8:30pm – Sunday, December 20 on ABC1
A two-part series. On a dark and stormy winter’s night in a miserable, dank room lit only by a few candles, Oliver (William Miller) is born into a life of poverty and misfortune. His unmarried mother dies only moments later, leaving Oliver alone in the world.
Ten years on and after growing up in a workhouse overseen by the awful Mr Bumble (Gregor Fisher), watching the suffering and cruelty endured by the children, Oliver finally decides he wants more. He gets sold to local undertaker, Mr Sowerberry (John Sessions), before escaping to London.
When Oliver arrives in the big city, vulnerable and scared, he meets the Artful Dodger (Adam Arnold), Nancy (Sophie Okonedo), Fagin (Timothy Spall) and the boys, and gets the first warm welcome of his life. But naive and innocent, he’s unaware that this kindness requires its own type of payment to be collected by the evil Bill Sikes (Tom Hardy). And without any other guidance, will Oliver be forced into a life of crime.
A chance meeting with Mr Brownlow (Edward Fox) and his beautiful ward Rose (Morven Christie) sees Oliver’s fortunes change for the better and the opportunity to start a new life.
But there are those unknown to Oliver who hold the truth to his real identity and are determined to ruin and destroy him.