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 <email@example.com>
The series has been cited as one of the more accurate in its format regarding secret Government work. 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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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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