Review The Sandbaggers

Discussion in 'TV 70s' started by michaellevenson, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. michaellevenson

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    1970's spy drama in the Callan mould. This series deals with a fictional mi6 , known as SIS.
    Roy Marsden stars as Neil Burnside, Director of Operations, and follows his scheming lying cold hearted ways he thrusts his agents into the theatre of espionage.
    Always challenging to watch, deeply complex stories and a great cast.
    First episode with Olaf Pooley from Dr Who Inferno.
     
  2. michaellevenson

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    A truly great series with Roy Marsden as Burnside, Director of Operations at S.I.S. The Sandbaggers are the actual agents that make up a very special unit dealing with the top missions.
    SERIES ONE;
    FIRST PRINCIPLES
    A Norwegian spy plane carrying scientists crashes inside Russia, Burnside is FORCED by his political masters to mount a rescue operation, and when the CIA muscle in disaster looms.

    A PROPER FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT
    A lunatic African dictator can murder British subjects and Burnside is refused permission to assassinate him , but when a defecting politician threatens the government's position and their perks, then the PM gives instant permission to assassinate. Funny that! Burnside ain't laughing.

    IS YOUR JOURNEY REALLY NECESSARY
    One of the Sandbaggers wants to leave the section and get married. Burnside is not having it! Can he really stoop so low as to wreck his own agents romance? You bet he can , with a disastrous result.

    THE MOST SUITABLE PERSON
    Trouble in Gibraltar ( how apt) , a SIS agent is found murdered in a back street in Gib. A terrorist is at large and one of the office staff at HQ has a drink problem and is seeing a psychiatrist, who is a security risk.
    With Stephen Grieff

    ALWAYS GLAD TO HELP
    A son of a oil rich sheikh fancies a coup to topple his dad! The government wants SIS to lead the coup. Burnside has to try and stop this foolish venture, so he puts his female Sandbagger up close and personal to the son with surprising results, if the son wants a coup then why does he propose to the lady and want to stay in England?

    A FEASIBLE SOLUTION
    A missile engineer and then a rocket expert are kidnapped in Cyprus. Someone wants to build weapons, but who? The first episode where we have guns as Willie Caine top agent is sent to Cyprus to investigate and inadvertently teams up with the KGB.

    SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
    Last episode of series 1, the best, possibly of the whole show. Important photos need smuggling out of East Berlin under the noses of the Stasi, Laura the lady sandbagger is sent. She's captured, but can Burnside bargain for her release? The only hope relies on French help. If they'll release a KGB man they are holding , then a swap can be arranged. The French agree but a cost of a terrible terrible price. Burnside must personally hand over to the French secret service all his valued CIA / UK eyes only intelligence data. Will he do it? He must to save Laura who he loves!, but the cost could destroy Americans trust in SIS forever. Great finale at checkpoint Charlie.
     
  3. michaellevenson

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    Series Two of The Sandbaggers, a must see for Callan fans.

    AT ALL COSTS
    A year on since the traumatic disaster at checkpoint Charlie and Burnside is still suffering.
    The head of the Bulgarian secret service wants to defect and wants a meet at midnight in a deserted square in Sofia. A trap ? Burnside against the wishes of his masters is going, " I'm going to be in that square tomorrow as the Director of Operations of SIS, or the former director"

    ENOUGH OF GHOSTS

    Burnside's former father in law, Sir Geoffrey Wellingham, a foreign office senior advisor, who is in most episodes, is kidnapped by German terrorists in Brussels. SIS team up with German anti terror squad to find him. Something is not right, the terrorists seem awfully decent chaps! Are they really terrorists ? No! They're not, Burnside is being used as a pawn , and he ain't happy.

    DECISION BY COMMITTEE
    Iraqi terrorists hijack a plane with Sandbagger Caine on board At six o'clock executions will begin unless demands are met. Burnside wants an Entebbe style raid. The PM says no! Time's running out for Burnside to organize a raid with SIS men assuming he can get enough of them willing to go on a suicide mission.

    A QUESTION OF LOYALTY
    Sandbagger #2 is suspended for fouling up a pick up of a defector in Warsaw . Burnside puts his job on the line to defend his man, A senior SIS man in Warsaw is to blame, but can Burnside convince his masters?
    IT COULDN'T HAPPEN HERE
    The long term aim of the KGB to put a sympathizer inside the British cabinet is now looking certain to happen. Burnside wonders what would the CIA do with a traitorous politician, assassinate of course. Burnside would never get permission, but then again he doesn't intend to ask fo permission, just do it!

    OPERATION KINGMAKER

    Even Willie Caine thinks Burnside is going too far now. A new Chief of the SIS is about to be decided on , John Tower- Gibbs is set to be named and Burnside hates him after a altercation years ago when they were both in the field, so he gets his own men to dig up dirt, and wreck the appointment. A certain sacking offence,.....if he's caught.
     
  4. michaellevenson

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    SERIES THREE
    ALL IN A GOOD CAUSE
    The Mi5 are targeting the wife of CIA London chief Jeff Ross
    Burnside is incredulous " What's she done? Borrowed a copy of Karl Marx from the local library"
    Will he be loyal to 5 or tell his friend what's happening, his friend?....Jeff Ross.
    TO HELL WITH JUSTICE
    The biggest disaster to hit SIS since Philby, Burgess and McLean is unfolding. Burnside to save the service has to personally take charge and assassinate a colleague. That'll please the new chief who hates his guts anyway.
    UNUSUAL APPROACH
    An injured CIA man is desperate for rescue deep inside Russia. Burnside is away , Caine in charge and launches the rescue at the chief 's insistence. But something is fishy, the details the CIA give for the agent Bob Cheever, clothes sizes, height, etc, don't match Cheever.
    " Who the hell have the Americans got injured in Russia?"
    MY NAME IS ANNA WISEMAN
    Burnside is planting Anna Wiseman, NATO worker, as a sleeper in the KGB finishing school , to ferment dissidence.
    Well, that's what he's telling the chief, but she has terminal cancer, he knows it and she does too, so what is the real purpose of her mission?

    SOMETIMES WE PLAY DIRTY TOO
    A naive British Scientist wants to defect in Prague and has faked his own death. He is mot political, just wants to shack up with a woman he loves who is Czech and can't leave. Burnside must extricate this idiot from this folly and convince him the girl is an agent just after his secrets. Is that true though? Burnside doesn't care, he'll get him back one way or another.
    WHO NEEDS ENEMIES
    Enough is enough, Burnside must go. A promotion sideways would sweeten his departure. Burnside is going to fight his corner especially as a clever KGB plan to spread lies about SIS takes in the guy groomed as his successor.

    OPPOSITE NUMBERS
    The S.A.L.T. talks are taking place on Malta. Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. Burnside is determined to wreck it. Kidnap a Russian diplomat tell them about it, and watch them with indignant disgust walk out of the talks. The chief will absolutely crucify him. As CIA friend Jeff Ross tells him,
    " For Gods sake Neil don't do it , one man can't change the world. Don't commit professional suicide"
    The end of a great series.
     
  5. michaellevenson

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    A little taster of the show from ep.1 Burnside shows us his cold hearted nature in this clip with Norwegian chief played by Olaf Pooley, Stahlman from Dr.Who Inferno.

     

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