Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Very Popular Charles Dickens

The BBC is currently broadcasting one of the finest Charles Dickens novels, Bleak House, in a TV adaptation taking form as a 15-part epic. It has an all-star cast including such actors and actresses like Denis Lawson, Gillian Anderson, Timothy West, Emma Williams, Charles Dance, Pauline Collins and Warren Clarke.

The period drama has captured the imaginations of the UK viewing public and proved the catalyst for a resurgence of interest in the work of Charles Dickens.
Sales of the Portsmouth-born writer have soared since Bleak House hit the airwaves and it was reported in the last four weeks alone to have sold over 5000 copies, helping it to surge back up the paper-book charts.

When approached by her bosses at the BBC, the Head of Drama, Jane Tranter, said the project was "Bold, fresh and imaginative," But she wanted a new approach that would capture the minds of the nation. "We wanted something unexpected, rather than the well-established routine of 'four hours on Sunday nights at 9pm'."

The idea for the lengthy drama serial came while Jane was leafing through the introduction to the novel. "Bleak House was written to be serialised in twenty parts - one a month," Jane explains. "So why not mirror Dickens' original concept - twenty parts, half-an-hour each? Run them twice a week before the watershed. Bring Dickens back to the mainstream popular audience he was writing for!"

Jane's bosses at the BBC responded with enthusiasm and the rest as they, is history. Bleak House is aired twice-weekly on Thursday's and Fridays and repeated on Sundays.
A DVD of the series is due for release on February 6th 2006 and can be pre-ordered from http://www.bbcshop.com/invt/ebbcdvd1880&source=1946.

For further info: http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/bleakhouse


At 9:15 AM, Blogger Devon Ellington said...

From Thanksgiving until Twelfth Night, we always see a Dickens resurgence -- probably due to the 300 or so productions of CHRISTMAS CAROL going on.

I'm going to have to go back and re-read BLEAK HOUSE. It's been a long time.


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