The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) - full transcript

A modern take on Charles Dickens's classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.

Thank you.

Whether I turn out to be the hero
of my own story

or whether that station will be held
by anybody else...

...these moments must show.

I entered the world at The Rookery.


I'm coming. I'm coming.

As I promised.
Peggotty promised, see?

I'm coming, my love.
Just give me three seconds.

Three seconds is too long.

Where are the towels?

OK. Why do I have this?

I'm panicking. I'm completely panicking.
Peggotty, you daft mare.

Now, Peggotty!

I'll be with you in 45 seconds, 45.


Just breathe. Just keep breathing, my love.
I'll be back in two breaths.


- Just try to pretend it doesn't hurt.
- It does.

I know.

To begin my life...

...with the beginning of my life.

Mrs David Copperfield, I think?

- Miss Trotwood. You've heard of her?
- Yes.

Yes, I believe I've had that pleasure.


Now you see her.

Might I ask, why Rookery?

When my husband bought the house,
he liked to think there were rooks about it.

- And are there?
- No!

My late brother all over.

Calls a house a rookery,
takes the rooks on trust.

A better name would have been
Gullible Manor.

- Will this person be stopping, ma'am?
- Now, Peggotty.

Peggotty? Peggotty? Peggotty?

You mean to say a human being went into a church
and had herself named Peggotty?

Did your mother sneeze
when you were christened?

- Sorry, what was your name?
- Trotwood.

Trotwood. It's funny because I thought your name
was Pot Kettle Black when you walked in,

but never mind.

Ah! Here she comes.
Here comes the girl.

- Or it could be... a boy!
- Oh, no, no, no. She will be a girl.

Certain to be a girl.

And, may I beg you, you will call her
Betsey Trotwood Copperfield

and I will be her godmother.

And there will be no mistakes
in the life of this Betsey Trotwood.

There will be no trifling
with her affections, poor dear.

Bless me, you're very young.

We need a nurse and a doctor.

- We're here.
- Hello.

- Come on, my love.
- Nice and slow.

- We're going to need towels.
- I have lots of towels.

Go nice and slow.
Very good, very good.

I record that I was born on a Friday
at 12 o'clock at night.

- Is that it? Is it over?
- Wonderful news! Fabulous news!

- Doctor, tell Miss Trotwood the news.
- How is she, Doctor?

She is as comfortable
as any young mother can be.

No, I mean how is she, the baby?
How is she?

It's a boy, ma'am.
I'm very happy to congratulate you.

Why congratulate? The boy is the first of twins
and his sister being born as we speak?

No. It's just one boy.


Look at you, Baby Davy.

Face like a peach.

I'm very fond of peaches.

Yes, I am. Yes, I am.

I remember Peggotty's rough fingers,
like a pocket nutmeg grater.

Are you smiling?

Almost there.

Everything looked
terribly tall to me.


Take this,
you naughty monster rabbit!

I see my father's gravestone,

shadowed by trees
bending to one another in the wind,

like giants whispering secrets.

"Crocodiles can be found in Africa,
the Americas and Australia."

- What a remarkable vegetable.
- Not vegetable, reptile.

No, I tell you, a crocodile is a potato.

It has some scales
and they have spikes.

Well, what a world
of gammon and spinach it is.

I can easily recall
people of strong character...

What did Peggotty say when you were little,
the one you liked?

- A world of gammon and spinach.
- That's a good one. I'll put that one down.

Do you remember everything she says?

It's hard to forget.

That's true.

...and weave their memory
into the life I was about to lead.

- All packed for the journey, Peggotty?
- Yes, ma'am.

Uh, here.

You should always go in the middle, Davy,
if you want to win noughts and crosses.

The gentleman is here, ma'am,
with the black hair and particular manner

who walked you home
from church on Sunday.

Yes, thank you, Peggotty.

- Are these your famous geraniums?
- Indeed they are.


- Do come in.
- Ah!

- Carrot down.
- You must be the man of the house.

I'm a boy, sir.

Dear boy.
Come, shake my hand.

Well, no, that's the wrong hand,
isn't it, boy?


Well, maybe your way will catch on, hm?

You're a very brave boy.

Davy, my sweet potato.

Let's take you to Yarmouth.

My brother is driving us there.

Look at all that sky, eh, Davy boy.

That's too much sky, innit?
Even for a bird.

If the world is really as round
as my geography book says it is,

how can this bit of it be so flat?

Not to your liking, Davy?

There's a molehill there, look.
That ain't flat.

- There's a bird there. That ain't flat.
- A flower there. That ain't flat.

It's flat here,
it's flat here and it's flat, OK?

All right, maybe you're right.
It is a bit flat.

Ooh, nearly at the harbour.

That's where
Ham and Emily work.

It's four. I've done my gutting.

It's four already?
These are ready to go, yeah.


There we go.

I turn my back for a second, Ham,
and you sprout like a beanstalk.

Oh, I forgot how hard you squeeze, Peggotty.

- You'll have the marrow out my bones.
- She's a human mangle, that woman.

Master Davy, Ham.
Ham, Master Davy.

- Pleased to meet you, Ham.
- I'm... Master Davy.

Likewise. Let's show you
where we live, eh?

- Is Emily here?
- No, it's four. She's...

- She's done gutting.
- Yeah, done gutting.

Davy, hop up. Come on.

Careful with him.

Wait till you see this.

That's where we all live, Davy boy.

- It's amazing.
- It's no mansion.

It's a downside-upside capsized boat.

It's Aladdin's palace!

We'll be like spiders
trapped under a teacup!

Digs for joy, that boy.
Finds it too.


This place is amazing.

Davy, come look at this.

- And this is where you'll be sleeping.
- Do you like it, then, Davy?

Yeah, what do you think,
Master Copperfield?

I think this is the most desirable bedroom
I've ever seen.


I love your words, Davy.

- Peggotty says your mother's a lady.
- Emily, mind your manners! This is Emily.

- Hello.
- Hello.

Are Ham and Emily your children?

No, they're adopted.
Both their fathers was drownded.

Oh, Ham.
Not another mouth to feed!

Let me die and be a riddance.

That's Mrs Gummidge.
Her husband drownded too.

There's a lot of drownding goes on.

How's that? You can't complain
about a nice bit of kipper.

You just watch her.

Potatoes are burnt, like coals.

There she goes.

These potatoes could be my last.

- Can I go out onto the beach, Uncle?
- Well, have you done your gutting?

- Yes, I've done my gutting. Finished at four.
- There's a six-o'clock gutting as well.

- Fish do go off, you know.
- Ham, I've been gutting fish since dawn.

- You need to get gutting till it's finished.
- Never mind about that.

Go on, but take young Davy with you.

Come on.

Mind you don't get drownded.

What's gutting?

Unless you want hands like mine,
you don't wanna know.

Come on.

Is your mother really a lady?

Uh, yes, I think so.

Does she attend to her correspondence
and receive callers in the drawing room?

I don't know.

A gentleman with big hands
calls to admire our geranium.

I should like to become a lady.

He has two eyebrows.

I say eyebrows rather than eyes
cos they're much more important in his face.


Look! Look at this, Davy.

You can see past Yarmouth.

Emily, get down!
You'll smash in 20 pieces if you slip off there.

- Hello, Ham!
- I'm not scared.

- Hello, Davy. You having a good day?
- Yeah.

Dear Mama,

Yarmouth is, upon the whole,
the finest place in the universe.

Emily has taught me to skim stones

and I'm only sorry you cannot see it.

She and Ham have become
the best friends imaginable.

What? What?

I told them what we decided
between us, our news.

- Getting engaged?
- Getting engaged, yeah.

- You can just say "getting engaged".
- We're engaged.

- Are you happy for us, Uncle?
- Happy? I'll tell you how happy I am.

I'm happy as a dog with two bones.

And as the owner who discovers

that the hole the bones was dug from
is full of gold watches.

- Oh, oh, and money!
- And money.

Yeah, that's how happy I am.

- Everybody should get married.
- Yeah!

Let's be having you!

What have you got there?

It's a boathouse, sir.

A house made from a boat.

Draw a house or draw a boat.

None of this nonsense.

Welcome back, Davy.

Mrs Copperfield,
is that a new ring or your proper one?

Yes, you must congratulate us.

Davy, you have a pa.

- A new one.
- A new pa?

- Yes, your mother and I are now married.
- I meant to tell you sooner.

Now, you just addressed my wife
by a surname that is not hers.

She is now Mrs Murdstone.
Will you remember that?


Jane Murdstone.

Jane, my wife, Clara Murdstone.

A fair choice.

I regret I missed the wedding

and the chance to meet you
at the peak of your beauty.

A boy.

I presume it is named?

I'm David, Miss Murdstone.
How do you do?

My question
was not directed at you, child.

Wants manners.

The parlour's rather bright, I thought.

- Well, it's south-facing.
- I'll take care of it.

