Tuesday, 9 February 2010


[7.00 - French Time] Hustle Series 6 Episode 6. The team finishes an insider trading con but one of the marks is an undercover police officer. Mickey Stone (Adrian Lester) and his friends are nicked but the police must leave them to Jennifer Hughes (Anna Madeley) and Nigel Chambers (Tom Beard) of the MI6.

The spies want the hustlers to steal a security box in the National Bank of Syria (!) and if they succeed not only they'll be free but they'll keep as much cash as they can carry from the vault. Their "recruitment" is a suggestion of DCI Lucy "Bitchface" Britford (Indira Varma), a good friend of Hughes. In a recent past Lucy tried to trap Mickey and the gang but lost at her own game.

Emma (Kelly Adams) charms a young employee of the bank spotted through the "Find My Mates" website (the equivalent of Facebook in Hustleverse), Ash (Robert Glenister) does his electronic wizardry tricks, Albert (Robert Vaughn) manages a power cut at a most strategic moment and Sean (Matt Di Angelo) goes Syrian! Meanwhile Mickey deals with Jennifer Hughes... The things he'd do for England.

It seems that the Kudos team in charge of Hustle had some hard times with this series 6, moved to Birmingham to contain production costs and get some local financing complement. The action is absurdly still set in London and if there is a show whose concept is the absolute antithesis to the idea of budget shortage it's Hustle.

The episode itself was less exciting than the high standards you can expect from a Tony Jordan script. It's the traditional team in peril season finale and this time the danger is a venomous MI6 female agent and her colleague named Nigel (every British spy is called Nigel). There's a computer screen cameo of Indira Varma, probably busy elsewhere, as Lucy "Bitchface" - the nickname is cult on the internet.

With three hits, two misses and an average finale, Hustle Series 6 is like Spooks Series 8: not good, not bad, entertaining but not up to its glory days. And BBC hits have clearly budget issues this year, should Hustle series 7 be shot in South Africa that would even not surprise in these recession times.

The good points: Anna Madeley, great lines (« We are not thieves »), the score (great Get Carter touch).

No comments: