Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, The (ITV 2001, James D’Arcy)

Period drama The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby was based on one of Charles Dicken’s most loved novels, heavily based on the author’s own life. James D’Arcy stars as the titular Nicholas, who along with his sister Kate (Sophia Myles) is forced to go and live with their evil uncle Ralph Nickleby (played by the always watchable Charles Dance who seems to be making a career out of villains these days) following the death of their father.

Nicholas soon sees a way out by training to become a school teacher under the tutelage of Mr Squeers only to find the school little more than a workhouse where the pupils are bullied mercilessly, he takes under his wing the boy Smike (Lee Ingleby) and is later forced to flee to London meanwhile his sister Kate attempts to become a dressmaker but finds the devious Uncle Ralph has a sinister plan for her.

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Very well realised and with a script by Martyn Edward Hesford that sticks closely to the source material Nicholas Nickleby is a treat, from it’s fine period outlook to the quality cast that also includes the brilliant Gregor Fisher, Pam Ferris, Diana Kent, Tom Hollander and Liz Smith.

production details
UK / ITV – Company Pictures / 2×96 minute episodes / Broadcast 8-15 April 2001

Writer: Martyn Edward Hesford / Novel: Charles Dickens / Script Editor: Eleanor Moran / Music: Colin Towns / Executive Producers: Charles Pattinson, Suzan Harrison, George Faber / Producer: Nicolas Brown / Director: Stephen Whittaker

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Diana Kent as Mrs Nickleby
Richard Katz as Mr Lenville
James D’Arcy as Nicholas Nickleby
Sophia Myles as Kate Nickleby
George Innes as Newman Noggs
Charles Dance as Ralph Nickleby
Gregor Fisher as Mr Squeers
Chris Roebuck as Wackford Squeers Jr
Debbie Chazen as Fanny Squeers
Lee Ingleby as Smike
Abigail McKern as Miss La Creevy
Tom Ellis as John Browdie
Donald Sumpter as Mr Brooker
Malcolm Tierney as Mr Crummles
Jacqueline Tong as Mrs Crummles
Hannah Storey as Tilda Price
Ruth Chapman as The Infant Phenomenon
John Dallimore as Vicar
Roderic Culver as Lord Verisopht
Dominic West as Sir Mulberry Hawk
Frank Mills as Arthur Gride
Liz Smith as Peg Sliderskew
Katherine Holme as Madeleine Bray
Philip Bond as Mr. Walter Bray
Tom Hiddleston as Lord

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.