Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are we on the verge of a Dickens revival?

Masterpiece Theater Classic will be starting up again in the winter season of 2009 and it looks as if they intend to salute another renowned British author of the ages(like they did with Jane Austen last time). The series is tentatively "The Incomplete Charles Dickens" and is planning to broadcast some new productions along side previous shown films. One of the miniseries is an Andrew Davies adaptation of Little Dorrit(March 29 to April 26) and another will be Oliver Twist in February.

Also in the line-up is The Old Curiosity Shop(May 3),which features Derek Jacobi as Nell's grandfather and Toby Jones as the sinister Daniel Quilp. It's only a 90 minute film version,so I suspect a good number of intricate details will be left out there.

Filling out the series will be a replay of David Copperfield,which has Daniel Radcliffe playing the young Mr. Copperfield. I've seen that miniseries and it's pretty good,with lots of juicy casting choices such as Maggie Smith as Aunt Betsy and Bob Hoskins as Micawber. Looks like an ample feast of Victorian lit to keep our minds warm during the cold winter months and early spring:



If that isn't enough to whet your appetite for Dickensian lore,there's an intriguing new novel about Charles Dickens and his last years due out this upcoming February.

The plot of the book has Dickens en route to visiting his hidden mistress and getting involved in a train accident that leads him to exploring more dark corners of society than he ever did before,with friend and fellow writer Wilkie Collins at his side.

The book is titled Drood and no doubt will focus quite a bit on Dicken's final unfinished novel,The Mystery of Edmund Drood. It's written by Dan Simmons,who wowed book lovers and critics alike this year with The Terror. Simmons has written in several different genres but regardless of theme,the man has a strong sense of storytelling and sharp imaginative skills.

It's not so surprising that the works of Charles Dickens are making a new impact on the pop culture at large. With the economic hard times(no pun intended)facing us now and talk about the need for change floating on top of our somewhat turbulent political waters,if Dickens were back amongst the living,he'd feel right at home.

Dickens was for social reform and was gifted enough to mix his messages into entertaining stories that still resonate with meaning over a hundred years later.

The man had his dark moments,both in literature and in life,but he did believe in the inherent goodness of human beings and had hope that folks could triumph over difficult circumstances. Some of that down to earth sensibility could be just the thing to help us face the future and set the proper tone for the challenges to come in the new year:


Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about the new Dickens' adaptations. Should be good.

Ah, David Copperfield. Maggie Smith is hilarious there.

Victoria said...

Glad to see people embracing Dickens. I'm not a fan of "A Tale of Two Cities" (way too many coincidences for my liking), but would love to see a new version of "Great Expectations". Such an awesome multi-layered book. I tear up when I even think of Joe.

Ladytink_534 said...

I read Great Expectations a long time ago and have always meant to read some of Dicken's others. I haven't seen a whole lot of the movie adaptations either. I love Maggie Smith so I will be watching that!

lady t said...

Glad to see that we all agree that Maggie Smith rules:)

Victoria,I'm not crazy about Tale of Two Cities either(good story,but a bit too broad in scale and scope for my taste)but I do think that Great Expectations is a solid book.

Lady Tink, I don't know what other Dickens you've read but I wholeheartedly recommend David Copperfield,Old Curiosity Shop and Dombey and Son. Little Dorrit is one that I need to catch up on.

Jen,you'll love this version of David Copperfield,it's very lively.