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B&D Character Studies - #1 - Bodie

As promised - this is the (largely unedited) text of the studies which lil_shepherd and I prepared for discussion among Hatstand fandom in 1981/82.

A Warning to the Curious

In 1981, in the early days of Professionals fandom, four people were taking a break from writing fanfic by taking a walk across Ilkley Moor (ba t'ats). At some time during that walk the idea of running a 'mini' convention at a 'proper' hotel was mooted. And thus was born A Weekend In The Country. About the same time there was much discussion among the Hatstanders (as we were wont to call ourselves) about the picture in some fanfic of Bodie as a bigoted thug, and of Doyle as a sweet caring vegan (really, if TV Tropes had been running back then it would have been Doyle in Patched Jeans rather than Draco in Leather Pants).

So when we got home Lil and I started looking through the episodes for on-screen evidence about the characters and their backgrounds. The result was 18 closely typed pages of the 'Bodie and Doyle Character Studies', which were circulated as a discussion document at A Weekend In The Country in 1982 and certainly did prompt discussion (we still have the letters...). They were later joined by a study of Cowley, and some notes on the two Ranald Graham episodes which do not fit series continuity (or common sense).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS to Cimorene, for the use of her VTR, audiotapes, and information, to K for advice on weaponry, and to the above, plus Miso No Tsuki, The Android and KD for comment and advice.

NB. The convention in typing is to underline for italics, and use single inverted commas for titles - in preparing this for electronic publication I have stripped out most of the formatting - damned if I'm going to write in html codes now.)

THE PROFESSIONALS: CHARACTER STUDIES
Lil Shepherd
Ina MacAllan

GROUND RULES

About nine months ago, we decided that we did not understand either Bodie or Doyle, and so these character studies were begun. Both of us had seen the series almost since its inception, but neither of us had studied it in any detail and we approached these character studies with open minds. What we found startled us considerably, and the work is, as yet, unfinished. This is merely a draft - discussion starts here.

For any kind of literary or dramatic analysis there are two types of citable evidence: primary evidence is the content of the literary or dramatic work itself (in the case of 'The Professionals', broadcast series) and secondary or supporting evidence which is what has been previously said or written about a literary or dramatic work (in the case of 'The Professionals' this includes books, magazine articles, annuals, and interviews with the creative people involved with the series.) It is important to remember that series format is also secondary evidence.

Primary evidence can never be overruled or even called into question by secondary evidence. We believe that the 'real' Bodie and Doyle are the ones who appear on the screen, not the ones in Clemens' mind before the start of the series, or those Ken Blake created in the books, or those in the annuals or the magazines. Except where it supports primary evidence, secondary evidence can, and in this case, has been, ignored entirely. This is especially important in the case of 'The Professionals' because of the profusion of secondary evidence, a great deal of which is contradictory and which is often called into question or eliminated entirely by broadcast series. Sources that give Bodie's middle name as 'Arthur' or cannot get the heights or eye colours of the actors correct are plainly unreliable. This becomes more serious when, for example, several sources state that Bodie's 'dubious activities in Jordan' were with the SAS, when 'The Rack' makes it clear that this was during his mercenary period or, again, when series format itself says that Bodie was in South Africa and lived with 'and off an 'older woman' on The Cape', but the series itself never mentions him venturing further south than Angola (which is where he says he learnt Afrikaans - though from who is a mystery as it is not a native language in that country; they speak Portuguese ) and from his conversation with Doyle on top of the bus in "First Night', it appears that he did not live off a rich woman, but Doyle did. This is important, for series Bodie is a very different man from Clemens' original concept, and eliminating both South Africa and the older woman solves what might have been a number of characterisation problems at a stroke.

Likewise, series format gives Doyle's background as 'South London', which is unfortunate in that the lad sports an East London accent and his descriptions of his youth suggest that he comes from a much rougher area that South London was when he was growing up. Broadcast series gives no direct evidence except that he lived in Derby!

Finally, we decided to ignore secondary evidence completely within the character studies. It seemed the safest course.

