Airdate: The Long Firm

When Midsomer Murders concludes this Sunday the ABC will follow it a week later with the BBC drama The Long Firm. First published as a novel in 1999 it tells the tale of Harry Starks, a homosexual East End gangster in the 1960s, based on the Kray twins.

Enticingly, the story is told from different points of view. It stars Derek Jacobi, Phil Daniels and Mark Strong (pictured).

The two part series has taken some time to reach ABC, first airing in the UK in July 2004.

It premieres 8:30pm Sunday October 19.

Press Release:

The dark underbelly of London in the swinging sixties is powerfully portrayed in a two-part series which captures the colourful and seedy side of the criminal underworld.

Cool, stylish and sexy, The Long Firm tells the story of Harry Starks, played by Mark Strong, as seen through the eyes of four characters that come into his orbit – a penniless lord, a fading movie star, a low-life speed dealer and an academic.

Starks is a charismatic nightclub owner, racketeer, porn king and avid Judy Garland fan. Starks is no regular gangster – he’s a complex man: intelligent, vulnerable, violent when he needs to be, but all the while yearning for something more than the rough and tumble of criminal life.

Everyone he encounters is changed forever by the experience.

Mark Strong is brilliant, making the grisly hero so damn likeable, even when he’s at his ugliest.

The impressive cast list includes Sir Derek Jacobi as Lord Teddy Thursby, a cash-strapped Tory lord whose introduction to Harry Starks is a match made in heaven. Starks uses the peer’s impressive name to give credibility to his shady dealings, while Thursby gets to slum it with the lowlifes and indulge his taste for young men.

Fading movie star Ruby Ryder (Lena Heady) is just the kind of person Starks likes to have at his Soho nightclub, The Stardust. Down on her luck, she agrees to help Starks out and choreograph his strippers, and even give acting lessons to Stark’s toyboy, Tommy (Joe Absolom).

But she soon learns that you never get something for nothing…

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  1. IMDB lists this as 236 minutes long. ABC has allowed 2×100 minute slots.

    I got this some time ago via channel BT (the 4x1hr version at the wrong ratio!…ah, you get what you pay for…).

    A 3-part “sequel”, “He Kills Coppers”, based on another in the series of novels by Jake Arnott, was shown on ITV in the UK earlier this year. Wonder if we’ll get to see this in some form. If channel 7 has already grabbed it, they’ll probably stupidly throw it away as an extended midday or post-midnight movie, as they have previously done with other ITV mini-series/telemovies.

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