Nigel Havers (Chariots of Fire
, Empire of the Sun
) heads a five-star British cast including Kate Nicholls and Derek Godfrey
, in the 1977 BBC miniseries Nicholas Nickleby
, an adaptation of Charles Dickens' seminal 1838-1839 serial. The bittersweet story recounts the passing of Nickleby's (Havers) father, his subsequent impoverishment, and his guardianship under the aegis of the nasty Uncle Ralph, who shuttles Nicholas' mother off to labor in a dressmaking factory and Nicholas himself to a sadistic boarding school, run by the vile headmaster Wackford Squeers (Derek Francis
). Nicholas Nickleby
became one of Dickens' most beloved works, with its motley band of eccentric Brit characters, and the miniseries does its utmost to preserve the scathing satire of the original. Christopher Barry
directs this five-and-a-half-hour presentation.