Stephen Rea, Pauline Collins, Caroline Quentin and Peter Firth lead the cast of BBC One’s Dickensian.
Created by Tony Jordan (Hustle), the 20-part drama series is set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ critically acclaimed novels.
Dickensian brings together some of literature’s most iconic characters, including Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham, as their lives intertwine in 19th century London. The Old Curiosity Shop sits next door to The Three Cripples Pub, while Fagin’s Den is hidden down a murky alley off a bustling Victorian street.
With a wealth of back stories sourced from the novels, Dickensian delivers fast-paced storylines with surprising twists and turns.
Saturday 26 December 2015, 7pm
As the snow falls on Market Street this Christmas Eve, the festive hustle and bustle is hushed as the body of wealthy brewer, Mr Havisham, is driven to its final resting place, followed by son Arthur and daughter Amelia. Later that day, at the reading of the will, pain strikes further when Arthur finds himself out in the cold and on the path to revenge.
Meanwhile, malevolent money-lender and partner to Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, is visiting clients to collect their outstanding debts, and nothing steers him from his brutal resolve. His first visit is to the Old Curiosity Shop where Grandfather is keeping vigil at the bedside of a desperately ill Little Nell.
At the same time, gang-master and pimp Fagin has organised for street girl Nancy to visit Jacob Marley for his evening’s entertainment. Accompanying the young girl for her safety is house-breaker and ruffian Bill Sikes, who will do anything to protect her. Elsewhere, the free-spirited Honoria Barbary meets in secret with her young love, Captain James Hawdon. Will their clandestine love affair run smoothly?
Secrets are lurking around every corner and as the bell tolls 9pm on Christmas Eve, tragedy strikes and Jacob Marley’s dead body is found lying in the snow.
Saturday 26 December 2015, 8.30pm
As Christmas Day dawns, a stranger going by the name of Inspector Bucket turns up in Market Street, and everyone has something to say about the new face.
Here to solve the murder, the detective begins his investigation into the last known movements of Jacob Marley with help from local taxidermist Mr Venus. As the deceased wasn’t short on enemies, it quickly transpires that it could have been any number of people.
Following Little Nell’s miraculous recovery, Grandfather, alongside inn landlord Silas Wegg, gin-soaked midwife, Mrs Gamp, and the local busy body, Fanny Biggettywitch, are having lunch with a generous side order of gossip about the new detective.
Elsewhere, following the news that he is to inherit only a fraction of his father’s wealth, a distraught Arthur Havisham is slumming it in rooms above the pub and plotting revenge on his kind-hearted sister, who has shockingly inherited the majority.
After a chance meeting with the charming Compeyson, Amelia finds the same attractive gentleman at her door promising to help. Could this be the answer to her loneliness and a chance to bring her family back together?
Sunday 27 December 2015, 7.30pm
With Bucket’s investigation gathering momentum, the detective follows up on a new lead from Marley’s journal and finds himself in Fagin’s den interrogating the old man on Bill Sikes.
A furious Sikes is duly arrested and slung in the cells to simmer down. But as Bucket returns, Venus is soon to dash his hopes when he reveals the evidence doesn’t add up. Could they have caught the wrong man?
In the Barbary household, as Honoria and Captain Hawdon enjoy a carefree day together, her bitter sister Frances answers the door to a colleague of Hawdon’s. He brings an important note regarding Hawdon’s much-needed promotion. With Frances the only one available to take the message, will she find it in her heart to pass on the coveted information, or use it to her advantage?
Meanwhile, Mrs Gamp has her eye on a home in The Three Cripples Inn. Aiming to sweeten landlord Silas Wegg by healing the sores on his one good leg in exchange for a tipple or two of gin, can the mischievous Mrs Gamp convince him that she is indispensible?
Sunday 27 December 2015, 8.30pm
As Inspector Bucket interrogates Nancy, the street girl is reluctant to give away anything apart from the fact it was Marley who bruised her face.
Taken aback by Bucket’s genuine concern, Nancy eventually divulges that she heard Marley arguing with Scrooge in the street the day he died. Is Scrooge the man Bucket is looking for?
Elsewhere, Frances Barbary runs into Sir Leicester Dedlock, a wealthy, older gentleman, and invites him to their family home the next day. On his departure, Dedlock catches a glimpse of Honoria and is stunned by her beauty. Asking for her name, he is amazed to find she is Frances’s sister. Could this cause even more tension between the sisters?
