The new series of Hustle started on the BBC last night, and as always it began with style, panache and tongue in cheek. Mickey Stone (Adrian Lester) was in Sydney being chased so he dives into the opera house, picks up a naval Commander’s costume and finds a limo waiting outside waiting to take him to his ship – so he hitches a lift back to London with the Royal Navy!
This is where the problems start – his old crew are all elsewhere, and he’s broke, and so begins the
homage rip-off of my favourite film ever, The Blues Brothers, as he has ‘to get the band back together’. Albert (Robert Vaughn) is in jail, but Ash (Robert Glenister) is still around. Finding Eddie’s bar is shut and Eddie is now waiting at a swanky restaurant, they reprise a toned down, and hence nowhere near as funny, version of the Mr Fabulous restaurant scene to get him to join them again.
Meanwhile Albert has found them a mark, a feisty businesswoman with money to invest. They then get major inspiration from another great movie – The Sting as they set up a wire to get the stock market movers and shakers rather than horses this time for the con. It turns out the business woman was conning them, and Albert had conned them all into creating a new crew – but it didn’t con us, as every step was well telegraphed.
Still it was as slick, glossy and amusing as ever, but missing Marc Warren. There was also not enough of Albert who with his transatlantic been there, done it experience is the real star, whereas the new girl, blonde this time and slightly less smouldering, and her one-dimensional little brother (Matt DiAngelo) will need time to settle in – but they’ve only got five more episodes in this short series to do it… This is the fifth short series of Hustle – I’d be surprised if they made a sixth, but I’ll keep watching for some entertaining relaxation.