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2 items from 2015

Dickensian review – a labour of love obscured by too much fog and too many hats

26 December 2015 2:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

This 20-part drama looks beautiful but the idea, of taking Dickens characters out of their novels and finding something new for them to do, is mystifying. Plus, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None

Christmas Eve, and old Mr Havisham is dead. His daughter, Amelia (Miss Havisham) and her half-brother Arthur are doing the stuff people do when a parent dies – mourning, funerals, wills etc, the last of which doesn’t go well for Arthur, inheritance-wise. Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley (not dead – not yet), the Wonga of their day, are entering into the spirit of the season of goodwill by pursuing debts, even from the old fella at The Old Curiosity Shop whose granddaughter Nell is dying. Though later Nell, watched over by Mrs Gamp, doesn’t die. The poor – Bob and his Cratchit family etc – prepare for a wretched Christmas in bleak but cheerful poverty. An urchin »

- Sam Wollaston

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Boxing Day's best TV: Dickensian; Peter & Wendy; The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2015

25 December 2015 11:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Tony Jordan has fun with a cast of Dickens’s characters; ITV’s Peter Pan adaptation is full of bite; and Jimmy Carr and chums cock a snook at 2015

Tony Jordan has big fun with a cast of Charles Dickens characters from Oliver Twist to The Old Curiosity Shop. Inspired by the novelist’s tales of the haves and have-nots in Victorian society, this series is released in half-hour chunks of the next few weeks, just as Dickens ought to be. Jacob Marley sends a missive to Fagin while Jaggers settles the affairs of a brother and sister who’ve just buried their father. The Cratchetts try to scrape enough together for a cheerful Christmas while Nancy acquires a new client, much to Bill’s chagrin. Julia Raeside

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- Julia Raeside, Jonathan Wright, John Robinson, Graeme Virtue, Mark Jones, David Stubbs, Paul Howlett

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