There she is.

I'm Miss Murdstone
and I go through every single cupboard.

Look in that cupboard,
look in that cupboard, look in that cupboard.

She looks
like she's made of wax.

- Or Dutch cheese.
- Is that one of yours?

- You should write that down.
- Later.

Davy boy.

Time for your lesson.

And verbs have two voices:

one active,

two, um...

- Clara!
- Jane.

We should switch
to a less enjoyable activity.


Oh, Davy, Davy.

No, don't say, "Oh, Davy, Davy".
He either knows his lesson or he does not.

- He does not.
- Jane!

Pick it up. Read it to me.

Sometime today, boy!

Sorry, sir.

I can't when you're watching me.


The words have skates and skim away.
I'm very stupid.

- You'd as soon as teach the furniture.
- Jane Murdstone, silence!

- You're not stupid, just nervous.
- Clara Murdstone, silence!

Clara Copperfield, sir!

- Edward.
- Come on.

- Edward, please, no.
- Clara. Come on, boy.

- Let your husband improve your son.
- Edward, please!

No. Get off me.

David. Wait. Davy.

Now, whenever I have
an obstinate dog or horse,

I beat him, hm?

I conquer him, even if it costs him
every last drop of blood he has.

I'm trying to learn, sir, but I can't
when you and Miss Murdstone are watching me!

Oh, can't you indeed?

- Edward, please stop!
- Clara!

- Let me break the door down, Mrs Copperfield.
- Mrs Murdstone.


- Edward is teaching.
- Jane!

Let him teach.

What's to become of me?

- You're to be sent away.
- To school?

Education, boy, is costly.

What lies before you
is a fight with the world.

And the sooner you begin it, the better!

OK, so, cork with the hand corker, yeah?
Pass it to Mealy Potatoes.

He labels. Five a minute
or old Creakle hangs your guts out for bunting.

Come on, let's go.

Pull. Just pull it.

- Just pull it.
- He's so tiny!

Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it.
Where are you living?

I'm lodging with the Micawber family,
whom I'm yet to meet.

"Whom I'm yet to meet?"
Where were you brung up? Windsor Castle?

Here, practise.



I said quiet, didn't I?

I didn't say stop working!

- Who broke the bottle?
- It was him, sir.

Breaking bottles?
On your first day?

- I'm sorry, sir.
- You're sorry, are you?

We'll find out about sorry.

- You know my rules.
- Rules.

- Half a day's pay per bottle.
- Per bottle.

The famous biting boy. Here.

Biting boy. Here.

I have the happiness
of knowing your step... father.

Step... father.

- A man of a strong character.
- 'aracter.

- Tie it to him, Tungay.
- To him, Tungay.

That's me. Sorry.

Look at the writing on his back.
What's it say?

It says he bites.

Hey! Open the door!

You can't get away!

We know you're in there!

- Come on, Micawber!
- Micawber, are you in there?

Come on, open the door!
Take it off its hinges!

Come on, Micawber!
Open the door now!

Are you Mr Micawber?

- Are you Master Copperfield?
- I am indeed.

How do you do, Master Copperfield?

- Very good.
- Master Copperfield,

it would be of material assistance to me
if you would join those gentlemen,

echo their slanderous cries,

and then enunciate the following:
"'Ere, round the back. He's flittin'."

Here, round the back...

- 'Ere.
- Here.

Ear, as in the aural organ.

- Ear.
- 'Ere. Round the back.

- Mm-hm.
- He's flitting.

- Flittin'.
- Flittin'.

Precisely. Splendid.
Now, there's no time like the present.

Open up!

Come on!

Pay up the money, please!

- Micawber!
- 'Ere! Round the back. 'E's...

- What?
- ...flittin'.

Flittin', is he? Micawber!

There he is!
Micawber, come here, you!

We'll be back tomorrow, Micawber.

- You can't hide forever.
- You haven't got away with this.

A bravura performance,
Master Copperfield.

Welcome to our humble home.

- Who are the...?
- Those are, um...

Jackals is what they are! Hyenas!
Pleasure to make your acquaintance.

This woman is the apple of my eye,
Master Copperfield.

The lodestar upon whom
the sextant of my heart is set.

In short, my wife.

- How do you do?
- Ooh.

- I'm owed for candles. Pay me.
- On your way. You will be paid.

- Clock. Clock.
- No, give me that clock.

Hands off, you horrible creature.

- Clock, very valuable.
- Micawber!

- Micawber!
- Leave me alone!

- Thank you.
- No! No! No!

Oh, right, that's it!

That is it!

This is too much!

I shall end it.
Where's my razor?

- Razor.
- I don't think we sold it.



Swift, final.

- Let them have their blood.
- Never! Hold that.

If you are to exit, then so shall I!

If it would help, I have some money
from Mr Murdstone for my supper.

Angels in his fingertips.

- There you go.
- Ah!

Mrs Micawber is renowned
for her way with a mutton chop.

- Would you care for one?
- No, no.

Those are your specific chops
and your particular taters.

You'd be very welcome.
This is a royal banquet.

Ooh, very nice.

"They're your particular chops

and your specific taters."


London is full of more wonders
and wickedness

than all the cities of the earth.


And it's ours, David,
to go wherever we choose.

No, not down there.
Creditors make that road impassable.

Two tailors
and a most unreasonable muffin man.

More creditors.

A knife grinder, a dairyman
and an unhinged florist.

You find us fallen back financially
but something shall turn up.

- But won't we run out of roads?
- I think we already have. Run!

Come here!

There's St Paul's.

Forward! Right! Right! Right.

He's a corker of a corker.

Five a minute.

Keep at it, Wilson, else I'll have to cork six
to make up for your four.

Jump. Imagine you're an acrobat.

Much better. Good. Faster.

I hope your day
was more remarkable than mine.

It certainly involved
a remarkable number of bottles.

If Mr Micawber had but a shilling for each bottle
you corked in the warehouse today...

I should still face a remarkably
disheartening pile of debt.

I'm like the tomatoes
shrivelling in our yard.

In short, blighted.

- Are we expecting visitors?
- Bailiffs. Hide...

Hide the spoons!

- The child.
- It's the rug

- The rug.
- I've got it.

Get the child.

- Me child!
- Hold the rug. Off it.

- What's happening?
- Bailiffs. We are undone.

The sun goes down upon us.
The debtors' prison awaits.

The curtains.
He's taking the curtains.

That is not your chicken.
You're stealing an honest man's chicken.

At least let him finish his meal,
you malicious apes.

Hands off Micawber.
He bruises like a peach.

Oh, Martha!
The bailiffs are taking Martha.

- Here. Come here.
- All right.

I trust you're happy.

That's all my stuff!

St Paul's.

Until something turns up.


- Come in.
- Come in.

- Your stepfather informs me...
- Me.

- That your mama is ill.
- Ill.

- How ill is she?
- Tell him.

- Jane.
- Jane.

- Tell me, please.
- I won't deceive you.

- Very ill.
- Very ill.

- Very ill?
- Very ill?

Dangerously ill.

She's dead.

We're, uh... We're very sorry.

And...? And her funeral?

- On Saturday.
- Saturday.


Ought I to come back with you now
or take a later coach?

No, it was the Saturday just gone.
She's buried.

- We didn't want a fuss.
- Fuss.

- Copperfield.
- Copperfield.

Copperfield, I will allow you that.
You are upset.

- But do not...
- Do not...

- Right, that's it. Half a day's pay.
- Half of nothing is nothing.

Given the manner of your overreaction,
it is a good thing you were not at the funeral.

You can't take
from someone who has nothing!

- Nothing!
- You think of your future, boy.

Apart from your Aunt Betsey,
you are without relatives.

I deserve more than this.
Far more!


You two are ghosts.

You've always been dead.



Hey! That's my box! No!


Hey! Hey! You scoundrel!


Excuse me. Do you know
where Miss Trotwood lives?

About a mile up that way.

Good luck.
She's fierce like a birthing badger.

Thank you.

Janet! Donkeys!


Go on!

Go on! Go away!

Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!
Get off my lawn! I'll box your ears!

Off you go!
This is a donkey-free zone!

Move it!

- Cheek of it.
- Somebody! Somebody, please!

King Charles I.
Are we certain that he's dead?

When last seen in public,
his head was not attached to his body.

Good. Thank you. Much obliged.

Boy there.

No, no. Shoo. No young men needed here.
I've got a garden fork.

- I'm not just a young man.
- I'll summon the constable.


You're my aunt.

- Janet!
- I'm your nephew.

I'm David Copperfield.
From The Rookery.

Mr Dick!

I've been ill-used and put to work not fit for me.
And you're the only family I have.

- Come inside. Come inside. Janet!
- Yes, ma'am?

- Mr Dick.
- Shall I get water?

And I've barely eaten.

- I think there are donkeys out there.
- Mr Dick!

Don't touch anything.
That's it. That's it.

