A train robbery, a turkey hijack and the horrors of public school await.
The BBC have announced that its Dickensian family comedy Dodger is returning for three further specials. This follows a successful first run, which was the most-watched CBBC commissioned programme in the last 12 months.
The show, which follows the exploits of characters from the novel Oliver Twist, stars Billy Jenkins as the pickpocket Dodger, with Christopher Eccleston playing the charismatic Fagin. A broad family comedy, Dodger entertained kids of all ages at CultBox Towers with its mix of humour and heart.
Production has wrapped on the specials, including one set at Christmas. The first will pick up on the dramatic events which ended the series; Dodger was last seen being deported to Australia on a ship full of convicts. It promises to show his daring return to London – in time to aid the gang in a daring train robbery.
The second special will feature a festive hijack of 200 turkeys and a party at Downing Street, while the last sees the gang rehabilitated and sent to an English public school. Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery write all three specials, with Thomas also on directing duties.
As well as Jenkins and Eccleston, returning members of Fagin’s gang include Ellie-May Sheridan, Aabay Ali, Connor Curren and Mila Lieu. Also back are David Threlfall, Alex Kingston, Javone Prince, Saira Choudhry, James Fleet, Lenny Rush and Sam C Wilson. Plus, writers Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.
Dodger Specials Guest Stars
The new episodes have also attracted some big names. Currently announced are Anita Dobson, Robert Lindsay, Mark Benton, Matthew Holness and Jane Horrocks.
The Dodger specials, each 45 minutes long, will air on CBBC and BBC iPlayer. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.
In the meantime, the terrific first series is available on BBC iPlayer.