In the 1810s orphan boy Pip Pirrup lives on the Kent marshes with his shrewish sister and her kindly husband,farrier Joe Gargery. On Christmas eve,whilst visiting his parents' grave, he is confronted...
In London, Pip rooms with the unaffected Herbert Pocket, a relative of Miss Havisham, cut off by his family for wanting to marry the poorly situated Clara Barley and whom Pip helps get work. In other...
The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »
As a Dickens tragic I am well aware that adapting his novels for dramatic performance, whether on stage, TV or on film, will always pose problems, but there have been some triumphant successes. David Lean's being notable, but also the more recent examples: Bleak House -(sublime) and Little Dorrit (brilliant - twice). I have a set of earlier BBC attempts at other Dickens novels on DVD and some of them are toe-curlingly embarrassing - and prove that a good screenwriter is the most important ingredient for success. This production of Great Expectations was good - just. Ray Wintone was born to play Abel Magwitch, and whilst I initially stepped back in amazement at Gillian Anderson's performance as Miss Havisham, I was finally convinced that she was right; her child-like approach fits in with the psychology of a young bride jilted and bitter - excellent. My problems were not particularly with the cast, most of whom were very good, but with the liberties taken with Dicken's plot. The "brothel" scene was unnecessary - why insert "new stuff" when you have left out some old stuff. Much of the dialogue lacked 19th Century authenticity - why tinker about with an aspect of Dicken's writing which has always been seen as one of his greatest strengths? Do the producers think that we are not clever enough to understand? I hope the production of Edwin Drood is better.
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