THE SANDBAGGERS is a taut British spy series comprising twenty 50-minute episodes produced by Yorkshire Television, an ITV franchise (i.e., a commercial regional British television franchise). The stories centered on the elite covert operations section of British Intelligence, nicknamed the Sandbaggers, and their boss, Neil Burnside, himself a former Sandbagger but now having to battle more with British bureaucracy than with enemy agents. It was set contemporaneously with its original broadcast in the late '70s and early '80s when the Cold War still dominated the Western intelligence agenda. Written by
Ernest W. Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Creator Ian Mackintosh was developing the next season of Sandbaggers at the time of his disappearance. According to actor Ray Lonnen, MacKintosh was considering having the character Willie Caine promoted to D-Ops, while Neil Burnside (played by Roy Marsden) would move up to "C" (head of S.I.S.). However, after MacKintosh's (apparent) death, the producers decided to end the series because they felt no one could write Sandbaggers as well as MacKintosh. See more »
If I want to send an agent to the lavatory, I need the Foreign Secretary's permission. If I want him to do anything when he gets there, I need the Prime Minister's written approval!
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This is probably the best TV series I have ever seen.
I also accidently stumbled upon the series while watching PBS. It caught my attention and I could not quit watching. My favorite episodes are "Decision by Committee" and "Who Needs Enemies". I particularly liked Burnside's dedication to his principles and also, the dedication of his fellow Sandbaggers to him. Anyone who admires the theme of "competence versus political influence" will enjoy this series. Glad to see that all of the series is now available on DVD.
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