- I'm sorry.
- Can you put the thing on the thing?

There we go.
Not the chair. It's Viennese.

- Everything's circular.
- On the sofa.

- He's actually going to the other chair.
- I'm gonna drop.

He's gone.

Hello? Can you wake up?

- What are you doing?
- Medicine. Reviving you.

- This is salad dressing.
- Is it?

Thought it was Armagnac.
Don't have my spectacles on.

Do you have a lettuce somewhere
covered in ointment?

His head is entirely removed from his body?
We're sure?

Let's leave Charles's head
on one side for the moment, Mr Dick.

Pick it up later. Understood.

- How do you do?
- Now, Mr Dick, don't be a fool,

because nobody can be more discerning
than you when you choose.

David Copperfield, my brother,
you've heard me speak of him?

Yes, just then.

Oh, you mean before that?

Uh, yes, I'm sure I remember.
Ooh. I'm hungry.

- Cakes. Those are cakes.
- Mr Dick.

My brother, David Copperfield,
this is his son, who's run away.

- What shall we do with him?
- One thing you could do is...

- If I were you, I'd wash him.
- Janet!

- Yes?
- Run the bath! There you are.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Mr Dick cracks it every time.

The thing is,
I haven't eaten in a very long time.

- Donkeys! Janet!
- Yes, ma'am?

There must be 50 of them.
It's an infestation.

- Thank you.
- Janet!

- Is my aunt really going to...?
- To visit violence upon the boy? Yes.

She's a remarkable woman.

Very kind.

"Very kind."

"Very kind." Hm.

"Somebody. Somebody, please."

"Somebody, please."

"Head taken off?"

"We're sure?"

"Janet! Donkeys!"

- Good morning, Mr Dick.
- Come in. Come in. Form a queue.

The capital letter Q.
I'm trying different forms.

I like this one.

- A cigar in an ashtray. You see?
- Or a kite with a string.

"The executioner's blade
is cold and sharp."

I'm sorry?

Your aunt gave me that kite to encourage me
out of the house from time to time

while she drinks coffee and is quiet.

I'm still in the house.

I see you're writing stories
about Charles I.

Why? What makes you say that?

There seems to be
the occasional reference to him.

- Everywhere.
- Yes.

Yes, King Charles I does creep in.

You see, I'm trying to draft a petition

calling for improved housing conditions
for the labouring poor,

and I work very hard at it

but the thoughts
in King Charles's head,

they keep intruding.

Sorry. King Charles's head?


Owing to a disagreement,
they cut it off.

In 1649.
That's well documented.

Is it?

Well, for reasons
that I don't fully understand,

they decided to remove
the troubling thoughts in his head

and put them into mine.

Very, very disruptive.
I have to write them down, you see.

- Uh...
- You write them down?

Yes, I...

"I mount the scaffold wearing two shirts
so shivers aren't mistaken for fear."

You must think this very peculiar.

No. By no means.
Something similar happens to me.

It does? With King Charles?

No, but I find when I've been in the company
of some person of strong character,

their voice becomes lodged
in my head.


And I too write down
the thoughts I have.

And the things I observe.
St Paul's on there.


"Miss Murdstone's sleepless eyes,
like two red suns."

"The bottles are propelled
by iron pistons

that nod up and down
like melancholy mad elephants."

- What do you think?
- I think that's very, very good.

- And your calligraphy is excellent.
- Breakfast is ready!

That'll be breakfast.

Aunt, Mr Dick, is he at all...?

- Did he mention Charles I?
- Quite a lot.

He connects his, um, particular situation

with great disturbance and agitation.

But his mind's sharp as a surgeon's lancet,
make no mistake.

- I think I may be able to help him.
- Well, on you go back up, Trotwood.

- Janet can soft-boil an egg in a flash.
- Thank you.

Um... Sorry.

- Trotwood?
- Yes, I thought I might call you Trotwood.

If I'm to financially support my nephew,
I want to like his name.

- Trotwood, that's me, yes.
- Mm.

Mr Dick?

Mr Dick? Mr Dick?

Is it lunch?

No, the troubling thoughts
from King Charles's head,

they weigh you down?

Yes, I try and keep them in order
but they do pile up and oppress me.

"As I die, I move
from corruptible crown to in..."

No, Mr Dick, we can release them.

We can cast them to the wind.

- Can't say that I'm feeling much better.
- You have to fly it first. Come on.

- Kite time!
- Lead on! Lead on!

- Up, up, up, up! Fly!
- That's it, Mr Dick. Steady.

- Steady.
- I can't believe it.

The sky is absorbing my words.

- The higher the words go...
- The clearer my mind becomes.

Oh, I... I haven't felt like this...

It's as if I'm reading
for the bar again.

Before everything...

I used to share a staircase
with Tommy Traddles.

He was a terrific fellow.

Un camarade très formidable,
as the French say.

Well, now, there's a thing.

I'd completely forgotten that I can...
I can speak French.

- This is a remarkable day.
- It's a delight to see you so liberated.

- Isn't that magnificent?
- Beautiful.

With one hand, sir.
With one hand, I tell you.

This boy is terrific.

Thank you, um...

Trotwood. David's son.

- Thank you, Trotwood Davidson.
- Pleasure, sir.

Donkeys! Shoo! Shoo! Come on!

On your way. I'll tan your hide
and put you in a stew!

I'm a huge maniac!

That's it. Shoo.

- Very ferocious shooing.
- Hello.

We suffer from a plague of donkeys.

You must be Trotwood.
I'm Wickfield.

- I act for your aunt in matters of finance.
- Right.

- This is my daughter, Agnes.
- Oh.

A bow. I'm so rarely bowed to.

I hope I've started a new fashion.
Unless you deem it inappropriate.

No, not at all, Trotwood. I shall demand it
at our every meeting from now on,

as if I'm an empress.

Or mad.

Ah, Mr Wickfield.
Agnes, how very nice to see you.

- Are you well?
- That was quite the journey.

- Was it?
- Is it too early for sherry?

A little early.

Port, then.
It's seven in the evening in Singapore.

- I imagine.
- Father, it's too early to drink.

Mr Wickfield owns the freehold

of a very fine educational
establishment in Canterbury.

It's snapping at the heels
of the better-known establishments.

I have a thirst for education
that sadly has never been quenched.

Really? You give the impression
of a very well-watered intellect.

All this talk of thirst
is making me thirsty.

- How is business, Mr Wickfield?
- All is well.

Uh, there are, of course, challenges.
Uh, the reduced tariffs.

The retreat of mercantilism.
If I could show you on the globe...

Here in Europe and... the Americas.

I could go on.

- India.
- "All is well" would have sufficed.

Somebody. Somebody.

No, no, no, Mr Dick.
Mr Dick, come. Come be with us.

Hello. I'm Mr Dick.
I'm very partial to gingerbread.

As am I, Mr Dick.
I adore the fiery taste.

Delighted to meet you.

Delighted. Thank you.

Can you just confirm something?

- My head...
- Yes?

Am I right?

- My head is connected to my body?
- Well, let me have a look. Yes.

- I can confirm without any doubt that it is.
- Well, that's good to hear.

- Would you like to see my kite?
- Yes, please. Thank you.

Come on, Davidson.

Where's that?

- Mr Dick?
- Uh, no.

Agony. It's about the king's agony.
That's going up there.

He believes
when Charles I was executed,

the king's troubles flew from his head
to nest in Mr Dick's own.

Is that why you fly them
on your kite, Mr Dick?

- Precisely.
- It's the obvious course of action.

Oh, I like you.

What a happy coincidence,
because I like you too.

Davidson's idea.
The boy's a marvel.

Mr Dick, you look like
you're playing the kettledrums.

He does.
You should write that down.

I will arrange for Trotwood
to board with Mrs Strong.

- This calls for a celebration.
- Yes.

- Hooray!
- Hooray.

I was thinking
more along the lines of a...

- Tea? Janet!
- Yes.

- Tea.
- Tea.

- Tea. Tea.
- Tea. Tea.

- Tea's fine.
- Kite time!

Oh, Mr Wickfield, why don't you have
a big glass of port wine?

- You do love it so.
- I do, Mr Dick.

I'm touched you remembered.

- It's working, Agnes!
- My gosh.

- I wouldn't call myself an expert, but...
- Do you do this every day?

- Look.
- Look how happy he is.

Kite time!

I'm going to miss our picnics
when you go away to board.

You'll enjoy Mrs Strong's establishment.

It's not in a perfect condition
but it means well.

A little like my father.

Oh, now.

Thank you.

- That's all right.
- No.

It's not even a bit of trouble to help.
It's pure Christian pleasure.

- I'm Uri...
- Would you open the door?

Mr Wickfield, steady on.

These steps are lethal.
Very, very high.

- Uriah, there's no need.
- I can't. Shall I get back in?

You're getting close.
Come on. One step.

