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Little Dorrit [DVD] 
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Andrew Davies's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale of hardship and struggle in 1820s London. The Dorrit family has spent years in a debtors' prison due to the financial mess in which father William (Tom Courtenay) managed to land himself as a youth. Youngest daughter Amy (Claire Foy), known as Little Dorrit, finds work with the wealthy Mrs Clenham (Judy Parfitt) but knows that her father will, in all probability, spend the remainder of his life in gaol. However, when Arthur Clenham (Matthew Macfadyen), recently returned from abroad, comes to suspect that his late father was in part responsible for the Dorrits' plight, he becomes determined to make amends. But as he continues to delve into the mysteries of the Dorrits' and his parents' shared past, he is unaware that his own mother's house has been placed in peril by the arrival of a sinister stranger.
It’s fair to say that the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit managed to attract quite a cast. Led by the excellent Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, you’ll happily talent spot as the likes of Eddie Marsan, Andy Serkis, Alun Armstrong and Tom Courtney take their places in the production. And what’s more, making more fleeting appearances are the likes of Sue Johnston, Amanda Redman, Pam Ferris and Freema Agyeman. Star-studded doesn’t begin to describe it.
Perhaps the real star of Little Dorrit though is writer Andrew Davies, who once more manages to skilfully wrangle a classic text into a cracking TV adaptation. Across fourteen episodes, he weaves Dickens’ tale of 1820s London into life, and it’s not the easiest text to adapt. Davies, however, does sterling work here, and cements his position as one of the best in the business.
He’s matched toe-to-toe by the production team, though. Little Dorrit is the latest to further enhance the BBC’s pedigree where costume drama is concerned, and the production is simply sumptuous. Perhaps, on the downside, the casting gets a little star-focused, and it does require a little more effort than you’d normally expect on the part of the viewer to get into. But it’s richly rewarded effort, and we can’t be the only ones eagerly wondering what Andrew Davies will tackle next. For Little Dorrit really is something quite special. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
The original novel was broken into two parts with Arthur Clennam being the primary focus in the first part and Amy Dorrit in the second part. This adaptation chose to focus on both characters right away instead of following the original novel time line. There are many great individual performances in this 7 1/2 hours saga. The two central characters remain unchanged despite financial, family, and social status pressures. This adaptation blends humor, sorrow, joy, and a mystery embedded in a love story that transcends time and place. It is a rare TV event to see such a wide ranging emotional and visually impressive presentation. Many of the questions that people look for answers like who we will live our lives with, what obligations do parents and children have for each other, and how will we live our lives are brought out from this presentation. This is a timeless series with a timeless message that what really matters in life is not money, status, or power.Read more ›
So, what is Little Dorrit about? The story is about lies, deceit and secrets, a tangled web of all these has been formed and the question is can the honest and honourable Mr Clennam unravel these to find what is going on. After the death of the senior Mr Clennam his son is sent back to England with a pocket watch and a message for his mother. Only at this stage does the young Mr Clennam become aware that some shady dealings have gone on in the past, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it, especially as he has taken a liking to Amy 'Little' Dorrit and is concerned that his family may have bankrupted her father, placing him in the Marshalsea.
The acting is good, and so are the set pieces, costumes, etc. This is truly a sumptious adaptation that really brings the novel to life. For some purists they may not agree, as not every scene from the book and every word is repeated, but surely the success of an adaptation is the ability to evoke the essence of a story and make something that captivates an audience? To this end Andrew Davies has supplied a screenplay that does just that and once again he can rest on his laurels as the supremo of classic novel to screen adaptations.Read more ›
It's astonishing that Andrew Davies could have captured such a complex, multi-layered story with such daringly economical dialogue, but every character and scene is drawn in intricate, mesmerizing detail and the feel of the book is recreated with utmost faithfulness. Mr Pancks' leapfrog is one of our favourite television moments of all time! No-one could fail to enjoy this adaptation. We'll be watching the episodes back to back continuously for the rest of our lives!
The majority of the casting was great; the performances given by Eve Myles and Annette Crosbie were incredible.
My only criticism is that I found the ending rather confusing, probably because I have not read the book. I am therefore buying the book to work out exactly what happened at the end - please do not take this as a criticism of the adaptation as it really was worth while, I am just not clear what the big secret was.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good adaptation! Really enjoyed it! Very detailed depiction of this Dickens novel, the acting was superb!Published 26 days ago by Holly
Lots of brilliant acting, in spite of the rather dodgy script and the absolutely ludicrous sets for the Marshalsea. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Libby Hall
i have no complaints whatsoever with products or the service i received very pleasedPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Arrived promptly and not overly packaged. This BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit (2008) is charming and a great period drama. One of the best I have seen in a while! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rani
I didn't know the story but very well told with good acting. A very enjoyable watch.Published 5 months ago by Pedro
However did I miss this when it was first screened. I've watched the box set twice now, and it is a delight. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael Hender