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Our Mutual Friend 

Intertwining tales of love, greed, and secret identities in Charles Dickens's 1860s London.




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Series cast summary:
Paul McGann ...  Eugene Wrayburn 4 episodes, 1998
Dominic Mafham ...  Mortimer Lightwood 4 episodes, 1998
David Bradley ...  Rogue Riderhood 4 episodes, 1998
Anna Friel ...  Bella Wilfer / ... 4 episodes, 1998
Peter Vaughan ...  Mr. Boffin 4 episodes, 1998
Pam Ferris ...  Mrs. Boffin 4 episodes, 1998
Steven Mackintosh ...  John Harmon / ... 4 episodes, 1998
Sarah Crowden ...  First Guest 4 episodes, 1998
Cate Fowler ...  Second Guest 4 episodes, 1998
John Dallimore John Dallimore ...  Third Guest 4 episodes, 1998
Keeley Hawes ...  Lizzie Hexam 4 episodes, 1998
Peter Howell ...  Fourth Guest 4 episodes, 1998
Michael Culkin ...  Mr. Veneering 4 episodes, 1998
Anthony Calf ...  Alfred Lammle 4 episodes, 1998
Doon Mackichan ...  Sophronia Lammle 4 episodes, 1998
Ray Gardner Ray Gardner ...  Fifth Guest 4 episodes, 1998
Rose English Rose English ...  Mrs. Veneering 4 episodes, 1998
Margaret Tyzack ...  Lady Tippins 4 episodes, 1998
Kenneth Cranham ...  Silas Wegg 4 episodes, 1998
Timothy Spall ...  Mr. Venus 4 episodes, 1998
Paul Bailey Paul Bailey ...  Charley Hexam 3 episodes, 1998
David Morrissey ...  Bradley Headstone 3 episodes, 1998
Robert Lang ...  Mr. Tremlow 3 episodes, 1998
Katy Murphy Katy Murphy ...  Jenny Wren 3 episodes, 1998
Rachel Power Rachel Power ...  Pleasant Riderhood 3 episodes, 1998
Roger Frost ...  Police Inspector 3 episodes, 1998
Martin Hancock ...  Sloppy 3 episodes, 1998
Cyril Shaps ...  Mr. Riah 3 episodes, 1998
Peter Wight ...  Mr. Wilfer 3 episodes, 1998
David Schofield ...  Gaffer Hexam 2 episodes, 1998
Linda Bassett ...  Abby Potterson 2 episodes, 1998
Richard Hanson Richard Hanson ...  George Radfoot 2 episodes, 1998
Eddie Webber ...  First Pub Regular 2 episodes, 1998
Alan Talbot Alan Talbot ...  Second Pub Regular 2 episodes, 1998
Willie Ross Willie Ross ...  Mr. Dolls 2 episodes, 1998
Edna Doré Edna Doré ...  Betty Higden 2 episodes, 1998
Bertie Shelley Bertie Shelley ...  Little Johnny 2 episodes, 1998
Richard Stirling Richard Stirling ...  Reverend 2 episodes, 1998
Heather Tobias Heather Tobias ...  Mrs. Wilfer 2 episodes, 1998
Catriona Yuill Catriona Yuill ...  Lavinia Wilfer 2 episodes, 1998
Vanessa Hadaway Vanessa Hadaway ...  Lammle's Maid / ... 2 episodes, 1998


The tongues of London high society gossips begin to wag when John Harmon --a young man whose inheritance depended on his marrying a woman he had never met-- is found dead in the River Thames. The fortune passes into the hands of the working-class Boffins, who take into their new home both Bella Wilfer (Harmon's would-be bride), and a mysterious secretary known as Rokesmith. Meanwhile, Lizzie Hexam, the daughter of the boatman suspected of Harmon's murder, is pursued by two suitors: obsessive and self-righteous Bradley Headstone and roguish and lethargic Eugene Wrayburn. An expansive and varied cast of characters create an epic intertwining tale. Written by L. Hamre

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Love in a city where class governs all




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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

3 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Our Mutual Friend See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


When Lizzie is adjusting Eugene's position on the boat, a hand can clearly be seen momentarily keeping the boat steady. It then lets go of the boat and can be seen in the water. See more »


Bradley Headstone: Sir, my name is Bradley Headstone.
Eugene Wrayburn: Your name does not concern me.
See more »


Featured in Dickens (2002) See more »


Begone Dull Care
Performed by Kenneth Cranham
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User Reviews

My favourite on-screen literary adaptation
11 September 2010 | by flaming_noraSee all my reviews

Our Mutual Friend is my favourite on-screen adaptation to date, and there are obviously some weighty contenders.

I appreciate that some people think there are too many characters, but most Dickens books are full of many and varied, wonderful characters and I think that Sandy Welch mastered the quantity in adaptation, without cutting out important characters and then sewing the plot closed around them (I still mourn the loss of Orlick from Lean's 'Great Expectations').

The casting and acting in Our Mutual Friend is superb and I feel slightly guilty to pick out certain actors above the rest so I will choose only one to shower with praise, David Morrissey, who performed with such convincing emotional rawness that I hoped for some kind of redemption for Bradley Headstone.

The opening scene gave me goosebumps when it first came on the BBC in 1998 and it sometimes has had that effect since, despite repeat viewings. The atmosphere captures the murk and mystery of the Thames and illustrates the ghoulish occupation of the boatmen.

This murk is matched with some scenes of great beauty, lavish outdoor scenes which celebrate the English countryside, great houses, colourful costumes and the chocolate box cottage. This serves to contrast against the stench of the dust heaps and the grime of Mr Venus's home.

Dear BBC, can you have Sandy or Andrew adapt Dombey and Son sometime soon?!

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