Question: Since you're "he who knows everything," I'm sure you can help me. I saw a British spy show in syndication that I think was from the late '70s or early '80s. It was very cynical, as much about infighting among the various British intelligence agencies as it was about international espionage. I remember it starred Roy Marsden but can't remember the name. I loved that show and would love to know its name, if it's back in syndication or if it's available on DVD. Can you help me?
Answer: You're too kind, Karen. I'm not "he who knows everything," but I am "he who'll write about what he does know," so I'll tell you that the show you're thinking of is the late '70s British spy drama The Sandbaggers, 20 episodes of which were produced from 1978 to 1980. It did indeed star Marsden, who played the head of a top undercover British Intelligence unit. As you say, the stories often focused more on the troubles Marsden's Neil Burnside faced from bureaucracy rather than the dangers faced by his agents, but it made for a cracking-good show.
You'll be happy to know the show is available on DVD. Three multidisc sets are out there; check with your favorite brick-and-mortar or online retailer.