The BBC has cast the first installment of its two-part drama The Great Train Robbery with Luke Evans set to play Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind Britain’s infamous 1963 heist.

Created by Broadchurch and Camelot exec producer Chris Chibnall, the two 90-minute movies will tell the story of the gang behind the crime and the team of detectives who sought to bring the perpetrators to justice. The first part, The Robbers’ Tale, will be directed by Julian Jarrold (The Girl); James Strong (Broadchurch) will direct part two, A Coppers’ Tale.

Also joining the cast as members of the criminal team are Jack Roth (Bedlam), Neil Maskell (Utopia), Paul Anderson (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows), Martin Compston (Line Of Duty), Del Synnott (The Silence) and Jack Gordon (Panic Button).

The first film kicks off in 1962 and ends in the immediate aftermath of the August 8, 1963 robbery of a Royal Mail train from Glasgow that scored £2.6M. Reynolds, who spent five years on the run before being jailed until 1978, died last month in London.

The second film, which focuses on detective Tommy Butler and Scotland Yard’s bafflement and frustration in the face of the crime, has yet to be cast. Shooting starts on part one this month with Simon Heath exec producing for World Productions and Polly Hill for the BBC. Julia Stannard produces. There’s no air date yet for BBC One, but given this August marks the 50th anniversary of the heist, it’s likely to fall around that time – just ahead of the BBC’s 50th anniversary tributes to Doctor Who which take place in November.

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