- Slowly. There you go.
- Mr Wickfield.

Mrs Strong. Welcome.

No, you're welcome.
I'm already here.

- My head's muddled.
- From the bumpy journey.

- This is Cropwood Trotterfield.
- Trotwood Copperfield.

- Pleased to meet you, Mrs Strong.
- Pleasure is all mine.

- What do you have in your hand?
- It's nothing.

Oh, just a small piece of wall.
But all is well. Follow me.

We live just over there.
Come and visit.

I will.

- I'm Uriah Heep...
- Oh, here we are!

Oh, dear. That's disappointing.
Uriah, drip.

- Shall I do the bucket?
- Thank you. Follow me.

Like all the great old establishments,
we have our little traditions.

Good morning!

Oh, well,
I think we'll let Mr Steerforth

just finish his funny little story
about the geography teacher.

Wearing the shortest of his three wigs.


This is Copperfield. He's new.

I surmised as much, Mrs Strong,
but I appreciate the confirmation.

Oh, very good, Mr Steerforth.

I'm thrilled to make your acquaintance,
Master Copperfield.

- Thank you.
- Uriah, bring that to the dormitory.

I'm in deep humility.

And with that,
Uriah Heep rubbed himself out of the room.

Steerforth. James Steerforth.

Davidson. No, David Co...

No, sorry.
Trotwood Copperfield.

Is all that hyphenated?

- You see, my aunt calls me...
- What do you make of our friend Heep?

- He's perplexing.
- Perplexing.

- Perplexing how?
- Difficult to describe?

He twitches his mouth
like a curious lizard.

Yes, he does.
Tell me another one.

He stands so close by
that he's nearer to you than your own shirt.

Yes. You are as sharp as a whip.

I like you. Come, sit.
Markham, move these boys, will you? Quickly.

- Round. Move round.
- Come, sit.

- Round. You sit there.
- Sorry.


Forgive the collapsing.
Old Wickfield's funds are drying up.

Unlike the man himself.

Loves his drink.
Do you know Wickfield?

"Is it too early for sherry?"

Look, here he is trying to thread a needle.

Well, welcome. Yes?


I'm glad you've arrived.

Nice cut on that waistcoat.

- Who's your tailor?
- Just a man.

From Dover.
My aunt took me to...

Your aunt brought you up?

Well, she certainly brought me up sharp
a few times, I can tell you.

The very daisy in the field
is not fresher than you are.

I shall call you Daisy.

- Will you mind?
- Not at all.

Why on earth would you, Daisy?

I have some currant wine here
and almond cakes, if you'd like?

Yes, I'd like that very much.
Thank you.

You haven't got a sister...

...have you, Daisy?




- Yes?
- Read to me.

I can't sleep.


This book's quite long.
Why don't I tell you a story of mine?

Perhaps... one about
a kindly nurse and her charge

who slept in an upturned boat
in Yarmouth.

No. I don't care for whimsy. Sorry.


Do you have a scary story?

- Oh, I have one about an evil factory owner.
- Yes.

His name is Murderstone
and he delights in terrifying children.


- The monster.
- He has an equally cruel sister.

So, he's got a sister.

She's a cold and metallic lady.

- I'll smash it.
- Then I shall smash you.

Jane! Jane!

- Be quiet.
- No!

- Is there vengeance on the pair?
- Wait for it.

Listen to me.

And you made these tales
of the factory boy up out of thin air?

- All invented, yes.
- Daisy, you truly are the Eighth Wonder.

Thank you.

You should publish.

You seem to have a lot of knowledge
about the detail in the factory.

Was your father in manufacturing?

- My stepfather.
- Stepfather?

So you had a stepfather,
but you were raised by an aunt?

Look. Who's that, Steerforth?

Ah, yes.
That's the eldest, Miss Larkins.

Pretty, isn't she?

- She's a blaze of beauty.
- She's engaged to an army captain.

Only because she's yet to meet me.

Look out.

A couple of Miss Strong's prize poodles
have got loose.

- Very amusing.
- Ignore him.

Oi! Ladies! I'll beat you
with one hand tied behind me.

- You wanna fight, do you?
- Yeah.

Then, sir... your time!


- You can box, I take it, Daisy?
- After a fashion, certainly.

All right, gentlemen.
No eyeball-gouging. No...

Actually, everything else is allowed.
Get set, fight!

Get up! Get up now!

Daisy, you need a hook,
feint, upper cut.

- What?
- Upper cut.

It's done. It's done.


You did, in some ways,
do very well, Daisy.

Let's get you back to Wickfield's house.
Come on. Up.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

Come on.

Well, try not to die
or anything boring like that, Daisy.

I'll try my best.

What a confident gentleman he is.

Mother taught me the medical rudiments.

She's the laundress here.
Washes your bed sheets.

Always very clean. Relatively.

Oh, she will burst with gratitude

that you have acknowledged her
spontaneously, Master Copperfield.

Miss Wickfield is very...

- Do you not think?
- Very what?

My dear Trotwood,
they told me you were here.

Oh dear, look at you. I imagine
the other fellow must be dreadfully injured.

Oh, yes. Close to death.

Measured for his coffin.

- How were Uriah's ministrations?
- He's like a human cold in the head.

- He gets so close.
- Yes.

It's as if he lives in your nose
and is keen to get home.

- Did he mention his mother?
- His mother?

Oh, Agnes,
I burst with gratitude

that you should ask me
such a question spontaneously.

So, is this Steerforth's doing,
getting you into fights?

No. In fact, he tried to stop me.

Doesn't think a gentleman should be seen
fighting with a butcher's boy.

- Gentleman?
- Yes.

Steerforth thinks of me
as a gentleman.

You are.

- I assume you haven't told him about your past.
- No. I fear he might...

It's the first time someone like that
has regarded me as an equal.

Except you, Agnes.

- And I think of you as a sister.
- Special?

A special sister.

Might I be so bold, Master Copperfield,

as to ask you to come to tea?

With me and Mother.

What a shame. I fear I have
a prior engagement on that date.

On which date?
I don't believe I mentioned a date.

- I don't believe you did.
- I understand.

Master Copperfield, I understand.

It's not my place
to invite the likes of you to tea.

No, I'd be...
I'd be glad to come, Mr Heep.

Uriah, please.

Oh, Mother will go off like a rocket.
Like a rocket.

On the 14th, perhaps, at four?
And if Miss Wickfield would care to...?

Sadly on the 14th at four
I have a prior engagement.

Of course. I'm meant to join you
in that engagement, am I not, Agnes?

I don't believe so, no.

Good. Then I can definitely come to tea.

Oh, I am so proud
to be noticed by you.

- Are you done with that?
- Yes, of course. Help yourself.

That's a tolerably nice bit of rump.

No offence meant, I'm sure.

300 hurrahs!

And a dozen imperial whoo-hoos!

The higher the kite goes,

all those ridiculous thoughts
from King Charles's head

seem to just dissolve away.

I like that one, but tell me more
about the impecunious debtor

with his dreadful concertina.

- "There's something on the way."
- "Something will turn up."

- Yes, that's it.
- An excellent precept, young man.

Oh! We have a new master
in our midst.

Professor Micawber.

Good morning, boys.

Please, be seated.

Oh, dear Lord,
this place must be short of money.

You lived with the professor when you were
in London, I do believe, Mr Copperfield.

Professor? Yes, briefly,
and at the same time lengthily.

Very nice. Very genteel.


- Good morning, boys.
- Sir.

- Morning.
- Morning, sir.

- Good morning.
- Morning, sir.

Now, which dish
from the great feast of knowledge

is it our mutual privilege to partake of
at this current juncture?

In short, which lesson is it now?

It's Latin grammar now, sir.



Good. Um...

Amo, amas, amat.

Yes. Amo, amas, amat.







No. A possum is a beast
of an Australasian, uh, distraction.

Sniggering, gentlemen?

Hilarity? In short, ha-ha?

I don't think so.

What you all need
is an aid to concentration.

There is a belief
that music may help

in the absorption of knowledge.

- It's him.
- Don't say anything.

Enough! Enough!

I'm tempted to burst my eardrums
with a pair of pencils.

I beg your pardon, sir?

Steerforth meant that possibly the instrument
might have developed a leak or something.

No, not at all.

I meant that he is a dismal musician.

Be quiet, please, Mr Steelforge.
Who are you to insult a gentleman?

And where is he, this gentleman?

- All I see is an impudent beggar.
- You...

I heard all manner
of mad wheezing, Professor.

Is there a squirrel
trapped in the pipes again?

He is no professor.
Ask him about debtors' prison.

He has extorted money for years

and has followed Daisy here
to continue his efforts.


Mr Steepgorge is correct.

I did, to my shame,
reside within prison walls...

Even we draw the line
at employing former convicts.

And even often above that line
is where we draw the line, actually.

We must part if you please.
Mr Heep, show him out.


Micawber is harmless.

