Sunday, 28 July 2013

I Love Willies

I have already written about how much I love Willy Armitage from Mission: Impossible, but now I have seen another TV programme with a handsome and brave Willy in it. I am talking about Willie Caine from The Sandbaggers. Here he is as the filling in an acting sandwich:

The Sandbaggers is a TV series from 1978 (a good year to begin in) about Cold War spying, but it is not like James Bond because it is more about the politics and Bureaucracy of sending spies on dangerous missions. It means that exciting action scenes are rarer, but when the do happen they are all the more exciting for it.

Willie Caine (played by Ray Lonnen) is the top field agent - they are known as Sandbaggers - for the British Secret Intelligence Service. His boss is Neil Burnside (played by Roy Marsden, seen on the right in the above picture) who is the main character, and he has to decide when to send Willie and his Sandbagger friends on their missions. Sometimes he gets pressure to do missions he doesn't want to do, or to not do ones he does want to do, from other mannys such as Sir Geoffrey Wellingham (played by Alan MacNaughtan) who is like a serious version of Sir Humphrey from Yes Minister. This results in very dramatic scenes of intense acting, which is always great.

Some notable moments in the series (WARNING: spoilers coming up) include killing off main characters to show this series is serious business. In particular, the third episode kills off two character who seemed to be set up as regulars. In your face Spooks and Game of Thrones! 1978 gets there first, as usual.

Another parallel with Blakes 7 is the way the last episode ends on a cliffhanger that has never been resolved - Willie gets shot! And we don't know if he survives. Fortunately there is a DVD extra called The Sandbagger Files which shows Willie meeting CIA manny Jeff Ross (played by Bob Sherman, on the left in the picture above) many years later so, like Avon, Willie must have survived. But, as with Kaldor City, the canonicity of this story is disputed. I believe Willie survives though, he is my new crush.

I am now off to write stories about how Willie teams up with Willy to rescue big, gay, long cats from behind the Iron Curtain.

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