Previously on Oliver Twist: Oliver wanted more, and when he didn’t get it, he hit the road to London, where he hooked up with a gang of child thieves, made friends with a prostitute, and wound up living with some nice rich people before being kidnapped by said prostitute’s crazy boyfriend so he could help boyfriend rob houses. And then he got shot.
I’m not entirely sure what happened. I checked out PBS.org and I could have sworn it said that Oliver Twist was airing last night and next Sunday, so in an effort to keep myself sane and ensure and early bedtime, I scrambled around until I found this version of Oliver online and I went ahead and recapped part one. Then I tuned into PBS later and…it was some Downton Abbey nonsense. Look, I like Downton just fine, but it’s over now, and I think it’s time to move on. Enough with the endless “behind the scenes” specials, ok? I’ve readjusted my brain to Dickens month now, so stop jerking me around my time periods, PBS! Anyway, the recap was already done, so I figured, eh, screw it, I’m posting it anyway. No way I’m flushing a couple hours worth of work on a Sunday down the drain. So, here it is, and you’ll get part II next week, because now I’m just operating on my own schedule.
Like all the Dickens adaptations this year, this one starts out in gloom and misery. A young woman in distress rings the bell at some workhouse and begs to be admitted. Someone comes out and helps her inside, where she gives birth to a baby and then takes a really bad turn. One of the other workers notices a locket on the young mother, and once her rather hardened superior leaves, the mother rallies and asks to see the baby. Nice Lady brings him over and mother smiles and realizes she’s dying. She begs Nice Lady to send a letter she has on her, and though Nice Lady’s reluctant, you know she will, or she’ll hold onto it and reappear at some randomly opportune moment. Mother expires and Nice Lady takes the locket, watching it twist in the flickering light.