'The Artful Dodger' Trailer Introduces Dr. Dawkins

Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Dr. Jack Dawkins is ready for patients in The Artful Dodger

Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Dr. Jack Dawkins in The Artful Dodger


Charles Dickens published Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress, from 1837-1839. The story was an immediate hit and turned into a "burletta" upon completion. The first film adaptation was made in 1909; there have been over two dozen on-screen versions since, not counting the famous musical. But Oliver wasn't the only character to capture the imagination. Jack Dawkins, his buddy known as The Artful Dodger, has been just as popular, sometimes more so, as he's old enough to be crushable. The latest version, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Wolf Hall), brings him into adulthood but not his life of crime.

Brodie-Sangster is not the first to star in an Artful Dodger spinoff series. Australian television had done this before with a period children's show set on the island continent when it was still a penal colony, called Escape of the Artful Dodger. (This follows the character's fate in the novel, where it is suggested he is finally caught over a snuffbox and sentenced to penal transportation.) Other books have also imagined the Dodger's life down under, including Dodge & TwistTerry Pratchett's 2012 Dodger, and Peter David's 2014 Artful. The CBBC also recently had a Dodger series.

Hulu's new series is also a sequel set down under, following Dawkins' life after being sent away for his snuffbox thievery. It's been about 15 years, and it is now the mid-1850s and Jack Dawkins has grown up and used his skills to finance his way through medical school and put those nimble fingers to use as a surgeon. However, he's sadly mistaken if he thinks that nice clothes and a posh accent will shield him from his old life crawling out of the shadows to find him. 

Here's the series synopsis:

An irreverent follow-up to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist exploring the adult double life of the famous prince of thieves, the series is set in 1850s Australia where Jack Dawkins, aka young rogue The Artful Dodger, is now all grown up and has transferred his skills as a pickpocket to the nimble fingers of a surgeon. His past returns to haunt him with the arrival of Fagin, luring him back into a world of crime, while the local governor’s daughter, who is determined to become the colony’s first female surgeon, appears to be a greater threat, at least to his heart. It's a tale of reinvention, betrayal, redemption, and love with a twist.

David Thewlis (Landscapers) co-stars with Brodie-Sanster as Fagin and Maia Mitchell (The Fosters) as the Governor's daughter, Lady Belle Fox. Co-stars include Miranda Tapsell (The Dry), Jessica De Gouw (Vienna Blood), Tim Minchin (Peter Rabbit 2),  Damien Garvey (Jack Irish), Susie Porter (No Escape), Kim Gyngell (Black Snow), Damon Herriman (The Tourist), and Robert McFarlane (North Shore). Lucy-Rose Leonard (Sleeping Dogs), Martin Cohen (Home & Away). Ezekiel Simat (Amazing Grace), Robbie Durrant (Nest), Vivienne Awosoga (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart), and Andrea Demetriades (Reckoning) round out the cast.

The eight-episode series was written by James McNamara, Andrew Knight, Vivienne Walshe, and Dan Knight, with Tapsell doubling as a story consultant. Directors Corrie Chen (New Gold Mountain) and Gracie Otto (Heartbreak High) split helming duties. The series was created by McNamara, David Maher, and David Taylor as a co-production with Sony Pictures Television’s Curio Pictures

The Artful Dodger premieres on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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