The Sandbaggers

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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:09 pm

Oh and Wolf Kahler was in it too - he went on to have a prolific film career.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Yartek » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:18 pm

My God, eric, You’re flying through these!
Really enjoying you’re thoughts on these episodes. Brutal telly, but massively entertaining.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:33 pm

Yartek wrote:My God, eric, You’re flying through these!
Really enjoying you’re thoughts on these episodes. Brutal telly, but massively entertaining.


Thanks! Truth is I’ve got other stuff I want to get on with, but this series is in the way! I also can’t stop watching them :)
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby The Wooksta! » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:29 pm

I know when I got it in 2012, I watched them back to back over a week. Don't think I've watched anything quite so gripping.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:51 am

S2E3 done!

I prefer the consistency of this series to the previous one - the story lines so far are a little bit more straight forward, so you can relax into them a little bit more.

Anyway - another corker - so far there's only been one episode out of the 10 that I've struggled with at all.

Burnside is getting bad reports written up because he goes rogue too often, which makes everyone nervous and "C" terrified. Willie Caine and the US agent's plane gets hijacked by Iraqi terrorists (even though two of them are arian?!) and there's about 30 minutes of tension while Burnside tries to get his various masters to approve either giving into the terrorists demands or attacking the plane. Naturally in keeping with the theme, Burnside tries to go rogue, but his plan is scuppered, and it looks as if the politicians are going to make the politically safe decision and do nothing... Burnside had a really good point about if the agents don't think that ANY measure will be taken to rescue them, then they'll be less effective because they'll be less willing to take risks. There's a few really good lines like that weaved throughout the series.

Happily Caine and his US colleague literally leap into action in a very cool minute on the plane and take out all the hijackers. No punches are pulled as we see the collateral damage of a husband (the wife screaming you bast*rd at the hero) and a dead little girl. Caine saunters back into Burnside's office, nonchalantly asking what the rescue plan was (assuming there just would have been one) and is lied to about a plan to rescue him, but it wasn't for the lack of trying.

Now this is the first time I've really seen Burnside give a damn - and it's not in his emotion per se - it's in his actions. Is it affection for Caine that's driving the need to rescue, or self-protection for him and his department? I don't know yet, but I'm bearing in mind your thoughts Steve!

I'm really warming to "C" too, despite my initial reservations about the actor's other roles. He seems to be a real straight shooter.

Another great watch!

I'm going to have to use one of my reserve DW appearances - Ray Lonnen was in Frontier in Space evidently, although I don't remember him at all. I couldn't spot any other Who actors (apart from the obvious other two, so there's a challenge!)
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Servorobot » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:53 am

Hartnell's Wig wrote:
Servorobot wrote:Damn you all to hell.

This genuine enthusiasm for The Sandbaggers is infectious and made me go out and buy the bloody set.

I haven’t seen it since it was first broadcast here in Australia. My father was obsessed with it. It’s really bloody good, but a lot of it I’d forgotten (although not the end of the first series).

And here’s me trying to reduce my DVDs and blu-rays.

Swines, the lot of you! :D

*sits smugly looking at TWO sets*

It was that good that when one set started to get a bit gippy in one player, I feared disc rot and bought another.


Seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do to me. :D
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Servorobot » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:58 am

Ray Lonnen made Harry’s Game after The Sandbaggers.

What a barrel of laughs that was, particularly the ending.

Anyway it’s probably more famous for its ‘theme’ by Clannad these days than anything else.

I don’t remember Ray Lonnen in Frontier in Space either.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:17 am

Image
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:44 am

Bollocks - I’ve just seen a major spoiler. Randomly on my twitter feed grrr.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Martin_Kinsella » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:54 am

It’s a great series.Burnside letting Laura Dickens be killed was such a WTF moment.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Martin_Kinsella » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:55 am

Servorobot wrote:Ray Lonnen made Harry’s Game after The Sandbaggers.