When the series contradicts itself, or when there is contrary evidence to what we believe to be the consensus of the rest of the series, we have tried to note it. This happens primarily when series continuity breaks down. We have tried to take everything broadcast into consideration (though we were seriously tempted to leave out 'Wild Justice'). To ignore evidence or bend it to fit theory is dishonest, and defeats the whole purpose of these character studies, which was to understand the characters of Bodie and Doyle as broadcast in 'The Professionals'. This, we hope you are going to help us to do by commenting on the studies you hold in your hands. Thank you.

**** *

* BODIE : William Andrew Phillip

"You left school at 14... You joined the Merchant Navy and you jumped ship three years later in Dakar...a bouncer in an African club, then gun running for both sides during the Congo wars. Mercenary soldier in Angola, Biafra... some dubious activities in Jordan, and then you came back here to join the army where you became a sergeant with the Paras, then you were seconded to the SAS and then... to CI5."

Geraldine Mather : 'The Rack'


Bodie states that he was "in the third form at Junior school" 20 years before the events in 'Stirring of Dust' (SoD) (the date on the gravestone in this episode is 1978) which gives a birthdate of 1949/50 for him. (The former seems more satisfactory.)

There is no mention of his family (save Doyle's proverbial "bet your mother's feet are cold" in 'Not A Very Civil Civil Servant' (NAVCCS)) but he describes his background as "Liverpool/Irish"(The Rack) and he retains a slight Liverpool accent, as well as support for Liverpool Football Club, judging by his "Liverpool for the Cup" comment in 'SoD'.

When Bodie left school at 14 he did so illegally (15 being the official school leaving age in the mid-60s) and when he jumped ship at the oil port of Dakar in Senegal (because he'd been playing around with the Captain's woman, according to his own testimony in 'The Rack'), he was about 17 (1966/67)., He spent the next four or five years mainly in Africa and the Middle East. The 'Congo Wars' were over, so any gun running he did must have been to the Congolese government and hold-out pockets of resistance. Biafra was fought between 1967 and 1971- Angola presents a problem since, though there was multi-factional fighting in the colony, no-one appears to have been employing white mercenaries. The Portuguese had their own regular army and the 3 guerrilla movements (FNLA, MPLA & UNITA) were strongly black nationalist during this period. Mercenaries did not become important in Angola, until the Portuguese pulled out in 1975.

Bodie also mentions being in East Africa (Old Dog) and Sylvester recognises him in 'Mickey Hamilton' He was in Jordan (The Rack) and he ran guns to the Persian Gulf (Hunter/Hunted) . During this period he also found time to meet Marrika (who asks if he is "...still fighting all those obscure wars that never got into the newspapers? Africa..."), probably in London or East Germany. (Fall Girl)

In 1971 Bodie .came back to England and joined the Paras (Keller; "Bodie, SAS Sergeant, active service record 1971 - 1976." 'Kickback') leaving behind him a continuing reputation and a number of contradictory rumours:

"The last I heard he was rotting in a Congo jail..."

"Someone told me he was dead..." is what Krivas' mercenaries have to say on the subject. (Where the Jungle Ends (WTJE)).

He must have put in at least two years with the Paras (gaining the rank of Sergeant. 'The Rack'),before volunteering for the SAS. (All SAS men are volunteers who must have at least 2 years active service in HM Forces.) Like all non-commissioned officers who join the SAS he would have lost that rank on volunteering and, if his promotion in ' the Paras was surprisingly fast, that in the SAS was astonishing, as promotion of any kind in that Regiment is very slow.

Bodie served in Northern Ireland (Doyle: "You were in Belfast,..." 'Old Dog'), probably both with, the Paras (Bodie: "Strictly keeping the peace." 'Old Dog') and with the SAS (the flashback sequences in 'Kickback' appear to be in Northern Ireland). He also mentions being in Holland during this period ("A couple of years ago I was in a block like this in Holland." (WTJE)). His specialities in the SAS were "intelligence and demolition" (Kickback), a combination which must have stood him in good stead when, in 1976, he "jacked it in (and) joined up with you (i.e. CI5)." (Kickback)

He was apparently teamed with Doyle shortly afterwards, (In 'Close Quarters (CQ)', which seems to take place in the summer of 1978, Doyle says that they have been teamed for "two years, three months" i.e. since May/June 1976, while in 'Female Factor (FF)' - positively dated 1977 - Bodie is still quite obviously 'learning the ropes' about criminal investigation from Doyle.)

