Robert Powell stars as Jude Fawley in this faithful and uncompromising BBC adaptation of one of Thomas Hardy's most bitter and controversial novels. Born into rural poverty, young Jude Fawley refuses to accept his lot in life. He dreams of the nearby spires of Christminister. He longs to attend its great universities and better himself in its hallowed halls. But Victorian England in a society in which everyone has their place - and Jude's place is to labour and toil for his betters. As one by one his dreams are shattered, Jude lashes out at the world around him and - in his bitter confusion - his life begins to spiral out of his own control.