Just finished watching "The Sandbaggers."
An excellent British Spy Drama series from the late 70s. I really liked this series for it’s dialogue and character interaction. Don’t look to be wowed by production values or any other typical Hollywood fare. Or as the Wiki puts it:
The Sandbaggers inverts most of the conventions of the spy thriller genre. In sharp contrast to the "girls, guns, and gadgets" motif established by the James Bond movies, The Sandbaggers features very few action sequences, no flashy cars, and no high-tech gizmos. On more than one occasion, in fact, characters explicitly disparage the fictitious Bond and the romanticized view of the intelligence business that some amateurs and outsiders have. In contrast, Neil Burnside is a harried spymaster who doesn't drink; Willie Caine is a secret agent who abhors guns and violence; and no character is seen to have sex over the course of the series. The bureaucratic infighting is reminiscent of John le Carré's George Smiley novels. The overall style is one of gritty realism. The series is particularly grim (though laced with black humour), depicting the high emotional toll taken on espionage professionals who operate in a world of moral ambiguity.
The plots are complex, multi-layered, and unpredictable: regular characters are killed off abruptly, and surprise twists abound. The dialogue is intelligent and frequently witty. Indeed, most of what happens in The Sandbaggers is just conversation. In a typical episode, Burnside moves from office to office having conversations (and heated arguments) with his colleagues in Whitehall and in the intelligence community. Sometimes his conversations are intercut with scenes of the Sandbaggers operating in the field; other times the audience sees more of the buzzing "Ops Room," where missions are coordinated and controlled, than of the Sandbaggers' actual field activities
One negative about the series is the ending. The last episode leaves you hanging and without closure. That’s the only disappointment I have with the series but it’s still well worth watching.