ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre: David Copperfield (PBS)
2000 | BBC America and WGBH-TV
Of all his books, Charles Dickens wrote he liked David Copperfield best, and this star-studded adaptation by Adrian Hodges is also the best. Produced by Kate Harwood and splendidly directed by Simon Curtis, David Copperfield stars 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe as the young David and Ciaran McMenamin as the grown man. Throughout this fully-developed, lavish production, the true meaning of family is explored as the orphaned David becomes a part of many families and finally finds love through marriage and a family of his own. Actors deserving special mention in this richly rewarding adaptation are Emilia Fox as David’s doomed mother; Pauline Quirke as his ever faithful nanny, Peggotty; Maggie Smith as his indomitable Aunt Betsy, Trevor Eve as his terrifying stepfather, Murdstone, Zoe Wanamaker as Murdstone’s severe sister, Jane; Bob Hoskins and Imelda Staunton as the ever-optimistic Mr. and Mrs. Micawbe, Ian McNiece as the simple Mr. Dick, and Nicholas Lyndhurst as the malevolent Uriah Heep. Under the direction of executive producers Jane Tranter for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for WGBH, ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre continues providing audiences the very highest quality in televised dramatic adaptation of literary classics. For doing so, and for this superb “dickens” of an adaptation, a Peabody Award goes to BBC and WGBH for David Copperfield.
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