The rogue was exploiting
your charitable good nature.

- You should be thanking me, Daisy.
- My name is David! Not Daisy, not Trot!

- My name is David Copperfield!
- Then why don't you go by it?

Big step.

- Up you go.
- Mr Micawber!

In you go.

- Mr Micawber.
- Master Copperfield.

No sooner are we reunited
than we must part again.

Like the Bible story. I'm sure
there must be a Bible story about that.


Were you aware I studied
at Mrs Strong's before you came here?

Not as I recall, no.

But your being here as a professor,
in the same building as me...?

Pure kismet and happenstance.
"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods."

- To quote our ultimate poet.
- Shakespeare.

All aboard. Who's going aboard?

I wonder, um...

I found the funds
for my family's travel,

but my own fare is lacking.

- I wonder if I could trouble you...
- No trouble.

- ...for the exact sum...
- Of course.

...of four pounds,
ten and thruppence?

Five pounds.

I will, uh, make sure
that we are quadrilaterally concluded.

In short, square.


Safe travels.

I imagine you've forgotten.

- What?
- I imagine you've forgotten.


There you go.

Cake? It's quite heavy.

I like a heavy cake.

I like to... to know I've had a cake.

- He can't abide a light sponge.
- I see.

Well, this looks very, uh...

Mm. Good Lord. That's, um...

It's wonderfully dense. Hm.

Oh, I see you're studying, Mr Heep.

Uriah, if you can bear to.

Yes. I'm trying to improve
my legal knowledge.

I'm hopeful that Mr Wickfield might be willing
to take me on as an apprentice at law.

Perhaps you'll become a partner.

Do you mock me?

You seem to search for mockery.
That was meant sincerely, Uriah.

Uriah! Did you hear that?
He said Uriah.

- I did.
- Unprompted, Mother.

And him a gentleman.

It is like the blowing of old breezes
to hear you say Uriah.

It thrills me to the stomach.

Time is an issue? Are you worried
humbleness is an infectious disease?

Oh, no.
I cannot stay too long is all.

- You can if I bar the door.
- We could keep him as a little pet.

I beg your pardon?

It was a joke.
I'm sorry. It was a joke.

I've been attempting to learn
gentlemen's humour from a book.

- He has.
- Indeed.

What do you think of Mr Wickfield?

He takes his wine with an enviable degree
of enjoyment, don't he?

- I've seen him take wine, but...
- You've seen him?

That's good to know.

Your associate, the, uh... the professor.

He's a sort, isn't he?

Lodging with a beggar.
Is that a London particular?

Mr Micawber isn't a beggar.
He's a man of fluctuating...

More tea.

I had an interesting little conversation
with Micawber

as I was showing him out the school.

Yeah, fascinating.

Your time in London.

- Oh, Mother?
- Yes?

Bring another bottle of milk.

This bottle is empty
and another bottle is needed.

You seem very vexed by this bottle.

Your friend Steerforth is, um...
is damning of the humbler classes.

A veritable factory of damnation.

How would you feel about helping me
secure a position with Mr Wickfield?

I have a mind
to throw this cake at you.

It will break a rib.

You're very fond of violence,
aren't you?

Oh, look at you two.

- More heavy cake.
- Cake.

You must take some home with you.

- I should like to go home.
- Just another two hours.

- The donkeys will be back.
- 45 minutes, then.

Oh, Mr Wickfield!
It is very, very uneven ground.

I nearly slipped over myself
just a minute ago.

- Very dangerous indeed. We need a sign here.
- It is dangerous. We need a sign.

- More wine?
- No, not for me.

No, not for him.
Thank you very much.

I see. So, do you want me to take it away,
the delicious, tannic, deep-red wine?

Yes, please.

Actually, maybe the smallest amount.
Thank you. An ounce.

Mrs Steerforth.

"Oi. Ladies."

"I could beat you with one hand
tied behind my back."

Getting better.

- James?
- Ah, Mother.

This is, um...

David Copperfield.
A very great pleasure to meet you, Mrs...

What's your background, Mr Copperfield?
Who are your people?

- My people?
- Your family. Are you anyone?

- My parents died when I was...
- Prep school?

- Yes. In London.
- I probably know it. Which one?


Creakle's. Is that a saint? I don't think so.
Who was the headmaster?

- Mr Murdstone.
- What was the uniform?


Trousers, certainly, and...


James, I'm here,
since you bleated and bleated.

I'll see you at Mrs Strong's interminable speech.
I brought a book.

And a pillow.

My mother.

- Good Lord.
- Yeah.

- Did you notice her scar?
- Yes.

As a young boy
she once exasperated me

so I threw a hammer at her.


Oh, good luck and God bless.

You were always my favourite
and the most handsome.

- Here's a book.
- Thank you.

No breeze, not a breath.

The air is as still as a royal corpse.

- How do you do?
- Trotwood.

Uh, let me introduce Mr Spenlow.

- Your future employer.
- What am I to be?

You know this, Trot.

- A proctor.
- Yes, sorry.

- Good afternoon.
- Mr Spenlow.

Mr Spenlow.

- Bye, Daisy.
- Don't wave at anyone.

You were staring slightly.

- Is there something wrong with me?
- No. Goodness me, no.

- I apologise for my rudeness.
- Oh.

He's apologising, Jip.
Shall we forgive him?

He says we shall.

- Thank you, Jip.
- Think nothing of it, sir.

- Speaks very well.
- It was actually me.

I like to pretend he speaks.

Some people think it idiotic.

Oh, no.
I do it myself all the time.

Don't I, Mr... Apple Tree?



I'm David Copperfield.

Are you still being the tree?

- No.
- I'm Dora...

- ...Spenlow.
- Spenlow?

Dora Spenlow?

Yes. I don't know
why I said it like that.

Dora... Spenlow.

- I don't usually stop in the middle.
- Trotwood! Mr Spenlow!

- Sorry.
- Yes.


- Sorry? What was that?
- Just Jip.

Bye-bye. Tree. Apple tree.

I know.

- Sorry?
- I know.

Agnes, have you seen Mr Sp...?

- You look very striking.
- Thank you.

I'm in love.

- Really?
- Utterly.

With Dora... Spenlow.

- I don't know why I said it like that, but...
- Ah. The girl with the yapping dog.

- What a face.
- What a voice that comes out of it.

Do you mock me?

I do. I do. With affection
but entirely without mercy.

And up. Yes.

Do you know Papa and I
are also moving to London?

Oh, I see.

You probably think I'm following you.
"Help me. I'm being followed by Agnes."

"She's as persistent as a bluebottle
in a sash window."

Oh, sorry.

Mr Spenlow.
Apologies for my earlier distracted state.

I look forward tremendously, Mr Spenlow,
to joining Spenlow & Jorkins, Mr Spenlow.

- Excellent. Ready to become a proctor?
- Eager to become a proctor.

That's the attitude.

Let's celebrate.

What is a proctor?

I haven't the faintest idea.

But I'll take possession of my own apartments
and soon I'll find out.

That's Dora... Spenlow.


I don't know who that is.

I returned to London for the first time
since I fled the bottling factory in rags.

This time I was a gentleman,
with money in his pocket.

I was a proctor.

I don't suppose you know
what a proctor is?

Oh, now you're asking.
Do they make hats?

I had a generous monthly allowance
from my aunt.

This paid for my training
with Mr Spenlow

and allowed me
to live London life to the full.

A proctor is a sort of monkish attorney.

I see.

Mind these floorboards.
They squeak.

There we are.

I never learned
what a proctor was an attorney of

but I soon excelled about the office.


And I was conveniently positioned
to seek out my first,

- my one, my only true love.
- ♪ And I'll protect it now

♪ 'Twas my forefath... ♪

Oi, Romeo. Do some work.

That's what I like to hear: nothing.

Miss Spenlow.

I was convinced a famous soprano
was practising upstairs.

Oh. Exciting.


No, I... I mean to say
it turned out to be you.

Oh, I see. A compliment.
Thank you.


I have to go. Proctor.

You could come up
after my next lesson.

- I can sing you a piece.
- Thank you.

I'll bring something to throw at you.

As in a bouquet of flowers.

Yes. Lovely.

I treasured those times.

I was a captive and a slave.

Ha-ha ha-ha-ha!

I loved Dora Spenlow to distraction.


Dora, lovers have loved before,
but no lover shall ever love as we love.

That's very complicated, but thank you.

Thank you.

My boyhood days
of misery and destitution

seemed now
like a scarcely believable fiction.

- He's here. Steerforth.
- Daisy.

Was I wrong to imagine

that the hurt and shame of my past
could never return?

Where are the lobsters?
Who wants lobster? Lobster?

- Mm.
- Yes.

I'm very familiar
with the lobster people of Yarmouth.

Do the lobster people of Yarmouth
worship lobsters?

Do they take on their characteristics?

If you're thinking of travelling
to Yarmouth soon, might I join you?

