The Sandbaggers---a MUST see!!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by HowardPaul, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. HowardPaul

    HowardPaul Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow!
    I just finsished viewing the complete Sandbaggers.

    It has to bee the most engrossing, nail-biting, best performed TV series that I've ever seen! Amazingly taut, terse scripting. Fabulous acting even in the most minor roles.

    It stars Roy Marsden as "Burnside" heading a British division of 'James Bond' types.

    What makes the series even more chilling is that it was created by a British Naval Intelligence officer, Ian Mackintosh and clearly is based on some real-life events.
    Mackintosh mysteriously disappeared and the show had to be cancelled.
    The plane in which he was flying (In real life) when he disappeared was piloted by Graham Barber, an experienced British Airways captain, and Ian's closest friend. Yet Graham failed to file a flight plan before they left, and flew a very different route from that which he told people at the airfield. He also made a brief unscheduled stop at a remote and disused World War II airfield, before flying on towards Kodiak Island, and sending out a mayday signal at the only point where an aircraft briefly disappears from the radar coverage on Kodiak Island itself.

    Despite boats and other aircraft converging in the area within minutes, there was no sign of wreckage or survivors. Inquiries by friends and family were simply stonewalled by the authorities in both Alaska and the UK.

    When you see the show, you'll understand why there is suspicion surrounding Mackintosh's death or disappearance.

    Best
    Howard
     
  2. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Stunt Coordinator

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    I've always thought this was a superb show and was very pleased to get my set on DVD (I recently managed to get the first season set signed by Jerome Willis (who played Mathew Peeel, Burnside's boss in the show). He was fascinated it was out on DVD as he'd was unaware they'd released it and noted all the distributor details down so he could get his own copies.

    Don't really agree these are "James Bond" types. This show has, for me, a far greater level of realism than that. Not cardboard heroes with weird gadgets, but real people who succeed by planning and use of intelligence rather than fancy tricks.

    Except not all the shows stars survive to the end of the third season. Several are killed off on route, and some turn out to not be as expected.
     
  3. HowardPaul

    HowardPaul Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I stand corrected.
    By "James Bond types" I meant the 'real' James Bond: Reilly, "Ace of Spies". (Played by Sam Neill)

    The depth, complexity and realism of these characters is, in my experience, unparalleled on TV. (Do you know of any other show that might be as deep?)

    I can remember when watching The Sandbaggers on PBS in 1979 thinking, 'How the heck are they allowing this on TV?!' (I had just seen the episode where the CIA guy tells Burnside that the FBI had killed JFK, MLK and RFK.

    Staggering show. A great loss that it had to end so abruptly.

    Best
    Howard
     
  4. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    I was going to rent the Sandbaggers this week after watching Tinker Tailor but was too busy. Maybe next week. They have both versions (seasons).
     
  5. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Stunt Coordinator

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    There are three seasons not two so they may not have everything. In total they made 20 episodes (split 7 episodes in seasons one and three, and 6 episodes in season two). If possible you do want to watch the eipsodes in order as there are important changes and character developments that might confuse if you watch out of sequence.

    I hope you enjoy them.

    But Alec Guiness in Tinker, Tailor a superb performance what a wonderful actor. Sorely missed.
     
  6. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    A truly wonderful series.

    Check out http://www.opsroom.org/ for more trivia and behind the scenes information.
     
  7. HowardPaul

    HowardPaul Stunt Coordinator

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    I found out a fascinating fact tonight: I was watching the first DVD in part 3 of the series. Thre 'special features' has a chat session from 2002 between Ray Lonnen and Bob Sherman. At one point, they discuss the mysterious disappearence of Ian.
    Then comes the blockbuster: Caine states that Ian's parents received a postcard from Ian AFTER he disappeared, AND, rather than signing it "Love Ian" which he normally did, he signed it "LIVE Ian".
    Most interesting, especially when one considers the bizarre set of facts leading to the disappearence of his flight and that absolutely NO sign of wreckage was ever found. Lonnen points out that the Coast Guard was on the scene within minutes and found nothing at all even though they were flying a light plane that could not have totally sunk if it had crashed. (Why did they deliberately fly UNDER radar?)
    Best
    Howard
     

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