1 9 7 9 (UK)
3 x 40 minute episodes
Produced by BBC Scotland, Running Blind followed the rule: think of a country that hasn’t been “done” and set a thriller in it.
And so the action took place in Iceland – though, apart from the scenery, it might just as well have been Cyprus, Cologne or Croydon, as there was no special Icelandic feel at all (and not a cod in sight).
The storyline (former agent pulled out of retirement by hard boss to carry mysterious package halfway across Iceland but there’s dirty work afoot) and script were as uninventive as the hackneyed, pseudo-Peckinpah slow-motion replays of all the violent bits.
The moment when the hero demonstrated his fundamental niceness by aiming a palpably unloaded rifle at his boss was highly significant since the general effect of the programme was that of being threatened with an empty gun.
Stuart Wilson did his best with the rather dull hero and George Sewell was good, though largely wasted, as the Intelligence boss.
Heida Steindórsdóttir as the hero’s girlfriend was most ornamental and spoke her banal lines in English as impeccably as Magnus Magnusson.
There was good travel-brochure photography by Alex Scott (Iceland is a more beautiful country than one would imagine), but William Brayne’s direction lacked a variety of pace and mood.
Sir David Taggart