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Acclaimed writer Andrew Davies turns his talents to one of Charles Dickens' most brilliant novels — arguably the greatest ever depiction of Victorian London. Fresh and imaginative, yet faithful to the original, this thrilling fast-paced adaptation is shot with a contemporary edge. At its heart is the story of the icily beautiful Lady Dedlock, who nurses a dark secret, and the merciless lawyer Tulkinghorn, who seeks to uncover it. The generous John Jarndyce, struggling with his own past, and his two young wards Richard and Ada, are all caught up, like Lady Dedlock, in the infamous case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, which will make one of them rich beyond imagination if it can ever be brought to a conclusion. As Tulkinghorn digs deeper into Lady Dedlock's past, he unearths a secret that will change their lives forever, and which is almost as astounding as the final outcome of the Jarndyce case.
|1||VideoEpisode 1||Alone in the world after the death of her aunt, Esther Summerson is brought to the High Court of Chancery by Mr Guppy, clerk to Mr Kenge, one of the lawyers in the infamous suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, a complicated case which has already taken years and brought nothing but ruin and despair to all it touches. Guppy mistakenly thinks that Esther may have a claim to the Jarndyce fortune, but she is there for the Judge to decide whether she will be a suitable companion for Ada Clare, one of the two Wards of Court in the case.||57:11||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|2||VideoEpisode 2||Tulkinghorn and Krook call out the doctor, Allan Woodcourt, who suspects that Nemo’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of opium. The coroner confirms as much. Nemo is given a pauper's funeral - and at the gloomy burial ground Tulkinghorn interrogates a young crossing-sweeper, named only Jo, whom Nemo had befriended. He is convinced Jo knows something.||29:19||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|3||VideoEpisode 3||Ada confides in Esther that she and Richard are in love. They wish to get engaged but Jarndyce disapproves and tells them it's far too soon to take this step. Reluctantly, the pair agree to wait. Caddy Jellyby, on the other hand, has entered into a secret engagement with Prince Turveydrop, the son of a dancing master. His father is a lazy self-centred old man who preens around, showing off his deportment, whilst his son does all the work. Richard is failing in his medical studies, and decides to quit in favour of the law. It's the worst option he could have chosen, particularly since it marks his increasing obsession with Chancery.||29:03||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|4||VideoEpisode 4||Jarndyce has taken Esther and Ada to visit his friend Mr Boythorn in the Leicestershire countryside. He is a neighbour of Sir Leicester's, but they are engaged in a protracted legal wrangle about their territorial rights. Jarndyce is unhappy to overhear Esther confide in Ada about her affection for Woodcourt: he is starting to have feelings for her himself. In the local church, Esther has a strange encounter with Lady Dedlock in which both feel a mysterious pull of recognition. Later, on a country walk, Jarndyce, Esther and Ada are caught in a storm and take shelter at the same place as Lady Dedlock. She asks Jarndyce for confirmation that Esther is indeed an orphan.||29:17||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|5||VideoEpisode 5||Jo's surprise turns to total confusion when the lady is unveiled. It's not Lady Dedlock, after all; rather Hortense wearing her clothing. Meanwhile, at Chesney Wold, Lady Dedlock's own suspicions have been aroused, as she wonders why she felt such a pull towards Esther when they met. She quizzes Mrs Rouncewell for information about Esther's background, but all the housekeeper can say is that nobody knows where she comes from.||29:18||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|6||VideoEpisode 6||George meets Tulkinghorn to discuss his demands, but, suspicious of Tulkinghorn's motives, he refuses to hand over the writing sample. Smallweed is desperate to squeeze George for all he can, but Tulkinghorn instructs him to bide his time. Back at the gym, George worries what the future may hold for himself and his assistant Phil Squod. Guppy is still attempting to pursue Esther's interest and pays another visit to an extremely drunken Krook. At the mention of the name Hawdon, Krook allows him a tantalising glimpse of his love letters, but he won't let Guppy get his hands on them.||29:17||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|7||VideoEpisode 7||Esther, Ada, Jarndyce and Caddy search far and wide for Jo but to no avail. He has disappeared – spirited away by Tulkinghorn and Bucket (with a little help from Skimpole) to stop him talking. Next morning, disaster strikes – Esther falls sick with smallpox. Jarndyce is beside himself with worry, and Esther is quarantined with only Charley allowed in. Once more in pursuit of the letters, Guppy heads over to Krook's house. When he gets there, he finds Miss Flite and Snagsby worrying about the peculiar smell in the air. Venturing inside, Guppy finds only Krook's skull cap floating in a sea of alcohol and human remains. The coroner's verdict is spontaneous combustion. Guppy is thwarted again, as Smallweed claims ownership of all Krook's property.