At the same time, the Havisham Annual New Year’s party for the brewery shareholders is in full swing and Arthur grudgingly shows up. However, unaware and appalled to find Compeyson there, is Arthur’s plan falling to pieces?
Meanwhile, over at the Cratchit’s, the house is buzzing with activity as Martha Cratchit’s wedding is just around the corner. With dresses to be trimmed and shoes to be polished, Bob and Emily may not have two pennies to rub together but they’re the happiest couple alive. But for how long will it last?
Friday 1 January 2016, 8.30pm
Following the New Year’s party, Arthur Havisham drunkenly stumbles home to find Compeyson waiting for him.
Set on continuing with the plan, Compeyson pretends to be an old friend of Captain James Hawdon’s in order to get close to Amelia again at the New Year’s Day fair. Will the young Miss Havisham fall for his deception once more?
Elsewhere, Frances Barbary plays host to the wealthy Sir Leicester. However, it is a cruel blow when he asks her if she can help with an introduction to her sister, Honoria. Elsewhere, Edward Barbary borrows money from Scrooge in a last ditch attempt to solve his financial problems. Could this move have catastrophic repercussions?
Meanwhile, the day has come for Martha Cratchit’s wedding and she is busy readying herself. Proud father Bob Cratchit is prepared to let nothing stand in the way of his daughter’s special day. But as Inspector Bucket closes in on his investigation, an arrest is made with devastating consequences.
Wednesday 6 January 2016, 8pm
Moments before Martha Cratchit’s wedding is due to start, Inspector Bucket makes a surprise arrest, convinced he has solved the murder of Jacob Marley. Halting the wedding proceedings, will the suspected murderer have a worthy alibi?
Meanwhile, Amelia is surprised to find Compeyson begging for forgiveness following his discourteous behaviour. However, his scheming could come undone, following the return of Amelia’s dear cousin Matthew Pocket, who steals her attention. Will this new face impede Compeyson’s plan?
Elsewhere, Frances proceeds to serve Sir Leicester’s desire and introduces him to Honoria. Horrified to discover that he is intended for her, Honoria insists that Captain Hawdon is the only man she wants. But can her hopes and dreams come to fruition under the forceful hand of her ambitious sister Frances?
Thursday 7 January 2016, 8pm
Riled by the arrival of Amelia’s cousin Matthew Pocket, Compeyson is eager to find out more about his new rival. However when he discovers that Amelia has asked her cousin to help her run the brewery, Compeyson is ready to take action and won’t let anything stand in his way.
After spotting some stolen brandy in the Three Cripples and discovering inn-owner Silas Wegg’s violent past, Inspector Bucket has a new prime suspect. Following a failed escape and fearing that he might be charged with worse than theft, Silas provides Bucket with pivotal information that could help solve the murder.
Elsewhere, Frances invites Sir Leicester Dedlock to tea in order to further her plan to marry him off to Honoria. However, arriving home with Captain Hawdon on her arm, will Honoria foil her sister’s plan?
And further scheming is underway at the Bumble’s residence, as Mrs Bumble pens a letter inviting the board of the workhouse to dinner. Will her attempts to raise their stature go as planned?
Wednesday 13 January 2016, 8pm
After seeing how far Compeyson will go to win over Amelia, Arthur is left a gibbering wreck. Fearing the man he has partnered with and desperate to get away, can Arthur find a way out?
Later at lunch Compeyson realises that Matthew is in love with Amelia and manipulatively tells him that he must continue his travels in America in order to win her love. Matthew believes this lie and reluctantly tells Amelia he will be unable to stay.
Bucket continues his investigation by looking into Mr Barbary, who was seen with Marley on Christmas Eve. However, this is not Edward’s only concern and his financial woes increase. How will this news impact his daughters and their welfare?
Elsewhere, Bill tries to take Nancy away from her work as a prostitute, but fails to meet Fagin’s lofty price demands. Mrs Gamp is also looking to shake things up by telling Silas a hair-raising story to persuade him not to live alone.
Thursday 14 January 2016, 8pm
Barbary refuses to accept that all is ruined, after his stock is claimed by creditors and he sets out to speak with previous business associates in the hopes of getting a number of small loans. However, Scrooge gives him an ultimatum; pay his debt by the end of the day or face debtor’s prison. How will this impact on Honoria’s romance with her dashing Captain?
