Too Long a Soldier

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Title: Too Long a Soldier
Creator: Deejay (with thanks in the credits to Mary W, Sally W, and Elinor F. The video is is dedicated to Candy Stone).
Date: 1991(?-Need source for this)
Format: VCR vid
Length: 5:14m
Music: "Too Long A Soldier" by Pat Benatar
Fandom: The Professionals

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A Bodie vid that is impressive for its dark emotionality, but especially known for its incorporation of non-canon video (external source) to tell its story. The video was selected twice for Vividcon vis hows. In 2004, for the "Effects" vid show and in 2006 for the "Vidding As Collage" vid show. In 2007, the vid was used in the Genealogy of Vidding panel.



We were the children of '45
Loaded like pistols and taught how to die
We looked the enemy straight in the eye
(And never surrender)
Now there's no life left within them, but the memory lingers on
As nations we're divided, but as people we are one
For brothers in blood we sing that we've been too long a soldier
Eternal flames blow in the wind, I've been too long a soldier
Captain of the guard I'm coming in, too long, too long a soldier
I've seen so much worth dying for, so little worth killing over
Soldiers gone before me, I will surely fade away


The vidder used images of world conflict (both real and cinematic) and juxtaposed them against clips showing Bodie becoming increasingly darker, more violent and irrevocably changed by the time he spent fighting as a mercenary in Africa, and later working at CI5.



I still like Doyle better, but I've never been able to look at Bodie as a "conscienceless thug" since. [1]

True story--not too long ago, [one of the actors] was at a Southern California fan's house, and she decided to show him some song vids. He loved "Too long a Soldier" and made her call DJ so he could ask her to make her copies of (quote) 'all the Bodie songvids she'd done.'

DJ's no idiot--she looks at all the Bodie songvids she's done, and decides he doesn't need/want to see most of them! (He knows about slash, but is UNAMUSED.) She finally does send him Mellow when I'm dead, Too Long, and a couple of others. (I'm still sad she decided not to send him Deteriarata (sp)--she decided against it relistening to the line--"know what to kiss, and when...") [2]
"Too Long a Soldier" (Pros, Bodie) and "Winds of Change" (UNCLE, Ilya) by DeeJay Driscoll ~ This isn't a review, as much as an accolade. The reason I like these two vids so much is because it is obvious a lot of thought went into making them. These two vids manage to convey not only who Bodie and Doyle are, but what they are and what they dream about and fear. The music selections are just perfect, and somehow Dee Jay manages to use the televised episode clips interspersed with actual news footage to keep the action moving. I'm familiar with both shows, but Dee Jay does such a wonderful job that any mundane not familiar with them would enjoy the videos. If I were to bury a fandom time capsule, I would definitely put both of these song vids in the box! [3]


... I always have--and always will--love "Too Long a Soldier" (DeeJay Driscoll). It's much more a "Bodie" vid than a Pros vid, but that in no way dilutes its impact. At least, not for me. *sigh* [4]


Obviously the perfect video would be great on first viewing, and yet would say even more on repeated viewings, would be affecting even to someone who'd never seen the show, and even more affecting to someone who knew the context of each clip... Too Long a Soldier is the best example I can think of for this: I saw it before I'd seen that many Pros episodes, and loved it, and yet it still holds up now that I've seen every ep. [5]


DJ's Professionals vid Too Long a Soldier, which was the first vid I ever saw, and showed me that they were stories and images and weren't just a joke, as I'd, with horror, thought they were when vids were first mentioned to me."[6]


The vid that most stands out in my mind, probably unsurprisingly (yes, I am obsessed), is DeeJay's Pros vid, Too Long a Soldier. Again the use of war metaphors (and another haunting piece of music) for Pros, which I love, and this was such a powerful vid, intercutting (is that a word?) clips of Bodie dealing with death and destruction and disillusionment with footage from various wars and conflict throughout the world....The vidder captured the grinding banality of ongoing war so well.[7]


I've seen this one a couple times, and every time, the external footage catches me by surprise. It works well enough in context that I find myself trying to remember where we got footage like that in Pros. *g* Really nicely done, and it puts some weight into Bodie's background that we never quite got in canon.[8]
know that [the use of war footage in what is considered entertainment] question has been faced before, especially by DeeJay years ago when she made Too Long a Soldier, using news footage of a number of conflicts around the world that the character of Bodie in The Professionals would have been engaged in, particularly Northern Ireland and Africa. [9]


Deejay did something experimental at the time, to make a more “realistic” look at Bodie’s past. Also, note the sync of the dancing protesters with the music –a point that was important in “Marble House” and others later. External (esp. documentary footage) rarely if ever done in VCR vids, arguably increasing in practice now. No, I doubt the current vidders were influenced from this, but it’s interesting to see how often “nothing is really new. [10]


  1. Sandy Herrold post to the Virgule-L mailing list dated Feb 3, 1993, quoted with permission.
  2. Sandy Herrold post to the Virgule-L mailing list dated Sept 26, 1993, quoted with permission.
  3. Karen Y's review from Rainbow Noise #1 (1993).
  4. comment at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (July 17, 1994)
  5. Sandy Herrold post to the Virgule-L mailing list dated Nov 2, 1995, quoted with permission.
  6. Anonymous post to the vidder mailing list dated Dec 7, 2002.
  7. Vividcon Vids Part I: Friday dated August 19, 2004; reference link.
  8. VVC 2007: Disc Zero - at the con (1/5) dated Nov 16, 2007; reference link.
  9. Vividcon Vids Part 1 dated September 2nd, 2007; reference link.
  10. Vidding Evolution: Community Change Among Amateur Fan Video Makers by Lynn C, dated April 29, 2010.