Bleak House (2005)
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Episode #1.11 

Richard is deep in debt and trough with the Army. Ada offers him her inheritance to cover his debts, but he decides to leave service and devote himself to the trial full-time. Doctor Allan ... See full summary »


Susanna White


Andrew Davies (screenplay), Charles Dickens (novel)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dermot Crowley ... Mr. Vholes
Denis Lawson ... John Jarndyce
Anna Maxwell Martin ... Esther Summerson
Carey Mulligan ... Ada Clare
Emma Williams ... Rosa
Gillian Anderson ... Lady Dedlock
Barry Ewart Barry Ewart ... Deal Innkeeper
Patrick Kennedy ... Richard Carstone
Richard Harrington ... Allan Woodcourt
Harry Eden ... Jo
Benedict Martin ... Policeman Outside Snagsby's
Sean McGinley ... Snagsby
Tim Dantay Tim Dantay ... Mr. Rouncewell
Anne Reid ... Mrs. Rouncewell
Timothy West ... Sir Leicester Dedlock


Richard is deep in debt and trough with the Army. Ada offers him her inheritance to cover his debts, but he decides to leave service and devote himself to the trial full-time. Doctor Allan Woodcourt is back, still penniless having suffered shipwreck. He arrives too late to save gentle urchin Jo, who dies from pneumonia but first denounces Tlkinghorn as the monster who had the knave persecuted. This time bloody vengeance is exacted. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

boy | medical examination | See All (2) »




Did You Know?


John Jarndyce: Dead. Dead, Your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, Your Worships. Dead, Right Reverends of every order and degree. Dead and dying thus around us
John Jarndyce: every day.
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User Reviews

Innocence versus evil
19 November 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Bleak House' is a very long book, one of Dickens' longest, with a complicated story where there is a lot going on, and very meaty characters that are mostly complex. While not my favourite Dickens book, or one of my favourites, it is still truly great and reinforces why any work of Dickens is well worth reading. Dickens' work also deserves film and television adaptations that are worthy of them, this 'Bleak House' very much is one of those that is more than worthy of the source material.

This is another outstanding episode of one of the best Dickens television adaptations. All the previous parts of 'Bleak House' were remarkably consistent in how truly superb in quality they were. The intrigue, high quality production values, absorbing and increasingly complex storytelling and outstanding acting all still remain, and in no way has the adaptation run out of steam. Very much the opposite actually.

Cannot complain about the production values. It continues to be beautifully shot and the handsome period detail is also evocative. The Victorian era look and atmosphere are nailed, as unforgiving as much as they are handsome being much more than just sumptuous costumes and interiors, one can truly tell that the living conditions back then were dangerous. The music fits nicely.

The characters are still interesting, the complexity and important character traits still maintained but expanded as one expects at this late stage too. The dialogue is literate and thoughtful in an accessible way, without being too wordy which is a feat as Dickens is talk-heavy and it can be quite dense. All of the major subplots are interesting, they don't bore and never found myself losing focus, a great job is also done with showing the evils of society and how the innocent party are affected.

Richard and Ada's subplot sees them growing as characters, though Richard's selfishness makes one endear to him less, and it is very easy to connect with Jarndyce, his "dead" lines have impact. Felt both anger and tears in the outcome of Jo's fate and the episode ends on one of the most satisfying moments of the adaptation.

While all the performances are on the money, Denis Lawson's nobility really shines and Patrick Kennedy and Carey Mulligan both have grown vastly as Richard and Ada. Harry Eden is heart-wrenching as Jo.

Concluding, really wonderful. 10/10

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Release Date:

2 December 2005 (UK) See more »

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