Meanwhile, Amelia is heartbroken at the recent disappearance of her dog. When Compeyson arrives at Satis House with a puppy in hand, Amelia is initially horrified by his callousness but he insists that the dog is a gift for his god-daughter, before admitting that Amelia fills his every waking thought. Will Compeyson succeed in winning Amelia over and inveigling his way into her affections?
Bucket investigates Nancy and Dodger, hoping to discover crucial details that could incriminate Fagin. However, their loyalty is unwavering. Is pressure building on the Inspector to find a credible suspect?
Elsewhere, Mrs Gamp moves in with Silas (for different reasons than he thinks) and Mrs Bumble spends a fortune making her home presentable for dinner with Mr Bumble’s boss.
Thursday 21 January 2016, 8pm
Compeyson is now officially courting Miss Havisham and again demands money from Arthur to make himself seem a more credible suitor. Arthur is driven to selling some personal family items to obtain the money, and with some drink inside him almost gives the game away in front of Amelia. Will Compeyson let this slip up go unpunished?
Meanwhile, Honoria is determined to solve her father’s debt problems and avoid an arranged marriage with Sir Leicester. She sets out with Captain Hawdon to find a plausible solution, but their attempts come up short.
Elsewhere, the Bumbles entertain Mr Gradgrind, Bumble’s boss, and the Cratchit’s are getting increasingly worried about Tiny Tim.
Friday 22 January 2016, 8.30pm
After Arthur almost gives the game away, Compeyson is trying to win over Amelia – this time to let him into her business decisions. However, she proves resistant. Her father left her this brewery and that shows he trusts her.
After visiting her father in the debtors’ prison, Honoria reluctantly agrees to meet with Sir Leicester to discuss their courtship. She would do anything to save her father, but could this be the end of her relationship with Captain Hawdon?
Meanwhile, Inspector Bucket discovers that Jacob Marley owned a warehouse by the docks. Bucket goes to watch outside the grim looking place and his patience pays off when he sees Fagin arriving at the building.
Elsewhere, The Bumbles hear some exciting work news, while Silas Wegg notices that Mrs. Gamp has been helping herself to his gin.
Wednesday 27 January 2016, 8pm
It’s the day of the important shareholders’ meeting and Amelia invites Compeyson to attend and ensure that Arthur behaves.
Compeyson hopes that she will flounder in this environment and realise she needs his assistance in running the business. However, an unexpected encounter with someone from his past delays him and when he finally arrives at the meeting he sees a thrilled Amelia, relishing in her success. Compeyson realises that he must do something extraordinary to get his hands on her inheritance.
Meanwhile, Inspector Bucket and his men storm into Croucher’s Warehouse and make a shocking discovery. Fagin arrives immediately afterwards and Bucket arrests him, confident that he now has something to link him to the murder of Jacob Marley.
Elsewhere, Peter gives the money he saved for Nell’s birthday to his mother after seeing her weep over Tim’s poor health, and Mrs. Gamp may have outstayed her welcome with Silas.
Thursday 28 January 2016, 8pm
Amelia visits Honoria at work to deliver some surprising news. After she leaves, Honoria pens a letter and sends it with the Boy – is it to Captain Hawdon?
When Amelia shares her news with Arthur and Jaggers they both warn her off rushing into things with Compeyson. Every rejection makes Amelia more determined: she will be happy.
Elsewhere, Bucket is running out of reasons to keep Fagin in prison. In the Three Cripples, he spots Compeyson’s wallet with very distinctive markings – JM for Jacob Marley. Compeyson explains that he bought the wallet from the Old Curiosity shop and Nell tells Bucket she got the wallet from Fagin. Will Fagin be able to explain how he came to have the wallet in his possession?
Thursday 4 February 2016, 8pm
Inspector Bucket needs to get to Dodger before any of Fagin’s cronies can. Using Nancy, he gets Dodger to the Three Cripples – but will Nancy regret placing her trust in the detective?
Delighted she no longer needs to marry Sir Leicester, Honoria calls Hawdon to the house to reveal the good news. Faced with yet more family shame, Frances meets Sir Leicester and tells him that Honoria is away with a sick relative, but begged to be kept in his thoughts.
Meanwhile, Compeyson tells Arthur that Amelia is more than a match for him, but he could persuade her to buy Arthur’s share of the brewery at an inflated price. Desperate to claw his way out of the mess he is in, Arthur accepts. Will this be the end of Arthur’s problems with Compeyson?
Elsewhere, Mr Venus provides Tiny Tim with a new crutch – and aware of his family’s extreme financial difficulties, Peter makes a difficult decision.
