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David Copperfield (1999)

A two-part drama by Adrian Hodges, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens, and first broadcast from 25-26 December 1999 (BBC1)

Running time: 2 hours and 59 minutes


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The centrepiece of the BBC's Christmas TV schedule in 1999, this two-part adaptation of Dickens's David Copperfield charts the title character's rites of passage from boy to man. 

Young David lives contentedly with his widowed mother, Clara, and their much loved servant, Peggoty, for several years.  The unexpected arrival of cold-hearted Mr Murdstone and his equally cheerless sister, Jane, then casts a shadow over the boy's idyllic childhood.


David Copperfield (as a boy) ... Daniel Radcliffe
Clara Copperfield ... Emilia Fox
Peggotty ... Pauline Quirke
Betsey Trotwood ... Maggie Smith
Mr Murdstone ... Trevor Eve
Miss Jane Murdstone ... Zoe Wanamaker
Daniel Peggotty ... Alun Armstrong
Ham Peggotty ... James Thornton
Mrs Gummidge ... Patsy Byrne
Emily (as a girl) ... Laura Harling
Barkis ... Michael Elphick
Mr Wickfield ... Oliver Ford Davies
Mr Micawber ... Bob Hoskins
Mrs Micawber ... Imelda Staunton
Young Steerforth ... Harry Lloyd
Mr Dick ... Ian McNeice
David Copperfield (as a man) ... Ciarán McMenamin
Emily ... Aislín McGuckin
Creakle ... Ian McKellen
Janet ... Emily McKenzie
Mrs Steerforth ... Cherie Lunghi
Uriah Heep ... Nicholas Lyndhurst
Steerforth ... Oliver Milburn
Dr Chillip ... John Normington
Agnes Wickfield ... Amanda Ryan
Voice of David Copperfield (as an old man) ... Tom Wilkinson


Director: Simon Curtis
Producer: Kate Harwood
Executive Producers: Jane Tranter and Rebecca Eaton
Associate Producer: Katrine Dudley
Cinematography: Andy Collins
Production Designer: Roger Cann
Costume Designer: Mike O'Neill
Original Music: Robert Lane


In David Copperfield, ZoĂ« played a thoroughly unpleasant character for the first time in her career.  As she remarked at the time, 'there is no redeeming feature in Jane Murdstone at all'!  (See Zoe's David Copperfield cast interview.)

When Zoe next appeared on screen with Daniel Radcliffe (who plays the young David in this adaptation), it was to star in the extraordinarily successful film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001).  Other David Copperfield cast members who have also portrayed characters from J.K. Rowling's novels include Maggie Smith and Imelda Staunton.


David Copperfield All Regions DVD

David Copperfield Region 1 DVD

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Related links

David Copperfield guide - PBS Masterpiece Theatre (updated version)

David Copperfield guide - PBS Masterpiece Theatre (original version)

David Copperfield programme information - IMDB

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens e-text - Ellopos

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