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

Special Relationship
‘I’d help if I could, but the price is too high.’

The episode where the wheels come off.

roy-marsden-eagle-has-landed-gestapoA photo technician in East Berlin has valuable images to sell. The 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.

Episode Trivia
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 Bridge.

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 Geneva 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.