Production has wrapped in Bristol on three new specials of the family comedy-drama Dodger for CBBC and BBC iPlayer.
Produced by Universal International Studios, Dodger follows the exploits of the infamous pickpocket from Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist. After its successful first-series run on CBBC, BBC iPlayer and BBC One, the new specials see Billy Jenkins (Peaky Blinders, The Crown) return as Dodger.
Christopher Eccleston (The A Word, The Leftovers) returns as Fagin. Ellie-May Sheridan (Call the Midwife), Aabay Ali, Connor Curren and Mila Lieu also reprise their roles in the gang.
Leading actors David Threlfall (Shameless, Housewife), Alex Kingston (Doctor Who), Rhys Thomas (The Fast Show, Brian Pern), Javone Prince (No Time To Die, Horrible Histories), Lucy Montgomery (Disenchantment), Saira Choudhry (Life, No Offence), James Fleet (Vicar of Dibley), Lenny Rush (A Christmas Carol, The Dumping Ground) and Sam C Wilson (Hanna) also join the specials.
Guest stars include Anita Dobson (EastEnders, Casualty), Robert Lindsay (My Family), Mark Benton (Waterloo Road), Rufus Jones (Home), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) and Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous).
Each 45-minute episode will focus on a self-contained plot, picking up from season one. The specials are written by Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery, with Thomas also directing all three.
NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales.
Thomas and Montgomery said: “We are thrilled to be back for three exciting specials and even more thrilled to assemble such an amazing cast. We had great fun taking these characters on more adventures, and we thank the BBC for giving us the platform to do so.”
Amy Buscombe, commissioning editor for BBC Children’s, said: “We’re delighted that Dodger’s first outing was enjoyed by so many children and their families and can’t wait to see what rip-roaring adventures Dodger and the gang have in store for us next!”
Mark Freeland, executive producer for Universal International Studios, said: “It’s so great to see the rag-tag Dodger gang back so soon for three specials on the BBC. We’re aiming to give families some really thrilling, feel-good and downright funny entertainment.”