In the final part of the dramatisation of Jake Arnott's acclaimed novel, Harry Starks is now in prison serving 25 years. When a naive young criminologist called Lenny meets Harry, he is enthralled by...
A young woman visits an undertaker to organise the funeral of her father. Unusually cheerful and self-possessed for someone freshly bereaved, she catches the eye of the friendly young ... See full summary »
London, early 1960s. Harry Starks is a dangerous mobster, a club owner who loves money, rent boys, and Judy Garland. He's an East End gangster who, in grandiose Kray Twins style tradition, is not only prone to streaks of madness, depression and a violent temper, but homosexuality. His penchant for Spanish Inquisition style justice has handed him the Fleet Street moniker of "Torture Gang Boss". He revels in a nether world of minor celebrities, fund raisers, boxing, showbiz, gambling clubs and philanthropy, for the sake of public image.
The original novel, "The Long Firm", contained five stories. "Red Hot Poker", "Dissolution Honours", "The Rank Charm School", "Jack the Hat", and "Open University". The first episode of the television show, "Teddy's Story" was an amalgamation of "Red Hot Poker" and "Dissolution Honours". The episode "Ruby's Story" was an adaptation of "The Rank Charm School", "Jack the Hat" became "Jimmy's Story", and "Open University" became "Lenny's Story". In "Jack the Hat", the main support character was the factual Jack "The Hat" McVitie. For legal reasons, he could not be included, so the character of Jimmy was adopted from the first chapter of the book "Red Hot Poker", to replace Jack in this episode. See more »
When Harry and Teddy go to Nigeria (in 1964), we see cars driving on the right-hand side of the road. Nigeria drove on the left until 1972. See more »
[to John Ogungbe, preparing to torture him]
Now I ain't gonna enjoy this any more than you, old son, but needs must, as they say. I want the truth, the whole truth - and by the time I've finished with you, by God I'll have it.
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I would like to disagree with any previous comments on The Long Firm. I think this is an outstanding drama. The BBC should invest more money into dramas of this quality instead of spending money on D.I.Y shows and 'reality' TV shows.
Mark Strong's portrayal of Harry Starks reminded me Ronnie Kray, Reggie Kray, Charlie Richardson all rolled into one. He was excellent as the 'Torture Boss'. He was menacing and unpredictable but also you sort of saw him as a anti-hero if you like.
The program has taken large chunks of dialog from the book and had extra scenes and stuff written around it. All though I originally thought the show was excellent but after reading the book the book is out of this world a solid 10/10. I would recommend this book to everyone.
I am hoping the following two books in the sequence 'He Kills Coppers' and 'True Crime' get made into series.
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