harles Dickens’ father was once imprisoned for defaulting on a loan of 40 pounds, as host Laura Linney points out in her introduction to this splendid five-part Masterpiece presentation. The indelible experience helped inspire Little Dorrit, whose title character was raised in a notorious London debtors’ prison by a father incarcerated there for 25 years. This tale is brought to vivid life by screenwriter Andrew Davies (who also wrote the award-winning Masterpiece adaptation of Bleak House) and a fine cast that includes Matthew Macfayden (MI-5), Tom Courtenay, and Andy Serkis, who creates a villain as memorable as his Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Newcomer Claire Foy plays the heroine of a story that’s just as relevant in today’s troubled economy as it was in Dickens’ day. Sundays, March 29–April 26, at 9 p.m., PBS
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Attack of the invasive species
- 10 things you need to know today: April 19, 2014
- How Captain America won over China
- That 'world's toughest job' ad is actually full of horrible lessons on motherhood
Subscribe to the Week