It’s the 1970s in Norfolk, England. I’m sitting on the floor of the dank television common room at boarding school, self-consciously wedged in with a fidgeting mass of fellow boarders. My chunky National Health plastic-framed specs are glinting in the dark, refracting the onscreen car and gun chases, and hiding my gleaming eyes. It’s the latest episode of British action-crime series The Professionals (1977–83); the boys like the action, we girls like Doyle and his dreamy, up-to-the-minute bubble perm and brown leather blouson bomber jacket.
Fast-forward to any weeknight in the mid 1990s in Melbourne, the witching hour, and I’m engaged in my favourite pastime. Splayed on the couch after a hard night’s theatre reviewing, joint in hand, glued to a re-run of The Professionals, giggling at the cheesy sexist banter, and pondering, in some kind of arousal-induced coma, if I had to choose between them, whether I’d prefer to fuck Bodie (Lewis Collins) or Doyle (Martin Shaw).
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