All six episodes from the fifth season of the BBC drama series following the fortunes of a gang of London-based expert con artists with a moral bent: Albert Stroller (Robert Vaughn), Stacie Monroe (Jaime Murray), Danny Blue (Marc Warren) and Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister). Episodes comprise: 'Return of the Prodigal', 'New Recruits', 'Lest Ye Be Judged', 'Diamond Seeker', 'Politics' and 'The Road Less Travelled'.
One of the BBC’s most enduring and rightly-popular drama series, it’s to the credit of the writing team of Hustle
that they continue to generate so many intriguing set-ups for its team of confidence tricksters to tackle. But with only one episode slightly below form in an-otherwise excellent series, the show remains one of the best contemporary dramas that the BBC produce.
The core set-up of Hustle is the same as before. There’s a gang of con artists, who continually get tempted by new scams and tricks, and are willing to travel the world to tackle them. Led by the likes of Adrian Lester (who returns after missing series four), Robert Glenister, the wonderful Robert Vaughn and new addition Kelly Adams, the Hustle crew also attract some welcome guest stars this time round. Bill Bailey, Tim McInnerny and Patrick Bergin are among the familiar faces that pop up.
The real stars of Hustle, though, are the tightly-plotted scams themselves, and there are some corkers in series five. We get, for instance, some malarkey with an MP, a bullion heist, a spider’s web and the weaker entry, involving a diamond necklace. For the bulk of the series, though, it’s great fun waiting for the rug to be pulled, and the run ends on a terrific high to lead us neatly towards the already-commissioned sixth season. Given the standards that Hustle predominantly maintains for series five, of which all six episodes are on this disc, that’s a very good thing. --Jon Foster