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David Copperfield 

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
Daniel Radcliffe ...  Young David 2 episodes, 1999
Trevor Eve ...  Murdstone 2 episodes, 1999
Michael Elphick ...  Barkis 2 episodes, 1999
James Thornton James Thornton ...  Ham Peggotty 2 episodes, 1999
Alun Armstrong ...  Dan Peggotty 2 episodes, 1999
Patsy Byrne Patsy Byrne ...  Mrs. Gummidge 2 episodes, 1999
Laura Harling Laura Harling ...  Little Emily 2 episodes, 1999
Zoë Wanamaker ...  Miss Murdstone 2 episodes, 1999
Jacqueline Tong ...  Lady in coach 2 episodes, 1999
Karl Johnson ...  Tungay 2 episodes, 1999
Ian McKellen ...  Creakle 2 episodes, 1999
Harry Lloyd ...  Young Steerforth 2 episodes, 1999
Steve Swinscoe Steve Swinscoe ...  Quinion 2 episodes, 1999
Thomas Maher Thomas Maher ...  Mick 2 episodes, 1999
Bob Hoskins ...  Micawber 2 episodes, 1999
Peter Sproule Peter Sproule ...  Bootmaker 2 episodes, 1999
Imelda Staunton ...  Mrs. Micawber 2 episodes, 1999
Paul Whitehouse ...  Pawnbroker 2 episodes, 1999
Brian Abbott Brian Abbott ...  Constable 2 episodes, 1999
Jake Nightingale Jake Nightingale ...  Tinker 2 episodes, 1999
Emily McKenzie Emily McKenzie ...  Janet 2 episodes, 1999
Ian McNeice ...  Mr. Dick 2 episodes, 1999
Nicholas Lyndhurst ...  Uriah Heep 2 episodes, 1999
Oliver Ford Davies ...  Mr. Wickfield 2 episodes, 1999
Antonia Corrigan Antonia Corrigan ...  Young Agnes 2 episodes, 1999
Amanda Ryan ...  Agnes Wickfield 2 episodes, 1999
Ciarán McMenamin ...  David Copperfield 2 episodes, 1999
James Grout ...  Mr. Spenlow 2 episodes, 1999
Dawn French ...  Mrs. Crupp 2 episodes, 1999
Joanna Page ...  Dora Spenlow 2 episodes, 1999
Clare Wilkie Clare Wilkie ...  Julia Mills 2 episodes, 1999
Tom Wilkinson ...  Narrator 2 episodes, 1999
Oliver Milburn ...  Steerforth 2 episodes, 1999
Ed Hughes Ed Hughes ...  Steerforth's Friend 2 episodes, 1999
Colin Farrell Colin Farrell ...  Milkman 2 episodes, 1999
Cherie Lunghi ...  Mrs. Steerforth 2 episodes, 1999
Clare Holman ...  Rosa Dartle 2 episodes, 1999
Kenneth MacDonald ...  Littimer 2 episodes, 1999
Aislín McGuckin ...  Emily 2 episodes, 1999
Thelma Barlow Thelma Barlow ...  Mrs. Heep 2 episodes, 1999
Richard Howard Richard Howard ...  Doctor 2 episodes, 1999
David Maybrick ...  Officer 2 episodes, 1999
Emilia Fox ...  Clara Copperfield 2 episodes, 1999
John Normington ...  Dr. Chillip 2 episodes, 1999
Pauline Quirke ...  Peggotty 2 episodes, 1999
Maggie Smith ...  Betsey Trotwood 2 episodes, 1999


David Copperfield lives a nearly idyllic existence with his beautiful mother Clara and their housekeeper Peggotty. His life changes forever when his mother re-marries. Mr. Murdstone is a no-nonsense businessman and a strict disciplinarian who believes in corporal punishment. David is soon sent to a strict boarding school but when his mother dies, his stepfather sends him to London to work in a foul smelling factory. He forms a close friendship with Mr. Micawber and moves in with the man and his loving family but as the Micawbers are forced by circumstance to relocate, he seeks out his aunt Betsey Trotwood. She sends him to fine school and he lodges with Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes. As he grows older David is apprenticed to a law firm where he soon meets the senior partner's daughter, Dora. Life's challenges continue to confront him but with the help of friends and family, he overcomes adversity including his aunt's loss of her savings, the death of his wife and the ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One boy against the world.




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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

25 December 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Copperfield Dávid See more »


Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Chris Columbus was asked what type of child he wanted to play Harry Potter, he used a clip of Daniel Radcliffe from this miniseries, to show them what he wanted. See more »


The younger Davy is right-handed; the elder Davy is left-handed. See more »


Murdstone: What name did you just call your mistress?
Peggotty: [Coldly] Mrs Copperfield, same as always, sir.
Murdstone: But she has a new name now: Murdstone. Oblige me by remembering that in future.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Harry Potter Kids See more »


From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant British drama-- Dickens can be enjoyable
4 May 2006 | by cosmic_questSee all my reviews

For me, 'David Copperfield' was quite the revelation as a film as it was one of the few times I could tolerate Charles Dickens' adaptation and it was a chance to see Dan Radcliffe, before his rather mediocre performances as Harry Potter, prove he does have acting potential in him.

As the grown author David Copperfield reminisces on his life, the film focuses more on his childhood years and how he survived being an orphaned boy, with an abusive step-father, growing up in the bleakness of the Victorian era.

The cast is exemplary. Maggie Smith was just perfect as David's aunt, a woman who seems cold on the outside but does welcome the child into her home. Pauline Quirke stepped away from her usual comedic roles to play the maternal Pegotty, a lovable character who you truly felt cherished this little boy. Trevor Eve delivered a very chilling performance as the hideous stepfather Mr Murdstone who loathed David on sight with Zoe Wannamake equally as cruel as Murdstone's vile sister. Every actor did an excellent job of bringing their character to life and I don't think there has ever been such a well-cast drama. However, nine-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, who two years after this film would be cast to play Harry Potter, stole the show as the vulnerable but tenacious young David. It is easy to forget his bland wooden acting in the Harry Potter films as he throws himself into the role of winsome, wide-eyed David, wonderfully depicting the pains and joys of his character.

'David Copperfield' has to be one of the best adaptations of a classic novel yet. The excellent script and wonderful actors mesh together to really bring the story to life and it reminds you that sometimes the BBC does get it right. It's a pity our TV license money couldn't go to making more like this.

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