Need to catch up on Oliver's adventures? Watch a short video recap for episode one or read the full synopsis below.
Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers
David Copperfield is born shortly after the death of his father. Great aunt Betsey Trotwood arrives for the event, eagerly anticipating a girl. Thwarted in her wishes, she leaves in disgust, never to return.
Young David has a happy childhood, with a memorable visit to his nanny Peggotty's relatives, who live in a ship house on the coast. On his return, he finds his mother has married Mr. Murdstone, a paranoid disciplinarian. When David bites Murdstone during a beating, the boy is sent to a boarding school run by the severe Mr. Creakle.
There, he falls under the protection of Steerforth, an older student. The school is the least of Murdstone's torments, for when David's mother dies the stepfather sends him to work at a sweatshop in London.
Again, David finds a patron — this time Mr. Micawber, a profligate family man with whom he lodges. But Micawber is soon sent to debtor's prison, and David is homeless.
Destitute, he walks to Dover where he has heard his Aunt Betsey lives. She offers him a nurturing home, shared with her lunatic lodger, Mr. Dick. The first part closes as David matures into a young man with bright prospects before him.