Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Hot on the heels of the BBC's multipart 1999 adaptation of Charles Dickens' semiautobiographical novel David Copperfield came this American-financed version, prepared for the TNT cable network as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Child actor Max Dolbey and adult performer Hugh Dancy share the role of David Copperfield who, after enduring a tempestuous youth at the hands of his cruel stepfather Murdstone (Anthony Andrews), manages to survive into adulthood with the help and support of such sympathetic figures as Aunt Betsy Trotwood (Sally Field), the eternally-in-debt Mr. Micawber (Michael Richards), and loyal old Dan Peggoty (Nigel Davenport). Even so, David's later years are none too serene, thanks in great part to antagonists like the wheedling, "'umble" Uriah Heep (Frank MacCusker), and to his own star-crossed romantic misadventures. At the time of its first telecast on December 10, 2000, this two-part adaptation of David Copperfield was criticized for the "stunt" casting of former Seinfeld regular Michael Richards as Micawber, who is transformed into a Kramer-esque slapstick figure; however, one must remember that not everyone was enamored of W.C. Fields' now-classic interpretation of the same character in the 1935 film version. David Copperfield was lensed on location in Ireland.