Having been so gripped by episode one of The Gold Robbers, I have decided to also review episode two as quickly as I can following its air time. I will avoid any real spoilers as much as possible.
As episode two opens, you could easily feel a little confused. We see the action of the robbery unfolding again. But this time, it’s from a different perspective. Enough is repeated from the first version we saw that it grounds us, the audience, in events as they took place.
It turns out that the house used by the sniper was not in fact empty: there was a young girl asleep in her bed who was woken by the noise and of the explosion and shooting.
Next we meet DCS Cradock again, whose first task is to question the air traffic controller who has been subdued during the robbery with chloroform. Joss Ackland’s stiff upper lipped Derek Hartford claims to be none the wiser as to the identities of the assailants.
But the real intrigue comes out of nowhere, when it transpires that the young girl we saw at the beginning is Hartford’s daughter. Therefore, it was his house used by the sniper during the robbery.
Sally (Sally Thomsett) and Cradock have a pleasant chat, and although she claims to have heard nothing on the previous morning, the Detective Chief Superintendent’s manner tells us that he knows she will divulge more later.
He is an interesting combination of his role: a straightforward policeman; and a kind man. He is very human, with frailties. But he is focussed and fair.
The sweet honesty between Cradock and Sally is lovely. Thomsett plays her so earnestly, but it’s not sickly sweet or unnatural.
In a scene between Cradock and his Sergeant, Tommy, we learn that Cradock’s relationship with his own son Terry is somewhat strained. He seems to find it easier to relate to Sally than he does to Terry, telling Tommy to pass along some cash for Terry’s birthday, while he gives him money to buy art supplies for Sally.
We experience a few small instances of image dropout, a flaw in the tape, during this episode.
The pacing remains as in episode one: it feels like a 1960s mystery film. No scene feels superfluous, with every gesture, expression and piece of dialogue absolutely necessary to help us identify who these characters are and how they fit into the world surrounding the robbery.
DCS Cradock: Peter Vaughan
Richard Bolt: Richard Leech
Derek Hartford: Joss Ackland
Fay Hartford: Alethea Charlton
Sally Hartford: Sally Thomsett
DS Tommy Thomas: Artro Morris
Forbes Lingwood: Peter Madden
Chief Inspector: Frank Sieman
Cellier: Barry Wilsher
Douglas: David Rose
Telephone Operator: Simon Cain
The Gold Robbers is airing on Talking Pictures TV on Mondays at 9pm from 4th September 2023.