Mrs Biggs: episode guide

1.01 | 1.02 | 1.03 | 1.04 | 1.05

Episode 1 (90min)

UK: September 05, 2012
Australia: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Written by Jeff Pope
Directed by Paul Whittington

Charmian Brent is a young girl on a train. Unable to take up the place she won at university because her father has refused to support her any more, she works as a clerk at a bullion dealer's in Soho. Frustrated and disillusioned with life, she is chatted up on the train by Ron Biggs, a tall handsome Londoner nearly ten years her senior. He conceals that he is actually a carpenter by wearing smart clothes and carrying his tools in a briefcase. But Charmian is smitten, and they start dating.

When her father Bernard finds out that Ron has convictions for petty crimes he hits the roof, forbidding Charmian to see him any more. But the young couple decide to elope with 200 Ron has forced her to steal from her employers to fund their escape. They hide out on the Dorset coast but are eventually caught after a dramatic car chase and pursuit through a forest.

Ron is given six months imprisonment, Charmian a suspended sentence. She waits for him and when he is released she becomes pregnant to force her father to consent to her getting married. Charmian gives her whole life to Ron but asks only that he never becomes involved in crime again. Ron agrees and, for a while, life settles down into domestic bliss.

They have two sons in quick succession and Ron's building business is doing well. The only cloud on the horizon is that their rented home is about to be sold. They have first refusal but need to scrape together 500 for the deposit. All their money is tied up in the business so, desperate, Ron goes to see an old friend to ask if he can borrow it. The friend is Bruce Reynolds, at that moment planning the biggest robbery in British history.

Reynolds' money is tied up in a plan to rob a Royal Mail train, packed with used bank notes, on its journey down from Glasgow to London. He offers Ron a place on the job but Ron refuses. Reynolds learns Ron is friendly with Peter, a retired train driver — the missing piece of the jigsaw for Reynolds' master plan. He offers Ron 40,000 to bring Peter in on the job and Ron's resistance is worn down. The episode concludes as Ron, Peter and Reynolds' gang head towards the location where the heist is to take place.

Cast:

  • Sheridan Smith as Charmian Biggs
  • Daniel Mays as Ronald Biggs
  • Gabrielle Lloyd as Woman on Train
  • Robin Hooper as Mr. Kerslake
  • Luke Newberry as Gordon
  • Harry Miller as Bob the Foreman
  • George Oliver as Polish Henry
  • Tom Brooke as Mike Haynes
  • Caroline Goodall as Muriel Powell
  • Adrian Scarborough as Bernard Powell
  • Bebe Cave as Gillian Powell
  • Jay Simpson as Bruce Reynolds
  • Joanna Brookes as Landlady
  • David Partridge as Policeman
  • Charlotte Eaton as Warder
  • Michael Shaeffer as Police Inspector
  • Edmund Kente as Chairman of the Magistrates
  • Ron Cook as Peter
  • Rachel Bell as Mary
  • Jon Foster as Gordon Goody
  • Iain McKee as Charlie Wilson
  • Matthew Cullum as Buster Edwards