The Dickens story has been told on stage and screen more than 50 times in the past and the actor was uncertain what a new version could offer.
He said: "I wasn't turned off by it, but I was slightly sceptical. You never know if anything is going to be any good, but that's particularly true of period dramas because there has been a real glut of them recently, of varying qualities. I am old, jaded, cynical and bitter, so I was thinking, 'is this going to be any good?'"
However, he explained that he was impressed by ex-EastEnders writer Sarah Phelps' script, which splits the story into five parts, saying: "I think she's managed to extract the tightest, sharpest, fast-moving screen adaptation. What you get is an original sense of the melodrama. You get the story in episodes, like a soap, with cliff-hangers and a very taught script. I have been in some terribly-written programmes, but I was genuinely amazed by this script."
Rhind-Tutt plays Mr Brownlow's grandson Mr Monks, who wants Oliver out of the way because his inheritance will be threatened by the boy's presence.
The 39-year-old said he was delighted to play a nasty character, saying: "It was brilliant. I've not really done that before, so I practised my evil looks in the mirror!"
The programme - which aired for the first time last night - also stars Edward Fox, Anna Massey, Timothy Spall, Tom Hardy and Sophie Okonedo.
Oliver Twist continues at 8pm tonight on BBC One.
> Share your views on the adaptation on the forums