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 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 »


Nancy: We could go to France, Bill!
Bill Sikes: What would I wanna go to France for? I don't like the French.
See more »


Version of Boy Called Twist (2004) 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

An incredible version of a Dickens classic.
10 May 2006 | by Eric EndresSee all my reviews

Some have taken Alan Beasdale to task for rewriting some aspects of the original Dickens story, but I think it was all for the best. It may not match the original story, but taken completely on its own it is nonetheless very compelling and captures the essence of the original well enough while adding some nice new elements.

This is a top notch production in every respect... writing, direction, acting, music, sets, costumes, etc. Robert Lindsay as Fagin is astounding among an absolutely terrific cast, with Sam Smith playing just the right light note as Oliver and Marc Warren a dutifully creepy Monks.

I've seen the whole thing twice now and enjoyed it even more the second time, with the six hours of it seeming to fly by. 10 out of 10

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