Friday 5 February 2016, 8.30pm
Captain Hawdon secretly visits Honoria for a good luck kiss before his interview to achieve promotion: it seems everything is going their way. However, Honoria is stunned when she discovers that Frances scuppered his first chance of promotion and forged a letter to Sir Leicester. As tempers flare and the argument threatens to spiral out of control there are alarming consequences for Honoria.
Meanwhile Arthur and Jaggers express their doubts to Amelia about Compeyson. On the way back from buying a wedding present, Amelia spots Compeyson embracing Sally, leaving her devastated.
Elsewhere another body is discovered and – in a show of no confidence – Bucket is removed from the case. His replacement, Inspector Thompson, beats a confession out of a suspect but Bucket is convinced the murders were committed by two different killers.
Mr Bumble’s interview was a disaster but he is given a second chance – his workhouse will be inspected in two weeks time.
Fagin returns from prison to find Bill Sikes holding a bag of cash for Nancy. Fagin knows that the money is his, but as Bill stands with a snarling Bullseye, there is little Fagin can do.
Thursday 11 February 2016, 8pm
Honoria Barbary is going into labour. Her waters break just as she is planning to leave the family home, leaving her stranded and at her most vulnerable with her older sister Frances. Edward Barbary isn’t at home and even the maid has the day off so the two girls are entirely alone.
Not knowing the first thing about childbirth, Frances sends note with a messenger boy to Captain Hawdon requesting a doctor. The boy finds Hawdon in the pub, drunk and loudly bemoaning his lot. Seeing the note is from Frances, Hawdon throws it into the fire without reading it. What repercussions will this drunken decision have for Honoria and her unborn child?
Back at the house, emotions are running high as the intensity of the crisis brings out all the suppressed feelings between the two sisters, bringing them closer. However, Frances is left with a terrible decision to make.
Friday 12 February 2016, 8.30pm
Inspector Bucket has officially been taken off the case of Jacob Marley’s murder – but before he goes back to his old station he is determined to have one last shot at solving the conundrum.
While he is retracing Marley’s last steps with Mr Venus, Bucket arrives at a new theory: this killer was neither a criminal nor a thug, but a scared individual who had been the victim of Marley’s punishing debt-collecting. All he has in concrete though is a splinter of wood from the murder weapon.
Meanwhile, Compeyson is unaware that Amelia saw him kissing Sally. When he arrives at Satis House, he is surprised by the frosty reception he receives. Will he be able to turn things around again?
Having recovered from his drunken excess of last night, Hawdon rushes to Barbary House to discover Honoria a shadow of herself. Honoria informs him of the death of their child and makes a rash decision about their future.
Elsewhere, Inspector Bucket uncovers some evidence that finally enables him to solve the murder case.
Thursday 18 February 2016, 8pm
Having identified Jacob Marley’s killer, Inspector Bucket faces a moral dilemma which threatens to challenge the foundations of the New Detective.
Meanwhile Arthur Havisham is devastated and fears he has lost any chance of reconciling with his sister. He is also stricken with guilt at setting her up with Compeyson. Then out of the blue, his possible salvation arrives -Matthew Pocket back from America and determined to prevent Amelia’s doomed wedding.
Thursday 18 February 2016, 8.30pm
It is the day before the Havisham Wedding and Satis House is being prepared. All must be perfect. While Arthur distracts Compeyson at the pub, Matthew arrives at Satis House with members of the board of the brewery to try and put a stop to the wedding.
When Compeyson arrives at Satis House he plays a high-risk game, declaring himself fed up with all the suspicions around him, and calls off the wedding. How will Amelia react to this turn of events?
The Bumbles prepare for the arrival of the Board with anticipation of success beyond promotion. With much at stake for Mr Bumble, will all run smoothly?
Meanwhile, Edward has arranged for Sir Leicester to visit and Honoria knows that she must face a difficult decision – one that will affect the future of her entire family.
Sunday 21 February 2016, 6.25pm
Arthur is determined to finally become the man his father intended him to be. He goes to see Fagin and acquires the services of Bill Sikes – but is it too late to put a stop to the wedding?
Amelia Havisham is resplendent in her wedding dress, but what cost will Compeyson’s confession have on the young girl’s heart? And will his heartfelt confession – that he is in fact in love with her – be enough to convince her one last time?
Elsewhere, Dodger returns and comes across a cold and frightened boy thrown out by the Bumbles. Dodger tells him he knows a gent who’ll look out for him.
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