"I don't know about Oliver Twist, Great Expectations or Bleak House but I have been waiting a long time for Martin Chuzzlewitt, Our Mutual Friend and Hard Times. Starting with MC: unless you watch alot of Masterpiece Theater you may not recognize any of the actors but that won't hurt the story which is well and clearly told about money, greed, family (relatives near and distant rather than loved ones), kindness, friendship, love and forgiveness. The villians are especially well portrayed - you just have to hate them. I picked up the VHS of OMF on a whim because I like Dickens and was absolutely delighted. The well told themes are similar to MC but without as much of the family connection. Again you're not likely to recognize many of the actors but who cares, the love story is every bit as good as the one in Great Expectations and with far fewer impediments to fulfillment. As for HT - on Masterpiece Theater it was introduced as Dickens Darkest story and it truly is. Don't watch this if you want a happy ending - there isn't one unless it is what happens to the school master's not to wise son and to the girl from the circus. I've never seen BH so have no opinion except I think I remember vaguely that Diana Rigg starred in it. On the whole a collection well worth the money. I haven't actually seen these in their dvd format but have purchase other dvd collections from this source and found the production values to be excellent for picture and sound quality. I only gave 4 stars because I couldn't tell from the picture if OT and GE are dvd's that have been previously released or older renditions of these classic stories that I somehow missed when they were originally broadcast."
Robert J. Whalen | Langhorne, PA | 10/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is a great entertainment value. Unfortunately, the set advertises closed captions but my new JVC television with closed caption ability shows no closed captions for any of the titles. The BBC productions really need subtitles for the hearing impaired. For some reason they don't have a policy of adding this enhancement to their DVDs'."
BBC Drama Tops Again
G. R. Yardley | Christchurch, New Zealand | 01/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All these titles-with the exception of "Hard Times"-are in episode form,previouly shown weekly by the BBC.The advantage of this format is the inclusion of many more characters and side-stories than the 2 to 3 hours a movie can possibly include.Throw in superb acting and directing plus intelligent editing and each title becomes an epic in its own right. "Hard Times", being Dickens shortest novel, is covered in one complete movie.As a bonus the set includes no less than three half hour features:Simon Callow reads to a live audience from "Oliver Twist".The scene is possibly the most famous in all Dickens literature; the murder of Nancy by Sykes.A dramatisation of one of Dickens ghost stories,"The Signalman".A background documentary to "Our Mutual Friend",which among other things explains the origins and purposes of "dust heaps"without which parts of the story become unclear.All in all this set provides many hours[32 plus]of pleasure for a miniscule purchase price. Graeme Yardley[Christchurch,New Zealand]"
Pure enjoyment !
I. Serpak | 01/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of the classics English literature and especially Dickens. He is simply the genius. In my humble opinion no other English writer can be even compared with him. And to watch this BBC dramatization is a great pleasure too - it is true Dickens - bright and sparkling on the screen as he does in every one of his books. If you are the newcomer to the world of his books - watch the movies and be encouraged to go for reading then. You will never regret."
Dickens Package 1
George F. Fry | Canada | 06/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is an embarassment of riches. Each story is divided into several episodes which take time to view and absorb. So far we have only viewed "Bleak House" and "Our Mutual Friend". Both are excellent and capture the steamy world of Dicken's London. I think I am constantly amazed at the attention to detail that the Brits recreate in historical drama. And of course there is the wealth of character playing for which Britain has always been famous. A really excellent series."