Remember Angola

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Title: Remember Angola
Publisher: Knee in the Groin Publications"
Author(s): Anne Lewis
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1981
Medium: print
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links:
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Remember Angola was the first Professionals slash fanzine printed and sold. It was published in 1981 and was written by Anne Lewis. After reading the story, fan writer HG was inspired to write a similar story called Strange Days Indeed.

First line:

Bodie watched the rivulets of rain running steadily down the car window, then cast a weary eye at the windscreen, where the soft pattering indicated that the rain which had been falling all day showed no signs of letting up.
Morgan Dawn remembers fans discussing the story in 1996 when there was an uproar over Anne Higgins writing an alternative ending to Sebastian's "Catharsis":
I remember UK fans telling us that 'Remember Angola' was a very hush-hush story which for some reason you were *Not Supposed To Have Read* - although of course everyone had. The poor quality of the many-times secretly photocopied text gave one a definite thrill to read it, since rumor had it that the author had died young and under mysterious circumstances. HG rewrote the story with everyone sworn to secrecy (in the end she acknowledged the original story when her rewrite was republished in 1999). In many ways, the situation was similar to the Sebastian rewrite, i.e the author wasn't around to give permission, so perhaps some people felt it wasn't ethical for anyone to do a rewrite. But the rewrite was widely thought to be an improvement, so I guess ethics took a quick bow and retired. In the end, fandom split between being horrified and being thrilled at being gifted with something new to consume." [1]

Online Discussion

On September 11, 2009, a few Pros fans gathered together in blueamaranthe's livejournal to discuss early Pros fic. See The Dreck wRECk - Reviewing Prosdom's Earliest Stories.

Excerpts from the discussion are included below. Read the entire discussion here; WebCite. Metabolick's thoughts: "An enemy from Bodie’s past kidnaps both agents as revenge for something B had done to him in Angola. He succeeds in beating D severely and brutally whipping and raping B before he himself is killed. The lads are then driven to a remote house by one of the villain’s henchmen who has taken pity on them because he too remembers Angola. B and D stay in this house while they heal physically. They also begin a sexual relationship, which they decide to continue after returning to London.

This is the story that inspired HG’s Strange Days Indeed. HG states that she wanted to take her story in a different direction. The main difference is the presence in this story of a third man in the country house, who serves as a sounding board and confidant. This seems intrusive and unnecessary; I much prefer the way HG handles the situation with the lads dealing with the aftermath of the torture on their own as well as her insertion of much more tension between the men and the greater mutual h/c.

This story has a number of other flaws. B is almost paralyzed with fear at the thought of what is going to happen to him; this is not the CI5 agent we know and love. B and D are much too weepy, especially D. He can hardly even speak to C the first time on the phone because he is so choked up. D is very careless about his phone calls being traced. The sex between the lads comes much too easily and soon. Would (even an admittedly drunk) D get into bed naked with B just after B has been subjected to rape?!

This must be one of, if not, the first stories where The Game is mentioned by name."

Krisserci5: "I'm glad I read the story, but. . . I had a few problems with it. I did like that someone form Bodie's past emerged but I couldn't buy the fact the Bodie of current time would have been frightened almost catatonic by someone such as Davies. The young Bodie, perhaps, but the CI5 agent was a much harder man and could withstand torture so his reaction in the story was way over the top.... HG did a much better job with the ending in Strange Days Indeed. Still, I'm glad I read it."

Blue Amaranthe's thoughts: "This is fascinating for many reasons. First off, I had no idea that HG's Strange Days Indeed was essentially a remix of this -- in fact the first two-thirds of it reads nearly verbatim from the original! Where HG kicks in (blessedly) is from the point Bodie and Doyle are dropped off at the cottage in the middle of nowhere. HG recognized and made use of the obvious romantic possibilies and that's where the story really takes off.

In this version Doyle spends an enormous amount of time talking with side characters who are NOT Bodie. There are long speeches justifying homosexuality, which have to be read in historical context (but are dull, all the same).

The writing isn't bad -- more than competent -- however it's unclear what catalyst moves Doyle from straight to bent for Bodie (HG does a better job of laying the groundwork here). In this version Doyle simply drinks way too much....

Lewis's cover note says "This story is dedicated to all the Hatstanders and for all the people who (like me) said never in a million years! I still think we were right!"

As she couldn't convince herself, it's no surprise she couldn't convince the reader."

Further Reading


  1. From Morgan Dawn's personal notes, accessed April 14, 2010.