The Sandbaggers (1978)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Thriller
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The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit.

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Title: The Sandbaggers (1978–1980)

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Episodes

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3   2   1  
1980   1978  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Roy Marsden ...
 Neil Burnside (20 episodes, 1978-1980)
Ray Lonnen ...
 Willie Caine (20 episodes, 1978-1980)
Jerome Willis ...
 Matthew Peele (18 episodes, 1978-1980)
Bob Sherman ...
 Jeff Ross (17 episodes, 1978-1980)
Alan MacNaughton ...
 Sir Geoffrey Wellingham (14 episodes, 1978-1980)
Michael Cashman ...
 Mike Wallace (13 episodes, 1980)
Richard Vernon ...
 'C' (12 episodes, 1978-1980)
Elizabeth Bennett ...
 Diane Lawler (12 episodes, 1978-1980)
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Storyline

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 <ewa@earthling.net>

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Genres:

Thriller

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Release Date:

18 September 1978 (UK)  »

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(20 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Sandbaggers is meant to depict Britain's S.I.S., the structure of Burnside's department is modeled on the C.I.A. Directorate of Operations. See more »

Quotes

Burnside: 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!
See more »

Soundtracks

The Sandbaggers Theme
Written by Roy Budd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A second season was planned for this series.

A previous commenter noted that the series seemed to end abruptly and wondered if our British friends were holding out on us. The reality is that the series was supposed to continue for at least another season, but there was one problem: the producer/writer of the series died at the end of the first season. This was one of those rare situations where the originator of the series also wrote all of the episodes. That intimacy with the characters and the ability to weave various plot lines over multiple episodes was one of the characteristics that made Sandbaggers so enjoyable. But it also made it vulnerable to disaster because only the producer/writer knew all the plot lines he had planned for the second season. Most of that was in his head. With few notes to go on, the production company staff found it impossible to figure out what to do with the series, so the second season was never produced. It's a tragedy because Sandbaggers was so wonderfully done. We can only guess whether Willie survived and how Burnside dealt with his ex-wife.


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