• Network: ,
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 27, 2005
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Bleak House Image

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

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  • Starring: Carey Mulligan
  • Summary: Masterpiece Theatre tackles the Dickens classic for the second time with this miniseries (adapted by Andrew Davies) airing in six weekly installments.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Dark, textured, and lively--this is how Dickens is done. [20 Jan 2006, p.66]
  2. Reviewed by: Dennis Moore
    While a quintessential Masterpiece Theatre production, Bleak House doesn't indulge in the languid pacing and preciousness that weigh down some other PBS period pieces.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
  4. 90
    This spectacular six-part adaptation of the lit classic feels more like a plush Jane Austen tale than Dickens.
  5. As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Oct 16, 2013
    Breaking Bad fans SAVE YOUR ACCOLADES! Watching in Ireland (TG4). I would, though, add to the accolades: it is a dread marvel. From series 1 episode 1 I thought this 'TV' exceptional. Cranston and Paul particularly wonderful in their character creations. However, justly, vying for the highest honours as it is, I would ask fans to also look at 'Bleak House', BBC production of the Charles Dickens novel and ask is this not, rather, truly the 'best of all time'. The Gilligan/Anderson overlap is bonus for observers of Kevin Bacon removes type considerations. Expand
  2. Feb 2, 2011
    BH is my second-favorite Dickens novel, so I put off watching this miniseries for 5 years, lest it disappoint. I needn't have hesitated. No the adaptation is not completely faithful, but it captures the essentials: the range of characters (good, bad, and purely eccentric), the dynamic storytelling, the social critique (here focused on the legal AND class systems). And it does more. It's a fair criticism of Dickens that his characters, for all their quirky vitality, are a little one-dimensional. But great actors can enrich such characters, and this series has so many that I almost hate to single anyone out. Much has been made of Gillian Anderson, and she is indeed excellent, but, for me, the standout has to be Anna Maxwell Martin as the young orphan at the center of events. She could easily have been too good to be true; instead, she is admirably kind but also confused, wise, wry, and naive--in other words, profoundly human. But no one works in a vacuum, and it's obvious that the casting, script, and direction have all contributed to her performance, as have the other actors. The scene between Anderson and Martin on the Ghost Walk is a perfect example of two achieving more together than one could do alone. Expand

See all 31 User Reviews