The Artful Dodger: Jack Dawkins is lured back to his life of crime in 1850s Australia

Dodging death.
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As the sly pickpocket in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, The Artful Dodger didn’t just steal valuables, he stole hearts with his cheek and charm. But his life of crime wasn’t without consequence.

In the 1838 novel, he was eventually caught and banished to a penal colony in Australia.

Oliver Twist didn’t just steal valuables, he stole hearts.

(Image: Disney)

It’s where we find him in Disney’s The Artful Dodger. Jack Dawkins (Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who starred in Love Actually, The Maze Runner and The Queen’s Gambit) is now an adult and putting his dexterity to use as a surgeon in 1850s Australia in the lively colony of Port Victory.

His past hasn’t completely left him, with the thrill of pickpocketing ever-present, but his life is far richer than it was.

Enemies, however, don’t forget the past so readily, and Jack’s are coming to collect what’s owed to them.

Enemies don’t forget the past so readily.

(Image: Disney)

At the same time, Jack’s former mentor Fagin (Harry Potter’s David Thewlis) arrives in Port Victory as an escaped convict – and despite the ensuing years, hasn’t learnt from his mistakes. Upon hearing of his protégé’s predicament, he offers to help.

“If I don’t come up with a year’s worth of income, I get my hand chopped off,” Jack tells Fagin, whose cleverly crafted response launches them into a fresh partnership.

Then there’s Lady Belle Fox (Maia Mitchell), the governor’s daughter, who wants to become the first female surgeon. Will she be turned too?

Australia’s Miranda Tapsell features in the Disney series.

(Image: Disney)

So begins a misadventure of life-and-death decisions, criminal underworlds and an artful deception that – if done with perfect sleight of hand – could see the loveable rogue dodge a grisly end.

The eight-part drama features an all-star Aussie cast, including Damon Herriman, Tim Minchin, Susie Porter, Damien Garvey and Miranda Tapsell.

Stream The Artful Dodger now on Disney Plus with a mth-to-mth no lock-in contract. Subscribe here.

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