Grand collaboration of BBC with American PBS Boston Masterpiece Theatre on this adaptation by award-winning screenwriter of the latest "Pride & Prejudice" and "Bleak House," this seven Emmy Award winning "Outstanding Mini-Series" would thrill Dickens and if not already make "Little Dorritt" one of your favorite of the subscription tales spun by Victorian England novelist/social awareness & humanitarian conscience rouser Charles Dickens, on a par with "Nicholas Nickleby" and "A Christmas Carol."
Timeless everyman themes of life's ups & downs including unquenchable Cinderella hopes and romance fetchingly set in Victorian trimmings and starkly contrasting social caste drama is so mesmerizing that you won't even mind Dickens' too far-fetched mystery premise reveal at the end defying credulity but who cares about that post-script to the pre-eminent character developments & story lines interwoven in a Dickens tapestry of quirkily originals whose whimsical humorous names celebrating Britishness are as entertaining as their characters.
The appealingly attractively and/or intriguing cast serve up iconic Britishness in beautifully scripted expressions delivered with such clarity of enunciated diction that we across the Pond can get most of it too, with the exception of an occasional non-integral bit of idiom or low accent here or there; and transcend period/locale London gloom intermingled with a seachange in Venice, challenging viewers to imagine how we would respond in and to the situations and circumstances.
I won't be passing this along like most DVDs after savoring those meriting a second go-round, as this one's a keeper I'll have to buy more to gift others without hesitation since tastefully not raunchy nor graphic even when conveying the grimness of Marshalsea Debtors Prison the likes of which made offspring USA craft bankruptcy forgiveness & restitution laws and a rather more productive correctional system. I see no age rating on the series, but harsh or adult themes are so obliquely alluded that I would think most adults would be comfortable with a range of young adult age viewing, like much that went over my head in the classics when I was young and "ivory tower" sheltered from what 21st Century young are exposed to. Certainly this helps anyone appreciate our blessings, if only the freedom from the constricting apparel and unnaturally inactive lifestyle of the Victorian lady, and the less sophisticated amenities then of even urban living. Yet so much of the high tone and style has gone with it, that we moderns enjoy period dramas of the glories of days of yore.