This timeless rags to riches story concerns the vacillating fortunes of the Dorrit family. The kind-hearted Amy (Claire Foy), the Little Dorrit of the title, looks after her proud father, William (Tom Courtenay - The Golden Compass) who is a long-term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in London. But their fate is transformed by the unexpected arrival from overseas of the benevolent Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen - Spooks), who is determined to solve the mystery of his father's dying words, "Put it right, Arthur."
He is sure this phrase is in some way connected to the Dorrits' plight and sets about rectifying the situation - discovering they are sitting on a huge fortune, a fact which thrusts the family into the upper echelons of society. As the Dorrits meet a variety of characters from rich to poor, a deep bond grows between Arthur and Amy, and a dark villain Rigaud (Andy Serkis) threatens to spill a long-held family secret.
Andrew Davies (Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice) was delighted to be given the chance to get his hands on this perhaps neglected Charles Dickens epic and turn it into a compelling 14-part serial for the BBC. "It's a beautifully constructed novel," Davies enthuses. "There is a huge reversal in the middle where the story is turned on its head in a really convincing way. It's about reversals of fortune and how characters cope with poverty and wealth."
Kate Harwood, Head of Series and Serials, said, "BBC Drama Production is thrilled to be bringing Little Dorrit, Dickens' great tale of imprisonment and yearning to the screen. We hope that Andrew Davies' superb serialisation will grip the nation fast with its story of mystery, betrayal and intrigue."