Sunday, July 11, 2010


Russell Tovey in Little Dorrit

Russell Tovey who played John Chivery has had world-wide exposure in the TV series Little Dorrit, a work by Charles Dickens.

Unfortunately for us here in Australia, the ABC network are playing an edited version or should I say "shredited" version of the series, as numerous scenes are being butchered, and I do mean butchered! The scene where John Chivery is rejected by Amy Dorrit as she returns his hat, is changed beyond recognition. In my eyes John Chivery is the tragic hero of the whole story - a poor, honest, optimistic, good and kind man who is rejected by the love of his life. I make my feelings known on this issue further over on this blog at post No.253.

I had guests over yesterday (as is my want), and Brian, Deb, Liz and I talked at length about
Little Dorrit as it is one of the lesser known books by Charles Dickens. Brian and Deb have been watching it on TV like so many others we know. When I explained to them about how the ABC were cutting the series to shreds they too were outraged. Brian said he knew things were being edited because some parts just hadn't made sense. Luckily I could play Brian and Deb the scene that was chopped from last week's episode. I said to them that particular scene had me in tears when I first saw it. Well by the end of viewing both were also moved to tears - how could you not be?

Well, true to form, last night while watching
Little Dorrit on TV, I noticed that more of John Chivery's scenes were missing including the one where he turns to his dad and says, "Something's up, I can feel it in my bones Pa"...all gone! Honestly, I don't know what the ABC are playing at, as it's the small scenes like that that show the tragedy of John Chivery's undying love for Amy, let alone the fact that Russell's superb work is not reaching Australian audiences.

Next week we are up to the part where John Chivery, because he is a kind and goodly man, arrives to wish Mr Dorrit and Amy a good day and drop off some cigars as a matter of courtesy - see original lithograph from novel above - Mr Dorrit though, in his dotage, takes a fireplace poker to John and attacks him and John reels to the floor and into a situation of not knowing why this has happened.

It's these small scenes involving the character John Chivery (Russell Tovey) that makes this series heartbreaking in its portrayal of the common man missing out because of his lack of position, standing and money - the big theme that Dickens used in so many of his works.

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Mr Dorrit and John Chivery get down - well, John ends up on the floor!


So, how was it working with Little Dorrit’s star-studded cast?

Amazing. When we filmed the big wedding scene with the whole cast and there were all these paparazzi there, I just though, “Shit, I’m part of this…” This big, huge production with all these legends in it, and it was almost unreal.

Are you a fan of those big BBC costume dramas?

Yeah, well, I loved Bleak House, which was kind of the model for this series. If it’s done right, like that was, it can be brilliant.

Your character John is in love with Little Dorrit, isn’t he?

Yeah, I love her. I love her! But she isn’t interested in me. I spend most of the time pining. But I’m definitely in love with her. Definitely obsessed…

...Your next TV project is the BBC series Being Human. You spent the first ten minutes of the pilot naked. Are you naked in the series?

Oh yeah. I'm naked a lot. Naked in the bushes. Naked in houses. Just naked. So everyone's seen a few glimpses of my penis.I was watching some of it back the other day and my penis popped up on screen, so I said, "Obviously you'll be getting rid of that shot..." And they said, "But you can't see it," so I said, "Don't make me feel like shit - it's not that small!"

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