There's something about BBC classic serials from what I usually refer to as the 'vintage period' ... You know, that period of about 10 - 12 years from the early 1970s onwards.
It's funny how the chemistry works in certain organisations - it's sometimes blessed with exactly the right blend of talent and people to produce enduring work of stupendously high quality, again and again.
With this production of 'Nicholas Nickleby', the BBC did it again. It was one of the Sunday afternoon teatime joys (of which far too many still remain on a shelf somewhere - that's if the videotapes haven't been 'reused' in a lunatic economy drive) that lots of us remember with affection, and often return to as an antidote to many newer efforts.
It's always interesting to view such a product several years after its first airing. One is older, wiser (one hopes), and more discerning.
Viewing this, my reaction was 'No, they don't make them like this any more, but I wish they did'.
The joy of a series like this is - as usual - that it allows the plot and the characters to develop in something like the way the original author might have intended.
Dickens would also have rejoiced at the casting of Nigel Havers - and actually, he would have rejoiced at the casting of the whole thing. It really is a lovely piece of ensemble playing, and it looks good into the bargain.
It has a deliciously theatrical quality to it, which is appropriate when you consider the story, and the cast is obviously enjoying every literate moment.
If you are undecided about whether or not to spend the very modest sum on this DVD, go ahead and take the plunge. Like almost all its contemporaries from the Golden Age of telly, you won't regret it.