Bleak House is one of Dickens' most celebrated achievements - generally regarded as the greatest-ever depiction of Victorian London in fiction. It is a skilfully crafted thriller and passionate indictment of the legal system - which is as searingly relevant today as it was in the mid-19th century.
The adaptation, written by multiple Bafta award-winner Andrew Davies, comprises a one-hour opening episode followed by 14 half-hour episodes. Shot in High Definition format, Bleak House will be shown twice weekly, using the pace, multiple storylines and cliff-hanger endings more usually associated with popular drama.
Months have passed since the dramas surrounding Tulkinghorn's death, in the final instalment of the Charles Dickens adaptation. Ada worries that a desperately ill Richard will not live to see the child they are expecting. Esther is forced to turn down the heartfelt advances of Woodcourt, and Smallweed makes a discovery that leads to the sudden conclusion of the long-running Jarndyce case - but the result shocks everyone concerned.