Superannuated actors are having a field day: Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay in 45 days, Bill Nighy in everything and anything and now Ray Winstone in The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV’s latest effort for the Sunday evening audience. It dealt in too many cliches, it was edgy but not frontier-redefining.
Danny Rose (Ray Winstone) is an old con released from prison in difficulty with understanding the world he now inhabits, in particular his granddaughter’s heroin addiction. Ray Winstone is a wonderful actor with the right measure of menace and old age and was well supported by another senior actress Amanda Redman. The younger cast was less convincing. This was familiar stuff even down to the black drug supplier. I found myself making a comparison with Bob Hoskins and The Long Good Friday which had much better tempo and more interesting characterisation. Helen Mirren playing posh totty and one major villain being gay. I yearned for one character in this drama who was unexpected but everyone was conventional. I soon became disengaged from the screen and the slight plot line as opposed to the interplay between the characters was rather sterile.
I began the day by watching The Professionals. This followed another formula popular at the time: the chemistry of two young special operatives (Bodie and Doyle) over-seen by a mature actor (Gordon Jackson), think too of The Persuaders (Tony Curtis and Roger Moore bossed by Laurence Naismith). The Professionals has lasted well but I cannot see many viewers watching The Trials of Danny Rose in 40 years time.