Charles Dickens's England
Charles Dickens's England (2009)

Derek Jacobi presents this documentary exploring the towns, villages and rural locations where novelist Charles Dickens lived and worked, and looking at how he went on to use these places in his novels and stories.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: July 24, 2009
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Critic Score: 23% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Laughably inept Dickens documentary over-egged by a hammy turn by presenter Sir Derek Jacobi.

Charlie Lyne
Ultra Culture

It's the most astonishly inept (and inadvertently hilarious) piece of filmmaking I've seen in a long time.

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Allan Hunter
Daily Express (UK)

The presentation is pedestrian, the tone is overly reverent and the viewer might find their time better spent reading a Dickens classic.

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Derek Malcolm
London Evening Standard

Painful in the extreme, showing how even the best actor can be made uncomfortable by clumsy direction.

Edward Porter
Sunday Times (UK)

He's a ghost of documentaries past: an actorly tour guide reciting lines not written by him, putting on glasses with a scholarly flourish, staring into space to underline poignant moments in the narrative.

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Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine

Whilst the tone and intention are admirable, the excess of facts and locations spread the message and cohesiveness a little thin.

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Toby Young
Times (UK)

A comically inept documentary.

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Philip French
Observer (UK)

A bland, old-fashioned documentary with a bland, old-fashioned view of Dickens.

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James Mottram

The sort of film even an A-level student of Charles Dickens would find redundant, Julian Richards' slapdash effort is staggeringly inept at times. Best suited to television, it feels so archaic it certainly merits the moniker 'Dickensian'.

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Peter Bradshaw

A bizarrely stilted, placid, agonisingly slow and hypnotisingly wooden documentary presented by Sir Derek Jacobi. It is like something that might appear on schools TV if everyone behind the camera had been smoking a Constable-Hay-Wain quantity of ganja.

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