‘I’d help if I could, but the
price is too high.’
The episode where the wheels come off.
photo technician in East Berlin has valuable images to sell.
trouble is, the East German secret police may be on to him.
A Sandbagger is sent over the Berlin Wall to obtain the photographs.
This episode leaves you breathless. It's
not just the stakes with which Burnside is forced to gamble, but
the result. Special Relationship is an apt title because the story
explores the unusual relationships between Burnside and Welllingham,
between Burnside and Laura, between Burnside and Ross, and between
SIS and the CIA.
The episode is full of solid performances,
from Baumel’s quiet certainty, to Wellingham’s disbelief
of Burnside’s honesty: ‘I believe you’re lying.
The way you've always, lied, cheated, double-dealt to get your
own way.’ Finally, Willie’s lashing out at Burnside
marks a sea change in their relationship.
Nothing like this would happen on American
television in the same period, or perhaps even to-day.
This is the first of only two episodes to use incidental music—a
39-second cue at the end of the episode. This episode was also
not included in the original videocassette release. It is also
the first appearance of Burnside’s
Berlin Wall trivia
Here is the
real reason the Berlin Wall fell. For information about the
infamous Berlin Wall, and the division of Germany after the Second
World War, visit
the Concrete Curtain. There is also a timeline.
What would an interrogation be like? The CBC
talks with an interrogator on Dispatches.
Chris Mackey, author of the book The
Interrogators, was an interrogator
who was sent to Afghanistan to interview Taliban
and al-Queda prisoners, while staying within the bounds of the
Convention. The torture scandals involving Americans in Afghanistan
and Iraq are throwing new light on the practice of interrogation.
(Real Audio needed.)
In related news, in the spring
of 2005, Dispatches also discusses
how Afghanistan became the ulcerous failed state it has. It dates
back to a proxy
war between the Soviet Union and the west.