Les Misérables

Les Misérables was a French novel written by Victor Hugo. (PROSE: Just War)

The book was originally going to be a comedy, but the entire plot was changed after Hugo was brought to the Catacombs beneath Paris by the Fourth Doctor, which nearly gave the writer a heart attack. (COMIC: The Forgotten) Hugo wrote it in Guernsey. The Doctor told him to change the title, but he wouldn't listen. (PROSE: Just War)

A play based on the novel was performed in the United States many times, but also featured in England. The Eleventh Doctor suggested the necrotist Monos should go see it while he was in London. (COMIC: Sticks & Stones)

The Fifth Doctor told Peri that he kept meaning to see the play, and always wondered what Hugo would have made of it. (PROSE: Light at the End of the Tunnel) They eventually did see the play, with the Doctor commenting that Hugo would have hated it. (PROSE: Black and White)

The Twelfth Doctor once described Les Misérables as one of several things he'd "never seen", which was usually because he'd "chosen not to see them". He claimed that "[e]ven [his] incredibly long life [was] too short for Les Misérables." (TV: In the Forest of the Night)

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Although In the Forest of the Night does not go into detail as to what version of Les Misérables the Twelfth Doctor is talking about, the context of Les Misérables being one of the things the Doctor has chosen not to see rather than read or be shown implies he's talking about the stage adaptation. Indeed, British audiences at the time the episode aired would be familiar with the play, which opened in the West End of London in 1985, and is still performing there as of November 2019. However, the Doctor may also have been referring to the 2012 film adaptation of the musical. Despite the clue suggesting a visual interpretation of the story, his claim that his life is too short for it may be a reference to the notoriously extensive length of the original novel.
  • Eddie Redmayne starred as Marius Pontmercy in the 2012 film adaptation, while Michael Jibson played a factory foreman.
  • Matt Lucas played Thénardier both in Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary and at the Queen's Theatre.
  • Robert Madge played Gavroche in Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary, while Cameron Blakely played Bambatois. In this same production, Valda Aviks played "Hair Crone", Gemma Wardle played a factory worker and a "turning woman", Lucie Jones played a "turning woman", Gary Watson played a sailor and Jonathan Hart played a Paris pimp.
  • Hadley Fraser played a National Guardsman in the 2012 film adaptation, and Grantaire in Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary. He also played Marius Pontmercy at the Palace Theatre.
  • David Bradley, Olivia Colman, Derek Jacobi, Donald Sumpter, and Josh O'Connor starred in the 2018 mini-series.
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