Bleak House 1 Season 2005

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
Available on Prime
(646) IMDb 7.8/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime

1. Episode 1 TV-PG CC

Young orphan Esther Summerson is brought to the High Court of Chancery, where she is thrown together with two Wards of the Court, Richard Carstone and Ada Clare. Both are caught up in the infamous suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which brings nothing but ruin and despair to all it touches. The elegant life of another Jarndyce suitor, the beautiful Lady Dedlock, is turned upside-down when her husband's lawyer, Tulkinghorn, gets wind of a scandalous secret in her past. Esther, Richard and Ada are sent to live at Bleak House, where they receive a friendly welcome from their rich guardian, John Jarndyce. Meanwhile, Tulkinghorn's investigation leads him into the dark underbelly of London, where he searches for Nemo, the mysterious law-writer whose name literally means no one. But when Tulkinghorn decides to pay Nemo a visit, he receives a very nasty surprise...

Starring:
Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson
Runtime:
52 minutes
Original air date:
October 23, 2005

Available in HD on supported devices.

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Episode 1

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Season 1
Available on Prime
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    1. Episode 1 Young orphan Esther Summerson is brought to the High Court of Chancery, where she is thrown together with two Wards of the Court, Richard Carstone and Ada Clare. Both are caught up in the infamous suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which brings nothing but ruin and despair to all it touches. The elegant life of another Jarndyce suitor, the beautiful Lady Dedlock, is turned upside-down when her husband's lawyer, Tulkinghorn, gets wind of a scandalous secret in her past. Esther, Richard and Ada are sent to live at Bleak House, where they receive a friendly welcome from their rich guardian, John Jarndyce. Meanwhile, Tulkinghorn's investigation leads him into the dark underbelly of London, where he searches for Nemo, the mysterious law-writer whose name literally means no one. But when Tulkinghorn decides to pay Nemo a visit, he receives a very nasty surprise...

    CC TV-PG 52min October 23, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    2. Episode 2 Despite the grim discovery of Nemos body, Tulkinghorn remains undeterred from his ruthless inquiry into Lady Dedlock's past. As he edges closer to the truth, Lady Dedlock puts her reputation at risk when she pays an undercover visit to Nemo's former haunts. Richard and Ada plan their engagement, but receive an unexpected setback. Esther meets an attractive young doctor named Allan Woodcourt, not realizing that John Jarndyce is becoming increasingly attracted to her himself. Woodcourt has news that comes as a terrible blow to Esther.

    CC TV-PG 52min November 6, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    3. Episode 3 A chance encounter in the country raises intriguing questions for Esther and Lady Dedlock. Richard's inability to settle causes a rift with John Jarndyce, much to Ada's dismay. Tulkinghorn finally unearths the identity of the mysterious Nemo. Nemo's old friend, Sergeant George, has the evidence he needs to prove it and Tulkinghorn will stop at nothing to force George to hand it over. But George has even more problems when Gridley turns up on his doorstep, on the run from the law and infected with the fever.

    CC TV-PG 52min November 13, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    4. Episode 4 Esther falls sick with smallpox; she recovers but is left badly scarred. George has to make an impossible decision when Tulkinghorn instructs the evil moneylender Smallweed to turn up the heat on his debts. Legal clerk Guppy, still besotted with Esther, makes a discovery about his beloved which shocks Lady Dedlock to the core. Guppy's quest for more information takes him to Krook's shop, with explosive results. And Jarndyce is beside himself when tragedy strikes Bleak House.

    CC TV-PG 53min November 20, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    5. Episode 5 Richard's obsession with the Jarndyce case has grown to worrying proportions. John Jarndyce agonizes over whether to keep his feelings for Esther concealed. Meanwhile, Lady Dedlock tells Esther something that will change her life forever. Guppy puts himself at risk when he gets in the way of Tulkinghorn's enquiries. And Tulkinghorn at last has cast-iron proof of Lady Dedlock's guilt, and issues her with a terrible ultimatum.

    CC TV-PG 52min November 27, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    6. Episode 6 Richard's obsession with the Jarndyce case has grown to worrying proportions. John Jarndyce agonizes over whether to keep his feelings for Esther concealed. Meanwhile, Lady Dedlock tells Esther something that will change her life forever. Guppy puts himself at risk when he gets in the way of Tulkinghorn's enquiries. And Tulkinghorn at last has cast-iron proof of Lady Dedlock's guilt, and issues her with a terrible ultimatum.

    CC TV-PG 52min December 4, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    7. Episode 7 Esther's feelings for Woodcourt grow stronger, despite her best intentions. Richard and Ada's news causes great concern for Esther and Jarndyce. As Inspector Bucket investigates Tulkinghorn's murder; there is no shortage of suspects. An early arrest appears to wrap the case up quickly, but a spate of poison-pen letters suggests that all is not as it seems. As evidence mounts against Lady Dedlock, Bucket sets a trap for the killer, with astonishing results.

    CC TV-PG 52min December 11, 2005
  • Included with Prime Instant Video

    8. Episode 8 The moneylender Smallweed has evidence of Lady Dedlock's secret past and intends to use it against her. Cornered, Lady Dedlock makes a terrible decision. Esther and Bucket try desperately to reach her before it is too late. Richard's obsession with Chancery leaves him dangerously ill. Ada is pregnant, but worries he will not live to see the birth of their child. Woodcourt proposes marriage to Esther, but she is torn between her love for him and her commitment to Jarndyce. Then the impossible happens a result in Chancery, but it is one that will astound everyone.

