TV Mini Series
Oliver is born into poverty and misfortune - the son of an unmarried mother, who dies shortly after his birth; he is soon delivered to the workhouse. There, the cruel Mr Bumble oversees children tormented by starvation and suffering. When Oliver dares ask for more gruel, he finds himself cast out and forced to make his own way in the world. Running away to London, Oliver meets the Artful Dodger and his gang, as well as the beautiful Nancy and gets the first warm welcome of his life - but he is soon to discover that this kindness requires its own type of payment. As Oliver is drawn deeper into the dark and murky underworld, he remains unaware that the kind Mr Brownlow is searching for him, while others - the brutal criminal Bill Sikes, the manipulative Fagin and the mysterious Mr Monks - are vying to ruin and destroy his life...
- Timothy Spall
- William Miller
- Adam Arnold
- Tom Hardy
- Sophie Okenedo
- Julian Rhind-Tutt
- Edward Fox
9 member reviews/ratings for this TV ShowAverage Rating: (7.56 / 10)
Most recent review listed first
Well, this project was doomed from the start, because the BBC decided that, instead of telling Dickens' story, they would 'update' his novel, 'for the modern era', or some such guff. This hatchet job fell to soap writer Sarah Phelps. Unfortunately, she has replaced Dickens' characters with grotesque stereotypes, and everything about Victorian society itself has been absurdly exaggerated. The effect of this caricature, of course, is to congratulate the audience on its moral superiority to the Victorian era, as though we now live in some sort of utopian society, from which pinnacle of moral Enlightenment we can look down on the Victorians as a bunch of vicious, racist, sexist bigots. Oliver himself has been transformed in this production into an assertive, self-righteous and moralising campaigner against the injustices of Victorian society - a privileged 21st century boy dropped into the 19th century. The scene where he is brought before the parish Board is typical - the Board is presented in a completely grotesque fashion, and Oliver is presented as talking back to them and criticising their moral judgement from his loftier moral standpoint. When finally at the end of the last episode Oliver turns to the camera and smirks like a cat that has got all the cream, one just longs to drown the nauseating self-righteous little prig. Indeed, from the moment that Monks declares, at the end of the first episode, that he wants Oliver wiped off the face of the Earth, I was rooting for Monks! Dickens' character of the Dodger has been scrubbed in favour of a stroppy teenager; and Timothy Spall plays Fagin as slimy and creepy - certainly not Dickens' character. The script insists on making a point about anti-semitism in an incredibly heavy-handed way - in this version, Fagin is hanged because he refuses to renounce his Jewish faith to the courtroom - thus becoming a Jewish martyr! In 1985 the BBC produced a perfect miniseries of Oliver Twist, a stunning piece of television. What a pity that the Beeb is now so dominated by its PC, progressivist, pseudo-liberal ideology, that it is incapable any longer of producing a decent historical drama.My Movie Rating: 1 / 10
One of the best. Definitely top 3My Movie Rating: 10 / 10
"Oliver Twist for our own era." Hm.
Well, at least they didn't throw a lot of F bombs into it.
Some fine acting jobs and the boys are great.My Movie Rating: 5 / 10
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