pairing, it is sometimes because they do not view Doyle as bisexual or homosexual. Only rarely do fanfiction writers depict a Bodie/Cowley pairing without a true affinity of spirit between the two men, but in one story, The Good Morning Soldiers by Madelin Lee, Bodie betrays his boss using his sexual skills; in this instance the author portrays the Bodie/Cowley relationship as one in which Bodie is opportunistic, using it when he fears for Doyle's safety.[11] One particularly grim (and controversial) Bodie/Cowley story is The Pillory by Kitty Fisher, in which Cowley frames Doyle for a crime he did not commit, in order to keep Bodie with him both personally and sexually. An interesting variation on the Bodie/Cowley storyline can be found in Snow White's paired stories To The Victor and ...The Spoils of War in which Doyle is unable to capture Bodie's affections until after Cowley's death.

Stories Featuring Bodie in Alternate or Fantasy Universes

AUs are common in the Pros fandom. Bodie has appeared in numerous fantasy, science fiction, and alternate universe or alternate timeline stories, in a variety of roles. This list is by no means comprehensive, but the diversity will give you some idea of Bodie's versatility!

CI5 still exists, but...

Or CI5 doesn't exist and Bodie is...

Stories Featuring Bodie in Crossovers to Other Fandoms

When Bodie crosses over to meet characters from another fandom, he's usually in the company of Doyle, and quite often the two men meet other crime fighters like themselves.

One unusual series of stories, the Quanta Leap series by Jane Mailander, featured Bodie and Doyle as time travelers who shifted involuntarily between fairy tales, novels, and the future with each installment. She based the series on the television series Quantum Leap, but none of the characters from that show appeared in her fanworks.

In one particularly unusual crossover, Bodie met himself, twice, in the halls of CI5. In the fanfiction story "Land of Confusion" by Corwalch and Falcone (published in Chalk and Cheese 15), Bodie encountered both Peter Skellen (Lewis Collins from Who Dares Wins) and Capt. Robin Wesley (Lewis Collins from Code Name: Wild Geese). Wesley had been brought to England as part of a plot designed to discredit Bodie. Fortunately, Cowley and Doyle spotted the triplicates, and the plot was scotched.

If Bodie is by himself in a crossover, he's most likely to meet Martin Shaw in one of his other acting personas.

Stories Featuring an Older Bodie

Whether only a few years have passed for Bodie, or it's been decades since CI5, agent 3.7 in his older years continues to fascinate fanfiction authors. An extensive range of "Older Lads" stories exists.[1] Here is an overview of the "Older Lads" basic story types, along with examples.

The Older Bodie is retired as a CI5 agent but still part of the CI5 administration...

Or if the Older Bodie is not connected to CI5, he's...

  • A bodyguard
  • An assassin[23]
  • Running or working for a security agency[24]
  • Living on money he saved from his years as a merc
  • Occupation unknown
  • Retired with a secret identity

Recurring Elements of Fanon about Bodie

Canon v. fanon debates abound, but a discussion of fanon related to Bodie and Doyle at the Professionals-centered Close Quarters con of 2007 came up with the following items as fanon and counter-indicators (refs to episodes in quotation marks):

Fanon 1: Bodie played The Game. Nothing in canon, and most stories appeared after the story Consequences was published.

Fanon 2: Bodie is Butch all the time. Not always: see him in "Hiding to Nothing." There's definite clowning and goofiness--indeed, somebody said we needed more stories that focused on goofball Bodie.

Fanon 3: Bodie is cold-blooded. Not exactly; look to "Heroes," "Hiding to Nothing." His comments about Frances Cottringham undercover are positively sympathetic and soft-hearted.[25]

References

  1. Scott H.'s story "Safe to Dream" in Playfellows 8 is a good example of this.
  2. In That Look by Amanda Warrington, published in Living Pros, Bodie's time in Jordan is critical to the plot in which he and Doyle find themselves in the midst of the hijacking of a commercial airliner en route to Jordan to pick up an extradition
  3. one example Forget That I Remember, and Dream That I Forget by Pamela Rose
  4. Sue W.'s gen story "Seeking Justice" published in Chalk and Cheese 7, gives us a little more about Shusai.
  5. In "Home Truths" by Cybel H., Bodie's father beat his mother to death. Story published in the 'zine Playfellows 9.
  6. Bodie's really a Windsor in Karrene's multi-story universe series of zines Time and Again.
  7. one example is Love Lies Bleeding by Shoshanna
  8. one example is Neon Nights by Elessar
  9. Or all three, as in the 'zine Exile by PR Zed.
  10. some examples are: Whatever Happened to Raymond Doyle, Mating Season, A Chat with Father, Bodie and the Chief
  11. "The Good Morning Soldiers" is the third story in the "Carnal Interests" trilogy by Madelein Lee. On the ProsLib CD.
  12. MerLyn specialized in vampire!Bodie stories. See also "Hammer to Fall" in Compounded Interest 4.5, 'zine Dark Shadows.
  13. The 'zine New Memories by Darby Brennan, Requiem Publishers.
  14. Beautiful Strangers by MerLyn in the 'zine Dyad 16.
  15. The 'zine novel La Batalla Ultima.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Two Lovers, by O Yardley, published by Gryphon Press.
  17. Sights of the Sun, by MerLyn, published in the zine Dyad 5.
  18. Trilogy of 'zine novels starting with Flesh and Steel by Jane of Australia
  19. For example, "Interplanetary Outing," by Maiden Wyoming, in the 'zine Nothing to Hide and And Its Business Is Joy by Elise Madrid in the zine T'hy'la 26, also expanded asmore Pros-centric standalone zine And Its Business Is Joy.
  20. The longest of these was a full-length novel Czardas by Jane of Australia, in which both a het Doyle and a gay DeMarcos met Bodie. Published by NutHatch.
  21. There are four stories of the "Pudding" series in Roses and Lavender 5.
  22. Plans to include Bodie (Lewis Collins) as the new Controller of the revived show "The New Professionals" in the late 90s probably contributed to this trend in fanfiction stories. For the backstory on this development follow this link.
  23. "Redemption" by Diana Morris, in Chalk and Cheese 15.
  24. See "Cards" and "Cards on the Table" by Georgina Kirrin.
  25. Extracted from Yahoo!Group closequarters wrapping up the con, July 27, 2007.
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