UK / BBC One – WGBH Co-Production in association with Deep Indigo / 1×60 minute episode 14×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 October – 16 December 2005
Novel: Charles Dickens / Adaptation: Andrew Davies / Executive Producers: Laura Mackie, Sally Haynes, Rebecca Eaton
Producer: Nigel Stafford-Clark / Director: Justin Chadwick
Adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel set in Victorian times. The story centres on two grown-up orphans who are the subject of a contested will and are staying with their ward’s guardian at his home – Bleak House – whilst the matter is settled.
Other characters come into play including greedy lawyers and society beauties with long hidden secrets and the story is told in a soap-opera like form in twice-weekly half-hour instalments.
When repackaged for overseas broadcasters (for example the ABC in Australia) the show was reformatted to 8×50 minute episodes.
Stephen Pile of the Daily Telegraph commented that “This gorgeous and exhilarating new series was like watching Dickens filmed by the director of Spooks, with the latest nervy, pacy, zooming camerawork fashionably on show – this was an impressive and beautiful translation of a Victorian soap opera into contemporary television terms”.
The serial won the following BAFTA awards: Best Actress – Anna Maxwell Martin • Best Drama Serial • Best Costume Design • Best Set Design • Best Editing
GILLIAN ANDERSON as Lady Dedlock
CHARLES DANCE as Mr Tulkington
DENIS LAWSON as John Jarndyce
ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN as Esther Summerson
PATRICK KENNEDY as Richard
CAREY MULLIGAN as Ada