The New testament
The second tie-in book,‘The Sandbaggers: Think of a Number,’ is
by Donald Lancaster.
Published by Corgi in paperback only, is an original story rather
than a novelization of televised episodes. The credited author,
‘Donald Lancaster,’ is actually a pseudonym for mystery author
William Marshall, who now lives in Australia.
Marshall told the Ops Room, ‘Ian Mackintosh — who I never met
— and I shared a common literary agent in London.’ After the disappearance
of Ian Mackintosh in July 1979, ‘that agent asked me if I could
do a quick TV spin-off novel in about 10 days or so that Mackintosh
had contracted to do.’
The rush was due to the desire for the book’s publication to
tie in with the second Sandbaggers season, which ITV began airing
in January 1980.
‘All I really recall about the whole affair is flying to London
from Ireland where I lived at the time, watching half a dozen
episodes of the series to pick up the style — I’d never seen the
series before — then rushing back, hammering it all out, and then
banking a pile of nice TV-style money.’ The copyright page says
‘Story copyright Ian MacKintosh 1979’ and ‘Novelisation copyright
Donald Lancaster 1980.’ But Mr. Marshall explains that ‘there
wasn’t any input from Mackintosh’s work. The copyright, as I now
recall, is his because I did the book for the company as a straight
Mr. Marshall reports that he never saw a copy of the book except,
in all things, Italian. But everyone seemed happy enough with
it and then asked for a short story as well. The Sandbaggers short
story was for TV Times, the weekly ITV listings magazine. Mr.
Marshall recalls that the story was ‘set in Hong Kong, with SIS
working with the Hong Kong Water Police to pick a refugee up from
the Pearl River between Hong Kong and Macau.’
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