The first thing to note about Bodie is that he is superbly good at his job. He very rarely makes a mistake and, when he does (as when picking up Benny in 'Jungle') it is usually because he is emotionally involved.

His military skills include being a "damn good marksman" (Kickback) with a rifle and he is treated as an expert on rifles in 'Killer With A Long Arm (Killer), speaking with authority on the subject. He has a soldier's skill at judging distances by eye ('CQ,' 'Killer'). His favoured weapons are the Uzi sub-machine gun ('Hiding to Nothing' 'First Night') and the Browning Hi-Power automatic pistol, which is very much a soldier's weapon, particularly favoured by mercenaries because it takes the same ammunition as rifles and smgs in common use ( a trick Bodie uses in 'CQ,') and the magazine will hold up to 14 cartridges, useful, as Bodie admits that he is not as good a shot with a pistol as with a rifle. ("I may not be as. good a shot as (Krivas)." 'WTJE') He knows the capabilities of many weapons ('Old Dog' 'Killer' 'Acorn Syndrome', 'CQ') and can handle most of them, from mines (Mickey Hamilton) to knives ('Old Dog' 'SoD'.). He is an economical hand-to-hand fighter (cf: the 'bar fight in 'Female Factor') and makes imaginative use of 'externals' eg. the electric fire against the dog in 'IOABP' , the tea trolly in 'Killer', the rubbish skip in 'Old Dog'. His tactics are usually right for the circumstances, as when he puts Myer against the door in 'CQ', although he has a penchant for the spectacular. One suspects that he was responsible for the repair crane/battering ram device in 'FN': he is certainly in charge 'of it!

He pays meticulous attention to detail, eg removing the lenses from the doctor's spectacles in 'Old Dog' (without breaking them) and picking up the 'stolen' ornament in 'Slush Fund'.

Bodie's sheer professionalism is evident in 'Annie' where, in his treatment of the thugs ( plus Doyle and Annie) he does not make one wrong move. It is not surprising that Cowley is sceptical that anyone should willingly "go up against the likes of Bodie" in 'Dead Reckoning', or that Doyle should show total confidence in him. Krivas and his men, as well as arms dealers like Martell and Cusak, show a remarkable respect for Bodie, all the more surprising since Bodie was in his late teens and very early twenties when they knew him professionally - at which age he was trusted with arms negotiations for the Gulf! (H/H)

These past experiences and skills have given Bodie a self-confidence that almost amounts to arrogance - but not quite. In 'CQ' he may tackle Myer with only one hand but he admits that he could not handle any more of them. He knows his own capabilities although he does not show any signs at all of modesty. ("I believe in me," he says in 'Mixed Doubles', and he makes similar comments in "The Rack'.)

He retains a tendency to think in military terms: to "go for cover" in 'CQ', to gain height "and a vantage point in 'Fall Girl', to perform the brilliant woodland stalk of 'Stopover' and the running cross country fight of 'Jungle'; to spot the movement in the bushes, in 'Long Shot'; and to use military phraseology. eg "Permission to be admiringly insolent, sir." (Old Dog) and "No excuse" to Doyle in "Fall Girl.. He is also the member of the team with "a better head for heights" (Long Shot), a fact which Cowley "uses in 'Killer' and is demonstrated on top of the gas holder in 'Fall Girl'.

