12/09/2012 22:04 BST | Updated 12/11/2012 10:12 GMT

TV REVIEW: Sheridan Smith As Mrs Biggs Was Not Laughing Her Way To The Bank

Mrs Biggs gave us 90 minutes last week of one of those perfect, early 1960s courtships, some halcyon days we know from history were destined not to last.

mrs biggs

Mr and Mrs Biggs' happiness was short-lived

The first episode of this engrossing serial established Ronnie and Charmian Biggs (Daniel Mays and Sheridan Smith) as two likeable characters, conducting a passionate and positive courtship through the dappled light of a more innocent era. Have you noticed how England of the early 1960s always seems bathed in a soft sunlit glow when it's depicted on telly? Must be all the orange cardigans and yellow kitchens bouncing the light around. Whatever the case, it looks lovely.

It was all very personable and understandable at this point, with the disapproval of Charmian's family countered against Ronnie's good intentions to provide for his young family.

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Mr and Mrs Biggs got to enjoy the spoils of crime, for a short while

However, after this heady romance, the director must be praised for not shying away from depicting the violence of the Great Train Robbery that made the Biggs name so notorious. Amid more beautiful lighting of the Royal Mail train carrying the £2.6million bounty, it was clear this was a bunch of audacious men prepared to take no prisoners to carry out their plan.

Ronnie's euphoria soon gave way to the rising panic of Mrs Biggs at home, particularly when she discovered what her dashing young man had been up to instead of the tree-felling expedition he'd been mentioning.

She became the voice of sense and morality - "How could you risk everything?" but also pragmatism - "they'll come after you."

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Mrs Biggs faced a future alone

And so it proved, but not before Mrs Biggs had got to enjoy a slightly guilt-ridden but still enjoyable shopping spree, amid more vibrant London colours to match her bold hair.

Sheridan Smith captured perfectly the complex contradictions of a young wife and mother, still in love with her husband, gritty and determined to keep her family together, enjoying the fruits of the crisp new notes, but both horrified at the events that brought them to her and fearful of what tax would inevitably be paid on the spoils, especially once a certain Detective Sergeant Jack Slipper had entered the scene and the luck started running out.

Check out the colours of Mrs Biggs and co in the pictures below. They might have been doing wrong and under lots of stress, but, judging by these pictures, they still find time to look impeccable...

Mrs Biggs