Airing May 3, 2009 on PBS Check local listings
Grandfather (Derek Jacobi, I, Claudius) adores young and innocent Nell (Sophie Vavasseur, Northanger Abbey), and is determined to provide her with a secure future — but at what cost? As Grandfather routinely dispatches her from the Old Curiosity Shop to secure funds, he meanwhile is gambling away the money under the cover of night. Desperation forces Grandfather into a reckless deal with the menacing moneylender Quilp (Toby Jones, Frost/Nixon). When their money and luck run out, Nell summons her courage and encourages Grandfather that they should both flee too. Pursued by a variety of shadowy characters including a quiet man with mysterious intentions, Nell and Grandfather are forced to beg in order to survive. Will they be rescued before Grandfather's gambling habit ruins them or Quilp catches up? Gina McKee (The Forsyte Saga) also stars in one of Charles Dickens's most heartrending tales.
A Scholar's Perspective
Dickens scholar Tatiana Holway on Dickens's real-life inspiration for Nell and more.
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Dickens Teachers Guide
Find Teaching Dickens: A Masterpiece Guide and other free resources for the classroom.
For a limited time starting May 4, view The Old Curiosity Shop on your computer.