Think of It As "Oceans Eleven" Lite
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 12/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Rough Diamond," a new crime caper British television series starring the popular actor Sir David Jason, is now available to American audiences for the first time. The series that was made by Granada for Britain's ITV (Independent Television) aired in the U.K. under the more charming title of "The Diamond Geezer:" that's Britspeak for an older man. It has never been shown on broadcast TV here. It's a light-hearted, playful look at aging criminal mastermind Des, as played by Jason, a performer who has been voted Britain's most popular actor three times in recent years by the National Television Awards. The pilot was one of Britain's top five most-watched dramas of 2005; three more episodes were produced and aired in 2007.
Jason is a winner of three BAFTAs and three Best Actor awards from the British Comedy Award, as well as their lifetime achievement award. He starred in the most popular sitcom (Only Fools and Horses: The Complete Collection) and as the most popular TV detective (DI Jack Frost, A Touch of Frost Season 13: Endangered Species),as voted by the British public. Guest stars include Jenny Agutter ( Masterpiece Theatre: Railway Children,Logan's Run,MI-5, Vol. 6), Simon Williams (Upstairs, Downstairs - Collector's Edition Megaset (The Complete Series plus Thomas and Sarah)), Christopher Cazenove, and Roy Marsden (Inspector Dalgleish, of the P.D. James televised mysteries.)
The episodes are:
1. Rough Diamond (pilot). Nobody at Barton Prison ever thought there was anything more to limping, stuttering, apparently simple old man Des. Boy, were they wrong.
2. A Royal Affair. Scotland Yard seemingly tracks Des down, in his new luxurious life on the French Riviera, and blackmails him into stealing a priceless jewel from Buckingham Palace. Features Jenny Agutter.
3. Old Gold. Des seeks a rumored KGB stash of eight million pounds somewhere in London. Features Cazenove, and Marsden.
4. Old School Lies. The death of a young friend sets Des after Jeremy Leyfield, (Simon Williams) ruthless, thieving corporate consultant, who's particularly fond of companies' pension funds. This episode seemed to me to have an almost surrealistic quality: it's also the one that most strongly resembles the "Ocean's 11" series in that Des assembles a large criminal team for the job.
You might best think of the series, in fact, as "Ocean's 11" lite: it's got much the same roguish charm, though done, of course, with a much smaller, TV-sized budget. It's fun, and a good vehicle for Jason's small screen-sized charisma.
You'll love David Jason
Chukar Lover | Washington | 11/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the first episode of this in the UK while visitng our daughter. Over in UK it's called Diamond Geezer. This set has all four of the episodes so it's complete although toooo short. I wish they'd film more. I've watched them all and loaned it to my sister!!"