The Sandbaggers: At All Costs
April 8, 2016 6:09 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

One year after the disastrous mission in last season's finale. The head of the Bulgarian Secret Service offers detailed information on active agents abroad, but demands that a Sandbagger makes the trade, that night. Burnside fears a setup, but ultimately the prospect of the information being offered is too tempting and the mission goes ahead.
posted by Grimgrin (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'd forgotten the part where the East Germans wouldn't release her body.

£5700 was $12,882 in 1980 dollars or $31,864 today. The US median household income in 1980 was $16,671 but apparently £5700 was the average UK salary. Disclaimer: I know nothing about statistics
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:47 AM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

This show would be so much easier to take if Burnside was an actual monster. I can't say that he is, even after everything. Particularly in this episode, Burnside was trying to be different. He put his career on the line to try and prevent another dodgy mission. He went into enemy territory to try and bring this mission off. He wanted to go to the Bulgarians to try to save Tom's life. He wasn't going to loose another Sandbagger. Well, he looses another one, Tom dies ugly, even by Sandbagger standards. The only thing that Burnside is able to do, in the end, is to strip the body of anything identifying and go home.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:37 AM on April 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Burnside fears a setup,

It IS a setup, just not by who he thinks it is.
That's a possibility they never considered - that the info is on the level, but the reason he's looking for an out is that he's under suspicion, too. And that if Tom was ID'd, it wasn't by the head of the secret service on his own.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:42 PM on April 9, 2016

Season 2 is as strong as Season 1! Mostly wanted to highlight Burnside's fantastic overcoat. I imagine in-universe he couldn't afford this coat himself on the public servant's pay but was able to get the operational budget to cover it. But how did the BBC manage it? This show is well produced but clearly had a pretty limited budget, although all the costumes are good. This coat is fabulous.
posted by Nelson at 10:14 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]

I imagined he got the coat for cheap while he was in Eastern Europe. Maybe it looks slick as hell from a distance but the leather is not the quality you might expect.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:44 AM on September 2

We absolutely remarked on the coat. Maybe he picked it up for a few leva at the airport?
posted by migurski at 11:22 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]

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