This audio Drama was first broadcast on (and not surprisingly) 31st December 2009. And it is here that Dickens not unlike A Christmas Carol revisits the theme of time. The theme is very reminiscent of A Christmas Carol by offering some hope too all the future.
We follow the story narrated by Dickens as the chimes struck every quarter of an hour and the New Year draws, a time for a fresh start.
The poor are the focus of Dickens and Trotty is by no means the harshest judge in the story. And as we meet Trotty Veck, played very ably by Ron Cook, it’s an hour before midnight and he is sitting on the steps of the Church. His job of a ticket porter is that of running errands for other people for a tiny sum of cash. He is also has a his daughter Meg played by Helen Longworth who he supports.
And it is at this point when he look back to the last year when his daughter comes with some trip and potatoes and her fiancé. Enter Alderman Cute, plus a political economist who make Trotty, Meg, and Richard feel that they hardly have a right to exist let alone welcome in a new year.
Trotty carries a note for Cute to Sir Joseph Bowley MP who is a complete and utter bastard, he tears a strip Trotty because he owes a few shillings to various people. This leaves Trotty he and the rest of poor are naturally ungrateful and have no place in society.
Trotty encounters Will Fern who has been unfairly accused of vagrancy and wants to visit the aforementioned Alderman to resolve the issue, Trotty is warns him against that as the Alderman is very much in favour of ‘putting down’ or sending to prison the poor and immoral as he sees it.
In this adaptation we see Trottie outside to his predetermined path and very much like Scrooge supernaturally sees into a possible future.
The Chimes call to him and unlike Scrooge Trotty falls from the church steeple and meets a premature death. He visits the horrors that the Chimes show. He sees his daughter driven to the edge of suicide.
I enjoyed this a great deal and is well worth a listen.