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Oliver Twist 

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

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Series cast summary:
Annette Crosbie ...  Mrs Bedwin 4 episodes, 1999
Marc Warren ...  Monks 4 episodes, 1999
Michael Kitchen ...  Mr Brownlow 4 episodes, 1999
Lindsay Duncan ...  Elizabeth Leeford 4 episodes, 1999
Julie Walters ...  Mrs. Mann 4 episodes, 1999
David Ross David Ross ...  Mr Bumble 4 episodes, 1999
Sam Smith Sam Smith ...  Oliver Twist 3 episodes, 1999
John Grillo ...  Mr Grimwig 3 episodes, 1999
Charlotte Le Moignan Charlotte Le Moignan ...  Young Rose Fleming 3 episodes, 1999
Emily Woof ...  Nancy 3 episodes, 1999
Robert Lindsay ...  Fagin 3 episodes, 1999
Andy Serkis ...  Bill Sikes 3 episodes, 1999
Alex Crowley Alex Crowley ...  Artful Dodger 3 episodes, 1999
Keira Knightley ...  Rose Fleming 3 episodes, 1999
Isla Fisher ...  Bet 3 episodes, 1999
Roland Manookian ...  Charley Bates 3 episodes, 1999
Liz Smith ...  Sally 2 episodes, 1999
Sarah Flind ...  Homely Maid 2 episodes, 1999
Alun Armstrong ...  Mr. Fleming 2 episodes, 1999
Sam Kelly ...  Giles 2 episodes, 1999
Morgan Jones Morgan Jones ...  Brittles 2 episodes, 1999
Sophia Myles ...  Agnes Fleming 2 episodes, 1999
David Bark-Jones David Bark-Jones ...  Dr. Losberne 2 episodes, 1999
Laura Grace Cockroft Laura Grace Cockroft ...  Chertsey Maid 2 episodes, 1999
Tim Dutton ...  Edwin Leeford 2 episodes, 1999
Rosalind March Rosalind March ...  Mrs. Corney 2 episodes, 1999
Iain Robertson ...  Woodcroft 2 episodes, 1999
Roger Lloyd Pack ...  Mr. Sowerberry 2 episodes, 1999
Calum MacPherson Calum MacPherson ...  Blacksmith Bignall 2 episodes, 1999
Alan Pentony Alan Pentony ...  Pedlar 2 episodes, 1999
Hilary Sesta Hilary Sesta ...  Martha, Female Pauper 2 episodes, 1999


Based on Charles Dickens' novel, this adaptation traces the childhood of an orphan whose mother dies giving birth to him in an English work-house in the 1820s. Little Oliver Twist, already abused, starved and overworked, is apprenticed to an undertaker and runs away to London after being bullied by an older apprentice. There, he is taken in by Fagin, a fence and thief-trainer, and his gang of pickpockets. He is befriended by Nancy, a good-hearted prostitute, and meets her lover, the brutal housebreaker Bill Sikes. But attempts by the gang to discredit him result in his being taken in by Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy and charitable man, who proves the catalyst for Oliver's discovery of his background and identity. Here Alan Bleasdale's dramatisation differs from Dickens' novel, in that Oliver does not fall into Brownlow's hands by coincidence, and we already know his back story: he's the child of a young woman named Agnes Fleming and her married lover, Edwin Leeford, who dies while on a trip... Written by G.M. Baxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

8 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Оливър Туист See more »

Filming Locations:

Alston, Cumbria, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The very flowery wording in the episode titles is based on the language which Charles Dickens used for the chapter titles in his original novel "Oliver Twist". See more »


Rose: You have to get that locket back.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version which ran on ITV in England and CBC in Canada in late 1999 consisted of four two-hour episodes with commercials; the video for sale in the UK runs 386 minutes. When PBS ran the series on Masterpiece Theater in October 2000, it consisted of three two-hour episodes without commercials; the video available in North America runs 360 minutes. See more »


Version of The DuPont Show of the Month: Oliver Twist (1959) See more »


Fantasia for Piano 4 Hands in F Minor
Music by Franz Schubert
Played onscreen by Michael Kitchen
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a truly inspired version of the classic Dickens story.
15 March 2000 | by martinu-2See all my reviews

This is a truly inspired version of the classic Dickens story.

Alan Bleasdale has devised an explanation of the events which lead up to Oliver's mother arriving at the workhouse, and fleshes out minor characters such as Monks and Mrs Leeford.

Some characters stand out:

  • Fagin is mesmerising when played as part-villain and part-magician: the final scenes in the condemned cell are powerful as well as surprisingly moving, even if some of Robert Lindsay's nervous tics are rather too reminiscent of his portrayal of Michael Murray in GBH!

  • Michael Kitchen makes a perfect Mr Brownlow: his rather pompous Oxford-English accent is exactly as I imagined Mr Brownlow having read the novel.

  • Andy Serkis is superbly cast as Bill Sikes - I cannot imagine a more terrifying and brutal portrayal.

  • Marc Warren's portrayal of Monks makes this rather shadowy character come alive in a way that Dickens' description never could, even if the double-act between the domineering Mrs Leeford and the inept and epileptic Monks is comical and farcical at times.

A few minor details have been altered: the "crib at Chertsey", owned by Mrs Maylie and her daughter Rose, becomes Mr Brownlow's country residence, and Rose Maylie becomes Rose Fleming, Oliver Twist's aunt. However (in my opinion) these changes serve to bring together several unrelated threads of the novel and actually improve the story.

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