Vísir 9th June 1978

BBC in Iceland – Chat with Sue Butterworth, location director ‘Out into the unknown’

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind Icelandic media article from Visir 9th June 1978.

“We are in this country for about two months,” said Sue Butterworth, location director for the film Running Blind, by Desmond Bagley. They are carrying out principal filming for the movie in this country.

The group present as of now, a total 19 men and accompaniment, arrived a few days ago. Bill Braine, who is experienced in making television films, directs it and the lead role is in the hands of Stuart Wilson, as well as a somewhat well-known recognisable television actor though I didn’t know his name. However I did glimpse and recognize Eugene Schlusser, an actor who often plays evil characters – this time a KGB spy.

Sue Butterworth said the group would spend the first two weeks or so in Reykjavik, then would go to the Húsavík and stay there for ten days. In just over a month they will travel through the highlands and film in various places.

Already completed is half a month’s filming in Scotland, and when all the filming is completed in late August Sue felt that two months of editing and technical work would remain. It was likely that the BBC would show the film in October or November.

Icelandic TV has reportedly already been seeking transmission rights, which appears hopeful. In addition, the film includes Icelandic actors playing several roles. Of these Ragnheiður Steindórsdottir, who is the main female role in the film, plays by far the largest role but in addition there are about 10 Icelandic actors in small parts, including Jónina Scott and Jon Sigurbjörnsson.

Sue said the screenplay is very closely based on the Bagley’s book, but of course, altered due to technical reasons. She said, for example, it is unlikely that they would cross 16 rivers on the way south across the country, as was done in the book.

“I guess it would be hard to get people away from their coffee to go over the sixteenth,” she said and laughed heartily.


1. Vísir (1978). ‘BBC á Íslandi’ (9th June 1978 p. 25) © DV ehf.