David Copperfield

Growing up is never easy–especially if your name happens to be David Copperfield. Orphaned as an infant, David must suffer the privation and cruelties of his evil stepfather, Mr. Murdstone–who packs David away to a workhouse at the age of ten! a trusting but vulnerable boy and practically alone in the world, David finds himself time after time at the mercy of a rogue’s gallery of characters: the dashing but deceitful Steerforth, the detestable clerk Uriah Heep, and, last but not least, the beautiful but ditzy Dora. With friends like these it’s a miracle that David grows up at all!

David Copperfield tells the typical rags to riches story our culture so adores.

David lost both of his parents to a mysterious illness when he was very young, and his only remaining relative didn’t feel very parental, so David was sent to a workhouse.  He was supposed to learn a valuable life skill there.  His uncle was paying quite a bit of money in the hopes that he would accomplish that.  He befriends another child there: Dora, the quiet latino girl who can speak both English and Spanish.  While David has lost all hope of a brighter future, Dora doesn’t give up, and soon is scouted by the talent agent Steve Steerforth.

Steve sees a lot of potential in Dora.  She’s cute, outgoing, and he believes is perfect for Television.  He begins pitching an education show featuring the small girl to different networks.  Unfortunately, no one seems interested.

But then on a business trip to China, Steerforth meets with representatives from PBS who like the show, but not the live-action aspect.  They agree to fund a pilot episode, provided that it’s animated, and has a male supporting character, to help young boys cultivate interest in the show.

As soon as Dora hears the news, she insists that David be her supporting character.

Because the show is animated, all Steerforth needs to do is send David to a vocal coach to learn as much Spanish as he can, and they begin preparations for filming.

Uriah Heep is the coach, and does his best to bully David into quitting, believing that child actors are the root of all of society’s problems.  David struggles to learn under his oppression, so Dora begins coaching him at night.  Eventually, they record the episode, and a month later the Dora the Explorer hit the network.

It was an instant success.  Dora and David were able to move out of the workhouse after Steerforth made several slightly shady deals to emancipate them, and lived together in the loft overlooking the studio.

But as the show became more popular, things complicated rapidly.  David has quit taking vocal lessons from Uria Heep since the first episode was released, yet the man was taking full credit for David’s vocal talents.  On top of that PBS was becoming seriously displeased with Steerforth’s deceitful ways of business, and threatening to shut Dora the Explorer down.

One night Steerforth appeared in the children’s loft, telling them that they needed to come with him immediately.  When they refused, he ties them up and carries them out to his car.

Thankfully, a neighbor sees him shoving the children into the trunk, and calls the police.  Steerforth is taken to prison, and David and Dora live in peace.


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