What a barrel of laughs that was, particularly the ending.

Anyway it’s probably more famous for its ‘theme’ by Clannad these days than anything else.

I don’t remember Ray Lonnen in Frontier in Space either.



Harry’s Game was also a terrific piece of TV and available on DVD.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Hartnell's Wig » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:10 am

ericthehalfabee wrote:Image

Some gimp suit that. Must have been when he was a mere Teabagger.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:32 am

S2E4 done

Sandbagger 2 is sent off to Warsaw to carry out a pick up, but the station oppos there incompetently alerted the Russkies to it by monitoring the target. Sandbagger 2 tries a bust out to find the target has been nabbed by the Russkies. The old boys at the station try to frame Sandbagger 2 as responsible, Sandbagger 2 tells the truth but he's up against the old boys network. Burnside believes his man. Jerome Willis believes the old boys. But C gets Willis to investigate.

Meanwhile in Stockholm (this show gets about!) the number 2 at the station there is thought to be leaking to the Russkies, so both sandbaggers are sent to investigate.

It turns out the number 2 is actually a CIA man, and Burnside has to delicately sort out the agent, while not upsetting the CIA - so he gets him out presenting the theory to the CIA that he's working for Canadian intelligence and needs to be quietly retired :lol:

Jerome Willis goes to Warsaw to investigate who's lying, plays up to the old boys thing, then comes back and the good old boy completely exonerates Burnside and Sandbagger 2 - which was a great moment!

Willis' character is really growing on me. He's a buffoonish middle man - always presented as the antagonist to Burnside and Burnside goes over his head every other episode. But he's self-assured, shrugs off the insubordination and in this episode he showed real class - finding against his initial bias and disregarding personal affiliations with the Warsaw station. Top performance in a difficult role.

I don't know whether to like Ross or not. He's a cheapskate Robert Redford. When calling in his agent, who he was trying to get to shag Burnside he said "put your clothes on and get in here" (reminiscent of "put your knickers on and make me a cup of tea" :lol: ) and shortly afterwards "take a seat on your best feature" which I found very amusing - not least because Karen didn't give a damn (simpler times! Imagine the outrage now!), he had some great banter with Burnside - but I don't know - in this one in particular he came across as just a bit small... a bit too lazy and reliant on the wise-cracking cool long hair-don't care shtick. He's not really been on my radar before now, good or bad, but hopefully it's just a blip.

Anyway - the highlight was definitely the Willis sub-plot. It'll be interesting to see whether he and Burnside have a little more mutual respect moving forward...

First episode without Wellingham I think?

DW watch - Patrick Godfrey from The Mind of Evil
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:22 pm

S2E5 "It couldn't happen here" done

I was obviously a moron to wonder whether Burnside and Jerome Willis might get on better in future... :lol:

This is the most darkly amusing episode yet.

Slouchy Ross, who by the end of the run is only going to communicate from his bed (seriously, he's getting more and more horizontal each episode), informs Burnside that the FBI assassinated JFK, Luther-King Jr and some big US politician the other day!

Meanwhile in Germany, a cabinet minister kills his girlfriend in a car crash and tries to cover up. It turn out that the CIA and MI5 have been on to this guy as a commie spy for years - but can't do anything because he's the PM's favourite! Burnside wants to take action - have him taken out - but he's back at loggerheads with Jerome (damn I can never remember the character's name) and C is about to retire.

Sandbaggers 1 and 2 are despatched to the US to add extra security at the funeral for said big US politician, and particularly an outspoken senator who has it in for the FBI. Said senator promptly gets assassinated, at the funeral of the other assassinated politician(!) despite Caine's best efforts.

Burnside (with tacit consent from Wellingham) arranges for the cabinet minister to get killed in a car crash in Singapore next year :lol:

Well this one may not have been very realistic, but it was certainly amusing! I don't quite buy the idea that the PM would knowingly have a Russian agent in his cabinet for the sake of remaining elected 8-) , and the assassination fever in the US seemed a bit much.

