Disclaimer: Characters from The Professionals are © Mark-1 Productions Ltd 
and are used without permission but with no intent to defraud.

Danger, Genii At Work

(The Making of Desperate Measures)

       The easiest way to do this is just to pull together a selected few of the emails that were shooting backwards and forwards across the ether - so that's what we've done, with occasional explanatory bits. We've tried to keep things as concise as possible, but I'm sure some of this is going to look a little self-indulgent, so do please be warned - it's long, and you might find some of it boring. In all, there were over 200 messages, a handful of phonecalls, and three actual meetings involved in the creation of this story. It all started back in late January, after I'd read and enjoyed Bystanders. I felt Carol's style was similar to my own, and wondered, idly to start with, whether it might be possible to write a story together - not something I've ever really tried before. The idea took hold…
[Joules] Sat, 05 Feb 2000 01:25:04 +0000

Was tempted to see if you fancied writing one jointly with me - we agree on the situation etc and then write the story from 2 different points of view and see what happens! But I'm up to my ears with stuff right now so didn't seem fair. But it's an interesting idea...

       Then we spoke on the phone! We both liked the notion, and agreed it would be a good idea to each take one of the characters and write from that point of view. Carol wanted to write Doyle: I was perfectly happy to write Bodie

[Carol] Tue, 8 Feb 2000 19:23:22 -0000

Had a thought about our 'joint' story. Jennie issued a sort of challenge in Digest 61 which no one so far has taken up, which involved one of them going undercover and having to fight/shoot each other - plenty of h/c ...
       Think this might provide a good opportunity for the 'either side of fence' type story we were thinking about; if they're separated we can see both sides of the plot, and have plenty of angst about each other. I'll chew over a few plot ideas and we can talk further, but initially I think one of us will have to write it, and the other work to that; and bat changes about until it works. Since I'm less overworked than you, I don't mind starting (if you think you could work with my nonsense). Think we agreed I'd do Doyle and you'd do Bodie.

[Joules] Tue, 08 Feb 2000 19:57:57 +0000
This sounds just great!! I'll happily fall in with your initial ideas, and I'm happy to take Bodie (mmmmmm..... any time!!) Let me know when you have anything to share.....

[Carol] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 18:22:09 -0000
The something of vital importance is the Joint story as you probably guessed. I uploaded Survivors, went to type a few notes, and started writing instead.
       Question is, am I heading the right direction? No point in my writing if you don't think this will work - but I'm writing Doyle in the first person. Although this could be tricky - putting thoughts and emotions that the list may not agree with - it would/could make it easier for us to write from two sides.
       Attached the few paras - let me know ...

[Joules] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 18:43:32 +0000
I really like the look of this - I'm more than happy to run with it. A good solid CI5 assignment, familiar to everyone; characters we all know and love (or hate...): danger and tension and excitement. You've set the story up really well in just a very short space, which is great for this sort of thing. And I've no objection to writing Bodie in the first person (ye gods that'll be a challenge!) I'd need to know what the plot is before I can start writing though.
       Umm, if it's Bodie under cover, is it him who gets shot? Let me know what you can when you can - I'm itching to get me teeth into this one!!
       Catch you later - feeling positively inspired!!
Joules (or should I start signing meself Bodie? ;-P )

[Carol] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 20:28:29 -0000
Surrogate 4.5 bounces on chair in excitement ...
       Glad you think we can work this - I think it'll be bloody difficult and easy at the same time! 3 things come to mind! Well, they would, wouldn't they, if you're going to be Bodie! 1
       No sorry, it's Doyle who gets shot. Outline (very basic - haven't thought it all through, and you know what I'm like for plotting) so far - Bodie goes undercover, very successfully, and ends up having to shoot Doyle to maintain his cover when Doyle gets in the way, or something like that, anyway.
       Your brief sample sounds great* - maybe not what I'd write, but that's the whole point! Got the feeling that the best way to handle the 'together' bits would be just to write what Doyle thinks and let you handle Bodie entirely, without trying to give you pointers as to what I think he should be saying. Obviously for the 'apart' bits I'll have to give you plot outline but really, you can take it where you want ....
       oooh this is soooo exciting!
       * in fact, from the point I left my bit, it immediately gave me a follow-on:
              I glanced over at Bodie, whose expression was carefully devoid of emotion, and knew he was trying not to show how pleased he was. Always trying to nursemaid me ...
- something makes me think we're going to have to write this in tandem, if we don't want to have to do a lot of re-writing ...
4.5 out!

