It's Christmas Eve and as the snow falls over Victorian London, the body of wealthy brewer, Mr Havisham, is driven to his final resting place. His daughter, Amelia, and son, Arthur, accompany him, and the townsfolk pause to watch. One observer is money-lender, Jacob Marley, partner to Ebenezer Scrooge. Marley is visiting clients to collect their outstanding payments and nothing steers him from his brutal resolve. He visits the Old Curiosity Shop where Grandfather is tending to desperately ill, Little Nell. He visits Edward Barbary whose business has collapsed. He spreads fear and unhappiness wherever he goes. He concludes business for the day by arguing with Scrooge out in the street. Meanwhile, in a dark damp den by the river, a fire creates a circle of warmth where the gang-master, Fagin, holds court. He's organised for street girl, Nancy, to visit Marley tonight to "entertain" him. She'll be guarded by house-breaker and ruffian, Bill Sikes. Nancy isn't thrilled; she knows Marley of old but agrees to meet him later that night. As night draws on, there is some real Christmas cheer in the poor household of Scrooge's clerk; Bob Cratchit. He and his family have hardly enough money to live on but have scraped together enough to have a tiny feast tomorrow and there's enough love amongst the Cratchits; Bob, his wife, Emily, and their children including Tiny Tim to keep their little house the warmest in London. Back in the civilised world of the Havishams, the will is being read. Arthur, who had expected to inherit the brewery and all the family wealth, finds himself with only a small income. Everything is going to Amelia instead and Arthur is furious. He sends a message to an old friend...he has a plan. Amelia Havisham is about to return home, saddened by her brother's anger when he lurches out at her in the street. He bellows his rage at her and threatens to beat some humility into her...when, suddenly, a gentleman steps to her aid knocking Arthur to the ground. The stranger accompanies her home and takes her card promising to call again. But later we realise with shock that this gentleman who fought Arthur to protect Amelia, is in fact Arthur's friend, the man he asked to help him carry out his plan; Meriwether Compeyson. As the night darkens we stop for a moment at an alleyway by the docks...where the dead, cold, body of Jacob Marley is discovered. Murdered.
Episode #101 / Length: 57 minutes