In the year of Dickens Bicentenary we owe him some gratitude and remembrance. So, since  I've seen  all the adaptations of his novels I could find, I decided I needed  some more Dickens , surfed the Net and found this lovely series dating back to 2001 (available on DVD).   David Jason stars as Mr. Micawber in this gentle comedy set in Victorian England and inspired by a character from Charles Dickens' novel 'David Copperfield'.
Like in that novel, in this lovely series too , Mr Micawber is incredibly eloquent and well-spoken, but he is also criminally bad with money. He doesn't meet any lovely 10-year-old David in the 4 episodes I saw,  but through his adventures - well, add a "mis" before the "ad "- the watcher can revisit the Dickensian - subtly ironic but lovable - portrait of an amiable character inspired to his own father, John Dickens. Micawber and Mr Dickens senior shared the same sad fate of being incarcerated in a debtors' prison (the King's Bench Prison) after failing to meet their creditors' demands.

Mr. Micawber Conducts David Home 1924
Mr. Micawber is totally thankless when it comes to managing his own life, but he is incredibly active and dedicated when he has to help other people. He has got 4 children but he hosts and adopts a poor orphan girl from the workhouse, he hasn't got much to eat but he gives hospitality to a playwright hoping he can pay,  sooner or later,  for his hospitality;  he is really good-hearted but has also his pride so,  when he discovers his wife's father plotted against him,  he decides he can't stand keeping the old man's portrait in his parlour; he is always on the brink of financial collapse but he knows how to skip final solutions against him with his smart wit and eloquence.
His wife , Emma (Annabelle Apsion) is always on his side and supports  his continuous trust and positive attitude ("something will turn up") with her loyal positive behaviour ("I will never desert Mr. Micawber!")

These are the 4 episodes in the DVD: Micawber Learns the Truth , Micawber and the Theatre , Micawber Meets the Americans ,  Micawber and the Aristocracy.
Get ready to be amazed: in the fourth and last episode Mr Micawber will be seduced by a bored aristocratic lady neglected by her husband and will be challenged to a duel by the jealous man. How will he escape a tragic fate and ... his wife's revenge?


JaneGS said...

This sounds like something I would really enjoy--Mr. Micawber is the epitome of a Dickens character. I'm currently reading Little Dorrit, and there are more than a few similarities between Mr. Micawber and Mr. Dorrit.

I'll have to look for it.

Maria Grazia said...

You're right, Jane. Mr Dorrit is another improvident father and his family is forced to live in a prison for debtors after he is incarcerated there. And that is the place where Mr Micawber ends up too in "David Copperfield". Dickens seems to try to exorcize a ghost from his past (his own father's imprisonment for debts) through the creation of these two literary figures.
Thanks for your comment!