- Let's all go to Yarmouth, huh?
- No.

- Well, I want to.
- Then you shall.

It would be fun
to be a part of that world.

In the city
I can be prone to a heavy mind.

Do you have a heavy mind?

He's got a heavy mind.

♪ Westminster is full of wigs

♪ Lawyers' heads... ♪

I say, I have drunken hair!

I am bored up to my eyeballs!

Let's show that drunken hair of yours
a night to remember. Come.

To the theatre!

Black-eyed Susan?

Pretty, black-eyed Susan she is called.


- They are spliced together for life.
- I knew nothing of this. Who is Susan?

- Trotwood.
- Susan.

I'm terribly not drunk.

If I know one thing
it's what a drunken man looks like.

- Did Steerforth get you into this state?
- No, he didn't.

I mean, he was there
while it was happening.

- Who are you with, anyway?
- Just...

Mr Copperfield!

- Look at us.
- Hello.

From Canterbury to London,
a reverse pilgrimage.

That's very good.

Agnes, did you tell Mr Copperfield
about my new position?

Uriah has joined the firm.

An apprentice to Mr Wickfield.

Ury couldn't make progress any faster
if he was steam-powered.

Oh, Mother, please.
I redden in the face.

Nothing for me, just the wine.

They live with us now.

I hear their snores,
like lovelorn toads calling across a swamp.

- And how is Dora?
- Wonderful.


In fact, I, um...

I propose to intend to marriage her
in the morning.

Oh, what pleasing news.


Come along.

- When am I going to Yarmouth?
- Agnes...

Don't follow your companions, Trot.
You need to go to bed. Good night.

There you are.

Very generous, but I may be nearing
the limits of my capacity.

It'll get soaked up
by my dense sponge.



You called her Agnes just now,
not Miss Wickfield.

I must get back to the dramatics.


♪ And would thou hack it down ♪

Do you like my singing, Doady?

I'm going to call you Doady.
Do you mind?

I love being called by other names.

And... return I have a new name
it is my heart's desire to offer you.

Oh, no, I like Dora.

It reminds me of doors,
and doors are such jolly useful things.

- Dora, may I be frank?
- Oh, no, I hate hearing frank expressions.

Say it like Jip.

- Really?
- Mm-hm.

I'm intoxicated with joy
whenever I see you.

I love your hair and I love...


Yes, that just seemed odd.

I idolise and worship you.

- If you'd like me to die for you, say the word...
- Oh, no, don't die.

If you were dead,
you'd miss Jip's new trick.




Dora, I'd like to ask you...

Mr Copperfield,
your landlady sends a message.

A man with a kite and a severe lady
have arrived and need to see you now.

- At my lodgings?
- Yes. Now.

- You were going to ask me if...?
- If you would wait for my question later.

- Trotwood, I'm ruined.
- Like a castle.

- So, Mr Dick suggested we come here.
- Ruined? But how can you be ruined?

- Like a big castle.
- Because I've lost everything, Trot.

- In the mining way and the banking way.
- Banking, mining.

Mr Wickfield cannot fully explain why,
but our money is gone.

We've had to say farewell to lovely Janet,
close up the house and walk away

from our beautiful garden.

Like a paradise for donkeys now.

My shares have plummeted
like lead droppings from a stone goose.

And all I have left are my clothes,
my porcelain bird

and my Hesperis Diviniana.

- It's the plant.
- And Mr Dick.

It's me.

No, this can't happen.

I'll never again let light and goodness
turn to gloom, as it did in my past.

Well, we're not the only ones to suffer.
There are two bailiffs' carts in this street.

Surely Mr Wickfield
has been monitoring your affairs?

- Mr Wickfield has troubles of his own.
- He often sleeps during the day.

Because of...

I have no notion what that spasmodic gesture
is supposed to indicate.

If you're talking about overindulgence,

have you returned
to the bottling business of your youth?

- I entertained some friends.
- I beg your pardon?

Well, they seemed to number
the entire populace of the city.

You'll have no money for that now.

Mr Dick, can you cast any more light
on what has happened?

Yes, I can.

The day before yesterday, she said:
"Mr Dick, I am ruined".

And I said: "Oh, indeed?"
And then we travelled here.

That's not a lot of light.

We had bottled porter
and sandwiches.

Do you understand what ruin means?

It means distress
and want and starvation.

Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

"By what earthly power
do you condemn me?"

"By what authority?"

Mr Dick, we must try to keep
a cheerful countenance.

- Yes?
- Absolutely. Cheerful.

There's what looks like a bit of meat
stuck on the wall.


We'll ensure
this cannot happen again.

Although that's problematic, considering
I've no idea how it happened in the first place.

But, of course,
we'll authorise a loan to tide you over.

Thank you. I promise repayment will occur
just as soon as something...

Something turns up?

With respect, Mr...
Excuse me.

With respect, Mr Wickfield,
I think a more sober judgement is required

when considering a loan of this nature.

I am sober.

Mr Copperfield, I'm afraid
a loan is out of the question. Apologies.

Do you have authority here, Uriah?

Yes, and it's Mr Heep,
as in Wickfield & Heep.

I am a partner.

Agnes, could you...?

We are drinking
to the firm hands of Mr Heep

who is grasping
or co-grasping the tiller.

Yes, we can all of us, man and woman,
benefit from having a partner.

Do you not agree, Agnes?

In times of trouble we must all do
that which we must do.

Small heavy cakes
to go with the sherry.

Like tasty billiard balls.

Mother, have you seen?

Oh, Ury.

- Those two are weeds.
- Get a drink for Mr Wickfield.

I've seen a pair like them before.

Unchecked, they will overrun and choke
all life and joy from this place.

- They must be stopped.
- I fear the time for that has passed.

- To partnerships.
- Partnerships.

I'm far too humble to say
that I've saved this firm, but...

Uriah has been very good
for our business.

He has. He's been diversifying
in smaller rental properties.

In parts of London
that aren't necessarily first choice.

Is one of these properties
to be my only choice?

This is your new lodgings.

It may be not the most spacious
of properties,

but it would suit someone
in your circumstances very well indeed.

I am not someone
in my circumstances.

No, of course.

- At least we won't get lost in here.
- Can't fly your kite in here.

Well, you can't fly a kite in a house anyway.
There's no breeze. See?

No, I bow to your expertise.

Can't fly his kite
but he could swat an irritant.

Well, enjoy your lodgings.

If any problems arise,
I suggest you tend to them yourselves.

- He's a fellow.
- We'll make do.

Ale for me now. Much better for you
than wine anyway, much less bilious.

I should like to make a contribution.

- Oh, Mr Dick.
- Will you...?

And it's this.

I would have been shut up
to lead a very dismal life these last years

if you hadn't taken me in,

the way David's friends
took those orphans in in Yarmouth.

Wait. Yarmouth. What's today?

- Oh, I know this. Uh, Wednesday.
- It's Tuesday, Trot.

Tuesday? I should be meeting Steerforth
to take him to Yarmouth.

He'll be waiting for me.

I could postpone.

No, no. Go, go.

Mr Dick and I, meanwhile, will...

We will, uh, transform this
into the most desirable mousehole in London.

Sorry! Pardon me!

Sorry, ma'am!

Apologies for my lateness.
I've just been in my apartment,

which is there...

Two bags? Such extravagance,
given how much the coach people charge.

Ah. Uh, no, this contains laundry
for my housekeeper to collect.

Hm. Curious arrangement.

We should get to the Spread Eagle.
Our coach leaves in ten minutes.

- I hope you like the boathouse.
- With the lobster people?

The lobster people are rough,

but the dwelling itself
is such a sparkling sight to behold.

What a delightful residence.

In my recollection
it was more colourful.


Oh! Hello! Davy.

Oh, look at you.

You've growed out of all knowledge.
You in good kelter, boy?

Good kelter, I... are.
Yes, I'm very well, thank you.

This is my dear friend,
James Steerforth.

This young man's affections for you are such
that I feel like I know you all.

- Aw.
- Peggotty, it's such an honour to meet you.

Oh, you have a lovely speaking voice.

- That's a very bright waistcoat.
- It's brocade. Savile Row.

That's a row in London.

See, now, we mardled plenty
with this 'un when he was a nipper,

and we're uncommon proud of him, thankee.

That's dialect, isn't it?

I am fascinated in how language changes
around the country.

We can write it down for you
if it's too difficult. We can write.

- Come through here. It's the perfect...
- Mind your head!

It's the perfect little bedroom
I told you about.

Mind your head!


Mrs Gummidge ain't well.

She brings up more than she eats these days.
Don't you, my love?

They say it can't be done.
But I does it.

- Look who's here, Emily.
- Davy!

Mind your head.

- How are you?
- Good to see you again, Davy.

- My friend, James Steerforth.
- Oh.

- And to meet you, sir.
- Emily.

