Tom Brown’s Schooldays is the classical television adaptation of the timeless Thomas Hughes’s novel. Starring Stephen Fry as the progressive and inspirational headmaster Dr Arnold, the drama tells the story of one boy’s extraordinary account of life at Rugby School in the nineteenth century.
Set against the authentic backdrop of the exclusive public school, the cast includes schoolboy Alex Pettyfer as Tom Brown, as he begins his fight for survival amongst the school’s unruly and out-of-control pupils. The moving story follows the lasting friendships Tom makes with the ever-faithful East, the cheeky Tadpole, the dutiful head of house Frobisher, prefect Huband, and his bond with tragic underdog Arthur. Despite these powerful unions, the youngsters live under the constant threat of some of the older boys including literature’s most notorious and sadistic child creation, Flashman (Joseph Beattie). Georgia Moffett as the porter’s innocent young daughter Sally falls prey to Flashman’s empty promises.
When Dr Arnold takes over as the new headmaster of Rugby, he inherits a school where, at night, mob-rule prevails and unkempt youngsters are left to co-exist behind locked doors, without adult supervision, guidance or rules. Despite the fierce objections of his staff and resistance from older pupils, Arnold embarks on a programme of radical reforms. Supported by his loyal wife Mary (Jemma Redgrave), he gradually enforces values of trust, loyalty and respect amongst the boys.
Tom Brown’s Schooldays tells the story of the powerful journey of schoolboy Tom, his unwavering sense of loyalty and camaraderie with his peers, and one man’s vision which was to change British boarding schools forever.
UK / ITV-1 – Company / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 1 January 2005
Writer: Ashley Pharoah / Script Editor: Jack Williams / Book: Thomas Hughes / Music: John Keane / Executive Producers: Charles Pattinson, George Faber, Steve Christian and Ashley Pharoah / Producer: Suzan Harrison / Director: David Moore
Stephen Fry as Doctor Thomas Arnold
Julian Wadham as Squire Brown
Alex Pettyfer as Tom Brown
Jemma Redgrave as Mary Arnold
Harry Michell as East
Joseph Beattie as Flashman
Gary Powell as Groom
Amanda Boxer as Matron
Georgia Moffett as Sally
Gerard Horan as Bill
Max Benitz as Huband
Ben Tillett as Speedicot
Tom Allen as Fothergill
John Carlisle as Mr Lampard
Stephen Boxer as Mr Smith
Clive Standen as Brooke
Dane Carter as Tadpole
Harry Williams as Frobisher
Hugh Mitchell as Green
Bill Moody as Farmer
Zac Fox as Weston
Harry Smith as George Arthur
Lucy Scott as Mrs Arthur
Lucinda Dryzek as Charlotte
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