Wednesday, 26 December 2012, 9:00PM – 11:00PM
Mike Mackenzie (Dougie Henshall,) is a self-made businessman with too much time on his hands. Bored by the comfort of his millions and grieving for the woman who walked out on him five years previously, he’s got an adventurous side just waiting to get him into trouble. When he hears the love of his life, Laura Stanton (Lenora Crichlow), art consultant and auctioneer, has returned to Edinburgh, his whole world is turned upside down and he’d risk anything to get her back.
Alongside close friends art expert Professor Gissing (Stephen Fry) and banker Allan Cruickshank (Kenneth Collard), Mike plots to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the country – Edinburgh’s private art collection owned by a national bank. Incensed by wealthy patrons hiding works of art away in private collections, the trio devises a plan to swap priceless masterpieces stored in the gallery’s warehouse with brilliantly accurate forgeries.
Fortuitously, Edinburgh’s buildings of special interest are open to the public for a single day under the ‘Doors Open’ scheme. It’s the nation’s celebration of public access, the perfect opportunity for these three to pull off the perfect art heist and for Mike it’s too good a challenge to pass up. It might just help him to get Laura back into his life.
Mike enlists the help of Charlie Calloway (Brian McCardie), old school friend and small time gangster, to beef up their criminal know-how, but Charlie’s involvement comes at a price: he brings the unwelcome attention of some less-than-friendly outlandish gangsters. By the time the gallery warehouse doors are flung open to the public, there’s no going back.
DOORS OPEN has been adapted from Ian Rankin’s novel by James Mavor and Sandi Toksvig. The two-hour film is produced by Sprout Pictures, the company founded by Stephen Fry and Gina Carter, for ITV1.
Speaking about his character, Stephen Fry says: “Professor Gissing is a Professor of Art at Edinburgh College, and naturally, therefore, loves art, and hates the high prices that are put on it. It upsets him that nobody knows where the Matisse is, so he looks upon the heist as liberating the paintings.”
Doors Open was filmed in Edinburgh. Speaking about filming in the city Scottish born Dougie Henshall says: “I like Edinburgh a lot because it is a great city. I really enjoy being up there and I don’t get the opportunity to film in Scotland as much as I’d like. Edinburgh is truly a city of Jekyll and Hyde. It has got the Old Town and the New Town and there is so much of that duality about it. It’s beautiful place to be and I’ve got lots of really good memories.”
Stephen, Dougie and Kenneth’s characters don disguises for the art heist. Kenneth reveals his look was similar to a famous 1970s sports presenter: “The disguises we wore added an extra dimension to the heist. We worked closely with the costume, hair and make-up teams to arrive at a certain ‘look’. That lifted it to something else. Not only was it a heist, it was a dream heist! The disguises are 70’s retro, and Allan has a kind of Dickie Davies look.”