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Tony Grist

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The Long Firm [Jul. 8th, 2004|09:55 am]
Tony Grist
The BBC have a new series running about a London gangster in the 1960s. All the characters are thinly disguised versions of real people. The hero is the Kray twins rolled into one and all prettied up, and the guy in the bow-tie (played by Derek Jacobi) is Lord Boothby (who used to share rent boys with the Krays) and the blonde actress is Barbara Windsor and the sad old drunk called Judy Garland is Judy Garland.

I guess it's an attempt to cross the Sopranos with BBC costume drama. It doesn't quite gell. The writers haven't decided whether their "hero" is a social-climbing fantasist, pathetically out of touch with the realities of swinging London (it's the era of the Beatles and the Stones and he's a Garland fan for pity's sake) or an archetypal lone wolf/gunslinger/samurai. Period colour is laid on lavishly but background is skimped. The Kray's were strong because they were family, but this guy has no-one but his dear old Jewish mother; where then is his power base?

Print the legend? But I already know the legend. I'd rather be told how the system works.