The opening of Inside Men is a stunning piece of television that has you gripped from the start as the Counting House that John (played by Steven MacKintosh) manages is infiltrated by a gang of robbers in a brutal manner, all the while the voice-over of John explaining the protocol of an attack in a calm manner as the music score keeps you gripped to the fate of this man from the start.
I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the brave outlook shown in allowing the violent scenes and a drama of this manner to be commissioned. Some might say a bit too violent, but in reality, I doubt many robbers are going to be concerned with the welfare of the staff. However…a new element is added when we discover that it’s the staff who are in fact the ones doing the heist and we go back and forwards in time to show the planning and how the heist came about.
John is mild-mannered and a bit of a walk over afraid of confrontation, he never takes risks and even makes up missing money for an easy life. He has become stuck in a routine, where his work, and his marriage to Kirsty (Nicola Walker) although nothing wrong with them have become tedious. However that changes when he realises two of his employees Marcus (Warren Brown) and Chris (Ashley Walters) have stolen fifty thousand pounds. Instead of reporting them he decides to join them in stealing, but only for all the cash of the counting house, and so the planning for the heist begins.
All the characters are likable. Marcus is a forklift driver at the counting house; he’s a happy-go-lucky guy, who doesn’t think through his actions first, he lives with his girlfriend Gina (Kierston Wareing) and has a failed hairdressing business. It’s Marcus who comes up with the idea first, he wants to give his girlfriend the luxury lifestyle, he just doesn’t have the brains to know how to do it without getting caught, unlike John and Chris. Chris is a security guard at the depot who starts a relationship with 17 year-old Dita (Leila Mimmack) after she gets fired from her job for stealing, he’s also dealing with an alcoholic mother, but things are set to change for him as he gets shot in the leg in the heist.
Most of the cast have appeared in Luther or TopBoy, both great dramas. The cast is first-rate, as is the script, and production, so far it’s certainly shaping up to be the best drama of 2012. I’d even go as far as to say It even tips Sherlock. There’s a moral dilemma for the viewer as much as we know the heist is wrong, you can’t help but want them to get away with it. If they do remains to be seen; the BBC has commissioned a gem in Inside Men and I can’t wait to see the rest.