At first Bodie is highly sceptical of the value of legwork, files, stake outs and contacts (see Doyle's many lectures to him on the subject in the first series, particularly in 'FF', 'Everest' and 'Stake Out'), but he develops, over the series, a high degree of competence in all these areas, even if he never learns to like them. By 'The Rack' he has his own criminal contacts (Parker) to supplement the arms dealers like Marty Martell (H/H), Cusak (Jungle) and Pullman (Backtrack), and mercenaries like Frank in 'Mickey H'. He may be half asleep while Doyle is still in the car in 'SoD' but the instant Doyle is in the house Bodie is totally alert, and he is plainly good at stake outs by 'Backtrack', 'Hiding to Nothing' and 'Slush Fund' (though he is quick to hand over to the "night man" in 'H to N'), though he does not like to embark on them 'dry'. ('Heroes' 'Jungle') By 'MWAP' he can take on a piece of classic 'legwork' on his own, and he seems to get results faster than Doyle or Cowley, who are using CI5 resources.

He is observant, particularly of faces, recognising Myer from a Casual glance at a photograph in 'CQ' or picking up on someone he: did surveillance on two years before in 'Stopover'. . He knows that his survival may depend on these observational abilities (as it does when he spots the piece of wire on top of the phone in 'Purging'.)

While undercover work is not his forte - Cowley is disparaging about his acting abilities in 'Stopover' - he manages well enough in 'Fugitive' and 'IOABP', though he is not greatly tested, and, of course, he produces the lovely down-and-out Irishman in 'Slush Fund' which suggests he might surprise Cowley if actually tested.

Bodie's motivation for joining CI5 does not immediately appear to be idealistic. His own crisp "Money," In 'MD' is plainly a put-off, as even Doyle realises. ("There has to be more to it -than that." 'MD') Bodie is, in fact, an excitement freak. All his life has been spent in seeking action - even the SAS was too quiet for him. His determination to get back on duty, despite the real pain in his hand in 'CQ' , speaks eloquently of that. He gets bored very easily with paperwork (Everest) and stake outs ('Heroes' 'Stake Out') and tends to go to sleep. He breaks all the rules, as Cowley frequently points out ('Killer' 'Old Dog' 'CQ') and, indeed, his old SAS Major enquires of Cowley whether he is "toeing the line" in 'Kickback'. He has obviously never read '.the Book' and Cowley's dry, "It's in the small print," in 'Involvement' is an indication of the fact that his boss is well aware of it. Like Cowley himself, Bodie cuts corners (for example, his method of obtaining information in 'Runner' which involves busting a betting shop) and he has no respect whatsover for other people's property, from his half-inching of the bowling shoes in 'Stake Out" , to breaking the window of the Hope's house in 'Slush Fund', to stealing cars (CQ,) and a boat (along with its owner!) in 'Blind Run'.

He certainly has a very tough exterior. It's the first thing that most people seem to notice and Bodie plays up to it: Cowley's "You're a hard man, Bodie," in 'H to N' gets the response, "What do you think you recruited? A cream puff?" yet in that very episode, he is deeply upset about Frances, loathing the idea of listening in _to her affaire with Delgado and refusing to take Doyle's money. (Which he won because he is a far better judge of character.) Indeed, once the initial interrogation is over he is anything but 'tough' with Frances and is plainly concerned about her - "Will you be all right?"

Bodie also plays up to a reputation for having a bad temper - his comment to Doyle in 'Involvement's "You usually have to pull me off," is a good example - and this is totally undeserved. Bodie's temper is usually under tight control and, even when he does lose it, Doyle can often stop him easily. (With a "Don't!" and a touch in 'Everest'.) He never loses his temper without good reason, for instance with Krivas in 'Jungle' or Cowley in 'Slush Fund' when the cause is hurt or danger to someone he cares about. It is noticeable that, during the argument at the beginning of 'MWAP' it is Doyle who is close to losing his temper, despite the fact that Bodie has far greater cause.

He is personally honest, trying to give straight answers even when he could dodge the issue and so make life easier for himself, such as when he is questioned about his motives by Sara and Julia in 'CQ,'

His courage is very real for, as he admits to Doyle in 'MD', he is scared "all the time."

He also has the ability to laugh at himself, as witness his reaction to the tables being turned on him by Doyle in 'Long Shot' and 'Blind Run' and Marge's insults in 'Backtrack' or Mrs Cunningham's in 'H to N'.

Bodie is deeply cynical about 'authority'. He dislikes the police ("I don't like arrogant coppers." 'ITPI') and suspects all of them of corruption, ("Police...can be corruptible..." 'Everest') and he gets very annoyed if anyone suggests that he is on the Force (Long Shot). He also hates authoritarianism, as witness his comments on Cowley's speech having "Fascist overtones" in 'Old Dog' and his total lack of sympathy for the participants in 'ITPI' and 'NAVCCS'. His hatred of terrorism is shown in 'CQ' and by his attitude to Maureen Kaufman in 'Kickback'. Bodie's motivation perhaps begins to come through when he tells Julia that he is 'Trying to protect you... people like you." (CQ).

His sense of humour is very black, and appalling. "And it isn't even St Valentine's Day," of the massacre in 'Old Dog' or "Apart from- that, the honeymoon was fine," in 'Heroes' . This must be a defence mechanism - as nearly all black humour is. It shows most clearly in 'Blind Run' when he is telling Doyle about Charlie's "Case of mistaken identity: The Sheik of Bethnal Green's now a watering can."
Doyle: "That bad?"
Bodies "Left lung... Oh, you know Charlie. He'll be all right."

Some things are too black and nasty to do anything but joke about, and if Bodie was in Biafra before he was 20 he would have seen enough to have to develop a defence mechanism very quickly. Now he uses the black humour to distract attention and to cover his own feelings.

His total refusal to talk .about certain-aspects of his past indicates that it has affected him deeply. He is unable, anyway, because of the security aspect to talk about his career in the SAS but, although he will talk readily about the women in his past, he will not discuss his mercenary career, or his experiences in Belfast. ("-... .if you think you're going to draw me in on that one, forget it," 'Old Dog') To quote Doyle, he's "always been pretty cagey about (his) past." (Kickback). Indeed, the only time he mentions incidents from his mercenary career is in 'Jungle', where he has to do so to explain Krivas and the threat he poses.

Bodie must have learned to protect himself early in his career to have survived at all, let alone with his sanity, and compassion, very much intact.

He can be very charming (ask his girlfriends!) and is gregarious. He is rarely seen alone, and pubs appear to be his natural habitat. He will chat up a girl on the brink of death ('Killer', 'Blind Run') and does not appear to have any women problems, except the perennial one of having to abandon his dates when duty calls. ('First Night' 'Mickey H') He also appears to socialise with CI5 agents (eg Fraser in "Stake Out') and is very upset about that man's death, as about Charlie in 'Blind Run'. Bodie is far from being a 'loner' - indeed, the army has no place for them. His relationship with Keller was plainly as close as that which he now has with Doyle. ("I leave you alone for a couple of years and you get shacked up with a half-baked terrorist groupie.")

As you might expect from his quick promotion in the Paras and SAS, Bodie is very much a leader-type and tends to take charge of projects. He is good enough to be obeyed without question most of the time and, unlike Doyle, he does not have to back his orders with CI5 authority. Even when under verbal attack in 'CQ' he does not doubt -that he is in charge and when cornered responds with a "Because I say so," rather than quoting CI5 brief.

He has no problem in-gathering a band of CI5 operatives to raid the betting shop in 'Runner' , and Charlie turns instinctively to him in 'Blind Run' where Bodie deals with the man who is sure he is dying with exactly the right amount of ruthless firmness to stop his defeatism. He is very good indeed at handling and at. understanding people, recognising the talents (or lack of them ) of other members of CI5 (eg Tommy McKay in 'Heroes' and Tony Miller in 'Everest') and particularly those of his partner. He often defers to Doyle where the latter has greater experience (cf "How are you going to play it?" in 'FF') and this is one of the reasons why he is so angry with Doyle at the end of 'Killer' he knows his partner's capabilities. ("Since when did you miss?") He is very good at character assessment and only rarely makes a mistake in his judgement of people. He predicts Benny's actions with uncanny accuracy in 'Jungle' and is right about Billy and his relationship with the doctor in 'Old Dog'. He has Annie summed up before he meets her ("A cross between Joan of Arc and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.) There are exceptions; Anna, in 'Dead Reckoning' (where he has solid evidence against her), Geraldine Mather in 'The Rack' (where he is thinking with his glands) Shelley (H to N) and Kathie (H/H), both of. whom he meets for a very short time (and who he might expect to be a little flakey, anyway, being Doyle's girlfriends). He also, of course, misjudges Keller, whom he used to know very well but, on a personal level, he is not totally betrayed. (Kickback).

