tue 13/04/2021

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV | reviews, news & interviews

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Ray Winstone surprises as concerned grandad - but old habits die hard

Welcome home, dad: Charlotte Randle as daughter Julie with Ray Winstone as father JimmyITV/Ben Blackall

“Breezy” isn't a word we associate with Ray Winstone. We’re more used to something like “big slab o’ bastard”, the epithet he got (they were biased Glaswegians, admittedly) most recently for his appearance in Robert Carlyle’s The Legend of Barney Thomson.

“Breezy” isn't a word we associate with Ray Winstone. We’re more used to something like “big slab o’ bastard”, the epithet he got (they were biased Glaswegians, admittedly) most recently for his appearance in Robert Carlyle’s The Legend of Barney Thomson.

So to see him jauntily singing along to Sinatra at the beginning of Alan Whiting’s three-parter The Trials of Jimmy Rose looked different. Admittedly he was walking away from 12 years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (not his first stretch, either), and being met in a Bentley suggested that probation wasn’t exactly going to be a hardship stint. The gaff he was delivered home to by ponytailed Uncle Roy (Paul Jesson) looked nice too, definitely falling into the “substantial residence” category.

Ominously the “Welcome Home!” banner seemed to have been got at by rats though, and the reception, principally from wife Jackie (Amanda Redman, pictured right) was on the frosty side. The rest of the family – the ones who were there, that is (Charlotte Randle as daughter Julie with Winstone, main picture) – did all they could, though the best moments came when his young grandson had to teach Jimmy the intricacies of new mobile phones. Not so pleasant, admittedly, when that came with quizzing, based on info gathered from the Internet, about your past as an armed robber.

Whiting’s script mined some nice comedy from such elements: discovering he couldn’t buy a bus ticket for cash anymore, Jimmy was told the options, one of which might be a Freedom Pass, prompting the rejoinder, “Could have done with one of them 12 years ago”. There was more when he went in for the DIY job interview that was a condition (very reluctant, on Jimmy's part) of probation, with a hyper-enthusiastic manager going on about how he must know his way around hand-tools. Or when it turned out that Uncle Ray had invested all the family's spare cash in the Spanish property market – a hint perhaps at Sexy Beast, Winstone and Redman's last encounter? – and it had disappeared into the unfinished villas of recession.      

But domestic strife was the prime issue, felt all the more acutely in the now empty-nest family home. Jackie was telling him she didn’t love him anymore, needed more time etc etc, so it was separate bedrooms. Trying to make amends was one thing, but Jimmy’s reaction stretched “Say it with flowers” to an extreme. The welcome he got the next day at his son’s no-less swanky abode (where that all came from remains to be revealed – was it all dad's loot?), for another grandkid’s birthday, was underwhelming.

So it was clear that if Jimmy had been expecting to be welcomed back into the fold straightaway he'd just a touch naïve: he’s got plenty of adjustment to do, not least realising he's on the old side now. It’s as “concerned grandad” that it seems he’ll be making his mark here, with granddaughter Ellie, who’s left the largesse of home behind for a squat and a heroin habit, as top priority. At least Jimmy’s tracked her down by mid-episode, which none of the others had managed. However, resorting to precision technical equipment of the kind you’d use to crack a safe to spring her (when she didn't want to be sprung) didn’t exactly show emotional finesse. Though it brought reconciliation of sorts, and some stabbing emotions, with Jackie: Winstone's playing real feelings here, no doubt about that. Short shrift too for Ellie's dodgy boyfriend, last seen dangling as his stash of the white stuff blew away on the wind (pictured above); we'll be hearing more from those quarters.

Jimmy will discover that the streets he was once master of now play by different rules, and his attempts to put a few things right had gone very wrong by finale time. But you do not, repeat not bludgeon a proud criminal, ex- or not, to the pavement in the way we witnessed here. There will be blood. We’ll see how that action element unfolds in tandem with family drama of a kind that wouldn’t look out of place in the soaps. With only two more instalments to juggle, director Adrian Shergold has got his action cut out. Trial by endurance, this won’t be.

Ominously the 'Welcome Home!' banner seemed to have been got at by rats

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Heroin's brown mate.

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