[Joules] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 20:52:29 +0000
Sounds bloody marvellous to me!
             Got the feeling that …….. you can take it where you want ....
       OK - you're on - though if I come up with something completely un-Bodie-ish or unworkable you'll have to let me know (and I'll do the same for you - though I doubt I'll need to!) And I agree writing in tandem is probably the best move. Not quite sure how we're going to handle this, but I've no doubt we can make it work. Is there anything in particular that's essential to the plot? e.g do you have a location in mind, yet? Is the story going to have a happy ending (i.e. does CI5 get the baddies)? Do you want Doyle shot in a particular part of his anatomy!? (oooh, poor Bodie. It's going to be hell writing that.... Can't wait!) I've got bits of dialogue running through my mind already!!
3-7 (nursemaid extraordinaire) out.

[Carol] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 21:47:57 -0000
Come in 3.7 ...
       Had some more thoughts - next little update attached to give you something to think about ...
       Next tricky point - how on earth are we going to publish this? Separate stories, slotting bits together? I even considered two columns with our own colours but (apart from the fact that they don't really go together ... in fact look hideous together!) unless we write the same length bits (unlikely) it would be more confusing.
       Of course it will have a happy ending! We have this no-kill policy, remember? But you're right - having to shoot Doyle means Bodie will go through it BIG TIME! Think Doyle should get shot in the left shoulder - Bodie aims for heart and pulls the shot at the last moment & then he and the other villain (no, I don't know who yet, just that there has to be one) leave Doyle for dead ...

[Joules] Sun, 27 Feb 2000 22:58:28 +0000
             how on earth are we going to publish this?
       Gonna think about this and get back to you. There must be a way. I like the idea of different colours - sure we can come up with something apt (light green for Doyle, blue for Bodie??) I think slotting everything together is good - but not sure quite how to do it. Hmmm....
       Update gives me something to go on - can imagine Bodie's response to Ibbotson, so will try and get something sketched out for his part of the story asap.
       Tomorrow I need to make a start on the WCities project (think of me wandering around Briz talking into a dictaphone, pretending it's an R/T - very CI5-ish!!) and will roll ideas around while out and about. Will get back to you tomorrow. Hopefully with some story as well as ideas for structure (for posting I mean).
Catch you later,
3.7, out.

       At this point we decided we needed to arrange a meeting, and booked it for the following weekend at my place.
[Carol] Mon, 28 Feb 2000 00:18:15 -0000

I have to say I think for the joint story we should literally write some of it together - I've broken at the point I left it, and gone forward*.
       We need to write that missing dialogue together, next w/e? If I can put down some of the more salient plot parts during the week that will probably help. This is one occasion where I'll have to break with habit and write ahead of myself ...
       * attached again ... lots of plotline which should give you some more ideas, and masses of free-rein for Bodie's story!
       Can just imagine you as a field agent ... out with the R/T, Walther under the jacket, ID card!
Hope RL doesn't get in the way too much this week! I won't cope ...
4.5 out

[Joules] Mon, 28 Feb 2000 01:33:27 +0000
             Can just imagine you as a field agent ... out with the R/T, Walther under the jacket, ID card!
       Wait'll you see me mirrored shades!!

[Carol] Tue, 29 Feb 2000 01:16:06 -0000
I knew it. Just go and take a quick look, I thought. A page or two later ...        While I'm writing Doyle's anxiety bits, your side/Bodie's story can be backgrounding the plot ... oh, I am enjoying this.
       The whole introspective thing has really taken off tonight - why, oh why do I get into my stride at midnight? Question is - is it right/believable? Let me know - nicely, please!

[Joules] Tue, 29 Feb 2000 11:24:20 +0000
(Running all the way since I'm supposed to be writing up the shops I did yesterday....)
       Story - LOVE it!! Yep, it's believable: fits in beautifully with what we already know about Doyle's career (and temperament) pre-CI5. And it sets Bodie up beautifully for some harsh treatment too (I do like things to be equitable!)
       I like the idea of swapping backwards and forwards between introspective/anxiety bits and straightforward plot (if I've understood you right!) Keeps everyone interested (including the writers!) How do you want to handle it - Bodie/me doing most of action bits while Doyle/you does most of the introspection (which is probably how it would be if this was RL)? Or equal amounts of each? I really don't mind - I've lots of experience with writing introspection, less with writing action and could do with the exercise!
       Re: structure - one way around the actual look on the page is to have them write in different colours, and/or different text styles, to distinguish who's who (rather than different colour backgrounds, I mean.) It can be very easy on the eye and instantly identifiable. Have a think, anyway.
3.7, out.

