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In a storm, in a workhouse, to a nameless woman, young Oliver Twist is born into parish care where he's overworked and underfed. As he grows older his adventures take him from the countryside to London, through harsh treatment, kindness, an undertaker, and a thieves' dens, where he makes friends and enemies. But all the time he is pursued by the mysterious Monks, who hires Fagin to turn Oliver into a thief. Oliver is rescued by chance and kind friends. But it's a puzzle of legitimacy, inheritance, and identity that Oliver's friends must attempt to unravel before Monks can destroy Oliver.Written by
This was the first job as a producer in television for Terrance Dicks, who was a very experienced writer and script editor. According to Dicks, the classic serial strand at the BBC was at the brink of being cancelled at the time by the new Controller of BBC One, Michael Grade, due to being expensive. According to Dicks, this serial achieved "record figures", to such an extent that Grade decided to continue with it. See more »
This version of Oliver Twist is by far and away the best. It manages to feature virtually all the characters major and minor which so many other versions fail to do. The 1948 version is great but this one trumps it. Godfrey James as Bumble carries off the role very well as does Eric Porter who is truly menacing as Fagin. Frank Middlemass as Brownlow is just how one would imagine that character. The two actors play Oliver was a master stroke of casting. I could watch this again and again for the acting alone and the brilliance of the set. Well done to all concerned. Other versions fall wide of the mark but this stays faithful to the story. Even Mrs. Corny is played to a tee by Miriam Margoyles.
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