BAFTA award-winning actor Stephen Rea (Honourable Women, Crossroads), Pauline Collins OBE (Upstairs Downstairs, Bleak House), Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly, Life Of Riley) and Peter Firth (Spooks, Mayday) have been signed up to star in the twenty episode drama series for BBC One, Dickensian, which started filming this coming week.
“Dickensian is the most beautiful re-working of the world of Dickens that you could ever imagine. The characters take on a fresh life, and any actor would be mad not to accept the challenge these great scripts offer.” – Stephen Rea who plays the inquisitive Inspector Bucket from Bleak House
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.
The Dickensian set features a 90 metre cobbled high street with a fully functioning pub at one end and a 16 column colonnade, church and law courts at the other. Overall there are 27 two storey buildings on the street and seven back alleys that lead to a parallel 30 metre street.
“We are taking characters that everyone knows and loves, into a whole new world where anything is possible. You don’t need to know Dickens’ novels to fall in love with the stories we’re telling. It’s going to be a real treat to watch.” – Pauline Collins OBE, who plays the delightful, ruddy-faced bundle of chaos Mrs Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit
Dickensian also stars an array of new and established British talent including Tuppence Middleton (Spooks: the Greater Good, The Imitation Game), Ellie Haddington (Foyle’s War, Ordinary Lies), Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders, Happy Valley), Omid Djalili (The Omid Djalili Show, Sex And The City 2) Anton Lesser (Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones) Ned Dennehy (Banished, Peaky Blinders), Adrian Rawlins (Glue, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 & 2), Tom Weston-Jones (Copper, World Without End), Richard Ridlings (Rise of the Planet of the Apes),Alexandra Moen (Fortitude), Robert Wilfort (Wolf Hall, Gavin and Stacey), Jennifer Hennessy (Utopia), Phoebe Dynevor (The Musketeers), Brenock O’Connor (Game Of Thrones), Mark Stanley (Game Of Thrones), Christopher Fairbank (Wolf Hall) and rising star Joseph Quinn.
Lead writer on the series is Tony Jordan, of EastEnders fame, alongside additional episodic writers including, Sarah Phelps (The Casual Vacancy), Simon Winstone (Death In Paradise), Julie Rutterford (Shameless) Chloe Moss (Switch) and Justin Young (Holby City).
“This is an ambitious and epic series for BBC One taking Charles Dickens’ characters and world into a whole new territory, in ways that I hope will delight and surprise viewers. We have an outstanding cast that will bring Dickens’ world to life in a way you have never seen before.” – Tony Jordan