A Feasible Solution
‘This is the first time I’ve
armed Caine in over a year.’
A vacationing British missile engineer goes missing in Cyprus.
The SIS then learn that the Russians are also looking for a missing
rocket scientist. Burnside’s station staff is attacked,
forcing him to take action in the Mediterranean with a possible
terrorist attack in the offing.
Hamad wasn't the only person smitten by Laura. Burnside asks
Laura out to supper. Of course, being Burnside, he grills the
in-house psychiatrist to learn what would be the best way to approach
her. His hesitant, overly careful manner reveals much of what
his profession has done to him.
At their dinner and at Burnside’s flat, Burnside and Laura
discuss Burnside's inaccessibility and his entitlement ‘to
behave like a schoolboy’. Laura makes Burnside smile. It's
not the last time he'll smile in the series, but it's the last
time he'll show such a big smile.
Sense of style
Laura seems to be wearing one of Princess Leia‘s spare frocks.
And Jill Ferris's overalls are rather cute, aren't they? Topping
the sartorial heap in this episode is Willies Six Million Dollar
Man safari suit.
A Feasible Solution is one of two episodes in Ian Mackintosh‘s
Sandbaggers novelization. A few lines of dialogue are changed
in the book, and a few are added. The book has a new scene in
which Burnside and Laura discuss the possibility of Laura remaining
This scene supplants the televised exchange about the ‘Tokyo
Station Report of Proceedings.’ In the book, when Burnside
tells Philip Jeremiah, ‘The rumor in the Field School was
that she's a lesbian,’ the psychiatrist's answer is longer
- and more intriguing - than in the televised episode.
On TV he says, ‘She isn’t.’ In the book he
says, ‘She isn‘t. But that‘s another problem
for her - she can‘t be sure. Doesn‘t know if she‘d
like it better with another woman.’ The televised episode
is ambiguous about whether Laura spends the night at Burnside's
flat. The book makes it clear that she doesn’t, but also
reveals that she and Burnside kissed: ‘On her leaving, he
had kissed her for the first time; a gentle, exploratory and almost
Given Burnside’s dedication to ‘the destruction of
the KGB’ as he puts it in Decision by Committee, it's remarkable
how infrequently the KGB actually shows up. This is the most violent
of all the episodes, and the one with the highest body count.
Ironically, mention is made for the first time of Willie’s
dislike for guns. Burnside tells C, ‘This is the first time
I've armed Caine in over a year.’
The young man seen helping C in his office is C’s PA, Sandy,
who is mentioned in previous episodes; the actor is uncredited,
but the character is referred to as Sandy in Unusual Approach
and appears in several more episodes.