Hard Times: The Complete Series
Hard Times, Charles Dickens’ great novel of 1854, paints a scathing portrait of the harsh living and working conditions endured by the urban working class in Victorian Britain, and of the political and economic system that perpetuated them.
Set in the northern industrial town of ‘Coketown’, two characters personify contemporary attitudes that Dickens found odious: self-made mill owner Joshua Bounderby, ‘a man perfectly devoid of sentiment’ given to ludicrously exaggerated accounts of his impoverished childhood, and Thomas Gradgrind, a schoolmaster who prepares his pupils for a life in which facts and figures are all that matter, and who pushes his young daughter Louisa into a loveless marriage with the much older Bounderby. But when a travelling circus arrives in Coketown, Louisa and her brother, Tom, are introduced to a new world of laughter, love and frivolity - and their lives are changed forever…
This critically acclaimed, BAFTA-winning Granada adaptation of Hard Times, directed by John Irvin (Champions, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and dramatised by playwright Arthur Hopcraft (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) features an impressive cast; Timothy West is Bounderby, Edward Fox plays the selfish aspiring politician, Captain Harthouse, with Patrick Allen as Gradgrind and Jacqueline Tong as Louisa Gradgrind. Hard Times was originally screened as a four-part series in 1977.