Alan Bleasdale’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel.
- 4 episodes.
- Sam Smith
- Robert Lindsay
- David Ross
- Julie Walters
- Roger Lloyd-Pack
5 member reviews/ratings for this TV ShowAverage Rating: (8.00 / 10)
Most recent review listed first
Dickens' original story required an incredible amount of coincidence (for example, the man the Dodger selects to pickpocket out of the entire population of London, on his first outing with Oliver - Mr Brownlow - turns out to be related to Oliver), and what Bleasdale has sought to do in his script is to eliminate every one of these massively improbable coincidences. However, to do so, he has had to monkey around with Dickens' story quite a lot, and has made the plot rather complicated. This complication is increased by a lengthy back story which occupies the whole first episode of this four-part miniseries. And what the resulting drama shows is that all this effort simply isn't worth it. It eliminates coincidence, but at the cost of making much of the earlier part of the story rather dull. Essentially, Bleasdale took it into his head that he could 'improve' Dickens' original story, but the result was a somewhat tortuous and over-lengthy rewrite. The casting is not quite right either. I'm sorry, but Robert Lindsay just isn't Fagin, and never could be. In Bleasdale's version, Fagin is a conjuror who does tricks, but this gets rather wearisome after a while. As for the Dodger, they really did find the most unprepossessing boy imaginable to play him! And Bleasdale has transformed his character to make him quite unpleasant (this comes out more strongly in the final episode). On the other hand, Sam Smith makes a lively and appealing Oliver. And some of Bleasdale's decisions are certainly very interesting - for example, his decision to give Monks a more rounded character and to present him in a much more sympathetic light. I rather liked him, and was glad that Bleasdale gave him a happy ending. I also quite liked the idea that Brownlow is in the habit of taking in boys off the street. And the narrative definitely picks up considerably in the second half of the series, as Bleasdale settles in to Dickens' story. Worth viewing, but probably not more than once.My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
As a Drama, one of the best tellings of the Oliver Twist story! At least as far as I'm concerned!!My Movie Rating: 10 / 10
I saw this one five years ago! Better late than never, I guess.My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
Page Last Modified: 16th September 2013
Page Added: 11th July 2001
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