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
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: November 26, 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
Subscribe to the Week