Bleak House 1 Season 2005

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Season 1
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(953) IMDb 7.8/10
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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:
Anna Maxwell Martin, Ian Richardson
Runtime:
55 minutes
Original air date:
October 23, 2005

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Episode 1 [HD]

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Season 1
Available on Prime

Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Justin Chadwick
Starring Anna Maxwell Martin, Ian Richardson
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
Producers Alison Barnett, Rebecca Eaton, Sally Haynes, Laura Mackie, Nigel Stafford-Clark
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Well casted and great acting.
Amazon Customer
If you like period films with great attention to detail in every aspect you will love Bleak House.
Lindylu
I watched every episode, one right after the other.
Candi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

254 of 268 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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167 of 186 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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93 of 102 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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