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Great Expectations

Series 1-Episode 1

Series 1-Episode 1

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Review

Charles Dickens’s hard, dark story of orphan Pip sweats with atmosphere right from its opening scenes of a man rising like a bullet-headed submersible from the flat, grey waters of endless, foggy marshland.

Of course, it’s escaped convict Magwitch (Ray Winstone) who terrifies little Pip, cuffed and tormented at home, into becoming a conspirator in his bid for freedom. It’s a tremendous start to a thrilling adaptation blessed with an unforgettable performance by Gillian Anderson as the decrepit Miss Havisham, tipped into quiet derangement by disappointment.

Hopelessly damaged by her jilting at the altar, her house is a monument to thwarted love — the fossilised wedding cake, the cobweb-strewn flowers, and of course, her wedding dress, worn every day and fading to rags.

Anderson will break your heart every time she appears, trapped in girlishness with her sing-song voice and mild, almost fey, manners. But she’s playing a terrible game, manipulating the lives of Pip and her haughty adopted daughter, Estella. Great Expectations continues until Thursday.

Summary

Ray Winstone and Douglas Booth star in this three-part dramatisation of the classic Dickens novel about an orphan's rise through high society with the assistance of a mysterious benefactor. Eleven-year-old Pip's life is changed dramatically by an encounter with escaped convict Abel Magwitch. With David Suchet, Gillian Anderson, Mark Addy and Claire Rushbrook.

Cast & Crew

Abel Magwitch Ray Winstone
Young Pip Oscar Kennedy
Joe Gargery Shaun Dooley
Dolge Orlick Jack Roth
Mrs Joe Claire Rushbrook
Pumblechook Mark Addy
Compeyson Paul Rhys
Sergeant Charlie Creed-Miles
Hannah Mary Roscoe
Miss Havisham Gillian Anderson
Young Estella Izzy Meikle-Small
Mr Pocket Andrew Bone
Mrs Pocket Abigail Bond
Jaggers David Suchet
Young Herbert Eros Vlahos
Pip Douglas Booth
Estella Vanessa Kirby
Director Brian Kirk
Executive Producer Anne Pivcevic
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton
Producer George Ormond
Writer Sarah Phelps
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