The Big Picture

  • In the Charles Dickens-inspired TV series, The Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins is now a surgeon in Australia, must confront his criminal past when Fagin arrives.
  • The trailer promises daring heists, 19th-century medicine, a pistol duel, and the constant threat of the gallows.
  • The Artful Dodger has been portrayed by various actors throughout the years, including Jack Wild and Elijah Wood. The series debuts on November 29.

The man once known as The Artful Dodger is on the run from his past in 19th-century Australia in the first trailer for Hulu’s Dickens-inspired TV series. The eight-episode series debuts on the streamer on November 29. In the trailer, Jack Dawkins (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), formerly the infamous London pickpocket of Charles Dickens‘ novel Oliver Twist, has been exiled to Australia, where he’s made a new life for himself as a surgeon, and is beginning to ingratiate himself into high society. Unfortunately, his past has returned to haunt him in the form of Fagin (David Thewlis), the leader of the band of child criminals the Dodger belonged to back in England, and who has now come to Australia for reasons unknown.

Both Fagin and Dawkins’ irrepressible predilection for crime threaten to destroy the new life Dawkins has built for himself, including a budding romance with Lady Belle Fox (Maia Mitchell). The trailer teases daring heists, gruesome 19th-century medicine, a pistol duel on the beach, and the looming gallows that haunt Hawkins.

A master pickpocket and budding criminal, the Artful Dodger is one of the most vivid characters from Oliver Twist. Although a child, he has the maturity and cunning of a much older man, and wears ill-fitting men’s clothes. He befriends the orphan Oliver Twist when he’s inducted into Fagin’s gang, but laments that Oliver is a poor criminal – and ultimately betrays him to save himself. Despite his skill at thievery, at the end of the novel he’s caught with a pilfered silver snuffbox and transported to Australia.

Many Iconic Actors Have Taken on the Role of The Artful Dodger

Image via Hulu

As Oliver Twist is one of Dickens’ most-frequently adapted works, the Dodger has been portrayed on screen by a number of noted actors, including Anthony Newley, Jack Wild (who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his turn as the Dodger in 1968’s musical adaptation Oliver!), Elijah Wood, Nick Stahl, Billy Joel (in Disney’s animated feature Oliver and Company), and even Rita Ora, in the 2021 revisionist adaptation Twist.

The Artful Dodger was created by James McNamara, David Maher, and David Taylor. It was produced by Jeffrey Walker who also directed, alongside Corrie Chen and Gracie Otto. The series will also star Damon Herriman (Justified), Miranda Tapsell (The Sapphires), and Tim Minchin (Robin Hood).

All eight episodes of The Artful Dodger will stream on Hulu, starting November 29. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates, and watch the trailer for The Artful Dodger below:

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