Source (purchased/given/ borrowed/the wife’s): purchased
Date Acquired/Borrowed: June 27, 2002
Original Review: All I can say is goddamn this series is good.
Thoughts/Memories/ Remembrances: I always describe this series to people as the West Wing meets James Bond, but that’s just the easy way to pique peoples’ interests, because there’s really nothing like this show. I first heard of The Sandbaggers via an essay in the back of the first issue of Greg Rucka’s comic book series Queen & Country, wherein he noted that he took direct inspiration for Q&C from this series. After embracing that comic book wholeheartedly, I knew I needed to see that series, and for over a year it remained on my “must-have” DVD list.
One day, unemployed and trolling slowly through HMV killing time, I came across the first volume set of this series. Three discs, seven episodes, and about $50 (which I likely couldn’t afford), it was like striking gold. I don’t know if I continued shopping, but I clutched onto that BFS Video collection like an old lady clutches her purse when punks cross her path at the mall… nobody would take it from me. According to my blog, I watched all seven episodes in one sitting, and had my mind absolutely blown. Ever since, I’ve held this series aloft at the top of my “best TV show ever” list, and I’ve yet to see the show that can dethrone it.
Re-Review: Best. Series. Ever. I’m not being hyperbolic, I mean that. This is in my opinion the best TV show ever made. By the time I came to it, The Sandbaggers was already 14 years old, and usually after time has passed the potency of a TV show begins to leak. The fact that this series is still so immeasurably strong, intelligent, and captivating is a testament to it’s brilliance. It’s an ITV series with usual British production standards, which means it doesn’t look like a million dollars, but at the same time, that works it its favour. The bare-bones office settings, the dingy remote shoots, the unglamourous wardrobes and hairstyles… it’s all exemplary of how non-James-Bondian real-world espionage is.