Dickens of London (TV Mini-Series 1976– ) Poster

(1976– )

Episode List

 OR 

Season 1

28 Aug. 1977
Mask
In his sick bed, an elderly Charles Dickens recalls his life. He remembers his father John as someone who is a bit larger than life. A great storyteller, he enjoys performing monologues in ale houses and even has the young Charles sing a song or recite a poem from time to time. John works as a clerk but with a growing family, he has fallen behind in his payments to the local shopkeepers. He borrows a bit of money from a cousin but he has to make plans to relocate to a less prosperous part of London. Before he can do so however, he is visited by a solicitor seeking ...
 
5 Oct. 1976
The Deed
Young Charles returns to his family in London at the end of the school term and is unlikely to return. He finds it hard to accept that London is a great classroom for learning about life. He plays with street urchins and learns about the poverty of those around him. While he knows his father is employed as a civil service clerk he's also aware that prosecutors are after him. Mr. Kerr holds the note for £40 and is demanding payment. Charles seeks employment to help out with the family finances.
 
12 Oct. 1976
Blacking
During his tour of the United States, Charles Dickens meets Commissioner Wentworth and takes exception to New York city's jail, known as The Tombs. He recalls when, as a boy of 12, his own father was jailed for 9 months without any evidence. Charles had obtained employment with Cousin James, working in horrible circumstances making boot polish (the blacking of the title). He's bullied by one of the older boys who terrify him by covering him with blacking. At the Dickens home, Mr. Kerr continues to press for repayment and the elder Dickens finds himself in the ...
 
19 Oct. 1976
Love
In New York City, Dickens meets an ardent admirer, a Miss Baldwin, who reminds him of someone from his youth. As a young man, Charles was involved in amateur theatricals and was writing, drawing on his own experiences for the latter. Charles has also taken an interest in Maria Beadnell, one of several daughters to a well-known banker. In fact, he's fallen madly in love with her and has taken to writing her poetry. Fearing that he way not make enough money as a shorthand writer, he decides to take acting lessons in the hopes the theater may somehow supplement his ...
 
26 Oct. 1976
Success
In 1835, Dickens is working as a journalist and publishing stories wherever and whenever he can. He's still in love with Maria Beadnell but she seems to think less of him thanks at least in part to information from her friend Mary Ann. He drowns his sorrows at the local ale house and he falls into the arms of Desdemona. Although he writes under a pseudonym, Dickens begins to gather a following. His first book nets him £150, much to his spendthrift father's pride and joy. The money doesn't last very long. The elder Dickens is again arrested and put in the sponging ...
 
2 Nov. 1976
Fame
Charles proposes to Catherine Hogarth and she happily accepts. Kate is frightened by the prospect of marriage however and also with her new husband's determination. Charles has his first great success with his serialization of the Pickwick Papers. Sales are not what he expected and he does have issues with Mr. Seymour, the illustrator for the series. With an advance on the first two stories, Charles sets out to furnish his new home. His father, in need of money as usual, is lying in wait. Charles draws the line, though he still gives him some money.
 
9 Nov. 1976
Money
Charles is doing quite well having received yet another commission. He's also found a new illustrator for the Pickwick Papers, which is proving to be a great success. Offers continue to present themselves. Kate is pregnant, expecting their first child. A dream about an orphan boy leads him to write Oliver Twist. He researches the subject thoroughly actually visiting prisons and following a jailer's suggestion that such boys are often pickpockets. In many ways, it reminds him of his own youth. Kate is concerned about Charles' frequent absences and there is no doubt he ...
 
16 Nov. 1976
Possession
Charles is growing increasingly concerned at his wife's deteriorating mental condition. Their's is a tempestuous relationship with Kate demanding ever more emotional support and Charles frequently away researching stories or writing a new play. He continues his flirtation with his sister-in-law Mary, and they spend hours together riding or simply walking. With his ever growing success, Charles rents the family a new 12 room town house in London with a large garden. He has a touch of his father in him however when it comes to money. Unbeknown to him however is that ...
 
23 Nov. 1976
Dreams
In New York, Dickens is invited to a sportsman's dinner, one of many such invitations that he continuously receives. He recalls a time when, as still a young man, he sorely grieved the loss of his sister-in-law, Mary, whom he loved very dearly. He continues to produce several novels, including Oliver Twist but begins to worry about is health and sees Dr. John Elliotson, intent on taking out an insurance policy. Elliotson is also known for dabbling in some of the more unorthodox branches of medicine like phrenology and hypnosis, areas in which Dickens would like to ...
 
30 Nov. 1976
Magic
Charles is acting very strangely. He says he's in love with Queen Victoria and is upset that she is marrying a German; he even threatens to leave England. Most people around him don't know quite what to make of it and whether he is serious or joking. He wants to buy back his his copyright to Oliver Twist and is seemingly prepared to pay a hefty sum to do so. His serialization of The Old Curiosity Shop is a huge success. The death of the story's main character, Little Nell, captures the imagination of the nation, leaving many a grown man in tears.
 
7 Dec. 1976
Nightmare
Dickens recalls his first visit to the United States in 1842 where he met Edgar Allan Poe for the first time. Kate, psychologically fragile as she is, accompanied him on that trip though she isn't having much fun. Poe sat in the lobby through the night waiting for an opportunity to see the great Dickens and is a great supporter of the English writer. The two share a bottle of Madeira and he tells Poe of his skill as a hypnotist. Poe admits to also being an enthusiast and tells him of an experiment he has undertaken in the field. Poe claims to have hypnotized a man who...
 
14 Dec. 1976
Angel
Dickens recalls a trip to Montreal in 1842 where he and Kate performed on stage. Kate is unhappy and very much wants to go home. Their return is a joyous one and they are happily reunited with their many children. As well, Kate is again pregnant. Charles takes an interest in Georgina, who Kate hires to help her about the house. The girl very much reminds Charles of his long lost Mary. He is outraged however when one of his books is pirated and widely published in the United States with absolutely no compensation for himself. He becomes concerned about his finances ...
 
21 Dec. 1976
Memories
In New York, Dickens reads a Christmas Carol to a sold out audience. He reminisces about events in his childhood, particularly those involving his larger than life father and some of the financial difficulties they faced one particular Christmas. Similarly, he reads from his other works and recalls how his father and events of his own life are reflected in his stories. His father's death affected him deeply.
 

 Season 1 

See also

Episode Cast | Rated Episodes (by date / vote)| TV Schedule

Contribute to This Page