ALL we gotta do is push the cabinet over,” yelled Terry.
“Are you stupid or sommat?” replied Brian. ITV’s drama series Hatton Garden was starting to sound a bit like comedy caper The Italian Job.
At any moment someone was going to shout: “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off,” then have a chase in a Mini Cooper.
This four-parter about the Hatton Garden heist of Easter weekend 2015 has been entertaining me all week.
Partly dramatic, partly hilarious, it was like a poor man’s version of Ocean’s Eleven. That is, if you replaced George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon with a few old Cockney codgers moaning about their arthritis.
Instead of sharp suits and shades, there were tracksuit bottoms and flat caps.
Only in Britain would a wheezing gang of elderly career criminals (nearly) pull off the crime of the century.
Breaking into the vault at an underground safe deposit in London’s jewellery quarter and diamond trade centre Hatton Garden, clearing out an estimated £14million worth of gold, jewels and cash, it was the largest burglary in English legal history.
And as such, it was absolutely calling out for a TV adaptation.
Playing the main men were Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham, Brían F. O’Byrne, Alex Norton, David Hayman and Geoff Bell.
Tim Spall as Terry Perkins was absolutely masterful at pulling faces that made him look both wise and idiotic at the same time.
Terry was the one who collapsed over his stash of jewels and nearly succumbed to a diabetic coma.
You couldn’t make it up.
Elsewhere there was a lot of chat about ailments, cutting toe nails, taking ages to wee. Such mundane moaning was a brilliant contrast to the quite frankly spectacular heist that played out.
From the moment they nearly got rumbled by a security guard to the weirdly haphazard divvying up of their haul in Kenny’s living room, to a showdown in a pub and finally being arrested face down in the cash, it made for tense drama.
For every slick move, there was a bumbling inept one five minutes later.
Respect for the grammar and spelling on those emails. Career criminals who know their punctuation, how refreshing.
As well as showing the scale and ambition of this extraordinary robbery, the drama also promised to delve into the loss of livelihoods suffered by the box holders, although it was only a nod.
Yes we saw Poor Mr Cyrus, played by Nasser Memarzia, facing ruin but this was nothing more than a side plot.
The focus was on the seventy-somethings bashing open security boxes then needing a nap.
I reckon this stranger-than-fiction tale might just be calling out for a sitcom too.
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