The Artful Dodger: first look at Australian Disney+ series

The Artful Dodger is based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, but focuses on Jack Dawkins and his time in 1850s Australia.

Disney+ has revealed first look images for its Australian Original series The Artful Dodger, set to premiere on 29 November.

The series is described as an irreverent follow-up to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, exploring the adult double life of the famous prince of thieves. It’s filmed and set in Australia, in the lively colony of Port Victory circa 1850. Jack Dawkins aka The Artful Dodger, has transferred his fast fingers as a pickpocket to the nimble skilled fingers of a surgeon. But his past returns to haunt him with the arrival of Fagin, luring him back into a world of crime. A greater threat – to Dodger’s heart – is Lady Belle, the Governor’s daughter, determined to become the colony’s first female surgeon.

Read: Disney+: Artful Dodger in Australia – cast details

From heists and life-and-death surgeries to the harsh realities of the criminal world mingling with the middle ground and gentry, the upcoming eight-part series promises to put a ‘twist’ on the well-known Dickens character.

The series stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, The Queen’s Gambit) as Jack Dawkins aka The Artful Dodger; David Thewlis (Landscapers, Fargo) as Fagin; and Maia Mitchell (Good Trouble, The Fosters) as Lady Belle Fox.

Australian actors in the series include Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Judy and Punch), Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding, The Sapphires), Tim Minchin (Upright, Californication), Susie Porter (Wentworth, Gold), Kym Gyngell (Love Me, Black Snow), Damien Garvey (Nautilus, Jack Irish), Jessica De Gouw (The Secrets She Keeps, The Drover’s Wife). Also joining the cast are rising talents Nicholas Burton, Lucy-Rose Leonard, Vivienne Awosoga and New Zealand talent Albert Latailakepa.

‘We’re thrilled to debut this must-see Australian storytelling to global audiences on Disney+ under our Star entertainment banner and on Hulu in the US on November 29,’ said Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company (Australia and New Zealand). ‘This is our second locally produced scripted series and we’re excited to share it with audiences locally and internationally.’

The first locally produced scripted series on Disney+ was cult drama The Clearing.

Read: The Clearing on Disney+ review: a juicy look at cults and complicity

The Artful Dodger is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television’s Curio Pictures and produced by Beach Road Pictures. The series is created by James McNamara, David Maher & David Taylor.The series was filmed in New South Wales, Australia, with financial support provided by the State Government through Screen NSW’s Made In NSW fund.

The Artful Dodger premieres on Disney+ on 29 November 2023

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports