In my youth I set myself the task of reading Dickens. I read Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Little Dorrit and a few other novels with great pleasure. I decided that I could skip the ones I judged weaker, and so I never bothered with A Tale of Two Cities. On the basis of this ITV series I made the right choice. Dickens is never interesting when he deals with events taking place before he was born, and so it is here. I don't care about Dr. Manette and his daughter, Sidney Carton and his death-wish, or any of the other plot threads.
The cast is starry: John Mills, James Wilby, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Anna Massey (whom I remember from so many TV dramas) and many more capable performers, many of them French. The sets are well-designed, costumes appropriate... ho hum.
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