DVD Review: Rough Diamond

Rough Diamond (Acorn Media) aired in England as Diamond Geezer, a title I feel they should have kept, but knowing how phobic we in the US are about age I understand the change. The series contains four episodes, runs just under five hours, and stars David Jason (Sir David Jason to be precise) as the aforementioned geezer, criminal mastermind.

The pilot episode finds the hero(?) Des, a limping, stuttering simplton, in prison working as the tea boy and being abused or pretty much ignored. This is the starkest in the series–and maybe the best storywise– although not necessarily the one I enjoyed most. It gradually comes to light that he neither limps nor stutters and is anything but simple. He’s using prison as an airtight alibi for a robbery he’s planning. A big honkin’ heist of ten million or so in diamonds.

The last three are more cinematic in that they had prettier things to film than a prision and convicts, i.e. the south of France and the better parts of London. I had no idea what I was getting into in this series and was very plesantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The stories are well done and complex and the players are quite good. My small complaints, and they are small, is that they decided to go a bit Robin Hood with the character–I prefered him as a scaliwag; and a speeded up action sequence ala Benny Hill and all kung fu movies. It was in fact a martial arts moment but I found it distracting. Still this is good entertainment and when they release more it would take no convincing to get me to watch it again.

The specials are a bit thin: written interviews and filmographies.

Lee Crawford

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