Bodie reacts to people as individuals, and deals with them that way. This makes. him a superb interrogator, whether it is playing the 'hard man' to Cowley's 'soft man' in 'Slush Fund', being, menacing in 'The Rack', or gently questioning Susan and Gino (MWAP). His whole attitude to people in summed up in 'Annie' : "I'd like him even more if he'd let us know a little bit more about him. Y'know, his Achilles heel..."

For, for all that carefully projected image, Bodie is a sensitive and deeply caring man, but always on a personal level. He never makes idealistic or altruistic statements and has no sympathy at all for those on 'the other side of the fence'. Hence his ruthlessness with Myer in 'CQ' . ("I hate his kind.") Unlike Cowley and Doyle he does not regret the death of Paul Coogan, except in its effect on Doyle and Cowley, ("I saw you .beat that innocent young man to death." 'The Rack'), but in 'MWAP' , when innocents are dead and injured, he wants to know: "There's two people dead, eleven seriously injured - how many does it have-to be before you're emotionally involved?"
He sees his job as something that has to be done, quoting Cowley in 'CQ': "Fight fire with fire." Defining the difference between himself and the 'kill happy' Tommy McKay: in 'Heroes' he points out that, "I do it, but I don't enjoy it." His comment in 'Backtrack' that he does not like, guns seems to be sincere and he is certainly not trigger happy; when attacked by a man with a shotgun in 'The Rack' he does not use his own gun, but disarms him ,/u>barehandedly.

Bodie cares; about innocents caught up in events, such as Sara (CQ), Mandy (Long Shot), Anna (DR),Nurse Boulding (Old Dog), and the victims of the Logan-Blake fraud (NAVCCS); about CI5 agents like Tony Miller (Everest), Charlie (Blind Run) and even Tommy McKay (Heroes); about his girlfriends Claire (MWAP) and Julie (CQ) 5 about old friends such as Keller (Kickback) j and, of course, Doyle and Cowley. In 'Stake: Out' he .may not be expert at, unobtrusive observation, but he can spot a girl in trouble and handle her questioning in his usual skill, being first gentle, then tough, as it becomes necessary. He is even considerate in small things, such as protecting Mrs Cunningham's chair with a magazine when he has to stand on it in 'H to N'.

His sensitivity and understanding are much in evidence in 'The Rack' and 'Involvement' where he treats Doyle with an exquisite delicacy of touch, dragging him out of his trough of self-pity and finding an 'out' for him in the former, and provoking his anger to force him into useful activity - and keep him out of Cowley's way - in the latter. (He even defies Cowley to go to his partner when he needs him, both in 'Involvement1 and 'Blind Run'.) Bodie does not want to be the one to tell Doyle about Benny's; death and, during the scene when Doyle learns of the investigation of Ann Holly, Bodie is too upset even to look at him, feeling for him, and aware that he is going to be furious about it.

That Bodie is capable of great depths of feeling should be obvious from his hatred of Krivas, nurtured for many years because Krivas killed a girl of whom Bodie says (very sincerely) "I loved her...really loved her..." (Jungle).

But the man is a romantic. After all, he ran away to sea when he .was 14! It shows most of all in, 'Annie' where he fantasises Cowley's romance with a "beautiful spy" and "plays Cupid" as Doyle puts it, with Cowley and Annie, not to mention carefully 'not hearing' what Annie says about Cowley in the car on the way to the airport. The affaire in 'Fall Girl' is also revealing. This is a romance which is nearly 10 years .old, but it is picked up at an intensity that has Bodie almost crashing the car and has him desperate just to talk to Marrika on the telephone. In fact, he treats all of his girlfriends in a fairly romantic fashion, taking Julia boating on the river (CQ), .Claire to an expensive restaurant (MWAP), and sending roses to the girl he has to ditch in 'First Night'.

