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

All in a Good Cause
‘Oh we never tell anyone the truth. It’s bad form.’

Wheels within wheels. Acting on a tip from D-Int, Burnside starts investigating whether Jeff Ross’s wife is being targeted by MI5.

Each time the Sandbaggers think they have a solid lead, it turns out that they’ve been manipulated. Finally, MI5 is confronted directly. It turns out both MI5 has a US air force officer over a barrel. The CIA was hoping to ‘sting’ MI5 to soften the pain. SIS was caught on the middle.

Comment
Mostly talk, with the enemy again being not the KGB but someone who’s supposedly on the same side. It also resembles that great episode A Question of Loyalty in that the string pulling is nearly invisible.

By the end of this episode, Burnside is as isolated as he will be in the series, having lost James Greenley and Diane and having had a fallout with Jeff Ross, one of his very few friends. D-Int Edward Tyler will depart soon too. Isolation isn’t good for the psyche, and Burnside’s enemies will take advantage of it this season.

This episode also contains one of the greatest gags in the series: Burnside is ordered to make economies by cutting his payroll and closing a foreign station. He and Marianne scramble to find a way of dodging the demand.

Personnel file
Only appearance of Jeff Ross’s wife, Jenny Ross.

Inside Burnside
Burnside has an insightful exchange with Peele at the Chinese restaurant: ‘Typical of you, Neil - all or nothing, no half measures.’ ‘It’s easier that way, sir.’ Watch just how good Peele is both written and played in this scene. The character and actor both have tough jobs: to be the obstruction for our protagonist, but making Peele an obvious and simple to understand obstruction would make for boring television. Here, Jerome Willis manages to wrap with comic timing pomposity before a junior and a desperate need to be liked.

Later in the episode, as Burnside reasons through the hall of mirrors through which he is forced to navigate, and espouses one cynical theory of human nature after another, one Sandbaggers viewer remarked 'I wouldn't want to live inside that man's head.'

Sense of style
Trevor D’Arcy is soooo dapper!