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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Literature > British TV > Mini-Series > The Old Curiosity Shop (1979 British TV/BBC and Time-Life)

The Old Curiosity Shop (1979 British TV/BBC and Time-Life)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C     Program: B



One of Charles Dickens’ least-adapted books is The Old Curiosity Shop and a very good version of the sometimes forgotten classic has arrived on DVD.  The BBC and Time-Life co-produced their own mini-series version of the book at 4.5 hours with the TV production offering the typically British interiors on PAL analog video and the outdoor shots seemingly filmed.  This version is on 2 DVDs and in 9 parts.


The story of a gambling grandfather (Sebastian Shaw) and the fortune he owes to a devious, ugly old man named Daniel Quilp (Trevor Peacock) becomes even more high stakes when the addicts granddaughter Nell (Natalie Ogle) becomes an even larger target of Quilp’s when he find out about where his loaned money has rally gone.  He has always lusted after Nell and feels he has found justification to get her.  Perhaps it is that the tale against greed and for life is not corporate friendly enough for it to remain as popular as other works of Dickens, which is all the more reason to see this set.


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, but the performance is similar to the David Copperfield installment from this series we have reviewed elsewhere on this site.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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