Desmond Bagley’s Running Blind

Running Blind, published in 1970, is a first person narrative espionage thriller set in Iceland. The protagonist Alan Stewart, an ex MI-6 agent is coerced into delivering a package to Iceland. Pursued across Iceland by the KGB, the CIA and British Intelligence Stewart’s mission becomes a fight for survival.

Running Blind was Bagley’s first espionage novel and the first of his published novels to be researched on location, the consequence of which is a story displaying a detailed authenticity of background. The spectacular landscape of this island in the middle of the North Atlantic, a land of light and darkness, has been captured and utilised by Bagley to great effect. This novel bears the Bagley hallmarks of skilful narrative and detailed research.

This archive, using referenced and accredited material, collates media, ephemera and research aiming to be the definitive online resource for Bagley’s Cold War espionage thriller set in Iceland. There is much to discover, whether you have a love of Desmond Bagley, Running Blind, Iceland or all three. With well researched and informative articles the site can also act as a travelogue for those people wishing to visit Iceland.

Start your journey through the archive here or select your preference from one of the topics below by clicking the title or the image.

Desmond Bagley in Iceland

Read more about the Bagley’s research trip to Iceland in 1969 and browse newspaper articles describing their visit.

Desmond and Joan Bagley in Iceland


 The novel

Discover more about Bagley’s espionage thriller including literary locations, worldwide imprints and browse a gallery of cover art.

Desmond Bagley - Running Blind - Cover Art


The failed film production

There was nearly a movie adaptation of Running Blind, explore the background to this failed film adaptation and browse newspaper articles to discover the reasons why the project never made it past pre-production.

Desmond Bagley Icelandic media article from Timinn 15th April 1973.


 The television adaptation

Discover the history of the television adaptation through contemporary media articles and follow the adaptation from its conception, through filming, broadcast, reviews and video release.

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind - Radio Times Issue 2876/7 5th January, 1979


Filming locations

Explore the locations used during the filming of the television adaptation in 1978. Compare ‘then and now’ images and read a short history of each location.

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind - Austurstraeti, Reykjavik, Iceland


Media articles

Browse newspaper articles reporting on the filming of Running Blind from 1978 to 1980.

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind - Filming in Iceland


Media articles

Browse newspaper articles reporting on the transmission of Running Blind from 1978 to 1980.

tvadaptation-transmission-menu


Miscellany and Factfile

‘Whoever planned this has a mind like a pretzel, but it’s all of a piece‘ – A collection of miscellaneous articles and facts with links to Running Blind.

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind - Miscellany


Notes

1. Desmond & Joan Bagley in Reykjavík, Iceland August 1969 – Image © Tíminn

2. Images © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

3. Tíminn (1973). ‘Út í Óvissuna og Desmond Bagley’ (15th April 1973 pp. 13).

4. Radio Times Issue 2876/7 © Radio Times.

5. Images © BBC Scotland & The Bagley Brief

6. The BBC in Iceland – Images © DV ehf.

7. Transmission articles – Images © DV ehf., © mbl.is / Árvakur hf.

8. Image © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd / One Plus One Studio / Steven Stroud.