Hugh Bonneville and Charlotte Spencer to Team Up in 'The Gold'

Hugh Bonneville and Charlotte Spencer
(ITV/Masterpiece)

Last month, Paramount+ began finally moving into international productions, including Flatshare and A Gentleman in Moscow, with the ultimate goal of having 50 international series in production by the end of 2022. Now there's another series that quietly began filming in London at the start of the month, The Gold, a true-crime drama inspired by the U.K.’s infamous Brink’s-Mat robbery and the decades-long fallout that occurred in its wake. But the six-episode series, written by Neil Forsyth (Guilt), looks like it will be quite a draw if the cast is any indication.

For those (like me!) who are too young to remember the Brink’s-Mat robbery, it was a daring break-in to the Heathrow International Trading Estate in London in November 1983. The team of six thieves came into the vault believing they'd land £3.2 million in cash. Instead, they walked away with £26 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds, and cash (about £89.7 million today, adjusting for inflation). The fallout included the complete collapse of Johnson Matthey Bankers Ltd, one of those hit hardest by the theft. (All of the gold bullion belonged to that bank.)

The alleged co-conspirators included Brian Robinson and Mickey McAvoy, who headed the gang. Their accomplices included Tony White, George Francis, Brian Perry, HITE security guard Anthony Black, and money launderers Kenneth Noye and Patsy Clark. Other suspects included gold dealer John Palmer, who was cleared of charges. Though there was an arrest, trial, and conviction of Black and Noye and an eventual sentence for Clark, most of the gold has never been recovered. As for the others, most of them died violently in the ensuing years, to the point that it was known as "The Curse of Brink's-Mat."

The series features a cast of British favorites, with leads Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jack Lowden (Slow Horses), Dominic Cooper (Spy City), and Charlotte Spencer (Sanditon). The BBC did not reveal who plays who in the upcoming drama, but it seems likely that these are Robinson, McCoy, Black, and his wife, who was Robinson's sister. The rest of the cast includes Tom Cullen (Becoming Elizabeth), Emun Elliott (The Paradise), Sean Harris (The Green Knight), Ellora Torchia (Indian Summers), and Stefanie Martini (Prime Suspect 1973). Directing duties were split between Aneil Karia (Top Boy) and Lawrence Gough (Misfits).

Tommy Bulfin, BBC Commissioning Editor, was quoted as boasting, "The fact that we have assembled such a talented and exciting ensemble cast is testament to Neil’s incisive interrogation of one of the most infamous robberies in British history and the remarkable events which came in its wake. And to have the brilliant Aneil Karia join fresh from his Oscar win is the icing on the cake. The BBC One audience are in for a real treat when this hits the screen."

With filming underway for The Gold, the series will likely aim to land on the BBC towards the end of the year and then come to Paramount+ in early 2023.