Variations on the Theme of B and D

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Title: Variations on the Theme of B and D
Publisher: Keynote Press
Editor(s): M C Gibson
Date(s): 1997-1999
Medium: print
Fandom: The Professionals
Language: English
External Links:
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Variations on the Theme of B and D is a slash Professionals anthology. All the stories are set in an alternate universe (hence the 'variations").

General Reactions and Reviews

A wonderful mix of A/U tales that are as well thought out and beautifully written as the canon-based stories in the Motet zines, and the editing and production values are up to Keynote's usual high standards. I'm not normally a fan of A/Us, but these were lovely. (There is also a Second Variation zine that I found to be much, much weaker; I only liked four of the twelve tales therein. But those four stories were pretty darned good.) [1]

Issue 1

Variations on the Theme of B and D 1 was published in October 1997 and contains 201 pages. The front cover black-and-white drawings are by M. Margaret O'Shea (though this is artist isn't specifically credited) and are AU versions of Bodie and Doyle. There are no interior illos.

At least one source (a flyer?) says that "Eternal Passion: a Tale of Bodie and Zax" by Anne Higgins is in this zine, but it is not.

front cover of issue #1

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Another collection of Pros stories from Keynote Press. Bodie and Doyle really lend themselves to AUs, and this collection is a joy. Some really lovely 'The Chief' and 'For the Greater Good' (other roles of Martin Shaw, aka "Doyle") Xovers. Don't miss! [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, M. Margaret O'Shea

Second Variation on the Theme of B and D was published in February 1999 and contains 177 pages.

The black-and-white front cover drawings are by M. Margaret O'Shea and portray AU versions of Bodie and Doyle. The artist is not credited in the zine.

Excerpts from the zine flyer:

