4 May 2003 | jgaussen
A gripping tale of the road from riches to ruin, starring Hugh Laurie and Bob Monkhouse
Written by Guy Andrews, co-creator and co-writer of the series Chancer, this mini-series, originally shown in three parts on the UK's ITV network, featured Hugh Laurie as a charming man who has everything - a secure career as a financial market analyst, a wealthy wife, adoring children, a wide circle of friends and two homes. Like so many people in his position, he wants more; but, more rarely, he wants to make everybody happy. He hits on an amazing scheme to do both but ends up gambling everything he has with tragic consequences.
The director, Andrew Grieve, has described the drama as being "a three-hour descent into the hell of a life ruined by an addiction. But this is not an addiction to drugs or love or power. It's the addiction to danger, to putting yourself on the edge".
Hugh Laurie is horrifyingly convincing as the charming City con man, and I would defy anyone starting to watch this gripping tale not wanting to see it through to the end. An added bonus is comedian Bob Monkhouse, unusually playing a serious dramatic role.
Take it as a modern morality tale, or simply as extremely high-quality escapist drama, this is high-octane stuff that really never got the acclaim it surely merited. If you can see a repeat, or hire a DVD/tape of this, you've got a treat in store. Take the phone off the hook, and have your favourite drink by your side....