This page is for general information that might not quite fit into one of the other categories, for example interesting gadgets, tools and vehicles used by the protagonists, or the author, and their place in his storylines. It is also where details of sales figures, background facts etc, may appear…

Interestingly …

Bagley’s first book, The Golden Keel, was based on a well-known war-time rumour combined with a tale he was told by an inebriated fellow patron while in his favourite watering-hole one day. The story-teller claimed to have actually been involved. This is not quite as far-fetched as the cynics amongst us might think. Assuming the story was regaled sometime in the mid to late 50's, the war had only been over for ten years or so and the claim well within reason if they could back it up. It may well be that they did...

When approaching William Collins publishers for the first time, Bagley’s ploy was to tell them he wrote stories just like the already successful Alistair MacLean…

While writing Bagley locked himself away in his study, a marvellous library of thousands of reference books, typing slowly with one finger of his left hand. Food and drink was left outside the door so as not to disturb the creative flow...

When the author died Joan donated all the text books in his library to local schools.

I can't tell you about Bagley’s favourite colour, or favourite tailor, but how about…

Favourite tipple


A single Malt Scotch whisky, such as Glenfiddich or Glenlivet. Laphroaig was mentioned in Landslide.

A Rothman's, from a time when smoking wasn’t so readily frowned upon.


These British-made off-roaders began life back in the late 40′s, as so many new vehicles did during the mini-boom after the second world war. They are typically British but seen all over the world, and although there were other popular 4×4′s before them such as the American Jeep, not many have stood the test of time so well. This is probably due to the construction technique used. Although the LandRover chassis was made from conventional steel, the bodywork was aluminium. This wasn't a deliberate design choice but one forced on the Rover company because of a post-war shortage of steel. However the lasting advantage is that there are many ancient LandRovers still on the roads and in the fields today.

This distinctive vehicle figured large in many story-lines by Bagley, offering the hero transport over rough terrain, and even a place to live in at times.

Stories that make conspicuous use are:

The Spoilers
Running Blind

Natural Phenomena

There are lots of these to choose from!

Thixtropic Clay
Manganese Nodules

Improbable Inventions?

Electronic gadgets that do nothing - at all. Even when not obviously broken.

Train sets used as computers

Published in Other Countries

The series was published in a total of 22 languages. These were:

Afrikaans; Czech; Danish; Dutch; Italian; Finnish; French; German; Greek; Hebrew; Hindi; Hungarian; Icelandic; Serbo-Croatian; Japanese; Norwegian; Polish; Portuguese; Rumanian; Spanish; Swedish; Turkish

Sales Figures

The only figures I have come across state that by the time of Flyaway, in the late 70's, sales had exceeded 10 million copies