Carol sends document with the sample colours!

[Joules] Wed, 01 Mar 2000 02:11:20 +0000
Like the look of it so far - and I do like the colours!
       How would you feel about Ibbotson engineering Doyle's being discovered by the group (leading to Bodie's having to shoot him)? Or was that what you had in mind anyway?
       I'm having trouble fixing on exactly what Bodie's undercover role should be (would probably help if I knew more about the subject!) Will have thinks and get back to you. But if you have any inspirations in the meantime, please let me know. Am in the mood for a little angst and am going to have a quick go at drafting out some 3.7-shot-Doyle internal anguish!
3.7 over and out.

[Carol] Wed, 01 Mar 2000 09:39:14 GMT
Yes - Ibbotston stitching up Doyle - hadn't thought it through but I'm sure that's where I would have got to eventually. Do suggest anything that occurs to you re: the plot. I generally take very a convoluted route to finalising plots and change my mind as I write; I certainly don't have anything final in mind yet.
       Will definitely have to think about Bodie's undercover role some more ... RL getting in the way with a vengeance.
       Loved the Bodie bit! Perfect characterisation - "hated to do it but it was necessary". Feel you could build the angst up a bit more, though. Although Bodie is a good shot, and knows he pulled it, he wouldn't know whether he'd seriously hurt Doyle or not. (I envisage them simply walking away ...)
4.5 out ...

[Joules] Wed, 01 Mar 2000 10:41:18 +0000
You want more angst, you got more angst! (Tugging forelock - Happy to oblige, sir...) Yep, I saw them walking away too, Bodie not knowing whether anyone else was there with Doyle and very nearly not managing to resist running to check he was OK etc.... As I said, it was a first draft! I wrote a bit more after I sent it: will polish a bit and email later... Plot ideas - no doubt we'll bounce off each other where they're concerned...

[Carol] Wed, 01 Mar 2000 13:19:49 GMT
It's not just me wanting more angst - our readers will demand angst...
       I did have a thought several weeks ago that after Bodie shoots Doyle, they check out his car outside, and Bodie manages to switch on the tracker to alert HQ that Doyle needs help. [pauses while brain goes into plotting mode...] Doyle isn't that hurt (I'm going to have to write that bit next to get it out of my system) but CI5 have to pretend he's been killed because of suspicions about Ibbotson ...

       At this point sample drafts were flying backwards and forwards, the ideas were bubbling and the whole thing was coming together very nicely…

[Carol] Thu, 2 Mar 2000 11:07:34 -0000
Ooh it's good. It's so good. [bounces on chair] The list will love it! I love it!
       Small points: looking at it again I can see Doyle's nursemaid sentence coming before Bodie's bit now. And can see maybe an extra bit of dialogue between them in the para about the briefing; something relaxed about 'what's he got for us now?' perhaps before they get to the room, Doyle's recognition of Ibbotson, Bodie notices his reaction? We'll have to work on the detail together.
       Do you think we'll actually get any sleep this w/e? I can see us plotting all night. I still haven't pinned down Bodie's role either; the plot is still floating around, a mere backdrop to the angst. (But isn't angst wonderful!)
       I love the idea of Cowley setting Ibbotson up. Could add a wonderful new twist to the plot - immediate reaction: Doyle in hospital, telling Cowley that Ibbotson sent him to (meet up with?) Bodie & therefore set him up, and telling C about his suspicions about Ibbotson from years back. C wonders why he didn't say anything, D argues C shouldn't be so secretive ...
       Serious plotting needed then. But there isn't a time limit on this; it's not homework, it doesn't have to be in a week-Friday ... Just like the challenges aren't compulsory!
4.5 (still bleeding) out ...

