I was so impressed with Bootleg. I thought it started strong, but just got better and better as the show progressed. Episode three had me on the edge of my seat in parts, and in tears in other parts. The cast is very strong, although the Australian accents do shine through in places. I'm assuming it is supposed to be set in England and not Australia. The two leading kids (Steven Geller and Anthony Hammer) do a brilliant job of portraying Huntley and Smudger. Anthony is Australian and Steven is English. The two of them seemed to have so much energy ,and were genuinely believable as good friends. I wonder how they were off camera. My guess is that they got on really well. Anthony's robotic trance in episode 3 is faultless. You will recognise Anthony from his days as Leo Hancock in Neighbours. I was extremely impressed with Steven Geller's performance. His character takes longer to explain than Anthony's. But in Episode three, he went through all the emotions perfectly. His tearful and aggressive scenes were very believable, and the stare of disbelief at the end of episode 2 gave me goose pimples! You will recognise him from playing Mike in Mike and Angelo on CITV. Martin Jarvis played a lovely old book seller, and Gemma Jones was a warm and cuddly sweet shop owner.
Overall, Alex Shearer's novel was beautifully brought to life by Ian Gilmore's clever directing. It was a funny and light hearted tea-time drama which the BBC should be proud of. I'm not sure whether they are planning a sequel, but I would certainly watch it if they did. I look forward to the DVD or video release.
Congratulations to all involved.
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