Mini-series on the life of Charles Dickens, the great English author. Charles grew up in a family where his father was larger than life. The elder Dickens is a teller of tales and always ... See full summary »

Writer:

(creator)
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1977   1976  

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fall of Eagles (TV Mini-Series 1974)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

British drama about the collapse of three great European dynasties - the Romanovs, the Habsburgs and the Hohenzollerns.

Stars: Michael Hordern, Charles Kay, Barry Foster
Bergerac (1981–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alcoholic and divorced father of a young daughter, DS Jim Bergerac is a true maverick who prefers doing things his own way, and consequently doesn't always carry out his investigations the way his boss would like.

Stars: John Nettles, Terence Alexander, Sean Arnold
Betrayal (1983)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »

Director: David Hugh Jones
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Patricia Hodge
A Family at War (1970–1972)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

How the events of WW 2 affected various members of a lower middle class family in Liverpool, the emphasis being on life on the home front.

Stars: Colin Douglas, Barbara Flynn, Lesley Nunnerley
Antony and Cleopatra (TV Movie 1974)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.

Director: Jon Scoffield
Stars: Richard Johnson, Janet Suzman, Rosemary McHale
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Following the death of his family in an aeroplane crash, a man plots an elaborate revenge scheme on those responsible. By setting himself up as a criminal, he plans to get close to a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Barry Newman, Suzy Kendall, John Vernon
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Graham Faulkner, Judi Bowker, Leigh Lawson
Great Expectations (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Stars: Jean Simmons, John Rhys-Davies, Ray McAnally
Edward the King (TV Series 1975)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The life of Edward VII (1841 - 1910), the King of the United Kingdom. Before becoming the king he developed a reputation of a playboy which angered his mother, Queen Victoria. He was a reformer and modernizer, but also an elitist.

Stars: Annette Crosbie, Timothy West, Helen Ryan
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Following the banning and burning of his novel, "The Rainbow," D.H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, move to the United States, and then to Mexico. When Lawrence contracts tuberculosis, they ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Miles
Stars: Ian McKellen, Janet Suzman, Ava Gardner
Couples (TV Series 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: David Swift, Marjorie Yates, Carol MacReady
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Charles Dickens / ... (13 episodes, 1976)
John F. Landry ...
 Dolby (12 episodes, 1976)
Diana Coupland ...
 Mrs. Dickens (9 episodes, 1976)
Adrienne Burgess ...
 Catherine Dickens / ... (8 episodes, 1976)
Lois Baxter ...
 Mary Hogarth (7 episodes, 1976)
Graham Faulkner ...
 Fred Dickens (6 episodes, 1976)
Simon Bell ...
 Charles Dickens as a Boy (6 episodes, 1976)
...
 Miss Baldwin (6 episodes, 1976)
Edit

Storyline

Mini-series on the life of Charles Dickens, the great English author. Charles grew up in a family where his father was larger than life. The elder Dickens is a teller of tales and always seem to have ambitions that are well beyond his means or his capabilities. He is also constantly in debt and at more than one point in his life, finds himself in debtor's prison forcing Charles to leave school at the age of 12 and work. Charles finds success in his writing and marries, his wife Kate bearing them many children despite her delicate mental state. He has a touch of his father in him however, particularly when it comes to money. He is of course remembered as one of the great writers of the 19th century. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 August 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dickens de Londres  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: The Stars (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Entertaining and (mostly) accurate
11 August 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The excellent scriptwriter Wolf Mankowitz has surpassed himself in 'Dickens of London', a miniseries recounting the life of Charles Dickens from early boyhood till his death.

One of the clichés of biographical drama is the tendency to tell the story in flashback, with the central figure looking back on his or her life from the vantage of old age ... or even narrating from beyond the grave. There is a sound practical reason for this particular device: the actor or actress cast in the central role is usually too old to portray the biographical subject in early youth. So, we start out with a scene depicting the character in middle age or older, to get the audience accepting that James Cagney is really George M. Cohan, or Julie Andrews is really Gertrude Lawrence. Once that linkage is made, the flashback can begin.

Each episode of 'Dickens of London' is a separate flashback, with the same framing device every time. We see Roy Dotrice, pale and drawn, as Dickens lying in his deathbed. In real life, Dickens's death was precipitated by his exertions during a stage tour, in which he strenuously acted out the murder of Nancy Sikes in 'Oliver Twist'. As Dickens languishes in bed, he speaks to Mr. Dolby, the manager of his final tour, prompting memories of earlier phases in Dickens's life. (Cue the flashback.) There are occasional interruptions, as when Dickens is visited by a masked intruder, claiming to be the original of Dickens's creation Mr Pickwick, and demanding compensation.

Wolf Mankowitz's research is impeccable, and this series is extremely accurate, but inevitably there is some invention and fictionalising. Charles Dickens stated that the character of Wilkins Micawber in 'David Copperfield' was inspired by his own father John Dickens, a failed civil servant who went to debtors' prison during Charles's childhood. Here, we see John Dickens speaking epigrams that will eventually become dialogue spoken by Micawber in Charles Dickens's novel. I seriously doubt that such material was actually handed to Dickens in a manner like this, but it's very entertaining.

Regrettably, but perhaps out of necessity, the central role of Charles Dickens is played by three different actors: a boy in the first episode, when young Charles is forced to work in a blacking factory so that his pampered sister can have dancing lessons. Gene Foad is a dullish Charles in the next two episodes, when Dickens as a stagestruck young man endeavours to become a playwright and actor. Roy Dotrice plays Charles Dickens (very well) for most of the series, ageing as the episodes progress.

Dotrice also plays Dickens's impecunious father John, and there are some unintentionally bizarre moments in the fourth episode when Roy Dotrice plays long sequences opposite himself, portraying father and son in long dialogue scenes! Possibly for budgetary reasons, this production does not plump for double-exposure, so the camera must dizzyingly cut back and forth between two separate Roy Dotrices, never getting them both in the same shot.

Diana Coupland is excellent as Charles Dickens's mother, but I'm so used to seeing her as Jean Abbott that I kept expecting her to shout 'Sid!'. The supporting cast are excellent as well, including Ben Kingsley pre-Oscar. 'Dickens of London' is probably the best — most entertaining and most accurate — dramatisation of Charles Dickens's life that will ever be made. Inevitably, some important things have been left out ... such as Dickens's long relationship with his mistress, who once helped him tend to the wounded when they were caught in a railway accident. (Dickens died five years after the accident, to the very day: perhaps the memories had a long-term traumatic effect on him.) Despite some flaws, I'll rate 'Dickens of London' a full 10 out of 10.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD release csharp_28
Great miniseries booksroc8420
patsy kensit srichert-1
Dickesns jim-burke-819-361581
Discuss Dickens of London (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?