Tom Brown's Schooldays, based on the classic novel set in the Victorian era. In this five-episode miniseries broadcast on BBC 1 young Tom Brown (Anthony Murphy) leaves home for Rugby, a well-respected school in decline. His arrival coincides with the appointment of a new headmaster, Dr. Arnold (Iain Cuthbertson), who aspires to reform the school by stamping out bullying, drunkenness, and bigotry. Tom's struggle is more personal: Before his arrival, he offended a wealthy but corrupt man who commissions his equally dissolute son Gerald (Richard Morant), a senior student... at Rugby, to make Tom's life miserable. Gerald schemes with relish, finally catching Tom in a trap that threatens to break the forthright boy's spirit. The story could be pure melodrama were it not for the vivid details of life in a boarding school. As the plot moves this way and that, it's always kept real by the hardships of the time (boys sleep five to a bed, younger boys act as servants to older ones), making Tom Brown's Schooldays a keen social critique as well as an engaging story. There are some inspired performances; Too often a virtuous hero is a recipe for blandness, but the insightful script makes Tom clever but fallible and he refuses to mistreat those less privileged out of conscious choice, not because of some immutable goodness--the character (and the story) is more compelling as a result. [show more]
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1971 adaptation of Thomas Hughes' novel. Anthony Murphy stars as Tom Brown who, as a new boy at Rugby Public School, has to contend with the school's harsh discipline and accepted bullying from the older boys, the cruellest being Flashman (Richard Morant).