1 9 8 5 (UK)
12 x 30 minute episodes
This superb Sunday teatime BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic starred newcomer Ben Rodska in the titular role, with Eric Porter as a wonderfully vile and manipulative Fagin.
Scott Funnell is an adorable younger Oliver in the first two episodes, and Rodska carries the rest of the episodes with innocence and steel but without ever seeming sickly sweet.
Michael Attwell plays Bill Sikes in arguably the most convincing portrayal of the character ever committed to film (or video, in this case) – apologies to Oliver reed – and there are few Mr Bumbles crueller and more grotesque than the one portrayed here by Godfrey James.
The 12-part series was made at the BBC’s Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham with location shooting in Shrewsbury.
The programme was produced by Terrance Dicks and directed by Gareth Davies. Alexander Baron wrote the scripts.
The costumes and sets are sumptuous and richly detailed and the dialogue is very Dickensian in spirit and thoughtfully written.
Of the many filmed versions of the famous Charles Dickens novel, this is considered the most complete and accurate adaptation, depicting almost all of the characters and incidents from the book.
Mrs Corney/Mrs Bumble