The Professionals was a British TV series broadcast between 1977 and 1983, for a total of 57 episodes. It catalogued the exploits of Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw) and William Andrew Philip Bodie (Lewis Collins), partner agents in CI5, an elite squad of crime-fighters formed to fight crime and terrorism in Britain, and their boss, George Cowley (Gordon Jackson).
All 57 episodes have been released on DVD. The DVDs, which are available from Amazon UK and other British sources, have Region 2 protections and are in PAL format; non-UK fans must ensure they have proper equipment to play such disks.
The fandom dates almost to the inception of the show. Pros is one of the oldest slash fandoms and one of the first fandoms to begin as a slash fandom (the gen contingent arose later and is still relatively small). The fandom has a long and rich history and an amazing body of fanfic.
For far more detailed and thorough information about the show and the fandom, consult the resources listed below, which the archivist has found to be particularly useful or valuable for Pros fans, including (but not limited to!) new fans. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and you can easily find additional Pros resources by consulting these sites, some of which contain far more thorough lists of Pros-related links.
Absolutely Essential Resources
- Proslib -
The first thing any new Pros fan should do is join the Proslib ("Pros Library") Yahoo group mailing list. This is not a discussion list; only the list owner can post. This list primarily serves as an update list for the Pros electronic library . As new stories are added to the electronic library (and the Library CD), they are posted to Proslib. (For more about the electronic library and the Library CD, see about the archive.)
In addition, the Files and Links sections of the site contain invaluable Pros resources, including lists of all Pros zines and their contents, contact information for zine publishers, episode transcripts, a list of Pros discussion lists, and lots of other essential information for Pros fans.
Proslib is also the place to find information about obtaining the Library CD, which contains all the stories on the electronic library, as well as a number of songvids and many of the lists and resources that are in the Files sections of the Proslib site.
The Hatstand website (see below) has a nice an introduction to and explanation of Proslib; the link to the explanation is toward the bottom of the home page.
- Dave Matthews Authorized Guide to The Professionals - This is the authorized fan site for The Professionals. It's run by a long-time fan, Dave Matthews, and contains loads of essential information and fascinating trivia, including a detailed description of the creation and production of the show, episode guides, information about the DVDs, information about cars and weapons used in the show, bios of the actors, and all sorts of other useful stuff.
- The Hatstand - The Hatstand includes an online archive of Pros slash fanfiction, but it is far more than an archive. The site owner has created a remarkable set of invaluable resources for Pros fans. These include transcripts of all 57 episodes and the two Bullshitters spoofs; exhaustive lists of Pros stories broken down into various categories by subject matter or type of story (for example, lists of death stories, alternate universe stories, rape stories, crossovers, stories in which Bodie and Doyle are older, holiday stories, etc.); a list of series (three or more stories written in sequence or part of the same universe, whether or not by the same author); a list of Pros songvids; and background information about the series and actors.
Some Other Useful Sites
- S. Herrold's Pros page - The Pros page of S. Herrold's site ("Confessions of a Fannish Butterfly") contains links to a primer on the show and a "Slash FAQ" filled with useful and interesting information about the fandom, such as a brief history of the Circuit Library and episode and fanfic recommendations.
- CI5 Addict - Agent Xpndble's CI5 Addict site features a fabulous gallery of photos of Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins, both in and out of their Pros personae, and a truly remarkable and ever-expanding collection of scanned articles and magazines pertaining to the show and the actors - materials that would otherwise be forever lost or accessible to only a tiny group of fans. There is also a gallery of John Castle images (he played Crazy (Shotgun) Tommy in the episode Heroes).
- Tauna's Slash Den - The Pros section of Tauna's site contains a wonderful and incredibly extensive gallery of screencaps from the DVDs, along with some highly slash-oriented observations and color commentary on the episodes, a few particularly slashy video clips, and a good list of links.
- Alison's Jottings - The Professionals Recommendations section of Alison's site contains extensive and sometimes detailed discussions, reviews, and recommendations of fanfic, including zines and stories that are not available online, and an extensive list of links to online resources.
- Dana Jeanne's Pros Gallery - This is an absolutely enormous gallery of screencaps and images from the show.
- Crack_Van LJ Community - Crack_van is a multifandom livejournal reccing community. Volunteer fans provide introductions to each fandom and recommend online stories on an ongoing basis. The introduction to the Pros fandom contains pictures and background information about the show and fandom, as well as a list of links to archives, mailing lists, and other online resources.
To access the introduction, click on the entry for "The Professionals" in the list of fandoms on the left side of the home page. To access the list of Pros fanfic recommendations, click on the red heart immediately to the left.
Interacting With Other Fans: Livejournal and Mailing Lists
- The Safehouse LJ Community - The Safehouse is the Pros livejournal community, where fans can post and/or discuss episodes, stories, art, screencaps, announcements, or anything else Pros-related.
- Pros-Lit - Pros-Lit is a slash-oriented Yahoo group mailing list for discussing stories, episodes, and anything else Pros-related.
- PROSfanfic - PROSfanfic is a Yahoo group mailing list for posting and discussing Pros gen fanfic. There is an archive associated with the list.