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The Great Train Robbery 

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A two-part drama which portrays The Great Train Robbery of 8 August 1963, firstly from the point of view of the robbers and then from the point of view of the police who set out to identify and catch the robbers.


Chris Chibnall
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3 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Robert Glenister ...  DI Frank Williams 2 episodes, 2013
Jack Roth ...  Charlie Wilson 2 episodes, 2013
Paul Anderson ...  Gordon Goody 2 episodes, 2013
Luke Evans ...  Bruce Reynolds 2 episodes, 2013
Nicholas Murchie Nicholas Murchie ...  Roger Cordrey 2 episodes, 2013
Martin Compston ...  Roy James 2 episodes, 2013
Del Synnott Del Synnott ...  Brian Field 2 episodes, 2013
Bethany Muir ...  Franny Reynolds 2 episodes, 2013
Eric Hulme Eric Hulme ...  Jack Mills 2 episodes, 2013
Neil Maskell ...  Buster Edwards 2 episodes, 2013
Jack Gordon ...  Ronnie Biggs 2 episodes, 2013
James Bye ...  John Daly 2 episodes, 2013
George Ward George Ward ...  Nick Reynolds 2 episodes, 2013


A two-part drama which portrays The Great Train Robbery of 8 August 1963, firstly from the point of view of the robbers and then from the point of view of the police who set out to identify and catch the robbers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Train Robbery See more »

Filming Locations:

Yorkshire, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2 parts)


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Did You Know?


Was scheduled to be broadcast in August 2013 on the 50th Anniversary of the great train robbery but was pushed back to December due to scheduling issues See more »


Police Officers are shown wearing white shirts. In 1963 Constables and Sergeants in all English police forces wore blue shirts. The change to white shirts came in the late 1970s. See more »

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User Reviews

Low-Key Retelling of a Celebrated Case
25 December 2013 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Broadcast in two parts - "The Robber's Tale" and "The Copper's Tale" - THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY retells the famous events of August 1963 when over £2m. was stolen from a mail train traveling from Glasgow to London. The events have been extensively retold elsewhere, notably in Peter Yates' fictionalized version ROBBERY (1967) with Stanley Baker, or BUSTER (1988) a comedy-drama with Phil Collins as robber Buster Edwards. "The Robber's Tale" (dir. Julian Jarrold) focuses specifically on Bruce Reynolds (Luke Evans) as the brains behind the whole operation; the more celebrated crook Ronald Biggs (Jack Gordon) - who passed away the night the program received its first broadcast - receives scant attention. "The Copper's Tale" looks at the painstaking ways in which Tommy Butler (Jim Broadbent) went about investigating the case and bringing the criminals to justice. Stylistically speaking the production is very much in keeping with current British television costume dramas, with low-key, almost washed-out lighting, lots of period detail (for example, the obligatory London bus from the mid-Sixties) passing across the back of the frame, or a couple of young mothers pushing their prams round the park) and plenty of focus on character through shot/reverse shot sequences. The style is diffuse, with the emphasis placed on ambiance as much as plot. "The Robber's Tale" actually proves something of a disappointment; not a lot happens in terms of action, while some of the (predominantly youthful) cast simply do not seem convincing as mid- Sixties London hoodlums. Perhaps they might have done more research into the behavior, mannerisms and (most significantly) the argot of that period. "The Copper's Tale" is a lot better, not least because of the interplay - or should that be rivalry - between Butler and his immediate subordinate Frank Williams (Robert Glenister). Although ostensibly on the same side, they seem unable to form a united front, at least professionally. Butler might be a good cop, but he certainly lacks any management abilities.

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