Skip to main content

'Dodger' starring Christopher Eccleston — everything you need to know about the family drama

Dodger BBC
BBC series Dodger is based on Oliver Twist. (Image credit: BBC)

Dodger is a brand new family drama coming to CBBC and BBC iPlayer, and is based on the iconic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. The ten part series follows standalone adventures, which are then brought together in the final episode. It is created and written by Emmy award-winning Rhys Thomas, alongside comedian Lucy Montgomery.

Christopher Eccleston has been confirmed to play Fagin, the main antagonist of Oliver Twist who teaches youngsters how to pickpocket. Speaking about the role, he said: “Fagin is an iconic role, I’m a very fortunate actor. Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery have taken Charles Dickens’s extraordinary characters and imagined a whole new world and lives for them. I’m very, very excited.”

Here's everything we know so far...

Dodger BBC release date

Dodger doesn't have a confirmed release date yet, but we do know it's arriving over the coming year. The new family drama will join the likes of CBBC sci-fi series Silverpoint, comedy-adventure series Nova Jones and Season 2 of Malory Towers. All these new programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer

Filming on Dodger is underway on location in Manchester and various locations around the north west.

What is Dodger about?

Dodger follows the infamous pickpocket, The Artful Dodger, and Fagin’s gang as they find ingenious ways to survive the grim and exploitative conditions of early Victorian London in the 1830s. It is a look at the world of Oliver Twist through the eyes of the "bad guys".

Speaking about the adaptation, Rhys Thomas says: “I have always loved Oliver Twist but wasn't so keen on Oliver himself. I preferred the company of Dodger, Fagin and the gang. I thought it would be fun to create a family show with Dodger at its heart and see how he came to be a master criminal in Victorian London.

"Working with the very best material as a springboard, it’s a total delight to expand Dickens’ rich world of characters and create a few of my own. To top it all, we have an incredible cast who are starring in the show. I can’t wait for families all over the world to see it!”

Who stars in Dodger?

Christopher Eccleston leads the Dodger cast as Fagin, and there's plenty of great names accompanying him for this new series. Here's the confirmed cast list so far, including series writers Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery, who each have roles in the series.

  • Sam C Wilson (Hanna) as Bill Sikes
  • David Threlfall (Shameless) as Chief of Police, Sir Charles Rowan
  • Billy Jenkins (The Crown) as Dodger
  • Saira Choudhry (No Offence) as Nancy
  • Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) as Queen Victoria
  • Lucy Montgomery (Disenchantment) as Fagin’s landlady, Minnie Bilge
  • Frances Barber (Medici) as theatrical dame, Eliza Vestris. 
  • Javone Prince (Horrible Histories) as PC Blathers 
  • Rhys Thomas (The Fast Show) as PC Duff

Is there a trailer?

Not yet — but watch this space!