Toby Jones leads The Chimes – Dickens’ lesser-known follow up to A Christmas Carol.
We’re all doubtless familiar with A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ festive morality tale from 1843 of the hard-hearted Scrooge who’s encouraged to change his miserly ways after a series of spectral visitations.
The author followed up with a second tale – The Chimes. Although apparently though equally popular in its day, the story has since become lost in the mists of time.
Now, Big Finish are releasing a feature-length full-cast audio drama adaptation starring Toby Jones (Detectorists). The story tackles themes which still resonate today. Plus, it has ghosts, goblins and time-travel to boot!
Toby Veck is a man who worries that he has become a burden on society and that his family would be better off without him. He’s troubled by a newspaper report about a young mother who recently killed herself by jumping off London Bridge. He’s been told that the poor don’t deserve sympathy, and that some people are just born bad. And he’s starting to believe it…
But on New Year’s Eve, the Chimes set out to prove him wrong.
Toby Jones stars alongside a cast which includes David Horovitch (House of the Dragon), Lucy Speed (EastEnders), Laura Aikman (Casualty) and Victoria Alcock (Bad Girls).
Producer Jonathan Morris said:
“Every Christmas, there are dozens of new adaptations of A Christmas Carol – but nobody ever does the story that Dickens wrote the following year as a thematic sequel. While A Christmas Carol is about a rich man learning to love, The Chimes is about a poor man, driven to despair, learning that his life has meaning and that he is needed and loved. In many ways, it pre-empts Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life.
“And, like It’s A Wonderful Life, The Chimes ultimately has a positive message, reminding us that everyone has value and that everyone deserves the chance of a better future. It’s Dickens writing about people being forced into poverty during a cost-of-living crisis. It may be Dickensian, but it’s a story that remains relevant today.”
The adapter and producer is Jonathan Morris, the director is Lisa Bowerman. Sound design and music are by Howard Carter, with cover art by Clayton Hickman. This full-cast audio adaptation of The Chimes was originally released in December 2022, by Average Romp Ltd.