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Canterbury Tales 

An adaptation of six of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in a modern setting.
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2003  
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Nikki Amuka-Bird ...  Constance Musa 1 episode, 2003
Rob Brown Rob Brown ...  Old Man 1 episode, 2003
Chiwetel Ejiofor ...  Paul 1 episode, 2003
James Nesbitt ...  Nick Zakian 1 episode, 2003
Indira Varma ...  Meena 1 episode, 2003
Julie Walters ...  Beth 1 episode, 2003
Paddy Fletcher Paddy Fletcher ...  Bowles 1 episode, 2003
Adam Kotz Adam Kotz ...  Adam Constable 1 episode, 2003
Bill Nighy ...  James 1 episode, 2003
Usha Patel Usha Patel ...  Misha 1 episode, 2003
Billy Seymour ...  Lad 1 1 episode, 2003
Samantha Whittaker Samantha Whittaker ...  Kitty Norman 1 episode, 2003
Rakie Ayola ...  Nicky Constable 1 episode, 2003
Rick Bacon Rick Bacon ...  Graham 1 episode, 2003
Joe Halliday Joe Halliday ...  Lad 2 1 episode, 2003
Indira Joshi ...  Vena 1 episode, 2003
Jonny Lee Miller ...  Arty 1 episode, 2003
Stephen Tallett Stephen Tallett ...  Security Guard 1 episode, 2003
Ben Bennett Ben Bennett ...  Baz 1 episode, 2003
Pascale Burgess Pascale Burgess ...  Jessica 1 episode, 2003
Leena Dhingra Leena Dhingra ...  Usha 1 episode, 2003
Keeley Hawes ...  Emily 1 episode, 2003
Andrew Lincoln ...  Alan King 1 episode, 2003
Tom Ludlow Tom Ludlow ...  Lad 3 1 episode, 2003
William Beck ...  Colin 1 episode, 2003
Kika Markham ...  Leila King 1 episode, 2003
Jane Nash Jane Nash ...  Annie 1 episode, 2003
Om Puri ...  Jetender 1 episode, 2003
John Simm ...  Ace 1 episode, 2003
Dennis Waterman ...  John Crosby 1 episode, 2003
Barber Ali ...  Gulati 1 episode, 2003
Leo Bill ...  Terry 1 episode, 2003
Samantha Bond ...  Jane Barlow 1 episode, 2003
Steve Chaplin Steve Chaplin ...  Biff 1 episode, 2003
Samuel Cocozza Samuel Cocozza ...  Young Man 1 episode, 2003
Melissa Lloyd Melissa Lloyd ...  Mandy Briggs 1 episode, 2003
Robert East ...  Mr. Norman 1 episode, 2003
Nitin Ganatra ...  Pushpinder 1 episode, 2003
Joseph Kpobie ...  Mick 1 episode, 2003
Paul Nicholls ...  Jerome 1 episode, 2003
Billie Piper ...  Alison Crosby 1 episode, 2003
Leo Wringer Leo Wringer ...  Minister 1 episode, 2003
Jill Baker ...  Mrs. Norman 1 episode, 2003
Lindelani Buthelezi Lindelani Buthelezi ...  Embassy Official 1 episode, 2003
Kenny Doughty ...  Danny Absolon 1 episode, 2003
Surendra Kochar Surendra Kochar ...  Romi 1 episode, 2003
Bill Paterson ...  Theo 1 episode, 2003
Emma Pike Emma Pike ...  Kirsty 1 episode, 2003
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Tonya Kerins Tonya Kerins ...  Mrs. Healey 1 episode, 2003
Bill Moody Bill Moody ...  Ernie 1 episode, 2003
Eddie Nestor Eddie Nestor ...  Dave Tyler 1 episode, 2003
Lalita Ahmed ...  Rani 1 episode, 2003
Michele Austin ...  Trish 1 episode, 2003
Karen Bryson ...  Oonagh 1 episode, 2003
Ian Burfield ...  Mr. Healey 1 episode, 2003
Eileen Essell ...  Mrs Jean Smallwood 1 episode, 2003
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Sonny Brown Sonny Brown ...  Really Young Arty 1 episode, 2003
Charu Bala Chokshi Charu Bala Chokshi ...  Archana 1 episode, 2003
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Storyline

An adaptation of six of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in a modern setting.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Canterbury Tales, retold for our times

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Canterbury mesék See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

Featured in Julie Walters: A Life on Screen (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chaucer for chimps
15 October 2004 | by cheesehovenSee all my reviews

This BBC adaptation of Chaucer's exquisitely bawdy Miller's tale is a truly dispiriting experience. I doubt that Chaucer's name would even be remembered let alone revered as the father of English literature if this shoddy updating is the only evidence that most people had to go on.

Chaucer's original is one of the great stories of the middle-ages; bawdy, irreverent, but ultimate life-affirming. The adaptation has converted this timeless work into contemporary banality. One cannot even call it hackwork, so badly is it done. One of the most important aspects of Chaucer's story was that the cuckolded husband has a bizarre notion that the world is nearing its end (and we don't know many people like that, DO WE, gentle reader?), and in anticipation of the coming flood, has gerry-built a boat in his attic which he has taken to sleeping in on the advise of Nicholas who is tupping his wife. Thus, when Nicholas' arse it burnt by Absolon, and he cries out 'water, water' the tale reaches a great comic climax with the husband waking up and, believing this to be a cry that the flood is coming, cutting the boat loose and falling down the stairs and bashing his head. This is a part of Chaucer's beautifully crafted story (ie one of the main points of it) that is absent from this version. I wonder why, since we hardly lack muttonheaded messianic figures and Nostradamian nincompoops in our own times any more than in Chaucer's. Perhaps the makers worried about offending a religious minority (the minority here being not christians, who are an easy aunt sally for them, but new-agers). Actually, I think that the literarily-lobotomised adapter removed it because it was not realistic (in a soap opera sense) and therefore not relevant to its target audience. It is a strange decision. The real lowpoint of this abysmal work, however, was the dialogue; some of the flattest I've heard. It was like Chaucer re-written for the batwatchviewer, every other line being a reference to some aspect of contemporary pop culture. The actors do what they can with this dreary stuff, but it has been drained of all the life that Chaucer, good man that he was, had taken the trouble to put in there.


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