When young Nell Trent's grandfather loses the investment money of wharf owner Daniel Quilp with cards, Quilp develops an everlasting urge to get him put in the madhouse. Nell and her grandfather flee the city.
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I know for a fact that Sebastian Shaw and Trevor Peacock are capable of fine acting. However you won't find it here, from either of them or anyone else. William Trevor, who wrote the screen adaptation, is a fine novelist, poet and critic. But this is cringe-inducing.
It is about as awful a Dickens adaptation as one could imagine. The pace is slow, the acting obvious and one-dimensional. It's like watching Dickens for Marionettes.
I hope that's not because it comes from BBC Birmingham rather than London. I'm more inclined to think that the format, 9 30-minute episodes, suggests that this mini-series is meant for school use only. The show might be useful for scaring kids away from literature for the rest of their lives, if anyone had such a purpose.
Otherwise, stay away.
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