Synopsis by Mark Deming
A distinguished cast highlights this made-for-TV adaptation of one of Charles Dickens' best-loved novels. Young David Copperfield (Daniel Radcliffe) is loved by his mother Clara (Emilia Fox), but does not get along with his foul-tempered stepfather, Murdstone (Trevor Eve). After biting Murdstone during a fight, David is forced to attend a boarding school operated by the vicious and humorless Mr. Creakle (Ian McKellen). After Clara suddenly dies, David is sent to work; while his labors are tiring and poorly compensated, he finds a benefactor in the good-hearted Mr. Micawber (Bob Hoskins) and his wife (Imelda Staunton). However, Micawber does not manage money well, and winds up in a debtors prison. Left to his devices, David sets out to find one of his few surviving relatives, his eccentric Aunt Betsy (Maggie Smith). The years pass, and the grown-up David (Ciaran McMenamin) has struggled to build a better life for himself, with the help of Betsy's attorney, Mr. Wickfield. David also becomes friendly with Wickfield's daughter Agnes (Amanda Ryan), but he finds a nemesis in the lawyer's clerk Uriah Heep (Nicholas Lyndhurst). David also marries a simple woman named Dora (Joanna Page), but their union brings him little happiness. David Copperfield was a co-production of the BBC and WGBH Boston. It received its American premier on the acclaimed anthology series Masterpiece Theatre.
benefactor, boarding-school, clerk, lawyer, prison, stepfather