Full Name: Sam McCready
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Frederick Forsyth
Time Span: 1989 - 1991


       Sam McCready is an agent with MI-6.
       Seeming a big long in the tooth to some but knowing he was still more than capable of doing his job, and more importantly likely to still do it better than most, McCready has no interest in retiring. Unfortunately, someone high up in Whitehall has decreed that, with the Cold War coming to an end as the 1990 start, many of the shadow soldiers of the SIS are no longer needed and should be put out to pasture. McCready is their first target.
       The problem with McCready, the powers that be seem to feel, is that while his actions in the defense of England has been in the past quite strenuous because that was what was needed with the KGB playing even harder. Now with glasnost and the new era of detente, with Warsaw Pact countries breaking away from the Soviet influence right and left, people who play hardball, like McCready, are not the right sorts to have in play. Operatives like McCready rock the boat too much. Moreover, with his forced departure, those still around will get the message - play nice or you, too, will be given the boot.
       While McCready is not ready to retire or to take a side post teaching new recruits, one of his proteges is even more vocal in his opposition to the ousting and demands a hearing to show how a man like McCready is still needed, and that provides the context for the handful of adventures we are given of McCready in action.
       When we first meet him, McCready is in his mid to late 50s, still physically fit but wearing the baggage of thirty years working in the shadows and going up against some very nasty people.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1991
Last Appearance:1991


Number of Stories:4
First Appearance:1991
Last Appearance:1991


Number of Episodes:6
First Appearance:1989
Last Appearance:1990

Alan HowardSam McCready [ 1-2 ]
Frederick ForsythNarrator [ 1-2 ]

       According to Wikipedia, "Frederick Forsyth Presents [was] a series of British television films made by FremantleMedia for London Weekend Television on ITV, first broadcast between 2 December 1989 to 8 December 1990."
       It was broadcast in two seasons of 3 episodes each with every episode being of different characters and plots, except, of course, for Sam McCready who plays an important, though not always central role, in each of the six adventures.
       The underlying theme of these stories was growing division in the British government between those who want their Intelligence agency to steer its own ship while others, more enamored with the CIA and its impressive technology, want a subservient role. McCready is decidedly in the first camp though that "go your own way" is more likely to be "go his way".
       Besides actors, many well known in Britain, the series included talented and known actors from America, including Lauren Bacall.


       There is never a bad time to read a book by Frederick Forsyth. And lucky for me, I have read a lot and have never found a bad book of his to spend time with. I was intrigued with the concept of this series. Create six teleplays about a myriad of spy subjects but have a central character who is important to all but not central to most. And then take four of those plots, put them into excellent prose, and surround them with a reason why they all made sense. I am surprised there was no The Deceiver II. Unless I missed it.


My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A


A 2019-12-03

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