I remember watching this series in 1976, transfixed. From the start, the brooding, stirring theme music (by Carl Davis)draws you into the Dickensian world. The acting is faultless and excellent. Many of the actors were some of the finest British actors going at the time and they were only playing the bit parts; e.g. Alfie Bass, Ronald Lacey. Some of the actors would go on to make big names for themselves. Warren Clarke (one of the then established actors) who played the infatuated schoolmaster, is not only well known for the current Dalziel & Pascoe, but has a highly distinguished film career including being one of the Droogs in A Clockwork Orange. So fine is the acting and production that you simply believe in the characters and become part of their world.
Oh, and the story is cracking as well!!
The later version was OK, but I do not understand why the BBC chose to redo the novel when the apex had so clearly been reached. That it is not available on DVD or even VHS is, in my view, a travesty. I will be lobbying the BBC but I wouldn't hold one's breath.
If you get a chance to see this version, grab it with all your might
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