  • AT THE ADMIRAL NELSON by Georgina Kirrin. The Kid was back. The artist flipped over onto a clean page, abandoning the sketch of the card school that had held his interest for the best part of an hour. He paused for a few seconds to fix the face, then his hand began to arch over the paper, strong clean lines for the head and neck. Talk about a rose amongst thorns! Half the faces in here looked like they'd escaped from a Breugel, which was, of course why he came, braving the terrible beer and the permanent tobacco-smoke peasouper. But The Kid was something else, something else altogether; and in here he stuck out like... the artist struggled to find something other than the old cliche and eventually settled for one of his Gran's expressions, The Kid stuck out in this dump like a good deed in a cruel world.
  • RULE BRITANNIA by Elizabeth Holden. The Emerald Baron knelt at Doyle's side, like Lucifer at the gates of hell. Doyle noticed how good he smelled, as his bare fingers tightened on Doyle's jaw, opening his mouth as he pulled Doyle's head towards him. He took something from his breast pocket, from the fine linen shirt that fit his toned body so well; Doyle could not see what it was that he held, but he felt Bodie's fingers reach into his mouth, and he felt a rush of sensation as something exploded in gold and silver on his tongue.
  • COMMAND PERFORMANCE by Maiden Wyoming. The wallet closed and was hidden quickly in the man's military blouse. The knee moved and he started to rise. "Got something interesting over there, Bodie?" the leader called out. Cade tensed. But the man near him gave a low chuckle instead of the damning information. "Little bloke. A pretty one," he said, making the words a leer. "Just me type, too. Old enough to know the score, young enough to still be a challenge." The other gunmen laughed. And then to Cade's horror, embarrassment, astonishment and, yes, relief, the man called Bodie holstered his weapon, knelt in front of him, grasped him by the hair, raised his head and kissed him full on his parted lips to the vast amusement of the other terrorists and the gasps of disbelief and outrage from the other hostages.
  • TABLE CONVERSATION by PFL. "I hate these jobs," he said, with more emotion in his voice than she would have expected. "You told me once, long ago, that they were necessary." She slanted a look at him. "Changed your mind?" "No." "Well then. When's it to be?" "Tonight. The old man will be with him." She raised her brows at that. "Why?" "This one's different." "Then let him do it. He's done it before." She was surprised at her own tone. Just part of the job, wasn't it? Bitterness was unseemly. He shook his head slowly, his eyes distant. "No, I don't think he can this time."
  • COMFORT AND JOY - Part One: Comfort by Meridian. "I haven't seen you around before, do you live in Baltimore?" There was something in the way he asked that question, that made Bodie really look at him. The light brown eyes were alight with intelligence and interest. Interest in him. The simple regard sparked something he'd thought long since dead. A tiny joyous feeling, just an ember, flickered to life in him. How long had it been since anyone had looked at him with any emotion besides fear? A good-looking man smiling sweetly at him on Christmas Eve was an unexpected gift. One he'd be hard-pressed to turn away from.
  • HOMBATHLAY by Jane Mailander. " name is Burdock." "And I am Hombathlay. Which means I am always a homba," Hombathlay's voice was cold. "You came here at Frithli. When you are not Hombathlay, maybe you are Frithli." Hombathlay's ears flattened at the pun. But there was humour in his eyes at being called "sunshine"; it was the first sign of life the stranger had shown since arriving in Watership.
  • THE COW'S CHRISTMAS by Elspeth Leigh. "Doyle won't tell." "Don't be so sure. How much can a man take? They've been pumping him full of a nice cocktail of drugs all night. Up and down, up and down." "I know this man. Hang on, laddie." Cowley stepped closer to Doyle and put his hand on Ray's shoulder -- his fingers passed straight through. "You can't change anything here," Tommy told him. "Once in motion, events are going to go on as intended." The hypodermic touched Doyle's skin and Ray sobbed, begging, and finally, desperately, gave up a name. The needle was pushed in, the plunger depressed and then the chair pulled out from beneath him. His head hit the hard cement with a sickening thud. He managed to look up and his lips formed two words, mocking: "I lied."
  • NON NOBIS, DOMINE by Cassie Ingaben. He said in a low, deep voice: "I am not worthy, but I will pray for your peace to be restored. God knows my faith is not as great as yours, but I wish --" he stopped, floundering: what did he wish, exactly? He knew only that his heart was aching for Brother Raymond, and had been for a long, disquieting time. He realised that all his thoughts and worries of late had been centring on Raymond, and was speechless, his blue eyes growing very dark and wide, gazing at the man in front of him. He moved forward a few paces, almost daring Raymond to lower his eyes, unable to stand still in the face of so many incomprehensible emotions. "Help me Brother, help me understand -- I am troubled also, and cannot see."
  • COMFORT AND JOY - Part Two: Joy by Meridian. Like a knight out of a fairy tale, his fondest wish came in with a smile on his face. Alan's stomach plunged into his shoes, his heart beat painfully hard, and sweat broke out all over his body. It was unreal, and for a second he thought he'd finally gone completely mad and had made it up. Bodie moved forward, holding out his hand in greeting. This was no illusion. How and why Bodie came to be here didn't even matter, all Alan cared about was that he was here. The touch of Bodie's hand nearly destroyed Alan. Biting back a gasp, he let his fingers linger in the handclasp a little too long. Damn, Bodie looked good. No man should look that good, especially not to him.
  • BRIGADOON by PFL. "There are better ways for visitors to have fun." "Yeah? What do you have in mind, then?" Bodie's eyes flitted to his and Doyle held his gaze steadily. He didn't move forward, or back, just stood under Bodie's touch, and waited for him to work it out. "Has the world changed so much?" Bodie's voice was soft. "Yeah. I believe it has." "God help me," was all Bodie murmured as he leaned forward and put his lips to Doyle's.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

See reactions and reviews for Hombathlay.

[zine]: This was amazing! I mean, any collection with stories set in the Watership Down universe, where I *believe* that Bodie and Doyle are rabbits... Well, it's just amazing. A gem - lots of great stories, set all over the map. A wonderful Brigadoon story... Just some really fine stories from excellent authors. [3]


  1. from This is Katya
  2. from SoHo Cafe
  3. from SoHo Cafe