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 (Sam Smith), 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 (Robert Lindsay), a fence and thief-trainer, and his gang of pickpockets. He is befriended by Nancy (Emily Woof), a good-hearted prostitute, and meets her lover, the brutal housebreaker Bill Sikes (Andy Serkis). But attempts by the gang to discredit him result in his being taken in by Mr. Brownlow (Michael Kitchen), a wealthy and charitable man, who proves to be the catalyst for Oliver's discovery of his background and identity. Here Alan Bleasdale's dramatization differs from Dickens' novel, in that Oliver does not fall into Brownlow's hands by coincidence, and we already know his backstory: he's the child of a young woman ...Written by
The flowery wording in the episode titles was based on the language which Charles Dickens used for the chapter titles in his original novel "Oliver Twist". See more »
You state my case very well Dr. Losberne. So well in fact that I feel I could rest the case right now. But I won't, you see, I knew the man who Rose's sister was in love with. He was my best friend. He was charming. He was delightful company. He was witty. He was handsome. And he was feckless! And he was hopeless! And he was a fool! But above all, Losberne, he was irresponsible! Do you want me to give you chapter and verse?
Not really, no. In fact not at all sir.
Well how unfortunate for you ...
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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 »
I understood that Mr. Bleasdale was a Dickens' director when, in GBH (1991), I saw an news hound being gored with the point of a gamp while he was peering through the slot of a letter box.
Here In Australia, where, according to the Leeford succubus, our natives are too plucky, we have only seen the first episode, and I should just like to agree with Mr. Underwood and the mysterious Dennis-77 that Mark Warren's performance as the scorbutic Edwin Leeford is exceptionally fine.
Apart from James Whale's Borris Karlof make up, it is a flawless piece of comic acting.
Thank you England for sending us Uriah Heap, Mr. Micawber, Abel Magwitch and Mark Warren.
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