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

A Proper Function of Government
‘I do have alternative orders, sir.’

Sandbaggers One and Three are sent on a mission to Vienna to stop a potential high-level defector. At home, Burnside attempts to use events in an African dictatorship to his advantage.

This is one of the best episodes of the series, as well as one of the most typical, being almost all talk and debate, with very little action - unlike First Principles. The real politick showdown between Wellingham and Burnside will blister the paint off your walls.

Commentary
First Principles established that secret agents aren't at all like James Bond. This episode single handedly establishes most of the rest of the program's principal themes: Burnside's perfidy, The rivalry between SIS and MI5, the complex relationship between Burnside and Wellingham, Wellingham's desire to keep the present government in power and as always, the government's extreme desire to avoid embarrassment.

Episode trivia
Burnside's flat is seen for the first time. There is also the first appearance of Sandbagger Three Alan Denson.

Fiction and Fact
This episode also pre-dates a real event in British history by several months--The defection of Sir Anthony Blunt.

This episode aired on September 25, 1978. Blunt was exposed in 1979.

It may yet be that the late Mr Blunt has more secrets to divulge, even after his 1983 death in the USSR.

His memories are locked away at the British Library. The papers may yet turn out to be about as exciting as Al Capone's safe, but we shall have to wait until 2013 to find out.