This exquisitely mounted and well-acted two-part adaptation of a 1857 novel by Charles Dickens is written and directed by Christine Edzard. It remains true to the ethical concerns of the author. In the nuanced portraits of a mild-mannered middle-aged man (Derek Jacobi); a resident (Alec Guiness) in debtor's prison for 25 years; and a resourceful poor seamstress (Sarah Pickering), Charles Dickens compels us to consider the moral dimensions of will power, perseverance, and love. Despite its setting in Victorian England, the story reveals connections with the immorality of our times. Dickens condemns the greed and materialism of society with scorching critques of corrupt politicians, inefficient and untruthful bureaucrats, street swindlers, and mesmerizing financiers who dupe large numbers of people with their schemes. As literary critic Anatole Broyard once wrote: "Life for Dickens was an emergency. His heroes and heroines are deadly serious."