Intertwining tales of love, greed, and secret identities in Charles Dickens's 1860s London.
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Series cast summary:
...  Eugene Wrayburn 4 episodes, 1998
...  Mortimer Lightwood 4 episodes, 1998
...  Rogue Riderhood 4 episodes, 1998
...  Bella Wilfer / ... 4 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Boffin 4 episodes, 1998
...  Mrs. Boffin 4 episodes, 1998
...  John Harmon / ... 4 episodes, 1998
...  First Guest 4 episodes, 1998
...  Second Guest 4 episodes, 1998
John Dallimore ...  Third Guest 4 episodes, 1998
...  Lizzie Hexam 4 episodes, 1998
...  Fourth Guest 4 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Veneering 4 episodes, 1998
...  Alfred Lammle 4 episodes, 1998
...  Sophronia Lammle 4 episodes, 1998
Ray Gardner ...  Fifth Guest 4 episodes, 1998
Rose English ...  Mrs. Veneering 4 episodes, 1998
...  Lady Tippins 4 episodes, 1998
...  Silas Wegg 4 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Venus 4 episodes, 1998
Paul Bailey ...  Charley Hexam 3 episodes, 1998
...  Bradley Headstone 3 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Tremlow 3 episodes, 1998
Katy Murphy ...  Jenny Wren 3 episodes, 1998
Rachel Power ...  Pleasant Riderhood 3 episodes, 1998
Roger Frost ...  Police Inspector 3 episodes, 1998
...  Sloppy 3 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Riah 3 episodes, 1998
...  Mr. Wilfer 3 episodes, 1998
...  Gaffer Hexam 2 episodes, 1998
...  Abby Potterson 2 episodes, 1998
Richard Hanson ...  George Radfoot 2 episodes, 1998
...  First Pub Regular 2 episodes, 1998
Alan Talbot ...  Second Pub Regular 2 episodes, 1998
Willie Ross ...  Mr. Dolls 2 episodes, 1998
Edna Doré ...  Betty Higden 2 episodes, 1998
Bertie Shelley ...  Little Johnny 2 episodes, 1998
Richard Stirling ...  Reverend 2 episodes, 1998
Heather Tobias ...  Mrs. Wilfer 2 episodes, 1998
Catriona Yuill ...  Lavinia Wilfer 2 episodes, 1998
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)  »

Also Known As:

Közös barátunk  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 episodes)

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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 »


Mr. Venus: Mr. Wegg, if you was brought here loose in a bag to be articulated, I could name your smallest bones blindfold, and sort them all in a manner that would surprise, and charm you.
Silas Wegg: Now that ain't a state to be brought low about.
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Version of Eugene Wrayburn (1911) See more »


Begone Dull Care
Performed by Kenneth Cranham
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User Reviews

Much more satisfying than any film version...
10 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

I've been recently seeing so many good adaptations of classical novels into mini-series, that I am becoming convinced they should never be made into feature length at all. I saw this on video all at once, which was almost six hours long. But, I could not stop watching. The character and plot developed so well, it was like reading a novel in one go. I don't often have the endurance to read a novel in one go. I must be honest I have not read 'Our Mutual Friend'. Often, when I see an adaptation of a novel, I want to read the novel. But this adaptation was so satisfying that I didn't really feel that need.

The performances were slightly varied in style, which seemed to suggest that it was the actors who had the control, not the director. David Morrissey's Bradley Headstone was very realistic, portraying him as a kind of ready to burst, angry and passionate man, as his face often changed color with anger, despair, passion and fear. So Keeley Hawes as Lizzie Hexam, being intimidated by and scared of Headstone was believable. I'd seen Keeley Hawes in the 'Begger Bride' before this, and I was fairly impressed by her portrayal of a completely virtuous character. She easily portrayed the mild, beautiful, and so very modest girl.

This adaptation also had the biggest TV role for Anna Friel at the time. And she was surprisingly good, and I always will expect her to play the feisty role, which is not a bad thing.

So, nice one.

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