[Joules] Fri, 03 Mar 2000 13:35:02 +0000
Come in 4.5....
Not gonna worry about the diet this w/end.... I thought we'd get Bodie-nostalgic tonight - have bought a box of cheap South African White Wine (it'll probably taste 'orrible but after a few glasses we won't notice!!) Have got crisps and pretzels and am defrosting some home-made mushroom soup to go with it....sorta.... Have been trying to get a handle on plots, but me brain's all over the shop today. See how I get on later - if not, tonight!!
See you later,
3.7 (getting all domestic...) out.

[Carol] Fri, 03 Mar 2000 14:21:20 GMT
3.7 - (Shopping & Domestic?)
       Crisps/pretzels & MUSHROOM SOUP? Definitely sounds like something Bodie would eat! Just as well you're forgetting about the diet, I've bought the choccies ...
Done a few more paras on Doyle but haven't got my head round plots either.
4.5 (wishing the afternoon was over) out.

       There followed one of the most productive, fascinating and fun weekends in living memory (mine, anyway!) At one point Carol was typing while I was scrawling the Bodie/hooker part, in longhand, while we tried out various bits of dialogue. Writing together is great!

[Joules] Mon, 06 Mar 2000 18:56:47 +0000
LOVE your latest bits. My only problem is I've made it difficult for Bodie to speak!! Might have to revise that a bit..... On the other hand - those eyes - very expressive....
       Will carry on working on the story tonight. Hopefully might be able to get that background bit done, at least a first draft.
3.7 (temporarily) out.

[Carol] Tue, 7 Mar 2000 19:04:26 -0000
calling 3.7 ... 4.5 checking in with 6 million things to do ... (before breakfast!)
       I've mailed Kate so have asked the question about bruises.
       Had a quick look over the CSS in html. Doesn't look too hard; we need an internal style sheet and then just have to apply it. I'll work on it later - or should I work on the story itself? Or both? Decisions, decisions ...
4.5 out

[Joules] Tue, 07 Mar 2000 20:52:40 +0000
Attached is the first bit of Undercover Bodie (Duvets Anonymous!) - let me know what you think.
       Re: bruises [Carol had commented that bruises don't necessarily appear right away, so Bodie mightn't look too bad: hence the email to Kate for medical info! Thanks Kate - it was invaluable] - you're probably right. I don't know - I don't bruise easily. Maybe different bits of the body bruise more easily than others? It's not a problem, though - he's been badly beaten and it'll show, even if the bruises won't appear til later. I'll just change the wording as necessary.
       Could you leave the CSS coding 'til I'm up with you? I want to learn how to do it myself, so coding the story up together would be good experience for me. (This is where you hit me and say you've just finished it, isn't it?)
       Going back to Undercover Bodie - will get back to you later. Tell you what, if you get your 6,000,000 things done by breakfast, I'll treat you to breakfast at Milliways.....
3.7 (snuggling deeper under the covers) out.

[Carol] Tue, 7 Mar 2000 21:08:30 -0000
Can't Stand the Stuff? Is that what it means?
       Umm - well, that was an interesting couple of hours. I suppose it might have some value at some point, but I'm a bit dubious that it helps us… Anyway, take a look, and see what you think.
       Off to do something else now ... let's see, what else was on that list ...?
4.5 out.

[Joules] Tue, 07 Mar 2000 22:25:59 +0000
OOH!! Ooh, that does look lovely!! 8-D
       The colours are gorgeous - pretty much perfect as far as I can see. Love 'em! But is that really the Arial font?! How come it looks different when I use it? (Och, not to worry. I love it anyway.)
Get back to you later.
3.7 (grinning idiotically.....) out

[Carol] Wed, 08 Mar 2000 10:15:03 GMT
I had an interesting night - got to bed late (as you probably saw), the cat decided to hammock between us all night, making me wake up frequently, and - you'll like this bit - I was dreaming in character! I couldn't find Bodie and definitely woke up at one point thinking I was Doyle - VERY confusing!
       Will get back to you later.
4.5 out (of her mind ...?)

[Joules] Thu, 09 Mar 2000 14:21:07 +0000
Have made Cowley 'sir' throughout. (I think Sir is how you address a knight or duke or something!) I've also changed Doyle's greeting from 'Hi' to 'Hullo' - I don't remember him ever saying Hi (and Bodie only once when he was mucking about in Female Factor) but I DO remember him saying ''ullo love' a lot!! If you're not happy with this (and I think it's only in 2 places) let me know and I'll change 'em back!
       Catch you later - really looking forward to Tasker/Ibbotson bit!!
3.7 (about to collect 2 rampaging sprogs... Cue headache.....) out.

