George Cowley

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Name: George Cowley
Occupation: Controller, Criminal Intelligence 5 aka CI5
Fandom: The Professionals
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George Cowley is a character in The Professionals. He was William Bodie and Ray Doyle's boss.

He appears in all 57 episodes of the program.

His operatives sometimes call him "The Cow", but never to his face.

Cowley was portrayed by Gordon Jackson, who passed away in early 1990.

Brief Canon Description

Cowley was portrayed as a gimlet-eyed, devious, dignified, and ruthless leader; from the moment William Bodie and Ray Doyle sign on to CI5, George Cowley owns them, body and soul.

Fandom and Fanworks

The Fanon Cowley

  • as a father figure to Bodie and Doyle, or as an actual father to Bodie
  • as a lover (present and past)
  • Cowley as matchmaker between William Bodie and Ray Doyle
  • in crossovers (one example is in Antiques and Delectables)
  • as a closeted gay man

Subject of Con Panels

  • A character study of George Cowley, by inamac and lil_shepherd at A Weekend in the Country (UK) (1983) [1] (1983)
  • "COWLEY: MENTOR OR NEMESIS?" ("George Cowley could sometimes be the father figure, but occasionally he'd throw his "best team" to the wolves on suicide missions. Was he really grooming them to succeed him in CI5? Or were they unlikely to live to collect their pensions?") at MediaWest*Con (2013)
  • "Views of the Cow" (how canon and fanon treated George Cowley) at BistoCon (2016)


From a fan in 1992:

Because Gordon Jackson makes Cowley so dignified - even in shirtsleeves - that I can't honestly picture him doing anything other than sleep in bed. [2]


Sample Cowley Fiction

Cowley Art















Cowley Vids

Cowley Meta

Fan Comments


There is also some ageism involved for some fans with McCoy and Cowley; it was stated quite openly in Be Gentle With Us, but just as I thought we were going to get a good barney going, the letterzine shut down.

I had no trouble at all writing McCoy as a sexual being (and the fact that McCoy definitely didn't want to be seen as a sexual being and had to be dragged into Spock's bed by the scruff of his neck just added to the joy of writing it) but I had a lot of trouble with myself when writing Cowley as a sexual being. Observant readers will have noticed that every time a sex scene happened in "Lest These Dark Days" Cowley shoved me out of the room, locked the bedroom door, and wouldn't let me back in the story until he and Bodie were drinking coffee in the kitchen the next morning. This wasn't because of Cowley's age, though — or not directly


I've got better at working it out, but Cowley has never yet let me in the room when he was getting fucked. [3]

Links & Resources