||29:17||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|8||VideoEpisode 8||Miss Flite leaves Bleak House but not before issuing a terrible warning that Rick will be drawn to ruin by Chancery in the same way as Mr Gridley. Ada is desperately worried already, since Rick and Jarndyce are barely speaking. Esther's feelings for Woodcourt have been rekindled by Miss Flite’s news, though she confesses to Jarndyce that any hopes she once had are futile. Her disfigurement makes it impossible for any man to love her. Jarndyce is on the point of declaring his own feelings, but draws back.||29:18||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|9||VideoEpisode 9||Esther is in total shock after Lady Dedlock's confession, but keeps her troubled emotions secret from Ada. With Boythorn and Jarndyce away on business, the girls go to the local pub where Esther is surprised to meet Richard. His interest in Chancery has long since grown into obsession, and Esther is worried to discover that Richard has now employed his own lawyer – the vampiric Mr Vholes – on Skimpole's advice. Esther can see that Vholes intends to bleed Richard dry, but there is very little that she can do to prevent it.||29:09||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|10||VideoEpisode 10||Knowing she is now in Tulkinghorn's power, Lady Dedlock decides to send Rosa away to save her from any impending scandal. Rosa is upset by the idea of having to leave. Back in London, Hortense accuses Tulkinghorn of denying her sufficient reward for her services to him (when she impersonated her mistress). Tulkinghorn sends her away with nothing but an exceedingly stern warning – and Bucket later drags her down to the station to follow up his sentiments. He also makes Hortense write down her address, promising to keep an eye on her. Esther plans a visit to London, where she and Ada see the newly pregnant Caddy. However, she has an ulterior motive for the trip.||29:16||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|11||VideoEpisode 11||Jenny the brickmaker's wife finds little Jo wandering the streets of London in a daze, coughing blood. After returning to the city, Woodcourt stumbles upon them and realises immediately that Jo is dying and in need of refuge. Woodcourt takes him to George's gym, bringing Jo's one friend, Snagsby, to his bedside. By now, Jo is delirious and terrified by the thought of Bucket and Tulkinghorn, who are responsible for him being persistently moved on. Esther and Jarndyce join the group just in time, and Esther offers what little comfort she can with the words of the Lord's Prayer. After Jo's death, Jarndyce delivers a savage indictment of the cold-hearted society in which they live. Tulkinghorn discovers that Lady Dedlock has crossed him, and dismissed Rosa. Furious, he announces that the deal is off: he will now expose her. After he leaves, Lady Dedlock goes for a walk, wearing a black fringed shawl. She is followed by Hortense.||29:17||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|12||VideoEpisode 12||Clamb discovers his master's body. Bucket takes the case, quickly learning from Clamb that George was seen at the scene of the crime and had previously issued violent threats against Tulkinghorn. It's only circumstantial evidence so far, but it's damning nonetheless. And whilst Sir Leicester offers a reward for the arrest of the murderer, Lady Dedlock is keeping quiet.||29:11||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|13||VideoEpisode 13||Bucket studies his 'Lady Dedlock Murderess' letter, then asks Clamb if he saw a lady in a black fringed shawl that night, but he did not. Jarndyce brings Mrs Rouncewell and George together, and they are reunited in his cell. She pleads with him to allow a lawyer to help him, and he eventually relents on the one condition that his brother Rouncewell is not involved. Their old rivalry still won't let him swallow his pride. Jarndyce returns home to tell Esther the good news about George’s situation.||29:18||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|14||VideoEpisode 14||As Hortense hisses with fury, Bucket tells her that he had suspected her from the moment he saw her at the funeral, and then received the anonymous letter. The day after he met her, he had Hortense followed to the country where she dropped the murder weapon into a pond, which his men then retrieved. Still screeching and cursing, Hortense is dragged out and Bucket apologises to Lady Dedlock for having put her through this interrogation.||29:17||£1.89||View in iTunes|
|15||VideoEpisode 15||Sir Leicester is heartbroken by Lady Dedlock's death. Even Boythorn recognises he is a broken man, offering to end their long-running dispute about the rights of way of the land. Sir Leicester is deeply affronted by the idea Boythorn sees him as a helpless invalid and refuses to accept victory. So, quite enjoying it really, their dispute continues. George receives a visit from his brother at Chesney Wold. They finally put their old differences aside to their mother’s great joy. George also tries to make amends with Esther by sending her a letter of apology for handing over Hawdon's writing sample to Tulkinghorn. He encloses the love letters from her mother to her father.||29:21||£1.89||View in iTunes|
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I loved this production with an all star cast, its an amazing insight to victorian life and one of dickens greatest creations! A must buy for anyone who loves his stories! With unexpected twists and turns!!!!!!!
BUY IT ON DVD INSTEAD!
Great piece of drama and true to the many characters in the book. I was thrilled to find the complete series on DVD for sale recently at almost half the price on iTunes. Only for money wasters.
If you like Dickens you'll love this.
First i must state that the cast truly make this one of the best adaptions i have seen.
Gillian Anderson is spine tingly with her take of the icy Lady Deadlock.
I certainly enjoyed this first time i seen it and i will continue to enjoy it.