Charles 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
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
Subscribe to the Week