[Carol] Fri, 10 Mar 2000 14:28:23 GMT
Hiya - you know your trouble? Doing a Doyle - doing too much... Take a rest! (at least from some of the fun stuff, I appreciate the paying stuff needs doing...)

[Joules] Fri, 10 Mar 2000 15:21:33 +0000
Nooooooo!! Can't!! WON'T!!! Only thing keeping me sane... 'ang about - you call this sane?!

[Carol] Fri, 10 Mar 2000 16:07:23 GMT
Calm down 3.7 before I take you off operations ... or send you to Dr Ross...!
Alpha out.

[Joules] Fri, 10 Mar 2000 16:19:25 +0000
3.7 makes a grab for the Valium.... ANYTHING but Ross.....
(gee, you sure know how to put the frighteners on, don't you!?)
3.7 (doing very well with the WCities stuff) out.

[Carol] Sat, 11 Mar 2000 11:11:17 -0000
Morning 3.7 - how are the bruises?
       Possible endings2 - Yes - oh, yes! Definitely not over the top, love it. Could go further, particularly with Charlie at the end. Do we need a bit of Bodie at SYard?
       Kept looking at 4.5 pov last night and feeling I could do more as well, so maybe we can work on it next w/e to get it to properly gel.
4.5 out (for the moment)

[Joules] Tue, 14 Mar 2000 02:07:58 +0000
Sorry, it's not much for a few hours work. But I was tightening other bits of Bodie's sections up as well...
       Haven't got the last section sussed yet. Will work on it tomorrow. Sort of know the sort of thing I think will work but haven't quite got it down yet. (ye gods I'm even typing in the idiom!!)
3.7 (almost falling over) out.

[Carol] Tue, 14 Mar 2000 11:48:07 GMT
Love the tiny update. Poor 3.7! Makes me want to take him to bed and look after him ... [pauses for a Bodie-moment ...]
4.5 out on a cloud ... (to the Dentist !)

[Joules] 14 March 2000 12:35
             Poor 3.7! Makes me want to take him to bed and look after him ...
Umm... is this YOU talking or Doyle talking!???
3.7 (slapping own wrists - naughty!!) out for now...

[Carol] Tue, 14 Mar 2000 21:35:27 -0000
Umm ... yes, one of those little moments of confusion ...
       ME, of course! Entertaining though the thought is, it's such a waste to put the two of them together…
       I kinda thought Doyle's 'couple of days' (maybe we should put the quotes in the text?) was being sarcastic* - of course they'd want longer than that, even if they weren't so badly battered - they're always trying to get time off!
       *And so was Cowley - he'd want them fit before they came back; and a week wouldn't be enough for that.
       Interesting to know about the ribs, though [Kate told us broken ribs take about 8 weeks to heal - in normal (i.e. non-heroic!) people, anyway!.] Sort of detail us writers always need.
Back to the research ...
4.5 out.

       The rest of that week was spent in overall tidying up, last bits of dialogue and working a little humour into the end. And me being throttled so I could check which consonants would be the most difficult to say with a bruised larynx (I take my research seriously, y'know!) On the Friday I travelled to Winchester for our final meeting - another fantastic weekend!! - and Sue joined us on the Saturday afternoon (and had a sneak preview, and came up with a great suggestion that made its way into the final version. Thanks Sue!) Then Carol coded, uploaded, and we started planning the sequel…


Writing Bodie was quite a challenge. I actually identify with the character of Doyle, which makes it both easy (I understand the character's motivations and perceptions) and difficult (there's a risk too much of 'me' might sneak into the depiction) to write him: Bodie is another matter entirely. We know from the series he's not stupid (though he can act it!) and he does feel things very deeply, although he hardly ever shows it. I thought I'd try to show the contrast between the flippant, apparently superficial exterior Bodie, and the inner man. Not sure if I've succeeded that well, but it was fun trying! Back

       This is a reference to Bodie in Debra Hicks' hysterically funny Professionals/ DangerMouse slash crossover series - one of my all time favourites. In every story, Bodie says something like - "At this point, three things occurred to me" or "It seemed I had three options at this point…" Back

© Joules Taylor & Carol Good - March 2000

Back to the Challenges Index

Back to the Safehouse