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Stephen Rea‘s performance as Inspector Bucket is a key to the success of BBC1’s Dickensian, but the actor credits the writers for conjuring up the ‘absolutely brilliant’ stories.

Created by Tony Jordan, Dickensian is a compelling recreation of many of Charles Dickens’ more minor characters, putting them centre-stage in completely new storylines. The methodical, ponderous Bucket, of ‘The Detective’, steals every scene he’s in.

Oscar-nominated actor Stephen told What’s on TV: “[The stories are] more than coherent, they’re absolutely brilliant. This is not a few slouches trying to get energy from a piece of writing. They’ve actually owned it, they’ve taken hold of it, just thrown more light into it, more life into it. It’s wonderful for actors. It’s kind of nice to be playing characters where people can’t constantly be comparing you to other performances, so it’s exciting.”

Stephen, whose film career includes The Crying Game and Interview With the Vampire, said: “I’ve been in a couple of TV series, but I’ve never been in one that had 20 episodes, so many different characters and so many storylines. But it’s exciting, the actors are wonderful, wonderful directors, great scripts. What more do you want?”

Dickensian continues on BBC1 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Watch the full interview with Stephen Rea, above.