Series 1
First Principles
A Proper Function of Government
Is Your Journey Really Necessary?
The Most Suitable Person
Always Glad to Help
A Feasible Solution
Special Relationship

Series 2
At All Costs
Enough of Ghosts
Decision by Committee
A Question of Loyalty
It Couldn't Happen Here
Operation Kingmaker

Series 3
All in a Good Cause
To Hell With Justice
Unusual Approach
My Name is Anna Wiseman
Sometimes We Play Dirty Too
Who Needs Enemies
Opposite Numbers

Decision by Committee
‘I wasn’t worried. I knew you wouldn’t let me down.’

Iraqi terrorists hi-jack Willie‘s and Karen’s Boeing 707. It lands in Turkey, and a stalemate begins.

This is a script that measures up to the convictions of its premises. The suspense of having to plan a mission, while one’s masters debate whether a mission should take place, is frustrating and maddening. This highlights a fundamental difference between The Sandbaggers and, say, Star Trek. Unlike Captain Picard, Burnside is not at the top of the chain of command. Moreover, 'sending in the troops' is not some magical tool that makes all the problems go away, as it is often portrayed.

Wellingham’s coming clean about what the government is thinking plays well, even to-day. The panicked scramble ending the episode plays well, particularly to-day.

Commentary
The ten days of rehearsal given to the episodes really shines through here. Watch Burnside’s rows with Peele and later with Ross. The speed and confidence with which the dialogue is delivered is a pleasure for the anyone who admires the actor's art.

Production note
If your Sandbaggers videos are poor copies, you might not be able to make out Karen Milner's note to Willie. It says: Baddies’ deadline is 1800. Maybe intend shoot two men first class. Both British Military Brass.

Ghosts
Burnside refers to having lost ‘four Sandbaggers in 19 months,’ maintaining the series continuity. He adds, ‘My predecessors lost one in six years’; that's another reference to Bob Judd in A Proper Function of Government. On the topic of Wellingham's kidnapping in the previous episode, Burnside tells C that Wellingham has ‘never talked about it - at least not to me.’

The episode makes reference to two incidents at from the period: Entebbe and Mogadishu.