Daisy tells me that you like to climb
the masts of sailing boats.

You can see for miles up there.

All the ladies off to the ball
at Browston Manor.

Did you just call Davy Daisy?

Is that dialect?

We've no food, so don't expect food.

- We do have food.
- Fish.

I imagine you and Ham
have been married for some years now.

- No.
- Still engaged, still not married.

- Oh.
- Been saving up, though, haven't we?

Trying to decide
where we might want to live.

We wanna live here,

knock up our own boathouse,
a couple of hundred yards up the coast.

Or we could go further.

Of course we could.
Half a mile, three quarters even.

Oh, Peggotty.

I fear I'm going to be sick
in a substantial way.

No matter.
Our floor is a beach.

- Bucket coming through. Excuse me.
- I'll just grab my bag.

Mind your head!

It's been a pleasure meeting you all.
I'll see you again very soon.

That stern looks like new, my friend.

I found it curious
how almost immediately

and without the least effort,

Steerforth managed to charm
and beguile my Yarmouth friends.

The manager,
he turns to me and he says:

"I've had 30 people
use that towel before you, sir,

and you're the first
to complain that it's dirty."

- Look at him.
- He's faster than me.

- Very nice knife work there, Mr Steerforth.
- Why, thank you. I could be a murderer.

Very nice work.

Steerforth, Ham and Emily
were just saying the same as me,

that everyone loves James Steerforth.


Everyone except James Steerforth,
my dear friend.

Did you have enough money
to pay for the drinks?

- Plenty.
- Are you sure?

Yes, I am.

Promise me, Daisy, won't you,
that you'll think of me at my best?

Promise me that much.

Yes. You seem low.

- Where's this sudden cloud come from?
- Who's up for a shanty?

♪ One Friday morn when we set sail

♪ Not very far from land

♪ We there did spy a pretty maid

♪ With a comb and a glass
in her hand, hand, hand

♪ A comb and a glass in her...

♪ Hand ♪


Your last night.

I'm gonna miss this little routine.

There you go.
Got a bit of privacy for you now.

- That's all I do have at the moment.
- Oh, I know, my love.

But you had nothing, then you had something,
now you've got nothing again,

so stands to right
you'll have something again.

- I wish I could be so sure it worked like that.
- Uncle!

Have you seen all that herring
with their guts still intact?

- Uncle.
- What's that Emily been up to?

Emily's written you a note, Uncle.

"Dear Uncle,

when you, who love me
better than I deserve, read this,

I shall have gone far away

and will not return
unless he brings me back as a lady."

- Emily.
- And Steerforth.

They'll be in the boat he rented.

We set off in the morning,

and I pray you do not come after.

Ham, love some good girl
that'll be true to you.

Emily! Emily, jump!

No, Ham!

And forget me as if I died
and were buried somewhere.


Send word if that louse's mother knows
where they've gone.

Don't search for me.

Don't come looking.

For you will not know me...

...even if you find me.

For he will have made me a lady.

A lady?
She's far below him. A lady!

Could you?

All I've chosen to ignore in your son
of snobbery...

...and an unyielding, wilful spirit
I see in you, madam.

I beg your pardon?

Do you see this?

- It's tea.
- And this and this and this. Tea.

Every Wednesday,
James joins me here for tea

and this tea shall not be removed
from the table until he returns.

That shall be his welcome.

Well, I'm sure he'll find it
cold and stale. Door.

And as for her,
if there were any word of comfort

that would be of solace to her
in her dying hour,

I wouldn't part with it for life itself.

- You looking for a lift, sir?
- No.

I think I know what you're about to say.

You have no reason
to worry about my answer.

I need to tell you...

I have no money.

I don't fully understand.

- I'm poor.
- Well, no matter.

But, Jip must have a mutton chop
every day at 12 or he will die.

Precisely. So how, my love,
should we get the meat?

So, my answer is yes.

I will marry you, Doady.
Let's go and tell Papa.

Let's do that,
for I am so happy.

- Did he...?
- He did!

Congratulations, Dora and Trotwood.

That is wonderful.

You will have a happy lifetime.

- Lifetime?
- 60 years at least.

Too many people in this street
for me to get a run with my kite.

Ah, now, look.

Ah. Can't go that way, Mr Dick.

The gentleman who makes my waistcoats
is up there

and I haven't been able
to fully clear my debt with him, so...

We'll head over this way.

Mr...? Mr Micawber?

My dear young friend.

And I believe Mr Dixon?

- Are you well?
- Never better.

- Right.
- And how's Mrs Micawber?

In even finer fettle than I am.

There she is over there.

With our happy tribe of dependents.

Do you live on the streets now?

Well, uh, we do currently exist
primarily al fresco

but with all the advantages
that that entails.

It's much better living outside.

Every meal's a picnic.

- Segment?
- Oh, thank you.

David Copperfield.
Might you help me, Master David?

Yes. What do you need?

I popped me concertina
with the Floral Street pawnbroker.

I'd love it back

but he knows me and he will charge
much more than the six bob that it's worth.

I need a surrogate.

- How much for the concertina?
- Ten bob.

What if I offered you six shillings?


But I can let you have a fishing rod
for six shillings.

Is that a concertina?

- With all due respect, is that a concertina?
- It's not a concertina.

No. What we need is the concertina.

You tricked me.

All right. You can have
the damn squeezebox.

For 11 shillings. Actually, no.

Twelve shillings.
Thirteen shillings. A pound.

You can have it for a pound.

- How much for the mad wax biscuits?
- Yeah.

The wax seals.
Interesting story about them, actually.

I basically... Oi!

- Run! I'm a criminal!
- There's the concertina!


I preferred, I think,
the larger apartment.

We were sadly not able
to express a preference.

I'm sure it's only small
because Doady is saving for a castle.

Is he really, do you think?

Will the lady be in soon
with some tea?

I will fetch some tea.
The lady does not exist.

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
Will she ever?

Dora, when I was your age,

I made an unsuitable marriage.

With a man.
I've, uh, bitterly regretted it ever since.

We were simply very young
and incompatible.


I'm so sorry
you found the wrong man.

It makes me doubly happy
that I found the right one.

Bless me, you're very young.

- If anything, it plays sweeter than before.
- Bravo.

What an adventure we have had.
You know, you should write about all of this.


- Peggotty.
- Davy, my precious potato.

- Mr Micawber. Mr Dick.
- It's Peggotty.

- What brings you to London?
- Well, Dan and Ham asked me to come.

You know, they've been searching
all this time for Emily.


They've been up and down the country
trying to look for her.

Ham even sailed all the way to France

cos he heard that Emily
and... that man had been seen.

But now they're looking in London.

They've narrowed it down
to a few streets to the east.


They've gonna find her, Davy.
I just know it.

A most arduous expedition.

I doff what remains of my hat to them.

You need to love those that help you out
and help out the ones you love.

That's a Peggotty proverb.

You're a very charitable woman.

Mr Micawber...

I'd love to.

Where shall I put these?

Which one of you
requires a change of nature? Come on.

Are my... papers anywhere?

And you've, uh...
You've never given a professional recital?

That's a very perceptive question.
I have never been seriously approached.

Peggotty, have you seen
my papers anywhere?

You should write a story
about our adventure at the pawn shop.

That would make a cracking tale.

I should try to write it down
if I could just find my...

No, no, no, Trot. No, not "try".
You will write it down.

- You're a writer, Trot.
- Hear, hear!

Where? I can barely
move my elbows in here.

- Oh! Shall we...?
- Yeah, I think we should.

Step this way.

We've prepared somewhere
for you to write, Trot.

Next batch of children
for the chamber pot.

You probably want a bit of privacy.
Sorry. Come on.

- It's a little room.
- Write time.

- There you are. Peace and quiet.
- Here.

"A house made from a boat."

"Draw a house or draw a boat."

"Or draw a boat."

Do you see this?

"Do you see this?"

It's tea.


- It's tea.
- "It's tea."

This tea shall not be removed
from the table until he returns.

"Until he returns."

She was a clever woman.
She brought everything to a grindstone

and sharpened it as she had sharpened
her own face and figure over the years.

Mr Micawber,

a rake-thin, middle-aged person,
carried a jaunty sort of stick.

More creditors.

His methods for avoiding creditors
were as inventive

as they were elaborate.

Oi! I know who you are!

Come here!

Work hard.

Procrastination is the thief of time, David.
Collar him!

"Collar him!"

In my factory

pistons nodded
like melancholy mad elephants.

I became one of those
who live solitarily in great cities,

like in a bucket of a human well.

You can't take
from someone who has nothing!

I deserve more than this, far more.

I need more, sir. Please, sir.

My Aunt Betsey was
a tall, hard-featured lady...


...with quick bright eyes
and the most kind and forgiving spirit.

My mind is as clear as a soap bubble!

Mr Dick moved
as if playing the kettledrums.

