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Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House 

Bleak House (original title)
The great case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, an obsession to all involved. Then a question of inheritance becomes a question of murder.
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1  
1985  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Lady Honoria Dedlock 7 episodes, 1985
...
 John Jarndyce 7 episodes, 1985
Suzanne Burden ...
 Esther Summerson 7 episodes, 1985
Jonathan Moore ...
 William Guppy 7 episodes, 1985
Chris Pitt ...
Robin Bailey ...
 Sir Leicester Dedlock 6 episodes, 1985
Lucy Hornak ...
 Ada Clare 6 episodes, 1985
Philip Franks ...
 Richard Carstone / ... 5 episodes, 1985
...
 Miss Flite 5 episodes, 1985
...
...
Pamela Merrick ...
 Hortense 5 episodes, 1985
...
 Tulkinghorn 5 episodes, 1985
...
 Harold Skimpole 4 episodes, 1985
...
 Allan Woodcourt 4 episodes, 1985
...
 Lord Chancellor 4 episodes, 1985
...
 Judy Smallweed 4 episodes, 1985
...
 Smallweed 4 episodes, 1985
Dave King ...
 Sergeant George 4 episodes, 1985
Heather Tobias ...
 Jenny / ... 4 episodes, 1985
...
...
 Laurence Boythorn 3 episodes, 1985
Felicity Finch ...
...
 Charley Neckett 3 episodes, 1985
Harry Jones ...
 Phil Squod 3 episodes, 1985
...
Jack Carr ...
 Brickmaker / ... 2 episodes, 1985
Peter-Hugo Daly ...
 Lizzy's Man / ... 2 episodes, 1985
...
 Mrs. Rouncewell 2 episodes, 1985
...
 Waggoner 2 episodes, 1985
...
 Inspector Bucket 2 episodes, 1985
Stephen Kemble ...
Cathy Murphy ...
 Housemaid 2 episodes, 1985
Katharine Page ...
 Mrs. Smallweed 2 episodes, 1985
Rebecca Sebborn ...
 Young Esther 2 episodes, 1985
...
 Ironmaster Rouncewell 2 episodes, 1985
James Snell ...
 Barrister 2 episodes, 1985
...
Wanda Toubas ...
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Storyline

The great case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, an obsession to all involved. Then a question of inheritance becomes a question of murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime

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Details

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Release Date:

10 April 1985 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Last TV drama role of Gerald Flood. See more »

Connections

Version of Bleak House (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tedious production
7 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

It's odd to find myself criticizing a production that stars Diana Rigg and Denholm Elliott, but I have no choice. Not only is this miniseries often dull and slow-moving, but it's very hard to follow the story. After watching episode one, I was so confused that I set it aside, and waited until I'd watched the much superior 2005 production with Gillian Anderson.

I picked this up again after seeing the more recent series, so at least I can follow the story. But it's still not that coherent. I haven't read the novel yet, so this production may be more faithful, but it's certainly not very good television. All the interior scenes are so dark (as are the street scenes) that it's sometimes difficult to see clearly. Much of this (in the street scenes, anyway) was apparently done to convey the filth and fog of London --- but they overdid it.

Diana Rigg is a splendid actress, but she has very few scenes in this production, and as she plays the role with any icy hauteur, betraying almost no hint of her vulnerability, it's hard to empathize with her. The rest of the cast tries its best, but this is just not a good script. It's slow and hard to follow.

If you're not familiar with the plot, I recommend the 2005 series with Gillian Anderson as the one to start with. This is one is worthwhile but misfires on many levels. Below par for BBC productions of this vintage.


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