BBC's Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens (1958) (DVD)
The first BBC adaptation of Dickens' haunting novel of love, loss and greed
"Love, though said to be afflicted with blindness, is a vigilant watchman."?
One fateful day Waterman Gaffer Hexam (Julian Somers) and daughter Lizzie (Rachel Roberts) fish a dead body from the Thames. It is identified at that of John Harmon, a young man who recently returned to London from South Africa to claim his fortune.
Had Harmon lived, his dead father's will required him to marry the pretty but spoilt Bella Wilfer (Zena Walker). Instead, the estate passes to Nicodemus 'Noddy' Boffin (Richard Pearson) and his wife Henrietta (Marda Vanne), a kindhearted childless couple who adopt and look after Bella.
The mysterious John Rokesmith (Paul Daneman) becomes their trusted secretary, and they engage one-legged ballad-seller Silas Wegg (Esmond Knight) to entertain them with nightly readings. But Wegg decides that blackmail would be the best way to obtain what he desires.
Lizzie manages to obtain two suitors, the workshy barrister Eugene Wrayburn (David McCallum) and the wily Bradley Headstone (Alex Scott), schoolmaster to her brother Charley (Melvyn Hayes). But what of Rokesmith's true identity? Can the course of love run smooth?
Carl Bernard and Rachel Gurney are the devious but foolhardy Alfred and Sophronia Lammie, Gerald Cross is 'articulator of bones' Mr Venus, Basil Henson principled lawyer Mortimer Lightwood, Robert Scroggins simple foundling Sloppy, Fay Compton overwhelmed child-minder Betty Higden, Helena Hughes meek and kindly dolls' dressmaker Jenny Wren, and Wilfred Brambell her drunken father Mr Dolls.
Written by ground-breaking children's TV producer Freda Lingstrom, and broadcast in twelve 30-minute episodes in 1958.
Release Date: 3rd July 2017