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.

Mr. 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 sale.’

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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