The story follows Samuel Pickwick and three other members of The Pickwick Club as they travel throughout the English countryside by coach observing the phenomena of life and human nature, ... See full summary »
This mini-series tells the story of Amy Dorrit (Claire Foy), who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father (Sir Tom Courtenay), who is a long term ... See full summary »
In a storm, in a workhouse, to a nameless woman, young Oliver Twist is born into parish care where he's overworked and underfed. As he grows older his adventures take him from the countryside to London, through harsh treatment, kindness, an undertaker, and a thieves' dens, where he makes friends and enemies. But all the time he is pursued by the mysterious Monks, who hires Fagin to turn Oliver into a thief. Oliver is rescued by chance and kind friends. But it's a puzzle of legitimacy, inheritance, and identity that Oliver's friends must attempt to unravel before Monks can destroy Oliver.Written by
From the newspaper date seen in Oliver Twist: Episode #1.5 (1985), and other signs and inscriptions throughout, it is established that the bulk of the story takes place in 1835 and 1836, ending the year before the novel started serialization. This also explains the scattered references to the King rather than the Queen who is more commonly acknowledged in Charles Dickens works. The King is William IV, who died in 1837 and was succeeded by his niece Queen Victoria, who began the Victorian age which lasted for the majority of the 19th century. England would not have a king again until the accession of King Edward VII in 1901. See more »
It is not easy televising Dickens. His novels are so vivid you have a picture of the characters in your mind. This series uses its 12 29 minute parts to make the images its own and enhance them. I could get carried away with superlatives so let's look at the negatives which really centre on the Maylie household. This takes up the best part of 2 or 3 episodes and is pretty dull. The first couple of episodes are difficult but that is part of the acclimatisation process noted above. Now onto the superlatives.
The BBC has done an amazing job in conjuring up both the riches of the middle classes but more importantly the desperate poverty on the streets. The state of Fagin's quarters and Sykes' disgusting one room hovel are hard to contemplate. The state of the Thames is reminiscent of Dickens' telling.
The acting is top class. Too many to mention but Eric Porter as sly, devious, charming and mercenary Fagin is one, Michael Attwell brings menace to Bill Sykes. Pip Donaghy triumphs as Monks. Godfrey James as bully boy Mr Bumble and Miriam Margoyles as his soon to be domineering wife. The list goes on. So refreshing to see a case of actors building on substantial roles.
The story is modified: Betsy disappears altogether and Monks takes on a starring role. The last few parts are riveting as the net closes. I could go on. TV does not get much better
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