Dear Readers,

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

David Copperfield, The Review

So on Sunday night I tuned into David Copperfield (was it on in your parts? I heard from a Chicagoan tweet-buddy that it didn't air there). It was the classic opulent, true to the book, well-acted Masterpiece/BBC production. If I say that it was exactly how I expected it to be, that seems to be selling it short. But it's not. Cause for real, when you know it's a BBC job with Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellan Imelda Staunton and more, you know you're going to get the goods.

And get them we did. I was shocked (as I often am with the Beeb but shouldn't be), by how perfectly the settings always gel with my memories of reading the books. I found Betsey Trotwood's cottage on the cliff, young Mrs. Copperfield's house at the end of the lane, and the Peggoty's ship-cabin near the pier frighteningly close to how they appeared in my imagination (I felt the same way about Wuthering Heights and Tess).

The evil characters--Murdstone + his sister, Creakle, and the oh-so-'umble Uriah Heep--sent the requisite shivers down my spine. And as for the stars, McKellen was deliciously creepy and Radcliffe absolutely adorable, but Maggie Smith and Bob Hoskins really delivered the winning performances of the night as a pair of quirky and odd but genuinely good caretakers for young Davy. I liked Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Micawber, especially her repetition of "I shall NEVER desert Mr. Micawber!" but my favorite scene by far was when Maggie Smith's Betsey Trotwood told off the evil Murdstone siblings and said "if you ever trample your donkey on my lawn again, I shall knock off your bonnet." SMACK!

So in conclusion, David Copperfield= awesome book and mini-series, and Maggie Smith= top EBC goddess for life. I anticipate part 2 most eagerly.


  1. Nope. Didn't air in my neck of the woods, either. Should have tweeted to you that we've been in the middle of a pledge drive that encompassed the past two weekends.

    But then, what will you be watching while Copperfield is airing here?

  2. Pledge drive in NC preempted our showing too. Luckily it is available for online viewing at
    from 16- 30 March (this may be only episode one - it's unclear from the site). It's also available on DVD of course. I just moved it to the top of my netflix queue.

  3. Didn't air in the City of Salt either. I was so disappointed because I've been looking forward to this adaptation.

  4. Episode 1 is available on online on the PBS website until the 29th. Episode 2 will be online between the 23rd and the 29th! I missed it on tv - and I was looking foward to it.