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
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 »
[Edward and Elizabeth are on horseback]
Whoa, boy, whoa.
It's a girl!
[tries to look under the horse]
See more »
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 »
The Oliver re-make cycle can stop now that we have this amazing version. I saw it when it first played on Itv back in 1999. After seeing the downfall that was Oliver Twist (2005) I made it my business to find this version so i was able to see an amazing, moving and thrilling story.This four part series is directed beautifully and magically enough it includes something that the Roman Polanski version forgot Emotion! The story of Oliver Twist runs on emotion and great characters! Through-out this version the audience are invited to follow and believe the story about the poor boy that asked for more. With great direction and performances (Julie Walters, Robert Lindsay, David Ross, Andy Serkis and Sam Smith as Oliver) along side stunning lighting and costume this mini series will provide high entertainment. If you were unimpressed by the Polanski version I highly recommend this one!
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