Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Sandbaggers

In this household we're big fans of taut, well-written espionage fiction, and right now we're enthralled with "The Sandbaggers," a fantastic Thatcher-era British TV series (thanks for the tip, Zena). It's has that goofy, old, film-outside-video-inside BBC production style. There are lots of bad suits, and the occasional stunningly sexist quip at the expense of one of the female co-workers. But it's brilliant, the perfect anti-James Bond.

There's very little action, and what we do see is blunt and awful. The drama is principally driven by razor sharp dialog in smoky, wood-paneled offices where the characters wade through murky, morally ambiguous puzzles of Byzantine complexity. The intra-office politics are even more acidic than the international. Human lives are routinely weighed against diplomatic concerns. Fantastique!

If this sounds like your cup of Earl Grey tea, be sure to rush right over and put it on your Netflix list.


  1. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Will definitely see it. That reminds me, North & South was a great period movie that I recommended to the little lady. A 2004 BBC miniseries. 2 disks. Mr Darcy has nothing on this guy.

  2. oh, cool -- are we going to start recommending movies to each other?

  3. Anonymous9:29 AM

    One note on the Sandbaggers for newcomers: the first two episodes are among the less interesting. Hang in there until at least the fourth; if you're not hooked by the end of the first season, no frosty British heart thunks in your chilly breast.

    So glad that others like it. I was worried for awhile that my dark kinship with Neil Burnside accounted for my love for it. Now I know at least that others share in the darkness!