David Copperfield (1979 British TV/BBC and Time-Life)
Sound: C†††† Extras: C†††† Program: B
Twenty years before the WGBH version of Charles Dickensí David
Copperfield that we recently reviewed, the BBC and Time-Life co-produced
their own mini-series version of the book and it is about on par with the later
production.† Though both are British,
this one runs about 5.5 hours instead of three, but that does not necessarily
mean better.† Not as big a fan as my
fellow critic of the book, I still enjoyed the production with the interiors on
PAL analog video and the outdoor shots seemingly filmed.
David Yelland is the title character this time, whose
mother is suckered into marrying an idiot who becomes his evil stepfather from
hell, ruining his life and being thrown out into the uglier side of the world
at large at the time.† Between a
boarding school and other sick, evil relatives, he must fend for himself and is
dealt the cruel hand of losing his childhood too soon.† The trick is to tell this story without your
production imploding into stupidity or celebrated ugliness.† Like the WGBH version, this avoids that trap
and may be just a bit more satisfying in the end.
The 1.33 X 1 image is a bit softer than a PAL transfer to
DVD should be for its age, but it is not too bad.† The Dolby Digital 2.0 is a surprisingly weak Mono, but is
passable.† There are no extras except
for other Koch Vision trailers.
-†† Nicholas Sheffo