Peggotty had cheeks and arms
so hard and red

that I wondered the birds did not peck her
instead of the apples.

Mr Murdstone was firm.

Nobody in his world was to be so firm
as Mr Murdstone,

for everybody was to be bent
to his firmness.

Everyone except James Steerforth,
my dear friend.

There was a passionate dejection
in Steerforth's manner that amazed me.

What a confident gentleman he is.

Uriah Heep hovered
like a great vulture,

gorging himself on our company.

I'm thrilled to make your acquaintance,
Master Copperfield.

"Master Copperfield."

I'm in deep humility.

It's as if he lives in your nose
and is keen to get home.



Agnes. Agnes. Agnes.

You look very striking.
I'm in love. Utterly.

They will overrun and choke
all life and joy from this place.

They must be stopped, Agnes.

For weeks Agnes had been observing
Heep's every movement

with meticulous care.

Finally, she entered the dwelling
in high spirits.

The door was open.
Is this anyone's little boy?

Think he's one of ours, yes.

Goodness. So many people.
Will the floor hold up?

Miss Trotwood, do you have a letter
bearing my father's signature?

One moment. One moment.

- Agnes. Is something wrong?
- Something's about to be made right.

I think maybe this. There it is.


Uriah Heep's fate is in here.
But I need your help.

- Gather round.
- Oh, gather. Gather round.

Mr Copperfield and Miss Wickfield.
Two fields.

Neither lying fallow, I hope.

- Clever.
- Tiresome.

- Yes, I was being polite.
- You're not busy, Uriah?

Mr Heep is very busy.
Doing the work of two men, sadly.

Well, Mr Heep, we're here to talk to you
about Miss Trotwood's investments.

- More people. Oh, it's a party.
- This doesn't feel like a party.

Shall I make us a bowl of punch?

We need a lemon. Miss Trotwood,
you look like you're sucking one.

Now, you fellow...

Mr Heep, you have stolen my money

and you have embezzled funds
from this firm.

That's slander.

- Anyone else here wanna defame me?
- I do!

And me.

I put it to you

that, for your own
pecuniary aggrandisement,

you falsified documents
in order to mystify an individual

whom I will designate in code
as Mr W.


- Maybe.
- Prove it.

To prove it we would need access
to certain documents.

But, Agnes, wherever might we find
such documents?

I believe they used to be in that bureau.

All you've done is prove you're thieves.
You've stolen my documents.

Stole? Can Mr Wickfield's daughter
not tidy up her father's paper?

- They were in a locked drawer.
- I'm an enthusiastic tidier.

You stole this lady's house,
you stupid little turnip.

Mr Dick, what do you think?

- Swans.
- Where?

- Swans?
- Swans?

- Swans?
- Swans?

I've been studying these,
and when Mr Wickfield signs his name,

the W looks like a swan.

But when Mr Heep
mimics his signature,

his W looks like an upturned hip bath.

You forged my signature!

You're the source of this calamity, Heep.
A thousand curses upon you.

I take it back.
A thousand and four.

Agnes, if you have any love
for your babbling father,

you'll leave this gang and marry me.

- I will ruin him otherwise.
- Never.

Ury, make terms. Be humble.

No, Mother!
No more! No more of this!

No more pulling off our caps,
making bows.

Knowing our place
and abasing ourselves before our betters!

No more of it!

Do you know what I want?

What? A straitjacket? A husband?

- I want my home.
- Well, I ain't got it.

You and yours have always hated
me and mine. And who are ya?

A fine set of people.

You, Copperfield, were pure scum
before anyone had charity on ya.

And you, Miss T,
you're a grim old prospect.

No wonder your old man
knocked you about.

- Aahh!
- Now stove his head in with a cake.

And in case that wasn't clear enough,
you're dismissed with immediate effect.

You were always a puppy
with a proud stomach,

riding on the coat tails
of that vile creature who called you Daisy.


- Davy.
- Doady.

My name is David Copperfield.

I forgive ya, Mr Copperfield.

It is not for you
to forgive anyone, Mr Heep.

Isn't that right, Jip?

Yes, it is.

What's she doing here?

There's no reason for me to be here.

I wasn't there.

Heep happened yesterday,
and I was away.

I know, but I'm writing it now
and I want you to be in it.

I fear I don't properly fit.

I want you to be in all my stories.

No, I don't belong. Write me out of it.

But I still want to be of some use.

May I hold your pens?

- Do let me know when you need a new pen.
- Yes.

I really don't fit.

Write me out, Doady.

- Davy! Davy!
- Yes.

You have to come right now.
I think we've found Emily.

Someone saw her in this building.
I hope she's here.

- That's Mrs Steerforth's carriage.
- Does that mean her son's with her?

- Em?
- Emily?

- Emily, my love, Peggotty's here.
- Emily?


- We're here.
- Emily?

Do you ever think
of the home you have wrecked?

Of course.

Every day.

- Poor Uncle.
- Not your home.

His. Mine.

A veil of shame hangs over me
because of what you made my son do.

Where is he?

- I don't know.
- I can hear her.

- Through here. Emily!
- Worthless creature!

- She's in here.
- Tell me!

- Leave me alone!
- I imagine you want this discarded toy.

She was just a trifle
for the occupation of an hour!

Enough, madam. That is vile.

When James was at his truest
he loved me.

I will leave when I have news of my son,
and not before.

- Do you understand me?
- Tell her, Em, and then let's leave. Please.

Let's get going.
This house feels like it's gonna blow away.

There's a big storm coming.
We'd better leave now.

At least tell me, Em,
if you won't tell her.

Is that snake with you?


He fled from me.

In France.

Steerforth abandoned you?

I'm no good for you.

I'm no good for anyone.
Think of me at my best.

How can you do that
and still call yourself a man?

I've been here ever since,
scared I might never be forgiven.

My love, of course you're forgiven.

Do you know,
does Steerforth plan to return?

Yes, he does.

Tomorrow night.
He's sailing into Yarmouth.

He wants to say sorry, Davy.

Tomorrow? That's mad.
The storm will be at its peak. It's suicide.

Come on, lend a hand!

Quickly, now!

Come on, now!

- What's happened?
- A wreck close by, sir.

- How many in? How many out?
- Two out.

Second man out now.
At least one more out there.

- That's Steerforth.
- Mates, make me ready.

- Get me some rope. I'm going in.
- Please, no.

Ham, you can't.
You know who that is.

If my time has come,
then it's come,

but I am not watching another man die,
even if it's that man there. Rope.

Tie it right. Tie it right.

- Boy, I don't want you to do this.
- Ham!


- It's like he's taunting us.
- No.

Not taunting us.
Maybe taunting himself.

- Go on, Ham!
- Ham!


We have to go now!

Steerforth, come to me.

Give me your hand.


He was lost
beneath the rugged foam.

I stood...

...unable to move a step.

"Does he live?", I asked.

He was everything.

I wanted him to live, Davy,
whatever he'd done.

But, by God, I wish to God
you'd never brought him here,

into our world to ruin it.

I brought you here. And Emily.
And Mrs Gummidge.

Now, you have a care, Ham.
This isn't Davy's fault.



And now
I have nothing left to tell.

Unless, indeed, I were to confess

that this narrative is far more
than mere fiction.

It is, in fact, written memory,

wherein loss and love

live forever side by side.

Agnes, sometimes in my writing
I can say things...

I will love you all my life.

Its people are as real as earth.

And my truest hope

is that I might grow half as strong and wise
in the telling of their story

as they have grown in the living of it.

Thank you.

Hello. Hello, you little darling.

- Hello.
- A-boo-boo-boo.

- Hello.
- A-boo-boo-boo.

Are you smiling?

"Kite" as a verb. It's very good.

All right, Master Davy?

You know, in your book,
you could have made me younger and taller.

He wrote you as 20
in years and feet.

- Really?
- He hasn't read it, Davy.

- But you've lived it, Mr Peggotty.
- That's right.

- Betsey.
- Oh, Trotwood.

You've saved my home
and I don't know how to thank you.

- Oh, donkeys. There's...
- No, no, no.


We'll set the donkeys
to one side for now.

Congratulations on the book.

Odd to think
my words bought this house.

Fine depiction
of that villain Heep, eh?

I think we both played a very clever game,
you and I, catching that fellow.

- Well done, us.
- Aye.

Mrs Micawber.

Mr Micawber.

I'm glad you could make it.

Oh, young David.

You saved myself, Wilkins,
and our sweet angels from the streets.

No, no. Your presence in my writing
has repaid me many times over.


Luckily, I find myself between
paid jobs at the present moment

so that has allowed us the freedom
to travel down to your beautiful home.

- Coach fare was...
- Well, we barely considered the costs.

Indeed, we barely...

There you are, Mr Micawber.

Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.

- An IOU is in order.
- Yes.

There's no need.

- From writing?
- Yes

Don't worry.

You'll make it through.

And you'll have quite the ride
on the way.