Les Misérables: Series 1 (2019)

Series 1
Les Misérables

Critics Consensus

Andrew Davies' deft adaptation of the oft-retold Victor Hugo classic affords viewers a newfound intimacy with these outcasts and revolutionaries, who are ably brought to life by a star-studded cast.



Critic Ratings: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 127

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Air date: Apr 14, 2019

After serving a draconian prison term for stealing bread, Jean Valjean is released. He resorts to petty crime, but Bishop Myriel teaches him a valuable lesson.

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Air date: Apr 21, 2019

Now a mayor and a factory owner, Valjean hires the single mother Fantine. Trouble leads to a reunion with Javert.

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Air date: Apr 28, 2019

Valjean saves an innocent man at enormous personal cost. Again evading justice, he tracks down Fantine's daughter, Cosette. Pursued by Javert, they need a miracle to escape.

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Air date: May 5, 2019

Now a young woman, Cosette moves to Paris under Valjean's protection. There, she meets the handsome law student Marius, who unwittingly brings a nightmare to life.

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Air date: May 12, 2019

As revolution sweeps Paris, Valjean and Cosette hide out, Marius searches for Cosette, Thenardier disappears, and Javert obsessively tracks Valjean.

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Air date: May 19, 2019

Marius mans the barricades, where a hostile Valjean intercepts him. They end up fleeing together through the sewers of Paris. Cosette's story reaches its conclusion. So does Javert's.

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Tv Season Info

Victor Hugo's masterpiece comes to television in a six-part adaptation by multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies. Dominic West stars as fugitive Jean Valjean, with David Oyelowo as his pursuer Inspector Javert and Lily Collins as the luckless single mother Fantine. Ellie Bamber and Josh O'Connor costar as the young lovers Cosette and Marius. Love, death, and the struggle for social justice in early 19th-century France feature in this beautifully faithful retelling of one of the world's most beloved stories.

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News & Interviews for Les Misérables: Series 1

Critic Reviews for Les Misérables Series 1

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (16)

An engrossing treat, featuring a vibrant cast and taking its time to unspool the melodrama and offer loving looks at 19th century France.

Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The script tells and tells and tells. There are few asides, and no subtext; the plot just unspools, like rope.

Jan 17, 2019 | Full Review…

As Daffy Duck said, it's the rich what gets the gravy, and the poor what gets the blame. Les Miserables is a gorgeously conceived means of getting that depressing, eternal truth across.

Jun 24, 2020 | Full Review…

As the miniseries jumps from one classic scene to the next, what's lost in the script, if not in the acting, is the slow process of character development.

Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…

It tells the story well enough but rarely gets under the skin of Hugo's mad book - a kind of spiritual potboiler cum encyclopedia that includes lengthy excursions into history, economics, philosophy, retrospective travel writing and religion.

Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Dominic West, 50, is good as Victor Hugo's righteous fugitive, Jean Valjean, and British-American actor David Oyelowo is even better as his hunter, Javert. The six-part miniseries is way more faithful to the book than the musical was.

Aug 14, 2020 | Full Review…

The goal of the British Andrew Davies in adapting the Victor Hugo classic consists in affirming his visionary realism as a portrait of a cruel and unequal world, not too different from the contemporary one. [Full Review in Spanish]

Dec 17, 2019 | Full Review…

Despite the appealing narrative and star-splattered cast... there's a lingering feeling that we're stuck in a screenplay rut.

Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Les Misérables is a haunting, unforgettable journey of sacrifice and forgiveness that changes its characters significantly over the time we spend with them.

Dec 6, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

This "Les Miserables" gives viewers a happy catharsis of sorts, followed by a chaser of melancholy, reminding us some things never change. In that respect, this might be the most authentic adaptation of Victor Hugo's work than any before it.

Dec 6, 2019 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

This newest iteration of the classic story is well worth your time.

Dec 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Starring an excellent central cast, the new Les Mis instantly erases the foul stench of director Tom Hooper's unbearable 2012 adaptation, which remains, even years later, one of only four films I have walked out of in my entire life.

Aug 28, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Les Misérables: Series 1

  • Sep 29, 2020
    I love the story from the novel and the musical as well. I don't mind to watch the non musical version of Les Mis because it should be truer to the novel. Yes this BBC version is truer to the novel, plot wise. Andrew Davies bashed the musical and guess what? This adaptation didn't really do the character justice. Valjean in my opinion, having read the book, is too aggressive in this adaptation. This is the story of redemption (one of the themes) what's the point of making him so aggressive even after the Petit Gervais event. Two, why the heck did Marius have a wet dream about Eponine. Three, in the novel Valjean and Cosette have a loving father-daughter relationship, so far as Cosette wants to make Valjean happy and vice versa. Why did Cosette become such a rebel and very rude at one point in this adaptation? To be honest the 2012 musical did the character, especially Cosette and Valjean, so much more justice than BBC, even though they changed some of the plots. Characters' personality is also important imo because they are a part of the story (moreover if they are the main characters) and BBC failed to do that. I like Fantine's part though, they did that very well. Lily Collins showed the naïve and shy personality of Fantine (and her descent into the low points of her life) very well . That's the only thing that I really like
  • Aug 17, 2020
    Awful bastardisation of Hugo's story. Everyone involved should be ashamed.
  • Jun 12, 2020
    I'm white, and not particularly "tuned in" to what exactly is racist and what's not. Generally I don't care care about actor's colour. But I couldn't help but notice that almost all BAME actors are casted as devious and promiscuous while the socially maligned heroes are white and in the case of the heroine blonde and blue eyed. Apparently this is not the case in the source. Yes, I know, BAME actors participate in productions such as these and Hamilton willingly, but I suppose you take what you can get and I still wanted to point it out. I'm surprised none of the reviews on this page make mention of it. Other complaints: The accents. I took to calling it "Chavvy Mis". The performances. Lily Collins and Josh O'Connor could cry on queue but gave no clear personality to their roles.
  • Apr 26, 2020
    Sublime la mejor versión de esta obra.
  • Jan 31, 2020
    I've avoided this story for years, having read lots of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in college and decided I wanted to get out of tragic novels for awhile, I never read the book and never watched another musical or movie until this PBS one. I was glad to know it had a "happy" ending even. though it seemed a bit trite in the whole sin/redemption theme. The acting was great and the story line was entertaining, but I'm pretty sure it didn't do justice to a great piece of literature which I've never read.
  • Jan 01, 2020
    PHENOMENAL WATCH!!! Dominic West and David Oyelowo BURST with onscreen chemistry!! I was sceptical to say the least, but was BLOWN AWAY by this series!! I can't wait to watch it again!! 🍿🍿
  • Jul 29, 2019
    Absolutely love ! More more more! Dominic West makes this series! Bravo
  • Jul 13, 2019
    This is five star entertainment all day long. Could and should have been double the length. Stand out performances from Lily Collins and Dominic West. Unfortunately the quality does fall dramatically the more Josh O'Connor appears in it.
  • Jul 09, 2019
    a great adaptation while not as good as the musical this explores character arks better you really get a feel of the era
  • Jun 24, 2019
    It's amazinggggg I loveeee it

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