British doyen of the literary adaptation, Andrew Davies’ version of Victor Hugo’s novel continues Sunday evening at 9pm.
Produced by Lookout Point Productions for BBC starring Dominic West as Jean Valjean, with David Oyelowo as the obsessed and villainous policeman Javert. Lily Collins plays Fantine with Olivia Colman as the abusive Madame Thénardier, with Adeel Akhtar as her husband Monsieur Thénardier.
Find episodes 1 and 2 on BBC iPlayer
Reviews for episode two:
This was an episode that was initially uneven and then suddenly soared to majestic heights, both of comedy and tragedy, showcasing some extraordinary, award-worthy performances from Dominic West (Valjean) and David Oyelowo (Javert), plus a jaw-dropping cameo from Ron Cook as a never-to-be-forgotten “hair and teeth dealer”.
In this second episode of Andrew Davies’s adaptation it was the women who shone most, Collins and the ever pitch-perfect Olivia Colman as Madame Thénardier who brought, if not laughs, slight release from the unrelenting misery. Good though, isn’t it?
Brief glimpses of the two Thénardiers whetted the appetite for further grotesquerie from Colman and Akhtar, though with four episodes still to go I’m already gagging for a comeuppance. To invoke another story of desperate poverty: more please, sir.