Great Expectations (1991 miniseries)
|Written by||Charles Dickens (novel)
|Directed by||Kevin Connor|
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||60 mins per episode|
Primetime Television Ltd.
Walt Disney Television
|Original release||1989 (U.S. VHS)
21 July – 25 August 1991 (UK TV)
Great Expectations is a British television serial based on Charles Dickens' novel of the same title. The six-part serial was first broadcast on the ITV network in 1991 though it was distributed on VHS in the United States in 1989.
Jean Simmons, who played the role of the young Estella in the 1946 movie, played Miss Havisham in the 1989 version. Other key roles include John Rhys-Davies as Joe Gargery, Ray McAnally as Jaggers, Anthony Calf as the adult Pip, Kim Thomson as both young and adult Estella, Adam Blackwood as Herbert Pocket, Anthony Hopkins as Abel Magwitch, Niven Boyd as Orlick, Susan Franklyn as Biddy and Martin Harvey as young Pip. Having the same actress play Estella as a child and adult provided a smoother transition in following the character than in some adaptations.
The miniseries format, running five hours, enabled much more of the original story to be filmed than other versions, allowed the restoration of significant characters omitted in other versions, such as Orlick and Wopsle, and the better examination of the roles of other characters, such as Biddy, Drummle, Miss Havisham and the adult Estella. The result is more understandable plot development, and the revelation of themes of the work that tend to be obscured in shorter versions, such as class striving and the values of character vs. wealth. This version takes relatively few liberties with characters and plot turns, and adheres closely to Dickens' published ending.
- Anthony Hopkins as Magwitch
- Jean Simmons as Miss Havisham
- John Rhys-Davies as Joe Gargery
- Ray McAnally as Mr Jaggers
- Anthony Calf as Pip
- Kim Thomson as Estella
- Adam Blackwood as Herbert
- Martin Harvey as Young Pip
- Rosemary McHale as Mrs Gargery
- Niven Boyd as Orlick
- Sean Arnold as Compeyson
- Frank Middlemass as Uncle Pumplechook
- John Quentin as Mr Wopsle
- Preston Lockwood as Mr Hubble
- Eve Pearce as Mrs Hubble
Harty Church on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent was used for the moment when young orphan Pip, whilst visiting his parents' grave, meets the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. Upnor Village was used as the home of Herbert Pocket's fiancée Clara's house. Upnor Lighthouse is visible as Pip docks in the village.