A docudrama biopic of the 19th-century author Charles Dickens




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Complete series cast summary:
Peter Ackroyd ...
 Himself - Presenter (3 episodes, 2002)
 Catherine Dickens (3 episodes, 2002)
 John Forster / ... (3 episodes, 2002)
 Thackeray (3 episodes, 2002)
 Kate Dickens (3 episodes, 2002)
 Charles Dickens (3 episodes, 2002)
 Charley Dickens (2 episodes, 2002)
 Ellen Ternan (2 episodes, 2002)
Avril Ellis ...
 Frances Ternan (2 episodes, 2002)
Christopher Ettridge ...
 John Byrne (2 episodes, 2002)


A 3-part biography of the great British author, filmed in an unorthodox manner: Actors playing various individuals in Dickens' life (as well as Dickens himself) are interviewed as if they are appearing in a contemporary documentary. Their words are taken from actual letters and journals of the individuals involved, and serve to illuminate the hardships and successes in Dickens' life, and the way his experiences found their way into his novels. Written by scgary66

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Release Date:

17 December 2003 (USA)  »

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(3 parts)

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References David Copperfield (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting but Dull
8 September 2005 | by (Boston, Ma) – See all my reviews

Why Dickens is considered on of the great writers of English literature has always eluded me. He may have been important in his era, but his writing has not stood the test of time, as Bronte's has, in my opinion. The fact that he was getting paid by the word is blatantly obvious to anyone who has read him, but this is not even mentioned in the documentary. Another central flaw is the weak performance of Lesser as Dickens. Also the fact that the narrator has a serious speech impediment is ultimately too distracting to hold one's attention over 3 hours. Dickens may have been a mystery, but ultimately who really cares except for those few remaining 'fans' of his writing, and judging from the number of people who have rated this documentary, there aren't many left.

Oh, another major flaw is the use of the BBC adaptations of his novels which were even duller than the documentary, but then they probably couldn't get the rights to classic films like those of David Lean and George Cukor.

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