An orphan named Oliver Twist (Sam Smith) 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 ...  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 ...  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 (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 G.M. Baxter

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Did You Know?


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 »


Brownlow: 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?
Dr. Losberne: Not really, no. In fact not at all sir.
Brownlow: Well how unfortunate for you ...
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 Oliver Twist (1922) See more »


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

User Reviews

Marc Warren is hilarious
16 March 2000 | by boycemSee all my reviews

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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Release Date:

8 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Оливър Туист See more »

Company Credits

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