Characters from the forthcoming BBC series Dickensian: from left to right, a young Miss Havisham, Nancy and Bill Sykes, and Ebenezer Scrooge.
Ever wondered what Miss Havisham and Fagin would talk about over a pint? Dickens fans in the U.K. may well find out when a new 20-part BBC TV series, Dickensian,
premieres on Boxing Day. The series brings together about 30 of Charles Dickens' most iconic, most loved (and, in some cases, most reviled) characters on the same Victorian London street - with The Old Curiosity Shop sitting next to The Three Cripples Pub, Bill Sykes' favourite watering hole.
The Victorian drama should be chock full of twists and turns, given that Tony Jordan, of the beloved British soap Eastenders and the police/time travel series Life on Mars, is helming it.
"It's only 20 hours, it's episodic and that's how I think Dickens wrote, he kept you waiting - 'make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait'," Jordan commented to BBC News.
Judging from a description of the set alone, Dickensian sounds utterly magical - there's a 90-metre cobbled main street, a fully functioning pub (of course), 16-column colonnade, church, law courts and seven back alleys leading to a parallel 30-metre street. And knowing Dickens and dark alleys, many misdeeds will probably happen there.
Irish actor Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta, The Crying Game), who plays Inspector Bucket from Bleak House, called Dickensian "the most beautiful reworking of the world of Dickens that you could ever imagine" in a press release.
But please, sirs, could we have it on this side of the pond?