A two-part drama which portrays The Great Train Robbery of 8 August 1963, firstly from the point of view of the robbers and then from the point of view of the police who set out to identify and catch the robbers.
It's an overused statement, but this is what quality drama is about. The background story about the dodgy businessman attempting to revitalise Brighton pier is merely a vehicle for the real drama of a man falling apart and the effects it has on his family and those around him. It really is that simple and, with a lesser cast and production crew, this could have been a dull and forgettable hour or 2 at best. Not so when you have quality like this.
Peter Mullan is, as always, superb and flawlessly captures both the simmering violent tendencies of a controlling businessman-gangster and the pathetic ramblings and loneliness of a man who can't understand what's happening to him. He showed a brief version of how good he is at the latter in Session 9 some years ago and this performance only serves to show just how good he is at this.
The supporting cast are excellent too - not a single weak link in this at all.
If there was one flaw it's that the Eastern European characters don't have the depth they could have. However, they're suitable frightening and the patriarchal figure is underplayed to just the right degree. No pantomime villains here.
Overall...this shows that some TV drama is better than the dross that costs millions and is chucked out to the big-screen multiplexes
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