Consistently Infrequent

January 29, 2012

Great Expectations (BBC1, 2011 Production)

Filed under: TV — Tony Breyal @ 10:47 pm


Based on the Dicken’s novel of the same name, a young man apprenticing as a blacksmith is bestowed a large deal of money from an unknown benefactor. He goes to London to become a gentleman but is haunted by his past.


Young Pip is an orphan who lives with his elder sister and her husband, Joe, who is a blacksmith. One day Pip encounters an escaped convict and is scared into stealing a file for him so he can break out of his chains. Pip not only steels the file but also steels a piece of pie which he gives to the convict because he thought he might be hungry. Eventually the convict is caught though he does not reveal Pips involvement.

Later, Pip is commanded by his sister and uncle to visit Miss Havisham, an old and wealthy spinster, who has asked for a young boy from the village to be a playmate for her adopted daughter, Estella. Pip has his mind opened up to what the world is capable of offering him but at the same time is treated poorly by Estella who belittles him and even makes him cry by slapping him hard after he calls her lonely (and after that he promises he will never cry for her again). However there is also some tenderness such as when a rich boy tries to bully Pip but gets a good punch in return. Estella gives Pip a kiss for this action, which is seen by Miss Havisham.

Miss Havisham invites Pip and Joe to her house and offers to pay for Pip’s apprenticeship as a Blacksmith. Pip is crestfallen as he had hoped for something grander after she had opened his eyes to what the world could offer.

Years pass and Pip has grown and is doing well as the apprentice of a blacksmith. He has to put up with the bully Bulge who also works there but Pip just keeps a level head about him and gets his work done. However, a lawyer turns up and informs Pip that he is to receive a large sum of money from an anonymous benefactor and is to go to London to become a gentleman.

The rest of the plot revolves around Pip mistakenly believing Miss Havisham to be his benefactor and furthermore believing that she intends him and Estella to be together, Pip becoming a gentleman thanks to a new and true friend (the boy who Pip punched as a child), turning his back on Joe, having his heart broken when Estella is to be married to a man he can not stand, falling into debt, and finally learning that the convict he stole for so many years past is infact his true benefactor.


I love period drama – everything just feels so magical and other-worldly without being too far removed. Even having read the book and watched several other versions of this story I still enjoyed it. The real moving part for me was when the convict takes the file he had scared Pip into stealing and is then in additional is offered a piece of pie out of the goodness of Pip’s heart. Everything about that was perfect to me – volumes were spoken in the silence of that scene. Overall, this production was a success in my book with my favourite interpretations being performed by the actors playing the roles of young Pip, the convict and, Miss Havisham.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Great Expectations (BBC1, 2011 Production) ( Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditEmailFacebookPrintTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. ▶ No Responses /* 0) { jQuery('#comments').show('', change_location()); jQuery('#showcomments a .closed').css('display', 'none'); jQuery('#showcomments a .open').css('display', 'inline'); return true; } else { jQuery('#comments').hide(''); jQuery('#showcomments a .closed').css('display', 'inline'); jQuery('#showcomments a .open').css('display', 'none'); return false; } } jQuery('#showcomments a').click(function(){ if(jQuery('#comments').css('display') == 'none') { self.location.href = '#comments'; check_location(); } else { check_location('hide'); } }); function change_location() { self.location.href = '#comments'; } }); /* ]]> */ […]

    Pingback by Why is Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ such an intriguing character « Moving On — March 26, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

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