    CC TV-PG 53min December 18, 2005

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Justin Chadwick
Starring Gillian Anderson, Denis Lawson
Supporting actors Anthony Cozens, Sevan Stephan, Charles Dance, Alistair McGowan, Alastair Galbraith, Gillian Anderson, Timothy West, Tony Haygarth, Patrick Kennedy, Carey Mulligan, Pauline Collins, Ruby Williams, Kelly Hunter, Burn Gorman, John Lynch, Harry Eden, Sean McGinley, Tom Georgeson
Season year 2005
Network BBC America
Executive Producer Alison Barnett
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

A Little Known Dickens work comes to life with rich and interesting characters.
Christine G. Smith
This is one reason why I like to watch Dickens' books as a film before reading them.
BeVirtuous
Nice acting from not well know actors, great costumes, nice direction, nice casting.
GardenerbobW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

239 of 251 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on February 14, 2006
Format: DVD
For once, I am happy to find a remake of a fine old Masterpiece Theatre offering that is as good as the original. "Bleak House" is currently available on an DVD with Diana Rigg as the most familiar name; and except for some incomprehensible line readings by a young character named Joe, it is a very good account of the Dickens novel. Having already appeared on Public Television, the remake has Gillian Anderson (yes, the one from "X-Files") as Lady Dedlock, and a cast of 80 speaking roles, many of which are played by actors that will send you searching the cast listings that go by too quickly at the end of each episode.

The eight parts will be shown so that the first and last will run two hours and the four in between an hour each. I found the complex plot actually easier to follow in this version than I did in the earlier one. And while I prefer Rigg to Anderson, I think I can easily recommend this new adaptation over the other.

The story--lawyers will hate it--involves the infamous Court of Chancery in which disputes over estates can be buried for years until the lawyers' fees make further legalizing unnecessary. Against this background, the case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce being a major part of it, we have the story of John Jarndyce (Denis Lawson), his ward Ada (Carey Mulligan), her companion Esther (Anna Maxwell Martin), and Ada's beloved Richard (Patrick Kennedy).

The latter becomes obsessed with the case, while Esther becomes involved in the mysterious past of Lady Dedlock, who happens to recognize the handwriting on some legal documents delivered by the utterly immoral family solicitor Tulkinghorn (Charles Dance). I will not reveal any more of the plot, lest it spoil your enjoyment.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By J. Kara Russell VINE VOICE on February 20, 2006
Format: DVD
A simply magnificent production of Dickens. Read the Amazon editorial review above, I agree with all of it.

Dickens can be difficult to translate to film. His cartoonish drawings of his characters, both literal and literary, are the stuff of political lampoon. And he IS interested in politics; the politics of class, culture, the legal system, and how his characters are trapped in them, by situation, and by their own human choices. His characters and story lines are so intricate that they must have been manna for the readers of his (no tv, no film) time period, but they can sometimes be dry and dull for a modern audience.

Enter the skillfull writing of THE MASTER ADAPTOR Andrew Davies, and a production that careens and slams prison doors from one story to another, and we are briskly carried along... in this story of secrets, blackmail, and the endless wait for the legal system to do... something... anything.

As with most BBC casting, it is excellent... every single character not only LOOKS as they should, but can really act. Nice to see Gillian Anderson break through and prove that yes, american actresses really CAN run with the best of them, if they get the chance to. Anna Maxwell Martin as our lead protagonist is simply wonderful. She has the kind of looks that we do not get to see in the hollywood casting system. Her character does not rely on her appearance, because she knows she can not, but she becomes so dear to us, we care deeply about her, and her complexity and calm in the midst of chaos reveal her true inner beauty. Through her we see the souls of others as they respond to her.
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162 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kim on January 23, 2006
Format: DVD
I caught the first two hours of this adaptation of Dickens Bleak House on Masterpiece Theatre on Sunday night and I was immediately hooked. If you love dark Victorian mysteries this is a must see. I remember hearing promos for the show stating its starring Gillian Anderson but I thought it was some English actress with the same name as Scully from the X-files. What a shock when I realized I watched Scully for I did not realize it at the time it was her. Ms. Anderson becomes Lady Dedlock replacing her FBI professional pant suits outfits for a Victorian frock. Although common elements to both characters are repressed emotions and icy personalities. I have not read the novel but the show is emphasizing the mystery aspects of the story with Lady Dedlock trying to hide a secret from her past, how everybody's fate is somehow bound into the Jarndyce case over disputed wills and what role if any Esther plays in all of this. Also, the series focuses a sharp eye on the byzantine legal world of Victorian England that makes the US legal system seem the epitome of efficiency. Charles Dance is great as the ruthless barrister Tulkinghorn who sets his sights on uncovering Lady Dedlock's secret. Anne Maxwell Martin is great as the innocent and virtuous Esther Summerson. Besides Ms. Anderson some might recognize Mr. Dance who has seen roles in various movies and TV series including the villain in the Eddie Murphy Buddhist action-adventure movie The Golden Child, and Denis Lawson, who plays the benevolent John Jarndyce, was Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars movies. Like any Dickens novel this TV series is filled with interesting often eccentric secondary characters from the young law clerk Mr. Guppy to Miss Flite.Read more ›
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