Wellingham's turn to shine again as he turns a blind eye to this, that and the other. And it's actually made me wonder if "it" could happen here... rogue intelligence officers determining to assassinate officials without consent from the top and without fear of consequence.

DW watch - well I'm going to have to use an emergency one and say Jerome Willis :(

ETA: *commits to memory* JW is Peel, JW is Peel, JW is Peel, JW is Peel, JW is Peel, JW is Peel....
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Martin_Kinsella » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Hartnell's Wig wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:Image

Some gimp suit that. Must have been when he was a mere Teabagger.



Coming soon from Big Finish. Roy Marsden in The Teabaggers .
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:31 pm

Martin_Kinsella wrote:
Hartnell's Wig wrote:
ericthehalfabee wrote:Image

Some gimp suit that. Must have been when he was a mere Teabagger.



Coming soon from Big Finish. Roy Marsden in The Teabaggers .


:lol:
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Servorobot » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:38 pm

My Sandbaggers have been sent.

In two weeks time I'll be able to sit down and watch them.

Unfortunately by that time Eric will have watched the whole thing and everyone will have moved on to something else to fill the lack of Who forthcoming from a certain blower of wind.

Oh well. Next time maybe. :D
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby Martin_Kinsella » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:16 pm

I am watching sand baggers series 2, first episode at the moment, my wife is out tonight so I have lined up,some great ITV stuff including a crown court, sandbaggers, cribb and armchair theatre.

Series 2 ep 1 done and dusted.

I’d forgotten just how bleak the show could be. No romanticising the spying game.

Burnside is such a cold, cold, person. His visit back to the bolt hole to see the sandbagger who had taken a bullet. No response on an emotional level at all.

Brilliant. It’s lovely stuff.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:03 pm

S2E6 done

And therefore two series down, one to go :) :(

The finale very reminiscent of a Yes Minister episode again, verging on farce.

Essentially a three hander between Burnside who thinks he can manipulate everyone, Peel who is totally buffoonish and manipulated by Burnside, and Wellingham who has the upper hand over everyone. Everyone did splendidly in their different roles and it was a very amusing story.

And as much as I'll miss the old "C", hopefully the new one coming in will create some interesting/explosive frictions as everyone hates him and he hates Burnside.

In other news, Marlene Boyce has turned up! I just can't take her seriously, bless. And I'll be sad if Elizabeth Bennett does actually go - she's been great, but given very little to do. What a great core cast there's been.

I'm still not sold on the idea that Burnside feels anything, other than concern for his unit, his position and a dark sense of humour.

DW watch - eek, last of the reserves and I think the only NuWho appearance so far: Roy Marsden - Smith and Jones.
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Re: The Sandbaggers

Postby ericthehalfabee » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:46 pm

S3E1 done

Well, I found this one to be the least satisfactory so far...

The new C is distinctly wooden, and so his exchanges with Burnside fell flat. Shame that as they could have been better in the hands of a livelier actor. There was nothing for Caine to do and the only ray of sunshine was Peel once again and his ordering a ton of food in Cantonese from Mr Fu Peng!

The story set up a mystery for 50 minutes which relied on a lonnng scene of complicated exposition at the end. The upshot was that Burnside and Ross have fallen out after Ross exploited Burnside. Wellingham's in on it to, so hopefully that will come to the boil next time? Probably not. Grim subject matter alluded to, but it didn't feel very plausible and wasn't easy to follow.

But on a happier note, I forgot to say that in the previous episode I found it inexplicably amusing that Peel carries round sweetener for his coffee. That's a great character touch I thought - a little nod to domesticated hum-drum.

Sorry - not a fan of this one. Hopefully it's leading somewhere...

I'm looking forward to measuring my appreciation against the Rak's though - hopefully this will be low down his list too.

DW watch - Mr Fu Peng!
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