‘Hold onto your hats’ Outlander’s Ulysses star lands new BBC role away from Starz drama

Colin McFarlane is best known as Ulysses, the long-standing butler of Aunt Jocasta Cameron (played by Maria Doyle Kennedy) in the later seasons of Outlander. Ahead of the Starz series coming back in just under two months’ time, the actor has revealed a new trailer for Dodger on his Twitter page, an upcoming comedy series based on Oliver Twist.

Outlander star Colin will portray Canker in the upcoming family show, which follows newcomer Billy Jenkins as the artful pickpocket.

Beginning on CBBC in February, Dodger also stars Christopher Eccleston as Fagin, the wily leader of a group of street urchins.

The series will trace the rise of Fagin’s gang as the most notorious pack of street thieves in Victorian-era London before they came across Dickens’ most famous young orphan, Oliver.

Joining a star-studded cast, Colin will be featured along with the likes of David Threlfall (Shameless), Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) and Dave Simon (Peaky Blinders).

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Colin revealed the new trailer with an excited announcement on Twitter, which gave his 28.7k followers a taste of the pickpocketing high-jinks to come.


Fagin and his crew embark on plenty of slapstick adventures in the new footage, which even includes run-ins with Queen Victoria herself.

The infamous gang leader is revealed as the inspiration behind the Artful Dodger’s monicker, “a dodgy name for a dodgy geezer”.

Actor and writer Rhys Thomas is the primary creative mind behind the series, with additional scripts by Lucy Montgomery and Charlie Higson.

Explaining his inspiration behind the series, Rhys explained: “I have always loved Oliver Twist but wasn’t so keen on Oliver himself.

“I preferred the company of Dodger, Fagin and the gang. I thought it would be fun to create a family show with Dodger at its heart and see how he came to be a master criminal in Victorian London.”

On his interpretation of Fagin, Christopher said: “Fagin is an iconic role, I’m a very fortunate actor.

“Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery have taken Charles Dickens’ extraordinary characters and imagined a whole new world and lives for them. I’m very, very excited.”

Outside of his new CBBC role, Colin is tipped to reprise his part as Ulysses in the impending sixth season of Outlander, hitting screens at the start of March.

He has also appeared in the recent sitcom revival, Toast of Tinseltown, as well as popular films such as The Dark Knight and Jungle Cruise.

Outlander season 6 premieres Sunday, March 6 on Starz in the US and Starzplay in the UK.

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