Steven Knight to adapt Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations for BBC One

This is the second Dickens adaptation from the prolific screenwriter

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight

Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight will adapt classic Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations as a limited series for BBC One.

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First published as a complete novel in 1861, the coming-of-age story follows an orphan nicknamed Pip, who unexpectedly inherits a large fortune.

The acclaimed book will be the basis of a six-part series written and produced by Knight, who reunites with his frequent collaborators Ridley Scott and Tom Hardy in executive producer roles.

The creative team has previously worked together on Hardy’s drama series Taboo and last year’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which starred Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The frightening festive tale marked Knight’s first attempt at adapting Dickens, but proved divisive among viewers. Some enjoyed his reimagined version of the story, while others yearned for a more traditional retelling, taking particular issue with the explicit language used throughout.

Knight said: “Adapting Dickens’ work is a delight. I chose Great Expectations as the next work to bring to the screen not just because of the timeless characters, but also because of the very timely story.

“A story of class mobility and class intransigence, told through an intensely emotional and personal first person narrative. As the son of a Blacksmith myself, Pip’s journey from the forge into society is a very special one to me.”

Great Expectations is a co-production between the BBC and American broadcaster FX. The series does not yet have a confirmed release date or cast and filming could potentially be held up by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Knight’s own Peaky Blinders is one of the many television shows that have been forced to halt production as a result of the pandemic.

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