Two Pros Primers

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Title: Two Pros Primers
Creator: Sandy Herrold, Jenn, and others
Date(s): 1992
Medium: online
Fandom: The Professionals
External Links: "Two Pros Primers". Archived from the original on 2018-01-02.
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Two Pros Primers consists of two primers, one by Sandy Herrold called "The Professionals: A highly-biased primer" and one by Jenn called "Jenn's PROS PRIMER."

"The Professionals: A highly-biased primer"

Way back in the dawn of 'net time, a time when there were still less than 50 women on the (at that time) only Internet slash mailing list, someone asked a Pros question. Then someone else asked another. Seeing a chance to convert a bunch of Trek and B7 fans, I quickly wrote up a Pros Primer. It's been edited a bit since (thanks, Debbie!), but this is basically what I wrote in '92.

"The Professionals: A highly-biased primer" was also posted by Sandy to Virgule-L in December 1995.

The primer contains some brief canon introduction, info fanfiction and zines. The primer has many examples.


Professional's Fanfic

Professionals’ fandom is HUGE. There are over 1000 ‘circuit’ stories alone, plus many good zines. An interesting aspect of Pros fanfic is the prevalence of alternate universe (a/u) stories. B & D have been cowboys, Amerinds, highway men, elves (many times! arrggh), teddy bears, Regency gentlemen, you name it. The Pros FAQ explains the circuit and gives a contact address.

One of the strengths of Pros fanfic is its novels. There are plenty of bad ones, but also a surprising number of strong, well-written longer works. I highly recommend Camera Shy (slightly alternate universe-- Bodie is CI5, and Doyle is a starting movie actor); Jigsaw Puzzle (not for the very squeamish--strong angst before they make up); Injured Innocents--the classic long romantic first-time novel of this fandom; Tethered Goats and Tigers--wonderful; Bare Necessity -- warning, 1st person (and avoid the sequel), Action of the Tiger (good action-adventure along with the relationship) & Masquerade--yum.

Pam Rose has some good long stuff in many styles: Professional Dreamer is wonderfully silly; Where the Worms Are is serious but romantic, Forget That I Remember and Remember That I Forget is serious and sad, and Arabian Nights is pointless fluff. People who love more romantic stories often like Jane of Australia’s and Meg Lewtan’s hysterical historical novels.


There are probably 40-80 Pros zines, and plenty more MM zines with significant pages of Pros stories. This is a fandom that can suck your checkbook dry if you let it.

A few of the best (remember, this was written in '92):

British Takeaway 1--4 by Kate Nuernberg. A little dry, but good, (mostly gen). I would say if you liked St. Crispins Day (a good gen MUNCLE), you’d like this (and vice versa).

Nudge, Nudge Wink, Wink 1--?, Whisper of a Kill, What If, and more are available from Manacles Press; they also have Pros stories in their consistently strong MM zine, Concupiscence (1-?). Reliable press.

Queer as a 3 Pound Note 1-3, and Bene Dictum by Oblique Press: they also have Pros stories in their consistently strong MM zine, Paean to Priapus. Tend towards darker stories, and some offbeat characterizations, but good writing.

Chalk & Cheese 1-? Very uneven zine (mixed gen and ‘/’). Issue 5 was excellent-- most of the rest have had a good story or two, but generally, borrow-don’t buy.

There is even a Bodie/Cowley trilogy: The Fox and the Wolf universe by Jane Carnall (Lest These Dark Days is the first third.) Excellently written, very tied to the episodes, but due to the pairing, not everyone’s cup of tea. Available from the Library.


This primer is comprised of a description of the characters.


The Professionals was a British television show that aired from about 1977 to 1982. It was modeled in a lot of ways on Starsky and Hutch, as well as other British action shows like The New Avengers and such. (Some say that the connection to SH is tenuous, but the characters were well known for using Americanisms on the show (TWEP and so on), and it is a pretty well accepted premise.)

The primary difference between the two shows is cultural. The Professionals is much more serious in nature (SH was getting a lot of flack from the PTA and others for violence, hence the wacky later-season plots), the writing of the scripts is much better (although there are still some real blimp-sized holes), and the display of relationship between the men is less overt (no hugs and kisses, almost no hurt/comfort on screen, etc.). The kicker to the last observation is that what relationship there was was overt in the society of the times. A fan favorite is a spoof of The Professionals called the the Bullshitters, where they declare their love for each other, etc. It was played on network television in the U.K., and is riotously funny. The two guys have their mannerisms down perfectly.


Pros fanfic covers a very wide variety of themes and styles. I think that part of this is due to the lack of information on screen about the characters. Bodie is written with every past from nobility to orphaned kid on the docks. There are also a bunch of bizarre alternate universes (Doyle as an elf is the most widely known and ridiculed). My favorite author is Sebastian. She tends to write a dark Bodie and Doyle who still have very attractive human characteristics. If you haven't read any Pros, I often start people off with her series Adagio, Catharsis, Homecoming, and Plain Sailing.

My issues with writing the Pros as sweet and lovey-dovey is that I don't believe that they could survive in their jobs if they were that nice. Killing people regularly doesn't really work that way, IMHO. In alternate universes, I have different opinions. For instance, Pam Rose wrote a novel called "Professional Dreamer" in which Bodie was a writer and Doyle (well, Dibble) was a librarian. They got mixed up in a spy plot by mistake... I thought it was darling.