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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.


Daniel Radcliffe ... David Copperfield (as a boy)

Emilia Fox ... Clara Copperfield

Pauline Quirke ... Peggotty

Maggie Smith ... Betsey Trotwood

Trevor Eve ... Mr Murdstone

Zoe Wanamaker ... Miss Jane Murdstone

Alun Armstrong ... Daniel Peggotty

James Thornton ... Ham Peggotty

Patsy Byrne ... Mrs Gummidge

Laura Harling ... Emily (as a girl)

Michael Elphick ... Barkis

Oliver Ford Davies ... Mr Wickfield

Bob Hoskins ... Mr Micawber

Imelda Staunton ... Mrs Micawber

Harry Lloyd ... Young Steerforth

Ian McNeice ... Mr Dick

Ciarán McMenamin ... David Copperfield (as a man)

Aislín McGuckin ... Emily

Ian McKellen ... Creakle

Emily McKenzie ... Janet

Cherie Lunghi ... Mrs Steerforth

Nicholas Lyndhurst ... Uriah Heep

Oliver Milburn ... Steerforth

John Normington ... Dr Chillip

Amanda Ryan ... Agnes Wickfield

Tom Wilkinson ... Voice of David Copperfield (as an old man)


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, Zoë 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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