Lucky Jim TV PG
Airing Sunday, May 25, 2003, on PBS
(Check local listings.)
Aired previously February 25, 2002
A rollicking adaptation of Kingsley Amis's first novel, Lucky Jim stars Stephen Tompkinson as Jim Dixon, a luckless lecturer at a provincial British university, trying to make a splash with his pompous boss, Professor Neddy Welch (Robert Hardy).
Jim is also trying to make it with the woman of his dreams, Christine Callaghan (Keeley Hawes, Othello and Wives and Daughters), while simultaneously being pursued by the woman of his nightmares, fellow lecturer Margaret Peel (Helen McCrory, Anna Karenina).
One (of many) complications is that Christine is the girlfriend of Professor Welch's egotistical artist son, Bertrand. Another is that Margaret keeps attempting suicide to get Jim's attention. But despite his misadventures, Jim keeps his eyes on the prize: a leg up on the ladder to a professorship in medieval history.
Published in 1954, Lucky Jim had something never before seen in fiction: a working-class hero, well educated but unabashedly middlebrow. Amis's innovation came as a breath of fresh air to a literary scene subdued by philosophical protagonists and alienated artists. This satiric and farcical story leads merrily through scenes of virtuoso comic catastrophe.
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