I shall be discussing episode six of The Gold Robbers, currently airing on Talking Pictures TV. Produced by London Weekend Television, the 13-part series was originally broadcast in 1969. This episode, entitled Rough Trade, was written by Pixie Weir and the original air date was 11th July 1969.
In the opening of episode six, we are once again much more in the thick of the violence. We seem to focus on the getaway driver as he disembarks the aeroplane and heads off in his sports car.
We meet his wife, an upper class girl, seemingly oblivious as to her husband Peter Conroy’s previous criminal record. She is being protected somewhat by her father, who we learn advocates her cooperation with the police: something she is unwilling to give.
We also get to dive into the relationship between the press and the police. Cradock tries to use them to dangle enough information and incentive to worm out a confession from someone near to Conroy.
Meanwhile, the journalists try their best to make contact with Conroy’s wife Stephanie and mother Violet, the latter of which has evidently been ridiculously loyal to him throughout his misspent life.
Throughout most of parts one and two, Cradock is rarely seen. The device used to paint the character and his involvement is almost exclusively the newspaper. The grubby way they try to trick information out of Conroy’s nearest and dearest makes Cradock’s sometimes tough methods look saintly.
A real contrast is drawn between the grimy lowness of the gold robbery and the slinky, fashionable world which Conroy’s wife inhabits. She is an artist, evidently a totally different temperament to her husband.
Stephanie is steadfast that she can look past even his infidelities, but when Cradock shows her Peter’s criminal record, her resolve finally collapses. In the end, will the divide between them lead to the breakdown of their marriage, and even his downfall?
Peter eventually strikes a deal with the newspaper for exclusive rights to his story, he is lured from Austria into Switzerland, where he can be arrested for his crimes.
Det. Ch. Supt. Cradock: Peter Vaughan
Richard Bolt: Richard Leech
Stephanie Conroy: Jennifer Hilary
Peter Conroy: Geoffrey Whitehead
Frank Evans: Terence Sewards
Edward Lancing: Donald Hewlett
Jenny: Louise Pajo
Vi Conroy: Hilda Braid
Peter’s Girlfriend: Lynn Dalby
In conclusion, for me episode six of The Gold Robbers is perhaps not quite as strong as previous episodes. Although Jennifer Hilary is very strong and sympathetic in her role, as the heart of Rough Trade. It still makes me hungry for the next installment.