Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of several British miniseries adaptations of Charles Dickens’ novel Our Mutual Friend, this four-part version debuted over the BBC in 1998. The production’s generous running time (total: six hours), enabled scenarist Sandy Welch to include virtually every important detail in this complex Victorian-era saga of how a mysterious waterfront death inextricably linked the lives of two young women, Lizzie Hexam (Keeley Hawes) and Bella Wilfer (Anna Friel). The richness of the Dickensian prose was complemented by the visuals, which incorporated everything from documentary-style handheld camerawork to Eisenstein-ish montages, and by the eerily polytonal musical score by Adrian Johnston. Our Mutual Friend was brought to America courtesy of PBS beginning January 3, 1999.
A young man is on his way to receive his inheritance, which, according to his father’s will, he can only claim if he marries Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he has never met. However, before he can arrive, a body is found in the Thames and identified as him. The money passes on, instead, to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread throughout various corners of London society.
Anna Friel as Bella Wilfer
Steven Mackintosh as John Harmon
Keeley Hawes as Lizzie Hexam
Paul McGann as Eugene Wrayburn
This BBC film still ranks in the best 25 of Period Dramas. You can find the entire series on the internet. Just follow this trailer below.