The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (TV series)

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The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Molly Flanders
Created by Dominic Minghella
Starring Alex Kingston
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 4
Producer(s) David Lascelles, Gub Neal, Rebecca Eaton
Original channel ITV
Original release 15 January 1996 – 11 March 1996
External links

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders is a 1996 British drama television film directed by David Attwood and starring Alex Kingston.[1] It is an adaptation of the novel Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe.


Moll is born in Newgate to a convict woman, who is transported immediately after giving birth. After being passed around, the child ends up with gypsies, from whom she runs away when about seven years old. She is taken in by the Mayor of Colchester and brought up in his household as "almost" one of the family. When they become young men both his sons are attracted to Moll and make advances to her. She succumbs to the eldest son, who promises her love and marriage and gives her money and presents, but then encourages her to marry his younger brother when the latter proposes to her. The parents are concerned but allow the marriage. After several years Moll's husband dies and she leaves Colchester and her children to seek a new and more exciting life in London. She mixes in society and finally marries a wealthy young man who has come into an inheritance. Intoxicated with each other and spending money for their enjoyment Moll and her new husband live a reckless and exorbitant lifestyle.

Her husband having disappeared after they have spent his fortune and the bailliffs arrive, Moll puts on her finery and goes in search of another wealthy husband. She attracts a young sea Captain from Virginia, who owns a ship and plantations and she too is attracted to him. They marry and Moll travels with him to Virginia. There she meets his mother, who, after some initial hostility to Moll gets on well with her. Several years later, and now with two children, Moll's contentment and happiness is destroyed when she discovers that her mother-in-law is actually her own transported mother and that she is married to her own half-brother. He and Moll separate and she returns to England. However, most of her possessions are lost during bad storms and she arrives with little income. Again, she spends her money on clothes and creating the impression that she is a wealthy lady and goes to Lancaster in search of a new husband - attracting one instantly.

Moll marries the love of her life, but after setting off on honeymoon soon discovers that neither of them has been telling the truth.

Alone and virtually penniless, Moll continues her life of crime. She meets fellow thief Lucy and they become partners in crime and best friends. After Lucy is caught and hanged, Moll's heart is not in her thieving and she is easily caught.


Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character
Alex Kingston Moll Flanders
Daniel Craig James 'Jemmy' Seagrave
Diana Rigg Mrs. Golightly
Nicola Walker Lucy Diver

VHS release[edit]

The four episodes were released on VHS as two tapes on 16 October 1997.[2]


External links[edit]