He gives a great deal of personal loyalty - it. is noticeable that when he pleads with Doyle in 'The Rack' it is to help Cowley, not to save CI5 He does not suspect Cowley in 'Blind Run', though Doyle does, and he is none too happy with the situation in either 'Servant' or 'N to K'. He trusts Keller in 'Kickback' , in spite of being hit over the head,. doing all he can to save him. His trust in his partner is completes his life is in Doyle's hands for most of the time and he never hesitates or doubts him, even following him out to give himself up in 'ITPI', and he does not for an instant reproach Doyle when that goes wrong. 'Fall Girl' is full of examples of the trust that Bodie gives. He says of Marrika that, "Twice in my life I trusted you," and, though it appears that she has betrayed him, he still insists on seeing her, perhaps to make -sure that she is all right, perhaps because he wants her to explain, somehow. Even though he knows that Cowley has set Doyle to follow him, Bodie trusts his boss enough to attempt to escape on his orders, and, after that, in spite of the attempt to kill him, he goes to Doyle's flat - running for help - only to back off when he sees Marrika. Finally, he trusts Cowley enough to come down from the gas holder, even after Marrika has been shot.

Apart froin the black humour, Bodie's sense of humour can be childish, as in the conversations with Tony Miller and the incident with the pin-up in 'Everest' and he is totally uncrushable. (Note the number of times he gets the last word with Cowley; eg "I don't believe you could smile benevolently." - 'Involvement') He is witty and imaginative, with a taste for epigrams "You have to be mad in this job or go insane."('Everest' ) or "All girls are nice girls if they're under 50, warm and come across." ('Old Dog') or his marvellous definition of 'corruption' as "where the worms are," in 'Everest'.

Although we never see him with a book (though Cowley refers 'to 'your friend Hal Robbins' in 'Slush Fund') he seems to be very well read. and erudite. There are references to George Orwell and Icarus (Everest), Croesus (FF) and "Samuel Beckett would like that: life in a word - 'if'." (Old Dog) In spite of his teasing comments to Doyle about 'The Third Man' in 'SoD', Bodie apparently knows his movies, quoting Cagney in 'CQ', and citing a Gary Cooper film in 'Everest'.

Bodie delights in teasing Doyle, but he is never malicious. His "the crafty, randy old toad," comment in 'Involvement' is full of his relief that Doyle is not on his own, and there is joy in his expression when he discovered that Doyle once lived off a woman. This is a new aspect to his partner and he seizes on it with delight, (First Night') He likes his partner's company. . Most of their double dates seem to be at his instigation (the exception being 'Fall Girl') and he seems happy to provide Doyle with a phone number in 'ITPI'. (He is even pandering to Doyle's taste: the man always did like redheads.) Bodie is very fond of Doyle. Nearly every episode has some evidence of this but we can cite, in particular, his cold fury with Kathie: "If anything happens to Ray, I'm going to find, your sadistic.. .husband, and kill him, very slowly, and then, to save you the pleasure of spending the rest of your miserable life in jail, I'm going to do the same for you...with great pleasure." (H/H), Bodie's loss of temper in 'Slush Fund' when Cowley has left Doyle "hanging by his thumbs", and how desperately shaken he is in 'Backtrack' when Doyle's gun jams at a critical moment. He is protective, for example shoving Doyle out of the door first when they think a bomb is about to go off in 'Backtrack', and the comforting arm around his shoulders when Ray has broken his arm in 'Annie'. He understands his partner completely, playing him superbly in both 'The Rack' and 'Involvement' , and in the latter he is probably quite correct when he sums up Doyle's relationship with Ann Holly "It's just a passing fancy - but... he may not be pulling the rope but he's certainly hearing those bells." Bodie is forever trying to defuse the effects of Doyle's temper. The best example is 'Stake Out' where, the instant he realises what is going on, he grabs his partner and does not let go, and he is totally unworried as to whether he looks stupid or not.

Whenever Doyle is in trouble, be it professional or emotional, Bodie is there in support. From 'FF' where he dumps the girls to go with Doyle, realising that that is what he wants to do, through 'Heat' , 'The Rack' , 'Blind Run' (where it is Doyle he is most worried about: "Is Doyle...in there?"), to 'H to N' ("She fooled me too, mate.") to 'Involvement', he is at Doyle's side whenever he is in trouble.

There is an instructive contrast between the endings of 'The Rack' and 'Involvement' on one hand and that of 'Fall Girl' on the other. In the first two episodes, when Doyle is hurting, Bodie starts to go after him. Cowley stops him the first time and attempts to do so the second time, but in that case Bodie ignores him. In 'Fall Girl' it is Bodie who is hurt and who walks away, but Doyle makes a snide remark to Cowley: "Do you still want me to follow him?" and gets a curt, "Make sure your own house is in order, 4.5," before Cowley follows Bodie,

In fact, Bodie and Cowley are very close. They are alike in many ways, having a similar attitude to 'desk generals' (note Cowley's flouting of Ministerial orders), terrorism and authoritarianism (they both loathe them : 'Old Dog' TTPI'), the 'rules' (they both break them) and corners (they both cut them. The words: "Always been your forte, George, cutting corners," could equally well apply to Bodie. 'Everest'), with a shared determination to get the job done. They are both natural leaders, good at character assessment and handling people, and they also have a similar sense of humour. Cowley's lines might often have been spoken by Bodie. eg "Or maybe you could sit on my knee," to Mather in 'The Rack' , and, in that episode, Cowley has to stifle his laughter at Bodie's replies to Mather's questioning at the enquiry, and he never even tries to conceal his grins while talking to Bodie over the telephone or radio in such episodes as 'DR'. Their attitude to each other is always easy, as witness Bodie's "Teach it to you sometime," re the 'Sun Exercise' at the beginning of 'Blind Run'. Even Doyle recognises the fact: "You know you like him." (Annie)

It is Bodie who tries to help Cowley out of his gloom in 'Heroes', dragging up the episode from his past of the nursing sister who tried to commit suicide, something that still plainly troubles him, in an attempt to help. He also makes sure that Cowley sees some action and tempts him with the offer of a drink, all of which has the desired effect. Cowley is plainly worried about Bodie in 'CQ' ("Bodie...when I find him I'll.,.") and 'Fall Girl' (where he never doubts Bodie for an instant.) They work superbly well together; for example, during the interrogations of Frances Cunningham (H to N) and Piet Van Neikerk (Slush Fund), or the sequences in 'Involvement'. They also share a similar background in that they were both involved in a nasty civil war at a very early age (Cowley in Spain, Bodie in Biafra) and later went on to an elite military force (Special Commando in Cowley's case, the SAS in Bodie's). It is quite possible that Cowley sees Bodie as his eventual successor. On this point, it should be noted that in 'The Rack', although it is Doyle who is accused of killing Paul Coogan, it is Bodie who Cowley defends to Mather. ("Not for the same reasons as Bodie, Miss Mather, not at all.") Plainly, Mather's comments on Bodie's character had stung, but then, Bodie is a most misunderstood character.

*****

Miscellany (a collection of minor and (sometimes) interesting facts!)

BODIE

Can handle river craft (Blind Run), is a good mechanic (WTTC) and has a pilot's licence (Blind Run).
He does not smoke. (.'WITC' 'First Night')
Speaks both German (Fall Girl) and Afrikaans (Slush Fund) well enough to understand and to be understood.
Plays the guitar. (H to N)
Plays darts (brilliantly) (Old Dog), fishes (WTTG), and we also see him on the tennis courts (First Night) and playing chess (WITC).
He has no religious beliefs. (Mixed Doubles)
He does not like dogs. ('H to N' 'IOABP')
He has a superb dress sense, whether casual or formal, and takes size 8 shoes. (Stake Out)
He drinks beer when he's buying, but is adventurous about drink, as witness the Harvey Wallbanger in 'Runner'.


On to Part 2 - Doyle
Tags: character discussion, fandom history
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