Dickens’ elegant satire about a disputed inheritance and the self-serving workings of the legal system gripped the public imagination in this classic 1959 TV series adapted by the prolific Constance Cox, best known for surprising viewers with her explosive Oliver Twist.
Andrew Cruickshank stars as John Jarndyce and Diana Fairfax as his ward Esther Summerson in this delightfully complex comic drama. A mystery story in which Esther uncovers the truth about her birth and her lost mother Lady Dedlock (Iris Russell); a murder story featuring one of the first detectives in English fiction, Inspector Bucket (Richard Pearson); at it’s heart is a redemption tale about a desolate home transformed by compassionate love.
Colin Jeavons and Elizabeth Shepherd are Esther’s fellow wards and bequest rivals Richard Carstone and Ada Clare, and some of Dickens’ most colourful minor characters also sweep into view, including devious family lawyer Tulkinghorn (John Phillips), hen-pecked legal stationer Snagsby (Lesley French), bird-loving old maid Miss Flite (Nora Nicholson), smitten clerk William Guppy (Timothy Bateson), moneygrubbing litigator Vholes (Gerald Cross), ill-tempered moneylender Smallweed (Terence Soall) and sozzled rag-and-bottle man Krook (Wilfred Brambell).
“The one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself.”