The story of Ronnie Briggs, one of the U.K.’s most notorious and well-known criminals of the past century, will be making its way to TV screens thanks to “Odd Man Out,” an upcoming series produced by Brazil’s TeleImage.
The series will tell the true story of the once-petty thief straight from the source, using his co-authored autobiography from 2011, “Ronnie Biggs: Odd Man Out : the Last Straw” as its source material.
To that end, they have enlisted the help of the book’s co-author Christopher Pickard, who told Variety, “Patrick Siaretta and his team at TeleImage understand the scope and scale of the story we are trying to tell of an ordinary man’s extraordinary full life. It is not a tale that can be told in a 90-minute film, or four to six episodes. It needs the wider canvas of a multiple series and episode format to take viewers on the global emotional roller coaster that is the life of Ronnie Biggs. It is the chronicle of the odd man out that is going to surprise a lot of people – including the establishment – who thought they knew the story of Ronnie Biggs. They didn’t.”
Biggs had run-ins with the law in his younger life, but what launched him to international recognition was his part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. After a short stint in prison, Biggs managed to escape and fled to Paris – where he received extensive plastic surgery to mask his identity – Australia and eventually Brazil, always one step ahead of the law and the mercenaries looking to profit on his capture.
It’s these years of Biggs’ life that offer the most drama, including escapes, kidnappings, and hilarious stories and escapades that made Ronnie’s time on the run such thrilling fare. The series promises not to focus solely on the excitement and adventure Biggs enjoyed however, but to also show the repercussions and costs of his decisions.
Biggs lived in Brazil from 1970 until 1997, when he agreed to be extradited back to the U.K. and into incarceration once again. He was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds and passed away in 2013.
TeleImage is catching attention with its aimed-for-international content. They are also behind an upcoming four-part series based on U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt’s 1913 visit to Brazil. The series, titled “The American Guest,” is being produced for HBO and will feature international talent including Aidan Quinn (“Benny & Joon, “Elementary”), Primetime Emmy winner Dana Delany (“China Beach,” and the “Animaniacs” theme song), and Brazilian telenovela star Chico Dias, among others.