TV - Dickensian

Dickensian

What the Dickens? Find out more about BBC One's new drama series, Dickensian...

Set within the fictional realms of Charles Dickens’ critically acclaimed novels, this Christmas, BBC One transports you to 19th century London, to a world where some of Dickens’ most iconic characters co-exist, including Scrooge, Inspector Bucket and a young Miss Havisham.

With stars such as Stephen Rea, Pauline Collins, Caroline Quentin and Peter Firth alongside Tuppence Middleton, Sophie Rundle, Omid Djalili, Anton Lesser, Ned Dennehy, Adrian Rawlins and Tom Weston-Jones, the 20 part drama series promises fast-paced storylines with surprising twists and turns.

As the snow falls on Market Street this Christmas Eve, the festive hustle and bustle is hushed as the body of wealthy brewer, Mr Havisham, is driven to his final resting place, followed by son Arthur and daughter Amelia. Later that day, at the reading of the will, pain strikes further when Arthur finds his father has left the vast majority of the Havisham wealth to Amelia. Set on the path to revenge, what grave consequences will sister Amelia face as a result of Arthur’s indisputable envy?

Meanwhile, the free-spirited Honoria Barbary meets in secret with her young love Captain James Hawdon, much to her sister Frances’s distain. Will their clandestine love affair survive the scheming and plotting of her sister due to her desire of a wealthier suitor?

Elsewhere, gang-master and pimp Fagin has organised for street girl Nancy to visit Jacob Marley for his evening’s entertainment. Accompanying the young girl for her safety is house-breaker and ruffian Bill Sikes, who will do anything to protect her.

Secrets are lurking around every corner and as the bell tolls 9pm on Christmas Eve, tragedy strikes as Jacob Marley’s dead body is found lying in the snow. As the deceased was not short of enemies, can the newly appointed Inspector Bucket determine the murderer?


The Dickensian set features a 90 metre cobbled high street with a fully functioning pub at one end and a 16 column colonnade, church and law courts at the other. Overall there are 27 two-storey buildings on the street and seven back alleys that lead to a parallel 30 metre street.

More Dickensian set "fun facts" from Michael Ralph (Production Designer):

  • There are 15 working fireplaces which are all built with true fire in them 
  • There are 100 tonnes of sand and cement on the floor to make cobbles 
  • There are 12 major shoot offs from inside doorways 
  • There are 9 working shops that have back doors, front doors and interior working windows onto the street 
  • There are 112 working doors throughout the whole set. Every single one of those doors had to be hung and built 
  • There are 33 building facades that constitute the whole street 
  • There are 9 built-in alleys 
  • There are 15 interior sets that aren’t on the street and are all fully dressed and decorated 
  • There is a 90m adjacent street to the main street 
  • The main street itself can take two carriages passing each other at speed. They tried it! 
  • There are 20 street lights and each building has its own window lighting set up 
  • There are 103 windows which means a large amount of glass

The first episode goes out on BBC One on Boxing Day evening (26th) at 7 pm GMT.

Images - BBC