Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Rae, Sophie Rundle, Alexandra Moen, Joseph Quinn, Tom Weston-Jones, Pauline Collins, Robert Wilfort, Omid Djalili, Peter Firth, Jennifer Hennessy, Caroline Quentin, Richard Ridings, Anton Lesser, Laurel Jordan, Adrian Rawlins, Mark Stanley, Christopher Fairbank, Ned Dennehy, John Heffernan, Ben Starr, Brenock O’Connor, Bethany Muir, Phoebe Dynevor, Ellie Haddington, Richard Cordery, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte, Sam Hoare, Antonia Bernath.
To understand the present, you have to know what happened before, you have to know the story of how a person got to the position in life they inhabit on the day you met them, after that their life makes sense, it has significance.
For one of the greatest writers of English Literature, for the abundance of words Charles Dickens wrote on the disposition and the personality of the people who inhabited the same world that he saw, that he observed with skill and the keenest of eyes since arguably William Shakespeare, the character of the times was enough to take care of how a person became the way they were. They were the representatives of the good and the downright terrible nature inflicted upon them by the Victorian era that sought to justify itself as the model society to newly emerging world.
Charles Dickens’ work has been captured beautifully throughout the ages since they first appeared and yet it has taken the mind of Tony Jordan to produce something that enhances the novels beyond their space and time and bring the supposed and ideal back stories to the forefront of the television viewer’s mind and in Dickensian that idea bore so much fruit that it will surely be seen as one of the television highlights of the year.
By bringing the relevant cast of characters, the unhappy and broken Ms. Havisham, Inspector Bucket, Bob Cratchit, Fagin, the beautiful but doomed Nancy and Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickensian made sure that the viewer was enthralled straight from the start with the very thing that British viewers arguably like most, a good old fashioned murder in which to try and solve.
By using and drawing upon the richness and despondency of the times envisaged by Charles Dickens, actors such as Tuppence Middleton, Tom Weston-Jones, the excellent Stephen Rae and Anton Lesser were able to covey such wonderful representations of the characters that made Charles Dickens a master of the English language that he will always be remembered for.
A beautifully paced story that was engrossing, enchanting and true to the nature of all the great novels penned by the observer of 19th Century Britain. To understand the present, one must first understand the past, it is a veritable playground in which Charles Dickens created and which Tony Jordan enhanced for the modern age. A blessing!
Ian D. Hall 2016