Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

BBC to dramatise famous train heist

Luke Evans will play the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery
Luke Evans will play the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery

One of the most famous heists in UK history is to be dramatised by the BBC with Hollywood star Luke Evans portraying the mastermind of the Great Train Robbery, Bruce Reynolds.

Two 90-minute films coincide with the 50th anniversary of the raid later this year and the announcement of the cast - which will feature Jack Gordon as Ronnie Biggs - comes just days after Reynolds' death.

The films will examine the crime from the perspective of both the crooks and the detectives who trailed them.

They come just months after ITV screened a drama series, Mrs Biggs, based on the aftermath of the robbery and looking at life on the run for Charmian Biggs - wife of Ronnie.

The gang targeted a mail train from Glasgow in August 1963 and escaped with a then record haul of £2.6 million after they pounced in Buckinghamshire.

The train driver Jack Mills was struck with an iron bar and never worked again, and it has not been established who delivered the blow. He died in 1970.

The first of the BBC One films - A Robber's Tale - begins with an earlier robbery at Heathrow Airport in 1962 and shows how the train heist was planned, rehearsed and executed, from the perspective of Reynolds, who died last week at the age of 81.

Also appearing in the drama will be Jack Roth who plays gang member Charlie Wilson, Neil Maskell (playing Ronald "Buster" Edwards), Paul Anderson (Gordon Goody), Del Synnott (Brian Field) and Martin Compston (Roy James).

A second film, called A Copper's Tale, tells the story of Tommy Butler and the team of detectives who sought to bring the gang to justice.

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