Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit: BBC Press dates

BBC Press Office confirm that Little Dorrit's first two episodes will be broadcast on Sunday 26 & Thursday 30 October. Thanks to Luce for spotting it.

Matthew Macfadyen plays Arthur Clennam (Oct 2008)

BBC Press Office 13.10.2008

Matthew Macfadyen plays Arthur Clennam

Matthew Macfadyen plays Arthur Clennam, the mysterious figure whose return from overseas to fulfil his dying father's last wish completely transforms the lives of the Dorrits.

The charismatic leading actor, who has gained a huge following on the small screen as Tom in Spooks and on the big screen as Mr Darcy in Pride And Prejudice, says he had no hesitation in accepting the role of Arthur.

"This story really blew my hair back," he grins.

"Then when the rest of the casting came through, I couldn't believe my luck. I've been in some sexy casts in my time, but nothing quite like this!"

Matthew, who has also starred in The Way We Live Now, The Project and Warriors, goes on to outline the role.

"It's quite a challenge playing Arthur. At first, I was worried that he's merely the glue that sticks this story together.

"I didn't want him to be drippy or overly passive or always on the back foot. There's always a concern as an actor that you'll be boring unless your character is swinging from a chandelier.

"But once I got into the part, I realised that Arthur is really quite sympathetic.

"As it went on, I discovered him to be richer and richer. He's got genuine depth.

"He's getting on a bit and he's still suffering the after-effects of his awful lonely upbringing at the hands of his terrible mother and father. He's emotionally bereft, and I think people will really feel for him."

Matthew reckons that "audiences will also be intrigued by the mystery element to his story. His father has given him a watch which has this strange message inside and Arthur feels a family responsibility to solve it. It's an old-fashioned whodunit, and it's frightfully intriguing."

As the title indicates, at the heart of the piece is a deeply moving relationship between Arthur and Little Dorrit (Claire Foy).

"That relationship is lovely," Matthew beams.

"It's very poignantly drawn and so true to life about male-female relations. He has no clue that the person who loves him is standing right in front of him.

"Audiences will be shouting at the screen, 'come on, Arthur, you twit! Open your eyes!'"

Matthew relished his scenes with Claire.

"She's totally brilliant. It's a huge task for anyone, but for her to pull it off on her first or second job out of drama school is just amazing. She's also completely down to earth. She's very good news."

The actor was equally excited about appearing opposite one of his idols, Sir Tom Courtenay, who plays Amy's father.

"I did a fair bit with Tom. You can learn so much from watching him - he's an actor to his fingertips. I loved working with him.

"In fact, this whole project has been bliss!"

Little Dorrit: BBC Press Office

Thanks to Luce for spotting that the BBC Press Office has added lots of details to its website, including an interview with Matthew about Little Dorrit.

Little Dorrit: BBC Press Office

Little Dorrit: Andrew Davies article in Observer

Today's Observer has an article / interview with Andrew Davies about Little Dorrit. It also includes a lovely image of Matthew on set. The larger version is in the galleries. Thanks again to 6point7 for the scan.
Digiguide list Little Dorrit as starting at 6:25pm on Sunday 26th October. The BBC press site still has it unplaced.
Little Dorrit: Andrew Davies article in Observer

The Telegraph review of Little Dorrit

The Telegraph has a review of Little Dorrit:

I went to see a screening of the BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit and am happy to report that it is Andrew Davies at his best. It's a clever Dickens book to choose, telling as it does the tale of a family stuck in a debtors prison thanks in part to an unscrupulous banker - a family who go from rags to riches and back to rags again. Not much has changed since the time of Dickens, has it?

Exciting news!

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