Tales From Dickens was a series of adaptations of Charles Dickens stories usually shown over the Christmas period. These were all filmed in 1958-1959 at Elstree Studios for Harry Alan Towers who sold them to ABC TV in the UK but it took several years for the 13 episodes that made up the series to actually air. The majority of the stories came from The Pickwick Papers and David Copperfield.
In Dave Mann’s book about Harry Alan Towers called The Transnational Career of a Cinematic Contrarian the author briefly mentions Tales From Dickens. Towers had hoped to interest an American network into producing a 39 episode decent budget series with Fredric March introducing each episode in a set made up to look like Dicken’s own study. In the even only 13 episodes were produced and the budget substantially reduced. March also only introduced seven of the episodes, these intros were all recorded in 1958-59.
The episode Young David which was broadcast as part of the Armchair Summer Theatre strand was actually an edit of two episodes both focusing on David Copperfield.
Two left over episodes from the original run turned up on Christmas Day 1966, these were Miss Haversham and The Old Soldier shown together in a double bill.
It’s quite difficult to get accurate details of the series, some of the episodes in the below list were listed as repeats in listings despite there being no evidence that were screened before. Part of the problem is that Harry Alan Towers was an independent producer who had scored great success in the mid-fifties was now running a seat of his pants operation. The idea for the series came from a 1955 production that Towers produced for Desilu/CBS with Basil Rathbone as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
UK / ITV – ABC – Towers of London / 13×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 December 1959 – 25 December 1966
Stories: Charles Dickens / Producer: Harry Alan Towers
Dates are based on transmission in the ABC Midlands area. Not all ITV regions broadcast the episodes.
THE RUNAWAYS (27 Dec 1959)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (27 Dec 1959)
URIAH HEEP (24 Dec 1960)
CHRISTMAS AT DINGLEY DELL (25 Dec 1960)
MR PICKWICK’S DILEMMA (24 Dec 1961)
SAM WELLER AND HIS FATHER (3 Jun 1962)
DAVID AND HIS MOTHER (10 Jun 1962)
DAVID AND BETSY TROTWOOD (17 Jun 1962)
DAVID AND MR MICAWBER (24 Jun 1962)
DAVID AND DORA (1 Jul 1962)
DAVID AND DORA GET MARRIED (8 Jul 1962)
MISS HAVERSHAM (25 Dec 1966)
THE OLD SOLDIER (25 Dec 1966)
Miss Haversham and The Old Soldier were shown in a double bill.
There is no actual airdate for the episode Bardell Versus Pickwick which starred Donald Wolfit, Richard Briers and Jack Watling. It was filmed sometime in 1959 though.
Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)
Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm
Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)
In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986
Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)
Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017
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