The video

A Spy At War

In 1991 Prime Video distributed the VHS video of Running Blind on behalf of BFS Ltd (BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited) under licence from BBC Enterprises Ltd. The three episodes, ‘The Messenger Boy’, ‘Sixteen Rivers to Cross’ and ‘The Deception Operation’ were edited into one 120-minute presentation (ISBN 0-7733–7802-2). BFS have recently stated that it has been many years since they owned the distribution rights to the production. [1]

thevideo-running-blind-video-ukThe front of the video cover shows a production still of Stuart Wilson (Stewart) taken during the fight aboard one of the trawlers in Reykjavík harbour. The accompanying quote from the Evening Standard reads:

Action fast and furious…striking!

The rear of the video cover shows three images: At the top, a publicity still of George Sewell (Slade) standing outside Duchray Castle in Aberfoyle, Scotland. The middle image shows a production still of the fight between Steindór Hjörleifsson (Lindholm) and Stuart Wilson alongside Kleifurvatn, Reykjanes, Iceland. The bottom image is a publicity still of Ragnheiður Steindórsdóttir (Elín) and Stuart Wilson standing outside Duchray Castle in Aberfoyle, Scotland.

Steindór Hjörleifsson who portrayed the character Lindholm, sadly passed away on 13th September 2012, it was his daughter, Ragnheiður Steindórsdóttir, who portrayed the character Elín. Ragnheiður recalled that the final scene in the production, filmed at Duchray Castle, was in fact the first scene she shot with Stuart Wilson, commenting that the first time she acted with Stuart, they were required to kiss. [2]

The following text accompanies the images:

Running Blind – A Spy At War
Alan Stewart – A British double agent whose dealings in international espionage and murder drive him to the brink of insanity. Retiring to Scotland, he is tracked down by his former spy boss and blackmailed into one ‘last’ assignment. Stewart’s final mission forces him into Iceland’s savage ‘Murderer’s Country’. There, teamed up with Icelandic beauty Elin, he faces an army of international killers in a war of survival.

Glacier of betrayal

The 120-minute presentation was released in Japan by Pony Canyon (ISBN 4-988013-524774) under licence from BBC Enterprises Ltd. The title, roughly translating as ‘Glacier of betrayal’, was the same title used for Bagley’s novel when published in Japan.


Blind Escape

A 90-minute version was released in Norway in 1984 under licence from BBC Enterprises Ltd. The title, Blind Flukt roughly translates as ‘Blind Escape’.


The BBC’s Commercial team, who look to exploit the rich content available in the BBC archive, last looked at exploiting the rights to Running Blind with regard to a dvd release in the autumn of 2014. They discussed the series with various UK and international dvd distributors, however there was insufficient interest at that time as three-part series appear difficult to place in the market. The BBC have expressed an intention to explore interest again in the future, meanwhile should anyone be interested in acquiring the rights they should contact BBC Worldwide via the link here. [3]

Next: Miscellaneous articles and anecdotes relating to Running Blind


Images © BBC Scotland,  BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited & Pony Canyon.

1. Serpa, P. (2104) pers. comm 16th December 2014

2. Steindórsdóttir, R. (2014) pers. comm 30th July, 2014

3. Farmer, A.  (2015)  pers. comm 26th February & 23rd March, 2015