EXCLUSIVE: The BBC is heading back to the Dickensian-era for its latest family comedy. The British public broadcaster has ordered Dodger from NBCUniversal International Studios.
The series is a family adventure comedy set in 1830s Dickensian London and tells the story of the Artful Dodger, the infamous pickpocket character from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
The character, whose name was Jack Dawkins, is the leader of a gang of child criminals, trained by Fagin. He was described by Dickens as a “snub-nosed, flat-bowed, common-faced boy” with the “airs and manners of a man”.
The Artful Dodger has been portrayed by a slew of child actors over the years, most recently by Wilson Radjou-Pujalte in BBC period drama Dickensian.
Dodger is written by Rhys Thomas, best known for his roles in comedies including The Fast Show, Sirens and Nathan Barley, who also co-wrote spoof music doc series The Life of Rock with Brian Pern.
It will air on the BBC’s kids’ channel CBBC later this year or in 2021.
The series is produced by NBCUniversal International Studios, the Hollywood studio’s London-based global unit run by Jeff Wachtel, President. It will be exec produced by former BBC exec Mark Freeland, who is also head of comedy at Working Title Television, a joint venture between Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner’s film company and NBCU.
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